In the name of research, I’ve just finished reading “Fifty Shades of Grey“.

Uh-huh, sure, you say…research!

FULL DISCLOSURE: For decades, men (including me) have bought/read PLAYBOY magazine, all the time insisting that it’s all about the great articles we find there. LIARS! As one man representing every other man on this earth I’m going to boldly state that men buy PLAYBOY because we like to look at pretty, naked, young ladies. We drool a bit and fantasize about what we would like to do with them or with someone who maybe resembles them in some part of our life (come on guys, you remember the waitress at that restaurant last week…the one you gave the big tip). This is news to you?…I think Not!

GREAT…there’s that article on Samuel Jackson I’ve been dying to read…

Women didn’t embrace the nude photos of hot young men in PLAYGIRL magazine in the same way that men flocked to their girly mags. Which brings me to the shock I feel about the sensation that Fifty Shades of Grey has become. I’ve always believed women fantasized in the Harlequin Romance sense of love and sex only in the sweetest and most romantic ways; daydreaming about handsome men with rippling muscles who sweep them up tenderly in their arms and occasionally whisper a naughty word to get the juices flowing. Then along comes a book like this that romanticizes BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) and becomes a mega-colossus hit.

The fact that it deals with what we might call kinky sex is fine, and I’m not surprised that it would strike a chord with a small’ish sector of society…to each his or her own, I say. BUT…Fifty Shades is selling at a faster clip than the paperback versions of any Harry Potter book released, and that was a huge phenomenon. Women are snapping it up  (or downloading onto their Kindles and Kobo’s, perhaps fearful of the world’s passing judgment on them) and passing it along to their (female) friends and relatives for a shared experience.

What’s really weird is that I can’t help substituting Tom Cruise into the role of “Dominant” Christian Grey and Katie Holmes as his “Submissive” Anastasia Steele. Maybe this is what the tabloids have been missing all along. Katie has just grown weary of her own Mission Impossible of sitting on BDSM-thrashed buttocks while Tom takes our breath away with another dazzling- might we say CREEPY– smile.

English: Cropped image of Tom Cruise and Katie...

Are we certain this isn’t Christian and Anastasia?

Ultimately, it shocks me that I got it all so wrong. We men with our walloping dollops of testosterone are expected to enjoy the heady mixture of rough, hurtful frolics with lustful fornication. Down and dirty sexual activity is an integral part of the male evolutionary climax, so to speak! If men got off on this book, it wouldn’t surprise me, although there is WAY too much dialogue and internal “female-speak” to hold the male readers’ attention.

It’s what this says to me about today’s “Womanhood” that has me worried. Do intelligent ladies really fantasize about being denigrated and dominated by a handsome behemoth, seeing this as a desirable interconnection with their men. This is not romance and lust between equals where “you can tie me up if I can tie you up” affair, it’s a one-sided version of sexual slavery combined with mental and physical abuse.

In reference to the title of this blog, I’m not GREEN with envy (I don’t think!),  I’m just GREEN with distasteful and  bilious thoughts. Why haven’t women torn into this as they have so many issues that portray them as anything less than equal?

Maybe I’m crazy and should just accept it- life is full of surprises and this one is at the top of my list right now. Have I missed the point?

(THIS kind of romance makes me feel GREEN with envy)