Why “50 Shades” just worked

Lately I’ve been discussing this topic with friends and so it got me thinking. I can’t speak for a lot of other ladies out there, but at first I did find it odd that a book of that sort made it so big. It speaks volumes of how open minded we have become as a society (or want to appear anyway).

Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to see for myself what the attraction was. I was at a point in my life where I was feeling a bit resentful towards everyone, as a result I decided towards the beginning of the first book that Christian is an asshole.

However I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next…

And before I knew it I kept reaching over for the Kindle app on my phone while sitting on the sofa and watching TV, while queuing at the supermarket check out, yes even while stuck in traffic on my way to work! What’s more, that really pissed me off! I was fully prepared to hate these books, and yet I had gotten sucked in.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a LOT wrong with them. From the language to the repetitive sex scenes… In fact the sex left me pretty cold overall. I couldn’t identify with the main character – Ana – at all, which I guess was the main problem for me.

But, as I continued reading, I couldn’t help but want things to turn out well for both of them. Sure, Christian is a total freak and basically acts like a stalker. But there was something there…

Well for me, I guess I’ve figured it out, and you may quote me on that!

I think, deep down, we want to believe in the fairy tale that love conquers all. That even the most fucked up man can be magically cured if only the right woman came along. If only her love was pure enough and she cared for him and he could see that he was worthy. We all want to be that woman.

BUT: We also realise that these feelings are a bit patronising and embarrassing. So 50 Shades worked because we could have the guilty pleasure of watching our favourite kind ofย  romantic fairytale unfold. And then turn around and tell our girlfriends that we basically read it for the kinky sex.ย 

I know I didn’t.