'50 Shades' ignites growing BDSM in Houston

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The "50 Shades" buzz is back and bigger than ever, and it's causing the BDSM community in Houston to grow (KTRK)

With more than 100 million books sold in 50 different languages, the erotic romance trilogy "50 Shades of Grey" has become a cultural phenomenon. With the movie premiere tomorrow night, the "50 Shades" buzz is back and bigger than ever.

The relationship between the main characters Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele is a BDSM relationship where bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism trumps in the bedroom. Now, the lifestyle is growing in the Houston community.

After Melissa Taylor read the trilogy, her interest in the BDSM lifestyle led her to an adult store for toys.

"The spanking part kind of got me intrigued," Taylor. "The spreader bars, the wrist restraints, the kegle balls, the blindfold and the whip."

Employees at the stores say Taylor is just one of many "50 Shades" fans with a piqued curiosity of the BDSM lifestyle.

"It's definitely bringing in the crowds, as far as handcuffs and restraints," said Gilbert Rodriguez with Katz Stores.

Katz Stores say sales on fetish and fantasy items took a boost, especially the famous grey tie.

"This is the last two we have at the location," Rodriguez said.

Taylor says she and her husband started bedroom play last year.

"He was terrified. He's still terrified," Taylor said, but ensures "It's 100 percent consensual."

There is restraining, spanking, flogging, and a safe word to say stop.

"If he is spanking it and you like it, and you say, "No," he's not going to stop because you didn't say that word. You have to say your safe word," Taylor said. "I'm in control because the submissive is the person in control."

Taylor and her husband are part of a growing BDSM community in Houston.

"It's very large and very hush, hush," she said. "These people are great people. They're philanthropists. They're councilmen, councilwomen. They're good people. They're very good people. And they shouldn't be judged on what they do in their personal time."

Michigan State University professor Dr. Amy Bonomi performed two studies on the book.

"The books really are a glaring glamorization of violence against women, so they really are perpetuating the idea that abuse is okay in a relationship, and that would be the intimidation, the socially isolating Anastasia, minimizing abuse, and stalking Anastasia," Bonomi said.

She adds that the storyline does not portray a typical BDSM relationship.

"There is nothing inherently wrong with BDSM, as long as the parties are consenting parties," Bonomi said.

Dr. Bonomi is speaking about "50 Shades of Grey" at a Crimestoppers breakfast at the Junior League of Houston Tea Room Friday at 8 a.m.
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