I didn't finish the first book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

It takes a lot for me to put down a book - once I start, I like to give a book the benefit of the doubt and stick with it to the end. Take Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. The first chapter isn't all that promising, but by the time I read the final chapter, it had become one of my favourite books of all time.

So it's very rare for me to give up once I've begun.

However, E L James' writing is so execrable, the characters in Fifty Shades so banal, the sex scenes so lacking in passion and emotion, that had I kept reading, James may well have put me off two things I enjoy very much in life - sex and reading.

Advertisement

A world without either would be a very dull world indeed, so I put Fifty Shades out in the rubbish and didn't bother to pick up the sequels. I'm sure E L James doesn't give a fat rat's patooty of my opinion of her writing - she's laughing all the way to the bank.

According to Wikipiedia, by June 2015 she had sold 125 million copies of the book, it had been published in 52 languages and film rights for all three novels had been snapped up. So plenty of people must have liked it and good for them.

The film adaptation of Fifty Shades came out in 2014 and no, I didn't bother going to see it.

I'd rather watch every Big Save Furniture ad that's ever been screened than see that book brought to life. I reckon Big Save's Lily would have more passion and a wider range of emotion bouncing on her beds than Anastasia ever did in Fifty Shades.

Now Family First, the Christian lobby group (any irony in that the anti-hero of the film is also a Christian?) have got their tighty whities in a twist because TV3 is going screen the movie tonight - this very Sunday.

Yes, it had an R18 rating when it came out and yes, 8.30 is relatively early given that kids are still - still! - on their school holidays but seriously.

Here's why Family First needn't be concerned. Teenagers don't watch television. They are on their computers. They download and if they do watch television programmes, they watch them on demand. If teenagers wanted to be titillated, they would not sit down with their parents and watch a film that has widely been derided as Mummy Porn.

No self-respecting teenager I can think of would choose to watch Fifty Shades. Also, if a teenager is interested in sex they will be able to find whatever they're looking for on their phones or on their computers. Teenagers are also very media savvy. They know crap when they see it.

Even if they happened to find themselves in front of a telly, the first few minutes would be enough to make them leave the room in disgust.

If Family First is concerned that children younger than 13 will be exposed to filth, any parent who can't control what their child watches has far more to worry about than a very average film. Your child, your home, your television, your rules. Really simple.

And for those who worry that young women will think power and domination is at the root of all sexual relationships - what about the books we read in school that were considered classics?!

Heathcliff was a stalker with a borderline personality disorder. Mr Rochester was cold and gruff and kept the fact he had a wife hidden in the attic from his new young wife, Jane Eyre. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara had a tempestuous, undoubtedly violent, relationship in Gone with the Wind.

Honestly, I'd be more concerned with exposing young women to appalling writing than I would be concerned about the sex scenes.

Perhaps Family First should be encouraging all young people to be forced to sit and watch Fifty Shades tonight - because if the film is anything like the book, it will put them off sex for life.