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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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Are Chinese or Asian Women Swooning Over Christian Grey?    

By Achelle Vinzon
2948 Views | 5 Comments | 8/2/2014 5:09:48 PM

The book came out and all my female friends and acquaintances couldn’t shut up about Christian Grey.  I am a genuine LOVER of books and I will read any genre as long as the story is well-written and the plot interests me.  With that being said, I must also admit that I also have a tendency to be highbrowed when choosing books that I can truly lose myself in. I found myself wondering, is this book series appealing to all women, and more specifically, is it captivating Chinese and other Asian women the way it is captivating Western women?



I knew that the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was advertised as being about bondage (but further research told me that the books were merely filled with misconceptions/mythologies about the BDSM lifestyle – basically, just a woman’s sexual fantasies); I’ve read my share of chick lit, romance, smut, and erotica, so I was curious (I’ve also tried my hand at writing a fusion of these genres).  But I wasn’t curious enough to buy the first book in the trilogy.  Especially because I did my research first and I already had some misgivings about the series.  But, as I said, I was curious, so I borrowed a copy from a friend.     



I opened the book to a random page and started reading.  I didn’t even finish that page.  I decided right then and there that it wasn’t worth my time. 



I’m not a judgmental person, but I do laugh a little inside every time somebody (female) I know says/posts something about the book.  Other times, I just get annoyed by all the hype (this is my typical reaction to most hypes).  And then it was announced that a movie was in the making.  Oh my goodness.  The only option available to me so that I could avoid any reference to Fifty Shades, Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele, and all the randy details of their fictional life was for me to become a hermit.  So I just learned to be indifferent to all the female hysteria.  And the men here would know how difficult that is to accomplish! 



I am the kind of feminist that believes in equal treatment, NOT preferential treatment.  And I also believe that women just need to be women sometimes, and to let men be men.  Feminism should not mean emasculation of men!  



Please excuse that short rant.  It was meant to underscore the fact that I am not old-fashioned, but I’m also not a hardcore feminist; I’m somewhere in between, not as a result of indecision but merely an attempt at finding a good balance between the two. 



I do not have an issue with the antiquated concept of a man subduing a woman (sexually and otherwise), which is the overall tone/theme of the series (this is a concept and practice that still pervade most of Chinese society).  It’s a work of fiction; and if women don’t have a problem being treated that way in real life, or actually like being treated that way, then it’s their choice!  I do not have an issue with the hot, steamy, and downright pornographic scenarios described in the books.  I do not have an issue with the fact that countless women all over the world are going gaga over a man such as Christian Grey – or the kind of man he represents.  I do not have an issue with their choice of reading material! 



I just find it amusing that women do find the sexual acts performed within these three volumes so fascinating, and even arousing!  I find it amusing how much their fascination and arousal actually reveals about themselves and their hidden desires.  I am not sure whether or not they realize that their unrestrained gushing over Mr. Grey says so much about their secret and newborn fantasies.  What I, myself, find fascinating is the fact that so many women out there find the dominant, aggressive, masculine image of Christian Grey so damned irresistible.  I won’t be a hypocrite and deny that I won’t find such a man yummy, er, I mean appealing.         



In many ways, the series has actually helped make so many women more comfortable with their sexuality; and some, more curious and/or adventurous.  This is a good thing.  For the boyfriends and husbands out there with girlfriends and wives who are enamored with the dashing Mr. Grey, their partner’s enthrallment may be a very welcome one (*wink-wink*)!  This makes me wonder what Chinese women may think about and feel towards such a character.   



There are a few things about this series that I do find objectionable.  The writing, for one, which is horrible.  The author’s supposed research into the world of BDSM, which is practically nil, unless you count acting out some of the scenes with her husband or sitting in the back of an Audi R8 to find out if it has room enough for two people to have sex research.  Smut literature, by definition, is not supposed to be tasteful.  And this book series is more smut than erotica; it is more smut than romance.  The series has created a whole new sub-genre of erotica: mommy porn.  Yes, there are pieces of smut literature out there that are way worse; indeed, Fifty Shades may be among the more decent ones.  And living up to its smut nature, it just gives its readers so many wrong ideas about so many things!  But whether a work is fiction or not, I believe writers should be responsible for the beliefs they help perpetrate!  Especially when their creations become so unbelievably popular as the Fifty Shades books have!       



The author, E.L. James, did say that the Fifty Shades story is “a fantasy for women.”  In response to a question about the huge amounts of sex in her books, she said that ''It’s a love story, people who fall in love have a lot of sex, don’t they? I seem to remember... I have a fantastic imagination.’’  (Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/9381428/EL-James-The-shy-housewife-behind-Fifty-Shades-of-Grey.html).  Yep.  Her ideas about the BDSM lifestyle, as she quite vividly described in her books, are mostly a product of her “fantastic imagination,” or, as she also admitted, her own fantasies. 



Perhaps it is not her fault if all her readers out there have been given the wrong idea about BDSM.  It is a work of fiction, after all; her fantasies brought to life in print, so to speak.  As much as a writer should be responsible for her work and how it affects readers, readers should also be responsible for their own interpretations of any piece of written work and how they let it affect their lives. 



The same goes for all of us here on the blogs and for all of you who read our blogs.  With regards to romantic and sexual relationships (which can be mutually exclusive), I hope the Fifty Shades trilogy and Mr. Christian Grey won’t also be the cause of so many women feeling unsatisfied with their men because of unrealistic expectations and newly but ill-formed romantic notions.  Some measure of romance is also interwoven throughout the Fifty Shades books, and as with most romantic stories, the impassioned romance in this series may also awaken a certain longing for the “perfect guy” and the “perfect relationship.”  More often than not, such idealizations tend to set a woman up for a huge disappointment.  So maybe you shouldn’t be too happy if your girlfriend or wife is swooning over Christian Grey.  If a Chinese woman reads these books, she may get the wrong idea about western men!    



