Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shades Of Grey And Grey Hair

This seems to be the season of sex. Thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey.

People are writing about sex. Reading about sex. Discussing sex: this time, in a very matter-of-fact way, as if they are discussing career moves or which school to send their children to. Somewhere in between, they are probaby having real sex too.

And thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey, a large majority of those who happen to be discussing sex are women. I don't think I would be wrong if I say the book has brought about a new sexual revolution in India in an era when sex is increasingly becoming notional than real. And women seem to be on top.

I am not sure if Fifty Shades has made the Indian woman demanding (or more demanding) in bed yet, but in the emancipated West, men are reportedly wilting under new pressure to perform.

Just look at the power of the written word: even though the writing is said to be mediocre (I haven't read the book, though women friends have told me all about it), Fifty Shades has gone to become the fastest-selling bestseller of all time. It tops the bestsellers' list even in places you had forgotten all about, such as Malta. Forget Malta, even in conservative Chennai.

So how can mediocre writing that peddles mommy porn melt millions of women and stiffen their men (in places other than where they should be)? I guess that's because the book feeds on -- and lends voice to -- unrealised fantasies. Fantasy is more powerful than fact, anyday. And fact may not be as tickling for women because traditionally, they have only submitted to male fantasies. The vice-versa rarely happens because women are either too shy or feel intimidated to spell out their kinks. They fear being judged. Fifty Shades, therfore, makes for good company.

But why buy Fifty Shades when porn sites -- countless in number and far easier to access than a physical book -- can act as cathartic agents? That's because porn is porn -- it's considered dirty. But at the same time, what's life without a dose of porn? Without porn, life would be as white as the robe of a priest.

If hardcore porn is black, the absence of any porn is white. No sensible human would like to embrace either extremes: they all want to live in the comfort of the grey area. Which is why you now have not just one, but fifty shades of grey! Take your pick.

What a time to find myself in my forties, burdened with commitments that keep me confined to my laptop. Even when not on laptop, there are other worries that silently eat into me: "How long before Tamarind City goes into reprint?" "How do I make the next book different?" "How long before I start calling myself a writer?" I am too busy counting the grey on my chin and chest to savour the changes that Fifty Shades is bringing about.

The problem in being a forty-plus man is that you either have a body that does not always cope with your desires and fantasies, or come to possess a mature mind that hesitates to cooperate with the body whenever it wants to have mindless sex. Either way you miss out on the fun -- unless an angel descends from heaven and assures you that you are still perfectly capable of giving shape to your fantasies.

But how often do you sight angels descending from heaven? Or have they all migrated to Facebook?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Facebook is facing you right now on your 'lap'-top screen and i am told when angels don't come with wings, we call them friends. so how many 'friends' do you have on your Facebook again?

Sepiamniac said...

True that no one likes to live a life in the extremes.

If I may deviate a bit from this post? Actually my thought could be applicable for both the current and the earlier post Vagina Monologues.

Some women even in their twenties don't want mindless sex because as the name suggests,it isn't stimulating, intellectually!

And wait for brickbats from your readers on this one. You have ruffled feathers a bit, this time again, I see.

Cheers

Kenny Kay-MaaN said...

Bish-bhai .. nice post once again .. I agree that the writing style of 50 Shades is very doubtful, the amount of angst thrown around by female readers is a tour de force indeed. Yet to come across a male reader, myself I have better things to read, listen and enjoy if you know what I mean ;)

While I read your post, I was reminded of a line that John Lennon said, "Well I don’t know who made the golden rule that sex and love had to go together, Because I’ve enjoyed love without sex and sex without love. And they quite often come together but quite often they don’t" .. wish people understood the same :) guess that would make the world a better place perhaps :)

Anonymous said...

..."How do I make the next book different?" ... worried about this..really... Mr ghosh?
Pls do not make it different... you are so good as you are....chai,chai amd tam city....they are u you...your style just works so welll...i am waiting for 'your' next book not a different one....
P...

Anonymous said...

'mindless sex' .....but sex is always in the mind ..u have said....number of times before.....
heartless sex u meant i guess....sex devoid of feelings most probably...feelings that are deep and passoinate enough to take the mind body and soul by storm....
20 or 40 i do not think you would have ever enjoyed sex which was 'mindless'( could be mindblowing though)..
however..only grey eyes with cold stares at her ..cannot sweep a woman's heart away forever...nor into fantasy nither ecstasy .... only love can...love that is dark as it lies deep... so deep that lights of logic or winds of time don ever reach it... only when such a lover makes love ,sometimes even without even touching,its the best sex.... agree?
P...

Anonymous said...

Well written post. The book by EL James is truly overrated and her writing style is questionable.I have never favored mills and boons type of books and it took one read to know life does not exist in "perfection" modules.Having a multi billionaire who is perfectly handsome fall in love with a perfectly beautiful small towner isnt our cup of tea. Elizabeth Gilbert stood out easily with her realistic story telling and quick gun humour that one would easily identify with it. Here she oscillates between M and B romance coupled with semi hysterical phrases of humor and expressions. Highly irritating. But yes, she has described sex and related fantasies that titillate just as we need it. John Lennon has been quoted aptly, just that there is a time and place for both and the only difference is when it's love. The sex is pristine, stimulating,unsatiable and therapeutic. Moreover one would never go "down" when it is mindless. Nice Post BG and all the very best!

Anubhuti said...

where there's a will, there's a way Mr Ghosh. Maybe someone else's thinking like you.

Anonymous said...

hiiii SPARKLING MAN....

"YOU ARE STILL PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF GIVING SHAPE TO YOUR FANTASIERS..MINDLESS OR MINDFULL SEX.."
-sam (angel-straight from FB)