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Moms Lust Over 50 Shades

50 Shades

C’mon, am I the only mom who has not read 50 Shades?

I swear, everywhere I go, women are getting excited about erotica—dubbed romantica—like teens used to gush over Twilight. When I was in the middle school office signing out my daughter for an orthodontist appointment, a retired sixth grade language arts teacher asked out loud if I had read it yet. (She thought the writing was repetitive). At a recent soccer game, my in-laws quizzed me about S&M. Awkward. The other day in water aerobics where the average age is 77, they blushed about bondage in their bathing suits. TMI from ladies who cover their hairdos with shower caps. And then at a luncheon with my girlfriends, the conversation about this nasty novel went something like this. (Names have been changed to protect the guilty).

Lori: “I read all three books in one weekend. I couldn’t put it down, unless my kids walked into the room.”

Jane: “Since I read the book, my husband and I have sex twice a day.”

Michelle: “Then I’m definitely not reading it!”

Kathy: “I didn’t even know there was such a thing as genital clamps.”

Stephanie: “Where do they clamp on to?”

Me: “These chocolate dipped Oreo balls are delicious. I can’t even say that with a straight face anymore.”

The last steamy book I read was Judy Blume’s Forever, and I was 12 years old. I guess I have some catching up to do.

Even Ellen Degeneres did a spoof on 50 Shades and joked, “What’s wrong with you heterosexuals?” Of course, everyone is blogging about it, which is why I had to put in my two cents worth. Some compare it to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet…with spanking. Turns out moms are not afraid to show their kinky side, and voyeurism is now vogue.

On www.breezymomma.com, for example, a writer referred to 50 Shades as the new planking and requested followers to send in their photos of reading the bestseller in funny public places, such as the beauty salon, airport, subway, dentist’s office, grocery store, etc. If you win, you get your picture featured in a vlog and a link to your site.

Sounds like mommy porn is now mainstream. Damn it, I picked the wrong genre for my first book. I should have written Mishegas of Masochism.

The woman who created the love story between male dominatrix Christian and his virgin sex slave Anastasia is first time British author E.L James, who is also a wife and mother of two. She had it right. Sex sells. Rhianna is not the only one singing about whips and chains. In interviews James talks about how she went through a midlife crisis and the book represented her sexual fantasies. Do you know what my secret fantasy is? To have a ménage à trois in bed with Ben and Jerry, as in a carton of rum raisin ice cream.

Remember how flowers and homemade cards used to be the favorite Mother’s Day present? Not anymore. According to bookseller reports, the week leading to Mother’s Day 2012 saw a 20 percent increase in the sale of print books led by the titillating trilogy. I’m not sure if the men are buying it for their wives or for themselves or what. Fifty Shades of Grey jumped 40 percent in the week, selling close to 443,000 copies, Fifty Shades Darker topped the prior week by 30 percent, selling 210,000 copies and Fifty Shades Freed moved 29 percent higher, selling 180,000 copies.

The fact that some states have banned the titles from their libraries has only fueled sales of print books and ebooks (not to mention sex toys). Initial sales of Fifty Shades make it by far the most successful e-book-to-print crossover title to date, with sales triple those of the next bestselling book.

So if I had to put a Jewish twist on 50 Shades, it would be this. Sex is a mitzvah. Jewish law does not consider sex shameful, sinful or obscene. And sex is not thought of as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of procreation. True, sexual desire comes from the yetzer ra (evil impulse), but it is no more evil than the basic instincts of hunger or thirst, which also come from the yetzer ra.

Maybe I’ll just wait for the movie.