Fifty Shades of Grey

Top Ten Reasons “Secretary” Beats “50 Shades of Grey”

Top Ten Reasons “Secretary” Beats “50 Shades of Grey”

You’ve got to give the Fifty Shades of Grey books credit. The erotic trilogy by E.L. James has single-handedly made BDSM mainstream (now everyone knows what a safe word is), been a boon to the sex toy industry (hello, love beads!), and improved the sex lives of many a long-married couple (a chapter a day will keep the couple’s therapist away!). But that doesn’t mean the series is without its faults, or that there aren’t better depictions of BDSM relationships in popular culture or at the very least, one better depiction.

Top 10 reasons why SECRETARY is better than "Fifty Shades of Grey"

Top 10 reasons why SECRETARY is better than "Fifty Shades of Grey"

You’ve got to give the Fifty Shades of Grey books credit. The erotic trilogy by E.L. James has single-handedly made BDSM mainstream (now everyone knows what a safe word is), been a boon to the sex-toy industry (hello, love beads!) and improved the sex lives of many a long-married couple (a chapter a day will keep the couple’s therapist away!). But that doesn’t mean the series is without its faults, or that there aren’t better depictions of BDSM relationships in popular culture — or at the very least, one better depiction. The 2002 indie film SECRETARY, a Sundance favorite, blows Fifty out of the water, if you ask us. Here’s why.

The Fifty Shades Generator

The Fifty Shades Generator

Are you a print or web designer in search of exciting placeholder text? Are you a fledgling author struggling with a sex scene? You’re in luck! The Fifty Shades Generator creates “world-class literature based on a pre-defined vocabulary” — a pre-defined vocabulary of clever, creative and totally offensive slang for genitalia and coitus culled from places like ARRSE (british ARmy Rumour SErvice) and @50shadesofshit. Below is an example Lorem Ipsum-type paragraph created by the generator, but the hilarious explanation text of the site itself is worth a read. Is there no limit to the sex-obsessed genius of the Internet?

"Fifty Shades" parody gets into dungeons… and dragons

"Fifty Shades" parody gets into dungeons… and dragons

The web is littered with Fifty Shades of Grey parodies, but we think that “Fanny Merkin” (a.k.a. Andrea Shaffer, author of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love) is the first one to get out a book-length parody. Yes, he wrote an entire novel that’s pretty much a line-by-line parody of Fifty Shades — it digs fun at the sex scenes, at the brand-name dropping, at the writing, at the murmuring, at the meandering inner monologues and most especially at Anastasia’s various inner voices. It’s called Fifty Shames of Earl Grey and, yes, there’s a grey tie on the cover.

The original "Fifty Shades of Grey" was more hardcore

The original "Fifty Shades of Grey" was more hardcore

In my senior year of high school, I (Lo) read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, the first in a three-book series by vampire-genre goddess Anne Rice (who was a fave of mine at the time), writing under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure. Except instead of vampires, she was playing around with fairytale characters in a crazy BDSM world with bondage, whips, suspension, sticky-itchy honey-glazes on genitals, you name it! Her Beauty trilogy from more than 25 years ago was the original “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, filled with kinky sex on almost every page — except Rice’s was actually well written and, if memory serves me correctly, a lot more hardcore.