(An Erotic Romance Author’s Response to) Dave Barry Learns Everything You Need to Know About Being a Husband From Reading 50 Shades of Grey

(An Erotic Romance Author’s Response to) Dave Barry Learns Everything You Need to Know About Being a Husband From Reading 50 Shades of Grey | TaraQuan.com

Disclaimer: This is my opinion, which should be obvious since it’s on my personal blog. This is also a post meant for adults, and I will be using the F-word. You’ve been warned.

Kudos to Mr. Barry for making me laugh so hard I decided to write a blog post of my own—a rarity, as you can perhaps tell from the regularity with which I update this website. While his flair for humor far surpasses mine, I feel I have a unique perspective to offer the husbands who seek to gain knowledge from reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

I am a woman.

I am a woman who consumes a “porno book” every once in a while (translation: at least one a week).

I am a woman who writes what Mr. Barry might describe as a “porno book.” That said, I have neither read Ms. James’s masterpiece nor watched the movie adaptation, which hopefully adds to my uniqueness.

So, to all the husbands out there searching for the key to a woman’s psyche (aka the 10 random people who stumble upon this blog after Googling “spanking sex free read pdf download”), I offer you a glimpse of my twisted female mind.

In Mr. Barry’s words, “When a young man goes through puberty, he basically turns into a walking boner.” To that I respond: so do women, though her “boner” isn’t quite as visible as a dude’s tented jeans. I too experienced this constant state of horniness during my teenage years.

I became so horny, in fact, that I consumed romances on a weekly basis, masturbated upon occasion, and after I discovered the joys of fanfiction.net, started writing about sex between Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy—don’t judge.

While Ms. James found inspiration in the dangerous-ish vampire that is Edward Cullen, I obsessed over an equally ominous wizard, who didn’t even qualify as the big bad in Harry Potter. As I’m sure many others have envisioned themselves as Bella Swan (aka Anastasia Steele), I pictured myself as the nerdy –mione half of the Dramione pair. I too wore glasses, struggled with weight issues and uneven teeth, and destroyed my chances at teenage sex by being an obnoxious know-it-all.

What is it about the likes of Draco, Edward, and Christian that make women hot and bothered?

1.     They are rich.

2.     They are hot (or “hot!”)

3.     They are bad boys who aren’t actually bad boys.

Why is “rich” sexy?

This is one of those "duh" moments. I would love to be able to buy anything I want, spend my days writing full-time, for which I earn about $100 a year, go on helicopter (or horse) rides, and receive expensive jewelry, or Apple products, as gifts. I would rather achieve this level of wealth by somehow landing on the bestseller’s list on the New York Times, but dreaming about marrying a billionaire works too. Suffice it to say, the chances of either happening for me is next to none, but daydreaming about such quirks of fate isn’t a crime. Thus solves the mystery of the billionaire hero subgenre in romances.

[Side note: My husband's favorite daydream is that I will one day become rich and famous, thus allowing him to buy whatever he wants, spend his days working his current job, for which he earns much more than $100 a year, travel on private jets, and receive Apple products as gifts.]

Why is “hot!” sexy?

The concept of hot is relative. Erotic romances are usually written in a deep third or first person point of view. The author isn’t saying that a hero is “hot!” by virtues of a mathematically symmetrical bone structure. She (or he) is saying the hero makes the heroine wants to jump his bones.

As PlayboyMaxim, and Sports Illustrated have demonstrated, men have a rubric by which they measure female hotness. And women do too, though admitting our lust out loud seems to be frowned upon. What turns a woman on varies, which might be why we prefer to consume our “porn” in written form. That way, we can all have our own version of Edward/Draco/Christian, and he looks much better than a porn star, perhaps because most porn is marketed toward men.

Why are “bad boys” sexy?

The better question is: Why is Bella Swan/Anastasia Steele a virgin, something which seems to boggle Mr. Barry’s mind? A lot of heroines in romances are also virgins, most certainly the ones with Fabio on the cover. What is it about virgins?

Well, it’s quite simple, at least in my understanding of the world. Girls who think about having sex are “bad girls.” Girls who have sex out of wedlock, in most cultures, or without a serious commitment in slightly more enlightened places, are sluts. 

The message women receive from popular culture is that good girls don't sleep around. Meanwhile, men fantasize about sex, fill their hard drives with porn, consider jerking off part of their daily/weekly routines, and pay good money for blow jobs.

In this world we live in, which is created by both men and women, the only way for a “good girl” to have a mind-blowing orgasm with another person—man or woman—is for a “bad boy (or girl)” to convince her (note: very few women have fantasies of actual rape, or so I've been told). Since the man is the "bad" one, he takes on all the blame, thus allowing her to enjoy an act which has kept the human species from extinction.

What should a husband learn from the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon?

Seriously, are men really that dense? Yes, I’m making a Grey’s Anatomy reference.

Women have been reading romances long before Ms. James penned her series. Paperbacks with pastel-colored covers on display at your local pharmacy often contain sex. Nora Roberts and Virginia Henley write excellent bedroom scenes.

The success of 50 Shades, it seems, allowed some men to stumble upon a valuable pearl of wisdom. As Mr. Barry so eloquently stated, women want to have sex. It's true. We do.

Some woman fantasize about being tied up. Some want to be flogged. Some enjoy wax play. Many also enjoy lying in a comfortable bed, receiving oral, and having slow, lazy sex, missionary style.

A husband’s prerogative, if he wants to get "It" on a regular basis, is finding out what pushes his special someone's buttons. Reading some of her books might be a good place to start.


Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com