Every major blockbuster tends to come with merchandise. So what might come of a major motion picture centered entirely around sex? You guessed if. The film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey is launching a wave of new sex toys marketed around the movie.
According to the New York Times, the sex toy industry is scrambling to prepare for the Valentine’s Day release of Fifty Shades of Grey, producing brand new lines of sex toys with the Fifty Shades name branded on the label. Of course, all of the movie–inspired toys are meant for adults only and are generally designed to appeal to people interested in the sadomasochistic sex depicted in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Production of sex toys like blindfolds, whips and handcuffs has been increased and companies are stocking up before the premiere. Other tie-in products like Fifty Shades of Grey Sensual Bath Oil and Fifty Shades of Grey“Vibrating Love Ring” are also working their way through the factories in time for the release.
While the companies producing sex toys aren’t positive that Fifty Shades of Grey will spark an interest in their products, they’re counting on the massive popularity of the erotic novel by E.L. James to generate sales.
“It is the biggest moment of our industry in popular culture pretty much ever,” said Claire Cavanah of Babeland, an adult toy retailer. “We’re all sort of preparing for what could be another wave of toys.”
It’s reasonable for sex toy companies to expect a spike in sales when Fifty Shades of Grey hits theaters. In 2013, the original novel created a 7.5 percent increase in the sales of adult products, including toys, videos and books. Fifty Shades was one of the world’s best-selling books, so who knows what to expect from an even wider film release.
Not only are sex toy sales expected to sky-rocket, some experts believe the film release could encourage couples to spice things up in the bedroom. According to This is Local London, relationship expert Donna Dawson claims the movie will start a movement of sexual experimentation.
“It’s a hook on which anyone who wanted to have a discussion about their sex life and taking it in a different direction has now got a way of getting into that conversation: ‘what do you think of the film? What do you think of what they’re doing? What do you think if we tried that?'”
However, not everybody is convinced that the Fifty Shades of Grey film will be a force for good. Other experts believe the movie gives BDSM sex a bad name. “Christian wants total control over Anastasia, including the right to dictate her eating patterns,” said Susan Quilliam, a British sex advice columnist, “what she should wear, her contraception choices, plus the right to inflict pain on her as a means of arousing himself.” Quilliam believes the depiction of BDSM is both inaccurate and unsafe.
While the novel was extremely explicit, don’t expect the Fifty Shades film to depict some of the graphic sex scenes. For one thing, the infamous tampon sex scene won’t be shown in the movie.
What do you think about the upcoming release of Fifty Shades of Grey?