From the monthly archives:

May 2012

There’s a reason sales of the Nook are waaay UP right now. Why? It’s the ‘mommy porn’ book. Otherwise known as ’50 Shades of hair-sweeping-low-slung-pants-Grey.’ And it’s so horribly embarrassing to be sucked into this whirlwind, awfully written, just as bad as Harlequin romance schtick that I have to read it in secret on my Nook, and even then I’m slanting the screen away from anyone who might catch me in the act.

So here’s my question: WHY are women — especially moms — devouring this thing like it’s better than heroin? You’d NEVER catch me in a million years reading anything with a Fabio-like cover. Yet every single night, as my quasi-smart brain screams at me, urging me to stop reading this trash and delve into something that I can really LEARN from, I snatch my Nook from my bedside table and sink my teeth into this alternate reality with a hunger that baffles me.

I’ve talked to a lot of moms about this, and one in particular recently said something that made sense to me. For her (and she’s been happily married for some time with three kids), it’s the craving for THAT feeling, the one that you get when you’re first falling in love with someone and it’s all you can do to brush your teeth in the morning because you just want to BREATHE into them every second of every day and night. That chemical connection that (and this is true science) fades — ALWAYS fades — after 24-36 months with someone. The craving that leads lots of married people (especially after kids) to go astray, in search of THAT feeling again.

So for this particular mom, what 50 Shades has done for her has been transformational. She’s transferred this craving, this longing, over to her husband. No, she doesn’t have THAT feeling back for him…we simply cannot recreate the chemistry exactly. But — she’s making out with him like she hasn’t in years. She’s buying all kinds of toys she’d never dream of buying and shocking the hell out of him in a good way. She’s feeling sexier than ever, and now, as she’s rounding the bend on the third book, she’s feeling panicked that it’s about to end…and is wondering what she can read next to keep stirring THOSE feelings up.

I think that’s simply fantastic. Best explanation of why women are so crazy in lust with these books I’ve heard. (Although, if the author says, one more time, that Anastasia ‘bites her lip’ and Grey goes nuts, I might become a cutter.)

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