Fifty Shades: GP Taylor fears impact on children

Image caption Graham Taylor thinks books like Fifty Shades should have an age limit

A charity which supports abuse victims is calling for people to drop off their copies of Fifty Shades of Grey for a book burning.

Wearside Women in Need has condemned the trilogy, which contains scenes of sadomasochism, as "vile" but publisher Random House described the sex scenes as "entirely consensual".

Best-selling children's author GP Taylor, whose own books were threatened with burning in the US, gives his reaction.

"I absolutely loath censorship like that but I think what they're trying to do [by drawing attention to the potential dangers] is quite positive.

"I visited a school last year and I saw a 14-year-old girl reading Fifty Shades. I was in a queue at a checkout and the guy serving me said his 13-year-old daughter was reading it. I've also been in a classroom where the teacher was sat there reading Fifty Shades [to herself].

"It's very popular because it's salacious and quite titillating but I'm concerned that young people have access to it and will be left with a view of sex which is warped.

"I wouldn't read it because as a former police officer and retired priest I'm used to seeing the ramifications of that sort of sexuality.

'Pretty nasty'

"I'm concerned that if children read it they will see it as normal. It sends a message that this is what adults do but very few adults would indulge in this.

"I wrote a book called the Vampire Labyrinth and many libraries refused to stock it because it is frightening but there is no age barrier on this book [Fifty Shades] and there should be.

"It gives people the idea that this is a normal way of pursuing sex which is fine if it's between two consenting adults but what happens if one gets a bit abusive or manipulative?

"It's pretty nasty if it goes wrong and a man or a woman doesn't stop or ignores the safe word - it can lead to domestic violence.

"I think if you're offended by a book you shouldn't read it but because of the cultural phenomenon Fifty Shades has become and calling it "Mummy porn" to sanitise it is not right because we're not thinking of the consequences.

"We're living in a time of instant access [with e-readers and tablet computers]. If this was published 15 years ago it wouldn't have gone to the realms it has.

"People have spoken out against online pornography but this book is fairly graphic - written images are just as powerful as visual ones."

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