Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic novel penned by a British author named E.L. James. The novel is set in Seattle and it looks into the relationship between Anastasia Steele, a 22-year old college-going girl, and Christian Grey, a highly successful businessman.
Anastasia lives with Katherine Kavanagh, who is best friend, and is doing her senior year in college. Katherine, who writes for the college newspaper, falls ill and manages to convince Anastasia to interview Christian Grey, who is 27 years old, instead of her. Anastasia agrees and the moment she meets Christian, she is immediately attracted to him, but at the same time she finds him intimidating. This causes Anastasia to rush through the interview and she leaves his office feeling that she conducted it badly. Anastasia tries to make herself feel better by thinking the two will never meet again. However, she gets a huge surprise when Christian arrives at the hardware store where she works to do some shopping. Here Anastasia informs him that Katherine would like a few photographs of his to publish with the interview. Christian gives his phone number to Anastasia so that Katherine can call him. However, once again Katherine convinces Anastasia to call Christian to make arrangements for a photo shoot with Jose Rodriquez, who is their friend and a photographer.
Katherine and Anastasia accompany Jose for the photo shoot at the hotel where Christian is residing. After the shoot, Christian invites Ana for a cup of coffee and tries to find out whether she is dating anyone, in particular her friend Jose, to which Anastasia replies in the negative. Christian veers the conversation to Anastasia’s family. During this conversation, Anastasia finds out that Christian is not only single but also not the regular kind of guy. This fascinates Anastasia and she begins to find Christian extremely intriguing.
Anastasia finishes her exams and goes out with friends to celebrate and ends up getting drunk. In this inebriated state she calls Christian, who tells her he will come and pick her up. Christian arrives and takes Anastasia to his hotel room, where he reprimands her for drinking. He also informs her that he would like to have sex with her, but before that she would have to sign a non-disclosure agreement and some other contract. The two make out, but forget about the paperwork.
Anastasia has a date with Christian in his apartment, where he again insists that she sign the agreement. Anastasia agrees to it. During the same conversation he also mentions some other paperwork and shows her a room where he keeps all his BDSM gear and toys. The other contract he wants Anastasia to sign is about dominance and submission, making it clear that the relationship would be just sexual in nature. However, Christian figures out that Anastasia is a virgin and has sex with her without getting her to sign the contract.
Thereafter Anastasia receives many gifts from Christian, including a laptop so that they can keep in touch via email and a detailed dominant/submissive agreement. Anastasia meets Christian a few days later, but is afraid of cultivating a non-romantic and BDSM relationship with him. This causes Anastasia to leave and she does not meet Christian till her graduation day where he is invited as a guest speaker. It is only then that Anastasia finally relents and agrees to sign the dominant/submissive contract that Christian wants her to sign.
The two meet to discuss the finer points of the contracts and this leads to BDSM sex, with Christian spanking Anastasia. The spanking results in her having mixed feelings – she is attracted as well as confused. Anastasia gets a job, but is upset about not being able to discuss her relationship with Christian with anyone. This leads to a lot of tension between the two. Finally, things come to a head and Anastasia asks Christian to demonstrate the extreme part of BDSM, resulting in a belting. This makes Anastasia realize that the two are not compatible and she leaves his apartment and returns to her place.