Trusted for 23+ Years
The Fifty Shades Of Grey Effect
Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert
Impact on Sex Toys & Sex
This genre of erotica mixed with a romance novel, found in the Fifty Shades trilogy, was the talk of every book club and was turned into a movie series. It was a series of 3 books about bondage, wild sex, and love. Often referred to as things such as the mommy porn revolution, it is got many women and couples excited to get creative in the bedroom. Women and men benefited from these books in that they opened them up to sexual creativity and exploration in ways they had perhaps not yet considered.
This is not just through BDSM sex toys and role-playing; this is also through the exploration of using sexual items such as vibrators, dildos, stimulating lubricants, and more to enhance intimacy, sexual performance and increase sexual satisfaction and pleasure.
With the success of the Fifty Shades books, sex toy retailers were overwhelmed with customers not only buying sex toys in general but a massive influx of orders for BDSM gear, Ben Wa balls, Kegel exercisers, and other items featured in the books. Sex toy sales across the sex toy industry immediately spiked by an explosive 400%.
Three Book Synopses
If you have not read the books, let us take a moment to provide some quick synopses:
The First Book: Fifty Shades of Grey
Anastasia Steele is a virgin and a very sexually inexperienced 21-year-old just a few weeks away from earning her degree at Washington State University. When her roommate Kate gets sick with the flu, Ana takes her place to interview 27-year-old Christian Grey, a successful multimillionaire, and CEO. There is immediate chemistry between the two.
Christian Grey is a charming yet complex man with gray eyes who is afraid of intimacy and enjoys training women to be submissive in the world of BDSM. He is repulsed by the thought of being touched and cuddled and prefers to dominate only through whips, ropes, and sex toys. Christina asks Ana to sign a contract to be his "submissive" sex partner so that they can enjoy sexual adventures in his Playroom (sex chamber / Red Room of Pain). Ana explores her sexual side and discovers her "Inner Goddess" as a submissive in this love affair.
The Second Book: Fifty Shades Darker
In the 2nd book, Anastasia breaks off her relationship with Christian and starts a new career with a Seattle publishing house. However, she finds that she is consumed with thoughts of Christian, and after he proposes a new arrangement for their relationship, she proceeds with rekindling their erotic adventures. Both characters struggle with their inner demons and struggle to find healing for themselves as well as balance through a healthy sexual connection. Throughout the book, they act out their lust for one another through BDSM-style sexual play.
The Third Book: Fifty Shades Freed
In the final book, Ana is determined to have a more profound commitment from Christian. It seems that this couple now has gotten everything they want. However, just when it seems that all is well, both characters require more obstacles and self-growth for the relationship to either evolve or come to an end.
Criticism of the Books
The main criticisms that have been made of the book series 50 Shades of Grey have been about the quality of writing. Because the author E. L. James is British, there are inconsistencies with how Americans speak versus British wording. For example, instead of calling or phoning someone, it is mentioned that they will ring someone.
Other criticisms are poor grammar choices, comparisons to the books Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (from which this was based on fanfiction), and some people have said of the books that they do not find some of the aspects of the storyline believable; such as that Ana is a virgin and has never masturbated at the age of 21 as well as small things like the fact that she does not have a cell phone or computer and is in her last year of college.
Is this Erotica or Merely Romance?
Erotic authors have found the book to be relatively tame and repetitive. The exact positions and sex acts are used repeatedly with minimal variation. However, for people who have not had exposure to erotica, this book series has proven to be quite stimulating for them. Erotica authors have also expressed that they feel the author has used Ana's inability to refer to sexual anatomy (she calls her vagina "down there") as a way to keep these books more romance novels than true erotica. In Erotic books, you will find that there is no holding back when using words such as cock, pussy, etc.
BDSM Mistakes In The Books
One of the author's biggest mistakes in the book series is that she has the characters refer to spankings as "hitting." Those involved in BDSM sex know that the term hitting is never used as it indicates abuse rather than the pleasurable spankings that they enjoy giving and receiving. There are stringent rules for BDSM, and for the most part, the author mentions the most important, which are safety and consent.
Popular Quotations From The Books
"Why don't you like to be touched?"
"Because I'm fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia."
"No, Anastasia, it doesn't. Firstly, I don't make love. I fuck… hard. Secondly, there's a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don't yet know what you're in for. You could still run for the hills. Come, I want to show you my Playroom."
"Don't get your panties in such a twist... and give me back mine."
"Let me ask you something first. Do you want a regular vanilla relationship with no kinky fuckery at all?"
"I don't know whether to worship at your feet or spank the living shit out of you."
"I am going to have coffee with Christian Grey... and I hate coffee."
"Miss Steele, I do believe you're making my palm twitch."
"My inner goddess has her sequins on and is warming up to dance the rumba."
"Stow your twitchy palm!"