50 Shades... started as fan fiction and got wildly, and in my opinion, undeservedly popular, after which it was turned into the novel trilogy currently flying off shelves in unfathomable numbers. The fascination with this series has me and many others slamming our heads on our desks, walls, etc. in frustration and no small amount of concern and confusion. The writing quality is lamentable. The content is derogatory, damaging and fallacious. The books portray BDSM and people who practice in as play and lifestyle in a negative, unfair, inaccurate, offensive manner. They glorify and romanticize abusive, manipulative, obsessive, controlling, unsafe, and inappropriate behavior that responsible, ethical practitioners of BDSM would never condone. And that's not even considering the insulting, misogynistic, antifeminist, chauvinistic ideas the books propagate. For newbies or those curious about BDSM, these books give a very unrealistic ideas that could be seriously dangerous. This is a very real fear in the BDSM community. For these and other reasons, the books are so bad that people I know in the BDSM community and lifestyle have joked that real Doms/Dommes could force their subs/slaves to read them as punishment for bad behavior or other transgressions! I read all three books to be able to offer my fair opinion and critique. If you have a working knowledge of the lifestyle and community to compare them to and want to read them for this reason, then by all means. If you want to read an example of what BDSM is not, then, I suppose, but be sure to do some non-fiction reading and/or research to understand why it's wrong. If you want to read them as a diversion or for fun, you can do better. Much better. If you do read them, take them with a grain, no, a tablespoon or two, of salt and do some research about real BDSM to compare.