Samantha Brick strikes again

It is the fastest selling book EVER, and it has sold over 10 million copies and is currently topping the number one bestseller list. 50 Shades of Grey is the publishing sensation credited with reviving the interest in erotic literature.

Women everywhere are reading the E.L James sexually explicit trilogy. It has become the fastest selling paperback in UK history – ahead of Harry Potter and Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.

However, not likely to part with her cash for the books, Samantha Brick, the writer who caused a controversy when she claimed that women hated her because she is beautiful has branded the books demeaning to women. In an interview on This Morning, Samantha Brick said that the books were “pornography aimed at women.”

Using the term mummy porn, Samantha Brick explains, “This kind of safe, middle-class word makes women think it is ok to read.” She then goes on to brand the female character; Anastasia Steele a victim and a sex slave. “This is not where we are in the 21st century. Women are moral compasses of society.”

Debating with founder of erotic website Cliterati, Emily Dubberley. Samantha Brick compares the marketing campaigns surrounding the books with the rise of men’s magazines in the nineties. “We could have described the whole launch of the men’s mag generation with this – Nuts, Loaded, Zoo.” This comparison is drawn from Samantha Bricks point due to the editors of these magazines saying that they shouldn’t have portrayed women in the way that they did. Brick then goes onto explain that due to the avid marketing campaigns, the book has been forced upon us and it could compose a serious health risk if anyone attempted to imitate the bondage scenes within the novel.

We live in a generation where women are able to embrace their sexuality and play out their fantasies. As a fictional novel, as in many sex scenes in books and films, safety and precaution isn’t a consideration and Samantha brick thinks this could be dangerous. And we agree, readers will imitate the scenes, and the book is spicing up marriages all around the country (and world) and yes, there have been deaths in the past where people have gone too far, but what happens in the book is an exaggerated version of what is possible in real life. Common sense comes into place and we would like to think (though not always the case) that people know their limits.

It is a new generation of women who experiment, explore and sleep with four men in one night and discuss it the next day over lunch. The taboo is fading and what happens behind close doors no longer stays behind closed doors. 50 Shades of Grey highlights this and with the female character being a virgin, the story represents the extreme of the situation. Women have every right (and they do) of enjoying sex as much as men and this shouldn’t be shameful. Gone are the days where there is a divide between men and women. Women are no longer called whores, instead a sexual appetite is celebrated. The novel is not demeaning towards women, it is liberating. It explores S&M in a way that has never been done before. It isn’t harmful, only different. And yes, S&M is still extremely terrifying to many, but talking about it is no longer limited to the bedroom. And the character is not a sex slave as she is willing. If anything, she is a slave to lust, which I am sure we can all relate too.

This is our opinion. What do you think? Is the book harmful like Samantha Brick suggests? Or is it light entertainment for bored housewives? Or is a gateway introducing a new genre and new generation of readers, thinkers and doers?

Whatever you think about 50 Shades of Grey, erotica is no longer confined to the sock drawer.

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50 Shades of Grey

Well, Through the Door Promotions has decided to fall prey to temptation and indulge in the seedy and seductive book that is currently on every woman’s minds. Originally released as an e-book in June 2011, 50 Shades of Grey is the creation of E.L James, who is now wealthier than her character Christian Grey.

Told by the female protagonist, Anastasia Steele, who is an undergraduate of Washington State University? Anastasia meets Christian Grey, a wealthy businessman when she interviews him for a newspaper. The story (and the clothes) begins to unravel when Steele embarks on a dark and dangerous love affair with Grey. With no sexual experience, Steele boards a rollercoaster ride of sexual encounters, limitations and preferences. Grey is a demanding, moody and charming character with particular sexual tastes, which would make even the most sexual predator cringe. Anastasia is warned by her friends to stay away but the female character is too easily seduced (and unclothed) by her lover.

The three-part trilogy takes the reader on a journey through raw emotion with both the relationship and the reading extremely intense. The thin and blurred line between love and lust is a dominant theme and tension is sustained between the innocence and naivety of Anastasia and the domineering and addictive Grey. The more time she spends with him, the deeper she falls and the more she risks falling in love. And eventually she will come crashing down to earth (once the chains and shackles are released) when she realises her love is unrequited.

And with a huge sexual appetite to quench and chaos to cause, the characters do not lose their depth. The author weaves voice of reason within Anastasia’s subconscious as well as voice portraying her inner desire for Grey, which accurately reflects the array of emotions that any woman would experience in this situation. This allows women to relate to the character of Anastasia adding further standing to the novel.

The writing is as tasteful as the content will allow, though with some repetition and the constant references to Icarus flying too close to the sun. However, these may be purposeful to add to the metaphor.

Fifty Shades of Grey is causing a stir amongst women with the novel dominating the conversation at all opportunities. If you are expecting a love story such as Twilight, you are in for a shock.

FOOD: A CASE OF COUNTRIES

Jennyfer Taieb and Clemence Groseille are two French interns in Paris. They have come to London for two months to work for Through the Door Promotions. Below, in their blog post, they discuss the issues that they face being hungry students in the bright lights of the city.

As we welcome our second month and continue our affair with London, we are still experiencing a new culture, a new language and a new home.

