Attention suburbia: Sexually explicit bodice-rippers are making a comeback. British novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" by author E.L. James (a woman in her 40s) is getting women talking -- and fantasizing. But while some find this trend to be a healthy way for women to express their sexuality, others are disturbed by the kind of sex the novel involves.
TODAY describes the novel as the first "part of a triple-X trilogy involving sex games and a bondage-loving billionaire." And though men are stereotypically the ones drawn to explicit reading material, women are buying these novels in droves. The reviews on Amazon include comments like "This was one of those books that keeps you glued to the pages; staying up reading into the early morning" and "This story is magical!"
This morning the TODAY show aired interviews with a group of women, all married with children, who read the novel for their Boca Raton-area book club. The women were unanimously enthusiastic about "Fifty Shades of Grey" and its storyline (watch above). The book tells the story of a virginal college-aged woman and an entrepreneur who become involved sexually. Their relationship explores themes of submission and domination -- a fantasy which Dr. Laura Berman told TODAY is quite common among women. It may be this fantasy that lends the novel its appeal, she said.
But not everyone thinks that "Fifty Shades of Grey" is harmless, fantasy-driven fun. Dr. Drew, a board-certified internist and TV personality, told the TODAY Show that he finds the novel "disturbing" and even suggested that the submissive sex the book depicts is essentially violence against women.
Watch the TODAY Show's video and tell us what you think! Will you read "Fifty Shades of Grey"?