Unless you've been living in a cave, you probably know that the "50 Shades" trilogy exploring the world of bondage while also trying to make sense of a very steamy relationship has become a literary sensation, selling more than 40 million copies worldwide.
But the books, which tell the story of 22-year-old Anastasia Steele and 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey, have sometimes been described as "mommy porn," perhaps a bit too red hot for those in their golden years.
Now, though, there's a new saucy tale that's proving you're never too old for sizzling sex.
British author Hilary Boyd's "Thursdays in The Park" tells the tale of a 60-something woman who meets the man of her dreams while watching after her grandchildren in the park. The woman is conflicted by her commitment to a husband who has withdrawn from the marital bed and her desire for a life with a new partner.
Although it sold less than 1,000 copies when it was first published last year by independent imprint Quercus, a new e-book edition has caught on thanks mostly to word-of-mouth advertising and has now topped Amazon's bestseller charts in the UK for four weeks, outselling even "50 Shades" author EL James. (The book ranked 72,000 on Amazon's chart in the U.S. on Monday.)
Boyd, herself a 62-year-old grandmother, has said she got the idea for the book when she was watching her granddaughter in the park and thought it to be a great place to find romance.
So far, Boyd's book has gotten fairly decent reviews. Chicklit Club, for example, described the book as "a poignant portrait of a stale marriage and the ties that bind couples together."
According to a 2009 survey by AARP, 28 percent of respondents still had sexual intercourse at least once a week and 40 percent at least once a month; 22 percent masturbated at least once a month.
In an interview published by Quercus Books, Boyd was asked why she decided to focus on an older couple:
Because no one ever talks about older love! It’s an ewwwww! moment.
And because longer marriages have a very different dynamic. Just being with someone for 30, 40 years, carries with it a sharing and responsibility –- as well as love, hopefully –- that’s hard to explain to someone younger. But older couples are often portrayed by the likes of Hyacinth Bucket and Richard, or Victor Meldrew and his long-suffering wife, Margaret. They bicker and tolerate each other, but they aren’t -– god forbid –- sexy!
In Victorian times, the average marriage length was more like 15 years –- death in childbirth, shorter lifespan, etc. intervened. But now we can hope to live into our eighties, marriages over 50 years will become much more common. Scary thought, eh?
What do you think? Will you buy Boyd's book? Let us know in comments!