Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whip It

Physical - Nine Inch Nails (mp3)

“My secret sexual fantasy involves beating the shit out of you.”

Apparently, were I single and over 30, the best way to find a woman would be to walk up to a hot young thang in a bar and confess this to her. Sure, you couldn't say it right away. It would need to be after a few drinks, or maybe on a second date. But eventually, a confession that you'd like to welt her with a riding crop should seal the deal.

But this isn't about physical abuse in some cruel Zed v. Marcellus redneck way. No, I would beat a woman in a loving, tender way. I’d hold her after and tell them how special she was as she winced from the searing pain on her flesh. I would only bruise her in places they could hide under their career outfits. We would call these bruise locations “our special secret places.”

Yes, I'm kidding. No, I don't find it very funny.

50 Shades of Gray remains glued atop the bestseller list, and roughly three-quarters of the women I know have read, are reading, or plan to read this book and/or the whole damn trilogy. I haven’t read it, but at least four women I know have willingly shared their interpretations of it, and every single one of them say the following things:
  1. It’s terribly-written with a shabby plot.
  2. It’s soft-core porn.
  3. They read it in less than a day/a week, definitely quicker than they usually read stuff.
  4. The girl protagonist is sorta pathetic.
  5. But the sex scenes are kinda hot.
  6. But not, like, you know, something they would personally do.
In short, the whole book is kinda stupid and goofy, but golly gee it went by fast, and is it getting hot in here or what?

The success of this book disturbs on two fronts: the guy side, and by the gal side. The idea that other people could do this, and that people could enjoy it being done, leaves me truly befuddled. I’m of course kidding having some “beat the shit out of women” fantasy. If there’s untapped orgasmic pleasure to be derived from my inflicting pain on a sexual partner, then I’m fine not knowing about it. I can sleep soundly with my ignorance and have for a long time.

I’m not saying it’s wrong for men to get sexual pleasure from inflicting pain, but... no, actually, I AM saying I think it’s very very wrong.

My personal sexual peccadilloes aside, and my bias against men who enjoy giving beatings aside, the 50 Shades avalanche reveals a long-extant gender hypocrisy.

Women have always whined and bitched about the male obsession with the “Angel/Whore complex.” They complain that men claim to seek out the Angel -- the sweet, charming, pretty, Alice In Wonderland-lookin’ gal -- but really prefer the Whore -- a.k.a. Mila Kunis.

But here’s this book, and all the women are reading it, and the same hypocrisy rears its head. Women claim to want the sensitive, caring, cuddling, eat ice cream on the couch while watching “The Notebook” guy who would make a great father, but they devour a book about a supreme douchebag. They claim to want lace, but they squeal for leather.

The Mickey Rourkes of the world get laid a lot more than the Paul Rudds, and I can't help but believe this says more about women than it does about men. A disquieting proportion of the female population have, throughout history, found the Bad Boy to be a more thigh-warming notion.

Again, I haven’t read this book. It’s possible I’m being grossly unfair to this hero, Christian, and the world of safe words and riding crops.

If someone's got some explanations to enlighten me on this stuff, I'm game. Maybe you can beat some sense into me. Hell, maybe I’d even like it.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I haven't read the Gray books and have no plans to do so. Quite a lot of my friends have read them and every single one if them when talking about them says "they are horribly written, but....". That's enough for me. Why are we rewarding an author who can't write? There are so many good writers who can't get published and people are paying to read crap? I just don't get it. I also don't get that most of the women I know who read this garbage are well educated and don't view woman to be the weaker sex yet they are fanatic and obsessive about 2 book series that portray women being happily dominated by men. I succame to peer pressure and read the twilight series only to realize it was three thousand pages of my life I'll never get back. Don't think I'll be making the same mistake this time! I agree with you that this phenomena says more about women than it does about men and it both baffles and saddens me.