Tuesday, August 28, 2012

50 Shades of Grey Chapter 16 in which I just want the entier cast to STFU

Right, let's get this shit show on the road kids! This chapter just keeps going from where the last one left off. It does so with such specificness that I wonder why we had a chapter break to start with. So Ana starts coming back to her senses and is all "OH GAWD GREY SMELLS SO SEXY" and if just huffing him after the banging, she then gets bold and touches his chest.

“Don’t,” he murmurs, then kisses me lightly.
“Why don’t you like to be touched?” I whisper, staring up into soft gray eyes.
“Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia.”

I hate it when authors feel the need to title drop. Unless the title of your book is the name of something in the actual book, like a whale, it's just tacky. The thing had already been titled by the point that this chapter was written, so you know it was deliberate.

“I had a very tough introduction to life. I don’t want to burden you with the details. Just don’t.” He strokes his nose against mine, and then he pulls out of me and sits up.

YOU WERE ADOPTED WHEN YOU WERE FOUR! Which means that either EL James doesn't quite get developmental psychology (likely) or the Greys are a bunch of psychopaths (unlikely, but a girl can hope). I'm not saying that traumatizing things that happen to very young children won't traumatize the adult, and it is definitely possible that something DID happen to Grey that would have him not wanting to be touched, but the level of impact EL James is trying to tell us it had just seems... unlikely.

Now that Grey has had his mandatory angst this paragraph he cheerfully informs Ana that she has now completed her basic training, and up next is the- I don't even know. All the really fun stuff is off the table. Caning, fisting, nipple clamps... Really what is left in life for Ana?

I’m still reeling from the tough introduction to life comment. It’s so frustrating – I am desperate to know more. But he won’t tell me.

YOU ARE BARELY A COUPLE! Does Ana expect everyone to start sharing their deep dark angsty secrets with her after three weeks? Thankfully Ana doesn't push it (thankfully because my poor liver) but she points out that if he thinks she believed she had control during that for one second he didn't consider her GPA! Really, Ana? Really? I knew a lot of people with awesome grades who were drooling morons. You can excel in school and not life.Which I imagine Ana has.

“Miss Steele, you are not just a pretty face. You’ve had six orgasms so far and all of them belong to me,” he boasts, playful again.

I also keep track of how many orgasms my partner has. The Boy is up to four! I'm so proud. Ana however seems surprised by this totally normal thing. Grey however, being psychic, realized that Ana's blushing at the number means SOMETHING IS OFF!

“Do you have something to tell me?” his voice is suddenly stern.
I frown. Crap.
“I had a dream this morning.”
“Oh?” He glares at me.
Double crap. Am I in trouble?

 Hey guys, remember when "double crap" was still kind of funny? No? Thought so. So Grey begins to grill Ana about her dream, and what he was doing to her in it.

I throw my arm over my eyes again. And like a small child, I briefly entertain the thought that if I can’t see him, then he can’t see me.

Guys, why does Ana keep making herself sound super childish? It's creepy. So she tells him about the dream without getting even a little sexy. Which gives me a sad. Because if she started going into detail she'd get all hot and bothered, and so would he, and then there would be more fucking as to the pending ANGST.

“Anastasia, what was I doing? I won’t ask you again.”
“You had a riding crop.”
He moves my arm.
“Yes.” I am crimson.
“There’s hope for you yet,” he murmurs. “I have several riding crops.”
“Brown plaited leather?”
He laughs.
“No, but I’m sure I could get one.” His gray eyes blaze with excitement.

And that's it. Then he starts getting ready to go, and Ana is, shockingly, angsting over this and trying to figure out how to make him stay. Get knocked up? That always works!

“When is your period due?” He interrupts my thoughts.

This leads into him telling her she needs to get on the pill or something because he wants to go bare back already. Christian Grey. The classiest of warlocks.  Ana is, once again shockingly, thrown by him springing this on her. He tells her on Sunday that she can see his doctor at his apartment. We get it! GREY IS RICH AND PRIVILEGED AND THE WORLD AROUND HIM IS PERFECT! I hope his doctor is all "Sorry, preforming an abortion that morning, but I can pop by on Monday!" so Grey can loose his shit on the guy and then force Ana to go to a clinic (are any of them open Sundays? I haven't the foggiest) and they can awkwardly sit around with the other commons.

So, this bugs me for a bunch of reasons. One, forcing a woman to go on the pill makes me squirmy. It's a case of a man controlling a woman's reproductive abilities, which is not okay ever. Two, women have reactions to the pill. I used to be on it, and went off because after switching prescriptions 3 times in as many years, I was tired of always being moody, or sore, or tired, or what ever else was the problem. I mention this because if Ana was one of the many women who has a reaction to the pill, I suspect that he would just keep pushing her onto different hormonal contraceptives. I'm sure if his doctor said the pill was dangerous to her* he would back off, but the whole thing just screams a disregard for Ana's wishes and consent, as per usual.

