Arts & Culture News

After Fifty Shades of Meh, Richardson-Reared Anne Rice is Putting the Bang in BDSM

I won't claim to understand much about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, though not because I have moral or personal objections to the subject matter. In fact, I'd posit that the key to world peace lies not in economic policy or cultural diplomacy so much as a few good (healthy, consensual) shags for all.

But, I do find offensive the idea of repackaged Twilight fan-fiction, sold as kink and featuring a female character who identifies as "submissive" based on rote gender stereotypes that are one-dimensional and contain little nuance. Not to mention that its author, E.L. James, is pulling down $1.34 million per-fucking-week, thanks to a protagonist whose most distinct personal identifier is the eloquent catch phrase, "Holy crap."

So, prompted by a friend's recent email regarding as much, I took to the intertubes where I quickly learned women have been commenting, blogging, raving about and re-discussing Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy, a trifecta of kink written under a pen-name and initially published between '83 and '85.

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Brentney Hamilton