Why women can't get enough of "Fifty Shades of Grey"
But the sexual moments are certainly hot and, just as importantly, they're unlikely to make the reader who is new to erotic stories go ugh. And with a book that can change people's minds about sex and romance, this is vital.
It Takes Things Slowly
Another possible reason for the novel's success is that it brings BDSM into the mainstream at a time when e-book erotica is affordable and available, and when more and more women—and men, too—are open to enjoying sexual desire. Indeed, light spanking or rough handling are often considered almost run of the mill these days. What's more, by treating sex as one of many complexities of this BDSM romance, James makes Grey and Anastasia's story relatable. Questions like Should he buy her a new car just because he can afford it? are treated as no less important than Should she allow him to spank her when she isn't sure she wants it? James also shows us how being a submissive enhances Anastasia's power, both sexually and non-sexually. In bed and out of bed, she learns to say what she does and doesn't want, and begins to realize how much sway a submissive can wield. In fact, the heroine's journey of transformation can also be the reader's. Such qualities make Fifty Shades more a step-by-step initiation than a baptism of fire.