“Are you leaving?”
Don’t go… stay with me please.

I'm torn between yelling at Ana for being needy and being glad she isn't saying it out loud. Seriously, I don't understand how Ana has become this attached to Grey. It's been what, three weeks? She's also going to see him in three days! I used to get bummed out when I was still long distance with The Boy when he left because it was another week until I'd see him again, but I didn't get distraught over it.

“Did you get me tipsy on purpose?”
“Because you over-think everything, and you’re reticent like your stepdad. A drop of wine in you and you start talking, and I need you to communicate honestly with me. Otherwise you clam up, and I have no idea what you’re thinking. In vino veritas, Anastasia.”

So it's okay to get a girl drunk to extort information out of her? That isn't creepy and doesn't carry some very rapey over tones at all! Grey then tells Ana that this will only work if they're super duper honest with each other all the time! Ana then asks for more bang to try to get him to stay. That is actually how this conversation is progressing. Ana isn't the least bit concerned that he got her drunk to try and get her consent. This book is so loaded with rape-culture that I'm past the point of having snark. My snark glands are over powered by all of the rage. Sigh. Moving on, Grey promises to have a revised contract for her by Sunday. Once she signs on the dotted line.... and initials on the margins on page 3, 6, and 7... and prints her name on the top, before signing next to where she printed her name... THEN they shall play!

“Oh. So I could stretch this out, if I don’t sign?”
He gazes at me assessing, and then his lips twitch into a smile.
“Well, I suppose you could, but I may crack under the strain.”
“Crack? How?” My inner goddess has woken and is paying attention.

So, her inner goddess is not only really childish, it enjoys being manipulative and distressing other people. Just gonna point that out.

“Ugly, how?”
“Oh you know, explosions, car chases, kidnapping, incarceration.”
“You’d kidnap me?”
“Oh yes,” he grins.
“Hold me against my will?” Jeez this is hot.
“Oh yes,” he nods. “And then we’re talking TPE 24/7.”
“You’ve lost me,” I breathe, my heart is pounding… is he serious?
“Total Power Exchange – round the clock.” His eyes are shining, and I can feel his excitement from where I sit.
Holy shit.
“So you have no choice,” he says sardonically.

Okay, I get that they're supposed to be kidding, but holy shit. I've had guys make "I could hold you down and rape you" "jokes" and gotten really uncomfortable because even though they were smiling and joking, they were still telling me they had thought about raping me enough to decide that it was a thing they could do. It's only happened twice, and both times were really disturbing. Last time that happened was at a party. I didn't drink another drop after, and stuck close to The Boy and the other women at the party. Maybe I'm just filtering through my own experience, but even with all the HA HA JUST KIDDING stuff, this is really disturbing to me. The fact that Ana isn't totally sure that he is joking doesn't help. Has he kidnapped someone before and just made it go away with his power until he got bored of her? This reads as a threat, "Do what I want, and you can be free when I bore of you". Or maybe more accurately, "You can sell this to me, or I can take it by force. Either way it will be mine."

Ana's response to Grey saying he'd kidnap her is to roll her eyes at him. Which means it is spanking time. Ana is scared, she hasn't signed yet! She has an out! LOL NO!

“I told you what I’d do. I’m a man of my word. I’m going to spank you, and then I’m going to fuck you very quick and very hard. Looks like we’ll need that condom after all.”


His voice is so soft, menacing, and it’s damned hot. My insides practically contort with potent, needy, liquid, desire.

Needy liquid desire. Hot? Also Ana, the more you tell us he's hot, the less I believe you.

Should I run? This is it, our relationship hangs in the balance, right here, right now. Do I let him do this or do I say no, and then that’s it? Because I know it will be over if I say no. Do it! My inner goddess pleads with me, my subconscious is as paralyzed as I am.

Really? This is the water shed moment? I thought that was at the grad reception? Naturally she cracks and gets thrown over Grey's lap! Then Grey asks “Why am I doing this, Anastasia?”

“Because I rolled my eyes at you,” I can barely speak.
“Do you think that’s polite?”
“Will you do it again?”

So I can almost see the sexy here. Almost. It's hidden by the fact that Ana keeps making herself sound childish so this seems way too much like a parent disciplining their kid as to... Y'know. Sex.

Very slowly, he pulls down my sweatpants. Oh, how demeaning is this, demeaning and scary and hot. He’s making such a meal of this. My heart is in my mouth. I can barely breathe. Shit, is this going to hurt?

And then he starts spanking her!

Ana... Doesn't seem to like it.

Holy fuck it hurts. I make no sound, my face screwed up against the pain. I try and wriggle away from the blows – spurred on by adrenaline spiking and coursing through my body.

