'Mommy Porn' novel set at Portland hotel - KPTV - FOX 12

Hotel in 'Mommy Porn' novel offering 50 Shades-themed packages

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A controversial novel has women across the country swept up in "50 Shades of Grey," but what you might not know is part of the popular book takes place here in Portland.

Women in suburbia have embraced the erotic bestseller.

Married Beaverton mom Tiffani Janes learned about the racy bestseller from a friend.

"I said what is it, and she said it's called '50 Shades of Grey,' and I said I've kind of heard about that. She said it's dubbed 'mommy porn' and I downloaded all three (books) on my Kindle because there is nothing out there like it."

The steamy trilogy by author E. L. James has quietly become a New York Times bestseller.

It's the story of a Vancouver, WA, college student, Anastasia Steele, who embarks on a sadomasochistic relationship with Seattle business tycoon Christian Grey.

FOX 12 sat down with a women's book club in the Bethany area of Washington County.  The married mothers had recently read the book.

"I knew this was a grown up book, but I keep going back to fantasies. These are women's fantasies," said Michelle Jockers, who is part of the book club.

Those fantasies play out in the Pacific Northwest. The book is mainly set in Seattle, but pivotal scenes happen at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland. It's an elegant hotel with a storied past, but not exactly this kind of story.

The hotel's general manager, Chris Erickson, said people are coming to stay at the hotel because of its appearance in the novel.

"It is driving demand a little bit," Erickson said.

FOX 12 toured the hotel hot spots found in the novel, including the suite with the sunburst headboard and elevator 3, where the main characters shared an intimate moment.

Erickson said fans are taking photos in the lobby. The hotel now also has packages based on scenes in the book.

"One is our Charlie Tango package," Erickson said. "If you've read the book, it's the Charlie Tango helicopter is what Christian names his helicopter, and it's $2,700 for a flight and a dinner for six right here at the hotel."

There's also a $40 package that includes a bottle of pouille fume wine, a vintage shared by the main characters in the first novel, and a keepsake grey tie.

Fans of the trilogy said the books offer an escape from ordinary life.

"We've been with our spouses since we were 17. It wakes up your libido. Hey there, libido where have you been. There it is. Whoo!" said book club member Christin Peterson.

Some critics said the sexually graphic novels are pornography; and libraries in two states have banned the modern bodice ripper.

But there's no denying the demand. At the Multnomah County Library, the first novel in the series has more than 800 holds on 80 copies. It's a similar story in the Washington County Library system, where there are hundreds of holds on the novel. 

"I don't necessarily think you have to embrace this lifestyle, it's just spicing things up for us reading it," Jockers said.

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