The protagonist of the story is Anastasia Steele, and shortly after the story begins she travels from Portland to Seattle to interview Christian Grey, a CEO who will be speaking at her college commencement in the near future. Ana (as she prefers to be called) is not only a virgin, but she had never felt sexually attracted to anyone in her life, until she met Christian. Christian is a dazzlingly attractive well-endowed billionaire who is very sexually experienced but who is only interested in relationships with himself as the Dominant member, with lots of bondage and sadomasochism. There is an immediate attraction between the two of them, and they begin a trial relationship which tests the boundaries between what he demands of her and what she is comfortable giving. The seeking of this balance is the primary arc of the book, and the source of most of the tension (there are some sideplots but that’s the core of it all).