In short: Fifty Shades of Grey is erotica and thus disqualified from the Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2012 (or indeed in any other year). Phew.
The rise of the ebook is crucial to the emerging success of Indie Authors. By cutting out the middlemen - agents, publishers, traditional bookshops - authors can realise better returns and connect more directly with their readers. Most notable, of course, is the phenomenon of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey - now the best-selling book in British history.
Today, girls may know more about sex but Lace's message of empowerment and equality is as relevant and important as it was 30 years ago. It's a pity that modern novels, especially informative ones that involve women's sexuality are put down as 'mummy porn', 'bonkbusters', 'bodice rippers', 'beach-reads', 'w*nk-fodder' or, simply, trash. But what has clearly been proved, and what has changed in the last 30 years, is that women are far more openly interested in having an enjoyable sex life.
No one should be forced to perform sexual acts that they feel uncomfortable with. But to blame books for creating a new and dangerous generation of sexually demanding women is ludicrous and harks back to the days when novel-reading was considered an unsuitable activity for women.
'Keep failing and fail better' says Samuel Beckett, the absurdist playwright, which has been my mantra this week.
Fifty Shades is basically Twilight with added S&M. This is not just romance, this is S&M romance, to paraphrase an advertising campaign familiar to yummy mummies everywhere.
You pay your money, stand in a field, and a man in a vest with a wispy moustache shouts at you for an hour. While this happens, your body is forced into all kinds of unnatural positions known to acolytes of the craft as "the press-up", "the star jump", the "run to the fence and back MOVE!" and - I shudder at the memory - "the burpee".
For some time the boys had talked about the summer holidays with some excitement, mainly because they were so looking forward to going to see their nanny who now lives in Tenerife.
On the whole sex/ erotica point, it's worth noting how little actually appears. It takes over 100 pages before there's actually any sex, and on the few occasions that there is it's over within a couple of pages. When it does appear it can be reasonably explicit, but it's also clumsy and evasive enough not to feel too pornographic.
Someone sent me a link the other day asking me to help save a local bookshop, "Could you tweet this? He needs help." She said and I opened th...
This skilfully packaged book is marketed as liberating for women (trussed like a turkey liberating?) However, in reality it actually romanticises the dangerous patterns of an abusive relationship by teaching that controlling men are sexy and women secretly enjoy being hurt.
Perhaps the beauty of the sex toy market lies in the fact that there is something for everyone whether you're single or partnered, with tastes running from vanilla to kinky and everything in between.
The issue came up this morning during a discussion with my wife about the "50 Shades of Grey" phenomenon when she declared emphatically "if you trussed me up, I'd be off". I reminded her that technically speaking this was not true as she would be trussed up.
For me, I thought the book was one of the most badly written piles of sh**e I've ever read. I didn't find it sexy but then again, I find James May quite sexy so that tells you a lot about my personal taste.
I have reached an age where my peak can be seen disappearing around the corner behind me. I was resigned to this when it was still in focus. But now...
Fifty Shades of Grey is a superb book; EL James has exceeded expectations to become the curator of an important and impressive literary milestone.