This short book by award-winning historian Edward Shorter explains the popular appeal of E.L. James erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey' with its theme of sadomasochism. Shorter, a professor at the University of Toronto, is the author of 'Written in the Flesh: A History of Desire' which was short-listed for Canada’s major literary prize, the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction. Here, he focuses solely on fetish and sadomasochism, a side-bar in the history of desire. It was unknown in the ancient world and for some has been part of tool kit for sexual pleasure for only 100 to 200 years. Shorter traces the history and literature of fetish/sm and illuminates the sources of its appeal.