I first heard about 50 Shades of Grey from a friend in the States. At the time, the book was not big here yet. She told me to check it out because it was different and emphasized that it was erotic. “Something you shouldn’t really read when you are alone.”  Gosh! What is she talking about? Here’s a brief background of the book (though I think most everyone has heard about it already).

Anastasia Steele, a 22 year old college senior, is tasked to interview the wealthy and incredibly dashing 27 year old Christian Grey. A series of events reveal Christian’s other side and Anna’s surrender to it.  Together, they enter a world of submission and dominance. The novel contains explicitly erotic scenes. No surprise it drew a lot of criticism and controversy. People’s opinions were divided on whether the book showed feminine success by openly discussing sexual issues or if it had perpetuated violence against women. I asked a few Cebuanas on what they thought about it.

“At the beginning, I did find it quiet violent because of the clearly defined steamy sadistic scenes.  I became more focused on the love aspect of the story as I continued to read it. It just wasn’t all about sex as what most people think. I believe it has showed how great true love can be and how it can completely change a person. Christian Grey shows that a guy can change his evil ways, all because he has found true love and that to me is every girl’s dream. “- Mayse, Banker, 23

“I found it violent and showed abuse in almost every angle. It’s clear that Christian is a sadist and I don’t believe that a girl should embrace that.  If you respect yourself as a woman, you shouldn’t allow a man to do those physically painful things to you. You don’t need to be his toy to see your beauty and you don’t need a man with disturbing sexual needs. Christian needs a psychiatrist badly!” – Maria, Housewife, 30

“I did not finish the book because I found it so lustful. The beginning part made me “kilig” though. I didn’t get to any part which there was violence but when Anna and Christian were starting their sadomasochist deal was already quite weird. Grey by the way is every girl’s dream guy. I think the author poured out all the qualities a girl wants; he’s a hunk, unpredictable, adventurous, extraordinarily rich and not to mention super generous. I think the book just made a character that women love but men surely hate!” – Anne, Nurse, 25

 A few facts about 50 Shades of Grey

– Author: EL James

– Second and Third Installments: 50 Shades of Grey Darker and 50 Shades of Grey Freed

– Book has sold 40 million copies worldwide

– Fastest selling paperback  and ebook of all time beating the Harry Potter seriesFastest selling adult novel of all time

– Some public libraries in Florida banned the book in March 2012.

– The trilogy is set to hit the big screens but the roles still aren’t cast. Ryan Gosling is said to be a strong contender for the role of Grey. Other names mentioned are White Collar’s Matt Bomer and Vampire Diaries hunk Ian Somerhalder.

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