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Popular erotic novel spurs sales of sex tools, bondage material

They’re even slipping into hardware stores and demurely asking for bondage material — the very type of natural-filament rope in the trilogy.

“Oh, we’ve been selling rope to women,” a major newspaper quoted the owner of a hardware store as saying.

Sex and relationships, Fifty Shades of Grey, Popular erotic novel spurs sales of sex tools, bondage material

“I’d say tenfold more rope than usual in the last six months. The women are definitely buying, and it’s still continuing,” he said.

The store’s most popular item is the soft-cotton “clothes line” rope, which retails at a bargain 5 dollars for 50 feet.

Another hardware store in Brooklyn, New York, has also seen a rash of rope sales.

“It’s usually men buying rope, but the women, they’ve been coming in the last few months,” the store's cashier said.

“I’ve actually read the book. So when the women buy rope, it was kind of like, ‘Hmmm, that does seem a little unusual’,” he added.

Another store owner said that customers eager to get tied up rather than secure lumber have a telltale sign: They request softer nylon material. In which case Schoen recommends the 12-gauge, non-braided nylon.

“Anything skinnier is too small. You might hurt yourself,” he said of the rope, 18-dollar for a 50-foot spool.

“For those purposes, 12-gauge is a reasonable choice and the most popular,” he said.

But the ladies’ shopping lists don’t end with rope — there are also riding crops and handcuffs and, of course, the book’s signature silver-grey tie.

At yet another store, sales of kinky products at most stores are up nearly 30 percent in the last few months — and visits to the bondage section of their Web site have spiked 81 percent.

Riding crops and handcuffs — both used in the book — are hot items. And there’s a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ book and bondage kit sold online for 29 dollars and a more extensive ‘Fifty Shades of Grey: Indulge Your Fantasies’ kit, which includes restraints, a riding crop and “Spank Me Baby” body powder for 169 dollars.

“You’d be surprised to see how very ordinary these people are who are coming in. The book is just an explosion of permission for them to try something new in the bedroom,” the store's owner said.

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