Mr. Grey will be you now: Christian Grey may be a man of singular sexual tastes, but ten simple questions will tell you if you're him. Every pop-culture phenomenon deserves its own playful pop quiz and Fifty Shades of Grey has certainly made its salacious mark. Now, with this multiple-choice test, you can find out if you have what it takes to fill the jeans that "hang just so" on an erotic novel heartthrob's hips. So whether you want to be him, or just flat-out want him, it's time to see how you measure up. First, a bit of background on obsession.
Never underestimate the power of vicarious desire. While the trilogy's first-person narration put breathless readers in Anastasia Steele's accommodating shoes, the movie's marketing gurus took it a tempting step further: "Mr. Grey will see you now" reversed the point of view on fevered fans, hungry for their first glimpse of Grey in the cinematic flesh, making it appear as if he was the one waiting to see them. (And after all, isn't that what everyone really wants? To be truly seen?) With that seductive slogan, women didn't just identify with Ana. They replaced her. Now it's the men's turn to reveal their secret selves.
In "The Adaptation Game: Playing With Fifty Shades of Sex for Film" I speculated as a screenwriter how the graphic sex in the novels could be transferred from verbal page to visual screen. (I'm glad to have nailed the dénouement word in the film, but I still like my Tallis better.) Now, with these movies, the very art of sex on film for a female audience is getting its own debate. (We could start with redressing the disparate ratio of female to male nudity, but that's another article.)
What began as a libidinous love letter to Twilight has snowballed into an erotic-lib revolution in publishing. Still, in plot essentials, the apple didn't fall far from the pulp romance tree. But that's not the only page author EL James took from Stephenie Meyer's book. Just as Meyer's aborted Midnight Sun told the saga as seen through Edward's bloodshot eyes, last year, James unleashed Grey, touring the Red Room from his eponymous point of view. The female feeding frenzy caused men to ask, "What's that hot-bod-billionaire got that I haven't got?" Well, for starters, us (and some seriously twisted issues, but more on that later).
Still, the cultural influence of Fifty Shades transcends its many intended iterations, sometimes appearing in subtly suggestive ways, such as in the fifty shades of debonair designer Tom Ford's "Lips and Boys" line of lipsticks, named for men who've inspired him. As I write this, my lips are laced in a luscious swath of Xavier violet. (What, Tom, no Don Juan? Have you forgotten your Ana already?) Alas, there's no Christian in the collection. That ever-elusive dominant can only be kissed within the confines of James's pages, or as incarnated by the perpetually six-packed shots of Jamie Dornan, rolling shirtlessly off the endless Twittersphere...
Yet, while Dakota Johnson (who makes a refreshingly effervescent Ana) delivered celluloid surrogates, this Valentine's weekend passed without even a cameo from the man himself, a shocking marketing omission considering Mr. Grey all but owns the day. It was over the holiday last year that the Fifty Shades of Grey movie obliterated the box office, reminding studio execs that women in fact do buy tickets, and ensuring that its sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, filming concurrently, will have Valentine's release dates over the next two years. In the meantime, "You. Are. Mine." memes, production stills (...Dakota and Jamie kiss!....), music cues and lures of "more" from the upcoming movies are leaked on social media like little love bites of filmic foreplay.
So if you're hungry for a hit of Grey, here's a little something to tie you over. (Yeah, those are puns. Sue me.) Ten telling questions, each with five multiple-choice answers, gives you fifty chances to see what shade of Grey you are. Simply select the answer to each question that best reflects your point of view, keeping track of each choice's letter, then tally your score as instructed after the quiz to reveal your erotic novel identity below. (No peeking ahead or you'll be punished. Don't make me get out the eye mask.) Then, just maybe, if you come out on top, Mr. Grey will be you now:
1. Having the name Christian Grey makes me think:
a.) How could anyone named Christian be so depraved?
b.) How could anyone named Christian play Moses? (#ActorsSoChristian)
c.) How come nobody ever calls me Chris? Seriously, what's up with that?
d.) How I prefer to be called Mr. Grey, but you can call me Sir.
e.) How it would feel to hear my name on your lips in a moment of mutual ecstasy.
2. You see a woman you desire. In order to meet her, you:
a.) Compliment her shoes. That way, I don't have to make eye contact.
b.) Text her an emoji. It works on Social Media and this is social, right?
c.) Complement her shoes. Then tell her how good they'd look around my ears.
d.) Smolder. She'll come to me. And I can always track her cell phone.
e.) Give her a genuine complement. Every woman has something uniquely beautiful about her. Then compliment her sexy shoes with a foot rub as her reward.
