Moviegoers everywhere took to theaters last weekend to catch the premier of Fifty Shades of Grey, the film based on author E.L. James’ erotic romance novel of the same name. Over 100 million copies of the popular novel have been sold worldwide, elevating it to the top of numerous best seller lists. Based on the hoopla and controversy surrounding the story’s sexual themes, we expect the film will share the novel’s success at the box office. In fact, the “Fifty Shades” brand has become so popular that it has parlayed its success into numerous other products, including a line of adult toys and lubricants. Unfortunately, like all other over-commercialized things in our culture, some of those spin-off products may not live up to the perceived quality of the source material. And, guess what happens when products don’t live up to the hype? We get lawsuits far more controversial than the book itself.
According to an MTV News report, California woman Tania Warchol has filed a proposed class action against Lovehoney, the manufacturer of the official “Fifty Shades” line of adult products, claiming that the “Fifty Shades of Grey” Come Alive Pleasure Gel for Her failed to meet expectations. The product description contained on Lovehoney’s website website states:
Heighten your pleasure with Come Alive, an intimate arousal gel from the Fifty Shades of Grey Official Sensual Care Collection. Experience enhanced orgasms and stimulation as every tingle, touch and vibration intensifies.
Based on this description, Warchol alleges that she “believed the [gel] has powerful aphrodisiac qualities and would increase her sexual pleasure as advertised.” However, after a couple of uses, the Come Alive Pleasure Gel allegedly didn’t rise to the occasion.
We are guessing Warchol will face a tough road ahead of her trying to meet her burden. A quick review of the comments section on the product’s website indicates an overwhelmingly positive customer experience and a 4-star rating. Even though feedback on a product website can be, and often is, fudged by those with a vested interest in such things, the rest of Internet reveals similar results. As such, even if it is a placebo effect, it looks like the product must be working for somebody.
Maybe Warchol should consider other external variables.
Or, if we are wrong, this lawsuit may just prove that Come Alive Pleasure Gel is as effective as a product as “Fifty Shades of Grey” is as fine literature.