Obviously, Danielle and I are not the target demographic for these books. If I'm reading a book and come across the word cock, you can be assured that the text has to do with sustainable farming. Yet, the books have achieved enough attention and notoriety to have stayed solidly on our radar. Our friends have read them and like to talk about them. We have heard about many of the kinky details, told to us with either disgust or delight, depending on the friend recalling the scene.
It probably goes without saying, but we will also steer clear of the theater while Magic Mike is playing. In our world, male strippers are like white noise. We don't particularly notice their presence or absence. I did actually go to a strip club for my 18th birthday, but that was mostly to celebrate the fact that I was old enough to get in. I was trying to feign a certain level of badass-ness, although my true colors shone through in the too-big corduroy pants from Goodwill that I wore that night. Who knew clubbing and corduroy don't mix? (Danielle had a similarly "edgy" experience at this same club another time when a man walked up to her and asked, "Are you a nurse?") This club had two sections, a dance club and a strip club, and I ended up spending much of my birthday night talking with a close friend at a table in the strip club. We went there to escape the noise of the bass-heavy dance club. That's right: the strip club was enticing because it was quiet. So, that gives you some context.
Anyway, all of these new, sex-charged offerings inspired me to inquire of Danielle, "Do you wish we used whips and stuff? Because I will if you really want me to." I didn't want Danielle to feel like she was missing out on some mind-blowing sexual experience, but - truth be told- my internal monologue was pleading, Please say no...please say no...please say no.
Of course, there is a reason Danielle and I ended up together. Our mutual tameness is part of that. "Oh, God no!" she replied. "Actually, whips make me feel guilty. They make me think of slavery." Thank goodness.
"And I'm not really that into handcuffs, either," she continued. "Reminds me of immigration reform. Remember that episode of The Good Wife when that woman got deported?" Yes, I agree, that was a sad show.
Leave it to us to have a social justice bent to our sex life.
From there, the conversation got pretty silly as we talked about the most ethical sex props. Danielle made some crack about KY jelly but then offered that actual jelly could be put to creative sexual use. But only if it was locally made. Like the gooseberry jelly we just got from that lady at the farmers market. That would be okay.
If I could stomach reading the Shades of Grey books (and I don't think I can), I would love to write a parody series featuring normal, lame lesbian characters. I would call it 50 Shades of Indigo. In the book, if one character hurt her partner during sex, the sex act would stop so that the offending character could fix a nice, soaking bath for her sore lover. Much apologizing and cuddling would ensue. There would be more pages devoted to the characters talking about feelings and the health of their relationship than all of the needless poking and prodding found in the original books. The steamiest scenes might involve the presence of strategically placed bits of farmers market gooseberry jelly. Or local honey. Organic, of course.
All of this is to say, you straight people have your minds in the gutter. Before you know it, Pat Robertson is going to be condemning your wanton depravity and encouraging you to be more like your wholesome lesbian friends. In fact, these books might just be a boon for the gay movement. We come off looking rather pure (see Ellen video below) by comparison. So go on. Have your Shades of Grey/ Magic Mike flings.
Just remember: if I show up one day looking a little sticky and smelling faintly of gooseberry, don't say a damn thing. You have no room to talk.