Last week on this blog, I learned that “Sex sells.”  That’s not totally true.  I actually knew that, but y’all made me laugh when I hit an all-time-high number of blog viewers when the topic of last Wednesday’s blog was all about sex.  You guys kill me!

While I have no intention of changing the format of this blog (it will continue to be family-oriented and bring you the day-to-day bizarre antics of my family), I can’t help but tell you the story of one of my most recent read.  Yup…today’s blog is all about a sex book I recently read.

Right now the whole world seems to be buzzing about a book called Fifty Shades of Grey.  Everywhere you look, women and men alike are reading this book, though many of them are doing so rather discreetly.  In fact, I was at my local athletic club on Thursday and the lady sitting next to me was doing her level best to hide the cover of what she was reading.  I’m an avid reader, so I’m always curious about what others are reading.  I leaned over to see if I could catch a glimpse of the cover, but the woman was doing a really good job of keeping it hidden.  She had the book opened with the front cover folded securely over the back.  She didn’t want to advertise what she had in her hands.

“What’re you reading?” I asked the lady.

She turned beet red, then coughed a few times.  Finally she whispered, “Fifty Shades of Grey.

“I’m sorry?” I said.  “I didn’t quite hear you.  What’s the title?”

Looking around surreptitiously to be sure nobody was paying attention, she leaned over and whispered a little louder, “Fifty Shades of Grey.

Ahhhhh…now I get it!  Now I know why she’s being so secretive!  You see, I’ve read this book and walked away with a whole new perspective on the world.

Besides this blog, I write a blog for my  local library wherein I spend a lot of time reading books and reviewing them for our readers.  Fifty Shades of Grey has been at the top of the charts for weeks now, so it was no surprise that it had piqued my interest.  Because of that – and because I needed to review something for the Library’s blog – I had red-tagged it as a “must read.”  But, here’s the glitch:  I have this rule that that I avoid reading all reviews about popular books.  I even skip reading the synopsis on the book’s jacket when a book receives a lot of hype.  Why?  Simply because I prefer to walk in without bias.  Too many times I get so excited to read a book (because the rest of the world loved it) only to walk away really disappointed.  The hype had prepared me for something spectacular and I walked away having read something only mediocre.  As a result, I avoid as much information as possible before reading a hugely popular book.  I want to go in completely blind and without expectations of greatness.  I don’t feel like I can give an honest review if I’ve read what everyone else thinks about it first, and so I do my best to know as little as possible about the book before reading it.

In this case…HUGE MISTAKE!  The only thing I knew about this book was that it was a romance novel.  I’ve read many a romance novel in my day, so I knew what to expect.  I thought.  Oh boy was I surprised!  Folks, this is not your mother’s romance novel!!!  Yikes!  I walked into this book “blindfolded,” so to speak; and, before I knew it, I was so immersed in the story that my “hands were tied.”  I simply had to read more.

For those of you who have heard nothing about this book, here’s the synopsis:  Anastasia Steele is within days of graduating from college.  When her roommate – the Editor of the college paper –  falls ill with the flu, she steps in to cover an interview with the wealthy and powerful Christian Grey, a self-made man who is only a few years her senior.  From that first meeting, sparks fly and you know that there’s chemistry between the two.  If you’ve read any romance novel ever, then you pretty much know where this is going.  Well, sorta.

Unlike any normal romance novel I’ve ever read, this one is dark and very graphic….and…ummm….well….downright erotic.  There.  I said it.  It’s erotic.  It’s porn for women.  It’s the female equivalent of the raunchiest of porn magazines, only for women.  And I read every word of it!

When Christian meets Anastasia, they’re immediately attracted to each other.  The only “problem” is that she’s as innocent as fresh snow and he’s as experienced and as jaded as crack whore.  Christian wants Anastasia, but his sexual preferences lean toward whips and chains, handcuffs, blindfolds and exotic sex toys.  Yikes!  He pursues Ana and convinces her to sign a contract that requires her complete submission in all aspects of their relationship, together with a list of what will and will not be acceptable in the most intimate aspects of their relationship.

Yowza!  At this point, I can tell you that I was in wayyyy over my head!  I might like to pretend that I’m a Worldly Woman of the World, but the truth is that I had more than a little difficulty wrapping my brain around some of the descriptions in this book.  Several times I caught myself looking over my shoulder – in my empty house (kids were at school and Troy was at work) – to make sure nobody was reading over my shoulder!  More than a few times my jaw dropped to the floor, my eyes became as large as dinner plates, and my face turned 50 Shades of Red.

Because so much of the lifestyle described in this book was new to me, I turned to my old friend, Google.  Ummm…Ginormous Mistake!  On at least three occasions,  I Googled a word or phrase or – God forbid, an image – and was taken to a page sure to give my computer a sexually transmitted disease!  I couldn’t find the “close” icon on my iPad fast enough!  Needless to say, I finally had to learn to live with the curiosity or risk certain viruses!

All in all, I’d say I received an interesting…ummm….education.  I’ve told my children that there’s no such thing as a bad book, and that you always learn at least one thing from every book.  Well, the list of things I learned from this book is endless!  Yikes!  I’m not quite sure how I’ll use all of the information I gleaned from this book, but…umm…it was definitely enlightening!

Believe it or not, movie rights have already been sold and there are plans to bring this book to the big screen!  Ummm…I’m speechless!  I’m not entirely sure how they can do that without making it completely x-rated.  But…umm…if they do?  My vote goes to Alexander Skarsgard to play the part of Christian Grey!!!  If I just have to sit through two hours of porn, then it might as well be with really good eye candy who can actually act!

So now the question begs:  Would I recommend it to my friends?  Hmmm…What does my answer say about me?  If I say yes, then I sound like a sex-starved housewife.  If I say no, then I sound like an uptight biddy.  So this is what I will say instead:  If you have a sense of adventure and can laugh at yourself while reading, then yes – read this book.  If you’re easily offended and lack a sense of humor, then there are a whole lot of other titles I could recommend to you that you might enjoy better.

For more fun with this book, take a look at the YouTube video of Ellen as she attempts to read for an audio version of the book.

Oh…and…psssst…I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I enjoyed this book.  But please don’t tell anyone!