Why Fifty Shades of Grey hero Christian Grey has to be a Scotsman

Shades of tartan: EL James hit novel 50 Shades of Grey has been making waves in Scotland
Shades of tartan: EL James hit novel Fifty Shades of Grey has been making waves in Scotland

The best selling S&M trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed has been launched in France – and guess what? They have turned up their snooty Gallic noses at the antics of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, according to this Guardian article.

Instead of Mummy Porn they call it Housewife Porn

Well, they would, wouldn’t they? The French think they invented sex – doing it or writing about it. Dangerous Liaisons, the Marquis de Sade (who gave us sadism, in every sense) Anne Desclos (secret author of Story of O), all French. They even invented the phrase “cinq à sept” – five to seven – that couple of hours where every self-respecting Frenchman nips off to his mistress after work before returning to his family.

All they need to deploy is a well-timed shrug and that erotic accent of theirs for knicker elastic to automatically loosen. Or so they think. I can’t speak for French women, but here it doesn’t work. Oh non, pas du tout.

For, while the French congratulate themselves on their sexual sophistication, the crown of sexiest nation has passed on. And where has that crowned passed? Why to Scotland, of course, where the demand for copies of Ms James’ steamy novel – I use the term as loosely as the unfortunate Anastasia uses the word ‘No’ – has been unprecedented.

Up and down the country, women have been snapping up this publishing phenomenon. Mummy porn, S&M lite, call it what you like, the book explores bondage and various other shenanigans in millionaire Christian’s red room of pain. Inspiring stuff, apparently.

Sex shops have been reporting a boom in sales as women try out their new toys – presumably letting their men in on the act too. From Barra to the Borders, bedsprings have been getting a battering as couples channel their inner Christian and Anastasia.

Christian is your typical Scottish male might be; uncommunicative, finds it difficult to have a normal conversation with a woman, thinks nothing of giving his girlfriend a good slap (on the rump). Only difference is he is not a billionaire. And Anastasia – well, never been kissed, submissive, can’t handle her drink, always falls for the wrong guy.

But you won’t hear any of these Scotsmen tutting and complaining, like the French, about this experimental dimension being added to their lives. The nation’s men folk are more than happy to be on the learning curve. Not surprising in a land renowned for its innovation.

But it’s not just embracing a new idea and being willing to learn that sets Scots apart as a nation of lovers. There’s something else.

While Hollywood’s finest vie to play the part of Mr Grey in the inevitable Fifty Shades movie, we must look past their white-toothed, rippling-abbed perfection. We need that kind of swagger that you only get from carrying a large chip on your shoulder.

A red-hot combination that surely can only come from a Scot. This little nation has punched far above its weight in terms of OMG silver screen sensations – Ewan McGregor, Gerard Butler, Robert Carlyle, James McAvoy and Dougray Scott to name but a few. Daniel Craig undoubtedly fills his swimming trunks satisfactorily, but no James Bond has beaten our own Sean Connery for sheer animal sexiness.

While Frenchmen are pouting and sneering at Christian Grey, the Scots have grabbed a copy of the book and retreated indoors. No longer in Scotland is Fifty Shades of Grey confined to the weather forecast.