Couples are now having sex more often, for longer and in more risque positions thanks to - you guessed it - the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon.

The effects of the erotic novel on British bedrooms was tracked in a study carried out by Netmums.com, and has shown the book to have had a profound impact on participants' sex lives.

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Fifty Shades has had a profound effect on readers sex lives

The research revealed that after reading the saucy story one in eight women have started having sex with their partner everyday, a huge increase from the 3% who did so in 2011.

The study also showed that couples are having sex for longer, with two thirds of women reporting an added 15 minutes to each love-making session.

Couples are getting more and more adventurous too thanks to EL James' turn of phrase, with "reverse cowgirl" named the favourite sex position - knocking "doggy style" off the top spot.

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The erotic trilogy centres around sexually inexperienced student Ana Steele, who takes part in bondage-style sex games with billionaire (and heartthrob) Christian Grey.

Fifty Shades was recently named the UK's biggest-selling book of all time after hitting the 5.3 million sales mark, with numbers still rising.

Ever wondered how to turn up the bedroom heat? Sophie Morgan, author of The Diary of a Submissive, offers her top five tips.

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  • Bondage

    <strong>Fantasy: </strong>Over the course of the three books Christian uses everything from cable ties and rope to elaborate bondage straps to secure Ana ready for his whims. <strong>Reality:</strong> If you're dipping a toe into BDSM this is a lovely place to start - not least because if you're not sure you want to get into intense power play yet it can be as sensual as it is controlling. It can also start very simple - a silk tie or dressing gown cord is easily grabbed when coming home from work or just before bed. If you want to go the full Fifty Shades route and use cable ties make sure they're not too tight - suffice to say that awkward moment where you're trying to get the tip of the scissors between tie and skin to snip them off can be rather unalluring. If you're going for rope, ignore a leaf from Christian's book and eschew the DIY shop though - while you can buy rope there it's often itchy and unyielding. For decadent comfort buy specialist bondage rope - made from cotton, silk or hemp - you'll find it easier to work with if you're doing the tying and much more comfortable if you're not. Just remember that in reality people don't bend in all the exotic ways of fiction - keep scissors close to hand in case of difficulty, don't leave someone tied up for too long (if they're getting pins and needles or their skin is changing colour it's time to undo things) and avoid joints and dangerous areas like the neck. Sophie Morgan is a journalist and author. Her book <em>The Diary of a Submissive</em> is published by Penguin and out now on Kindle / iTunes and published as a paperback 30th August 2012. It has been described as 'the real life Fifty Shades of Grey', although Sophie would like to point out she doesn't bite her lip and would get Silence of the Lambs flashbacks if a strange man offered to show her his red room of pain. Follow her on Twitter at @mssophiemorgan.

  • Pain

    <strong>Fantasy: </strong>From paddles and whips and floggers and crops to more simple implements like his hand and a ruler, Christian has a plethora of ways to elicit yelps of pain from his submissive. <strong>Reality:</strong> Pain can be wonderfully erotic and in the right mindset cathartic, but as with all things starting off slowly is the way to go. If you've not done it before a simple hand spanking can still be really effective. As any physicist would tell you it's all about the force, even a riding crop or whip if you decide to graduate up to using such things can be endured by newbies if it's wielded with sensitivity. If you are tempted by such things, a word to the wise - if you go to Decathlon or another similar big sporting goods shop you will pick up a well made whip or crop for half the price you would in your average sex shop for something of similar quality. And rest assured, a lot of the other couples lurking round the display sheepishly waiting for you to make your choice are probably doing the same thing. The Olympics hasn't bought about THAT much of an equestrian renaissance. Sophie Morgan is a journalist and author. Her book <em>The Diary of a Submissive</em> is published by Penguin and out now on Kindle / iTunes and published as a paperback 30th August 2012. It has been described as 'the real life Fifty Shades of Grey', although Sophie would like to point out she doesn't bite her lip and would get Silence of the Lambs flashbacks if a strange man offered to show her his red room of pain. Follow her on Twitter at @mssophiemorgan.

