‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ arouses sex toy boom
NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
Manufacturers and retailers hope that the movie release will fuel a boom in sex toy and bondage accessory sales.The erotic bestselling novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” was devoured across the world by millions, from British housewives to Guantanamo Bay inmates.
Now manufacturers and retailers are hoping that its Valentine’s Day movie release will fuel a boom in sex toy and bondage accessory sales.
Fans are avidly awaiting the big screen sexual adventures of business magnate Christian Grey and the young graduate Anastasia Steele whom he seduces.
The expected blockbuster will screen 20 minutes of lovemaking between Grey, played by British actor Jamie Dornan who shot to stardom playing a serial killer on BBC series “The Fall,” and Steele, portrayed by Melanie Griffith’s daughter Dakota Johnson. And to cinemagoers hoping to get in on the action, American sex shops are stocking up on everything from blindfolds to bondage gear, determined to ride the wave of celluloid-inspired desire.
“Fifty Shades of Grey was the most influential cultural phenomenon for sex toys’ sales that I’ve seen,” says Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland, which has stores in New York and Seattle. Her company has added 20 especially branded “Fifty Shades” items and says appetites have been whetted by film trailers.
Cavanah says the release of the novel, written by former TV executive, British mother-of-two E L James, fueled a 40-percent sales increase at Babeland’s SoHo store in Manhattan alone.
Sales jumped more than 500 percent for pleasure balls, used by Steele to gear up for sex with Grey, as well as riding crops and cuffs which also feature prominently, she said.
British company Lovehoney worked closely with James to design official “Fifty Shades” sex toys in late 2012.