13 questions from men about 50-You-Know-What

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.

272And 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Or is it that you want to try it only with that guy?
  3. 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.)
  4. If we do try this, can I pick the safe word? I’m thinking “BB King! BB King!”
  5. On second thought, wouldn’t the most practical safe word be simply “ouch”?
  6. Or plain old awkward giggling?
  7. If we’re going to try this, can we incorporate some kind of cinematic soundtrack and professional lighting? Otherwise, ugh!
  8. 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.)
  9. How do we deal with it if, right there in the theatre, the movie piques my interest, if you know what I mean?
  10. 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?
  11. 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?
  12. Is it okay to be confused about feminism after watching this? I mean, more than usual?
  13. I know it’s Valentine’s Day and all, but couldn’t we go see something more traditionally romantic, like American Sniper?
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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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67 Responses to 13 questions from men about 50-You-Know-What

  1. I had a conversation yesterday about many colors of a cloudy sky and the person looked at me oddly when I said that it wasn’t all the skewed BDSM/creepy nonsense that irritated me, it was that so many people seem unable to recognize poor writing and editing. On the other hand, I don’t begrudge that lady the zillions of dollars she is getting. People pay for low quality all the time.
    You managed to cover many of the things I patently dislike, all in one post – poor writing (not yours), bad movie dates and Valentine’s Day. Add in the habit of people who lick their fingers before counting money back to me and any manner of fish and I think I’ll just go back to bed.

  2. List of X says:

    #10 will be why men will leave the theater thinking, “well, that wasn’t bad at all”, and women will leave thinking “Meh, the book was better”.

  3. Karen says:

    This is the second post today that I’ve read about The Movie (and Book) That Shall Not Be Named. It’s a good one (as is the other post I read).

    Regarding erotica, I once had a boyfriend who wanted me to talk dirty to him, but I could not bring myself to do this without giggling uncontrollably, so he suggested we read passages from a dirty novel to one another instead, because, hey, I was an English Lit major and he was smart enough to think this idea would appeal to both my libido and my academic interests.

    Men are sneaky like that.

    Anyway, I got to pick the book. So, because I am a book nerd, I picked Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer which is, of course, notorious for several graphic sex scenes. Intermingled amongst the sex, however, are a lot of very disturbing descriptions of desperate poverty, with the protagonist sleeping (and having sex on) bug-infested mattresses, and there are rats crawling all over the place and he’s picking lice off his partners. On top of all that, he’s literally starving while he’s trying to become a writer in Paris.

    After a few pages of that, my boyfriend broke up with me and I decided the book could be used as effective contraception.

    So I guess my point is, if your wife drags you to see The Movie That Shall Not Be Named, well, at least it’s not Tropic of Cancer.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Coincidentally, I was all set to have TofC downloaded to my Kindle via my library (that’s more information than you need; like telling someone your dream…) but put it aside because I’m in the middle of this goddamn Infinite Jest that just won’t end. So, uh, thanks for the heads up. I guess it gives new meaning to “hot and bothered.”

  4. byebyebeer says:

    We just finished watching season 2 of The Fall (on netflix). He’s even dreamy as a serial killer. Gillian Anderson might be hotter though. I haven’t read that Grey book. I swear.

  5. Paul says:

    Having read the book, You have nailed any questions I have Ross. If there are any females reading this who would like to address our (male) Inquiring Minds ™ © ® with regards to the above questions – please feel free to leave a comment here. You can do so anonymously and we shall give you the code name “Silver”, one of the most attractive of the 50. If you are unable to speak – feel free to use sign langauage to reply or if you are unable to speak or move your hands, feel free to tap in Morse code with any available body part and we will translate. Thank you so much for your assistance in this matter. Oh, and Happy Valentines Day, may you be all wrapped up in your gifts.

  6. Ned's Blog says:

    My wife borrowed the book (not from me, let’s get that clear), started reading it and gave up after five or six chapters because she described it in a very literary way as, “Really stupid.” She has not once mentioned seeing the movie version. At first, I felt like I had dodged two huge hurdles, or jumped a pair of bullets. But now I sort of find myself wondering… Is it ME?!?

