PopExcavators

Making the once known known again.

50 Shades of Naked

I’m a big fan of airports.  In fact, sometimes I look forward to being in the airport more than I look forward to reaching my destination.  I love the souvenir shops, the restaurants, and especially the bookstores.  Recently I was in a bookstore at the Nashville Airport when I came across the book 50 Shades of Grey.  For those unfamiliar, 50 Shades of Grey is the tale of the sexual relationship between an inexperienced college student and a very experienced entrepreneur.  At that time the book was number one on the bestsellers list and was getting a lot of buzz for it’s sexually explicit nature.  Being a pop culture enthusiast, I picked up the book and started to flip through it to see what all the fuss was about.  Five seconds into my flipping I had this feeling that everyone was looking at me and wondering why the dude with the fro-hawk was reading “mommy porn.”  I quickly put it back on the shelf and hurried to catch my flight to Ohio.

When I arrived at my friends’ in Ohio, 50 Shades of Grey was still heavily on my mind.  Since my friends hadn’t heard of it, I thought it would be fun to google excerpts from the book and read them out loud.  I was going for shock value and believe me, everyone in the room was shocked by the excerpts.  Since my friends’ 4-year-old daughter was present the read-aloud got cut short, but the part I did read would have made Rihanna blush.  The thing that surprised me was that women from all walks of life were reading the book despite the erotic content.  No matter the race, creed, religion or economic status, women seemed to be united by their interest in the book.  The fascination made me think about a book from 1969 that captivated the public in a similar way.

Naked Came The Stranger was the brainchild of Newsday columnist Mike McGrady.  Annoyed by the literary culture’s fascination with sex over substance, McGrady set out to prove that even a horribly written book would be a success if enough sex was included.  He decided to write an imitation of the popular smut novels of the time but wanted it to be devoid of all literary intelligence. Instead of writing it himself, McGrady invited twenty-five colleagues to write a chapter each.  McGrady’s sister-in-law agreed to pose as  made-up author Penelope Ashe during publicity and one of the greatest experiments in the history of literature was born.

Mike McGrady holding a copy of his best-selling book – 1969.

The plot of Naked Came The Stranger involved a Long Island housewife who decided to get revenge on her cheating husband.  The revenge came in the form of sleeping with a smorgasbord of men including businessmen, mobsters, athletes, and even a rabbi.  Each chapter (authored by a different colleague of McGrady’s) detailed a different sexual escapade. In a memo McGrady instructed his writers that the book was to have “an unremitting emphasis on sex.”  McGrady also warned that “true excellence in writing will be quickly blue-penciled into oblivion.”  The writers followed those instructions with the utmost accuracy.

The book was a smash hit right out of the gate.  It became so successful that a lot of the writers felt guilty about all of the money they were receiving from it.  When McGrady and his colleagues revealed their true identities on “The David Frost Show,” the book got even more popular and ascended to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers list.  The book ended up selling 100,000 copies in hardback and several million in paperback.  McGrady was offered $500,000 to write a sequel but turned it down.

50 Shades of Grey and Naked Came The Stranger were written over 40 years apart but their impact on culture is the same.  People love them and it has nothing to do with literary technique.  It has to do with sex.

Several questions to get the conversation going this week:

Why have these books received mainstream acceptance while magazines like Penthouse and Playboy are labelled as “dirty” by society?  Aren’t they all intended to make us fantasize?  Where is the line drawn?

Why do we flock to sex related product?

Are there any damaging effects caused by reading books such as 50 Shades of Grey or Naked Came The Stranger?

Does identity play a role in choosing to read or not read these books?

Anyone have either of these books?  What was your motivation for reading them?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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52 comments on “50 Shades of Naked

  1. eazytaughtu
    July 30, 2012

    I haven’t read 50 shades of Grey and I’m now only avoiding it because it’s trendy. However, sex books and literature with strong sexual content will always sell. Let’s not forget those Kama Sutra books people were raving about at one point! (There was even a pocket-guide). American entertainment is so sexualized, but not very sexy! Books like 50 and Naked Came The Stranger can help people tap into their sensual and erotic side.If you you have some sort of shame attached to sexual behavior, reading lit like this will probably help you realize there’s nothing new under the sun. (Even if you just discovered it). Unfortunately, men and women have different ideas of sexy, which is how 50 has turned into “mommy porn.” In general, men aren’t reading about sex so much as they’re looking at it (it’s everywhere!). Advertising, movies, and TV display sexualized images with such frequnency that we’re all pretty much desensitized to it. I think these books are harmless and I say read on! More importantly, share and discuss!

