Wake Up Men, there’s a cultural phenom in EFFECT, and you’re gonna wanna know about it.
The top 3 books on the New York Times best seller list-
- Fifty Shades of Grey
- Fifty Shades Darker
- Fifty Shades Freed
And down there at number 9: Fifty Shades, the complete trilogy.
9 weeks on the list.
Don’t know when they came out.
I’m guessing that these books are single most compelling reason women are buying E-Readers at 10X the rate men are. (my own personal research)
It’s a cultural phenom.
And I knew nothing about it until about three weeks ago. I work in an office where the ratio of men to women is around 10:1.. hence my research. I discovered these books when I walked in on a rather hushed hallway conversation, hands over mouths, women giggling. 40 year old women giggling.
I’ve seen stranger things, not many, but some.
Topic of discussion was “those books”. Apparently, if the story goes right, one of the women received the first book in the trilogy as a present, or a loan or something from some other women. Guys, little lesson for you, your wives and girlfriends have drinking societies that go under the name “book club”. No one reads in these clubs but they go through a ton of 3 buck chuck. I want to join a book club. Especially after I learned more about these books.
This woman became so engaged in the story that she managed to read the entire tome in one afternoon. The next day, she called in sick to work and read the other two. 17 straight hours of reading with breaks only for the bottle opener and trips to the can.
A fellow I work with bought the books for his girl friend as little present of some sort, odd as they’re not even married yet.. she went missing for 27 hours, emerging from her apartment, bleary eye’d and weepy after consuming them, again all three, in one sitting. Three novels in one sitting!
I have trouble getting through the box scores of a day’s baseball game in one sitting. These things must be something else. But what are they?
My Newsweek had an article about them last week. These novels were described as a new genre of novel writing; they called it “mommy porn”.
That got my attention. Anything with the word “mommy” in it is of interest to me.
Ha. OK I’ll admit it, it’s the porn part. Further research into the plots of these books describes some innocent young chick, I think a law school or medical school student, same thing, who meets some older dude and together they explore his dark sexual fantasies. And they talk and explore their relationship. I could care less about this except the things they talk about; handcuffs, spankings, blindfolds, fantasies, well, hear tell that they do so in some detail. In some explicit detail.
Which makes me interested. Kinda. As long as it’s in short sentences. Actually sounds I’ll wait for the movies but I digress.
These damned books are literally burning through the 20-40 female demographic like fire on gasoline. The buzz around the office, friends, casual encounters with friends and confidants, is deafening. Even SNL picked on up on it last weekend.
According to Newsweek the “new” professional woman is interested in career, kids, and light S&M.
Whaaa.. I dropped my coffee cup right on the floor of the bus as I read that.
Seems like something this big I would have noticed. I must only know “old school” professional women in my world. They’re more interested in money, chores and what my plans are for the day, especially Saturdays. They’re also occasionally interested in my hygiene and my dress.
At a recent little cocktail soirée with a few couples I mentioned these books. The women I was with hadn’t heard of them. I described the phenom.
Fiction for women.
They’re sweeping the office like a disease.
They’re all about relationships.
Half the ladies on the bus are reading them.
They’re about spanking and a chick getting it on freaky style with some dude. And lots and lots of talking.
“I’m sorry, what did you say they were called?”
Mobile Amazon app got three hits that very evening and before my eyes three people incapable of operating a remote control were successfully able to go out and order these babies in 10 seconds flat, all from smart phones.
And three husbands did silent high fives.
And she thought it was wasteful for me to buy Amazon Prime.. ha. Might pay off for one of us. Maybe.
E-Readers are blowing off the shelves as women realize that these devices provide anonymity when reading these sorted titles in public. Not that those faint beads of perspiration on your forehead and your slightly watery eyes doesn’t give you away as you read on the bus next to this observer of the common culture. Certainly it isn’t sitting next to a fat bald stinky guy with a comic book on his lap that makes you do that.
I’ve always wondered, when pursing airport newsstands, who is it exactly that buys all those raunchy porn titles they have on the shelves, and they have a lot of them. Do fellows really, while waiting for a flight, realize that the new issue of Biggins just came out and then are willing to stand in line with kids buying candy and housewives buying water, porn titles in hand, like it’s nuthn? Do business travelers buy them? I’ve always wanted, and just for effect, to sit next to some stranger on a plane, to whip one of those plastic wrapped magazines out of my carry-on and start reading the articles. Especially the articles that make me turn the magazine sideways so I can take in all the text.
So now woman have their version of this same deal, and since, according to Mars and Venus.. which I admit I had to be told about since reading about relationships is right up there with skinning eels on my to do list, well according to Marsian Theory, we men are visual. Which we are. Woman are something other than visual, what that is I don’t know. I’ve certainly thought about it, for minutes at time sometimes, and boils down to this eternal question:
What makes women tick?
And then I remember how much I enjoy a fresh hot batch of tater tots and I’m off to find some.