50 Shades of Overthinking

Ok... So, that book. Yeah, THAT one.

50 Shades of Overthinking

First, let's reprise 4 things we DO know about ... that book.


It's really bad. (In fact, it's so bad that I genuinely thought it was intended as a burlesque, or a lampoon, when I first read it.)


The title character is a fucked-up creepy psycho stalker with mommy issues. There's nothing authentically dominant about him whatsoever. He has a troubling attraction to helplessness and naïveté, and the story sure as hell doesn't help equally naïve readers distinguish between dominance and abuse.


The story certainly doesn't do BDSM or its cognoscenti any favors, either. (The title character is said to have first become submissive, as the result of, essentially, statutory rape -- and then somehow evolved into this faux-dominant poser. There are so many things wrong with this portrayal that I don't even know where to start counting -- or where to stop facepalming.)

50 Shades of Overthinking


But... it's a cultural sensation nonetheless.

Its effects have spilled over into the public consciousness, the incidence rate of STI's among the post-menopausal crowd, and even the inventory turnover of hardware stores.



OK, that's the background.

Now, let's talk about a MORE insidious effect of That Book -- about which I haven't heard as much chatter, either in real life or on the internet.

Thanks to that book... For a lot of people, fuckin' can't just be fuckin' anymore.


The most pernicious effect of this whole 50 Shades phenomenon, as I see it, is that many of the book's devotees have started to view EVERY sex act through the lens of "domination" and/or "submission".


For these unfortunates... fuckin' has lost its ability to just be fuckin'. Sex can't just be sex anymore -- it HAS to be power games, all the time.

50 Shades of Overthinking

Don't get me wrong here -- I LOVE sexual power games. Deep in mah darkest deepest heart of hearts (yes, I actually have a heart), I'm one of the most sexually submissive creatures that ever rolled off the machines of God's North American manufacturing works. I had lurid fantasies at age 11 that would make post-apocalyptic warlords blush. I can have blinding orgasms just from being slapped across the face -- by the man I love -- with the perfect verbal lashing to accompany it... let alone more intense things. #fuckyeahmarriedlife



Even for a degenerate like me... MOST fuckin' is just fuckin'. MOST sex is NEITHER "dominant" NOR "submissive" -- but MOST sex includes a healthy complement of making sweet hot intense emotionally invested luuuuvvv.

...And THAT's the biggest problem this 50 Shades phenomenon has caused -- ALL THAT has been lost, for many of the book's biggest aficionados.

For far too many 50 Shades fans... BDSM limits, rather than enriches, their sexuality.

I've seen and heard discussions -- not only on the internet (where every imaginable manner of weird discussion prevails), but even in real life -- about things like whether it's "inherently submissive" to go down on a woman.

Sweet hell, I even heard a serious conversation once between a couple of thirtyish guys -- in the real, live, living breathing world -- about whether it was "submissive" to KISS a woman.


Yeah, they were a little tipsy... but... SRSLY?

50 Shades of Overthinking

Worst case scenario, there's going to be a whole army of disaffected women whose faux-"dominant" boyfriends are afraid to go down on them. Or even KISS them.

And however many thousands of men AND women with, essentially, stunted sexual growth. Unable to just make sweet love.

NO sex act is inherently "dominant" or "submissive".

Not a single one.

As an analogy, consider the word "bitch". "Bitch" is a word.

Think of all the different ways a man could say "Bitch" to a woman.

• He could be sniveling and butthurt, and it'll just make him seem even more pathetic.

• If she's afraid that she's rubbed someone the wrong way, he could say it sarcastically, and -- ironically -- comfort her.

• He could glower at her with fire and anger -- and passion -- in his eyes, and scream it at her because he loves her so much and hates her so much... all at once.

• He could say it while he fucks her into sweet orgasmic bliss -- to let her know in no uncertain terms that she's his bitch.


You get me.

With ANY sex act, it's the same.

The THINGS you do in bed are like words. They can communicate absolutely anything you want them to communicate. If you read something as "inherently submissive", then that's your fault, for having such a limited point of view.

With the right lover, ANY sex act can be "submissive"... or "dominant"... or loving... or degrading... or maybe all of the above, all at once.

50 Shades of Overthinking

Or none of the above. Because sometimes, fuckin' is just fuckin'.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Only you could write this Take haha

    You know you are not wrong about "devotees have started to view EVERY sex act through the lens of "domination" and/or "submission". Same thing I thought about on occasions too in a sense if girls view sex that way and hence I am suppose to think the same way?

