Mainstream Media: BDSM Unshaded

Lyn Bimey

A wave of mainstream publicity swept over the adult novelty industry following the phenomenal success of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy.

Sportsheets’ Sex & Mischief collection of BDSMinspired fantasy accessories was featured on ABC News in a segment that showcased the product line in association with “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Even five years ago, you simply wouldn’t have seen these types of goods on daytime TV. -Kevin Johnson, PR Manager of Pipedream.

The erotic trilogy, which ABC News correspondent Stephanie Hockridge reports is “flying off the shelves just as fast as the main characters’ clothing,” has motivated men, women and couples to spice up their sex lives in new ways.

The book’s bondage-focused theme has made Sportsheets and its Sex & Mischief product line the go-to source for inspiration, the company said.

“The books package basic concepts of bondage, domination, restraint and intimacy in a way that makes it easy — and sexy — for the mainstream world to enjoy, much like our Sex & Mischief collection does,” Sportsheets President Tom Stewart said. “This groundbreaking product line has redefined BDSM and lets people of all sexual lifestyles take the fantasy into their bedrooms.”

Sex & Mischief debuted in the summer of 2011 as a brand of fantasy sexcessories for the savvy and price-conscious couple ready to try a new fun way to connect and experiment with each other.

“[Fifty Shades of Grey] is hands down the most surprising phenomenon in our company in the last 18 years,” said Lisa Mazurek, brand and marketing director at Entrenue, a Sportsheets distributor. “It’s a permission slip for a lot of women or people to try something maybe a little bit taboo.”

Sportsheets made an appearance on ABC’s “The View,” along with other adult novelty manufacturers in a segment showcasing some of co-host Sherri Shepherd’s “Favorite Things.”

Alongside the breakout erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Shepherd showcased the Sex & Mischief Wild About S&M Kit and gave a demo with co-host Joy Behar.

“This is my new favorite,” Shepherd said. “[‘Fifty Shades of Grey’] had a lot of scenes in there where they talked about some bondage. You know, a little S&M never hurt anybody.

“It might be something you may want to try, so I got a little bit experimental and thought mmm, this is something that might be a little fun!” she said. "For the experimental — you want to try that with your spouse.”

Sportsheets executives also were recently interviewed for a Bloomberg feature titled “The ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Stimulus.”

“‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has motivated men, women and couples to spice up their sex lives in brand new ways, and Sportsheets’ Sex & Mischief collection provides the perfect tools,” Sportsheets Vice President Julie Stewart said. “It’s an honor to have been hand-picked by ‘The View’ co-host Sherri Shepherd as one of her favorites — the Sportsheets team is happy to help couples around the world take the erotic fantasy into their bedrooms!”

The “Favorite Things” episode also featured Pipedream’s Inflatable Bondage Chair and Lovers Bondage Kit from the Fetish Fantasy Series. Those attending in the studio audience during the taping of the show also received a free gift from Pipedream.

“Since many in the audience had probably never dabbled in this type of play before, we wanted to provide a perfect introduction to the Fetish Fantasy brand,” said Cheryl Flangel, Pipedream’s brand ambassador. “The Fetish Fantasy Series Lovers Bondage Kit is the perfect collection of kinky accoutrements for the beginner and we couldn’t think of a better gift for those attending the taping of the show.”

Priced for the beginner, the Fetish Fantasy Lovers Bondage Kit includes a variety of staple items, including adjustable wrist and ankle cuffs, inflatable heartshaped position pillow, two-sided heart paddle, silk rose petals, warming massage lotion and eye mask.

“The View” also featured Pipedream’s Inflatable Bondage Chair, which has been a best-seller since it was released in 2006 — a time when fetish items would have never been seen on daytime TV according to Kevin Johnson, PR Manager of Pipedream.

“Even five years ago, you simply wouldn’t have seen these types of goods on daytime TV,” he says. “Having Fetish Fantasy featured on a daytime TV show like ‘The View’ is not only a testament to the strength of the brand; it further proves that fetish isn’t something anyone needs to be ashamed of anymore. Retailers who aren’t carrying Fetish Fantasy in their stores are missing out on reaching a vast market of future players.”

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