home
RSS
Erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey' goes viral... for good reason
March 15th, 2012
07:22 AM ET

Erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey' goes viral... for good reason

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

I have read “The Book.”

Ok, I didn’t read the entire book, but I did do a hopscotch through the sex scenes and, on the basis of the naughty parts alone, I can understand why folks are getting hot and bothered.

The book I’m referring to, of course, is “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the first in an erotic trilogy by E.L. James that melds kinky sex with romance. The novel has been selling like hot cakes and is causing quite a stir due to the explicit scenes of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM).

“Fifty Shades of Grey” has put the words "bondage erotica” into the mainstream, according to Rachel Kramer Bussel, a writer and editor of more than 40 anthologies of erotica, including “Best Bondage Erotica 2012.”

“It has shown that you don’t have to be a certain type of person to enjoy erotic fiction, and you certainly don’t have to be a BDSM practitioner to enjoy reading about it,” she says.

“That’s the biggest misconception about erotica in general. Some people may read a book of spanking erotica and be intrigued and want to try it. Or maybe they’re curious and seek out erotica as a way to test the waters. But there’s nothing wrong with enjoying and appreciating fantasy as fantasy.”

Some readers and cultural critics have opined that BDSM themes may be particularly relevant to today’s women, many of whom may have power in the workplace but would like to potentially relinquish some in the bedroom. Conversely the book could also appeal to stay-at-home moms who are so busy taking care of the kids – and everything else for that matter – that they long for more TLC for themselves (even of the not-so tender kind).

But does the success of “Fifty Shades” lie in its contemporary relevance, or its timeless universality? In 1958, “Story of O” caused a firestorm of controversy with similar erotic themes, and in 1994, Anne Rice published a trilogy based on “Sleeping Beauty,” which also explored BDSM themes.

“BDSM erotica explores both the physical side of BDSM, the mixing of pain and pleasure, and, usually, the psychological and power play side - which to me is often the most interesting,” says Bussel.

“Readers will be drawn to these kinds of stories for various reasons but the idea of willingly giving up control to someone who wants to use that control to get off, and get you off, is exciting to a lot of people. BDSM is about far more than just whips and chains ... You just need characters who want to exchange power and who are complementary in those desires.”

Fantasies are just that: fantasies. Not reality. They free the brain to explore secret, extraordinary realms without the obligations of everyday life. Kaye Wellings, a respected British biologist, puts it best in her book, “First Love, First Sex.”

“Fantasies perform a valuable function,” she writes. “Most of us, most of the time, behave conservatively, sexually and otherwise. Our erotic experiences represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of possibilities. Many possibilities only see the light of day through fantasies or dreams, seldom as reality.”

Much of the popularity of “Fifty Shades of Grey” has come from women talking about it with other women – but perhaps they should be sharing these thoughts with their spouses.

If you’re looking for ideas, Bussel has some recommendations:

- "Learning to Drown" by Sommer Marsden

- The collection “Wetting the Appetite” by Blake Aarens

- For very short erotica, “Five Minute Erotica” edited by Carol Queen and Bussel's “Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex

- Violet Blue's “Best Women's Erotica" series

- “Best Erotic Romance” edited by Kristina Wright for those looking for love stories along with their sex.

- For the kinky-minded, Bussel's anthologies like “Spanked."

I recently teamed up with author Cate Bellow, who has created a series of erotic short stories based on Greek myths, the first of which, “Persephone and Hades,” depicts the ultimate good girl/bad boy relationship. I created a “pleasure guide” to accompany the story, which helps couples use the themes – role-playing, sexual taboos, hot kisses, and more – as a source of erotic inspiration to dip their toes into more sexually adventurous waters.

Clearly, there’s something for everyone in the realm of erotica. So instead of reaching for the remote this evening, reach for some erotica, get cozy with your partner, and take turns reading aloud.

Post by:
Filed under: Sex

soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. RfvbZisse

    20mg cialis online http://cileve.com/ – cialis paypal pay with cialis 20mg П„О№ОјО·

    May 1, 2021 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. FbsfEncox

    online pet pharmacy https://uspharmus.com/ – Cefadroxil generic viagra online

    May 2, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. LbsoZisse

    cialisВ® online https://ucialisdas.com/ – generic cialis for daily use cialis stores

    May 3, 2021 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. hydroxychloroquine coronavirus

    is chloroquine phosphate over the counter https://chloroquineorigin.com/ choloriquine

    May 3, 2021 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RebfZisse

    cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better https://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis online without perscription cialis 20mg mailorder abilene

    May 3, 2021 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. LebnEncox

    Aceon best ed pills reputable indian pharmacies

    May 4, 2021 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. JebgEncox

    medicine for erectile https://pharmacylo.com/ canadian pharmacy no prescription needed

    May 4, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. LebnEncox

    canadian pharmacy Cymbalta Minipress

    May 4, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. LbsoZisse

    cheap tablet cialis https://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis overnight dapoxetine cialis

