Member Robert Gardiner has a Question. . .

“This Forum was created to discuss “50 Shades of Grey” — the Erotic Literature Phenomenon.  I want to know, from the women, what [they] liked about it. I want to discuss the appeal of the book, and what you liked in it and also what else would make such a book even more alluring. I’m thinking of working on a book as such, and would like to know what would make a good one?”

. . . Answers ladies and gents?


52 thoughts on “Member Robert Gardiner has a Question. . .

  1. what i liked about the book was it wasnt just about sex it was a story well wrote story the appeal is not knowing what the caracters looked like it was a suspense and still is u can make up a picture of whoever u want to be playing the parts of the caracters i like a book where it is sexy but also have to have a very good story to it

  2. Most women need their brains to connect to something to fully enjoy anything. Great books, erotic or not, leave women with a fulfilled feeling because 1)We establish familiarity with the characters 2)the way an author tells the story, and tastefullness. Its not “christen gray” we fell in love with or the kinkery, its the vicid nature of written word which becomes infatuating in the

  3. I would say for me it was the following: the twist of passion, hunger, the struggle for both compassion and power, and the detail in everything part of all three books.

  4. I loved the books ! Every night it was like going to bed with Christian . I think as a woman I tended to compare my other half with Christian and Christian won hands down !!

  5. I loved all three books very much! Great story line and let your imagination soar! I think if someone was to do a book from the guys perspective and have a great story line as well that would be a winner!

  6. What i liked about the book is the love story behind the characters and how they helped each other through the rough starts to life and that they both found a happy place. Also the emails that they wrote to each other, i have read the books 6 times and i have not got bored yet. I just love it thanks el james for a truly good read.

    • I totally agree. I have read all three books twice so far and can’t wait to start again. Unconditional love is what I take from this being a survivor of childhood abuse. I always felt broken but these books gave me hope that there maybe someone out there for me.

    • I have also read these books 4 times and I can’t wait to start again I love the way these books draw you into the story letting your imagination run wild

  7. For me I loved how the story was truly most every woman’s fantasy! And no I don’t mean (just) the sex! For me it was enticing reading a love story about a guy who truly wants to just take care of woman completely! He wants her to eat, wants to buy her cars and clothes, and loves her intimately like non other. He treats her like she truly is the most beautiful and amazing woman on earth. I think a lot of husbands and boyfriends do feel this way about their girls, but maybe they just feel like they have to act manly and not show it like we want them to. I would love my husband to tell me more how beautiful and amazing I am. And maybe if he did we would do more in the bedroom 🙂

    • I totally agree!!! I have been with my husband 12 yrs and he’s never and I mean never told me I was pretty or beautiful. I do everything for this man and get nothing in return. He feels he works 9-10 hours a day for me so that I can have clothes on my back, food in my stomach and a roof over my head. What he fails to understand, I had all that when I lived on my own while raising a visually impaired daughter by myself. He had the job when we got together so it’s not like he got that job AFTER he met me, plus the fact whether we were together or not, he’d still have that job. He just doesn’t get it. I need to feel like a woman, I need to feel like he loves me and cares about my needs.
      Remember the part where Christian wouldn’t do anything to Ana until SHE told him what she wanted him to do? Well I have NEVER been able to tell my husband anything I wanted him to do to me because I was too shy about it but after reading the book, I became more talkative in bed, telling him what I wanted and he was “so ready for that”. But when I told him exactly what I wanted him to do, which was small instructions at a time, he couldn’t do it. I asked him to rub, suck, touch, caress, feel and massage me. He started reaching for my breast. I told him NO, I wanted him to start at my toes and work his way up WITHOUT going to the 2 main places, ie the breasts and crotch areas. OMG it was the worst time!!!!! 15 mins of just feeling on my toes and legs. Not even turning me on!!!! I said to hell with this and gave up. He can’t even look at me like he’s enjoying having sex with me. I have to close my eyes and imagine he’s enjoying it. I would give anything to be with someone like Romantic Christian for 1 hour.
      Ok, sorry that you got to be the lucky one to hear all this but it feels good to finally get it off my chest and tell someone (and everyone else that is going to read this).

