Brow Beat

Is Fifty Shades Darker Actually Any Darker Than Fifty Shades of Grey? We Ran the Numbers.

Sure, it seems pretty dark, but without math, how can we know for certain?

Doane Gregory/Universal Studios

This post contains spoilers for Fifty Shades Darker.

The title may say Fifty Shades Darker, but is the new BDSM-flavored romance from James Foley actually any darker than its prequel, Fifty Shades of Grey? Since nothing is hotter than a little statistical analysis, we ran the numbers to compare the amount of sex, kink, and overall darkness in both films. Below, you’ll find our results, in chart form.

Sex and Nudity

Since our main characters have already hooked up when Fifty Shades Darker begins (and because there’s not nearly as much paperwork this time around), there’s also a lot less time to wait before the first sex scene.

Even so, the number of such scenes in each movie is about the same. Note: We’ve stretched the definition of a sex scene here to include some erotic scenes that don’t technically include any intercourse, like Ana’s first spanking, or when Christian introduces her to the Ben Wa balls. Still, both movies are remarkably consistent when it comes to the amount of getting it on.

Amazingly, even the precentage of time Christian is seen shirtless is so reliable across both films that we can only conclude this is the result of a carefully calibrated formula designed to maximize the impact of Jamie Dornan’s naked torso.


OK, so we’ve established that there’s just about the same amount of sex in both movies. But how about the amount of BDSM? Surely to justify the sequel’s title, there should at least be some darker tastes in play. And yet, when you run the numbers, there’s actually surprisingly less BDSM to be found throughout Fifty Shades Darker, which tends to favor some light exhibitionism over kinkier fare. For starters, there are fewer spankings—and only hand-administered blows in Darker, whereas Fifty Shades of Grey also makes use of the riding crop and a particuarly nasty belt.

There’s also less equipment being shown off, in general …

… and significantly less time spent in Christian’s carefully color-coordinated sex dungeon.

General Darkness

Fine, so Darker isn’t all that much darker when it comes to sex. But what about outside of the bedroom (or in this case, the red room)? In Fifty Shades of Grey, the greatest threats Ana and Christian faced were broken hearts, sore bottoms, and, in one instance, a speeding cyclist. But in Fifty Shades Darker, they’re almost constantly in danger, whether Christian’s troubled ex is brandishing a weapon or Ana’s boss is being a world-class creep. There are not only more than triple the number of threats to the main characters’ safety/well-being, those threats are also much more severe.

Throw in the revelations about Christian’s terrible childhood, and Darker’s title turns out to be wholly justified. Then again, for those characters who aren’t named Christian or Ana, it really doesn’t matter which movie you’re in—it’s just not safe to go near an elevator when those two are in it.