On the plus side, the series does have the potential to help couples bring back or add spice to their relationships.  Maybe the same boyfriends and husbands out there with partners who are crazy about the books would do well to at least scan the pages and try to get an idea of their girlfriends’ or wives’ secret fantasies.  Just don’t try anything crazy without talking to her about it first, especially if she’s Chinese!


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 5 of 5) 1
#2014-08-02 17:26:55 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Achelle - I confess that I have never even heard of this book series, and the first thing that jumped into my mind was "Does E. L. James imagine that anyone will be remotely interested in the 50th shade of grey?" I mean, so far she's only discussed 3 of them - am I right?

I'll be interested to see if any Chinese or Asian women on our sites have heard of or are interested in this book series, and f they aren't now, how many may jump on it because of your blog.

#2014-08-02 19:26:41 by BJAnita @BJAnita

Haha interesting comments...that kind of book ruch to sales list means all people eager to escape from reality only, we all are not satisfied with our current situation. I have to say it has not much literary value, lack of literary aesthetics, simple structure and content... I really respect the writer...you can imagine what she had to face to... she had to make herself trust in one scene and got exciting first, fallen into some kinds of mood to write this book. Of course I cann't doubt there are many different people live in this world, what is happiness? who knows.

#2014-08-02 21:01:39 by Barry1 @Barry1

@achellevinzons

The best review of this book I've read so is from the pages of Amazon.com, written by someone calling themselves meymoon. She gave it two stars out of five - below average in quality.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2JF7E91JJVHAT/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt/190-7762594-4362602#R2JF7E91JJVHAT

Her words:

"I really don't like writing bad reviews. I admire people who have the courage to put pen to paper and expose themselves to the whole world, especially those writing erotica. Having just finished this book, however, I feel compelled to write a review.

About half way through the book, I looked up the author to see if she was a teenager. I really did because the characters are out of a 16 year old's fantasy. The main male character is a billionaire (not a millionaire but a billionaire) who speaks fluent French, is basically a concert level pianist, is a fully trained pilot, is athletic, drop dead gorgeous, tall, built perfectly with an enormous penis, and the best lover on the planet. In addition, he's not only self made but is using his money to combat world hunger. Oh yeah, and all of this at the ripe old age of 26! And on top of that, he's never working. Every second is spent having sex or texting and emailing the female character. His billions seem to have just come about by magic. It seriously feels like 2 teenage girls got together and decided to create their "dream man" and came up with Christian Grey.

Then come the sex scenes. The first one is tolerable but as she goes on, they become so unbelievable that it becomes more laughable than erotic. She orgasms at the drop of a hat. He says her name and she orgasms. He simply touches her and she orgasms. It seems that she's climaxing on every page.

Then there's the writing. If you take out the parts where the female character is blushing or chewing her lips, the book will be down to about 50 pages. Almost on every single page, there is a whole section devoted to her blushing, chewing her lips or wondering "Jeez" about something or another. Then there's the use of "shades of". He's "fifty shades of @#$%% up," "she turned 7 shades of crimson," "he's ten shades of x,y, and z." Seriously?

The writing is just not up to par, the characters are unbelievable, and the sex verges on the comical. I don't know what happens in the remaining books and I do not intend to read them to find out. But given the maturity level of the first book, I imagine that they get married, have 2 perfect children, cure world hunger, and live happily ever after while riding into the sunset, as the female character climaxes on her horse causing her to chew her bottom lip and blush fifty shades of crimson. Jeez!"

#2014-08-03 02:04:31 by anonymous11304 @anonymous11304

This is an interesting blog which brings up many interesting topics in relation to women in particular.

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" fad already came and went in the US already. I remember the workplaces going wild about it and the women were very open that they were reading the series and enjoying it.

With that said, the whole thing was exactly that: a fad. Just like people would jump all over the latest Harry Potter novel or the latest Game of Thrones episode, people went crazy for the "Fifty Shades" books.

We can go on about how marketing and capitalism were the main factors in all this, but I don't want to deviate from the more juicy topic: women's interest in PORN.

This is the interesting thing about women, whether Western or other...many are closet porn lovers, they are super kinky (more so than men), they are into all sorts of BDSM, and they ADORE masturbation.

Yes, I just threw a bunch of women into a tizzy because of the above statement. The reason a lot of women get upset about this is because it is supposed to be a SECRET.

Well, once you meet that special woman and you get into her bedroom and she breaks out the chains and whips...the secrets come out real quick.

Both Western (and Chinese!) women have shared with me stories of their sexual past, including fantasies. And let me tell you, the female creature is much more kinky and into sexual exploration than men. I think the reason for this is men are more animalistic and just want the "quickie" physical experience. Whereas women are more thoughtful, calculating, and creative. They desire a more elaborate sexual experience.

So hearing that Chinese women are getting into "Fifty Shades" is no shocker to me. Women love what they love. They should just be more open and honest about it.

#2014-08-14 05:07:18 by anonymous11443 @anonymous11443

"This is the interesting thing about women, whether Western or other...many are closet porn lovers, they are super kinky (more so than men), they are into all sorts of BDSM, and they ADORE masturbation."

my exact findings with women as well, especially the Chinese women, not so much the Filipino women...Most of the Chinese women I have chatted with have been direct, frank and very explicit with their comments and sexual fantasies as well...they are definitely closet porn lovers.....

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