EL James took the book-reading world by storm with her 50 Shades trilogy. First published in May 2011, the books have since sold more than 40 million copies, with the first book holding the title of fastest selling paperback of all time.
And now, almost 18 months after 50 Shades of Grey first appeared for sale on e-readers and bookshelves, there's apparently a 'greybie' movement - babies born to parents who were reading the books around the time of conception.
One American TV show has gone so far as to claim that the raunchy series – which features a dominant/submissive sexual relationship between a troubled millionaire and a younger, virginal woman – was the basis of a baby boom. On the program, one woman said that "reading 50 Shades of Grey is acting like an aphrodisiac for women", and the three women interviewed on the program agreed.
One couple, who had been trying to fall pregnant for 14 months, said the book had renewed their interest in sex. "I think the fun was taken out of it [as a result of the fertility problems] because you're like, 'Okay, here it is. Day 14 … I don't care if you're tired, it's time to go to work,'" the woman said.
"She just put down the book and she was all over me," her partner added. "It was nice and enjoyable."
She just put down the book and she was all over me ... it was nice and enjoyable
They’re now expecting their first child in February.
But a survey of Essential Baby members revealed that the feeling isn’t universal: only 13 per cent of the women said that reading the books had heated up their sex life, while another 13 per cent said it had only made a small impact on what happened between the sheets.
Fifty per cent of the women said the books made no difference to their sex life, and the remaining 24 per cent said the novels had actually turned them off.
"It was a total turn off and I really feel for the people who claim it has improved their sex lives, as they must have been having some really really bad sex for that book to have positively influenced their sex lives," one forum member wrote.
"It was horrid. I'm dreading the reactions when I announce this pregnancy ... [because of the timing] people are going to assume it's a 50 shades baby," another commented.
Still, the 50 Shades baby merchandise for sale on the internet – and the comments made by their purchasers – shows that some babies may be the result of the steamy relationship between the fictional Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Etsy and Cafe Press are home to many onesies with slogans such as “Made from 50 Shades of Grey” and “9 months ago, my mommy read 50 Shades of Grey.”
“OMG, I’ve got to get this!” one commenter wrote under a onesie featuring the slogan ‘Generation Grey Baby’.
‘This is soooo my little boy ;)’ wrote another.
Click through our gallery to see more 50 Shades outfits for babies.
What do you think of the 50 Shades ‘baby boom’? Would you dress your child in one of these onesies? Have your say in the comments below.