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"Fifty Shades of Grey" Sex Toys Strike a Nerve

Yes, the slap-and-tickle fest that is Fifty Shades of Grey just keeps rolling right along: Sexy themed merchandise, inspired by the flick, is hitting the shelves at Target stores nationwide.

"The Official Pleasure Collection," as it's called, features such items as a Fifty Shades Yours and Mine Vibrating Silicone Love Ring (guaranteed to stretch "to accommodate his girth," $15,, a No Peeking Soft Twin Blindfold Set ("take it in turns to sink into submission"), and "Silky Caress Silk Lubricant."

Employees have been told to place the provocative items in the back of the "adult health section," sandwiched, one would assume, somewhere between the condoms and yeast infection creams. But a cheeky salesperson at one Target decided to display the Fifty Shades goodies in a far more interesting location next to the children's toothbrushes ("Clean up on Aisle 7!"). Personally, I would have gone with the Cadbury Créme Eggs or cast-iron skillets, but whatever…




Those looking for something slightly more tame might want to peruse the offerings online. Among them: a metallic silver FSOG iPhone case; OPI nail polish (with names like "My Silk Tie" and "Dark Side of the Mood"); even a Christian Grey Bear from the Vermont Teddy Bear Company (for those who "want to dominate Valentine's day"), his paws clutching a satin eye mask and teeny pair of handcuffs.

Time editor Belinda Luscombe (let's just call her Belinda "Killjoy" Luscombe), who's been covering the FSOG phenomenon for the magazine, isn't convinced that this kind of sex will sell, opining, "I'm actually dubious about the connection between sales of the items that, you know, for the bedroom and the book and the movie. I think that you see a little spike as people's curiosity goes up, but I don't think that it's lasting."

But Luscombe may be underestimating the spunk, up-for-anything spirit of the American public: Studies show that after the novel's release, sales of sex-themed products like toys, videos, and more increased by 7.5%, according to a report from the research firm IBISWorld. That's a whole lot of soccer moms.

Somewhere, deep inside in a dungeon in New York's West Village, a dominatrix is weeping.