'50 Shades' Red Room of Pain Was a Sexy Budget-Busting Extravaganza

red room of pain

If you’ve seen the movie — oh, don’t even ask me what movie, you know what movie I’m talking about, it’s the only movie anyone’s talking about right now — you likely remember Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain as quite the opulent playroom. The bed alone is likely a four-figure expense, and that’s not even accounting for his impressive collection of fine leather whips.



I don’t even have a playroom for my kids, so I’m pretty impressed by the idea of a giant room devoted solely to BDSM activities. I think that’s when you know you’ve truly made it, financially speaking: you have a special room for your hobbies. Some people have a room where they keep their holiday wrapping paper; others have a room where they keep their butt plugs. Tomato, tomahto.
Obviously you could re-create your own Red Room on a budget (zip ties and rope aren’t that expensive, after all), but I wish I’d paid more attention to Christian’s setup in Fifty Shades of Grey. According to one bona-fide dominant, the spendiest element of the room was likely the bed Ana was tied to:

To have the bondage bed in the film custom-made, it probably would have cost a few thousand dollars at least, if not more.

Another BDSM educator points out that the various playthings don’t come cheap:

It can get pretty expensive. Something like a St. Andrew's Cross can run $500.

(What’s a St. Andrew's Cross, you ask? It’s a piece of naughty furniture that provides restraining points for the ankles, wrists, and waist.)

People suggests building your own equipment or visiting communal playspaces if you really want to take advantage of the full BDSM lifestyle, although you can certainly get creative at home with a few neckties. But if you’re going back for a second Fifty Shades viewing (what? Sometimes you have to see a film more than once to catch all those subtle nuances), make sure to pay attention when the Red Room appears — the filmmakers really went all out with the set creation. Husband and wife design team David and Sandy Wasco, who worked on Pulp Fiction, say they met with plenty of experts who have wealthy clients “just like Christian Grey” in order to put together the room that’s shown in the movie.

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

I missed this, but apparently Christian’s Red Room has leather on the floor, to facilitate kneeling. There was also leather on the bed, which had no sheets (it’s not like anyone’s sleeping in there, right?), and most of the furniture and implements — the stirrups and horse saddle chair, for instance — were custom made and shipped from England. They ordered unusually soft ropes and dyed them red, and Sandy Wasco said the overall look was influenced by the director’s love for Kubrick movies and her desire to create a memorable visual scene:

She wanted this room to be something that you’d never forget once you saw it. She wanted it to be more related to a high end stable. So [the equipment] was built in brown, with brown leathers, and brown burled woods and other woods, versus the black that you see that’s more common.

Stunt coordinator Melissa Stubbs spent two weeks with the Fifty Shades team researching and developing a layout for Christian's Red Room, learning what accessories he would keep in his home and weighing each item's visual appeal. Stubbs even worked with a bondage tech advisor (I SO want to see that person's business card) who instructed the production on tools, devices, and ropes used in regular practice. Even the simplest knots shown in the film had hours of work that went into them.

Whew! I think I was too caught up in Ana’s reaction to the room to really notice everything that was in there. It’s possible I might need a repeat viewing, just to be absolutely sure I caught all these important details. You know: for science.

Did you realize how all-inclusive the Red Room was? I mean, if you've seen the movie. I'm not saying you HAVE. But if you DID.

Image via Universal

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