    Luckily its not black and white for me and is exactly "Even for a degenerate like me... MOST fuckin' is just fuckin'. MOST sex is NEITHER "dominant" NOR "submissive". But as you mentioned somewhere else PUAs, bros and other chatter can confuse and box guys into thinking as such, power games as you mentioned its their job to be Masculine or dominant to please their lady as that's exactly what she is desiring 24/7. at least guys might be understandable but you mention women buying into this crap surely they would soon realize what they do or don't enjoy.

    I don't know about women but from guys perspective it does clear things or misconceptions. Its not like we guys fully understand girls' fantasies like you mention girls know where to draw the line, they know where fantasy is fantasy. You know I'm just gonna let life be simple no Alpha/beta, no Dominant/Submmissive, forget dichotomies. Just do what you enjoy, forget these labels too confusing.

    "Or none of the above. Because sometimes, fuckin' is just fuckin'."

    • Seems like you're approaching this in a healthy and well-rounded way, in general.

      It actually blows my mind that anyone could even *think* to look at something like sex in such a simplistic way.
      I mean... All you'd have to do is observe YOURSELF, over the course of a normal day, to realize that's not a thing.

      Think about the kind of sex/intimacy you'd want to have right when you wake up, or right before you fall asleep... DEFINITELY not heavily "dominant" or "submissive". More like just lying there together, and doing more or less nothing.
      Then think about what you'd want when you're super amped up and turned on. Totally the opposite, right?

      Seems obvious enough to me. So, it blows my mind that anyone could think that a woman would somehow want the same thing at every hour of every day in every mood and every situation.

Most Helpful Girl

  • It makes Erotic Romance novels look bad that's for sure. It's written so bad I had to stop halfway through book two. If I had read about her "inner Goddess" one more time I would of broken my tablet.
    I don't necessarily think it is a bad thing people are reading it though people should be able to read whatever they want without fear of judgement. It may even get more readers into good Erotic Romances. Twillight was the first Paranormal Romance novel I ever read I dislike it now that I have read better books but it was what first got me into the genre.
    It annoys the crap out of me with all the attention it is getting when there are better Erotic Romances out there but all the hate it is getting is kind of silly. It is just fiction if people are not going to fact check and believe everything they read they are just stupid people.

    • Tx for yr opinion. What are some of the best erotic romances you've read? Maybe 2 or 3 that stood out?

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    • I'll probably PM you if you don't mind.

    • Oh sure thats fine.

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What Guys Said 31

  • I guess the perceptions people have because of the book/movie are not a lot different from the way porn distorts peoples' visions of sex. This is yet another reason why erotica is really no different to me than porn, despite how much the females keep telling me it is.

    But this just seemed kinda all over the place to me. You're nay-saying dominance/BDSM - or the perceptions of dominance/BDSM - yet detailing how you like it in your own way. You're also making it too one-sided as if it's just men who call women "bitches" out of any anger, malice, or frustration, when women can look the most childish with their use of the word in cat fights.

    "With the right lover, ANY sex act can be "submissive"... or "dominant"... or loving... or degrading... or maybe all of the above, all at once."
    - With that being said, it pretty much seems to make this whole thing void of any point.

    • I'm not "naysaying" anything -- I'm saying that people have tunnel vision.

      I mean, here's an analogy: Let's say you bought a Ferrari as a status symbol -- but you ONLY ever thought of the Ferrari in terms of "status symbol".
      Sure, that's one valid way to think of it -- but then you'd be robbing yourself of the joy of driving a Ferrari.
      The best situation would be to enjoy the status-symbol aspects WHEN they're significant -- but *also* to enjoy just driving the car.

      In that analogy, the status-symbol thing is the stand-in for D/s. It's only ONE aspect of sex, but, some people are making it into *everything* -- and thereby losing a ton of other aspects.

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    • And how do you really know that? It probably is another form of sexual activity that goes on a lot more than most of us really realize.

    • It's pretty easy to tell from most people's reactions. Not the faux-outrage kind of reactions, but the kind that betray the fact that they genuinely don't have any clue about it.

  • I remember picking up the book in a store and reading the first paragraph. It was so bad, I thought it was a joke. Instantly, I knew two things:

    1. I knew why that piece of crap was self-published, as the manuscript would've been laughed at by every literary agent and publisher in the world.

