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Are you looking for your Christian Grey or Anastasia Steele? Then you’re not alone. According to recent research, the rise in women (and men) looking for BDSM action and bondage sex is on the rise. And, unsurprisingly, it links in almost entirely with the release of both the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy of books, as well as the movies. What’s causing this phenomenon and what is it all about?

What is BDSM?

The term BDSM dates back to 1991, where Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism all linked together into one (very short) abbreviation. Rather than say each of those keywords to get your point across, the entire erotic section fell under the title of BDSM. Now, it comes to incorporate all manner of sub-cultures and activities that people would identify as “alternative.” For example, rubber fetishism role-playing, and cross-dressing would all fall under this category as well, and you see many examples of this if you search for BDSM videos online.

What is Fifty Shades of Grey?

Fifty Shades of Grey, in a word, is a revolution. While BDSM, bondage sex and BDSM videos have been in existence for some years, this erotic romance novel’s release in 2011 spelled the beginning of a revival that would add a touch of sauce to hundreds of thousands of relationships around the world.

It’s the first of three books in a trilogy and follows a business magnate called Christian Grey, and Anastasia Steele, a college graduate. It’s a story of their complicated relationship not only on an emotional level but on a sexual level. Both the books and the movies show explicit bondage sex scenes, where dominance, submission, and sadism all play a part. Fifty Shades of Grey was initially a self-published e-book. However, in 2012, Vintage Books gained publication rights and turned it into a best seller with over 125 million copies on readers’ shelves.

How did Fifty Shades of Grey Encourage BDSM?

There have been mixed opinions about the book trilogy’s association with BDSM. Some “experts” claim BDSM is misinterpreted and portrayed incorrectly in the book, while others swear their sex life is vastly improved due to the series. What’s clear, even from initial research, is that BDSM videos are now far more mainstream, and people are far more willing to talk openly about bondage sex. It’s no longer a deep, dark secret, with even the word “BDSM” sounding taboo. Fifty Shades of Grey encouraged BDSM by making it a trend. Given that 125 million copies of the first book were sold in 52 languages, it’s clear to see there were many people with curiosities piqued over what this book entailed. Then, there were a few curious minds only too willing to give the BDSM positions described in the book a go. The sale of love beads went up by 400 percent, BDSM video viewings spiked, and even horse whips became in short supply in some areas.

What About Sexual Awareness?

There’s no denying that libraries and conservatives were up in arms about the release and interest in Fifty Shades of Grey, but you can’t dispute the benefits of the series – including the sexual awareness factor. Indiana University School research scientist and sex educator Debby Herbenick said the series encouraged sexual openness. She said people were more open to talking about sexual fantasies, sex in general, sexuality, and arousal. In fact, she believed more women felt comfortable and open in talking about bondage sex and other sexual fantasies.

Did Fifty Shades of Grey Do it Right?

The author of Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L James, would have had to do a lot of research to nail down the details of what BDSM and bondage sex entails. She would have had to watch a lot of BDSM videos and get into the dark depths of the internet, but did she do a good job? There are a few things that BDSM experts believe she could have done better.

Show Normality Even for couples who take part in bondage sex and create BDSM videos, they still live a normal life. Fifty Shades of Grey failed to show this normality. Normal couples with interest in BDSM still do the washing, chores, and watch TV together as a typical couple.

BDSM is Not About Injury While displaying dominance in BDSM videos and bondage sex can cause pain and injury, it’s not the ultimate aim. The dominate lover is not there to cause harm.

You’re Not Damaged If You Like BDSM Fifty Shades of Grey made BDSM a result of a damaging or harrowing past. It’s not. BDSM is a fetish and a fantasy, not a result of a painful childhood memory.