Behind Closed Doors: The Book That Made Me Me

At Any Other Woman, you can talk about anything. Anything you want at all. Any subject, any time. We are proud to be able to provide that platform for you, it makes our hearts sing. But we do understand that sometimes there are topics that are too sensitive, too divisive, simply too hard to write about and broadcast without a second thought. No-one wants to hurt their loved ones unnecessarily and yet sometimes a story needs to be told.

This is your place for those subjects. A place for you to tell those tales you’d not considered telling before. No names, no justifications, no apologies.

You can send your BCD submissions to behindcloseddoors@live.co.uk and we promise that you’ll remain anonymous throughout the entire process.

The Book That Made Me Me – Fifty Shades of Grey.

This isn’t your average ‘The Book that made me’ I’m afraid. This is the book that made US. It’s also a little bit naughty – so you may not want to read where your boss is likely to read over your shoulder.

Just after we were engaged, we went through a ‘dry spell’ if you excuse the slang. We were comfy, relaxed, happy. But there was something missing and after a month the issue was raised, and dropped, and raised, and dropped. Tears, sulking, feeling unloved.

We were young when we met, inexperienced and shy. We had grown together but developed a relationship built on friendship, belonging and care.

He couldn’t explain to me what he wanted. And I didn’t understand.

And then I read Fifty Shades. I was enlightened, educated and entranced.

I had a feeling he was hiding something; not wanting to share and ashamed, but I let him come to me in his own time. He asked me what I was reading and I told him. I started to read him a paragraph from the book, which turned into a whole chapter. I turned to look at him next to me and his face said everything.

‘Is this what you like?’ I whispered. His slow nod confirmed what I suspected. He had joked about cuffs and chains before, but I had laughed it off, thinking it was a bloke fetish that would be short lived. I was slightly shocked, and a little intimidated, but decided to keep an open mind.

I finished Fifty Shades, and worked my way through the next two books in the series. Arson and sabotage aside, I began to see how he was similar to the book character and after some discussion about my concerns and his likes we started communicating.

I wanted to feel adored, wanted, needed, lusted after. He wanted to be in control, to take his woman as his own and show her he loved her. All very ‘me Tarzan, you Jane’ stereotypical, but that was how we felt nonetheless. Taking some ideas from the book and keeping the communication going we started having the most honest and open relationship I have ever had.

We banter, tease and flirt. I feel wanted every minute of the day, I fancy the pants off him and we relish every moment together. There is no more awkward silence, nervousness or shyness; there is electricity and the biggest spark I’ve ever known. I now know how to please him and make him happy, he makes me feel like a beautiful woman and we can’t keep our hands off each other.

If you asked me to describe him before, I would have said best friend, team-mate and house mate. Nothing sexy there. I can now refer to my future husband as my lover too – and I cannot tell you how amazing that feels.

I cannot wait to be his wife and carry on exploring and connecting. It concerns me to wonder where we would be now, or even 5/10 years, if we had not had the frank discussion about the book and opened up to each other. I would not feel this confident and empowered that’s for sure!

Have you read Fifty? Will you now?

Categories: Behind Closed Doors, Books, Books That Made Me Me
10 interesting thoughts on this

10 Comments

  1. Sandra C
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you for that! I think it bodes well for your relationship if you can talk about things that are troubling you, no matter how embarrasing you percieve them to be. They’re not, really. Your partner wants to keep you happy, and you him. I’m all for equality, but there’s nothing quite like being lusted after!! I wish you both well for the future x

  2. Posted July 2, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I read this & think ‘Thank goodness I’m fortunate enough to live in a country without censorship’ and hurrah for books & the opportunities they give us for thought, conversations & actions.

  3. Posted July 2, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I point you to Caitlin Moran’s brilliant article in the Times on how it doesn’t matter if Fifty Shades isn’t brilliantly written, what it does is much more powerful (“The politics of mummy porn”, I can’t link because I’m not a subscriber): http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/caitlin-moran/?CMP=KNGvccp1-caitlin%20moran

    This post goes wider than that though. It’s astonishing what unblocking bad communication can do in a relationship, not just in the bedroom but in every aspect. I have wanted to post something about sex on AOW for ages without it descending into a “how many times a week do YOU do it?” conversation. I’m glad this post kicked that off.

  4. Katielase
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I had mixed feelings when I saw what book this was about, because I do have some issues with FSOG that I think bear discussion, not about either the bad writing or the sex either. However, I think this post is actually brilliant. Communication is so important, and whatever you’re into it’s so scary and brave to be open and honest about it. I was a late late bloomer, and as such I’ve only ever slept with my husband, so I’ve struggled and still struggle with communicating about sex and especially with communicating when I’m feeling sexy or in ‘the mood’. The sex in FSOG isn’t my kind of thing, but I think being open and honest about what you want and feel, and discovering and exploring it together with love is so important. Brave post, thank you.

    K x

    Ps: my issue with FSOG is that I think that outside the bedroom it is actually a controlling and damaging relationship, which is based on the one in Twilight. The sex, if it gets women talking about what they like and don’t like, I have no problem with!

  5. Posted July 2, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I’ll say it again, thank goodness for AOW. I don’t know of any other place where something like this could be posted and then provoke genuine, interested discussion.

    I think everyone knows my opinion on the book itself so I won’t go into that here, but Anon – if that book has helped you discover something about yourself and your own desires that you didn’t know, then good for you.

    • Posted July 2, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      For those of you who don’t know my opinions on FSOG and want to, they’re basically the same as Katie’s issue above!

  6. Steff
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m about half way through reading the last book in the series and I have to agree with Amy and Katie with regards to the relationship paradigm in the book. I think it’s poorly written and very samey with the same language used over and over again to describe the sex scenes and emotions being felt by the main character. However, it does seem to have sparked discussions up and down the country and really caught peoples attention. It’s made sex and talking about it less of a taboo, and for that point alone I love it.

    For me it’s akin to Modern Art, I may not like some of it but if it draws out passion and emotion in the people who created it or are viewing it then I’m all for it.

  7. Anon
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I agree with all the comments above. The issues and problems within FSOG run far deeper than the poor writing and grammar, and that is for a completely different post altogether. Thank you for acknowledging that it wasn’t these which I wanted to write about – instead it was that FSOG, despite its flaws and contraversial content, can actually, surprisingly, help to encourage a open and balanced relationship. Much to the contrary of the story itself!

    • Posted July 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      This might be my favourite comment on AOW ever! Wishing you a very long and happy marriage Anon. x

  8. Alex
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    It’s taken me a while to pluck up my courage to write on this blog… This article and so many other more are uncannily timed to when I need them most. Thank you for putting into words what I have so much trouble doing myself and making me realize that it is possible! And mostly making me realize I’m not alone feeling the way I do from time to time :-)
    Till the next time!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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