Tuesday, September 11, 2012

That Whole "Fifty Shades Of Gray" Thing

I am going to do some serious stepping in it today.

I am not speaking as a philosopher or a theologian or a therapist.  Just a middle-aged, mostly Italian lady, who had a really down-to-earth nana.

There has been much cyber-space mud-slinging by nice Catholic ladies lately.  Over what?  These "Fifty Shades Of Gray" books.  (I know you are supposed to underline titles of books; but I don't know how to do that on a word processor, and none of my kids are home to help me.)

I admit that I have not read these books.  I did read a couple excerpts online, but the online store did not allow me to read the truly "juicy" parts.  I was allowed to read about the first kiss the dude gives to the lady, though.  Not really the way I roll.  Much hair pulling, head yanking, and artless tongue thrusting, as I recall. Ewwwww.  The writing style was also not what I would describe as "literary".

Anyway, my understanding is that after you get through the first several pages, the books are mainly about rather kinky, rather uncomfortable sex.  And it is also my understanding that a lot of Catholic and Christian mommies, middle-aged and otherwise, are really enjoying these stories.  This is leading to a lot of outrage on the part of some of the friends and acquaintances of these mommies.  They are basically taking to the internet to loudly denounce their wayward sisters. 

Now, lest you misunderstand me, I am not asserting that these books are a good thing.  I am also not saying they are a particularly bad thing, as I usually do not make judgements like that about books I haven't actually read.  And I really do not care to read them, at least not at this point in my life.  Maybe when I am in the rest home in 25 years, they will be a nice diversion....  Tee-Hee....

But, what I want to say is this.  Denouncing your friends on the internet is not kind.  It is not helpful, either.  If you are concerned about your friend, for whatever reason, a quiet, polite, personal conversation is the way to go.  When Christian ladies denounce other women in the realm of cyber-space, it brings to mind the image of that prohibition lady -- what was her name, anyway? -- taking her axe to the barrel of booze.  Not very attractive.  Not very sexy.  If you want to convince your friends that these books are not the way to be a sexy wife, you'd better be a good example of a sexy wife yourself. ;-)

And don't get yourself bent into a pretzel shape if your friend tells you that reading these books helped her sex life.  I am no therapist, as I said, but maybe you can think of it this way.  After 20 or more years of  breastfeeding, changing diapers, wiping butts, cooking meals, doing dishes, driving the soccer carpool, falling into bed exhausted at the end of most days, maybe she forgot that sex used to actually be fun, instead of something for which she has to stay awake an extra half an hour.  Because, after all, she does love her husband.  Maybe these books reactivated that part of her brain, brought back some nice memories of when she couldn't wait to get that guy into bed.  I'm not saying your friend wants to be handcuffed, or whatever.  And I'm not saying she doesn't want sex to be a warm, loving act.  But, according to actual therapists, a little fantasy can be a positive thing for a woman.  As long as it doesn't get out-of-hand.  As long as it's not masking relationship issues.  I know some of you will strongly disagree with this, and that's fine.  My point is, it might be best to stay out of the sex lives of your friends.  MYOB, in other words.  Or, at least listen carefully before jumping to conclusions.  Then, if you have any advice to give, give it gently and charitably.  And not over Facebook, for Heaven's sake.

Oh, yeah.  I just remembered.  That prohibition lady?  Her name was Carrie Nation.  And you know what happened with all that.  "Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it."

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