Valentine's Day. Men could used to get away with the safe bet of a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers, and maybe even a meal out. If you wanted to be a bit more adventurous and get to second base, you could always get something from the M&S lingerie department. Job done. Formal romantic duties over for another year. But not anymore.

With the advent of this week long-awaited movie premier of E.L. James's best-selling sex-filled 'romantic novel' hitting the screens, men everywhere will be expected to up their games. If the pages of the sexually liberated trilogy remained a guarded mystery to most men, the Film is shaping up to be a lot more in their faces.

There will be no escape.

Gone are the flowers and chocolates. Valentine's trinkets are more likely to require a trip to the DIY store or a browse through the more suggestive utensils in the kitchen aisle. Try and buy a sink plunger or a wire whisk this weekend and you're likely to get the sort of smirk from the shop assistant once reserved for teenagers buying their first copy of Health and Efficiency magazine.

Fifty Shades has done for DIY and cooking what Lady Chatterley's Lover did for game-keeping. It's Rasputin meets Changing Rooms. The Marquis de Sade doing Great British Bake Off.

However, a word of warning. London Fire Brigade has warned of the dangers of couples getting into sticky situations with household objects.

Last year alone, the brigade responded to 472 embarrassing situations requiring the 'removal of objects from people' or 'people from objects'.

Such was the impact of Fifty Shades of Grey - the fastest selling paper book in UK publishing history - that the "Fifty Shades effect" boosted Ann Summer's sales by 78% by July 2012.

The release of the film is already having similar results with many sex shops selling out of popular items, such as handcuffs and blindfolds. Women, it appears, having spent years escaping being chained to the kitchen are now looking to be blindly handcuffed to it instead.

It's all likely to be a little bemusing and uncomfortable for your average middle-age man.

Spare a thought for him. His was the first generation to have to get used to the effects of feminism and over the last 30 years he's managed to help out around the home, burn the odd Sunday lunch and put the kids to bed every now and then. His idea of fifty shades of anything goes little further than a colour chart. A trip to B&Q is for home improvements, not an erotic experience.

There's likely to be little respite after the film run either. Fifty Shades is almost certainly going to be one of the sure-fire commercial hits of the year - film critics describe as 'bomb-proof' - and waiting in the wings are the next two instalments of the trilogy which will keep the franchise going for a few more years yet. Valentine's Day is going to be a painful pleasure for a few years yet. Time to get that DIY store frequent shopper reward card.