50 Shades of…um…Something?

So it’s been about a week since comedian number two left a bad taste in my mouth (groan, that was a bad pun), and it seems the veritable well of worthy prospects has run as dry as Lake Lewisville. WARNING: do not dive in as water may be shallower than you may think!

Ordinarily, I am adamantly abhorrent of the idea of reading trashy romance novels, but sans employemente there are just so many extra hours in the day to fill between applying for jobs and phone interviews and responding to emails and scouting employment lawyers to cleanse my reputation of the possible ill effects of the alleged wardrobe malfunction dismissal and some of my girlfriends were just raving about 50 Shades of Grey and how they can’t wait to try being submissive in bed since for years Cosmopolitan and Vogue have been telling us to take charge in the bedroom and command our partners to give us the pleasure we deserved as modern women undefined by the black and white virgin/whore archetypes of yesteryear.  I just really didn’t get it.

As a Vickie’s girl from Beverly Hills catering to the stars, dressing socialites for hedonistic detentes at the Playboy Mansion and wannabe starlets planning to be booty shakers in music videos, I was conditioned to believe that sexiness is not something to hide or be ashamed of; it’s just a tool in your arsenal. If you were competing with a man for a job and you were equal in all other qualifications, the film industry favored a sexy woman because it was one thing to do a job, and yet another to do it with a nice rack that wasn’t filled with reading material.

Legend has it the original draft of the script for Cowboys and Aliens was sold because I and my cleavage had delivered Starbucks to the pitch meeting where the comic book nerds wanted to impress the dubious movie execs by rejecting their onsite coffee. You know this must be true, because if I were going to brag on it, surely I would have picked a way better comic book movie to tell the tale.

So, when all life’s experiences have taught me that sexual confidence laid the world at my feet, why would some book have all these women raving about being obedient and doing as they were told? Doesn’t that fly in the face of everything that our mothers fought for in the 1960s and our older sisters sought to prove in the 90s? Bored and dubious, I decided to give the novel a read and find out.

I’m a very mentally active person who actually requires a certain amount of distraction to be able to focus on the task at hand, so I smirkingly flipped on the Sex & the City marathon that was playing on E! Network, figuring I would enjoy the irony of the two obviously very different philosophies running tandem in my stream of consciousness. I had always disliked Sex & the City because the characters were flat renditions of the virgin/whore archetype narrated by such an ambivalent vascillator between the two that overanalyzes everything.

50 Shades was also narrated by an overly analytical romantic main character, but I was surprised to find that along Anastasia’s (gag- trashy romance novel character name incarnate) mentally masturbatory journey, she offered some strange and tragically humiliating insights into my own relationships past, particularly, the ex in Cali with whom I still occasionally swap self destructively sexy emails and texts.

So, the takeaways, you ask?

  1. The trouble with being the dominant person in a sexual relationship is that it requires a tremendous amount of creativity. In order to keep things interesting, you must always up the ante – that can be exciting at first, but in the long term, it can become exhausting. As deliciously smutty as the book was, I was surprised at just the amount of possibilities of what could have happened in the Red Room of Pain that never came to pass. I guess that’s why there are two sequels, which I probably won’t read because I actually was pleased with the ending that the arrangement wasn’t going to work out.
  2. There is an insatiable bond created by the passion that comes from being torn between loving and hating another person that makes it so much more intense and addictive than an uncomplicated relationship. In fact, California X and I probably still nudge each other once in a while, not because we aren’t happy with whoever we are currently dating, but because we know that as rational people trying to forge healthy, drama free relationships, we fear that we will never feel the extreme ecstasy that was the yin to our violent and unrelenting yang. If the goal is to keep things stable in the middle, not having much down makes it hard to appreciate the little that you have up.
  3. Sometimes we are attracted to another person’s darkness simply because we can’t imagine that it runs too deep for us to take. We want to believe that we are like gods, capable of handling anything or fixing anyone, when the reality is that we have little power to change anything except ourselves.

And lastly, as Christian Grey repeatedly tells Anastasia Steele, “You should stay away from me. I can’t give you what you need and you’d be crazy to give me what I want,” it calls to mind a dating maneuver I call:

The Intentional Bridge Burner

So, yes, Comedian Number 2, if you’ve somehow stumbled across my blog and realized that some of what I have written is about you, you are an ass, and I am still sipping away at that redunculously huge bottle of cheap cabernet that is the only redeeming grace of your presence – this maneuver is yours as much as it is mine.

The Intentional Bridge Burner is like the Hail Mary pass you throw when you have the ball at the end of the football game when you are 99% certain you are going to lose anyway. I know that I am not interested anymore and the odds of anything beneficial coming out of it are slim to none, but I will throw out a line like “How do you feel about blow jobs,” because I don’t care what you’re gonna think or feel and there’s always the 1% chance you’re insecure enough that you might actually give it to me and I figure that’s mildly better than calling the date a complete loss. And if it hurts your feelings or you say no, it’s no skin off my back cause I didn’t really want you or it that badly anyway.

I’ve probably used the Intention Bridge Burner on more guys than I’ve had it done to me, but when I find myself on the receiving end, I give in to morbid curiosity, and as long as talk doesn’t imply action, I catch myself playing along just to see how twisted and far it can go. Most girls will get up and leave the table the second a date – we’ll call him the Lawyer – takes a getting to know you type conversation about comparing notes on how you like to play poker and turns it into a soliloquy about how he’s always fantasized about hosting a high stakes poker game in a cigar bar with topless women serving endless pitchers of beer.

Yeah – I sat through that one to the end, in part because I was afraid the Lawyer would cheapskate and try to skip out on the check if I ditched him and I felt bad for the waitress who’s ass he was visibly staring at, and in part I was just simply transfixed, curious to see how far he would push the envelope to make me scream and run. Or to wrap my brain around it if he was so insanely clueless that he thought I’d find it attractive.

I don’t know why men and women do that. It seems like we should all just be able to politely say, “It was nice to meet you, but I’m just not feeling it, so have a nice night.” Do we push people’s boundaries for the amusement of seeing how they react or because we think that behaving like an ass makes them decide they don’t like us and therefore by being the bad guy or girl we think we are doing them the kindness of letting them reject us instead of the other way around?

To some degree I equated Anastasia’s fascination with Grey to my own morbid curiosity to see how far the game will really go, but I’m lost when she actually considers for a moment signing that crazy sex contract, because I would certainly believe that would have to be the ultimate Intentional Bridge Burner.

My only lament left now on the subject of this book, is that someone has decided to make it into a movie, which is already highly anticipated, starring Jamey Dornan and Dakota Johnson, expected to be released at some time in 2015. I cannot imagine it being any good because the content of the book is so pornographic that it would have to be incredibly diluted to show anywhere other than an art house cinema. Will it be art or will it be porn? I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out. What will the MPAA ever do?




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s