WHEN I was 14, I sneaked into the empty bedroom of my scholarly older brother to poke around in his bookcase.
I was quickly submerged in the submissive: masks, chains, brands, whips, blindfolds, piercings. Even skimming, the book was too scary for me, so I stuck it back in its hidden spot and scampered away.
A beginner’s guide to sexual submission
Yet she has written the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy — bondage-themed romanticas that whipped up a frenzy with the housewives of Long Island and rippled out from there. James started writing the series as Twilight fan fiction under the pen name Snowqueens Icedragon, spinning another strange, obsessive love story in misty Washington state with a pale, virginal year-old brunette student named Anastasia Steele and a breathtakingly handsome, year-old telecommunications mogul named Christian Grey.
Not the sandwich, though she does fix him subs with the French bread he favours. Women can now download erotica on their Kindles, Nooks and iP anywhere they want, with no bodice-ripping Fabio cover to give them away.
Admittedly, Grey uses winking smiley emoticons, believes in monogamy and likes to dance to Frank Sinatra. In fact, she utters that phrase 84 irritating times in the trilogy. And more off-putting than most.
James cleaves to hoary conventions out of Harlequin: powerful and wealthy heroes with a sense of entitlement who need to be rescued; smart and strong-willed heroines who tame their men. Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, a two-volume novel by Samuel Richardson published intells the story of a year-old maidservant whose noble master becomes infatuated with her.
He kidnaps her, locks her up in one of his estates and tries to seduce and rape her, but eventually her innocence, intelligence, resistance and love persuade him to straighten up, ignore class differences and marry her.
As is Fifty Shades of Grey. A mousy, virginal girl, who is spirited beneath her shy demeanour, falls in love with a rich, arrogant man.
The Harvard-educated Hunter says most women are sexually submissive and scoffs at the idea that anything in the book is offensive except its overwrought prose. Master is choreographing all the action.
The book seems to have resonated with so many women because, after a long day of managing employees, making all the decisions and looking after children, a woman might be exhausted about being in charge and long to surrender control.
This is the world of fantasy and play. In the animal kingdom, she says, females surrender and males dominate, with female robins looking for the male robin with the reddest breast and best leafy real estate.
Very few people act out their fantasies, except in northern California. Why is a tale of sexual submission so dominant in women's thoughts? Mon, Apr 2, Most Viewed.
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