    • PopExcavators
      July 30, 2012

      Great point about us being desensitized to these things. Makes me wonder what things will be accepted as mainstream in 20 years.

    • Nicole Yancey
      July 30, 2012

      I enjoyed reading your response EazyTaughtu. I agree and disagree. I think if one has any type of shame attached to their sexuality or sexual behavior that any type of media depicting sex acts does nothing for them but compound their issue. For one that has a jacked up view of sex I would think that erotica wouldn’t do anything but draw them deeper into themselves. Sexual intimacy which is what we naturally crave is not achieved via erotica. So if someone already has an issue with expressing themselves sexually I just don’t think erotica is the way to draw them out. BUT I could be wrong.

      I agree, men are visual. If 50 doesn’t have picture I don’t think men would have much use for over 300 pages some random fictitious man dominating some random fictitious women sexually. LOL..no 300 pages with no pics. Women are stimulated mentally first.

      I do disagree however, that these books are harmless. “We are what we eat”. If we digest books like 50 it will become evident in our day to day lives. We do have to be selective about what we digest depending on what our lives to look like. But I guess it depends on what we want our lives to be reflections of..

  2. blakesmart
    July 30, 2012

    I don’t claim to know how a woman’s mind works. I do think that, as men are visually stimulated sexually, women are mentally stimulated sexually by these books. Is it healthy and/or good? No. We are only feeding an unhealthy addiction by indulging in this kind of stuff. The more you feed the sexual animal, the more it will consume you. And there are negative effects of being consumed with this kind of stuff, a big one being antisocial tendencies. Sex starts in the mind.

    • PopExcavators
      July 30, 2012

      Man that’s a great observation about the differences between men and women. But why is it okay and accepted for women to get their stimulation but not for men? If I busted out a copy of Hustler on an airplane, I would be reported to the nearest stewardess. Yet women are carrying around 50 Shades like its a pocket Bible.

  3. cionar
    July 30, 2012

    I am in no way a prude. “Sex in the air, I don’t care . . . .” But I simply can’t stand cliche dialogue, poor grammar and run-on sentences. One sneak peek into this book and its writing style, and I have found myself passionately NOT included in your list of “women [who] seemed to be united by their interest in the book.”

    But clearly, poetic calling aside, I need to crank out a hastily written erotic epic so that I can earn all I can, save all I can and give all I can (thank you, John Wesley)!

    • PopExcavators
      July 30, 2012

      Hahaha what an appropriate song to reference for this article! As an author whose work and opinion I respect, I really appreciate your comments! I haven’t read 50 Shades so wasn’t sure about the writing style, so I’m glad you shared that it’s poorly written. This just proves that people aren’t buying it to be inspired to write better.

      If you decide to pursue erotic fiction please use a pen name. Lol

  4. Dee Travis
    July 30, 2012

    Fascinating! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think the public perception of pornography vs. legitimate art has a lot to do with the creator’s other works and the manner of distribution. If a semi-known author (or filmmaker) can get the piece out in mainstream stores and receive critical buzz (good or bad), people will decide that it’s more art than porn (see “50 Shades of Gray,” “The Last Tango in Paris,” etc.). Your point about people from all backgrounds reading it is a great observation; everyone seems to have decided that it’s a good idea to read this book, regardless of whether or not that’s true.

    • PopExcavators
      July 30, 2012

      Interesting! So if Larry Flynt had authored either of these books, reaction may not be the same?

      • Dee Travis
        July 30, 2012

        Totally. I say that if Larry Flint or Hugh Hefner had written “50 Shades” exactly as it is, women wouldn’t have picked it up, making this one more case of reality mattering less than the perception of reality.

