Saturday, February 14, 2015

Smut of the Heart

Ah, love is in the air.  Today, greeting card sales will skyrocket while all across America people are receiving flowers and cards and cartoonish-sized boxes of chocolates.

I’m talking, of course, about Valentine’s Day.  A day committed to a tiny, sadistic cherub who goes around shooting everyone.  A Roman priest executed during the pagan love fest of Lupercalia.  And…kink?

This week the long-anticipated movie 50 Shades of Grey hit theaters.  The movie is based off writer E. L. James’s surprise best seller by the same name.  Seeing the surge of blatant female sexuality that emerged from the 50 Shades phenomenon, I had to read it. 

It was literally the worst book I have ever read.

Spoiler Alert Ahead: 

The book, which began as Twilight fan fiction, is about young Anastasia Steele.  An up and coming young journalist, she goes to interview, and eventually falls in love with the mysterious Christian Grey.    

After Twilightesque scenery, rushed character development, and an inner goddess who won’t shut the hell up, Christian Grey essentially offers Anastasia a full time job as his kinky sex slave, complete with a contract outlining hard and soft limits.  And Christian Grey likes him some hard limits. 

The rest of the book is essentially Anastasia Steele—having tasted of the orgasm and found it oh so good—begging Christian Grey to show her these “hard limits” he’s always on about.  Christian, being the dom/switch that he is, relents and proceeds to take Annastasia to the dungeon and spank the hell out of her.  Ana, like a champ, endures this until he is finished before proceeding to tell Christian how fucked up he is and rushing from the room in a maelstrom of unwarranted emotion.

There, I saved you 300 pages of reading so you can get into the conversation. 

Since its release, everybody has an opinion about 50 Shades of Grey and its…name it.  Gender roles.  The way it defines relationships.  Confuses sex and love.  How it misrepresents the kink community.  It does all of these things and more.  The movie, which, sadly, I will see as my own masochistic punishment for reading the book, has a whopping one and a half stars on Rotten Tomatoes.  Reviews rave that it is slightly better than the book.  And the discussion continues, all of us missing the bigger point:

The book is just bad.

Sure, there are good things about 50 Shades of Grey.  A hundred years ago saucy stories like 50 Shades would have been kept hidden lest a woman be labeled a deviant.  (Kate Chopin comes to mind.  The Storm was…well, it was orgasmic.)  There is also the kink community.  In a way, James’ breakout novel normalized BDSM—albeit unrealistically.


Okay, so I am more than a little critical about E. L. James and her novel.  But it my defense it was the first erotic novel I ever read, and it was horrible.  Since 50 Shades of Grey, however, I have read other, better erotica.  And as my Valentine’s Day gift to you, reader, here is a list of smut to fill your filthy little minds:


Bared to You (The Crossfire Series) by Sylvia Day


Why isn’t THIS book the new hit movie?  Basically Day’s attempt to rid the world of the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, Bared to You is 50 Shades of Grey except professionally written.  The characters, Eva and Gideon, are more believable.  The plot is more realistic.  And all this despite being 50 Shades of Grey down to an epic fight with the best friend—minus the virginal menstrual sex, of course. 

Steamy Excerpt:
He looked at me and I saw what I’d seen the first time we’d met—tremendous power and steely control. Both of which had me taking an involuntary step back. Again. At least I didn’t fall this time; I was making progress. 

“Because I want to fuck you, Eva. I need to know what’s standing in my way, if anything.” 
     


The Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice


The original 50 Shades of Grey, Anne Rice delivers a raunchy retelling of Sleeping Beauty.  So filthy is this little fairy tale that Rice published it beneath the pen name A. N. Roquelaure.  Everything you want is here—spanking; nipple play; CBT; fisting.  There is even a hint of bestiality and a speckling of female circumcision.  Plot turns abound as Beauty rebels against her queen, is abducted by a foreign king, and falls in love with her prince.  A good read.  But then again…it’s Anne Rice!

Steamy Excerpt:
He mounted her, parting her legs, giving the white inner flesh of her thighs a soft, deep pinch, and, clasping her right breast in his left hand, he thrust his sex into her.
He was holding her up as he did this, to gather her mouth to him, and as he broke through her innocence, he opened her mouth with his tongue and pinched her breast sharply.
He sucked on her lips, he drew the life out of her into himself, and feelling his seed explode within her, heard her cry out.
And then her blue eyes opened.
"Beauty!" he whispered to her.   
My Billionaire Triceratops Craves Gay Ass by Chuck Tingle


Now this is a story! 

As if paddles and fisting weren’t enough, 50 Shades of Grey opened the door to a whole new genre of erotic fiction.  Smut about ghosts and elves and aliens and Bigfoot are the rave right now.  But Chuck Tingle obviously has them all beat with his dinosaur erotica. 

Admittedly, I have yet to read Chuck Tingle.  But I will.  I mean, there is some real plot in My Billionaire Triceratops Craves Gay Ass.  How did the triceratops get so rich?  How did this guy come to own a triceratops?  What makes him so special?  And what sort of hell is it for a dinosaur to crave gay ass? 

Since I couldn’t find an actual quote from the book, I’ll leave you with the abstract.  

Steamy Abstract:
Jeremy was never quite sure about his feelings for Oliver, his gay pet dinosaur, until Oliver scores big and leaves home to pursue his dreams of being a dancer. 

Years later, the two of them reconnect for dinner in New York City, and realize that there may have been more to their relationship besides prehistoric pet and master. Now a wealthy socialite, Oliver the triceratops is willing to take another chance on Jeremy, and soon the two find themselves locked in a passionate evening of gay human-dino love. 

This erotic tale is 4,300 words of sizzling human on gay triceratops action, including anal, blowjobs, rough sex, and prehistoric beast love.
 
All three of these stories are better reads than E. L. James’ misguided attempt at erotic fiction.  Of course, I enjoy a strong female lead and Anastasia Steele is not that.  And if there is gay sex involved, all the better!  And dinosaur on human fucking?  Who doesn’t want to read that just for the pure logistics of the whole absurd thing? 

In the end they all come down to love and belonging and sex.  And that is what we’re celebrating today.  So grab your Valentine.  Tell them how much they mean to you.  Express your love in the most elaborate, kinkiest of ways.

And until next time…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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