Writing for The Stir has certainly changed my life.
For starters, my marriage is so much simpler now. Any time my wife acts up or does something to tick me off, I simply point out that I may need to write about the situation. That quickly changes her tune.
But even bigger than that: thanks to The Stir I got to spend a day with the lovely and talented Katie Couric and some woman you may have heard of ... E.L. James. Yeah, she's the author of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Y'see, last week Katie had James as a guest on her new show Katie. For one of the segments, Couric wanted to talk to some men who've read the book. Her producers contacted The Stir to see if they knew anyone.
Since I've previously written about Fifty Shades before ("Why 50 Shades of Grey Is a Must-Buy for Every Guy" and "50 Shades of Grey: The Daddy Porn Edition"), my editors thought of me ... and the rest is history.
More from The Stir: '50 Shades of Grey' Author Is Completely Set on One Star for the Movie (VIDEO)
Was I nervous? Sure, a little, but considering that I was a guy going on a national TV show to talk about an erotic book and how it affected my sex life, I should've been loads more nervous. The night before the taping, my father-in-law actually joked that he'd be watching so I'd better be careful what I said.
Turns out, I didn't really listen to my father-in-law. There I was on stage, sitting next to E.L. James herself, as I opened up to Katie Couric about the fact that my wife and I are having more (and better!) sex all thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey. While we don't use high-tensity rope or wooden paddles (yet), I told Katie we're more adventurous and certainly more open in the bedroom now.
I also gave my take on why men won't care for the book (we're very visual, so unless there's a color centerfold, it's just not gonna do it for us), and why women go gaga over it. It's not just the over-the-top sex, it's that mega-gorgeous, mysterious, super rich millionaire Christian Grey. Sorry, I mean billionaire. Yeah, Katie corrected me on air too.
Overall, I had an amazing time on the show. Katie is incredibly nice and has this knack for instantly putting you at ease. While I'm not the biggest fan of Fifty Shades of Grey (I do like that my wife read it, though), I must say that E.L. James was extremely mellow and down-to-earth. You could tell she was nervous too, as she's quite shy.
My biggest complaint about my appearance was that it was practically over before it began. It really felt like I was out there with the two other guys for all of 90 seconds, even though it was a lot longer than that.
In the Green Room (which really is green!) before the taping, one of the other guys and I got to practice with Katie's staff. She ran us through seven or eight questions, and we came up with some funny answers. Only a small handful were asked during the taping, though.
What didn't I get to talk about? Well, when discussing whether or not we think Christian Grey is a total stalker, I was going to point out that he reminded me of Batman. He seems to know exactly where Anastasia is at all times. One minute she's on the phone with him complaining about some guy in a bar hitting on her, and the next minute, Christian's there in the room saving her!
I was also hoping Katie would ask us what we learned from the book. The biggest lesson I took away is that I need to buy a riding crop. That, and also that everyone really should be more open-minded. I don't just mean in terms of sexual relationships, I mean with everything in life. Try new things, and if you don't like them, don't do them again.
What else went down behind the scenes? Well, I found a new hair gel product that should contain my frizziness, I wore makeup (no lipstick thankfully!), and I got to see E.L. James munch away on a carrot with some hummus. You can read tons more about my appearance on Katie if you're the type who's interested in teeny tiny details.
All in all, I spent about four hours at the studio for a segment that lasted maybe 10 minutes tops. It's amazing how much work is done before, during, and after a one-hour talk show. I'm shocked that nobody was running around screaming like a chicken with its head cut off.
Oh, and I did get an autographed copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, personalized by E.L. herself. She wrote: "Andrew, Laters Baby! E.L. James."
Laters Baby, indeed.
Would you go on a talk show to discuss Fifty Shades of Grey?