I Took A Blind Date To See 50 Shades of Grey

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    50 shades of grey

    Never ask a girl out on Valentines Day. That’s a culturally agreed upon adage about proper dating decorum. The thought process, I assume, being that a Valentines Day is too intimate for a first encounter, and a certain level of discomfort is to be expected.

    But no one ever said anything about taking a complete stranger — a blind date if you will — to see a movie about bondage and sadism. So I decided to give it a whirl. This past Thursday I met a girl named Grace — a complete and total stranger to me — at 7:35. At 7:40 we took our seats in the theater to see 50 Shades of Grey.

    Finding Grace was no easy feat. I asked several girls I knew if they could refer me to a young woman who would be up for seeing the movie with a total stranger in a first-date-type environment, yet after a week I still had no date. Apparently girls in the Bible belt of East Tennessee get a little squeamish about the thought of such a thing. It became clear a different approach was needed. A more aggressive approach.

    So I contacted a buddy who is a Tinder aficionado. Tinder, for those who might not know, is a “dating app” known for its shallow selection process (just a few pics coupled with a “Like”/“Don’t Like” button), as well as for spawning casual hookups. My buddy floats through a few Tinder connections and has me a date within ten minutes.

    The lesson here is to never get a female to ask a girl out on a date on your behalf if that date sounds creepy and or ridiculous. Guys are simply programmed to carry out such tasks far better and more efficiently.

    Grace instantly won me over by producing two free movie passes upon arrival. Yes you’re reading that correctly. My blind date showed up to the soft-core porn movie I’d suggested and comped the tix. IT’S 2015 BABY!

    After the movie we grabbed a few beers and talked about our mutual experience, with a few general observations about one of the worst movies ever conceived.

    Kevin: For starters, let me be clear in saying this movie was an abomination when really it didn’t even have to be. There were a few times when it almost caught my attention, but then a really long brooding stare from Mr. Grey was met with the cowering and lustful eyes of Anastasia, followed by some dialogue that was something like “Ana…I don’t really get why you’re not cool with signing this document that legally binds you to being my full time live-in sex slave.”

    Grace: I get that the sex scenes were fun. Overall it wasn’t a terrible movie, but I was distracted by so many things. I felt like Dakota Johnson’s ta-tas were more of a character in the film than she was.

    It should be noted that a woman behind us towards the end of the movie stated that if she had to see those “little white titties” one more time she was going to leave.

    Kevin: So in terms of a first date, how different is a dinner and drinks from watching a two-hour soft-core porn film with a total stranger?

    Grace: Totally awkward at points. Specifically, if I had a certain reaction to a scene I would immediately go straight-faced out of fear of you noticing me. Also I did a lot of shifting in my seat. I mean, how do you decide which leg to cross when a naked girl is being flogged on screen, you know?

    Kevin: My favorite part of the entire experience was the crowd participation in the theater. Fifty Shades of Grey has often been referred to as “mom porn,” which I realized last night is an entirely different experience from the regular ol’ grotesque porn that guys watch. “Mom porn” is apparently a spectator sport. For a few brief moments I felt like I was at a Southern church revival with all of the “Mm hmm” and other vocal exaltation’s being spoken into the theater darkness. One woman in front of us was physically standing up during scenes that floated her boat. Similar to a football game, I really caught the excitement of the crowd at times. I’m convinced we were close to getting a wave going in the third quarter.

    Grace: For sure, this movie is better seen with your girlfriends, honestly having a guy there almost ruins it.

    Kevin: After seeing the movie and what is commonly considered a pretty solid piece of man meat, do I just look like a knuckle dragging caveman at this point?

    Grace: I mean he’s very attractive…

    Kevin: So you’re unable to come to a conclusion on that, got it.

    Grace: He was sexy, but he also dropped the line “I don’t make love. I f*ck, and I f*ck hard,” which left me vomiting in my mouth a little bit.

    Kevin: I was wondering about that, I feel pretty confident that if I used the same lines as he, or tried to push a girl I barely knew up against the wall of an elevator, I would get slapped and served a restraining order on the same day.

    Grace: Getting pushed up against the wall of an elevator is every girls dream I think.

    Kevin: More than having a guy gift you a new Audi?

    Grace: No, check that, but I think being pushed up against your new Audi is acceptable.

    Kevin: So what’s it like sitting and talking to a guy you’ve just met after watching that movie?

    Grace: It’s really nice in the sense that the first-date awkwardness isn’t really there. How could anything be more awkward than the shared experience of watching a girl turned into a sex slave? I mean, maybe skydiving or killing something for sport would be a similar first date experience.

    Kevin: What if I had, say, put an arm around you during the movie?

    Grace: I would have completely freaked out.

    Kevin: Noted. Am I wrong in saying the movie paints Christian Grey as this sociopath who is an anomaly among males, when in actuality rich white guys have been pulling these types of moves for centuries. “Babe, I don’t do relationships.” “Babe, I don’t do sleepovers.” “Babe, I’ve never taken any other girls in the helicopter before.” “Babe if I buy you this car will you please just legally consent to being my sex slave?”

    Grace: YES! Literally other than his pleasure room or whatever, this was just another story about a weird, rich and super good looking guy inexplicably falling for a plain girl that OF COURSE studies English Lit, works at a hardware store and doesn’t like to wear makeup. Meanwhile her good looking blonde roommate gets the less attractive brother to date. Life NEVER works out that way.

    Kevin: I liked Anastasia ok as a character, but my biggest problem with her was how often she interrupted his shirtless piano performances in his living room. This guy has just finished doing some of the craziest, most acrobatic sex moves ever invented, and now he’s left her in her own private room in his penthouse for some sleep, and of course she comes out wrapped in a sheet wanting to talk about her feelings. Let the man play piano.

    Grace: Of course a guy would say that. He’s left so much ambiguity in their relationship, she deservedly has some questions. She needs to express her feelings!

    Kevin: We are clearly having our first fight about when is and when is not an appropriate time to talk about one’s feelings. The right time is obviously after six drinks on the weekends.

    Grace: I can get on board with that.

    Kevin: Thanks for taking the time to join me for a terrible movie, and the weirdest first date story you’ll ever have.

    Grace: Thanks for allowing me to learn to about bondage and dominatrix in a presumably safe space with a total stranger.

    Grace and I collectively give the a movie two stars out of four, though if you can land a seat in a crowded theater full of women, I still highly recommend it.

    No one was tied up or hit with any sort of riding whip during this project. We hope to remain friends and have pre-purchased tickets to see the sequel together.

    Why was this piece on RTI? 

    Kevin Hughes comes to Rocky Top Insider by way of WNML where in addition to serving as an Account Executive, he also created the station's first original content podcast, Hughes It or Lose It. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Kevin has lived in Knoxville since 2006 and enjoys everything East Tennessee has to offer. You'll find him walking his dog, or potentially frequenting a variety of dimly lit bars mingling with his people.