'Fifty Shades Darker' Features a 'Spreader Bar' Sex Toy—Curious? | SELF

Fifty Shades Darker hits theaters today, giving the world another glimpse into the sexy, sexy lives of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. By now, you probably know the gist of the steamy book turned movie series: Christian (played by Jamie Dornan) is a successful hottie who's big on BDSM, and a young Anastasia (played by Dakota Johnson) is down to explore.

Just like the first movie, the second movie is full of saucy sex scenes (give the people what they want, right?). There's shower sex, spanking, and even a little elevator foreplay. But the one sex scene that might have you doing a double take (spoiler alert!) involves a sex toy called a spreader bar. Telescopic Spreader Bar

'Fifty Shades Darker' Features a 'Spreader Bar' Sex Toy—Curious? | SELF

What does a spreader bar do, you ask? Basically, it's an adjustable metal rod with two cuffs on each end. The gist is you strap the cuffs to a person's ankles, extend the metal rod to a reasonable length—and then the person can't close their legs during a hot hookup. BDSM is often about dominance and submission, so the submissive would be the one strapped in. In the Fifty Shades Darker book and movie, Christian hooks Anastasia's ankles up to the spreader bar. Here's how the scene plays out in the literary masterpiece, from Anastasia's perspective:

"His tongue [swirls] around and around while his fingers move inside me. Because I can't close my legs, or move, it's intense, really intense. My back arches as I try to absorb the sensations."

Intrigued? A quick search on Amazon (that will forever change my "Because you were interested in..." picks) pulls up a number of spreader bars, including one that's dubbed the official Fifty Shades of Grey Trust Me Adjustable Spreader Bar and Cuff Set, sold by sex toy company It retails for $70, and the description says the toy lets "the Dominant wrap their partner's ankles in the soft cuffs, securing them with Velcro to ensure they stay spread."

Zoë Ligon, CEO and founder of the Spectrum Boutique sex toy store, says spreader bars are a pretty great toy in the BDSM world. "As far as restraints go, it's not only a good way to restrain your partner, but also a way to manipulate their body more easily," Ligon tells SELF. "In a missionary-style position, you can use the bar to push their legs backwards and get good G-spot action or prostate action if the person has a penis."

As far as safety concerns, Ligon says a spreader bar is pretty safe. The one thing to look out for: making sure you don't strap the device to a so tightly that it could restrict blood flow. "If you have a cuff on an ankle or a wrist, leave at least a finger's space of wiggle room on the inside," she says. And make sure the activity is consensual, of course. Consent is key in BDSM, and consenting to "give up control," so to speak, can actually bring couples closer together.

In the movie, Christian literally flips Anastasia over with the sex toy—something you probably don't want to try at home. Dornan told Entertainment Weekly that filming with the spreader bar actually proved to be difficult. “It didn’t work a couple of times and held us back a little bit,” he said.

But the book Christian Grey is all about the toy. As the great E.L. James writes from the perspective of Anastasia in Fifty Shades Darker: "'The good thing about the spreader is, it expands,' he murmurs. He clicks something on the bar, then pushes, so my legs spread further.'"

~Cue Beyoncé's slow and sexy version of "Crazy in Love."~

Watch: Confessions From Fifty Shades's Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson

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'Fifty Shades Darker' Features a 'Spreader Bar' Sex Toy—Curious? | SELF

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