Happy International Womens Day: I’m a woman and I like porn. Have you seen it yet? You know the movie I’m talking about. 50 shades of Grey. The story of the gorgeous and charming yet damaged billionaire, Christian Grey, who falls in love with the vulnerable and naive, yet witty Ana Steele. I’ll put it out there straight up, I liked it. I’ve read the books and I enjoyed them too. Since first becoming a libidinous teenage girl I’ve read hundreds, if not thousands of romance novels, the sexier the better. Not so many since hitting my twenties when I discovered epic fantasy fiction, but I guess romance is just a version of fantasy if we get right down to it. And it’s usually consumable in bite size chunks, which is quite convenient for an easily distracted teen. But back on to the romance genre. Growing up, sex and porn wasn’t really something that was talked about in my family, as I’m sure many of you can relate. It was only talked about in the schoolyard with your friends, who knew precisely dick about it. I remember giggling with my girlfriends when any one innocently uttered the phrase ‘do it’. As a child there is that natural inquisitiveness you have for learning more about sex and relationships and what it all means. And the biggest of them, where do you fit in to it all. Some of us may still be trying to figure that out as adults. Masturbation for example. When you finally learn what this amazing feeling is, you’re taught that it’s something to keep behind closed doors. You can do it but don’t talk about it. It’s not a specific happening so much as a cultural way of seeing sex. So this brings us back to romance and erotic fiction. When you’re young and finding your way in the world, erotic fiction is a way of finding out about sex and relationships. 50 Shades of Grey has been derided by many but it has opened the doors for many women to talk about something that usually only gets a closeted mention. My review is not about the quality of writing. I’m celebrating a woman who had a dream to write a book, and she did it, and gained a publishing deal out of it. More importantly she was fortunate enough she got what many authors spend years trying to achieve. The feeling that knowing so many women have connected with her work and gained great enjoyment from it. They even might have learned a few things. What more could any author want? Usually I get bat-shit-crazy angry over movie adaptations. This one surprised me and I really enjoyed it. The story captured the essence of the book without forsaking any elements and I found the people who played both Ana (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) knew and understood the vulnerabilities in their character and their chemistry played well together. If you’re not up on all the deets of the book the story is about Ana Steele, an incurable romantic studying English literature and who is about to finish college. She is shy and naive about the world and about sex with no experience other than what’s she’s read in the classics. Ana is called on to interview Christian Grey, a self-made billionaire, by her outgoing friend, Kate, who has fallen ill. In romantic fiction land, Christian is the ultimate catch; charming and trip over your tongue gorgeous, topped off with being a wealthy self-made entrepreneur. But like in all good romance stories, he has a dark secret that very few people know. One for which he considers himself unlovable. Christian was psychologically traumatised by his junkie mum as a baby, and as a teenage boy he couldn’t deal with it and became self destructive. To save him from heading too far into Shitsville, a friend of his mothers introduces him to BDSM. Being introduced to BDSM before discovering sex on his own, he finds that he’s developed a particular sexual taste and regular old missionary just doesn’t cut it. Enter the virgin Ana. Ana’s vulnerability and naivety drive Christian insane with lust. Dominant Christian must make her his. Ana has the romantic ideal of finding ‘the one’. The movie is a balance of curiosity about the other, and of finding something they don’t currently have. As a character Ana is plain and shy, and usually goes unnoticed. This is where I relate so much to her. I’ve always felt that way myself. As grown women, I think we still feel this way so often. Christian has a hole in his heart where he was betrayed by the mother that was supposed to love him above all else. His unworthiness is also relatable. Many of us are afraid that we are not worthy of the good things that come into our lives and attempt to sabotage them first. Overall I was expecting something quite tacky, what I got was a tastefully thought out movie version of a book, that gave me some much needed time out from being a busy working mum. A little taste of fantasy. If you’re worried about the rating, don’t be, it’s MA 15+. There are some boobs and some pubes, the rest is implied. I went with my Mother in-law who enjoyed it too. If you’d like it a little more sexy and kinky, start with the book. The 50 Shades of Grey movie is a bit of sexy, kinky fun. Don’t expect more than that and you’ll enjoy it. And it’ll give you something to gossip about next week back at work. It’s International Women’s Day today. It’s a day to stand up and be proud of what who we are and to own the things we like. EL James is the author of the 50 Shades series. She should be proud that she followed her passion and wrote a book. We should all take her lead and follow our passions, whether it be writing a book or tying up our partner and giving them a (consensual) slap on the ass. I like porn and I like erotic fiction, a lot. Own it ladies. If you like it too, don’t be afraid of it. Explore your passions, try something new and discover what you like. Be kind to yourself and be kind to other women. Happy International Womens Day It’s a long weekend, do something for yourself and go see it. Report back in and let me know what you think.