Fifty Shades Darker, the second installment in the popular trilogy, has been released in cinemas in time for Valentine’s Day, which has retailers the world over bracing for a jump in the sale of sex toys.
The Guardian reports that British sex toy retailer Lovehoney saw a 30 percent increase in sales on their website in 2016 after the store released a range of Fifty Shades-themed toys to coincide with the launch of the first film in the trilogy.
The limited edition collection, which is based on the toys described by author E.L. James in the Fifty Shades books, features a wide range of props including Christian Grey’s tie, Anastasia Steele’s blindfold, and a variety of other toys that play a pivotal role in the story.
Quoted on the Lovehoney website, E.L. James comments on the collection, “I’m so excited that the toys I have described in the books have come to life.”
Speaking to The Guardian, Lovehoney co-founder Richard Longhurst comments on the store’s relationship with James, “She’s a very nice lady. She’s got her head screwed on and is nice with it.”
Lovehoney reportedly saw a 68 percent increase in profits last year, following the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey film, with analysts predicting a similar jump for the store and its competitors following this month’s release of the sequel.
From these figures, it is clear couples the world over are racing out to recreate the sexual escapades made popular by Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
While these scenes appear to go off without a hitch, it has been reported that filming of the steamy sex scenes was not always so easy.
In an interview with People, Jamie Dornan, who embodies Christian Grey in the films, explains that some of the sex toys that are crucial to the story line didn’t always have their intended effect.
Referencing a “spreader bar” that was used often in the second film, Dornan explains that the toy did not exist on the market and had come from the imagination of the author.
“The spreader bar, they made that. They were actually really struggling to get their hands on that.”
While the toy lead to the pair’s kinky lovemaking in the film, Dornan tells People that in reality, the prototype had a much different effect.
“It didn’t work a couple of times and held us back a little bit. It didn’t quite achieve what we wanted it to achieve.”
The toy reportedly caused Dornan’s co-star, Dakota Johnson, to erupt into “snorts of laughter”.
While this is a seeming break from the character portrayed in the book, director James Foley has said that he was thrilled with Johnson’s reaction and the “honesty” she brought to the scenes.
“When [Jamie] did that and he flips her over, she giggles a little bit, which I love. Because I felt like she’s having fun, it’s a playful thing, so the audience can have fun and not think, ‘Ooh is this weird?’ It’s all about play.”
Contrary to Foley’s thoughts, critics have not been so kind following the film’s release earlier this week. Foley was brought on as director for Fifty Shades Darker after the director of the original, Sam Taylor-Johnson, faced a creative clash with author E.L. James. Critics around the world have labeled the movie “bland,” “boring,” and “unintentionally comedic.”
The Guardian questioned the recreation of the sex scenes, suggesting they were decidedly more vanilla than they should have been.
“A few leather cuffs do pop up, but they’re unbuckled fast so the missionary position can be better adopted. Nipple clamps put in an appearance, but only on fingers.”
Have you seen Fifty Shades Darker? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Vianney Le Caer/AP Images]