Confession: I have not read 50 Shades of Grey, and I probably never will. However, I will admit to being somewhat curious about how much of 50 Shades of Grey is fact or fiction. Luckily, I'm not the only one to have wondered about that particular topic; our pals at WeLoveDates were also curious what percentage of the book (and soon-to-be film) was fantasy and what percentage may be rooted in truth. To find out, they did a little digging into where fact ended and fiction began — and not just with regards to BDSM practices. We're talking about the whole kit and kaboodle here, from how likely it is that a real-life Anastasia Steele would meet and become involved with a real-life Christian Grey to whether or not some of Christian's claims about BDSM hold true. They arranged their findings in one handy dandy infographic, which they then kindly shared with us — so allow us to present to you, Gentle Readers, the fruits of their labor: "50 Shades of Grey: Fantasy or Fallacy?"
Probably no one will be surprised to find that 50 Shades is pretty much all fantasy and almost no reality. For example, according to WeLoveDates' research, it's extremely unlikely that an ordinary young Oregonian woman would find herself tangled up with a stunningly attractive, self-made billionaire under the age of 30 with a domination fetish in real life. That's not to say it couldn't happen... but based on the real-life demographics of all those character elements, it probably wouldn't. Christian Grey's insistence that falling in love with a submissive would destroy a BDSM relationship also isn't a be-all, end-all proclamation; WeLoveDates found that 50 percent of BDSM practitioners report that they're in love with their partners. And as for whether or practicing BDSM is a sign of being, in Ana's words, "messed up?" Not so much. This one is probably the least surprising answer, but according to a 2006 study, "Masochists were not found to be more prone to psychological distress or mental instability than the other groups."
Check out the full infographic below for all the details. There are also a bunch of excellent posts floating around on the Internet debunking some of the BDSM myths 50 Shades may have helped perpetuate; Divine Caroline's is one, so head on over there for more fact vs. fiction action. But hey, even if the whole scenario is mostly fantasy, whatever floats your boat, right?