Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
E.L. James, while no Shakespeare, has penned an opus of erotic fiction for a modern age. Don't get us wrong — we love us some sex scenes (good or bad) — but when image fatigue sets in, imagination comes out to play.
Fifty Shades of Grey busted the doors of erotica and brought it upon the inquisitive hands of our mothers, sisters, and even grandmothers. If we couldn't watch, say, Masters of Sex on our various gadgets while on the subway or airplane, we sure as hell could read it. (Public indecency be damned!) And, Fifty Shades' wordplay was as, er, tantalizing as the scenarios they painted. Thanks to James, we have a new perspective on what it means to be a goddess dancing the seven veils. But, for how ridiculous the vernacular can be, how often are certain words, and certain exclamations, used? Does it mean anything that "love" and "girlfriend" are hardly used, but the word "slap" will crop up close to 50 times per saga? Here, we've broken down James' authorship into five, logophile categories to determine the true meaning of Fifty Shades of Grey: A story of love, lust, and leather.
Illustrated by Ly Ngo