I spoke to an acquaintance of my esteemed friend today, and it turned out that they had never heard of, let alone read, Fifty Shades of Gray.
We were left in the unfortunate position of trying to describe it, after wondering under what rock this acquaintance had been hiding for the last year or so.
Our best explanation was this: imagine if Tim Burton wrote a book about fucked up sex while on illegal drugs, and it was then copied by Sarah Palin, except she only heard about the plot second hand. And it was edited by Garfield.
Our acquaintance was mystified, to both our amusement. And much fun was had by all.