  5. Lisa Lingani
    July 30, 2012

    I believe we as a society have a serious hang-up when it comes to sex.. we are hyprocrates when it comes to playboy, playgirl or hustler.. but will read a Harliquen romance book or some soft porn book and think it’s okay, because it’s consider literature of some sort. I’ve heard of 50 shades of grey and i’m also looking forward to enjoying the book which has been banded by several libraries across the United States. Sexual Frustration is what drives people to enjoy these books and various other sexually creative material’s.. Because they are scared to expose their own true desire to experience love and lust on many levels ( with thatsomeone special)..that have been deemed “Naughty”… We hide our sexual desires, like racism.. It comes out behind closed doors.. but when we are out in a public place, we have to act like we are ” The Stepford wives ” instead of a culture free to express their love of sex and art.. I’m not speaking of porn.. but of the beauty of love..God intend for all to procreate so why act like it’s a sin to enjoy ourselves with the one we love, or even express ourselves as sexual beings and not robots with no feelings…

  6. PopExcavators
    July 30, 2012

    Thanks for commenting. Your thoughts made me think that maybe people flock to these things as a form of escapism. We try to escape the monotony of our day to day lives by running to things that express what we may be afraid to.

  7. Lisa Lingani
    July 30, 2012

    Hypercrites.. did i spell that wrong lol… still looks wrong, where is my spell check for the elderly 🙂

  8. PopExcavators
    July 30, 2012

    lol…hypocrites. no worries.

  9. Brea Dawn (@i_am_Brea)
    July 30, 2012

    I think a huge reason why erotica is accepted quicker than Playboy/Hustler is because romance novels usually include only visuals on a front or back cover. Huge difference in shock value from sex being described with words across 100 pages verses the act(s) sprawled out on 100 pages of pictures. We better accept illusion/imagination verses it being flat out in our faces.

    Sex related products are flocked to for soooo many reasons.
    It’s mysterious. From a child, it is usually introduced to us during a lie (example: kid walks in on mommy and daddy being intimate and asks “what were you guys doing?”. Answer w/ a half naked body and a nervous face – Oh mommy and daddy were just playing!) Before we find out the truth, we are told not to do it which is confusing because there is nothing wrong with “playing”. And there starts the curiosity around s-e-x!

    As mentioned, some people are ashamed of/aren’t comfy with being super sexual and probably display that in their sex lives. May be very timid, inhibited, etc. But while reading a book by yourself, you can let go and allow yourself to be as free with your feelings/thoughts as you want to be. Because only you and that book will ever know.

    Erotica doesn’t just talk about regular ol’ everyday sexual acts. No one is squeezing in five routine minutes in between a long, stressful day at work and picking up the kids from soccer practice or putting your routine session on the calendar for at least once every other week to make sure you don’t look back and realize its been half a year without any physical intimacy. Its fantasy. Its romance. Writes of stuff that some people may go a life time with wishing they could experience. And people think reading those things somewhat fulfills that desire.

    I very much so believe there are damaging effects to reading those kinds of books. If one is abstaining, it definitely has your mind stimulated about things that you have chosen not to do. And we all know that actions begin with thoughts. If one is unhappy w/ the sex life of their marriage, which is not fantasy every single day, erotica can jack things up when comparison comes in and expectations get skewed.

    I read a few (literally two) about 10 years ago during high school times and soon realized they wouldn’t be beneficial to the kind of life that I committed/wanted to live. Haven’t read one since.

    • PopExcavators
      July 31, 2012

      I was just saying the other day how comparison is the thief of joy. Do you think that comparison is inevitable while reading books like this? Whether you’re a prude or a superfreak, won’t reading about sex make you think about your own sex life and compare it to what you’re reading?

      • Brea Dawn (@i_am_Brea)
        August 1, 2012

        If one is unsatisfied, I def think comparison is inevitable. And there shouldn’t be a problem for a superfreak comparing his/her sex life to most of these books because they will just be right on target!

  10. eazytaughtu
    July 30, 2012

    I definitely think books that are considered ‘erotic’ are more appealing to people in commited relationships. Once the boredom sets in it’s only natural the mind begins to wander. I think these types of books can inspire a couple to discuss intimacy if it’s lacking. It won’t create something that isn’t there of course, but it could rekindle something. If nothing else human sexuality is fascinating. These books have to be seen for what they are which is entertainment not a guide to life.

