Fifty Shades of Grey from my perspective
I thought I would give you my honest opinion on books I've read, and what could be a better 'appetizer' than Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James? Especially because the trilogy was the first erotic story I ever read. I mean ever. But it wasn't like I rushed to the store to get a copy as soon as I could, no. On the contrary, actually.
When the books first became a real success, I didn't want to read the phenomenon everyone was talking about. Call it me being stubborn, or ignorant, or both. The truth is I normally don't buy something just because the majority likes it. Why should I follow the crowd, when I have my own, 'singular' taste, right? I need something that catches my attention, a tiny detail or element that magically makes me fall in love with the book at first sight. Well, Fifty Shades of Grey lacked that for me - at first.
But then one of my friends told me that this was exactly what I (what everyone) needed. So, at that time my curiosity took over and I said why not, and she handed me the books, one by one. What happened next? The books were sitting on my shelf for three months. Why? Because I still wasn't that interested.
It wasn't until she started asking me when would she be getting her favorite books back that I made up my mind. I finally picked up the courage to flip the covers and start reading. But no, the 'miracle' didn't happen for me, I still wasn't convinced. The story started at an extremely slow pace for my liking (and not just for an erotic story, but books in general), and I didn't connect with Anastasia (although, as it turned out, we do have a lot of things in common).
But it might just have been my 'innocence' talking that time, and my fear of discovering my true self. How could I have possibly enjoyed a book that was all about sex, and in such a descriptive, erotic (and kinky) way? That would have been outrageous, unacceptable, and something I couldn't have taken back. Once you admit that you are attracted to this stuff, nothing will stop you from going down that particular 'dark path' that leads to steamy erotica (and, in my case, nothing stopped me from going down that path towards writing hot, steamy, kinky erotica). Yeah, the book certainly isn't for the faint hearted, and after so many years, I have so much to thank E L James for. Although she didn't introduce me to writing erotica per se, her book was the first one I read in the genre. And, even if I never admitted it openly, the first one that made me think outside the box (or, in this case, outside vanilla).
So, what kept me reading? The very thing that didn't let me accept what got me hooked in the first place: the promise behind the story. The fact that it was different, blatant and unique at the time. I kept reading, because I wanted to find out the truth behind the characters, behind my own lack of courage. The more I got along in the story, the more sense it made (and the less sense it made, all at the same time). I still can't say I'm a huge fan, but I must give E L James this much: it must have taken a tremendous amount of courage to come out with something like this. I know from my own experience how much courage my first erotic story took. And trust me, it was a lot. I kept thinking what will my parents say, what will the whole world say, stuff like that. But today, writing erotica couldn't come more naturally to me. It's as if I found my true self in the process.
That time I thought about some of the elements in Fifty Shades as bizarre, as something I wouldn't do (or think about) in a million years. Yeah, that was then, a few years back. I guess I don't have to say that my friend got her books back, and they didn't have too many creases from my bookmarks. Well, yeah, if you thought I was ignorant, then add novice in erotica, too. Of course, since then I wrote many stories of my version of the genre, so I'm definitely not casting any stones here (on the contrary). And even though I didn't like the story that much when I read it, I still loved the writing style and E L James' ability to create hundreds of unique sex scenes within the same book. Now that takes real talent!
Did you know that the novel was self-published originally? Of course, I didn't find that out till years later, and that time I was nowhere near an erotica author. Today, obviously, my views are completely different. Maybe if I read the trilogy again, my view on it would change, too. Because, everything changed since then. I changed. And, funny enough, although I say I'm not a particular fan, it doesn't stop me from referring to her achievement on a daily basis. And, of course, it doesn't stop me from admiring her for creating something of this caliber, either. She will never cease to inspire me, encouraging me to carry on and write some more.
Okay, so here comes my opinion based on what I know now: if you are looking for a decent read in BDSM erotica, one that has an interesting backstory to it, too, then you should probably check it out (I added a link to the picture, to make your search easier). It has a lot of hot stuff in it, including spanking. Oh, yes, if you read some of my stories, you will know by now that this is one of my favorite elements, too (yeah, I know, people do change over time - a lot). I guess I just needed to open up. All in all, thank you E L James for 'initiating' that process.