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Did Fifty Shades of Grey have an effect upon the sexual activity of the nation or not?
Following the release of the Fifty Shades trilogy, the increase in sales of whips, cuffs and bondage products indicated that people were becoming more sexually adventurous. As to whether this was a result of reading the book and being exposed to the huge publicity surrounding its release or not is unknown.
LELO, the well known Swedish sex toy company, noticed an increase in sales of whips and hand cuffs during that time – but say that they were one off purchases, probably used a few times, then left discarded in the drawer.
A positive Fifty Shades effect is that more women are reading and writing erotic fiction, some of it extremely well written and buying sex toys to use with their partners. Many couples are incorporating sex toy use into their sexual play, either with vibrators, dildos or couples’ toys.
LELO’s Head of Marketing, Steve Thomson, says: “Attitudes towards sex have without a doubt changed as a result of the Fifty Shades phenomenon. People are more curious, exploring more and talking more with their partners about the things they can do to increase intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
“More couples are open to a little light spanking and BDSM, but for many it’s a one off rather than a regular occurrence in the bedroom. Of course, this also causes a chain reaction as they become more adventurous and look for products that they can use on a more regular basis
The LELO survey (2014) found that 1 in 5 women had been involved in a threesome, double that of 2012. Over half the women in a relationship had made a home movie and over one third had had sex in a public place. Most women surveyed have lived out their sexual fantasies over the past 2 year but a huge 80% said that their fantasy did not live up to their expectations.
Interestingly a published study, from Illinois State University (2015) suggests the books’ impact is a lot more benign. It discovered that, at least among one group of college-age women, the novels actually appear to be something of a turn-off.
“We found a decrease in sexual behaviors after reading the Fifty Shades books, and no change in sexual self-esteem or sexual desire.”
Furthermore, those who read the books for the purposes of the study did not report a lot of erotic fires were lit!
Whether the Fifty Shades effect impacted upon you or not, getting people to feel more confident about talking about their sex lives can only be a positive result. Having a healthy sex life greatly benefits all aspects of your health, both physically and mentally, as well as making you feel happier.