When I wanted erotic fiction, I had to read Michel Hoeuellebecq, which I considered to be porn for intellectuals at the time (there's also a considerable amount of story between the often rather sad sex scenes). I still appreciate him for writing the funniest masturbation scene ever. He's mellowed considerably over the years and the focus of his books have shifted. At the time, others were riding on his wave of popularity, e.g. Catherine Millet who wrote about her sex life (which also included BDSM I think).
Of course, in the meantime, we've had several rather traumatising books by women writing about their sexual fantasies so this book seems rather harmless in comparison, even though it's supposedly about BDSM. I think many people read it because it's en vogue right now.