"Fifty Shades of Grey" was wildly popular, and topped many best seller lists. This book has been credited for helping modern-day women, from housewives to co-eds, embrace their sexuality. In the wake of the book's release, sex toy sales rose dramatically. Bondage and S&M toys were particularly good sellers.
As a character, Anastasia Steele has been both heralded as a heroine for female sexuality, and denounced as weak, submissive and lacking in self esteem.