6 Sexpert Tips for Safe '50 Shades' of Play

handcuffs and key

Fifty Shades of Grey is responsible for plenty of laughable trends. (Does anyone really need a Keep Calm and Summon Your Inner Goddess tee from the mall?) But we're not laughing (well, not much anyway) about the fact that since E.L. James' erotic blockbusters were published, ER visits because of sex toy mishaps have increased. (Talk about killing the mood!)


According to The Washington Post, people (sheepishly) showing up at hospitals because of sex toy snafus has doubled since 2007, with the biggest increase in 2012 and 2013 -- when "Christian Grey" became a household name.

More from The Stir: Quiz: What's Your '50 Shades of Grey' Movie-Viewing Style?

Eighty-three percent of these awkward ER visits involve "foreign body removals." (Quite possibly one of the least sexy terms we've ever heard.)

We're guessing you don't want to end up in the ER, not able to make eye contact with the nice lady at reception who wants to know what brought you in. To that end (um, excuse the pun), Wyatt Riot, assistant manager of She Bop, a female-friendly, women-owned sex toy boutique in Portland, Oregon, offers some tips on safely playing out your Fifty Shades fantasies:

1. Do some research. Whatever piques your interest, "read some books or watch some DVDs," Riot suggests. "If you have a local shop with a knowledgable staff, go in and ask questions and get recommendations."

2. Only use ben-wa balls and kegel exercisers vaginally. Don't go knocking these around at your back door, a scenario that sounds like it's responsible for a lot of ER visits. If you're new to this sort of thing, "choose a ball with a string for easy retrieval," Riot says. "Due to the cervix, it isn't going to 'get lost.' But it could get pushed close to the cervix and be difficult to reach on your own."

3. Go for flare. If you're exploring anal play, choose a toy with a flared base so it's easy to remove. And since that's not a naturally moist area, adds Riot, "Be sure to always use a lubricant."

More From The Stir: Quiz: Test Your '50 Shades of Grey' Knowledge

4. Have an easy out. If you're literally tied up and need to get out ASAP, real scissors can't always easily cut through rope and bondage tape. Even silk knots can tighten more than you expect, says Riot. Buy a pair of safety scissors and keep them handy.

5. Lose the handcuffs. Or well, the regular cop-like handcuffs that aren't especially made for sex play. "They can tighten and pinch your nerves," Riot says.

6. If something hurts, stop. Check in with your partner, change positions, or remove whatever you're using for the bondage, says Riot. "Your body knows best. Be sure you feel comfortable talking to the person you're playing with -- consent is key."

Have you ever need to go to the ER for a sex-related reason?

Image © iStock.com/padnpen

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