      • Time to get rid of your husband, Im sure your a beautiful person inside and out and you keep his home clean, prepare meals, etc,and he cant even say thank you, or say your beautiful??? What the hell , your not a domestic slave.

      • Diane,
        I got married young, 20, and I never enjoyedsex with my X husband. He always told me I was beautiful, but the passion and deep love was never there. So after 10 years and 2 kids, I got rid of him. I have has some wonderful sexual relationships and some not so great. I think every woman wants the closeness and deep loving relationship like Christian and Ana. ROMANCE that is what is missing from most relationships. Now I am in my 60’s and I still want ROMANCE. Don’t give up.

      • Diane,
        Every woman deserves to be caressed, touched, and spoken to, in a very loving way, from the man/woman they are in a relationship with.

        Though my husband, is very dominating, and possessive, he loves me, not only from his heart, but from deep within him, and it shows, in his loving words, his sensual touches, how he tries to please me, and simple things as, calling me up, during a busy day, just to tell me, that he loves me.

        If your husband will not provide you with the simple words of “your beautiful”, then you know, his heart isn’t in the relationship, and you Diane, DESERVE BETTER.

        Sending love ❤

      • Thank you all for the touching words!!!! I do keep a clean home and his clothes are always clean and put away and he never goes hungry, for that he does thank me…well most of the time. LOL When I say “why can’t you be more like that person” some character in a movie, he tells me that men are NOT like that at all, they are only like that in the movies so it gets the women hooked on the movies and actors. I’m not stupid, I KNOW there are men out there like that because I have dated some very romantic men who where loving and caring BUT also had problems I just didn’t want to deal with. Figures the man I fall in love with and want to spend the rest of my life with, well to put it plainly, he has a cold heart and nothing I do will warm it. He’s rude to my family and I have a big family but I finally got him to stop that. I can somewhat understand why he is like that because he was raised by his grandmother and she was MEAN and showed NO LOVE for anyone. His mom (who for years didn’t like and actually went 3 years without taking to me or my daughter) isn’t one of those women who feel showing love is important.
        One of these days I’m going to get it across to him that I NEED romance and that men actual ARE romantic in real life and not just the movies. Again, thanks for the kind words, it really meant a lot to me. Crappy week at work so you have all lifted my spirits.

    • Diane I think your in need for some extra love and attention, every woman deserves to be touched like their man means it I mean my partner works 70-80 hour weeks as I am in university and he still comes home and tells me he loves me and how beautiful I am and helps around the house, I mean he sometimes could be a bit more sensitive but that’s men but I think your husband needs a good talking to, to actually realise what he has right in front of him because he won’t realise what he’s got until its too late! I actually myself took a lead out of the 50 shades book and started calling the shots and sending my partner cheeky emails and he actually loved it I think it’s just setting boundries for each other x

  8. I have to agree with Melanie….I am not a reader by any means and purchased this book on a whim to see what all the hype was about….the first night I read 8 chapters! I was intrigued by they way it kept you wanting “more”….it combined innocence with dominance in a way that allowed you to relate to the characters and understand them and their feelings..It was not just about sex it did have a very appealing story which allowed you as the reader to create a picture of these characters and become a part of them.

    • So true Michelle! A wonderfully intoxicating mix of romantic erotica that awakens our “inner goddess”. To answer Roberts question it is the way Christian is completely focused on Ana whenever she is around, he is thoughtful, attentive and utterly enveloped by her, the way he looks at her, whatever he is doing, and thinks of her thoughtfully even when she is not with him…hence the emails.and gifts. Control and abandon sensually entwined! Amazing! ❤

  9. I AM A MOTHER OF 4 I HAVE BEEN WITH MY HUSBAND 11 years. I love your books they are about life sex want and desire all in one I have read all the books twice and will read again I am a speed reader if the book gets me in the first two chapter’s then I just can’t put it down and that’s what these books did. I had all three read in a week and I still went to work cooked cleaned and took care of my family. I would recommend them to any women or couple.

  10. If you are creating a book of your own, please remember this: you gotta preheat the oven before sticking the meat in, and for the love of God, dont refer to our junk as a no no or special place! Its the biggest pet peeve ever of mine. I suggest reading lisa kleypas. Shes wonderfull & historical & modern, very tasteful & good fan base. Good luck!

