Credits: SEBASTIEN PERTH/Winnipeg Sun
VANCOUVER -- Young men with shallow pockets can thank a best-selling erotic novel for their bad luck on the dating scene now that thousands of women are focusing their energy on landing sugar daddies, according to a website specializing in "mutually beneficial relationships."
Nearly 4,500 local women have cited the racy Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy as the primary reason for signing up for SeekingArrangement.com since January.
Talk of the book, which follows a woman's provocative sexual relationship with a rich entrepreneur, has been all over social media feeds, as many casual readers are gobbling up the series as fast they can.
Meanwhile, the website offers younger women and wealthy older men the chance to meet up in the hopes of pursuing anything from casual flings to long-term relationships.
SeekingArrangement spokeswoman Jennifer Gwynn said the site's female members are typically looking for rich partners to provide allowances, take them on trips and help them live the "fairy-tale" experience described in the books.
She compares those relationships to those Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner shares with young women occupying his palatial estate.
But bookstore manager Caitlin Jesson said women are kidding themselves if they think the novel resembles a fairy tale.
Although she admitted the series is flying off shelves, she said there's not much value to it.
"It's kind of blowing my mind because (Fifty Shades of Grey is) not literary in any way," she said, adding it's mostly appealing to people who don't often read.
"It's very, very racy. Maybe people feel they need a little bit of that in their life."
Jesson admits she's only picked up the book to read excerpts here and there, but from what she's seen, it's "not realistic at all."