Written by Ella Thomson on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Fifty Shades may have topped all sorts of bestseller lists and has women everything in a frenzy over it, but E.L. James was caught off-guard by the sudden phenomenom.

“I’m stunned by its popularity,” said James. “I’m not a great writer.”

She revealed in an NBC interview that she wrote the series over two years, in the middle of a mid-life crisis.

Not-so-shockingly, sex shops are attempting to strike while this iron’s hot and holding BDSM workshops and classes, such as the Brooklyn sex shop Shag.

“People have always been interested in exploring that type of sexual relationship,” said Samantha Bard, 37, co-owner of Shag. “What I think is happening now is that it’s becoming OK to talk about it now.”

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