  11. I loved all 3 books but when it came to “Freed”, I didn’t care so much that 1/4 of the book had to do with their honeymoon, that was actually quite boring. I’ve read all 3 books 3 times and now skip over the honeymoon and all the sex in the books. I love the romance of it all!!!! I love how Christian has some mystery to him and he slowly tells Ana about his life before meeting her. In life, as for me, I don’t give everything away all at once or someday there will be nothing left to talk about except for the boring everyday stuff. In a book, who really wants to hear about that. When I tells friends about the book that haven’t read them yet, because they have been told or have read that it’s all about sex and only sex, which I tell them that’s not true. Yes there is A LOT of sex, in my eyes, TOO MUCH SEX because no one can perform that much and so fast, I don’t care who they are. But I tell them that the first book is about getting to know Ana and Christian right now, the 2nd book is the falling in love and getting to know each other better and the 3rd book (other than the honeymoon) it’s a mystery. So you have 3 totally different kinds of books yet it’s with the same Characters.
    I’m working on writing a book and I have decided NOT to have a bunch of sex in it. Most readers don’t want to hear how the “act” was done or all the details, at least not every time they have sex.
    Anyway, good luck with your book and I hope you get all the responses you are looking for.

  12. I like the story line. It wasn’t just about sex. It was about 2 people growing up and learning who they really are. I loved the passion that grew between them as the story went on. It wasn’t just a boring romance novel. It made me want to keep reading

  13. I think the allure is pretty obvious; a lead who has aspects that most women can relate to, the other who has qualities that appeal to the same amount of women. The storyline is a simple (and more realistic) modern fairytale that plenty of people can quite happily escape to (as opposed to the real world). Personally, I thought that the ending was a little too ‘happily ever after’, a bit disappointing, but for people who don’t usually read (or indeed write, as is my case) erotica, this is an excellent book to read. The writing is simple, but again, for someone like myself who is both dyslexic and used to reading fanfiction anyway, a very good read

  14. I love fiction that takes you into a different world other than your own daily ruts and routines lol. This book isn’t just about the kinky sex but how love transformed this cold man! These books sucked me in like no other!

  15. In answer to your question is make your lead male or female have a troubled childhood. Something in there past to make them a dominant. Make the features come out in the book of their face. So women can visualise their own person. That’s the things that have made me read 50 shades 6 times already. Good luck
    Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

  16. What I liked about the series is that it was very sexual, and brought out the deep sexual desires of myself and im sure other women. Many people are afraid to write in such a explicit manner, but really that’s the best part abd what kept my hooked.

  17. I loved everything about the books, the love story in particular. This lifestyle is all Christian has ever known and for him to all of a sudden, want to change that, for Ana, shows how he’s putting her first now. Can that be anymore romantic? She reads him spending his money on her all wrong. He does it, because deep down, I believe he’s already in love with her, but doesn’t realize it himself, because he’s never felt that emotion for a woman before.

  18. I loved the story! Yes the sex helped the story but it was a good book to get me away from the stresses of my life! The characters were ones you either loved or loved to hate! Can’t wait for a movie

  19. There was a story line to follow. With all of Christian’s character flaws, he touches Ana with respect, love, and care. I would never get anything done if my husband of 34 years touched me the way Christian touches Ana, and I am not talking about the sex. It is more than that, it is the way he touches her face gently. All women want to be touched like Christian touches Ana. Possibly it could also be that by nature women are fixers. Ana tries to fix Christian. We watch the process take place as both grow in love with each other. One of my favorite parts was the texting back and forth. Loved it. Don’t get me wrong the sex parts were great and informational but life in reality is not just about sex. There has to be a psychological attraction between the characters and the reader.
    It is a Cinderella love story that could be true.