3. Do you have a secret toy chest and if so, what's in it?:
a.) Sex manuals. I'm hoping one day to apply them to people. Not literally, 'cause that would be heavy. I just meant, the information...inside them. (Sigh) Books. Just say books.
b.) Duh. Toys. But I never open it, 'cause my X-Box is on top.
c.) It's where my blow-up doll sleeps. Coincidentally, her name is "Toy Chest" too.
d.) Come here and I'll show you. But first sign this NDA.
e.) Pleasure aids to enhance our bond through heightened sensation. With an open mind, creativity leads to new ways to play.
4. For your birthday, your girlfriend gives you a riding crop. You:
a.) Call the ASPCA. Those things should be illegal.
b.) Go ride my rocking horse. It's right next to my toy chest. Giddy-up!
c.) Stick Toy Chest on a horse, bareback. She'll look like that chick on chocolates.
d.) Call my pharmacist and find out how to sterilize leather.
e.) Take her for the ride of her sentient life, then give it back to her so she can take me for one. The best presents are ones you can share. Tag, you're it...
5. When ordering wine at a restaurant with a date, you:
a.) Check the menu for one that matches the blush of her cheeks, from the year of her birth, with the sparkle of her eyes, or else just get the one I can't pronounce.
b.) Order beer. Nobody plays Wine-Pongs.
c.) Order one that matches the blush of her lady-parts. Then take a swig and spit it out. That's what they do at free tastings, right?
d.) Order the rarest vintage from the best vineyard because you get what you pay for.
e.) Invite her to order the wine. Then I can savor watching her taste it. Her blush of pleasure is my aperitif.
6. Your favorite place for a first kiss is:
a.) At the front door when saying goodnight. It's just good manners.
b.) Anywhere she'll let me. It's why we had dinner.
c.) Anywhere with tongue. It's why we had alcohol.
d.) Hmm. What is it about elevators?
e.) Spontaneous. Any place can be memorable when you're with the right person.
7. You learned your best sexual moves from:
a.) Sexpert seminars. You don't run for President without studying politics. Scratch that. You don't just pick up an instrument and play a concerto. I can pass any written exam (and I play a mean oboe).
b.) Cartoons. They're so subliminal. And I practice a lot on myself.
c.) Porn. It's so realistic. And I practice a lot on Toy Chest. (She's really receptive.)
d.) Mature women make the best teachers. There's no replacing experience and I like to be the best at everything I do.
e.) You. Your body talks to me and I'm a good listener. Shhhh. Hear that? I'm responding...
8. Your favorite fantasy location to have sex in is:
a.) They say the brain is the sexiest organ, and baseball's the most cerebral sport, so you do the math.
b.) Sex at a football game, no, sex at a soccer game, no, sex at a basketball game. Any arena sport works except hockey, you know, 'cause of the cold.
c.) I'm the Mayor of Nakedtown.
d.) My playroom. Privacy is a priority. But I can adapt to any place when the mood strikes and I strike with the mood. Did I mention the NDA?
e.) Anywhere you are.
9: Your favorite part of a woman's body is:
a.) Is that a trick question? Any part without clothes.
b.) I have a thing for kneecaps. They remind me of boobs.
c.) The brain is the sexiest organ. Psych! I mean, c'mon, my sex-doll's name is Toy Chest.
d.) A spankable bottom does something to me. I can't tell you why. No, really, my lawyers say I can't tell you why, but my shrink has a hunch...
e.) All the obvious places, but there are so many more: The dip of her neck, the inner bend of her elbows, the soft underside of her knees, the pads of her toes, the trail of her spine, the curve of her waist, the pulse of her wrist...How much room do you have?
10. You'll know you're in love when:
a.) I list all the pros and cons and realize I can't do better.
b.) An anvil drops on my head and my eyes bug-out as birds chirping "We are the Champions" circle above.
c.) They make inflatable twins.
a.) They do, you dolt. You just have to buy two. What's wrong with you?
c.) What's wrong with me? You're the one with the toy chest of books.
a.) Hey, erotic novels can be sex toys when read together in bed. Ever hear of reading?
c.) Yeah. It's that thing you do when you can't have sex.
e.) Could we just get back to the quiz, please? You'll know you're in love when...
b.) There's two muffins baking in an oven. Muffin 1 looks at Muffin 2 and yells: "Oh my God - The oven's on fire!" And Muffin 2 looks at Muffin 1 and yells: "Oh my God - A talking muffin!" It's funny 'cause it's true.
d.) Enough. From now on, nobody speaks unless spoken to.
d.) Good. I'll know I'm in love when she fulfills my every sexual whim, is instantly orgasmic at my touch, and is as obsessed with me as I am with her, no matter how many times I push her away.
a.) Wow. You have that? You're my hero. Can I touch you?
d.) Absolutely not. Next?
e.) I'll know I'm in love when she's my safe place to be myself and I'm that safe place for her.
c.) (sotto-coughs) Pussy.
e.) What did you just say?
c.) I said you're fussy. You want safe, you should get an inflatable girlfriend. They're latex, like condoms. Get two, you could have a ménage-a-doll.
a.) Seriously, what's wrong with you?
d.) I think we're done here.
c.) Please don't hurt me.
d.) Laters, baby.
