Fifty shades of embarrassed


It is because I do not live under a rock and I am not dead, that I know that the movie rendition of Fifty Shades of Grey is due for release on the big screen on 1 August 2014. Just the casting and director choices alone, have already garnered more column inches than your average movie gets in its entire lifetime and this before they’ve even started shooting the blimming thing.

Not that I’m one of those fifty shades of haters. Of course the books were thin on plot, and badly written, and she bit her lip forty six times too many, but what these books have done to take women’s erotica mainstream and make them financially viable, and considering that I write a bit of erotica myself, makes me one of the many who drop to my knees on a daily basis and thank my lucky nipple-clamps for E L James.

But that being said, I still wonder if everyone involved has thought this through properly? In case you haven’t read five pages of the trilogy, it’s no spoiler for me to tell you that the books are made up of a couple of chapters thinly disguised as plot, holding together an awful lot of sex. And while this is great in a book, I do wonder how it will translate into a movie-going experience?

It’s not that I’m a prude, hells no. My Google search history is as embarrassing as the next fourteen year old boy’s, but that’s in the privacy of my own home. Am I the only person in the world who thinks that going to watch a couple having spanky sex on a very big screen, for an hour and a half, together with dolby surround sound and fifty complete strangers is a little weird?

Movie-goers will have to think very carefully about who they choose to go see this release with. Ladies, if it’s his choice for your first date, he may not be looking for a long term relationship. And if it’s your choice for a first date, can I suggest you just jump his bones when he arrives at the door to pick you up, and save both of you the trouble, expense and popcorn calories.

Although I would imagine going to see a movie like this on the big screen and maintaining your composure is much easier for women, at least we can hide our excitement. How are the men going to manage it? There are going to be so many tents in that theatre, it will be like going to a Cape Union Mart.

Perhaps instead, they should consider making it one of those movies that goes straight to TV. It’s much more awkward to watch sex in a cinema than from the comfort of your own home. There’s really nowhere else to look at the bioscope. At least at home you can pop to the kitchen to make an urgent pot of tea (no, no, don’t pause, I’m sure I’m not missing anything), or pretend you have a sudden urgent dance deadline you have to deal with in another room.

A couple I know innocently took their sixteen year old daughter and her best friend to see a movie recently. In a surprise twist, the movie turned out to be a little on the raunchy side. I’m not sure who was more uncomfortable, the kids or the parents. Of course kids are watching far worse things on the internet when you’re not looking, but that’s the key, it’s when you’re not looking.

And it’s not just regular flicks, you have to be careful who you watch the nature channel with too. Those animals can also get pretty rampant.

A friend once found himself at a game park, on a game drive with a loud octogenarian American couple. At one point the woman pointed and shrieked, exclaiming loudly enough to scare off a flock of nearby Loeries, that she had spotted a genetic marvel, a five legged elephant. The game ranger went very quiet as the woman took photos like paparazzi chasing Lindsay Lohan, until the Landy got to within a couple of feet of the elephant and its tripod of excitement. The woman didn’t make another peep or take another photo the entire trip, even when they came across a pride of lions.

Maybe the lesson here is that sex just isn’t a spectator sport, at least not in a big crowd. As author, Rachel Kushner says, ‘Everyone thinks about sex, engages in it. It’s the secret we all share.’ Perhaps it’s best kept a secret.

Next thing you know, they’ll be bringing out all the shades of grey in 3D too. Having somebody’s six foot shlong swinging in our faces in high resolution, dolby 3D, digital surround sound is the last thing we need. And you thought Jaws in 3D was scary!


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