...is a real piece of work. It's nothing more than "acceptable" porn for housewives, plain and simple.
Mind you, I'm no prude. Neither me or my wife flinches at such stuff, and we've been exposed to our share over the last (can it be?) thirty years - more probably than most. But, we've never needed any such "material" dressed up as "literature".
Men get sneered at all of the time for their predilection to look at photographs of women doing naughty stuff. Yet, Fifty Shades Of Grey (and the other books in the franchise - the author is having as much success with this as the Harry Potter woman with her series) are piled up in huge numbers on the book table at Costco, for Christ's sake. The only difference is that FSOG requires the women who flock to it to think a bit more, in order to build their visual impressions in their minds.
It is interesting to watch those book piles at Costco. Soccer mom types move along the books, they walk by the pile of the grey covered paperbacks (almost a hundred of them all stacked up at one point), and then they take a step or two back, pick up a book, and glance through a few pages, following which the book goes into their cart.
(Why am I watching all of this? I sit in the furniture, waiting for my wife to work her way around the sample vendors in the food section. I've got to do something while I'm sitting there...)
We have another phenomenon here in the Houston area, not one that I've noted up north when we lived there. There is a raft of "love stores", specializing in lingerie, sex aids, porn and the like, all marketed to soccer moms. They appear to be successful, since there are more of them cropping up all of the time - someone is buying something there.
Yet, so prudish is the general tone of society down here that they have (literally) closed down all but one of the mall-based Fredericks Of Hollywood chain, due to attacks led by "church ladies". (All that the FOH operations carried was the clothing - the love stores carry everything, even the porn that you think the "church ladies" would want to eliminate.)
Then there are the topless and bottomless bars, including one that caters to women with stripped down young men. Vice is constantly trying to close these down, even as new ones rise up in their place.
Hypocrisy is alive and well, down here in the Bible Belt. And, Fifty Shades of Grey is an integral part of the equation.
(One more thing: one of the "love stores" used to have a banner running along their awning outside of each store, listing the general categories of what they carried: movies, lingerie, something else and "toys". Apparently, someone objected to the "toys" entry, probably reasoning that some innocent would take her children there in a quest for Legos. So, the chain came up with a substitute panels for the banner, one occupying the same number of letters so as not to spoil the effect of the sign. The new entry? It's "Gags", I kid you not...)