    • PopExcavators
      July 31, 2012

      That’s a good point. The same principle can be applied to movies and music that have a lot of sexual content.

  11. amphomma
    July 30, 2012

    I have one group of fellow mommy friends who devoured the book; I have another group of mommy friends who, like me, will probably never read it. Over the days and weeks when it was fresh in their hands and minds, my friends nearly salivated over the thought of getting to read this book after the kids were in bed, or when their husbands were working or out of town. I felt the same uneasiness when the same friends made plans to see the opening night of the recent movie about male strippers. I am uneasy and plan not to read the book or any like it because I believe in Biblical views of marriage, sex, and purity. I know myself, and filling my mind with non-erasable images would not be in check with the life I am trying to live. I told my husband that I wouldn’t be reading the book or going to see the stripper movie because I felt it would be disrespectful to him and to our marriage. He was glad I felt that way. Women clamor for respect, and are extremely offended when they are demeaned and over-sexualized in the media, yet many have no problem ogling hunky male actors or indulging in romance literature. How is it different? How is a woman reading a book like “Fifty Shades” any different from a man looking at explicit pictures? Do they not have the same erosive effects on a marriage, on self-respect, on respect for the opposite sex? The closest I come to reading something like this is when I read “Song of Solomon” in the Bible–a love song between a man and a woman. I read it on the morning of my wedding eleven years ago. The entire book is full of love, of intimacy, of committed, devoted, respectful, adoring, self-sacrificial love as God designed it to be (remember, He invented sex, after all). It paints a picture of loving and enjoying one person for life. I speak as a wife whose marriage has been through some pretty scary spots, but by the grace of God has continued to grow in strength and beauty. I don’t want to push my ideals onto anyone else, but I will say that what I believe in, what I see that God wants for me, and honestly what I have in my own marriage, is so vastly better than anything I could read about in a novel such as the one in this discussion! Why would I do anything to tarnish that?

    • PopExcavators
      July 31, 2012

      Song of Solomon vs 50 Shades of Grey. Now that would be a great article to read! Thanks so much for giving us your perspective. I also commend you for not betraying your beliefs and morality. Very inspiring!

      • amphomma
        July 31, 2012

        If I were to compare Song of Solomon to 50 Shades…I would have to read the latter! It is getting more challenging to stick to my beliefs (I thought being “cool” and fitting in were best suited for the teen years, not the 30’s), but I won’t back down. My Lord is not ashamed of me, so I can’t and won’t be ashamed of him. Keep writing; I truly enjoy your “excavations”!

  12. Bethany Marcacci
    July 30, 2012

    Like they say….”There’s nothing new under the sun…” Including best-selling erotica. I, too, am really surprised and confused- not by the popularity of 50 Shades, but by its rampant acceptance. Like you said, a woman reading 50 Shades is really no different than a man looking at a porno mag.
    I admit, I read some of the book. I didn’t finish, for several reasons. First and foremost, it was obviously not true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable or any of those other things we’re supposed to think on. The second being that it was cliche and boring. The men I have slept with all have a much better imagination than the author of this book. And while I’ve never had sex in the covenant relationship that God intends, I know he’s a hell of a lot more creative when it comes to sex than this book!
    That’s another really dangerous thing about this book. I feel like women, Christian or not, are going to read this book and compare their sex lives and their husbands to the book’s main character. To take something that’s real and hold it next to something that’s not real and expect one to be like the other. It’s like all those teenage Twilight fans who are so in love with a fictional vampire that the don’t give real guys a chance.
    Great blog Ryan!!

    • PopExcavators
      July 30, 2012

      Great comments! I was hoping you’d comment and I thank you for your honesty.

  13. JazZY
    July 31, 2012

    Human Nature-Reality-Fantasy-Mental-Visual-Venus-Mars-1960’s-2012
    Shocking-So What-Revealing-Exposed.
    What’s the big deal, right? Human Body…Human Nature…the Forbidden by whose terms, right? Adam and Eve were once naked…But!!