    2. The fact that it got popular proves that we're not only a seriously twisted populace, but we're seriously stupid, too. Sad.

    • Re #2, I think you are underestimating "first-mover advantage". Like, HUGELY underestimating it.

      50 shades is, honestly, the very first book of its kind to hit the mass market as a trade paperback.
      So, it had no *need* to be a good book. It just had to exist.

      I mean, generally speaking, the very first _______ pretty much ALWAYS sucks, no matter what "______" is.
      Why wouldn't it? There's no competition yet!

    • All of that is irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned. It's bad. It's a ridiculously poor quality product. If a piece of turd is the first of its kind, it still shouldn't sell... the only way that happens is if the masses LIKE the turd.

    • Nah. If there's no standard for comparison, and if the market feels an unmet need, then they'll "like" something if it's the only thing on offer.

      I mean, imagine you're the only prostitute in some remote mining boomtown. You can be ugly as fuck, and you'll still make BANK from those miners.
      Same here.

      Plus, it's ultimately a fanfic. I don't know if you really know the genre, but, it's pretty representative of fanfic in general.

      I'm not trying to defend the product -- my opinion is up there for all to see -- but, it's weird that you don't realize how heavily people rely on RELATIVE judgments. People don't make absolute judgments in a vacuum.

  • I'm safe then -> didn't read the book. Ahaha

    I did see the movies though... and funny enough I saw the porno version first, and then I was absolutely disappointed about the actual movie loooool. The actor doesn't have 1/3 of the carisma of the porn guy. Total disappointment

    • There's a porn version? Of something that's basically soft porn already?

      What's the difference?

    • Ahhh, it was inevitable that someone would make it. And it came out before the actual movie (that's why I saw it, cause I was looking to tor**** the actual movie, but it wasn't available and that version was in the results :p )

      It has a bit of a plot (which I don't remember xD), but it involved an interview (which was a spoiler for me), and then straight up sex of course, because she was a virgin (totally non-believable). But the way that the actor talks and behaves (and his physique too) is much more dominant (macho) than the actor from the actual movie.

      The rest of the plot was just some excuses that lead to straight up sex.. I'm not sure if there was much kinkiness apart from some light spanking.

    • Interesting lol

  • I have only one thing to say about this article. You need to use more Emma Stone! She's one of the sexiest women if you ask me. Just her expressions, I can only imagine what she's like between the sheets. What a hot little minx.

  • I checked the beginning of 50 Shades of rape and I wasn't impressed by it. It seemed like a waste of time to me, so I did not even begin with it.
    Yes, that book is REALLY bad. So bad It's overrated.
    Just ugh!

    And people actually overthink it? Damn!

    • Could you be interested if you read it as unintentional camp/comedy?

      ... or even as a pure marketing lesson?

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    • marketed as trade paperback rather than a "romance novel". Honestly, that's the biggest difference on the girl side, is just magnitude.

      I mean... girls have always read romance novels and had fantasies. But girls tend to be WAAAYYYY better than guys at drawing a line between fantasy and reality, and at keeping each thing on the proper side of the line.

    • Hm yeah, I was trying to make a point with that.

      "when I hear GUYS talking about whether kissing/cunnilingus/whatever is "inherently submissive","
      Ehrrr, I have my own way of thinking in that regard but this given case I cannot say anything for sure because I haven't read 50 shades o raep myself, however I don't think it is relevant to this book. It's kind of dull.
      As for my own opinion on it, I think kissing girls is just an act to show affection? I never had a girlfriend and I'm also a virgin, so that's what I think. Submission is not relevant here.

      As for the obsessive appearing "dominant" men, I believe they believe in that stereotype. There was some statistics, that also proved, that females prefer being submissive and men to be dominant. But I do know, that it depends from person to person. Merely relying on stats gives you only an assumption with a highly likely rate of applicable preference.

  • This comment won't have much to do with the take buuuttt...

    The way you talk about some guys being attracted to innocence and awkwardness in a girl makes me wonder if you think guys who like those traits in a girl are less of men or are destined to be rapists or something. Cause this isn't the first time I've seen you allude to your opinions about that.

    • Well, there's innocence and there's innocence. And there's "attracted" and there's "attracted". You know what I mean?

      It's one thing to have a certain kind of adoration, for a woman who's managed to float through life without getting caught up in so many of its troubles. *That* is neither rapey nor creepy; it's perfectly wholesome (as are the guys who usually exhibit it).

