'50 Shades of Grey' was the Rebecca Black of literature this year: for a few weeks it was all anyone could talk about, and then it disappeared into nothingness, without so much as a death rattle.

'FSOG' is a little like baby's first BDSM: it's a decent introduction to some of the concepts of bondage and kink for newcomers, and pretty well-worn territory for anyone who is currently in the dating scene. If you're single, you've most likely had your fair share of encounters with fetishists and people with vampire fetishes. (No? Just me? Cool.) Online dating makes it pretty easy to be open about what you're looking for, what your kinks are, and exactly how hard you like to be spanked with a riding crop. This wasn't the case a generation ago, though.

The good news about our generation's quiet little sexual revolution is that most kinks are being de-stigmatized, and honesty and transparency are always tools for positive change, because telling people what you want is the best way to get it. The bad news is that it can create some fallout in the older set, when the doors of enlightenment are jimmied open with the crow bar of pop culture. Take for example this recent story about a woman in England who decided to divorce her husband after he refused his wife's request to get a little kinky.

While this couple is most likely better off, as they didn't seem particularly psyched about each other and hadn't had sex in a remarkably long time, there's still a lesson to be learned here: If you want to introduce a little kink into your waning (or completely non-existant) sex-life, there is a much better way to do it than plunking down a copy of a fictional book at the dinner table. Communication is key: Might I suggest a combination of earnest research and the artfully-executed compliment sandwich?

Compliment Sandwich

  • a compliment followed by criticism (or in this case, a suggestion) followed by a compliment.

Artfully-executed: "Darling, you're so sexy and confident -- I'd love for you to tie me up in our bed tonight and do anything you want to me, would that turn you on? It's so sexy watching you get riled up."

Artlessly-executed: "Hey, wonder-tits, I've got a surprise for you -- I turned our closet into a den of iniquity, here's your ball gag. Ready?"

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Presentation really is everything, fellas, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a woman who doesn't find your ability to be open about your interests and passions sexy as hell.

Want to learn more? How to Be Kinky, The Loving Dominant, and It's Not About The Whip are all fantastic resources for information.

If you don't end up getting much use out of your copy of FSOG, no worries: there's a huge market for re-selling.