I don’t hate porn because I’m some upstanding moral guardian. Those kinds of people secretly love the stuff and only pretend to disapprove of it. I hate porn because, despite having the lowest production values, the least talented crew and the worst acting of any entertainment medium, it somehow sees fit to take itself so fucking seriously.
“Oh baby, yeah! Yeah! You’re so good! How do you get to be this good? You’re so big, baby! Much bigger than anybody watching this shit! I can’t believe you’re doing things to me that no self-respecting girl would ever, ever, allow to happen to her body in a million fucking years! Oh yes! Give me those unrealistic expectations! Harder! Harder!”
Sex is not meant to be taken seriously. If you take sex seriously it’s either because you’re not getting any, because you feel inadequate in some way or another, or because your relationship is in trouble. The best sex any of us will ever have is the jolly, farcical fucking that puts one in mind of trying to adjust a television aerial in a bad 1970’s sketch show. “There! Right there! Hold it! Hold it!”
Sex is where you lose your inhibitions. You don’t care what you look like or how you’re doing it. Sex is fun and cheerful. Sex is a laugh. Sex should not scare or intimidate you and if it does there’s obviously something seriously wrong.
And yet the sex in Fifty Shades of Grey, both book and film trailer, looks pretty damned intimidating and scary to me. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t because it’s BDSM. I had a friend who was into BDSM once and they told me the key to the scene is that those who submit do so willingly and without fear. Let me emphasise again: without fear.
And yet from what I can gather the entire book and film is dominated with serious issues regarding depression, insecurity, vulnerability and a load of physiological crap that posits to be an in-depth study of the human mind, when in reality it’s just another grubby little soft-core porno made even worse by delusions of grandeur and a highly suspicious borderline sex offender as the main character. And who in the hell goes to watch a porno to find out why the main characters want to fuck?
It is true to say most feminists are not a particularly sympathetic bunch. Recently the male-hating militancy has become more and more virulent as individuals attempt to blame their ageless, sexless failings on their being of the supposed gentler sex, and I cannot help but think this has driven most reasonable women away from the movement. Nonetheless I find it very hard to believe that a single badly written book and inevitably worse film has suddenly had most of the female population yearning to be transformed into simpering, beaten slaves controlled by a sloany little yuppy who seems, to all intents and purposes, to be the lovechild of Patrick Bateman and Margaret Thatcher.
Perhaps Fifty Shades is a rebellion of sorts against the modern feminist movement that seems more interested in dictating to women than empowering them. Perhaps it is a woman’s way of telling these people that they have the right to choose to submit to a man just as they have the right to raise their children themselves or stay at home whilst their husband works. Perhaps it is all about choice.
But Fifty Shades of Grey is a lousy book that completely misunderstands the very concept of mental illness and ends up glorifying total, willing slavery, something no novel has attempted to do for over a hundred years. A sure sign, if ever one was needed, that we should be careful what we wish for.