IT is the decade that brought us Kylie Jenner's lips, Love Island and Game Of Thrones. But one craze whips them all: The Fifty Shades trilogy.
EL James's S & M novels detailing the steamy relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steele and businessman Christian Grey have sold 11.2million copies since the first instalment was published in 2011.
Fifty Shades Of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed took first, second and third place in the UK's 50 most popular books of the decade.
And sales of sex toys rose 30 per cent after the books came out. Three fans tell Jenny Francis how Fifty Shades changed their lives for ever – and not just between the sheets.
'We flirted and felt rush of naughty excitement'
SUPPORT worker Charlie Stevenson quit her long-term relationship for a spicier sex life with an older guy after reading Fifty Shades.
Charlie, from Stoke, is now with 46-year-old health and safety officer Matt Whitfield. She says:
'I WAS 16 when I started dating Phil *, who is now a travel consultant. We were the same age and met at school. He was my first sexual partner. We moved in together after finishing school.
We just went through the motions together. Then I read 50 Shades Of Grey in 2012 and it changed my life. I couldn't believe how explicit it was but I couldn't put it down.
My mind was opened to a new world. Immediately, I wanted to stop having boring sex. Suggestions I made to Phil didn't work.
I blamed myself for being so inexperienced but then I realised it might not be my fault. Phil and I were no longer sexually compatible.
By the end of reading the second book in 2013, I felt empowered enough to leave. I was terrified and thrilled all at the same time.
'TERRIFIED AND THRILLED'
I moved into my own flat and started dating. It was so exciting going out with new men who didn't know me from my school days.
A year later, I met Matt through friends. He is 18 years older than me and when he flirted with me I felt this rush of naughty excitement.
In bed we were a perfect match as he was so dominating. He loved hearing about my fantasies and our sexual chemistry has been unstoppable since.
We got engaged in August 2018 and when I look back to the shy girl I was I don't recognise her at all. Now I have a more exciting sex life than any of my friends and my very own Mr Grey. ' (* Name changed)
'Pals talked about sex fantasies over coffee'
SINGLE Amy Wilks left her office job to design nipple tassels, lingerie and sex harnesses. Amy, from Halesworth in Suffolk, who is mum to a 15-year-old daughter, says:
'In 2007, I got divorced. By the time a friend lent me Fifty Shades Of Grey in 2012, I had spent ten years working in an office answering phones.
I was in a job I disliked to make sure my daughter had a happy life. But from the minute I opened Fifty Shades, something changed.
I loved that Anastasia was thrown into a new sexual journey. For the first time in years I found myself excited and aroused.
My friends and I, who never discussed our sex lives, were suddenly talking openly about sex fantasies over coffee.
'TRANSFORMED THEIR SEX LIVES'
I decided to use my creative side – with Fifty Shades thrown in. I started looking up erotic items handmade in the UK and realised everything was made in China.
I started in 2014 by sketching designs of erotic underwear. Then I visited BDSM sex club The Torture Chamber in London to see what people were wearing.
Everyone was dressed in amazing underwear and bondage. In 2015 I got my designs made and put them up for sale on Etsy. By the end of the year I quit my day job.
Thousands of customers tell me my items have transformed their sex lives. But I would never have done this without the inspiration of Fifty Shades Of Grey. '
'I stopped worrying and just let myself go'
AFTER years of trying to get pregnant, Kylie and husband James Robinson, 41, spiced up their sex life to turn things around. Kylie, from Peterborough, says:
'James and I met at university in 2010. I was 22, James was 32 and within a year we were engaged. After we got married in June 2012, we wanted to start trying for a family.
I had polycystic ovarian syndrome and was told it might take longer than normal to get pregnant. But after two years of trying, and failing, to conceive, I was devastated.
For a year I felt low and that didn't help things in the bedroom. It was difficult to feel good about my body. A year later a friend recommended Fifty Shades Of Grey.
I couldn't believe how sexy it was and found I couldn't put it down. It felt exciting and half of the things described in the sex scenes were things I'd never considered.
'TRIED TOYS AND BONDAGE'
I have to admit it was a turn-on and by the time I'd read the second book I found myself wanting to jump into bed every night.
James couldn't believe it. Not only were we doing it nearly every day, I wanted to try all sorts of new things.
We tried different positions, locations and spontaneity. It transformed our sex life and brought us so much closer as a couple.
I stopped worrying about the “perfect time” to have sex and just let myself go. In May 2014, just four months later, I was pregnant. I was gobsmacked.
MOST READ IN FABULOUS
All those months worrying, and the minute I let myself go in the bedroom, we conceived.
Lewis was born on January 9 2015 and it's been a miracle. Who knew that a bit of naughty erotic fiction could change your life forever? '
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