Thank you for letting us know. We will review this comment.


Fifty Shades has taught us a thing or two

Sales of sex-toys are soaring as British women get in touch with their inner Anastasia

Gemma Rose

Tue, 04 Dec 2012 14:47:49 GMT | Updated 4 years today

So, a book was released last year. I'm not sure if you've heard of it. It is relatively unknown… but I'm going to get it out there. It goes by the name of Fifty Shades of Grey.


Joking aside, it is somewhat overwhelming to comprehend the sheer impact that this infamous trilogy has had, not just in the Great British bedroom, but in our society, and how it has wormed itself into everyday life. It is like one massive horny pie that everyone wants to delve their fingers into and smother their bodies in before the hype dies down.


Just glancing at the WHSmith Paperback Fiction Chart this morning, the top five are all so-called 'mummy porn', and 50% of the top 20 fall into the same category. When did it become acceptable to sit on the train and read so openly about sex whilst munching on a Mars Bar? I didn't even bat an eyelid when my mother informed me one day that she had borrowed my copy of the book 'to have a nosey' whilst I was away.


Hey, I saw grandma sitting in the corner sniggering behind that instantly recognisable front cover on Asda's Christmas advert this year, whilst the rest of the family were fixated on the TV watching a heart-warming Christmas film - probably Miracle on 34th Street.


People are now less reluctant to lift the lid on the contents of their adult toy box and sexual fantasies. It's a craze. Just like Tamagotchis and Pokémon cards - everyone wants to be on the bandwagon. We enjoy talking about sex and sex toys in normal conversation (rather than just in a game of 'I have never…' after one tequila shot too many) and more and more women are quite happy to admit that last week we walked into Ann Summers, picked up a suspicious, slightly intimidating-looking, spiky, rotating object and asked, "Where does this go, then?"


Lesbian and bi women may have been ahead of the trend where sex-toys are concerned. At DIVA, we certainly know you're not afraid to experiment. Now it seems your straight sisters (mums, grans and aunties) are finally catching up. Due to the well-known nature of the relationship between Christian and Anastasia, the sex-toy industry has reportedly seen a 65% boost in sales of handcuffs, whips and bondage sex-toys and starter kits and, perhaps more astonishingly, paddles and blindfolds have experienced triple-digit percentage increases. Even more specifically, Kegel ball sales have rocketed by 350%. Remember Sex and the City's role in reinventing the rampant rabbit and the cosmopolitan cocktail? Kind of similar, really.


It's not just the sex shops that have benefited from this phenomenon, women are also heading down their local B&Q on a Saturday morning to purchase rope to use in the bedroom in an attempt to re-enact events in the book. We are literally being roped (excuse the pun) into exploring our kinkier and somewhat darker sides. 


If the figures say one thing, it's this: we as a nation have the horn, and we are not afraid to say so.




More images


DIVA Linked Stories