Results: Thank you all. Now add up your score by counting how many of each letter you have. See which letter dominates your answers, then find your match below:
Mostly A's: Mr. Almost. Ooo, missed it by that much. You've such erotic novel potential. Your annotated copy of Tantric Sex for Dummies proves your heart's in the right place, but your body needs to play catch-up. A well-read man is a well-rounded one and we love that you want to learn us, but really, you should get out more. Take baby steps. Try having a conversation in person, one that doesn't require math, unless specifically requested. Master the art of verbal seduction and you just might score a tryst in your local library: Lust Among the Hardcovers, available in paperback at a Target near you. Until then, you can have an awful lot of fun at a baseball game.
Mostly B's: Mr. Immature. As Joan Rivers would say: "Oh, grow up!" It's one thing to be in touch with your inner child, but adult women want to be touched by a grown man, and not just on the outside. If we wanted to raise you, we'd adopt you, not date you. Arrested development is barely adorable in boy bands and even they get old fast. It's time to put on your big-boy pants (and pull them all the way up). As is, you're not mature enough to read the books we love without parental supervision, let alone star in them. You're like those muffins in that joke--still cooking. Don't text us till you're done. Until then, here's a Fifty Shades coloring book. (Stock up on red.) 😉
Mostly C's: Mr. Sleaze. It's official; you're a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. Your local sex-doll union lists you as a hard limit. (They just feel so used.) Their spokesdoll insists you return "Ana" fully inflated by Friday or face charges. That shouldn't be a problem considering you have enough hot air for both of you, yet all she can ever say is "Oh!" because apparently she's as shocked as we are. (Godiva called: they want their logo back.) Still, your type sometimes makes it into erotic novels as the villain or an unctuous ex-boyfriend, but it takes a really good craftsman to keep readers from wondering how the heroine never saw through you in the first place. Go straight to spam-video. ("Oh-Oh-Oh!")
Mostly D's: Mr. Grey. Congratulations, you're him! Happy? Think again. With untold billions, a private aviation fleet and an endless line of insatiable sex partners, you only think you're happy. It will take the sacrificial love of the naïve, nubile virgin of your dreams to show you just how deeply miserable you truly are. But hey, you fly your own copter! Still, one glance at your steely-hued gaze, redolent with the promise of steamy scenarios you design just for us, is enough to melt our Agent Provocateur panties. While exploring physical limits with you makes for a titillating read, your emotional limits are no fun in reality. But having issues as huge as your assets helps us swallow the illusion of your accessibility, something that truly only exists in fiction. So if you've landed here, somewhere out there, there's a silk tie with your name on it. Good luck with that.
Mostly E's: Mr. Too-Perfect. Congratulations, you're mythical! You say all the right things and I ought to know since I'm your Cyrano. (To coin a romance author's mantra: "If you can't meet him, write him.") Ironically, I have a better shot of licking every ab of Christian Grey's impossibly chiseled chest than reading you in an erotic novel. Here's why: Real people have flaws. For art to imitate life, stories need suspense, conflicts to resolve, arcs to bow as characters grow. Sorry to say it, baby, but you've got nowhere to go. Too well adjusted? Ho-hum. No deep dark secret? Boring! To be believable (and dramatically compelling), you need a perfect imperfection, one only our healing passion (and an unexpected plot twist which ties everything together) can resolve. Soaring above it all to intimate new heights is what makes us look for you on each page and around every corner. Your happy ending gives us hope that, whatever our own flaws and imperfections, maybe we can find unconditional love, too. Because while we're having great fun playing "Mr. Grey Will Be You Now," we'll want you even more when we can love you for yourself.
Up next: Are You Ana Steele? Take the Fifty Shades Test.
The Adaptation Game: Playing With Fifty Shades of Sex for Film is the winner of the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for Best Entertainment Blog by an Individual. Discover more sensual first kisses in movies, film's most romantic dances and cinema's most amorous songs. Check out another super Valentine's heartthrob. Take a playful peek at writers looking for love. Learn why Twilight's Edward Cullen is so seductive. For more on the author, follow Devra on Twitter @devramaza and visit DevraMaza.com.
Photo Credits: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey, on the set of Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades one sheets, courtesy of Universal Pictures/Focus Features. Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, courtesy of Warner Bros.; Justin Bieber, courtesy of Ticketmaster; Cartoon neanderthal, courtesy of TV Tropes; David Gandy, courtesy of GQ Australia.
Dream Lover: Who's your ideal erotic novel hero or heroine? Tell us in Comments.