In a more recent western context, much of the history of erotica is inseparable from that of pornography and obscenity. These novels are known for their opposition to clerical or conventional authority, to sexual hypocrisy or to all three. Fifty Shades falls into this category of mainstream erotica, though with a smattering of BDSM and pop feminism. Indeed, humour in contemporary erotica is a topic that has remained largely untouched. Fifty Shades is frequently comical, whether intentionally or not. In the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey , emails exchanged between fated couple Anastasia and Christian are often playful, teasing, and witty.
Fifty shades of erotica: how sex in literature went mainstream | SBS Sexuality
Being spotted on the train with a copy of a sex novel no longer meant disapproving glares or raised eyebrows — it just meant you were trending with the times. With an ever-increasing readership clamoring for more, no genre of literature remained safe from the all-encompassing might of mainstream sexualization. This summer marked the sudden popularity of another genre of erotic fiction: scandalous retellings of classic literature.
In October , a scene from a BBC costume drama sparked something of a fever among an audience not typically accustomed to seeing the sexier side of classic literature. It goes like this: Fitzwilliam Darcy Colin Firth , a wealthy landowner in Derbyshire, returns home to his estate, Pemberley, after a long journey, and decides to take a swim to cool off in the unseasonably warm English sunshine. He removes his cravat, then his waistcoat—all while, unbeknownst to him, Elizabeth Bennet Jennifer Ehle is touring Pemberley with her aunt and uncle, pausing in the portrait gallery to gaze up his likeness. Wearing only his undershirt and breeches, Darcy dives gracefully into the lake, emerges, and heads toward the house, walking through a field of wildflowers right into the path of an unsuspecting Lizzy. The nation, for want of a better word, swooned.