The Thinking Woman's Guide to Fifty Shades of Grey

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News Media Commentary
Title: The Thinking Woman's Guide to Fifty Shades of Grey
Commentator: Julieanne Smolinski
Date(s): 03 April 2012
Fandom: Fifty Shades of Grey, Twilight
External Links: The Thinking Woman's Guide to Fifty Shades of Grey; archive link
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The Thinking Woman's Guide to Fifty Shades of Grey is a long rant review about Fifty Shades of Grey, explaining in detail "why the fucking is not very sexy" and wondering "how it's possible that anybody is turned on by this."

The article has 134 comments.

Excerpts from the Article

I'm not going to condemn Fifty Shades of Grey because it's fan fiction, even though that may not be my particular cup of Klingon sperm. I'm not even going to condemn it because I've seen better storytelling in an evening news segment about a raccoon who got a peanut butter jar stuck on his head in a Wendy's parking lot. What I do take issue with is that an author is making money off of people who are too technologically illiterate to find GOOD porn out there and are getting stuck with this nonsense instead because it's the one part of Computers they can't just ask a nephew about.

About FanFiction.Net, the reviewer says:

On websites like, the original home of Fifty Shades of Grey, anybody who can successfully operate a mouse has long had the option to masturbate to a story where Worf has rough sex with DJ from Roseanne.

Some Comments

WOW...I guess I'm going to be the outcast here and say that I enjoyed the book alot. Although I liked the required reading in high-school & felt that it was great didn't turn me on. Bronte just didn't do it for me. Try Gabriel's Inferno; maybe that's more your speed. Erotica & great literature have never been one in the same for me. They usually have two different objectives.

I didn't know this was fan-fiction for twilight until after I read the books; so maybe I had that advantage. I know I'm in the minority & will be blasted for this...but I couldn't not respond to this for some reason. So blast away.
My problem isn't with the poor writing, it's that it is completely misrepresenting the BDSM community. This book is not about a dom-sub relationship. It is about a sociopath with epic mommy issues physically and psychologically torturing women and convincing them that it's "sexy."

While I agree 100% with all of these points, there are dozens of others that have been left out.

- The repetition. There is so much repetition of descriptions and actions. Over and over. I get it, Christian's bodywash, heavenly scent, mumble, darkening eyes, stilling, blushing, biting lip, stormy grey eyes, over and over and over. It was like reading the same 10 pararaphs for 200 pages. This damn woman needs a thesaurus. And a co-writer. Who writes better than she.

- THE CLICHE. He's gorgeous, wealthy, powerful - a real bad boy who's amazing at sex, but he's damaged. He needs to be changed! He needs to be shown the way! Only when he finds the one will he find TRUE LOVE!

- The pandering. The aforementioned "hot rich guy who needs (and wants) to be changed" is a BLATANT attempt to lure every female age 18-88 to read this book.

- Her ridiculous catch phrases. Not just "holy crap!" but what about, "Oh my"? Seriously EVERY time I read this I read it in George Takei's voice. Very distracting when you're trying to read something that's supposedly hot. It really wasn't.

The list just goes on and on and on. I forced myself to read through book 2 (though I can't figure out why, now) and hated it. I won't be opening book 3.
I read good porn, I am fully familiar with BDSM in literature and practice, and I hate all things Twilight based on reading half a chapter and being forced to sit through the first godawful movie. All that said these books did work for me. Yes, the writing is awful. Yes the dungeon is hilarious. Yes, I found this erotic (and I don't even own a kindle.) Still, this is the funniest review ever!

This was freaking HILARIOUS. I've just been recommended this book by a few women - to be fair, they are 15-20 years older than me, and they did warn me that this book is more for their demographic than mine. These are smart, educated women I am talking about, so I had pretty high hopes. I was STUNNED by the very first couple of pages, at how very very BAD the writing was. Like, BAD, even for a high school composition course. Like "have you ever read anything but Cosmo and Cliffs Notes?" bad.

So then, I skipped to Chapter 7 (they told me that was where the sex started) and . . . nada. I skipped through all the lousy wordy-wordage, found the explicit passages, and was like . . . "did I put fresh batteries in my vibrator for THIS?" Nothing remotely arousing. And I am a HUGE fan of BDSM stories. I recall reading Karen Moline's "Belladonna" in high school and excusing myself to go to the restroom just to, er, relieve the tension. Frankly, I'd rather read the staircase scene in "Gone With The Wind." Or a police report, for God's sake.

It's BAD. The comparison to Tom Wolfe made me guffaw out loud, because the only sex writing that has ever made me feel this mix of emotions - awkwardness, vicarious embarrassment, reluctant pity - was "I Am Charlotte Simmons." But I am willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, since I think he meant it to read that way. This books, I honestly have no idea what makes people keep reading it. It's Fifty Shades of Shit.
I, too, want to know if the raccoon is okay.