Is 'Fifty Shades' to blame for rise in handcuff emergencies?
July 30, 2013 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
- "Fifty Shades" could be behind rise in emergencies involving handcuffs, London firefighters say
- The city's firefighters have been called to 79 handcuff incidents in the past three years
- A U.S. congressman says prisoners in Guantanamo are also fans
London (CNN) -- The bestselling erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" may have done more than spice up readers' love lives.
Firefighters in London say it could be to blame for a rise in the emergency calls from people stuck in all kinds of awkward situations -- some involving handcuffs.
Read more: Explaining 'Fifty Shades' wild success
The wildly-popular trilogy details the S&M-flavored love story of a recent college grad and a billionaire CEO. It's also credited with boosting sales of sex toys, driving women to hook-up sites and fueling a craze over sexual domination.
So, it's not surprising there would be a downside.
In the past three years, London's fire crews have been called to 79 incidents involving people trapped in handcuffs.
'Fifty Shades of Grey' becomes musical
'Mr. Fifty Shades' talks of wife, family
'Mommy porn' pulled from library shelves
"I don't know whether it's the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up," said Third Officer Dave Brown.
"I'm sure most people will be Fifty Shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them."
Such red-faced moments are among more than 1,300 calls involving people being trapped "often in everyday household items" since 2010, the fire service said.
Such calls are not just awkward; they end up costing the taxpayer. London Fire Brigade puts the cost of these 1,300 calls at £377,000 ($580,000.)
But it's not just London where E L James' erotic fiction has been making an impact.
Virginia Representative Jim Moran said the trilogy is a hit in a camp housing high-value detainees within the Guantanamo Bay prison complex.
"Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by the (high-value detainees) is Fifty Shades of Grey. They've read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it," he said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
The insight into the prisoners' reading habits was provided by military officials showing a congressional delegation around Camp Seven, the Democrat said.
"I guess there's not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell," he is quoted as saying.
The trilogy has sold more than 32 million copies in the United States alone since the first installment was published in 2011. With a film version due for release next year, London's firefighters may have to respond to many more calls.
So, the fire brigade has a word of advice to offer: Use a little common sense.
And if you try handcuffs, always keep the keys handy.
Part of complete coverage on
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2016 GMT (0416 HKT)
Hamas: "Lift the siege." Israel: "End the rockets." The two sides' demands will be difficult to reconcile.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 2053 GMT (0453 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to Malaysia Airlines' Hugh Dunleavy about how the airline industry needs to react to MH17.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2042 GMT (0442 HKT)
From Maastricht to Melbourne, and baroque theaters to block-long warehouses, these stores make bookish travelers look stylish.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1857 GMT (0257 HKT)
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
Today's five most popular stories