As Fifty Shades hits cinemas, arm yourself with these facts about the billionaire women strangely love
Even before they cast Jamie Dornan to play him in the film, one-hundred million women worldwide had imagined having sex with the hero of EL James’ smash
hit ‘mummy porn’ trilogy. If you were on public transport any time during 2012, they were doing it right next to you. So what is it about Grey that makes him the perfect sex man?
We read all three Fifty Shades books to produce this in-depth profile…
HE IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD AT BUSINESS STUFF
As CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc, Grey earns $100,000 every hour. From an office on the top floor of the 20-storey steel-and-glass Grey House, he employs more than 40,000 people to do something vague in telecommunications. He studied politics and economics at Harvard and is a benefactor of WSU University, Vancouver, where he funds research into crop rotation and soil science. That’s how he meets the student Anastasia Steele. “I sail, I fly, I indulge in various physical pursuits,” Grey tells Anastasia. “I’m a very wealthy man and I have expensive and absorbing hobbies.” He later reiterates: “I will buy you lots of things. Get used to it. I can afford it. I’m a very wealthy man.”
HE LIKES A BROAD RANGE OF CARS
He drives a big black Audi SUV. Parked next to it in his underground garage are his two, smaller Audi SUVs. For sunny days, he drives a black Audi R8 Spyder. When he’s courting Anastasia, he buys her a red Audi A3.
HE’S A QUALIFIED PILOT, LIKE NOEL EDMONDS
His EC135 Eurocopter is the safest in its class. “It’s equipped for night flight,” he says, while flying Anastasia in it, at night. He also flies Anastasia in his Blanik L-23 two-seater glider, and takes her out in a 50ft catamaran named after his mum. He shags her in the boat, but not the helicopter or the glider.
HE SEEMS TO HAVE A BIT OF A PROBLEM MAINTAINING HIS CRUEL, DOMINANT, ALPHA-MALE PERSONALITY
Things he says when they’re not having sex include: “Oh baby, will I ever get enough of you?” “You cooked, I’ll clear.” “I’ve bought you some Advil and some Arnica cream.” “Come on, sleepyhead, get up.” “You hang up. No, you hang up.” “My favourite sound in the whole world is your giggle.” “Laters, baby.” And, “Don’t ever leave me."
HE MANSPLAINS THINGS
The first time they listen to his iPod, he says: “My taste is eclectic. Everything from Thomas Tallis to the Kings Of Leon.” She doesn’t know who Thomas Tallis is. “He’s a 16th-century British composer. Sounds very esoteric, I know, but also magical.” When they’re in a restaurant, he says: “The pinot grigio here is decent. It will go well with the meal, whatever we get.” “Whatever we get?” Anastasia asks. “Yes.” (They get nettle soup and venison.) Later, he mansplains oysters: “All you do is tip and swallow. Delicious, tastes of the sea.” “So I don’t chew it?” “No, Anastasia, you don’t.” Finally, on a yacht, he explains nautical speed: “She’s doing 15 knots.” Anastasia has no idea what that means. “It’s about 17 miles an hour." Thanks Christian!
HE TALKS ABOUT KINKY STUFF MORE THAN HE DOES IT
At least half of the first book is taken up with protracted discussions about a ‘dominant/submissive’ contract he wants Anastasia to sign before they go into his sex dungeon. It includes clauses on what she should eat and how often she should let him pay to get her hair done. They’re still talking about it in book two. Nearly all the sex is standard, housewife fantasy stuff in showers, baths, hotel rooms, yachts and beaches. To be fair, he does get through a fair number of props. They include a grey silk tie, an ice cube, ice cream, a Perspex ruler, a lipstick and a (suddenly removed) tampon. Once he eventually gets her into his ‘red room of pain’, his bag of tricks include a chain, a riding crop, some manner of ceiling-mounted scaffold, two silver balls linked with black thread, a ‘flogger’, a big wooden X, a fur glove, a ‘spreader bar’, nipple clamps and a vibrating butt plug.
