Now, no one mentions them at all, although Fehilly does credit them for bringing BDSM into the mainstream — despite the caveats about Grey. It is perhaps important — and interesting — to note that Grey specifically rules out erotic asphyxiation with Steele. Was it a feminist win or deeply regressive? Selina Walker, who edited the books for Penguin Random House in the UK, recalls staying up all night to read the series. One was Maxim Jakubowski, who had spent decades writing fantasy, thrillers and some literary erotica. Yet in a society where our public discourse about sex lacks nuance, perhaps it is not surprising that Fifty Shades became a lazy shorthand for rough and non-consensual sex. At a time of anxiety about ebooks killing the print industry, Fifty Shades taught publishers they could spread successes over both markets. The publisher assembled a dedicated team to focus solely on Fifty Shades. But alongside the huge number of copies sold, was there a lasting cultural influence?