Sarah Britten
Sarah Britten

50 Shades se Moer

So there’s this book, 50 Shades of Grey, which is the fastest selling paperback of all time, faster even than Harry Potter. It’s a huge meme which is now all over the interwebs as 50 Sheds of Grey (my favourite), 50 Cents of Grey, 50 stuffed up grey lampshades, etc.

50 Shades of Grey started life as Twilight fan fiction, which should tell you all you need to know. I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter or Twilight books so chances are I won’t read this one either, but apparently it’s the story of a student called Anastasia Steele and a young mogul called Christian Grey (swop those two names around and you have pretty much most men in Western society for the past thousand years, maybe more) and a whole lot of BDSM. At first I thought they meant BDFM, and anyone who has read a Financial Mail cover story on nationalisation or the state of the jobs market will know what torturous pleasure that can be, but apparently this is the kind that literally involves whips and chains and manly thrusting.

This book has been dubbed “Mummy Porn” because it has been snapped up by middle-aged women married to boring accountants and even more boring actuaries. Apparently this is the type of thing they fantasise about:

“Christian follows with two sharp thrusts, and he freezes, pouring himself into me as he finds his release.”

You can find more here.

Clearly, there is something wrong with me, because I don’t fantasise about belts or thrusts or seven types of sin in one glance. I do have bed-related fantasies, of course, everybody does, but they revolve more around Rapid Eye Movement than anything more strenuous.

These are the things I do fantasise about:

1. Sleep. I have dirty thoughts about sleep every night. I know I have deadlines, I know I shouldn’t want it, but knowing I can’t makes it so much more … alluring.

2. Naps. There is nothing more decadent and sinful than an afternoon nap. Nothing.

3. Not walking around feeling like an extra from the set of Zombieland. This fantasy is closely linked to the Sleep fantasy, for fairly obvious reasons.

4. Green robots all the way from Main Road along William Nicol to Jan Smuts.

5. Curling up with a good book, one other than 50 Shades of Grey, prior to drifting off to 8 hours of quality oblivion.

6. Watching a movie. Pretty much the same as the book situation. The last movie I saw was Shame, and even if it featured Michael Fassbender’s schlong in the first 5 minutes, the other 94 were painful, and not in a kinky 50 shades way either. I’m hoping Ice Age 3 will erase the memory, if I ever get around to seeing it.

7. Carbs. Now that I know that Tim Noakes has said nyet to carbs, I want them more than ever. The menus at Italian restaurants are home to more verboten material than the collected works of the Marquis de Sade.

8. Rooibos tea and a rusk. Strongly suspect this is related to the Tim Noakes thing. I’m very into hot-cross-bun flavoured Ouma rusks right now. (Reassuringly, they are halaal.)

9. The feeling of moral superiority after having been to the gym. Actually going to the gym is painful and boring. But the knowledge that you have been to the gym is profoundly satisfying. In that respect, it’s a lot like writing: I hate writing, but I love having written, as Dorothy Parker said.

I have considered climbing on the heaving 50 Shades bandwagon with a book about Cape Town hippies called 50 Shades of Fey, but the American comedienne has probably already optioned that title so suspect I am out of luck. Another possibility is a collection of puzzles called 50 shades of grey matter, but as it turns out, somebody has already come up with that pun.

So I’ll stick with 50 Shades se Moer. After all, if my HP Officejet can offer not 50, but 256 shades of grey, then I have all the kinkiness in my life I can cope with.

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  • Why is 50 Shades selling?
  • Policing women’s erotic choices