We make a lot of jokes about 50 Shades Of Grey, mostly because it’s a really stupid poor excuse for literary smut.  It is the worst kind of generally acceptable “BDSM”, which is nothing more than poorly veiled abuse.  I say this because I’ve read the first book, because anytime I review something, or make fun of something, I have to know what it is I’m ridiculing.  The ‘story’ is horrible, the prose sloppy and juvenile, I’ve read better “Dear Penthouse” letters from the mid 80’s.

And let's be honest, this is the only Mr. Grey I'm concerned about.
And let’s be honest, this is the only Mr. Grey I’m concerned about.

So we thought maybe it’s lack of imagination on the part of modern readers, or even being unaware of the real romantic/really hot options available to couples on this Valentines Day.

Here is our list of 10 things you should do INSTEAD of seeing 50 Shades of Nope:

10.)  Watch The Secretary with your partner.  Really, it’s a healthy and adorable depiction of what a masterful relationship can be.

9.)  Take $50 in cash, soak it in 151, and set it aflame.  There, this will be a better experience than sitting in the theater watching 50 Shades of Grey.  (You can also go get couple’s STD tests, so sexy, nothing says “I want you” like insuring the health of your partner.)

8.)  Read some REAL errotica out loud with your partner.  No, seriously.  There are so many sites and collections of really well written sexy stories, it’s such a shame the drivel of fanfic gets all the attention.  Ask your partner what gets them excited, look for stories that fit in that vein, and read one out loud.  Then, have them do the same for you.  If you can’t find anything that suits, write your own, then reenact it.

7.)  (This one is a little juvenile, but many couples really do enjoy shopping together.)  Take your partner to their favorite department store, whisper in their ear “go find yourself something comfy, something sexy, and something slutty,” and let the fun begin.

6.)  Hire a private chef to cook you and your partner dinner.  Make it a surprise, decorate your dining space in their favorite lush colors, and don’t skimp on the wine/champagne.

5.)  A couple’s massage.  I’m not mixing words here, I don’t mean one of “those” massages because in California, they are illegal (not in Nevada, though). Look up your local high end day spa, and ask about couple’s packages.  Heh.  Couples’ packages.

4.)  If you REALLY want to tie your partner up, do so with care.  Get yourself a copy of the introductory rope book by Two Knotty Boys, and/or online classes by notable Shibari instructors.

3.)  Take your partner dancing.  I don’t mean a dubstep club, I mean real dancing.  West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Blues dancing, there are many different options easily discoverable by a simple Facebook search.

2.)  If the kinky side is really what you want to walk on this February 14th, do it safely and consensually.  Check out your city’s local BDSM scene, you’d be really surprised how welcoming the community can be as long as you’re respectful.  You can even hire a private dominatrix (or male dom) for one on one lessons.

1.)  The final thing would be doing what countless online notables suggest, donate the price of a pair of tickets and popcorn to a local women’s shelter.


We’ve also had some pretty good “write in” options from readers:

“Go to a local Burlesque show”, “smashing your balls in a steel trap”, “ballpeen hammer to the face”, “replacing makeup foundation with pure acid”, and my personal favorite, “using a corner of each page of the book to administer papercuts to every square inch of my body”.

ABOUT >> Mary Anne Butler
  • BIO >> Mary Anne Butler (Mab) is a reporter and photographer from San Francisco California. She is a lifelong geek, huge music nerd, occasionally cosplays at conventions, does Renaissance Faires, and in general lives the life of a True Believer. She may be short, but she makes up for it with a loud voice.
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