Reporting Suzanne Marques
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — It is one of the hottest book series of the moment. The “Fifty Shades Of Grey” trilogy is steaming up bedrooms – and some say it is even saving marriages.
CBS2 entertainment reporter Suzanne Marques spoke with fans of the series at Book Soup in West Hollywood.
“It’s the most amazing book I’ve read,” Nicole Allowitz told Marques.
“My friends that usually go to bed at 9 p.m. are going to bed at midnight because they have this book in their hand,” said fan Sandy Milton.
The first book in the series is at the top of Amazon’s “Best Sellers” list and the author, E.L. James., has just signed a movie deal for the trilogy.
“People were calling about it and there was no record of it in my computer,” said Tosh Berman, who works at Book Soup. “[It’s] being geared for an older audience who have been ignored for many, many years.”
The story is about a naïve female student who is seduced by a gorgeous, successful entrepreneur named “Christian Grey”.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Stacy Wadlington said the books give women a chance to explore their sexual side and that the main male character brings to life what women want.
“Do you think it’s the guy — he’s sexy, he’s dominant, he takes charge, there’s everything about him that you want in a man,” Wadlington said. “Women haven’t had permission, for lack of a better word, to explore that, let alone verbalize it — Let alone read about it!”
“They want the romance, they want the alpha male, the take charge. I have had many women come in and say, ‘Where are the real men really showing up for life?’” Wadlington said.
The fantasy man in the book is a dominant billionaire, but Wadlington said it is not as simple as women wanting money but, rather, a man taking care of them.
“Not so much in that it’s giving up complete power, but the sense of having someone fulfill their needs,” said Wadlington, adding, “They want someone they can trust, who can take charge, who haven’t lost the concept of chivalry and I think men don’t think women want that as much. But women, clearly, want that.”
But could Fifty Shades be saving marriages?
“Men are probably saying it’s saving marriages because they’re getting sex!” Wadlington said.
She said women are feeling friskier after reading the book because it gives them permission to acknowledge their sexuality.
It’s an erotic novel marketed to the mainstream that women don’t have to read in secret.
“It taps into something they’ve been wanting to do, and it’s real, and it’s fulfilling, and it validates something — it’s empowering for them,” the psychologist said.