Whip It Out: Why You Shouldn’t Be Embarrassed To Read 50 Shades In Public
11:00 am, May 22nd | by Laura Donovan
I’m the kind of person who embarrasses easily in public. I am prone to tripping on sidewalks (thanks to my awful texting whilst walking habit), getting thrashed around on the subway, and having my meal end up all over my outfit. Though I’m constantly red in the face about some awful faux pas I’ve committed in front of gawking passersby, I’ve never been too bashful to whip out one of the “Fifty Shades” books in public, and I seem to be among the few willing to read the erotic literature beside strangers.
By now, you probably know all about the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, but to give you a quick brush up on the series, I’ll remind you that it follows young twenty-something Anastasia Steele as she decides how to move forward with her unorthodox relationship with ultra-rich CEO Christian Grey, who loves S&M and wants to turn the new college graduate into his sex slave. The books are for mature readers only, and while I certainly wouldn’t purchase them for kids of my own, I wouldn’t say the works are too inappropriate or shameful to scan in the company of other people.
And yet many have come forth and expressed hesitation over being seen with “Fifty Shades” out in the open. At the Union Square reading earlier this month, a few ladies were stunned to hear I didn’t worry about reading the book on the subway, as they wouldn’t be caught dead doing the same. A blogger named Courtney revealed her issues with doing this in an entry titled, “Is reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ in public embarrassing??”, adding:
“As more and more people become aware of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ I’m starting to get increasingly self-conscious as I read it in public. At first when I pulled out my book on the train or at the gym I felt a sense of awesomeness when ladies would repeatedly glance at the cover…Fast forward a few weeks and it’s not just women that are sizing up my book cover… now men are noticing what I’m reading too. And now things are starting to get, well, weird.
At the gym the other day I was reading ‘Fifty’ on the stationary bike when the middle aged man next to me motioned towards my book like he had a question for me…he says; ‘I saw a write up about that book in the New York Times. What’s it about?’”
Courtney is warranted in feeling discomfort, but there are men with creepy tendencies everywhere. You don’t have to have “Fifty Shades” in hand for an oddball to approach and make your skin crawl with his weird comments.
Some women avoid these kind of unwanted encounters altogether by reading “Fifty Shades” via tablet in the presence of others, but why allow the judgmental opinion of somebody else dictate the way you live your life? As noted by Raw Story, certain folks don’t appreciate receiving “snide comments from booksellers” when buying erotica, but don’t let their negativity or unprofessional attitude make you suffer. Two weeks ago, E.L. James told The Jane Dough that people are entitled to read what they want, so keep that in mind if you’re feeling self-conscious about being spotted with a copy of one of her novels.