    Back in the day the ankle was a turn on…as years added up so did the hem.
    Nature is nature… curiosity is curiosity…the lower the hem…the higher the need to see something…and men were slowly exposed again to..ohh-la-la.
    Strangely those same men back in the day held their women to higher standards…and ya know the saying..something like..”play with the dirty ones and marry the clean ones”…maybe not word for word…but the same meaning. Some will and some won’t. Men were given an outlet for their fantasies of the one that will out in the opening by playboy etc…visuals with ‘stories’.

    Harmful? Depends on who you ask. Different strokes for different folks. As time passed…the hems lifted…bras were burned…and women started wanting…something. Something to escape the ‘good girl’ “missionary” image and be the “hussy” in secret with the mind running free between cleaning the house…running errands and yes dear, no dear robotic daily tasks. It’s clear that authors recognized a money maker…sexual content. The more the hidden was exposed the higher the profit…and then…ohhh then someone said, “we need to reach the forgotten woman…but we must dress it up…after all, she’s a lady”…lol

    Notice how we as humans are intrigued by the unknown, just reading or hearing the words “coming soon” gets a buzz going.

    Anyway…the ‘goodgirl’ got transported to the meadows by the brook…in a white horse driven buggy by Jock..the thick muscular handyman to fetch the husbands water…lol…but while there Jock falls in the water and must take off his wet shirt…lmbo…”he shyly apologized for not being my husband undressed before me, the sun was glistering upon his thick hairy chest…I looked away as I slowly dried his back with my shawl feeling his thickness underneath my hands…when he turned his presence caught my breath…as the sun bathed us across the meadow…he reached for me…I…”
    …lol…see…transported…lmbo…for men it’s “bam…there she is in all her glory”…lol…both styles being page turners…wanting more of what’s not real..yet it’s reality…sex is real…but no one really wants to talk about it…just twist it up into confusion.

    Why do some flock to sex related products? Because someone once said not to explore what is natural and feels good…curiosity is the seller. “Naked came the stranger” sold out of pure curiosity of, ‘what am I missing?”…even though it was badly written…it still held something “new and exciting”…something different out of the norm especially in that time period when the sheets were starting to be pulled back to reveal…reality…We’re human-beings with a sexual appetites,,,which like everything in life it needs to be placed in perspective according to what one believes and desire for their life.

    Different strokes for different folks…but…the exposing has gotten out of hand from what’s done in the dark shall stay in the dark to you want it…here it is full blast 24/7 tapping into an area in the mind that some don’t know how to turn off…which causes many to frown upon a reality as dirty…by many taking it too far..to messing with children etc…fear is now the driver of the vehicle of..’so what it’s not for me’…to…what have we done?

    Remember back in ancient history they panted naked people of different sizes and called it beautiful art…today is a whole different story. The line has been crossed from brown wrapper privacy days to “here it is” front and center for all age groups to see right behind the cashier…skinny Minnie smiling and selling the untouchable…romance novels about strong men saving the lonely woman flying off the shelf…all say a lot about our attention span as well as our attention to each other. Notice that they called sex books for the ladies, romance…lol

    The days of respect and privacy has drastically changed…leaving us to wonder… how do we get a handle on this side of freedom that is now holding us hostage during our daily walk? How do we increase the list of the won’t do from the will do? Maury Povak will have a talk show for a long time.
    How do we teach our children that what they’re exposed to daily is not really part of Normal life…yet it’s part of life? How do we put this genie…in the back in the corner in the dark,,,back in the bottle?~

    • PopExcavators
      July 31, 2012

      Beautiful. I think the only way to fix this is to get in a time machine, go back hundreds of years, and not try to hide sex as something to be ashamed of. If sex were presented as the life giving thing it was intended to be, then we wouldn’t be getting in our kix in peep shows, strip clubs and xxx stores. That’s just my opinion.

      As always, I LOVE your comments.

      • JazZY
        July 31, 2012

        You said it, Bro. “Let’s go back and not try to hide sex…”
        Someone said and someone agreed and then they met another who listened…and because 2 had already agreed the third followed and now here we are with a mess on our hands. Physical communication is nothing to be ashamed of…especially when it’s done properly …and who is say what is proper…Crank up that time machine Ryan…we have work to do.