  20. Good question. I am actually planning to do an essay on this very topic, Rob, so I don’t blame you for trying to get to the heart of it. I too am a writer and currently writing my first book. While my story is in no way derivative of EL James’ work, her trilogy finally gave me the inspiration necessary to begin working on my own book. For me, this book was both professionally and personally liberating. I feel that what it offers women is a fresh perspective on the role sex has in a relationship and encourages open conversation about sex in a way that no other book has. It doesn’t pass judgment or issue claims or labels about who you are as a reader or as a woman (or man) engaging in sex. It just presents this relationship we haven’t really seen played out in such a way in mainstream literature and simply encourages you to engage your imagination and follow your desire with your consenting partner according to what YOU deem acceptable, not what you’ve always been told, heard or read. As a reader, Christian Grey poses an intriguing character study and while I don’t feel that Ana Steele is as complex a character, we are compelled to want to know more and want to root for her as we place ourselves in her shoes because I don’t know any woman that hasn’t at least once in her lifetime tried to “fix” the man in her life. (I’ve often wondered if gay or lesbian relationships have this similar dynamic with one person trying to “fix” or change the other or if that is simply because it is that mix of contrasting female-male energy that makes it so…) I do believe that too is a big allure for women wanting to read the next book and the next book and wishing for the one after that. We are caught up in the healing of this complicated yet attractive and charismatic man who wrestles with his demons and has this patient yet, in her own way, very trying woman attempting to lead him through his own self-discovery and healing. So there you go – that’s my take. Thanks for asking, Robert, and thanks for reading my admittedly longwinded response; 🙂 Good luck on your own writing journey. And keep in touch if you decide to write your Grey-inspired work. Would love to hear more about it. ~ Chris Kuhn

    • Interesting how u talk about the sex while the women who reply talk about the love!!!!! Maybe be interesting to have a gay writer do a love story as u mention! It certainly would be a new perspective for most.

      • And I have a sneaky suspicion that you think I’m a man. It’s Chris as in Christine, not Christopher. Don’t assume. 🙂 I hear what you’re saying and I’ve been fascinated reading all of the responses. I too think there’s definitely a love story there, but I think as a reader, we take away from it perhaps what we’re missing or desiring the most. I have a strong love relationship in my life but for me sex has posed more challenges along the way than love, so maybe we take away from it what our desire dictates we need or crave most. I don’t know if that makes sense but I certainly won’t deny the love story that unfolds is also quite intriguing. I like your suggestion though. Perhaps a gay writer should take on something similar. Thanks for the comment on my comment. 🙂 Laters. ~ Chris

  21. I loved the mystery behind Christian’s character. The end of every chapter had me hooked and I couldn’t wait to get to the next one. It was very hard to book the book down. The sex scenes were erotic, but the mysterious Christian and the love story was what made me love the entire collection

  22. Though I am not as rich, and my husband was not abused as a child, I live this life. My husband is dominate, protective, passionate, giving, and very sexual.
    Yes I call him Master, and I have a very sensual, spiritual, erotic, and passionate relationship with him.
    Yes, I have my own Christian, and I am the luckiest woman in the world, for the deep, dirsired love he gives me, each day.
    I loved the book because, I finally read a book that, I could honestly relate too, with no hidden “taboo” secrets.

    • Oh you lucky girl Christine! My ex was abused as a child and it left him so broken that he made me a survivor of domestic abuse. Thankfully I did get out (with 3 kids in tow). I can appreciate and understand the difference between the pain Christian inflicts and feels within himself and to Ana. And in another place and time perhaps my soulmate would have became Christian, as despite his badness had many wonderful good qualities but could not overcome his pain.Wishing you both many more years filled with passion and love, as it seems you have found the balance to make marriage the best thing on the planet. ❤

      • Lorraine,
        The strength you had and have, is amazing.
        May I say, I am so proud of you, for that strength.
        Only wonderful, and beautiful things ahead for you.

        Thank you for your wishes ❤
        Though my husband is dominating, runs a multimillion dollar company, and has woman, staring at him all the time, he still has the time and the love, to tell me, my most fav words ….
        I AM SO BLESSED, and I am so very thankful, that he trusted me enough to show me, his true self.
        I love him so deeply for that.

