If you sort of want to see Fifty Shades of Grey but are wary of seeing a woman paddled mercilessly by a furiously aroused businessman, then Lifetime's The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom is the perfect way to dip your toe into BDSM without pulling a lubed-up tootsie back.
I would say the book it's based on was by an author who cavalierly looked at the success of EL Jame's Fifty Shades and then retro-fitted it to the 30-45 year old female market: "Let's make the heroine a mom instead of a collegiate nymphet, who badly needs a sexual awakening. Let's make Grey older, and not so crazy rich, not so inaccessible. He's totally into being a dom, except he's only into mental domination, so the sex is totally vanilla and violence-free. This will sell like hotcakes!"
But if these Goodreads quotes can indeed be attributed to author Delaine Moore, then the source material was nothing less than a gotdamn memoir of her real life experience, albeit ruthlessly perverted by the SEX MAD MINXES at Lifetime:
Ms. Moore, be comforted that even if every minute of the movie is true to life experience, you are certainly NO skank, and the Times must be entirely staffed with slut-shaming killjoys to come to that conclusion.
FOR SHAME, GREY LADY! If indeed the Times did give her such a review, who knows, maybe it was the Observer or something, I'm certainly not going to Google it because life is short and my fingers are as long and nimble as baby carrots.
Still, onscreen Delaine is no skank. She may go to sex clubs but she gets babysitters while she's gone. And about those Lifetime-imagined sex clubs, I've seen Bettie Page photosets with more kink. I've been on log flume rides that got sluttier. I've had more psychologically tense, sadomasochistic relationships with student loan officers than Delaine has with "The Duke," although there were still several choices the onscreen Delaine made that I have to STRONGLY advise against:
a) having a "full-on affair" with your acupuncturist who drives a gold SUV and who starts the affair during one of your sessions
b) being surprised when that acupuncturist turns out to be a dick
c) responding to an OkCupid type message from a guy who refers to himself as "the Duke" and insists you do likewise
d) involving yourself in a correspondence where "The Duke" transforms you into an "alpha female" by encouraging you to have a lot of sex with a younger guy and undress in front of your windows
e) buying his explanation that he is doing this because he's a dedicated feminist who scatters empowerment across the land like Johnny Appleseed scatters seed
f) going to this guy's house in San Francisco, miles and miles away from help
g) allowing this guy to stash you in his guest house filled wall to wall with erotic paintings that appear to have been rendered by high schoolers
h) feeling incredibly grateful when "The Duke" tells you that there mere fact you want a relationship means the two of you must never correspond again
But my biggest advice overall is to just WATCH THIS MOVIE. Buy it if you don't have cable, go on, splurge. It is Lifetime at its best, a sacred cultural artifact of the truest and purest and most divine camp, naively "edgy" in a way I haven't seen since the deep '90s. Every minute contained a line that made me squeal like a baby with a rattle, every sexy encounter sent a frisson of awkwardness deliciously up my spine. Like a screwtop bottle of wine, this movie is effortless enjoyment. It's airing again June 14th. Don't miss it. I will be re-watching again if only to try and rip the scene where Delaine awkwardly steps out of her underpants to make gifs.