As advertised on National Public Radio, listeners heard that they can send a St Valentine’s Day gift to a loved one that is in step with the times. Available at the VermontTeddyBear website, customers can have a plush toy sent to a lover that has as its theme the soon-to-be released ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film. The novel upon which it was based has been wildly popular. Even so, both the book and the film have been controversial because of their depictions of sado-masochism that have been criticized by religious groups and some women. The film and the novel recount the relationship of a young woman who falls in love with a supremely wealthy man who gradually reveals his predilection for bondage and whippings.
 
At the VermontTeddyBear website, for about $90, customers can buy a teddy bear dressed in a grey flannel suit. Rounding out the bondage theme, the plush bear is complete with accessories that include a mask and handcuffs. The toy is 15 inches tall and is promised to be a limited edition. The website urges customers, “If you want to dominate Valentine’s Day, skip the roses” and purchase the “adult gift” specially designed for those obsessed with the book. “He features smoldering eyes, a suit and satin tie, mask – even mini handcuffs.” It is handmade in Vermont. For those concerned with environmental issues, the Fifty Shades of Grey bear is filled with “100% recycled stuffing. Guaranteed for life.”
 
In a package deal, customers can pick up a teddy bear and a grey/pink camisole with a “peekaboo” slit and tap pants. It’s now on sale for $139.99 plus shipping and handling.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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