    • Christine, Thank you so very much for your lovely words and thoughts. It is truly inspirational to hear that a “real life” man who must work very hard still has the presence of mind to love his woman unconditionally and to tell her that too. You are both so very blessed to have found each other and it does not surprise me that he is dominant as he runs an important business…it is clearly why he is where he is today! as I don’t think being meek would work in that position. Like Christian, my X saw and suffered abuse from a mother who also prostituted herself [and from the men she allowed in her life and that of her children]. His was one of the most disturbing childhoods I have ever heard and he too was so tortured and felt unworthy of receiving love. I couldn’t help but wonder while reading, that if only he’d been adopted and escaped from his torture, he would have been able to recover in some way that would offer him release from his pain. Leaving him was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life [as he and I were truly soulmates and I loved him unconditionally, but it wasn’t enough to repair the damage inflicted on him] but, I also know it was the best as my children and I would be very different people today if I hadn’t. That was 13yrs ago and I have 3 beautiful, thoughtful, loving children to show for it. May your lives always be filled with each other, and give my best regards to your wonderful husband. If only the world was filled with men like him! Thank you Christine for sharing with me, as your words made me smile [and a little jealous] ❤ 😉 xx

  23. i loved the protection and complete dominance the guy had over the girl. not all women want to admit it but its very attractive when a guy gets over protective and is completely dominant. you feel very happy knowing that he will do everything in his power to protect you and make you safe no matter the consequences. The sex is obviously appealing, Because he expresses his inner most desires and love for his women. Also the fact that he wants to die a thousand deaths, by just the though of loosing his other half. It makes my heart jump wildly just to know that one women’s absence, create one man’s death. In the end all we want is to be loved uncontrollably, to be spoiled, to be held and caressed, to be appreciated and most of all just to be accepted for who we are and always will be. That’s what we as women desire, not necessarily the money, but the wealth of living life abundantly and having the ONE to share it with.

  24. A lot of people think its because of the sex, or that he’s rich, or that he’s hot, but I think it really comes down to the love. He loves her so much, he would do anything, he protects her, makes her feel cherished and most importantly, he tells her that she is beautiful and he says it w/ meaning.

    I know my husband of 16 years loves me and tells me everyday and he tells me I look nice but I want the beautiful part.

  25. This was one of the best LOVE stories I have ever read! It is about finding “that” person, loving them, learning about them, and making a commitment to them…. the sex stuff was icing on the cake!!!

  26. It is that little something!!! Like dirty dancing: not exactly the best actors or best story but there was just that something! 50 shades has it too- not best written and Ana is annoying but I read it 3 times now!
    For me it’s not that naughty. It’s the love that interests me: he asks what she is thinking and feeling. He puts her 1st in all things. He’s the dream man with money, manners, status, and yet he has an intriguing side.
    There are too many ‘copy cats’ ie bared to you and 8 shades yellow or something- all very poor in comparison. Though probably better written with better ‘Anas’ they just don’t have ‘IT’.
    Hope it helps but please don’t try and do the same. Try something original. Maybe a love story from the male perspective!!! we women love a raw love story. O and contemporary: none of this eighteen hundreds rubbish. An easy read but that us women can talk about- we love a natter 🙂 maybe push a boundary or two.
    All the best

  27. Robert, the books are a wonderfully intoxicating mix of romantic erotica that awakens our “inner goddess”. Christian is completely focused on Ana whenever she is around, he is thoughtful, attentive and utterly enveloped by her, the way he looks at her, whatever he is doing, and thinks of her thoughtfully even when she is not with him…hence the emails.and gifts. Control and abandon sensually entwined! And even though he is very much a man, he is in tune and open to what a woman needs and thinks deep down, even though he gets it wrong sometimes…but that’s what makes it perfect too, even Christian is imperfect. Beautiful and f****d up Christian…just like the rest of us! If you wish to write from the mans perspective I would say you must try to find that balance of the anima/animus within us all. The connection between the two is psychological and physical, soft and hard, feminine and masculine. Wishing you luck and inspiration and i hope you you make it…I would definitely read it! My advice is do some research first and don’t be afraid of the hard and soft within you! xx

  28. To me this book brought reality to what we want but will not ask for. It’s a surprise as to what either partner will do next and the determination that each character brought. It wasn’t just normal boring sex it had detail and feeling it was like you were the character it made you feel warm. It was well written and easy to read and it did make me realise what I wanted in my personal life and speak up.

