For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past week, the trailer for the movie 50 Shades of Grey was just released with much fanfare!  Not only was the trailer premiered on the The Today Show, but in just over a week the trailer has garnered over 13 million views on You Tube.  So what is it about this book that has inspired, to quote to the trailer, a “worldwide phenomena?”

To be honest, we’re not quite sure.  All due respect to E.L. James, she certainly didn’t invent erotic fiction nor did she pen it particularly well.  Erotic fiction has been around since words were invented. From ancient Greece to William Shakespeare, better writers than E.L. James put their erotic fantasies down on paper and none of them felt the urge to use the term “inner goddess” even once, much less 150 times.

Perhaps it’s because E.L. James started with familiar, popular characters and built on them.  For those of you who don’t know (because you’ve been living under that proverbial rock) “50 Shades of Grey” was originally written as a piece of fan fiction based on the popular Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer.  Of course, those books were hardly great literature either, but they struck a chord with young, female readers who loved the idea of a strong, wealthy, handsome protagonist who saw the beauty in a shy, awkward girl with a serious self-esteem issue.

Whatever the reason, no one predicted the frenzy that would soon surround these books.  Vendors were soon selling out of Ben Wa balls, women were openly reading erotic fiction on the beach and the phrase “mommy porn” was born (or at least took on a completely different meaning!).

At Fantasy Gifts we couldn’t be more thrilled that this book has allowed millions of people to shed some of their sexual inhibitions and encouraged them to become more sexually adventurous.  Anything that allows the topic of human sexuality to become more mainstream and openly discussed is a welcome change from the previously held notion that sex is a dirty, taboo subject best left to back alleys and seedy book stores.  Fantasy Gifts has been in business for 35 years and has always strove to make sexual health and wellness not only an acceptable topic, but a necessary topic.  Humans are sexual beings and thank God the mainstream media is finally acknowledging that.  Even the controversy surrounding the book, (“BDSM Advocates Worry About 50 Shades of Grey Sex) means we are finally having more open discussions about what it means to be in a consensual, BDSM relationship versus an abusive relationship.  Was Anastasia Steele a willing sub or was she a victim of domestic violence?  Discuss, discuss, discuss!

Certainly the book has encouraged people to become more adventurous.  No one needs to invest in a Red Room of Pain (how would you hide that from the kids anyhow?) but a little light bondage/restraint can be great fun.

* This blog was updated on September 2, 2022 to remove or update links and information.

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