HE LIKES THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE
He speaks fluent French and his favourite film is The Piano. On his office wall are 36 small paintings arranged in a square. At home, his kitchen has the kind of cupboards you have to push in to open. The fridge contains pouilly-fumé, chablis, Spanish omelette, cold potatoes and a plate of cheeses with grapes on it, like you get in a restaurant. He uses place mats. He uses jasmine-scented foaming bath oil. Although his leather torture bed has no sheets on it (for hygiene reasons), it does have satin cushions. The torture room smells of leather and ‘citrus-scented polish’. Possibly Pledge.
HE IS UP TO DATE WITH TECHNOLOGY
Grey uses a BlackBerry and buys Anastasia one so they can exchange emails. (A significant chunk of all three books is made up of these emails, complete with dates and subject headers, which are as fun to read as emails.) He also sends Anastasia a silver MacBook Pro. “It has the latest OS and a full suite of programs, plus a 1.5-terabyte hard drive and 32GB of Ram. It has full wireless N and I’ve set it up with your Me account details.” Yeah, a bit Partridge. Later, he sends her an iPad, pre-loaded with a link to his own website, some photos and a load of songs by Vaughan Williams, Jeff Buckley, José González, Snow Patrol, Enigma, The Police, Coldplay, Nelly Furtado and Nitin Sawhney.
HE HAS A SENSITIVE SIDE
After their brief first encounter, Grey finds Anastasia the normal way, by tracking her phone. He finds her in a bar. She’s had too much to drink. He holds her hair back from her face while she vomits into a hedge. Afterwards, he advises her not to drink on an empty stomach.
HE LIKES A WOMAN WITH A HEALTHY APPETITE
He doesn’t like to see food go to waste. Thoughts on the subject include: “Eat up, you’re going to need your strength.” “You need to eat.” “Have you eaten today?”
“I wish you’d eat.” And, “Please tell me you’ll eat.” (This is in almost every chapter of all three books.)
HE PUTS A LOT OF THOUGHT INTO GIFTS
Presents bought for Anastasia include a bottle of Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999 (“An excellent vintage”), a three-volume first edition of Tess Of The d’Urbervilles costing $14,000, a silver Saab 9-3 2.0T Sport Sedan to replace the Audi A3 he’d previously bought her (“A Saab? Do I want a Saab? I quite liked the Audi. It was very nifty”), a $3,295 pair of Christian Louboutin grey suede stilettos, a pair of Cartier diamond drop earrings and the publishing company she works for so she can fire her lecherous boss.
HE ALWAYS KNOWS THE RIGHT SONG TO PLAY
Anastasia hears the flower duet from Lakmé by Delibes for the first time while riding in his black Audi SUV and is transported. He also plays her an aria from La Traviata, Toxic by Britney Spears and something by Damien Rice. For driving the R8 Spyder while wearing a leather jacket, Bruce Springsteen is more appropriate. For seducing Anastasia in his apartment, he chooses Witchcraft by Frank Sinatra, Crazy In Love by Beyoncé, I Put A Spell On You by Nina Simone and Bailero from Canteloube’s Songs Of The Auvergne. It’s sung in the Occitan dialect – which he can understand. During bondage sex, he puts on Spem In Alium by Thomas Tallis. Then, after bondage sex, he goes to his grand piano and wistfully plays Concerto in D minor by Alessandro Marcello with no clothes on. He can also play Chopin’s Prelude Opus 28, number four, in E minor with no clothes on. He is good at piano playing, but it makes him a bit sad.
HE KNOWS WHAT TO SAY TO TURN A WOMAN ON
You might like to try some of the following phrases, which Anastasia finds very erotic:
1. “First, I don’t make love, I f*ck. Hard. Second, there’s a lot more paperwork to do.”
2. “When is your period due?”
3. “Don’t worry, you expand too.”
4. “I want you sore, baby.”
5. “I need washing.”
6. “I want you to become well acquainted, on first-name terms if you will, with my favourite and most cherished part of my body.”
7. “You have such a captivating, sexy ass.”
8. “Pinch the top and roll it down. You don’t want any air in the end of that sucker.”
FINALLY, HE’S SERIOUS ABOUT SAFE SEX
Every time they do it in the books, EL James describes Grey tearing open the condom wrapper. Sometimes she even describes him knotting the end afterwards and disposing of it. Happy Valentine's!
Fifty Shades Of Grey is at cinemas nationwide from 13 February