Three REAL Reasons Modern Women LOVE “50 Shades of Grey”

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of photographer Mick Amato.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of photographer Mick Amato.


I have a couple confessions. First, as an author and recovered editor, every time I hear the buzz about 50 Shades of Grey” being a runaway success, I want to throw myself in traffic. All the craft classes, the conferences, the research and people really want to read books about THIS? My second confession is I haven’t actually read “50 Shades of Grey.” Hey, only so much time in the day and my job requires a lot of reading and research, and this genre?

“Not my beer,” as the Dutch like to say.

Yet, why are these books so popular, especially with modern women? Why is there a virtual explosion in a genre that involves advanced skills in knot-tying and requires a leather-cleaning kit? What makes college-educated modern women who are taking the world by storm gravitate to wanting to be “enslaved”?

Prepare to play armchair psychiatrist. I am not a real psychiatrist, but I do play one on the Internet. My credentials? 1) Being a modern woman 2) possessing empathy 3) I once took a Feminist Politics class in college.


I think it’s fairly common knowledge that the individuals who gravitate to wanting to be dominated are often the powerful. Judges, politicians, doctors, lawyers, CEOs, etc. have a lot of responsibility. When we’re boss, everyone comes to us for answers and looks to us to be in charge. Thing is? While being in charge is great, it’s also exhausting.

I’ve fired two agents, and both times I waited far too long. Why? I was tired of thinking and being in charge *whiiiiiine* I wanted someone to order me around and tell me what to do.

“Yes, Master Agent, I will rewrite that chapter. I’m a BAD, BAD WRITER!”

***Clearly, both agents made lousy “Tops”.

I imagine if we had a time-machine and zoomed back to 1950, no one would drop by the house and wonder why a man’s wife didn’t have a job.

“What? Your little woman’s baking pies, changing diapers, and ironing your shirts? Why doesn’t she have a REAL job?”

We gals were in charge of house, kids, cooking, and laundry. We were on the PTA and baked cookies and made costumes for school plays. In 1952, women were accustomed to thousands of years of being ordered around, so safe to say we wouldn’t have wanted more of that in the bedroom. Yet, as the glass ceiling shattered and more women took on traditionally male roles? We began to see a shift.

“I can open my OWN door, thank you.”

***Subtext—But feel free to spank me later.***

Women are in charge of pretty much EVERYTHING, whether we want to be or not. Even though most women work full-time, most women are still largely responsible for child-rearing and household duties. Trust me, (and maybe it’s because I AM in Texas), if someone comes over to the house and notices it’s so filthy the CDC needs to do a drop-by? My tail is on the line. NO ONE is going to look to my husband and ask why he didn’t help do more chores.

My toddler attends nursery school and the school still asks ME to hand-make costumes for plays for a three-year-old. Really. Sure, let me fit that into my meetings, deadlines, blogs, books and traveling. Yet, when my kid shows up for the play wearing a Batman shirt instead of dressed as a caterpillar? Nobody asks Hubby why he didn’t break out the sewing machine and hot glue gun.

No, it isn’t fair, but fair is a weather condition.


I think a lot of modern women (especially those who happen to be moms) live in a state of perpetual guilt. For instance, my toddler knows his colors, his numbers and can even read…but potty training? I might as well be trying to teach him Advanced Particle Physics. I vacillate between, “Hey, not too bad” and “OH DEAR GOD I SO SUCK AND MY CHILD MIGHT BE RETARDED.”

Yes, I am a #1 best-selling author, but the closets are a DISASTER and the dust bunnies have started a Hippie Commune in the garage and I swear to GOD I OWN scissors. I’ve bought 54 pairs! Where the hell have they all gone?

***My husband loses NO sleep over these things, btw.

Inside I know I’m a failure, but maybe it would just be cathartic and allow me to move forward if I could be tied to a chair and told, “You’ve been a bad girl. I saw inside your fridge. Tell me you’re a bad wife!”

Me: “I’m a BAD, BAD GIRL! I know! I haven’t sorted baby toys from the toddler toys! Yes, there is a breast pump still in my child’s closet! I SUCK! I’M A BAD MOM! PUNISH ME!”

Then I can cry, confess get a tail-whoopin’ and move on.


No, I don’t read erotica, but I am guilty of having an addiction to celebrity magazines. Modern woman are using their brains more than ever, and sure that sounds insulting, but  bear with me.

Just Host wants my website to have a password with two uppercase letters, a symbol, punctuation, a number and a clever emoticon embedded within. I have to reset my password almost every time I log in. My brain is exhausted.


Because EVERYONE wants us to do this crap. I have passwords for my passwords and no idea what I did with the electric bill and why is the toddler suddenly quiet and am I wearing my bra on the outside of my shirt?

Sometimes, the “grey” matter needs a break. Junk food. Erotica. It’s primal, racy and “bad” for us.

See? 50 Shades demystified! And y’all thought women were complicated (ok we are).

Kristen Lamb is the author of the #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. She’s just released her newest best-selling book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital WorldShe’s the founder of the WANA Movement, CEO of WANA International and creator of WANATribe, the social network for creative professionals. Kristen is also a regular columnist for Author Magazine.

Follow Kristen on Twitter @KristenLambTX or on Facebook or on her author blog.


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