  7. Wait, we can’t just stay at home and wait for the girls to get back?!? This is too funny. Thanks for stepping up for us guys!

  8. Best post on That Book I’ve read so far. Okay, I’ve only read 4. But still, this was definitely at the top of the KD pile.

  9. Scott says:

    Thank God this is not something I have to worry about. Having read excerpts of the “book” from other bloggers who were parodying the books on their blogs I feel lucky to have never read them.

  10. I went to one of those publishing conferences and all the agents talked about was the 10 million copies sold. They all agreed it was a terrible book and horribly written, but it sold 10 million copies. Why they didn’t see that my horribly written book would sell 10 million copies is beyond me.

    Good luck on Valentine’s night, a life-alert bracelet could be just the thing for a gift. The life you save could be your own.

  11. Carrie Rubin says:

    Even though I’m a woman, count me about those men who were mystified by the appeal of this book. I’ve never read it and don’t plan to, but I can’t imagine any movie I’d rather see less on Valentine’s Day. Icky blicky.

  12. franhunne4u says:

    Another middle aged woman here who gave these books a miss (yes, I am sad like that, I KNOW there are THREE …) All I ever needed to know about this was written in the Guardian online – and if the articles would not have convinced me, the comments did. Nope, never .. Why should I read about a man in his thirties with serious control issues and a naive twenty-something, who lets herself humilate for financial gains? Nope. Is not going to happen.

  13. Lynn says:

    So here’s a funny story. Having heard the all the hype around these crappy books & having had a conversation with a female friend of mine who claimed I just had to read these books, my husband thought he was doing me a favour & purchased the trilogy for me. This purchase may have been followed by a nudge, nudge, wink, wink. (on his part)

    Like Mrs. Ned, I think I got through the first couple of chapters before I refused to read more. Not because of the content. I am happy to read good smut but I could not bring myself to read one more poorly written page.

    I did however, enjoy your post! Brilliantly written Ross & so, so funny!

  14. markbialczak says:

    When I told my dear wife Karen I had decided to attend “The Kingsmen” for this weekend’s movie blog review, she quickly answered “Good thing.”

    Yes. Smart I am. Besides, I might have hurt my brain trying to bob and weave as brilliantly as you did here, Ross.

    Samuel L. Jackon with a lisp, I can handle.

  15. Letizia says:

    The popcorn and extra butter line had me laughing so hard. I’m another of those who has never read the book and doesn’t want to see the film. On tv they were saying it would be a good “first date” movie. Uh, not so sure about that.

  16. Well, I have no intention of seeing this movie. I couldn’t get through the book, either. Awful writing doesn’t even begin to describe it. So, I don’t understand what the draw is , either.

  17. Jill's Scene says:

    Did you know that down here, at the bottom of the world, our Prime Minister’s opinion of the movie has made the national news? He says he’s planning to watch it at home with his wife which, as it’s the Prime Minister we’re talking about, falls into the waaayyy too much information camp for me. And, apparently, he’s kept abreast of the movie in question because he likes to keep well-informed for the sake of the country.
    You just gotta laugh and I still am, thanks to you, Mr Ross Murray.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/66090929/what-john-key-thinks-of-fifty-shades-of-grey

  18. Pingback: A Valentine’s Day Song | The Brown Road Chronicles

  19. Pingback: A Valentine’s Day Song | The Brown Road Chronicles

  20. Amy Reese says:

    Very funny! Did you see it? Was it perfectly awful? I won’t mind it and expect it to be bad. And now that it’s got awful reviews, I’ll probably still see it…on Netflix. I’m in no hurry. I hadn’t thought of it that way…that guys would be forced to see this film, although I understand women have been showing up in droves in big groups.

  21. Getting caught up on blog life and happy to see you’ve still got it, my friend. Laughing out loud. And I did NOT see 50 Shades Who Shall Not Be Named on Valentine’s but did see some people protesting outside of a theater in midtown. Now THAT was entertainment.

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