SAN DIEGO — The steamy, “sugar daddy” relationship featured in the mega-selling book “Fifty Shades of Grey” appears to be sparking more than women’s imaginations.
News learned at least one website says it is inspiring some women to seek their own “Fifty Shades” relationship. One San Diego woman told 10News she is already living part of that life.
Alicia is 25 years old, has a master’s degree in special education and said she was tired of guys her age with no maturity or money.
“I came from a background where I had nothing,” she said. “Why not try this out and see if there’s a match with someone who’s older who can take care of me?”
Alicia said her 40- 50 year-old sugar daddy pays her rent and leaves her money to pay bills and student loans.
The “Fifty Shades” book trilogy has put relationships like Alicia’s front and center.
“I actually told my sugar daddy to read it,” said Alicia. “I just asked him if we could try that stuff out.”
“That stuff” Alicia is referring to is the sexually charged scenarios in the book. “Fifty Shades of Grey” also includes bondage.
“It’s giving women the voice to say, ‘I want you to do this to me,'” said Alicia.
The fantasy is also about the leading man — the handsome, rich, 20-something Christian Grey. The character has been so inspiring that sugar daddy seekers website SeekingArrangement.com said 186,000 female members — nearly a quarter of them new — are asking for a “Fifty Shades” relationship. 10News learned 4,100 of those women are from San Diego.
“You don’t want just the financial support, you want basically everything that comes in the package of a boyfriend,” said Alicia.
Psychologist Dr. Michael Mantell warns these relationships are typically based on control.
“I think they’re going down the wrong path if they think they’re going to find this fantasy in reality,” he said. “The danger is it can warp the idea of what a healthy relationship is all about.”
However, Alicia said her relationship isn’t like that.
“I would consider him as my boyfriend,” she told 10News.
Alicia said she knows it is unrealistic to expect to find a Christian Grey, but plenty of others are trying to buy him.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” has been selling an estimated one book per second, and the movie rights were recently purchased for a reported $5 million.