Erotica is not a foreign concept in today’s society; sex sells. This genre of taboo has been around for a while. However E.L James British author adds her own erotic twist to her novel 50 Shades of Grey. The books use of unusual sexual acts has quickly sparked controversy and has people talking globally. With her series selling over 70 million copies (Street, 2013) and surpassing Harry Potter as the fastest selling paperback off all time (Bentley, 2012). Fifty Shades of Grey has easily impacted popular culture.
50 Shades of Grey set up the series as the two main characters Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey meet, which quickly escalates into an informal relationship or arrangement. Christian Grey has an “X-rated” side: which consists of rules, guidelines and standards for this naïve, young virgin college student. It is full of raunchy and explicit content, and its main sexual focus is on dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM). This series has some people dubbing it as “mommy-porn” (Bentley, 2012).
Its huge success was completely from the word of mouth. It has become acceptable to talk about openly; the book has crossed over to mass market (Bentley, 2012). Author E.L. James utilized explicit content and sex to make her series into a piece of history. It is not unknown that sex is largely used has a way to sell products to consumers, but 50 Shades of Grey have made it “acceptable”.
While mid-aged woman are the dominant readers of this book, they do not view erotica as pornography, such as in a video. It is rather a reading and visual conception. Which could deem it as socially acceptable upon the female aspect of pornography. Therefore concluding these books to be an escape from the “norm” of sexual activities and everyday life. The book being an untraditional love story, still possesses qualities of a romance while “shocking and intriguing” (Steele, 2013) the general readers. E.L. James successfully used the right amount of both romance and unusual sexual behaviors to exhibit the readers and make history.
Danielle Street. (11/09/13). 50 shades phenomenon explored in study. In stuff.co.nz. Retrieved September 16, 2013, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/9152069/50-Shades-phenomenon-explored-in-study
Paul Bentley. (18/06/12). ‘Mummy porn’ Fifty Shades Of Grey outstrips Harry Potter to become fastest selling paperback of all time. In dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved September 16, 2013, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160862/Fifty-Shades-Of-Grey-book-outstrips-Harry-Potter-fastest-selling-paperback-time.html#ixzz1y9SHlzQU