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
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT)
Sean Connery says "yes," whilst David Beckham says "no." See what the famous are saying about Scotland's referendum.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
On September 18, Scots go to the polls to vote on the future of their country. Here's what you should know.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
This is "Flames of War," a slick and ominous new video from the ISIS media center.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1508 GMT (2308 HKT)
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories