You’re probably living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the latest phenomenon to hit bookstores: the Fifty Shades of Grey series. It’s categorized as an “erotic novel” (aka Mommy Porn), but there’s really so much more to it than that. It’s an incredibly unrealistic love story about a virgin that finds herself in a serendipitous S&M relationship with a gazillionaire. Of course, he steals her virginity and subjects her to the lifestyle he knows and loves. Hooked yet?

While I got easily hooked into their love saga, I couldn’t ignore the extraordinarily explicit sex scenes. Honest to God, I had to Google some of the things he mentioned because I had no idea what they were. I was in such shock and awe while reading these scenes, but somehow just couldn’t put the book down.

I found myself in an incriminating situation in the Nashville airport, actually, thanks to this series. I had just finished the first book and literally could not wait to start the next, Fifty Shades Darker. However, when I got to the airport bookstore, I proceeded to have an incredibly awkward conversation (with an audience listening, naturally) with the cashier about what the book was about because she had seen it literally fly off the shelves, being purchased by women of all ages. I’m sure my face was a deep shade of crimson while explaining the plot; I felt deeply judged by the people listening. I was openly talking about a kinky sex relationship! With a stranger!

And that’s when it hit me. I shouldn’t be ashamed about this book. Fifty Shades has been a #1 best seller for weeks now, so clearly PLENTY of people are into it. Granted, I don’t intend on passing this book along to my grandmother, but it’s something fresh and new that women can talk about (and boy is it a conversation topic!). It’s essentially porn and, lemme tell ya, my girlfriends just swoon over it. If this book is what gets you going, then don’t hide it—trust me, your boyfriend will appreciate it if you don’t hide it! The point is that it’s just a book and if people judge you for reading it… well, they clearly haven’t fallen under the Christian Grey spell yet.

Have you ever felt embarrassed for reading “Fifty Shades” in public?