      On the other hand, it's quite another thing to be drawn to someone who just doesn't understand what the fuck you're doing, and thus can't really offer any sort of genuine challenge to it.
      That's like playing a game on level 1 for yr whole life, or just using cheat codes or something. It's a major character flaw -- not to mention how badly it can fuck up the innocent counterpart who just isn't ready for it.

  • " I'm one of the most sexually submissive creatures that ever rolled off the machines of God's North American manufacturing works. "
    Thats a very interesting statement,
    It brings to mind an image of Jesus having angels assemble your body on a conveyer belt in detroit

  • I'm glad I didn't read the book or see the movie. It's kinda funny that Tyler Perry (I think that's who it was) made a parody of it called "50 shades of Black." I actually wanted to see that movie more (maybe I'll rent it now of these days).

    I did remember hearing the "outlash" from the 50 shades of Grey movie though. Not good.

    • I haven't seen the movie.
      Ironically, I think (iirc, from what I read) the protagonist was portrayed as at least *somewhat* more capable -- or, if you will, at least somewhat less of a dipshit, with at least a modicum of agency over her own fate -- in the movie.

  • LOL @ people who buy such shit and waste their time. Dominance and submission are not predefined and permanent roles for each human beings. Unless of course, they're ridiculously monotonous.

    • Not my place to judge that.

      I mean, you could just as easily try to say that anyone who isn't bisexual is "ridiculously monotonous", too. Because, y'know, being straight is such a predefined and permanent role. (:
      Slippery slope.

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    • Being dom or sub is absolutely NOT "in our hands". The origins of that -- for those of us for whom it's a real thing, and not just a dabbling interest -- go all the way back to early childhood.

      I discovered my sexual submissiveness before I even had clue no. 1 what sex was at all.
      I wrote about that here:

      This is EXACTLY THE PROBLEM I'M DESCRIBING IN THE TAKE. Because of the influence of that book, people have started to think about these things as though they were malleable things that are "in our hands", almost like hobbies. No. No, they aren't. They run every bit as deep as sexual orientation does.

    • Well, thanks Jesus! I'm fucking exceptional then. I am versatile.

  • Lmfaooo at you if you think these nerds even get laid OP I see this question like everyday baha I've never heard about chick mentioning that she wanna be dominated or wanna be dominant or shit. And I've never said shit like that eigther, u just pick amd pound lmao those words are creepy

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What Girls Said 17

  • I love your mytake and agree about the word bitch. I call guys bitches LOL

    • 😂😂 You...

      I can totally imagine you being like "c'mon you little slut..." to some guy lol

    • @redeyemindtricks really? I didn't think my comments came off as dominant. I just meant when I insult guys.

    • oh hahah, well, you've mentioned you have a dominant side.

      Plus... Not just dominant, necessarily. I'll call my husband a "little slut" if I'm just being a brat who wants mah ass beat in all the good ways <3

      Srsly... Just about any word can communicate just about anything.

  • I appreciated that take.

    I read that book a few years ago and I had close to none sexual experience. Were you right about it influencing people's views on sex? That's totally true. I think ever since I've read that I've had that sexual fantasy about forced, dominating role play.

    This book is poison for the naives.

  • I read it lol, I didn't like it either. Something about the main girl rubbed me the wrong way, she was wide eyed and helpless. Then when she let him go too far then got angry about it, like why didn't she just tell him to stop? He can't read her mind. I like your style of writing, it has the clarity that walls of text lack 👌🏾

    • ahah thanks for the kind words <3

      Yeah, I'm not sure what the author was trying to paint as *attractive* to the CG character. I mean... in the real world, slipping and falling on yr face multiple times is not how you land the hot guy ahah

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    • There are but a lot seem to withhold their wisdom rather than sharing it. You, on the other hand, let it spill on everyone who reads whether they like it or not 😂

    • lol... privileges of fast typing, I suppose

  • I have heard plenty of people claim it was this book that got people thinking about BDSM and brought it into the spotlight.

    I suppose im lucky. It was literature that made me aware of BDSM but not Fifty Shades. No, I was lucky enough to come across a tasteful comic written by somebody who actually practices and understands the human psyche.

    Sucks to be the rest of you who was sucked in by this drivvle.

    • What comic, if you don't mind?

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    • Let me know what you think!


