Today, The New York Post quadruple-downs on Fifty Shades of Grey coverage with an actual cover featuring a trend related to the best-selling-est book in the country. Inspired, supposedly, by the book, Carrie Seim writes, women in New York are "so feverish, they’re snapping up all the tools and toys that bondage and S&M hunk Christian Grey introduces to 'unexplored' young heroine Anastasia in the book." Yes, there is a run on rope. The Post canvassed hardware stores on the Upper East Side, an early hotspot for Shadesism. Clifton Kahn, who I prefer to imagine as the kind of "aw shucks" character in a cinematic depiction of a 1950s hardware store owner, told Seim, “Oh, we’ve been selling rope to women. I’d say tenfold more rope than usual in the last six months. The women are definitely buying, and it’s still continuing.”
Tenfold more rope! The preferred brand, apparently, is 12-gauge, non-braided nylon. Surely, the rope industry never imagined such a coup, which has extended to Park Slope, the West Village, and so on. Nor did the sex toy industry, nor even Brooks Brothers, now busily promoting “Eight Shades of Grey Ties," writes Seim. (Christian Grey wears a tie, prominently featured on the cover of the book, of course.)
Back before it was a household name, The Post was one of the first to note the incipient popularity of the book; now they're following along with the rest of us, wracking our collective media brains to come up with yet another Fifty Shades-pegged story that might tap into the zeitgeist. People are reading Fifty Shades on their e-books! Fifty Shades is good for women! Working women want to be spanked! Fifty Shades is banned! Now it's unbanned! It's gonna be a movie, too! What should you read instead? What did you buy by mistake? Whatever did we do before this book? Who cares!? But there are some stones yet unturned. So we shall turn them.
Here are 17 Fifty Shades stories—and for the right person, some of these could be full-on books, we feel—we haven't gotten yet...and want. No. Need. Media power personages, please take note.
- "Fifty Shades of Grey: The Recipe Collection." What Christian and Anastasia dined upon, as imagined by Mario Batali, Paula Deen, Sandra Lee, Ina Garten, Anthony Bourdain, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, that guy with the man-bun from Top Chef, and others of your favorite celebrity cooker-types.
- "Fifty Shades of David Blaine." An interview with the illusionist about his secret or not secret or nonexistent experiences with BDSM. Plus: what he thinks about the book.
- "Fifty Blades of Hay." Groundbreaking, scandalous insights into the contemptuous relationship between a horse and his one great love.
- "Fifty Curds of Whey." Groundbreaking, scandalous insights into the contemptuous relationship between a dairy farmer and his one great love.
- "Fiddy Reads Fifty." This speaks for itself.
- "Fifty Shades of Grey (Hairs)." Senior citizens' sexual lives are being rekindled by a reading of the hot book that's sitting at grocery store checkout lines near-ish you!
- "Mother, May I Read Fifty Shades of Grey?" How to tell your mom that you're an adult and to butt out of your personal life, including tips on cutting short any prying conversations into your sexual proclivities.
- "Fifty Sades." The artist speaks candidly, for the first fifty-or-so times.
- "Should My Baby Read Fifty Shades of Grey?" Gifted children and the devastating consequences of attachment parenting gone too far. Related: "When Is the Right Time to Name My Baby After a 'Fifty Shades' Character?"
- "True Stories of Grey." Interviews with real-life women who met corporation-owning billionaires while doing favors for their best friends who had suddenly come down with the flu and went on to experience surprisingly satisfying BDSM relationships with those men.
- "Fifty Shades of the Rules." Getting the guy who wants to tie you up to marry you.
- "Fifty Shades of Gay." BDSM is not exclusively heterosexual, you know.
- "Fifty Shades of Pray." Finding the devotional that's right for you. Not to be confused with "Fifty Shades of Prey": A guide to hunting in the wild.
- "Fifty Shades of My Cat." 24 hours in the life of a cat, from sun to shade and back to sun.
- "Fifty Shades of Brains." How many zombie/cannibal/face-eater stories have we had, now? Somebody, get on this listicle, stat.