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"Adult stores see sales rise from '50 Shades' popularity"

on Friday, 01 June 2012. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

AZ Central

Jennifer Quinn had spent about a year working at a Fascinations adult store surrounded by toys, fashions and accoutrements, but it was the best-selling romance "50 Shades of Grey" that inspired her to buy a riding crop.

It wasn't the Chandler mother's first purchase from an adult store for her and her husband. But the crop was a bold move toward the kind of BDSM play (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism) that takes place between the book's main characters, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

"I started reading the books a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm re-reading them. Once I picked those books up, I couldn't stop. Like, I stopped doing laundry," Quinn said with a laugh. "When (Christian) spanks her while she's using the Kegel balls, I have those and I never would have thought of that. Amazing."

Across the country, sex shops are seeing a spike in sales of the kinds of toys and accessories mentioned in the New York Times best-selling trilogy by E L James, a London TV executive, wife and mother of two. The sex is between two consenting adults, with an explicit contract and much discussion of "safe words," but the books are filled with spanking, flogging and gagging, and the use of restraints, masks and Kegel balls, which are used during exercises to strengthen vaginal walls and the pelvic floor.

From national online retailer to Tempe-based Castle Megastore, displays are going up in shops, banner ads are being added to websites and sales staff are being encouraged to read the books, which have been selling out in stores for about two months. ...

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