    • I checked it out. Gna have to explore it more when I have more time -- or I might even just bite and order the bound version from amazon, it's only a few bucks (I really hate reading books, or even anything approximating books, over the internet -- call me weird, but I have to *smell* a book to fully experience it ahah)

      I like how most of the dialog boxes seem to be the characters' inner thoughts. At least in the pages I clicked through.

      Yep, I called them dialog boxes. #nurdgurl #itshopeless

  • Perfectly well written.
    I read the first book and half way through, I stopped reading it. Terrible represention of a sub. It wasn't even bdsm. More like a guy forcing a naive girl into sex slave acts, which she didn't want to be part of and had no idea wth was going on! But since she didn't want to lose a hottie with mommy issues, she dealt him. Ughh

    • Ikr?
      And... what, exactly, was the CG character supposed to be *attracted* to? Her literally falling on her face TWICE in the first couple chapters? Ahahah

      Also did you catch the Ana/Mia references? (as explained in tenseven's thread here) Fucking fuck.

  • Never read or watched 50 Shades but everyone kept telling me the writing quality is at the level of Twilight - unimpressive. If that's the case I'm glad I read Red Phoenix novels and the like long before 50 Shades came out.

    • The writing is really bad. Not just composition-wise, but even in terms of basic character insights.
      You'll laugh at this, but... after I read the sex scenes, I was genuinely surprised to find out that the author was actually a woman!

      But... it *did* start out as a Twilight fanfic, what'd ya expect lol.

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    • Yeah. There tend to be *massive* differences, actually. You can usually tell the sex of the author by the time you're just 1 or 2 paragraphs into an erotic story.

      One of the most obvious differences is that male authors focus on sensual descriptions of the female characters, and not the male ones.

      Beyond that, they tend to describe MUCH less of what's going on inside the characters' heads and emotions, focusing instead on the literal sex acts themselves. (When they *do* try to write what goes on inside a female character's head, they're pretty awful at it, too. This is what made me think for a moment that 50 shades may actually have been written by a man -- because the female protagonist's thoughts were SO badly written, and so caricatured/campy/unintentionally cartoonish, that I couldn't even empathize with her!)

      Perhaps the worst thing that almost ALL male erotica authors do is give a VERY SPECIFIC physical description of the female characters, *right at the outset*. Sometimes

    • they even go so far as to specify heights, weights, measurements, etc -- which makes it pretty much impossible for a female reader to identify with those characters, unless she happens to be exactly the same size. ("Sue stood a little over five feet tall, with perky full breasts..." uhmm ok I'm outta here, lol)

      I mean, a lot of this is probably just conditioning -- I think the men's stories are pretty heavily influenced by porn, and the women's stories less so. But yeah

  • I'll be honest. I once tried to read that book and it was so dumb I just couldn't do it. Not even for entertainment purposes just to bash it later on. What a buzzkill...

    • I can read REALLY fast... ahah
      Plus, it's... research. srsly.
      I'm tossing around the idea of writing some mass-market smut just to make easy money, so, I gotta calibrate what the audience wants, y'know?

      I forgot to hashtag this take lol... hopefully they'll add the tags for me.

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    • Yeah! If only they would channel their self control. Hopefully they will

    • I can't believe there's a how-to on b&p. Yuck.

  • Quite simply put, this is why I haven't read The Book That Shall Not Be Named.

    • lol "the book that shall not be named"

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    • Oh, that, I do believe. I just don't know if I could read it. I think the cringe factor is too high.

    • lol wait until you have a sufficiently large group of girls together... srsly

  • Tbh, despite my lifestyle, I have never read the book or seen the film.

    I DID watch the doco though :)

    • Documentary? Like, about what?

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    • yeah, I mean... I'm looking to it as a blueprint for success in the current market, tbh.

      It's objectively a bad book -- but it was still wildly commercially successful. Which means the field is wide open for a *better* book. (If the field had less potential, then the book would actually have to be decently good to achieve that much success. But, this is pure first-mover advantage.)
      So, I just may go ahead and write one, one of these days here.

    • I'll look forward to that while I still struggle with my screenplay that I manically keep editing and rewriting.

      Cheers xo :)

  • I still can't believe people claim its a rape book like seriously.

    • I wouldn't call CG a rapist, but he's definitely a stalker, and definitely controlling to well beyond the point of abusive (taking away her own computer? controlling her internet access? ffuuuuuu...)

    • I think its the most retarded thing ever because its like do you see her claiming rape in the books/movies no? then stfu lol

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