Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Guest Post – Shades of Gray


I’m honoured to have the wonderful and talented Cordelia’s Mom guest post for me today! Thanks, CM!
Please enjoy!!

Shades of Gray



… and gray window blinds.

You know, you folks have dirty minds. Unless, of course, you immediately thought of windows when you saw the title of this post.

Personally, I’ve never understood the preoccupation with sex. Sure it’s fun, especially with a partner who knows what he or she is doing. But let’s face it – sex has been around for a very long time, and basically it consists of the same basic action: one person’s body part interacting with the body part of another person.

Each generation has become a little more sophisticated in its knowledge of sex. I grew up in the 1950’s/1960’s, when television sitcoms couldn’t even show a married couple in the same bed. I turned 18 in 1970 – just at the time that David R. Reuben, M.D. published his book, “Everything You Want to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask.”

Believe me, that book was as much of a blockbuster as the current Shades of Grey – maybe even more so, because “Everything …” was not fiction.

At 18, I was still a virgin – in fact, I had never even had a date (remember – this was back when women were still supposed to remain pure until marriage). Wanting to enlighten myself, I managed to get a copy of “Everything …” and snuck it into my mother’s house, where I would read it in the privacy of my own room late at night.

Imagine my chagrin one day, when my mother asked me if I was reading that book. It was bad enough admitting to possessing that book, but imagine my absolute horror when my mother proceeded to ask me questions about it.

I mean, really? My mother had been married for many years and had four kids! At some point, she and my dad must have figured out how to do it.

But it wasn’t marital sex she was confused about. I’ll never forget our conversation wherein she said, “I can understand how homosexuals do it,” [hand gestures of pointer finger of one hand poking into the circle formed by the thumb and pointer finger of the other hand] “but how do lesbians do it?” [hand gestures of two palms flat against each other]. “I mean, girls don’t have that part. (Had she said penis, I really would have died. I knew my brothers had them – I had even diapered my baby brother – but I sure didn’t want my mother talking about them!)

I was way too embarrassed to explain about same-sex relationships (and I only knew from things I had read), so finally I just handed over the book. I don’t know if my mother became enlightened as to those issues, but she never asked me any sex questions after that (thank God in Heaven).

These days, there is no mystery surrounding sex. It finds it way not only into books, but into sitcoms, movies and advertising. I’m not sure that’s better than it was in my mother’s day.

My mother’s generation watched Jimmy Stewart trying to catch the moon for his girl, and Clark Gable carrying Scarlett up the staircase. The current generation has Shades of Grey – is that really better? I don’t think so. Although people are flocking to the movie, Shades of Grey, for the perceived sensationalism, I still think most of us would prefer a good, old-fashioned romance – even one that ends with those famous words, “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”

Which, by the way, was considered pretty risqué at the time. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? I’ll leave it to you to decide whether it’s been an improvement.

I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at or

Images by: Colt Group
and Cordelia’s Mom
POSTSCRIPT: Thank you, Linda, for giving me this opportunity to guest post for you. I am truly honored!

You’re welcome CM!
A note for my readers: please click on over to Cordelia’s Mom’s site and read my guest post too! Thanks!!

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

54 thoughts on “Guest Post – Shades of Gray

  1. Rather than finding it tantalizing, I normally tune out anything with “Shades of Gray” in the title. I just rarely find it enjoyable to read about sex, especially when everybody else reads ONLY this crap and not other more thoughtful works.

    But then I am old and cranky. I too like the old kind of romance. Except perhaps the grapefruit in the face scene… not all old movies were so romantic!


  2. I haven’t read or seen Shades of Grey. There are things that live best in the imagination and/or the bedroom (or other room of one’s choice). I hate that everything is spelled out in detailed these days. It’s killing creativity, spontenaiety, and good ol’ fashioned fun. TMI, I say! Thanks for the great post!


  3. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:
    Most of you managed to find today’s reciprocal guest posts by Linda Hill and me. But for those who were unable, or unwilling, to click over to another site, Linda and I agreed to reblog our own posts on our own blogs. Here is mine, for those of you who haven’t seen it. Comments may be left on either website – Linda and I are routinely checking both sites. And again, I wish to thank Linda for agreeing to this unique collaboration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So, you’re over here, and she’s over there….?? I don’t know if I’m coming or going – again. 😯 Oops, was that a sexual innuendo?
    Both you ladies did a fine job! Encore! Encore! 😀


  5. Even though our culture is sex-saturated this “education” hasn’t helped us one bit. Men’s addiction to pornography, for example, has made men poor lovers. The entertainment industry’s portrayal of love has twisted women’s concept of what love should look like.


