I'm glad you asked. We'll come back to that.
I just finished the Shades of Grey erotic trilogy that seems to be the flavor of the moment and is garnering a lot of attention in the mainstream media these days.
As an author of erotica myself - I probably have a slightly different perspective than the average reader.
With this series I am left feeling like it was good, but could have been great. There is a LOT of sex, so much so that it honestly becomes a little unbelievable in the frequency, their respective desire levels, his ability to have multiple orgasms in a short period of time, her constant arousal at his mere presence, etc., etc.
I found myself skipping over some of the repetitive sex to get at the story beyond - which was well done enough to keep my interest.
I have read a lot about people that feel strongly both ways about these books, that the main male character is much too controlling, no self-respecting woman would put up with that behavior - versus the reports that a lot of women are calling it "mommy porn" and saying it is spicing up their bedroom and rekindling their marriages.
Speaking from my own point of view - and in terms of Volume One of my own series being called Losing Control ... I understand the desire to "just let go" to some degree, but I think there is a fine line between dominant and simply domineering.
I think to some extent the readers that enjoyed this series will enjoy mine as well - and I actually think they stand a much better chance of connecting with my series - since it is autobiographical in nature - and my particular beau is not a billionaire. Not too many of those to go around these days.
For those who did not enjoy the Shades of Grey series - I think there is a good chance they would enjoy my series as well - as it is a totally different "feeling" in terms of how the idea of domination (or submission) is presented.
Anyway ... as an author of a similar (in nature - if not tone) series - I found it an interesting comparison.
Come join ME on my journey and find out why Volume One of my Summer's Journey series is the Number Nine ranked erotica ebook on Amazon.
(Authors edit: Volume One is now ranked Number FIVE in Amazon erotica books, sorted by Average Customer Review.)
And yes - that is ranked in front of Shades of Grey. For now. ;-)
Come see what *93* Amazon reviews to date for the series are calling "intelligent, witty, and HOT!!"
Needless to say - FOR ADULTS ONLY!!
Back to what I call The Tiger Woods Effect.
When Tiger Woods was at the height of his popularity - he drove millions of new fans to embrace the sport of golf. Other professional golfers (especially Phil Mickelson) are very vocal in their belief that Tiger has had a lasting positive impact on the PGA Tour in terms of increased tournament purses, television deals that bring millions, new fans, bigger crowds, more endorsement deals, etc., etc.
I believe that a literary comparison can be made in terms of the positive effect that the Shades of Grey phenomenon can have for the genre of erotica. Erotica is the proverbial black sheep of literature. There are plenty of people who read and enjoy it, but not many are willing to talk about it, pass on recommendations, etc. It seems to be one of those "behind closed doors" type of activities. The advent of ereader technology (such as my beloved Kindle) has made it much easier for people to indulge in reading the more spicier works such as mine without advertising those potentially lurid covers to everyone around them.
Anyway - regardless of your feeling as an author about the Shades of Grey trilogy, how well they are written or not, etc., etc. ... as an author in the same genre that could stand to benefit from the mainstream media's current fascination - I tip my hat to Ms. James and say - Thank You.
She has captured that elusive lightning in a bottle and I wish her all the success in the world.