'Fifty Shades of Grey' author E.L. James believes what really turns women on is their man doing the ''washing up''.

The 52-year-old writer's book series about billionaire Christian Grey who takes college graduate Anastasia Steele on a voyage of sexual discovery are best-sellers across the world, have made her a multi-millionaire and spawned a Hollywood film franchise starring Jamie Dornan, 33, and Dakota Johnson, 25.

However, James - who is married to screenwriter Niall Leonard - insists most ladies would feel more frisky if their partners cleaned the dirty dishes rather than got that dirty in the bedroom.

She said: ''Christian is a fantasy figure and he's how we think we want men to be ... but actually we just want men to do the washing up, really.''

When asked whether she dreams about the book's leading man, she admitted: ''I have actually, yes. Unfortunately, they're very mundane ... he's just doing the washing!''

James - real name Erika Mitchell - was speaking at the Garden City Hotel in Long Island, New York, with fans to mark the release of her new novel 'Grey' which tells the S&M tale from Christian's perspective.

She insists it wasn't difficult for her to write the story from Christian's point of view because he's such a basic ''bloke''.

The author - who has two sons aged 21 and 18 with Niall - said: ''It was just wonderful to sit down and write. It was fabulous to just close myself off and disappear down the rabbit hole again, as it were.

''And I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being in Christian's head. I thought it would be hard but actually once I found his voice it was quite easy. Like any man, he's not observant. My favourite thing about Christian is he's such a bloke. We all know them, we all love them, don't we?''