      • Nicole Yancey
        July 31, 2012

        If sex were presented as the life giving thing it was intended to be…”<<<<<<Check your PayPal I am sending you a love offering..LOL. That was life right there. That was BEAUTIFUL. I think we can fix it..with our children and then they will teach theirs and so on until Christ returns. You are fixing it now with this blog. I am going to be a catalyst in fixing it with my documentary. We can fix it. We are fixing it..right now ;-).

  14. Nicole Yancey
    July 31, 2012

    I think at the end of the day Americans are simply sexually repressed. When I visited Paris recently I was completely intrigued by the how free Europeans seem to be sexually. In light of how their society views human sexuality versus the way we do I felt like Americans represent the 13 year old boy in the throws of puberty trying to get his hands on any and everything to feed his curiosity. As my aunt (Jazzy) said “we as humans are intrigued by the unknown”. We are attracted to the taboo. It is our human fleshly nature to “break rules”. There is a sense of excitement attached to viewing, reading and hearing things that are sexual in nature that goes beyond mere sexuality. Our thirst for sex products go beyond sex and sexual gratification. People find that there is something delicious about what ever society finds somewhat brazen or unacceptable. Like Lisa said, she wants to read the book that has been banned from several venues.

    The reason why I think American’s are so prudish (yes I think we are prudish when it comes to sex) which leads to books like 50 becoming best sellers is because this country was founded on a set of moral values that only look and seem biblical. Sex. enjoying sex, talking about sex, learning about sex has often (until recently) been seen as unholy, which is not as long as it is done in proper context. This good, perfect and amazing gift from God has been distorted and was dubbed as shameful. What we see is in part the child of that shame and distortion. Don’t get me wrong people would love erotica regardless…Europe is full of it. But I do think that America is unique in that Christians have fed themselves and those around them since the birth of this society a distorted view of sex. Amphomma mentioned Song of Solomon. One of my fav. text. That was banned from being read in many seminaries (back in the day) due to it’s strong sexual content. We have no balance. We don’t understand context. So because it’s an area where many can fall into sin we have demonized the gift. Because we have demonized to the gift we have co-parented a monster.

    • PopExcavators
      July 31, 2012

      Love this! Sex is a beautiful thing and we’ve turned into something that should be giggled and whispered about. That lack of freedom and openness has turned sex into kind of a weapon that is used to shock and awe. Thanks for your comments.

      • JazZY
        July 31, 2012

        You’re Welcome…Thanks for having us over~

    • JazZY
      August 1, 2012

      Yes…Yes…The Gift~

  15. Julie Champion
    July 31, 2012

    Wow, this so really interesting. I had no idea about Naked Came The Stranger, but the whole process is fascinating to me. Hilarious and very bold of McGrady! I came to the conclusion awhile ago that books like Twilight are specifically written to take women into an emotional state of connection with the characters. A woman, in theory, would love to be wanted desperately by two men… but in reality, it can be devastating and hearts can be shattered by selfishness. I call it female porn. Men are stimulated visually, and like Blake said, women are stimulated mentally/emotionally. These books are written to create emotional relationships built around desire and strong feelings of love and even hate… that turns into love. Or just an intense sexual encounter. Even if sex specifically isn’t the main part of the book, the emotional connection between the characters creates a fantasy world for women to enter, then they bring it into their lives, comparing their husbands to the men in the books and wishing their love lives looked more like the made up story. It can cause havoc in their reality in the same way that men can compare their wives or even everyday women to the women they see in porn movies/magazines. Reality can’t live up to the fabricated fantasy that they escape to, thereby making reality not good enough. Very interesting topic…

  16. hectorsue23
    July 31, 2012

    In all of these instances, it all seems selfish. It’s all about ‘me’ and what ‘I’m’ feeling. I think porn (male and female versions) are sought after because there is some sense of some self-righteous “I deserve ______” I deserve to have a man pursue me like Mr. Gray. (is that his name?) Or I deserve a hot wife and I don’t see that mine is so I’m at least going to look at _______. I’m single and my needs aren’t being met. We can make up a thousand excuses.

