Some readers, like Demars, suggest that the books’ extreme popularity has something do with women’s need for greater spice in life.
“I couldn’t put it down and I recommend it to friends because it allows women to leave behind the dullness of life for a little while,’’ she said. “I think the book is popular because women everywhere are looking for more in the bedroom, and more in their private lives.”
In my view, the popularity of Shades isn’t evidence of women’s unhappiness, but rather stems from a place where women are feeling increasingly empowered to pursue sexual fantasy and share it openly with others. And if it enhance’s women’s real-life intimacy, then all the better.
“It’s 2012 after all,’’ Leavitt said, “and we are reading it, enjoying it, and talking about it, simply because we can.”
Nancy Harris can be reached at email@example.com.