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Read Erotica. Just Don't Call It Mummy Porn.

14/08/2014 16:51 | Updated 22 May 2015

Read erotica. Just don't call it Mummy Porn.

I have a confession to make.

I think I'm the only woman on the Internet over 30 NOT to have read 50 Shades of Grey.

I know. You're probably pretty shocked right now that I haven't downloaded it to my Kindle for bedtime reading like 10m other women, but I just can't bring myself to read bad writing. And that book is SO badly written. I feel buying that book would tell publishers everywhere, "Hey relax, there's no need to edit this shit, or only publish the good stuff. I'll buy anything if it's got a bit of S&M in it."

I must confess, too, that part of my reason for not wanting to read the book has been the way it's been positioned, in the media, as "Mummy porn".

Seriously?

What is Mummy porn, anyway? And that's a rhetorical question and you definitely shouldn't Google it to find out what exactly Mummy porn is because, well, just take my word for it. You don't want to go there. *shudders*

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The term Mummy porn surely suggests that when you become a mother, your sexuality somehow changes – or is removed surgically, perhaps. That you're no longer interested in sex or sexuality the way 'regular' women are. Or even that wanting to read a book which (based on the extracts I've seen) is really not that raunchy – is somehow incredibly NAUGHTY.

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Ugh.

Perhaps I'm prejudiced, but if I was going to read porn, I'd read porn. Or erotica, which I suspect is basically porn with a bit more story. Putting the word 'Mummy' in front of it makes it flat out wrong. I can't think of a faster way to make something sound completely lacking in eroticism than to preface it with 'Mummy'. Maybe that's the point? To belittle women's sexuality?

I read an interesting article yesterday in a newspaper saying that the success of 50 Shades of Grey is part of a wider increase in sales of erotica. Publishers are enjoying a boom in sales of erotic fiction, with one in three sales being a digital copy – a far higher proportion than for any other kind of books. So basically, more women are now buying erotica because they can put it on their Kindle or iPad. Far easier to download something at home than brave the raised eyebrow of the check-out guy at Waterstones.

More power to the ladies hitting the download button, I say. If reading erotica floats your boat, or helps you explore your sexuality in a safe way then that's a positive thing for women generally. It's empowering, and as a feminist, it seems like a positive thing to me.

So, by all means get downloading the erotica. Download 50 Shades of Grey, if you really must. But can we stop belittling it with the awful name 'Mummy porn'?

Who's the Mummy is a blog about me (Sally) and my fantastic daughter, Flea.

Our family motto is "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how". We tried "Dignity at all Times" but honestly? It wasn't a good fit.

Twitter: @swhittle

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