    Truth is we were created for intimacy and we’ve bought the lie that these forms of stimulation (visual/mental/emotional) will fulfill that role.

    Please note I’m not saying sex is selfish. I’m saying the misuse and fantasy of it is. Sex is a beautiful gift from Christ. It’s an intimate sharing of self for the benefit of the other which happens to end up blessing you as well. (Interesting how God’s gifts are like that–better to serve than be served, better to give than receive, etc) Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy and as it pertains to this discussion, he does so in ways that are full of momentary pleasure yet always leave you wanting. And because you are wanting, you crave more, so you indulge and this endless cycle of death happens.

    Why it’s ok for women to read ‘romance’ novels out in the open and disgusting for men to read Hustler? I can’t say, but I think it’s the nature of the beast. Apparently our culture is ok with reading it as long as our imaginations make up the image rather than have it blatantly in front of you.

    It is interesting that Naked Came the Stranger and 50 Shades of Grey seem to prove Solomon right–there is nothing new under the sun.

    • PopExcavators
      July 31, 2012

      You found your password!

      Selfishness is such a contaminating disease. Great observation and application.

    • Nicole Yancey
      July 31, 2012

      Perfection HectorSue! I love it! Erotica and Porn often plants a seed in the center of one’s sexuality and that seed is selfishness. I mentioned earlier in response to EasyTaught that I don’t think that porn or erotica would be of any use to drawing out a sexually repressed individual. That is simply because it is very self-centered in by nature. It’s not meant to draw you out but draw you in.

      Whether it be a toy, a book, a magazine or a movie it gives us the option of removing the intimacy part sex. You are now in complete control. You know longer have to think about the needs of another individual. It’s almost like a prostitute of sorts that you can order around without worrying about their needs being met. You place yourself in a position where you no longer need another person to fill a need that was DESIGNED to be something that bonds you to another individual for life. That solidifies that this person is bone of your bone flesh of your flesh. Something that was designed to (in part) create a supernatural unexplainable bond between two people, knitting their very soul’s together. Literally making them one. But with your very own little do it yourself kit this phenomenon is diminished to simple self sexual gratification.The magic is gone. It is no longer spiritual. There is no longer a connection. What you do get is a hunger for VARIETY that sometimes you cannot shake…even within the covenant of marriage. You get to pick and choose who and what is going to scratch your itch on any given day. Pop culture is full of female characters joking about who needs a man when you a perfectly good sex toy in their top drawer. Intimacy takes a back seat and it becomes all about fulfilling a need.

      It has the power to wreck a marriage. It has the power to desensitize an individual from the real thing, infiltrating a person’s thought’s to the point where intimacy with another is no longer enough. It is not harmless. It is designed to trick us into believing that it is. It is deceptive. Some people will come out with only a slightly altered and others will come out of encounter with this stuff forever changed. It’s not a game. Escapism never is..

      • Aunt J~
        August 1, 2012

        check your paypal for love offering rev. yancey.
        u laid that down.
        “It’s not a game…”

      • Nicole
        August 13, 2012

        Thanks Aunt J.. wait is this my Aunt or Ryan’s Aunt? Either way thanks :-D!

  17. Davita
    August 1, 2012

    I was actually just talking to some of my friends about this exact same issue not too long ago. I attempted to read 50 shades just to figure out all the hype coming from it, but I couldn’t get past the 4th chapter. Being an English teacher, I quickly rrecognized how poorly the book was written!
    With the sex issue, something interesting is that even back in the Elizabethan period, one of Shakespeare’s main elements in his plays was sex. Sex was one of the only ways to appeal to all the different social classes. At the end of the day, sex has and will always sell. Some writers will write about anything just for the money….

    • PopExcavators
      August 2, 2012

      Wow you took it old school. Your statement about Shakespeare using sex to appeal to all social classes confirms that the “sex sells” technique is nothing new. Thanks for commenting!

  18. Moon Unit
    August 2, 2012

    Why is it alright for men, particularly young men, to be able to dabble in sex reading here and there– but the moment a book is written for the female end of the discussion, the judgement starts? Females are just as curious. Sex is a two person event. Both sides need an equal platform for the discussion.

