Hand Me My Smelling salts, Myrtle

by | February 24, 2015 | General | 7 comments

So, to recap, there was a book that many people enjoyed reading and many people enjoyed critiquing that was made into a movie that many people saw this weekend. It had strong sexual content. The wimmenz were the main audience. How can this be? *clutches pearls* *sinks onto fainting couch* *uncaps the smelling salts* Has the world gone mad?

No. It isn’t possible. I refuse to believe that any woman could make the personal decision to enjoy such a thing. Ever.

Western culture teaches us that women don’t enjoy, much less think about, sex. Unless they’re bad. Oh so very bad. *delighted shiver* And we all know that Western culture never gets anything wrong about the way women think and feel, ever, because it was written by manly men and some women who know stuff. They said so, so they must be experts. I mean, you couldn’t take each women’s word for what she thinks because women are notorious liars about their sexuality and need to be told what they think about such matters. Not to mention that they don’t have a clue in their pink, fluffy little brains about how women are. Completely clueless.

But why else would they be reading this book? It’s perplexing, isn’t it?

Oh that’s right. For the romance angle. It’s perfectly okay for women to like romance because that’s what they’re into. Whew! Here these women were, innocently picking up a book recommended by their friends, thinking that they were about to read a sweet romance, when Boom! They’re ambushed by sex! Surely they all flipped quickly past those pages and got back to the loooove, instead of lingering over the sex scenes and getting all moist down in their girly bits. No, they couldn’t have possibly done that. Of course they were repulsed if they happened to read part of the sex scenes by mistake. They didn’t go out and maybe buy a little something to try in the bedroom with their lovers husbands, because women never initiate sex, and they never, ever think of it as fun.

And even if they did find themselves *whisper* aroused by it, surely it’s because they lack the capacity to distinguish between fantasy and reality. If they enjoy this story, they’re immediately going to search for a billionaire lover and do all the things in the book exactly as they are portrayed. Because, you know, wimminz.

This must be a vast conspiracy to fool us into thinking women actually have inner sexual lives and are capable of independent thought. We know this simply isn’t so. An expert told me.


All kidding aside, I have no problem with people criticizing a book. Erotica deserves to be well written. So go ahead and critique FSOG. Lament its shortcomings. Weep that it darkens the name of erotica, and sneer at how poorly it portrays BDSM. Write parodies of it. Trash it in blogs, Laugh at it. Use it to sell your own work. It’s open season; do as you will- with the book.

However, I have a huge issue with judging the readers who liked it. There is a disturbing tone that creeps into those conversations, with hints that fans of FSOG are somehow less sophisticated, stupid, sexually repressed, frumpy, middle aged, or simply lower class than the “real” fans of erotica. They get scolded from everyone for liking it, and I’m tired of it. So here’s my guide to surviving what remains of the FSOG madness:

1) it’s just a book. A fucking book. That’s all.

2) if your panties get in a bunch thinking about women getting wet over the idea of an emotionally abusive asshole who malpractices BDSM, or any fantasy you disapprove of, then just stop thinking about it.  Just. Stop. Problem solved.

Kathleen Bradean

Kathleen Bradean’s stories can be found in The Best Women’s Erotica 2007, Haunted Hearths, Garden of the Perverse, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 6, and She’s On Top in print. Clean Sheets and The Erotica Readers and Writer’s Association websites have also featured her stories. Writing as Jay Lygon, her stories can be found in Inside Him, Blue Collar Taste Tests, Toy Box: Floggers, and the novels Chaos Magic, Love Runes, and Personal Demons. Read more about Kathleen Bradean at: KathleenBradean.Blogspot.com www.JayLygonWrites.com


  1. Donna

    Thank you for this, Kathleen! It is truly depressing that we have come so… not far in terms of accepting women as erotic subjects who have sexual desire. Clearly society must be protected, and while we can no longer legally suppress this danger, we can mock and ridicule not only the fans but anyone who is "curious." We can call them old, ugly, stupid, misguided, dangerous (the horrifying world crisis of one woman caught masturbating in a theatre in Mexico–a crisis of international proportion) and that will shame them back into sheep-like silence. I was looking at clips from "Basic Instinct," which is held up as a truly sexy movie by many and the sex scenes consisted of four seconds of rough kissing, woman flung against wall or onto desk, woman's skirt pulled up and breasts exposed, man apparently enters woman and pulls her hair a lot. The woman flails like a farm animal being dragged onto the slaughter truck, the man thrusts, it's over. And this is sexy sex? Aren't young men being deluded about what satisfying sex is? There are a few voices that claim this, but they don't get much press. I seriously feel like a bystander watching female eroticism being bullied–we all need to stand up and call them out.

    • Kathleen Bradean

      Yes we do!

      Women are being bullied from all sides and it's pissing me off. No one should ever be able to tell another person "I don't want to fuck you, so you're not allowed to be a sexual being." But that's basically what's being said.

    • Donna


  2. Lisabet Sarai

    I love you, Kathleen!

    (Actually I had a dream about you recently, in which I told you just that.)

    Thanks so much for putting the pundits in their places.

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