For many men, Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a tightrope, and this year it threatens to be even more so because of, well, tight ropes.
This weekend will see the premiere of that movie about that book that’s not about drab paint chips but whose name I can’t bring myself to write because it’s been so over-discussed and over-troped as to provide it more publicity than it deserves, and yet here I am.
When that book not about the variant veneers of U.S. naval ships first became a publishing sensation, most men were mystified by the appeal of poorly written, low-grade S&M erotica, but, you know, it was a harmless book, and by “harmless” I mean harmless to the men because thankfully they didn’t have to read it. If their girlfriends and wives wanted to cuddle up with a little bondage-lit lite, hey, whatever floats your libidinous boat, baby.
But now that the thing is a movie, there’s something very, very bad afoot, namely all those women who quietly read the book to themselves are going to want to see the movie. And they’re going to want their men to take them.
And they’re going to want to go on Valentine’s Day.
And the men will have no choice but to take them, because it’s Valentine’s Day, the one day of the year when men absolutely must be submissive to their women, which is pretty ironic given the context.
So, ladies (if I may call you ladies), I want to speak to you on behalf of all the men who are about to unwillingly have thrust upon them this film adaptation of that book not about hair dye for people who prefer the natural hues of those eligible for Senior Discounts. I want to let you know that the men in your life are going to be uncomfortable. They are going to have questions. And they are going to be uncomfortable about asking those questions.
Uncomfortable they may be, but faced with a potentially cringe-inducing film that, please God, let it be this generation’s Showgirls because it is exactly what this generation deserves, it’s important to be able to have a normal conversation about abnormal sex.
So (as the dominatrix said hooking up the generator) let’s get this thing started. Here are some of the questions your menfolk may be too squirmy to ask:
- Is this something you want to try? Because I remember you dragged me to Julie & Julia because you said you’d always dreamed of learning French cooking, but we also watched all those Twilight movies and you never once said you wished you dated a vampire, so a little clarification on where we stand regarding restraints would be helpful.
- Or is it that you want to try it only with that guy?
- Are you waiting for me to suggest we try it? Or would that be as bad as that time I bought you sexy Valentine’s Day lingerie? (Though, let’s be honest, it was sexy thrift shop Valentine’s Day lingerie.)
- If we do try this, can I pick the safe word? I’m thinking “BB King! BB King!”
- On second thought, wouldn’t the most practical safe word be simply “ouch”?
- Or plain old awkward giggling?
- If we’re going to try this, can we incorporate some kind of cinematic soundtrack and professional lighting? Otherwise, ugh!
- Can we get popcorn, or is that a mood killer? What if I get it with extra butter? (And, to be clear, I’m talking about during the movie.)
- How do we deal with it if, right there in the theatre, the movie piques my interest, if you know what I mean?
- That whole notion about women preferring literary erotica because they are aroused through imagination whereas men prefer visual stimulation, where do we stand with that now?
- And does this mean you’re interested in watching, you know, “other” movies in this genre and, if so, do I no longer have to clear my browser history?
- Is it okay to be confused about feminism after watching this? I mean, more than usual?
- I know it’s Valentine’s Day and all, but couldn’t we go see something more traditionally romantic, like American Sniper?