Food is very important to us and we have been determined to do our own cooking, as we want to learn English recipes, we begun our English journey by writing a shopping list. However, we quickly realised that the price exceeded our simple student budget.

Therefore, because the price for healthier food is greater, crisps, sweets and fast food have become our staple diet. With the desire to eat equilibrium we admitted defeat, as the aspiration to live the high life in London including food, was deterred by the high prices in London.

Basic food prices are similar to those in France, but sincerely, the quality of meat and fish offered in supermarkets do not really inspire confidence. The best option is to go to a butcher or fishmongers, but we are wary of the cost.

But in a month, we have become savvy and have found solutions to this problem (not without difficulty). Buy basics in the bigger supermarkets that are still priced within our budget and make the rest of our purchases in low cost supermarkets. Therefore, we are not cutting quality, only cost. The solution works well, but London remains an expensive city, though this hasn’t removed its amazement, surprise or inviting ambiance.

Networking Event

This morning, Through the Door Promotions attended our first networking breakfast. Arriving at the RAF Club in Piccadilly at the bright but early time of 7am.

The networking breakfast happens once a week and is lead by a company called BRX, a business development group and a leading name in business networking.

As we arrived, we were ushered to the president suite where a breakfast was waiting as well as fresh orange juice, which was greatly appreciated in this hot weather. Multiple friendly faces greeted us and handshakes introduced the person attached to them and we were seated around a long table to begin the nuptials.

We expected a less formal event with standing and mingling involved. But instead everyone gave a formal one-minute presentation introducing themselves and their company and what they were looking to gain from the networking event. However, we realised that this was a far more efficient and organized strategy as it ensured that everyone was heard and placed in front of the correct decision makers, and companies could discover what other offerings and referrals were available.

Through the Door Promotions received positive feedback from a number of companies and received two referrals – one for a recruitment company and one from a public speaker. However, the most interesting aspect of the entire morning was receiving a range of cleverly and creatively designed business cards.

That Shit Cray

The ever modest Kanye West announced that “this is the best you will ever see in your life” as he dazzled under the spotlights of London 02 Arena. And last night, Through the Door Promotions was there to catch all of the action. Wearing a Givenchy leather T-shirt, Kanye West was joined on stage by a black clad Jay Z to present the biggest and most elaborate and electrifying show the 02 has ever seen! The two greatest performers nicknamed ‘the Throne’ who both have careers spanning over a decade, united to perform the track list from last years Watch the Throne album as well as diverting to their own extensive back catalogues. Jay Z’s best solo efforts provided well known songs including Empire State of Mind and Run this Town, while Kanye took the audience on a journey through his career performing songs from his first album College Dropout; Jesus Walks and All Falls Down as well as his more recent tracks All of the Lights and Stronger. And unsurprisingly, these solo choices were received with everyone out of their seats dancing and raising their glasses and with Jay Z a veteran of live performances, it is no revelation that he knows how to please a large crowd. And Kanye West must have been extremely satisfied to see over 23,000 people chant the lyrics to 2008 hit Heartless.

The opening sequence saw the pair stand aloft two vast pillars of light, upon which were projected scenes of wild animals. On such scene depicted an ocean view that hosted a great white shark swimming around, portraying the unnerving affect that the superstars were about to fall into their watery graves. Other animals featured included a cheetah and a vicious Doberman. And this animal theme was continued as they launched into ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ with images projected on a large screen including tigers, jaguars and cougars.

Other tracks featured further images that provided a respectful nod to the original music video. Otis came complete with a large American flag whist ‘No Church in the Wild’ offered a petrol bomb treatment.

Michael Jackson was also well and truly present at the arena; with Kanye claiming MJ had passed his gift onto the pair. And the banter continued during ‘All of the Lights’ where he stopped the track to announce, “This is the one time you can get away with it!” concerning the lyric following “Something wrong, I hold my head, MJ gone, our n**** dead!”

As Atlantic recently commented upon, one of the trademarks of the Throne tour has been the finale and Through the Door Promotions were not disappointed! “Big Pimpin”, “Gold Digger” and “99 Problems” were played in quick succession with the encore of “Paris” being played five times.  It is the biggest hip-hop song of the past two years and the entirety of the performance has now set a benchmark to which all stadium hip-hop will be judged.

Public House’s First Ever Liquid Book Club

This March 20th – will see Public House’s first ever liquid book club. You must be thinking .. liquid? What do you mean by liquid? Well…. we mean alcohol. Every month we shall meet, having read a book with alcohol related themes. We shall meet at Public House, situated in islington – and discuss the book and drink cocktails that are featured in the book.

For example, this month we are reading John Updike’s Couples:

Ten couples live in Tarbox, an out-of-the-way New England town. They form an exclusive group that feeds on petty rivalries, secrets, wordplay, entertaining, skiing, drinking and sex. Discreetly swapping partners, they conduct their rituals under the watchful eye of their self-appointed ringmaster, Freddy Thorne. but when Piet Hanema and Foxy Whitman have an affair, they reject expediency and caution, and for once the other unshockable couples are deeply shocked. Soon couples at play will become couples at war…..

If you are interested in coming a long – please contact us via a post or call us on 02034273665 or email georgia@throughthedoorpromotions.com