    May 4, 2021 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. FmrfEncox

    cialis for sale in toronto http://cialisee.com/ cialis generic 20 mg

    May 5, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RebfZisse

    where to buy cialis cheap http://rcialisgl.com/ cialis without prescription

    May 5, 2021 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. FmrfEncox

    cialis canada purchase http://cialisee.com/ generic cialis no prescription

    May 6, 2021 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. AnooEncox

    viagra reacciones adversas https://llviagra.com/ – viagra amazon.fr generico viagra andorra

    May 7, 2021 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. priligy

    priligy tablets uk dapoxetine india

    May 7, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. BbshMile

    how much viagra should i take the first time? http://loxviagra.com/ – price of generic viagra non prescription viagra alternative

    May 8, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. GtnbCrulk

    viagra expiration https://jokviagra.com/ ingredient in viagra

    May 9, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. BbshMile

    viagra after prostate removal http://loxviagra.com/ – women and viagra how to get a free trial of viagra

    May 9, 2021 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. AnooEncox

    viagra waar te koop http://llviagra.com/ – does viagra work on women yahoo viagra coupon walgreens

    May 9, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JebgEncox

    tops pharmacy https://pharmacylo.com/ Calan

    May 9, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. GtnbCrulk

    pfizer viagra price http://jokviagra.com/ – viagra for pulmonary hypertension girl viagra

    May 9, 2021 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LbsoZisse

    cialis buy online https://ucialisdas.com/ canadian cialis 200 mg.

    May 10, 2021 at 05:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RebfZisse

    36 hour cialis online http://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis israel viagra levitra cialis which works better?

    May 10, 2021 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Leif Postle

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2009/10/doctoring-doorplate.html?m=0

    May 11, 2021 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. LbsoZisse

    mastercard cialis https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis store in philippines

    May 11, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Alejandra Stockfisch

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 12, 2021 at 06:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. LebnEncox

    Lincocin foreign pharmacy no prescription pharmacy online shopping usa

    May 12, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. FmrfEncox

    cialis price http://cialisee.com/ cialis at ?2 per tablet

    May 12, 2021 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. JebgEncox

    Sildigra canadian pharmacy com Seroflo

    May 12, 2021 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. LebnEncox

    canadian mail order pharmacies https://xlnpharmacy.com/ canadian pharmacy coupon code

    May 12, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RebfZisse

    cialis prices walmart https://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis generic versus brand name us online cialis

    May 12, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. FmrfEncox

    cialis with no prescription https://cialisee.com/ – cialis on line where to get generic cialis without prescription

    May 13, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. priligy

    dapoxetine pills priligy pills

    May 16, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. AnooEncox

    online viagra mexico http://llviagra.com/ – venta de viagra generico en mexico viagra was ist dass

    May 16, 2021 at 05:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. brimonidine

    combigan eye drops 2% combigan eye drops

    May 16, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. BbshMile

    viagra vs. cialis http://loxviagra.com/ female viagra review

    May 16, 2021 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. stornobrzinol

    I got what you mean , thankyou for posting.Woh I am lucky to find this website through google.

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 16, 2021 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. LbsoZisse

    brand cialis in canada http://ucialisdas.com/ dapoxetine cialis

    May 16, 2021 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. GtnbCrulk

    viagra pill price http://jokviagra.com/ can you drink alcohol with viagra

    May 16, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RebfZisse

    cialis online pharmacy australia https://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis cheap online buy cialis no prescription australia

    May 16, 2021 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. stornobrzinol

    I'm usually to blogging and i actually admire your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and preserve checking for new information.

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 16, 2021 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. BbshMile

    woman in viagra commercial http://loxviagra.com/ buy viagra near me

    May 16, 2021 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. GtnbCrulk

    when should i take viagra http://jokviagra.com/ viagra prescription online

    May 17, 2021 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Dorie Rade

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2005/11/phone-rage.html

    May 17, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. LbsoZisse

    buy 5mg cialis online http://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis dapoxetine buy cialis cheapest

    May 17, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Evelyn Manzanero

    I don't know about you all but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/02/a-picture-and-video-tour-of-the-boeing-787-dreamliner-interior/

    http://urlm.co/g/c/f/163871

    May 18, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. LebnEncox

    canada cloud pharmacy cheapest online pharmacy india pharmacy tech

    May 18, 2021 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. JebgEncox

    top mail order pharmacies https://pharmacylo.com/ rx pharmacy no prescription

    May 18, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. LebnEncox

    mail order pharmacy india http://xlnpharmacy.com/ cheapest pharmacy to fill prescriptions with insurance

    May 18, 2021 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Austin Luchini

    I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/09/airline-livery-of-the-week-full-allegiant-air-livery-on-boeing-757/

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/airlinereporter/2009/12/09/get-vip-seats-to-the-boeing-787-dreamliners-first-flight/

    May 19, 2021 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RebfZisse

    brand cialis 20mg http://rcialisgl.com/ canadian pharmacy online cialis

    May 19, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.