    I am glad there is finally a book in the airport for women to check out on this topic. If a woman reads this, or if a man reads this material, perhaps they are simply gathering information. The act of reading the material does not mean the person has become a porn obsessor or is going to actively seek out immediately physical interactions. Sex is the most vulnerable physical and emotional interaction two people can have as humans. All humans have a healthy curiousity about the climax of our vulnerability. Embrace the ability to discuss it, please don’t hate it.

    We are created to love. We are created for sex, among other things, and this relational activity demands and deserves a exploratory discussion regardless of individual gender.

  19. Veronica
    August 2, 2012

    I picked up 50 Shades in an airport not having any idea what I was reading. I thought it was perhaps a story of an attorney with a good looking set of ties. As I began reading I was immediately taken in because the young women were near my daughter’s ages. The characters are simple yet the main character finds herself under the spell of an emotionally unbalanced man. As a mom, I can only read this with the lense of a mom. The sex is not the issue but the immediate addiction of a sexual relationship without the balance of a loving relationship.
    It annoys me that there is not a “hot book” that everyone is attracted to that is within the context of an emotionally healthy relationship. SO, is there any such thing? Do any of us have emotionally healthy sexual relationships built upon love, respect, time, sickness and health? Would any one read that story?

    • PopExcavators
      August 2, 2012

      That’s a great question Veronica. If you think of any let us know.

      You raise a great point about young ladies potentially being in the same predicament as the main character. Beyond the sex these are characters with serious issues. I’m not sure any of us would want to be in their shoes if we look outside the bedroom. Or sex dungeon.

  20. Trevor Honeycutt
    August 6, 2012

    I haven’t read Grey and don’t plan to.

    Jesus Christ describes himself as “the Door”, bcs through Him the kingdom of God comes. Through Him comes righteousness, peace, & joy by the Holy Spirit; and all the goodness that God desires to manifest on the earth.

    The enemy is seeking to build a kingdom of darkness, in rival to King Jesus’ soon coming kingdom; and he has “doors” of his own. Satan has done a masterful job of opening doors for his counterfeits, that bring people into temptation/tasting/gluttony/bondage/captivation/destruction. Visual porn is one such door for men, and *** now it seems he has swung open another door with this book…for women. ***

    I guess Harlequin romance novels were soft-porn for women, and this romantic trash has been around for a long time. But now with Grey’s enormous success, acceptance, and popularity, he has managed to swing the door wide open to bring women into dramatically increased destructive porn-use & bondage like many men are in.

    My $0.02 is to slam the door by closing the book. And then turn and go through the Door (Jesus) to learn what real/healthy/clean/exquisite love and romance is.

  21. Nadia
    August 7, 2012

    I agree with everyone else, the book is popular because sex sells. I also believe it is just as pornographc as the playboy magazine. Yes, sex was created by God for mankind to enjoy, but within the confines of marriage. It is to represent the ultimate intimate connection, relationship, “oneness” between a married couple. I know this is not a religious blog but here it is. Jesus said if a man looks at a woman to lust after her, he has committed adultery in his heart. Can the same principle apply to the women who are reading the mommy porn? Yes. sex is a gift, one perversion of this gift is pornography. As a person that is trying to live a life that is pleasing to God,I will not read the book. As Christians, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul chastised the Corinthians because of their sins against the body, the dweling place of the Holy Spirit. Do you think that He would want to read 50 Shades? It is one thing to have honest discussions about sex, and not be ashamed of it, but I feel that reading this type material does not support or reflect intimacy as originally designed.

    • PopExcavators
      August 13, 2012

      Thanks for your insights. Would Jesus read 50 Shades? Interesting visual haha….

    • Nicole
      August 13, 2012

      LOVE IT Nadia! WooHoo!!!

  22. Kenny
    June 5, 2013

    You’re a brilliant writer! Stumbled over here from instagram. Fantastic posts…

    • PopExcavators
      June 5, 2013

      Thanks a lot man! Been thinking about reviving this here blog…

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2012 by in Not for realz!, Shelf, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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