xkcd, Speaker of Truth
So, there’s this book called 50 Shades of Grey. Last night Lindsay explained to me what it was and how huge it’s grown. Intrigued, but short on time to read it for the anthropological exercise or even for the lulz, I took my research-fu to the Google beast.
I get it. It’s reconstituted Twilight fanfiction, cleaned up so it can be published as a story of its own. We’ve seen this happen before (Cassandra Clare, my old HP fandom folks?). It’s a thing. This dame did it. She’s making oodles of money and she’s published and I’m not, so she’s already ahead of the game.
I’m not really interested in that side of the debate. No, the thing that’s gotten my dander up is that the majority of articles they aren't lambasting the poor writing, or the cringe-worthy depiction of a BDSM relationship, but they are dismissing it on the merits of who is buying it; “Mommy Porn” they call it with cool condescension.
I can sneer at something because it sucks. Because the writing is bads. Because the characters are flat. But sneering at something because it's porn that mommies are reading?
Now this isn’t where I confess to you, gentle reader, what gets me off; but when it comes to “porn”--literary or visual--whatever doesn’t hurt or coerce someone into something they don’t want to do is A-OK in my book. If a book about (what sounds to be a rather emotionally unsafe) BDSM heterosexual relationship floats your boat, four for Glenn Coco, you go, Glenn Coco. You like reading hot and heavy NC-17 fanfiction about your favorite characters? Rock that Kink Meme until the break of day! Imagining sexy times with another being (human or otherwise) gets you bothered in the good way? Awesome-sauce.
Yea, I’ve been told by a good authority that 50 Shades of Gray is 50 types of crap, and I’m sure if I read it I’d have some Words about the story’s merits and the like. But can we please get over this thing we do where we insult a work simply by insulting the people that seem to enjoy it, guilty pleasure or not?
Guess what. People like sex. Women like porn, mommies included.
I mean, every once in a while I’ll reread Naomi Novak’s pre-Temeraire fanfiction because holy cow, her Maturin/Aubrey stuff makes me VERY happy.
That's right. I said it. I read Age-of-Sail slash.
Come at me, bro.
POST SCRIPT: So in my curiosity I looked up Novak’s fanfiction again, and she has since written Alexander Hamilton/George Washington slashfic for Yuletide Treasure. EVEN THOUGH we ALL know that Hamilton and Laurens were the true OTP of the Washingtonian Trifecta of Orphaned Boys What Fought for American Independence!--
I’m going to stop there.