  29. Although most people are focusing osafee delicious hot sex, it’s not just that. It’s discovery, healing, learning to trust and love. It’s a man wanting you more than anything or anyone else And willing to do whatever it takes to get you. It’s the way Christian also looks after and cares for Ana. When she’s hurt or scared or not well, like when he bathes her and washes her hair, dries and brushes it for her. Wants to keep her safe. And it’s when he’s near her how he has to have her and takes her. It’s pushing boundaries, but in a safe and consensual way. Every woman wants to be loved and wanted and desired.
    Hope this helps.

  30. This book was about so much more than the sex, although that part of it was pretty good too, because I think it finally made it “ok” for us women to put a voice to our own fantasies and not feel like we are a freak for wanting certain things from the men in our lives. But the dynamics between Christian and Ana, is what draws you in and keeps you up at night reading these books never being able to put tme down, always wanting more! What women deep down doesn’t want to feel cherished and loved and taken care of the way that Christian takes care of Ana?

  31. I have always loved romance, so that part always appeals to me in a book. I have a wonderfully happy marriage of 21 years with a great sex life, but these books kicked it up notches by making me more aware of my sexuality. I have desires that I was unaware of/afraid of expressing, and these books opened up conversations not only with my husband, but girlfriends as well. I feel like my libido is in high gear, and my husband is very much enjoying it as much as I am. Bring on more. I’m ready.

  32. Hello, I’m just answering your question.
    The book st first scared me there was a lot of sex Christian was very antimidating and determined. And poor Ana was just this innocent young virgin that was taken by this mans demeanour. Believe it or not it Was believe able. Book 2 you fell in love with Christian grey as he came out if his shell. The drama that his life has is not that out of the ordinary… Crazy ex girlfriend! Lol book 3 was interesting because you seem him grown into a new man. The sex became more passionate. The looks in their eyes. The books are not about sexist was a beautiful love story about a young woman helping a young troubled man heal. Some people say the novel was poorly written. I believe it was brilliantly written. The author got into the mind of a 22 year old and wrote a story how Ana would explain it. 🙂 I will certainly read these books over and over again.

  33. OMG…how stupid are females….you all talk about how wonderful this fictional man is….he’s FICTIONAL !!!!!!
    men know little about women..sexually, emotionally, intellectually..but women know nothing about men,,which is why men continue to cheat. A real woman knows how to get the best from her man.. Diane..maybe your hubby has never told you, that you were beautiful because you’re fat smelly and ugly ???? look in the mirror !!

    • Leon,
      I was waiting for an ASS like you to come on the board.
      Obviously you are NOT A REALLY MAN, to have said such cruel words to a woman. Beautiful Diane.

      Men like Christian, do exist, as I am happily married to one.
      My husband is intelligent, very handsome and sexy (this being said by many), powerful, caring, passionate, giving, dominating, possessive, and he knows me inside and out.

      My husband is my Master.
      We choose to have this type of relationship because we love each other, openly and unconditional.

      If a man and a woman take the time to learn from each other, through LOVE and RESPECT, and allow each other to be their true selves, a strong bond is made.

      If you are half the man that I hope you are, please apologize to Diane, as those words not only hurt her, but every other woman, reading this board.

  34. Gotta love a man that thinks just because a man doesn’t complement their wife must mean that there is something wrong with the wife. LMAO WOW, now I’m fat, smelly and ugly. LOL Yes, I guess I am fat since I’m 136 lbs and I’m 5′ 7. Smelly? Well I do work in a kitchen all day making food so maybe I smell of food he doesn’t like but I do shower every day and before you say it, yes, I DO use soap. And ugly, hmmmmmmmm you might have me on that one but again, he IS my husband which means he married me so there’s something good about me. We know Christian is a fictional person but that doesn’t mean we, as women, have to settle for boring. We just want our men to be a little more sensitive, caring, loving and romantic with a dash of bad boy in him.
    You have your wires crossed somewhere too Leon because we know A LOT about men and it’s men that know NOTHING about us. Look it up!!! Men who cheat are losers!!!! But not all men cheat, just because you might, that doesn’t speak for all men. Now, how about you grow up and if you don’t like the book or what people are saying then don’t read it or ignore it. Maybe someone needs to put you over their lap and give you a good beating with a cane!!!! LMAO

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