50 SHADES OF SUCCESS FOR ADULT MOBILE – IV
Prim and Proper Porn:
This social acceptance of the book’s hardcore fetish themes amongst the female population means that it has permeated all walks of life. Previously prim and proper, middle-aged Facebook acquaintances are now bragging about their progress through the book’s content in a remarkably candid and almost proud way.
A friend of mine who works as a primary school teacher in the UK was telling me that her 60 year old work colleague was exclaiming how much she was enjoying 50SoG!
“Women can let themselves be turned on by written erotica in a way they often can’t with visual porn. Novels like this offer guilt-free thrills, because we don’t have to compare our bodies unfavourably, the way we might with a video.”
Psychotherapist Rachel Morris on Radio 5’s Late Night Live in the UK
Mummy porn has been coined to describe the 50SoG phenomenon, not because it has anything to do with mummies ‘doing’ porn (as one of my gay friends asked last week), but because it’s this generation of women that appear to be the biggest buyers of the book.
As E L James herself says “my books are romantic fantasy stories, which offer women a ‘holiday’ from their husbands’. Cheers to that!
50 Shades of Bandwagon:
But maybe it’s the business impact that has been one of biggest surprises of all with this novel. The world of adult entertainment, whether you approve or not, is now firmly lodged in mainstream media and literature and although those of us who work in the industry were only too aware of the huge demand for erotic and adult material, never before has it received such open media attention on a global scale.
More surprisingly still is the overwhelmingly positive media attention it’s receiving. As I said before, not necessarily for the literary talent of the books themselves, but more in terms of 50SoG creating one hell of an enviable success juggernaut, and so amazingly fast. It really is the stuff that entrepreneurial dreams are made of!
The book’s own success is having a commercial benefit for anything and everything featured within the storyline, most prominently the ‘sexual accessories’ used by the book’s leading male character, billionaire and sexual dominant, Christian Grey.
New York’s Babeland sex shop has reported a 30% sales increase in the last few months, and visits to the bondage section of their website have increased by an astounding 81 per cent. Focus has been predominantly on sex toys and other BDSM items explicitly described in the book including:
- Riding Crops
- “Spank Me” Body Powder, and even;
- Gray Ties — inspired by Christian Grey’s signature accessory.
“You’d be surprised to see how very ordinary these people are who are coming into our store. The book is just an explosion of permission for them to try something new in the bedroom.”
Babeland co-founder Claire Cavanah.
But it’s not just the obvious ‘sexual accessories’ that are benefitting from the book’s avid following. Hardware stores are also enjoying commercial benefits. One story that’s gaining considerable online coverage is the increase in sales of rope!!
After seeing a sharp increase in requests for cotton rope in his Pennsylvania hardware store, Bob Wipplinger’s wife pointed out that it was probably due to the Christian Grey character in the book using the exact same kind.
More curiously still, Brandon Wade, founder of sugar babe dating site, Seeking Arrangement told Business Insider that of the 1.6 million Seeking Arrangement profiles:
- The term “Fifty Shades” is mentioned on them 28,382 times;
- Christian Grey is mentioned 23,102 times; and
- Anastasia Steel is mentioned 18,281 times.
He claims that 186,000 female members are actively seeking a “Christian Grey” type arrangement.