  • Toys

    <strong>Fantasy: </strong>Christian lives in pretty much a sex toy show room, complete with storage for all his implements - presumably when you have so many it's easier to keep track of them that way. <strong>Reality: </strong>While a red room of pain is fine in fantasy, the fact is if most of us had a spare room in our house we could use for whatever we wanted we'd think of a dozen things to use it for before we thought to install the sex swing (a home cinema gets my vote, although I might still have naughty plans for what happens in the back row). But you don't have to spend a fortune on sex toys to spice up your love life - and gone are the days of sex shops being the natural home of men in polyester coats you'd actively cross the road to avoid. Coco de Mer, Ann Summers and shops of that ilk mean walking into an erotic emporium on the High Street is no longer something seedy, and if even the thought of that makes you blush there's plenty of places you can buy online who'll deliver to your door. If Sex and the City can be credited with bringing the Rampant Rabbit into women's consciousness and subsequently their bedside drawers, then E.L. James has done epic things for a host of other toys. Everything from those cable ties (B&Q must be thrilled) through to blindfolds, butt plugs and jiggle balls (ridiculous name for weighted balls inserted - in Ana speak - 'down there' which can improve sex, bring about more intense orgasms and, if nothing else, ensure even standing in a queue is a hundred and eleventy per cent less dull) get a mention. Experiment with what you fancy - and take the opportunity to discuss with your partner anything they fancy trying too, it needn't be a po-faced conversation and communicating about what'll happen when whatever you've bought arrived isn't just good practice, but will help build anticipation for when it does. Just remember there's plenty of potential in things around the house if you use your imagination - from wooden spoons and clothes pegs to cling film too. Sophie Morgan is a journalist and author. Her book <em>The Diary of a Submissive</em> is published by Penguin and out now on Kindle / iTunes and published as a paperback 30th August 2012. It has been described as 'the real life Fifty Shades of Grey', although Sophie would like to point out she doesn't bite her lip and would get Silence of the Lambs flashbacks if a strange man offered to show her his red room of pain. Follow her on Twitter at @mssophiemorgan.

  • Temperature

    <strong>Fantasy: </strong>As a man obsessed with food (it's all about the back story you know) Christian enjoys eating food sensuously off Ana - most notably ice cream, although he also plays with ice cubes. <strong>Reality: </strong>Take the opportunity to literally heat up your love life. Temperature play can be really fun and involves minimal cost. Blindfolding someone as you run ice around them - and even inside them - can be very intense and (forgive the pun) quite hot, although make sure you're not starting straight from the kitchen - it's safe to say freezer burn isn't sexy. If you fancy going hotter than playing with candle wax is a good option. Just remember to take it slowly, don't let the candle burn for too long and don't use coloured ones unless you know they're specifically designed for rudeness (usually the colour pigment means the candle burns at a higher temperature and is thus likely to burn). Also, potential dom/mes remember: Holding the candle far away from the body you're dripping it on gives the wax a little longer to cool before hitting the body. Your submissive will thank you, especially if it's the first time they're experiencing wax. Also, and don't judge me for saying this, the pleasure of peeling dried wax off the body is up there with peeling Copydex glue off your fingers while doing arts and crafts in terms of (an admittedly different kind of) satisfaction. Sophie Morgan is a journalist and author. Her book <em>The Diary of a Submissive</em> is published by Penguin and out now on Kindle / iTunes and published as a paperback 30th August 2012. It has been described as 'the real life Fifty Shades of Grey', although Sophie would like to point out she doesn't bite her lip and would get Silence of the Lambs flashbacks if a strange man offered to show her his red room of pain. Follow her on Twitter at @mssophiemorgan.

  • Power Play

    <strong>Fantasy:</strong> If you've read the book you know the deal - Christian wants Ana to submit to his every sexual whim, sign his (long and surprisingly dull bearing in mind the racy stuff on it) kink contract and generally acquiesce to his every demand about every aspect of her life from where she works and who her friends are through to what she has for dinner. <strong>Reality:</strong> While extreme D/s can be like this (although arguably it's more of a Master/slave dynamic than a Dominant/submissive one) you can live the fantasy without all the associated micromanagement and paperwork, and even with the power differential it can still be as affectionate, loving and supportive relationship as any other. Give it a try for an evening - whether you choose roleplaying and outfits or something more informal and fun, sometimes putting your destiny in someone else's hands for a little while, and being on the back foot and reacting can be fun. Just remember to talk about what you're happy to do or would rather not do (email/text is fine if you're too embarassed in person) to minimise misunderstanding and settle on a safe word which means everything can stop if gets a little too intense. 'Oh my' indeed... Sophie Morgan is a journalist and author. Her book <em>The Diary of a Submissive</em> is published by Penguin and out now on Kindle / iTunes and published as a paperback 30th August 2012. It has been described as 'the real life Fifty Shades of Grey', although Sophie would like to point out she doesn't bite her lip and would get Silence of the Lambs flashbacks if a strange man offered to show her his red room of pain. Follow her on Twitter at @mssophiemorgan.

See also:

Sex Sells: Why Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Flying Off Shelves

The Best 50 Shades Of Grey Parodies

Fifty Shades Of Grey: Bondage Tips For Beginners (PICTURES)