Fifty Shades of Grey spurs sales of sex accessories, bondage material  Carrie Seim, New York Post

“Oh, we’ve been selling rope to women,” says Clifton Kahn, owner of Lexington Hardware on the Upper East Side. “I’d say tenfold more rope than usual in the last six months. The women are definitely buying, and it’s still continuing.”

DON’T KNOCK IT TIL’ YOU TIE IT: City hardware stores are seeing a rush of women coming in to buy up soft rope — the kind used for S&M play in the hit “Fifty Shades of Grey” book series. A big seller is 12-gauge, non-braided nylon, like this one bought at Lexington Hardware.

The store’s most popular item is the soft-cotton “clothes line” rope, which retails at a bargain $5 for 50 feet.
Tarzian Hardware in Park Slope, Brooklyn, has also seen a rash of rope sales. “It’s usually men buying rope, but the women, they’ve been coming in the last few months,” cashier Christina Davila told The Post. “I’ve actually read the book. So when the women buy rope, it was kind of like, ‘Hmmm, that does seem a little unusual.’ ”
Nathaniel Garber Schoen, co-owner of Garber Hardware in the West Village, says customers eager to get tied up rather than secure lumber have a telltale sign: They request softer nylon material. In which case Schoen recommends the 12-gauge, non-braided nylon — “Anything skinnier is too small. You might hurt yourself,” he says of the rope, $18 for a 50-foot spool. “For those purposes, 12-gauge is a reasonable choice and the most popular.”
But the ladies’ shopping lists don’t end with rope — there are also riding crops and handcuffs and, of course, the book’s signature silver-grey tie.
At Babeland, sales of kinky products are up nearly 30 percent in the last few months — and visits to the bondage section of their Web site have spiked 81 percent. Riding crops and handcuffs — both used in the book — are hot items. And there’s a “Fifty Shades of Grey” book and bondage kit sold online for $29 and a more extensive “Fifty Shades of Grey: Indulge Your Fantasies” kit, which includes restraints, a riding crop and “Spank Me Baby” body powder for $169.
“It’s like a juggernaut,” says Babeland co-founder Claire Cavanah. “You’d be surprised to see how very ordinary these people are who are coming in. The book is just an explosion of permission for them to try something new in the bedroom.”
Even at staid Brooks Brothers, a publicist promoted “Eight Shades of Grey Ties” among their offerings. “We may not have Fifty Shades of Grey Ties, but we do have Eight Shades of Grey Ties,” he wrote The Post, forwarding a link to a collection of neckwear that retails from $44.50 to $175. Overall, men’s necktie sales are up 23 percent in the last year, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.

The shopping spree for sex treats doesn’t stop there. Babeland stores are offering “Fifty Shades” classes inspired by the scintillating series. The first workshop in SoHo a few weeks ago — flowing with cocktails, gift bags and bondage advice — reached maximum capacity of 150 people, with 100 hot-and-bothereds turned away. Organizers expect this Sunday’s “Fifty Shades of Spanking” class — with the course description: “Learn how to give and get a good smack while you discover new ways of teasing, touching and stimulating your partner” — on the Lower East Side similarly swell with libidinous ladies.