6 minute read

50 Fast Facts About Fifty Shades of Grey

Last Updated: August 4, 2020

Matt Fradd
Matt Fradd

Matt Fradd is the author of Delivered: True Stories of Men and Woman Who Turned from Porn to Purity. After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matt has worked through full-time lay ministry in Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Texas. He has served as an apologist for Catholic Answers and has traveled all over the world, speaking to tens of thousands of teens and young adults. He and his wife Cameron have four children and live in North Georgia.

It’s an international best-seller, a raunchy musical, and a major R-rated motion picture. It is the fastest-selling paperback book of all time (that is now part of a trilogy), and it is a franchise worth millions.

Fifty Shades of Grey has taken the world by storm over the last several years, and with the film coming out in a few weeks, everyone is talking about the books all over again.

Here’s my rundown of 50 fast facts you should know about Fifty Shades of Grey.

Want to see the follow-up video? Watch “4 Lies About Sexuality in Fifty Shades of Grey.”

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The sources below correspond to the facts in the video. For Covenant Eyes users, keep in mind some links may be rated higher than others.

#1: “Civilization ends: E.L. James named Publishers Weekly’s ‘Person of the Year,’” New York Daily News

#9: “What does Tess of the D’Urbervilles Have in Common with Fifty Shades? Abuse,” Jane Eyre’s Legacy

#12: “Fifty Shades of Success: Behind the (Sex) Scenes With E.L. James,” Huffington Post

#15: “The Lost History of Fifty Shades of Grey,” AdWeek.com

#18: “‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ author: ‘Midlife crisis’ led to steamy novel,” Today.com; “E.L. James on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’: ‘It’s all about fantasies,'” Metro.us

#20: “50 Shades makes EL James world’s highest-earning author,” The Guardian

#21: “Fifty Shades of Grey Release Date Pushed Back to February 13, 2015—Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!” EOnline

#22: “The World’s 100 Most Influential People: 2012,” Time.com

#23: “The World’s Top-Earning Authors: With ‘50 Shades,’ E.L. James Debuts At No. 1,” Forbes

#24: “‘Mummy porn’ Fifty Shades Of Grey outstrips Harry Potter to become fastest selling paperback of all time,” Daily Mail

#25: “EL James’ ‘50 Shades Of Grey’ Breaks Kindle Records With 1m Sales,” Entertainment Wise

#26: “EL James comes out on top at National Book awards,” The Guardian

#27: “Hotel replaces Bible with ‘50 Shades of Grey,'” Fox News

#29: “Sir Salman Rushdie: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey makes Twilight look like War and Peace,'” The Telegraph

#30: “‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’: Is The Hottest-Selling Book In America Really Just ‘S&M For Dummies?’” Huffington Post

#31: “The ‘mommy porn’ seducing women,” The New Zealand Herald

#32: “To the women of America: 4 reasons to hate 50 Shades of Grey,” The Matt Walsh Blog

#33: “Florida County Library Lifts Ban on ‘50 Shades of Grey,’” ABC News

#34: “Women who read Fifty Shades of Grey are more likely to have abusive partners and eating disorders, study finds,” The Independent

#35: “Universal Acquires Movie Rights to Trilogy of Erotic Novels,” Media Decoder

#37: “Fifty Shades of Grey Has Officially Been Rated!” ComingSoon.net

#39: “Sam Taylor-Johnson,” IMDB.com

#41: “‘Off the Cuff’ Podcast: Tippi Hedren Battles Drug Dealers On Way to D.C.” Hollywood Reporter

#42: “Did Don Johnson Slam ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey?’ Dakota Johnson’s Dad Calls Anastasia Steele Role A ‘Blip’” International Business Times

#43: “Jamie Dornan visited a sex dungeon to prepare for ‘Fifty Shades,’” Entertainment Weekly

#44: “Jamie Dornan Defends the Romantic Aspect of ‘50 Shades of Grey,'” ABC News

#45: “Fifty Shades of Grey producer reveals they will make TWO versions: One restrained and one more gritty for fans who ‘want it dirty,'” Daily Mail

#46: “If a Book Annoys You, Ridicule It in Song,” New York Times; “L.A. Theater Review: ‘50 Shades! The Musical,'” Variety

#48: “‘Fifty Shades’ author delights fans at Comic-Con,” Yahoo News

#49: “Interview: Betty Dodson,” SimplySxy.com; “Now ‘50 Shades of Grey’ is Tickling the Mental Clitorises of Women Across the Nation,” DodsonAndRoss.com

#50: “The Space in Between,” New Yorker

  • Comments on: 50 Fast Facts About Fifty Shades of Grey
    1. Interesting

      I have always said this about women. They are hypocrites. They talk about domestic violence, but pull a book off the shelf that is pretty much all about domestic violence. I guess it is okay if a woman get’s an Audi and cash out of the deal. Then don’t even start with me about abortion. 50 million deaths. It is violent. It is domestic. But apparently, abortion is okay too.

      • It’s a bit of a stretch to say all women are hypocrites, as there are many women who protest both domestic violence and refuse to read Fifty Shades. But yes, if one stands against intimate partner violence, they should most certainly stay consistent with their values and boycott Fifty Shades.

      • Cynthia

        Many people of both genders are hypocrites. Instead of blaming I choose to boycott 50 Shades of Grey, and plan to uncharacteristically attend a movie opening this weekend. A movie that is NOT 50 Shades of Grey. Anger and hatred toward our sisters and brothers, or anyone else, is not productive. It only serves to divide and distract.

    2. One book I can highly recommend that (IMO) does an excellent job of exposing “50 Shades of Grey” for what it is–piece by piece–and most importantly from a biblical perspective, is “Pulling Back the Shades” by by Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah K. Gresh.

      • Thanks for the recommendation!

    3. Samuel

      I used to fell sorry for women. I was the type of guy who made excuse after excuse for women. Rushed to their aid when they had problems. Gave a shoulder to cry on. But as I have grown older, I have seen the truth for what they do. They just play the pity and manipulation card. When things go well for them, they never complain and feel empowered, but when things do not go well, they blame every person but themselves and there is no end to their complaining. For example, women in Hollywood, use sex to make millions. I can list star after star. Even the most prominent Hollywood actresses, who are activists, have at one point in time used sex to make tens of millions of dollars. Then when they get older and can no longer use sex appeal and are threatened by women who are younger and still can; they speak out against the exploitation of women. I guess it was okay for them to be “exploited” an make millions early in their lives, but later, it is a different story. Which brings us to this book. Women will give sob stories about domestic violence and blame men for everything. But then they turn around and go pull this book off the shelves like it the last book ever printed. Like anther person said. It is hypocritical. Now, let me go back to watching an “exploited” webcam girl who people say are “sex slaves”. I mean really. Such a tough life. Sitting in your own home. Safe as can be. Making more money than the average person in America does. (The average cam girl makes $60 to $70 grand a year). Just for taking off your clothes. Instead of going to school and learning math or science. Instead of working hard in a construction field or maybe even as a welder. Instead of being tied to a desk and a small cubicle for a lifetime. Just like men have always done. Those women choose the exploited and difficult life of taking off their clothes. I feel so sorry for them. I truly do.

      I am not actually going to go watch a webcam. But I said that to prove a point. Let’s not have a pity party for women too quickly. The fact is they make choices. They choose to do the things they do. Just like they are choosing to buy this book in droves. They will choose to go watch the movie as well. Who knows maybe a TV series will be in the works. Trust me, it isn’t men supporting this franchise. It is all women. But like another person also said. Abuse is okay if it comes with an Audi and Cash. Amazing what women are okay with when it benefits them.

      • I think we have to distinguish between two evils.

        The first evil is blame-shifting: people should own how their own choices (even the way they’ve chosen to react to abuse) have led to more problems in their lives and have, in their own right, been wrong.

        The second evil is refusing to show compassion to those who cannot or will not see their own dignity—or even taking advantage of that. Some men approach women with a hard-hearted attitude, saying, “You selling yourself is your own doing, so therefore you do not deserve my sympathy or compassion.”

        People need to recognize both of these are wrong, but I often get comments on this blog where people only acknowledge one of them.

    4. Some women are hypocrites (and you probably won’t find the media eager to point that out about them). But men can certainly also be hypocrites (e.g. Bill Cosby controversy).

      We are all in need of God’s Grace. We have enough fundamental differences (esp. regarding our views of sexual intimacy and physicality) to contend with that instead of attacking and verbally misusing each other, we need to be respectfully listening to, praying for, and striving to understand one another.

      • Joy

        I don’t even understand! Wow! Some of the top comments made here just lack Grace and frankly willingness to even think past your anger.

        Im this case I used to be one of “those women” : I read fifty shades of grey, I watched all the movies.

        I am now a Christian, my heart mourns and I believe they are some of the most vile tools used by the devil to keep women confused and blinded as to the meaning of true love. You have no idea how difficult it is to see that rubbish have a positive spin put on it about how Ana healed Christian Grey. In real life he would need Jesus Christ period. Nothing less than God’s redemptive love can heal human brokeness.

        So many women and young girls are falling prey to this industry and Men who use this as an excuse to say : “well look ! women are all hypocrites” and such things need to be more concerned that their Sisters,Mother, Daughters, female friends and other female relations are falling for this and being made to think this is okay. Women have responsibilities in society, I concede.
        Man also have responsibilities and one of them would be to treat women opposite of this movie and not expect all women to be salivating in front of an Audi. If the gentlemen here would be gracious and see how this kind of “entertainment” is actually tainting the females all around them – you would not be heated in self-righteous anger instead you would find courage to prove a point that Men shouldn’t use or need violence in sexual relationships.

        And I agree with you Mr Gilkerson, not all women are hypocrotes. To say that is almost delusional.

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