Last July ITV’s This Morning programme featured a debate on Fifty Shades of Grey. Samantha Brick, who once claimed she is hated for being beautiful, argued that it was essentially smut that shouldn’t be stocked on places like Smiths and the supermarkets while Emily Dubberley, the sex writer and founder of the Cliterati website, defended the book. On the viewers’ poll Dubberley won a crushing victory. This was no surprise. For a professional journalist Brick was worryingly inarticulate, spouting a stream of ers, you knows and non-sequiturs such as ‘I’m not a prude, I live in France’.This comment should have prompted the question of why she is so worried about her young daughter seeing the book in supermarkets since, presumably, she doesn’t.
I rather suspect Dubberley was defending a principle rather than the book about which few writers of erotica have a good word. I could go on about its improbable plot, shallow characterisation, lack of understanding of the dynamics of dominant/submissive relationships, etc etc. Then there’s the length. Don’t they have editors these days? With three books published there are nearly 2,000 pages of this drivel.
Drivel it may be but surely harmless? Well today a man was acquitted at Ipswich Crown Court of causing actual bodily harm to a woman with whom he was involved in a Fifty Shades style relationship including a slave contract signed by the woman. I make no judgement on the relationship but for two people with no experience to engage in activities such as tying up and whipping seems to me unbelievably stupid.The man can count himself lucky he wasn’t facing a manslaughter charge.
I’nm no prude even though I don’t live in France and I am happy to see it stocked in Sainsbury’s . Perhaps though it should have a health warning?