  6. I don’t know, CM, the shades in the photo at the top look greenish to me.


  7. So much pressure on everyone to perform, so much hype. Those who are just grubbing along get very resentful . Really there is no reason to be feeling left out nothing is perfect not even SEX! 50 shades of tedium and hype! 😉


  8. That was a fun post CM. Well done and happy guesting!


  9. As a kid growing up with an artsy-fartsy flower-child mother…I think I knew too much about sex and the human body. From the “artistic” standpoint anyway.


  10. I enjoyed your post. I never read “Shades…” but I’ve watched “Gone with the “Wind” countless times and have read the book too. The biggest reason I did not read today’s biggest hit on sex is because I have three daughters in their 20s, and the oldest read it and hated it–didn’t even finish reading it. Especially since their adulthoods, we’ve always been open about anything, including the dirtiest books we’ve read, if we have. She gave it to me to see if I wanted to give it a whirl. She said she likes more character rather than just the sexual hunger of a character. I never did read it. If she couldn’t get through it, I didn’t even want to try. Maybe it’s a good book, or maybe it’s just good for some people, as all books either are or aren’t. I’m glad there’s a lot of different books out there, so there is something to read for everyone. But I’m also glad I’m not forced to read anything that just doesn’t sound good to me.


    • Little secret: I never read it, either, which is why I was very careful not to quote from it for this post. Like you, I was put off by the number of people who had read it and found it poorly written and boring. The reviews of the movie (which I also didn’t see) were not much better.

      I find it interesting that you and your daughters share books – I do that with my girls, too.


  11. I’d say things have vastly improved. Nowadays books written by the likes of D.H. Lawrence, don’t get banned, and booksellers don’t get sued for selling classics like Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. Comstockery, deaccession from libraries, and censorship was rampant before the sexual revolution. And consider what happened to Larry Flynt. I would never want to go back to those bad old days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In that respect, things probably have improved. I agree that banning books was not a good thing (usually it only made them more popular, anyway), but I do feel that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Glazed, that we shouldn’t go back to the “bad old days” when book bannings for those deemed “prurient” were not that uncommon. On the other hand, has the pendulum swung too far to the other side? Or am I just getting old and crotchety?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m uncomfortable with any restrictions on what people speak, write, film, or express unless I can see direct harm coming out of it. If someone deems something to be obscene, they have every right to not cater to it. But I don’t like it when they try to deprive others of their freedom to enjoy it. Let that pendulum swing clear off the clock, in my view.


        • I totally get that, Glazed, when it comes to literature, films, and speech, especially when the target audience is adults (and I’m not referring to the adult film industry, just films targeted for allegedly more mature audiences). I guess where I get concerned is with the proliferation of pornography and violence, which have always been around, but never, in this internet age, as easily accessible by younger kids — even in video games. And then there are the sex romp movies that are targeted directly at teenagers. Unfortunately, no one pays any attention anymore to the movie ratings. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a 14 or 15 year old (or even younger) being prevented from buying a ticket to, or entering a theater showing, an R-rated movie.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I remember getting in to watch Barbarella when I was a kid. That’s probably what warped me. I don’t object to parents keeping kids from watching some things. What I do object to is parents trying to keep everyone from being able to watch some things, in the so-called interest of protecting children, who might somehow become exposed to it. To me they’re just using children as an excuse for censorship of free speech.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I agree with you, Glazed, assuming by “parents” you mean conservatives, and religious fundamentalists who believe that teaching sex education (besides abstinence) in public schools is a sin and is inappropriate. Or did I take too far of a leap on this one?

              Liked by 1 person

              • I could not agree more. The tragedy of the conservative phobia about sex is that teens who are deprived of sex education have to learn their lessons the hard way. Ignorance is considered a major cause of teen pregnancies and teen STD’s.

                Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m with you, CM. I prefer not being force fed sex, but letting my imagination do the work.


  13. I don’t find ‘obvious’ sexy. I liked it better with innuendos and imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I prefer some things to be left to my imagination. Not a big fan of graphic sensational elements in any genre. It was better when the entertainment industry relied on talented writers, actors and camera people.


  15. Thanks, Linda – this has been fun!


  16. Pingback: FALSELY ACCUSED! (Guest Post by Linda G. Hill) | Cordelia's Mom, Still

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