There's no denying that E. L. James' erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey' -- which features a storyline involving bondage and sadomasochism -- is a bonafide phenomenon. And now, even hardware stores are getting in the craze as sales of rope are on the rise.

According to Bob Wipplinger, owner of Pendell Hardware in Pennsylvania, more customers than usual have been asking for cotton rope. Of course, it took Wipplinger's wife (who's probably a fan of the book) to explain what it's for.

"Usually they ask for bungie cords, clothesline, that kind of thing," said Wipplinger. "But ... the guy that was in here made very sure it had to be cotton, it's got be cotton, like he had to please somebody."

In fact, Wipplinger is happy to oblige 'Fifty Shades of Grey' readers with all their hardware needs, and even keeps a checklist of other items used for pleasure in the book.

But in terms of rope for bondage, Wipplinger gives his customers a very simple piece of advice. "Probably get the softer stuff," he said. Wise words. Wise, kinda creepy words.

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