'Naked Chef' Jamie gives 'Fifty Shades of Grey' a good flogging
It may have sold 100 million copies around the world, but erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is a flop when it comes to pleasuring readers, a study has shown.
Scientists who assessed the emotional feelings, body language, and heart rate of female volunteers found EL James's bondage blockbuster was less enjoyable than a cookery book by Jamie Oliver, whose career took off after he presented TV series 'The Naked Chef'.
The test was part of an experiment designed to see what really makes a good read when all the marketing hype is stripped away.
Extracts from different genres of books, including thrillers, romantic fiction, sci-fi, non-fiction and erotica, were read by the 50 participants who had an average age of 35.
The most enjoyable genre proved to be "romantic suspense", with a "positive engagement" score of 83pc.
In contrast, 'Fifty Shades of Grey', representing erotica, produced the lowest score of 52pc, and was trumped by Oliver's '30-Minute Meals' (55pc).
Consultant behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings, who devised the tests, said: "This experiment finally answers the question about whether to trust your heart or your head, with heart prevailing when choosing the perfect summer read."
Ms Hemmings said by examining the difference between conscious enjoyment and sub-conscious enjoyment she had identified 'romantic suspense' as the most enjoyable type of literature.
This is because it "keeps readers interested and immersed with elements of surprise, whilst softening any lasting feelings of anxiety with moments of passion and romance".
A psychologist noted that volunteers' body language responses including blink rate, fidgeting, sitting position and facial expression. Pulse rate was also measured to provide an indication of stress and anxiety.