Not sexy. I get that Ana it's supposed to be punished here, but, well, reading about Ana getting spanked for rolling her eyes and squirming and trying to wiggle away on instinct but she can't because Grey is holding her... The whole thing doesn't feel consensual. In between each slap he also gropes her ass a bit, which Ana points out over and over, but again, not feeling the sexy here. This is more creepy. If she was enjoying it, I'd be less uncomfortable, but she's just upset that he's hitting her.

“Aargh!” I cry out on the tenth slap – and I’m unaware that I have been mentally counting the blows.
“I’m just getting warmed up.”


And he hits me again and again. From somewhere deep inside, I want to beg him to stop. But I don’t. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. He continues the unrelenting rhythm. I cry out six more times. Eighteen slaps in total. My body is singing, singing from his merciless assault.
“Enough,” he breathes hoarsely. “Well done, Anastasia. Now I’m going to fuck you.”

It's okay though, guys, because then he just rams a finger in Ana and she's positively dripping, so she liked it! She just didn't know! So this really creepy uncomfortable narrative was Ana lying to herself! Grey knows what she really wants and likes before she does so all of his actions are infallible.

“I’m going to take you now. You can come,” he murmurs.
What? Like I have a choice.

I'm so glad Grey gives Ana permission to orgasm *eye roll* WAIT OH NO FU-

He moves, pounding into me, a fast, intense pace against my sore behind.

Bets on how long until he bums her after spanking her? Also, really, "behind"? The language in this book is disconcertingly clean sometimes. Almost as if it were meant for a younger audience.

NO… and my traitorous body explodes in an intense, body-shattering orgasm.

I'm a little miffed at why Ana is always so upset when she's about to orgasm. That isn't having a traitorous body, that's having a really good shot at multiple orgasms. Which is awesome. So then Grey finished up seconds after Ana, because that's how sex always goes. I should just be glad they don't always come simultaneously.

“Oh, baby,” he breathes. “Welcome to my world.”

His world is pretty similar to her world. The only difference is the occasional spanking thus far. Really. That's it. That was the new thing he brought to the table that is supposed to make this ZOMG SO DIFFERENT.

Boy… I survived. That wasn’t so bad. I’m more stoic than I thought. My inner goddess is prostrate… well at least she’s quiet.

Stoic? Really? Also if your inner goddess has shut the hell up, let me enjoy a moment without her. So Grey pats Ana on the ass and tells her "good job".

I’m so pleased that he’s happy.

Ana is secretly a Labrador retriever, isn't she? We then get some pontificating about Ana's first spanking. Are you excited? Because I'm not.

My backside is sore. Well, glowing now, and amazingly I feel, apart from exhausted, radiant. The realization is humbling, unexpected. I don’t understand. Holy shit.
 I’m so confused by my reaction. I remember him saying – I can’t remember when – that I would feel so much better after a good hiding. How can that be so? I really don’t get it. But strangely, I do. I can’t say that I enjoyed the experience, in fact, I would still go a long way to avoid it, but now… I have this safe, weird, bathed in afterglow, sated feeling. I put my head in my hands. I just don’t understand.

Is this going to happen every time Ana experiences something new? Shock, awe, and confusion? And what is so confusing about this? "Hey, that was unexpectedly kind of fun!" then you get on with your day. I know this is supposed to be BRAVE NEW WORLD stuff but Jesus Christ, it's a spanking not a new continent. Also Grey has once again known what Ana really wanted before she did and the text is beating us over the head with it and grrrr.

“I found some baby oil. Let me rub it into your behind.”

Lol what? Is that a thing for pummeled skin? I have never heard that before. So Grey yanks down Ana's sweats because it is baby-oil time.

Up and down like whores’ drawers my subconscious remarks bitterly. In my head, I tell her where to go.

I'm not the only one who thinks this is just a manifestation of very deep self-loathing, right? Not to mention evidence that Ana may have been totally celibate not just because no one before Grey caught her eye, but because she has some serious issues with slut-shaming on some level. Also, I want to know why EL James felt the need to put this in here. Can Ana not just have a sexual awakening and say "Jeeze this is awesome!" without there being some insipid narrative in the back of her (and now our) heads saying "You're a whore"? I know you could build the argument that EL James was trying to be realistic, but, this is fantasy, and absolutely nothing else any of the other characters do is realistic, so why start here? Why start somewhere so toxic?

“Don’t you have to call Taylor?” I ask, avoiding eye contact.
“Taylor’s been here since nine.

So, question. Why? No, really. Grey has a car. We have seen him give Ana rides on multiple occasions. It's implied he likes to drive, too. So why did he not drive himself to Ana's? Why did Taylor have to spend an hour and a half just sitting in her front drive way with his thumb up his arse?

I close the door and stand helpless in the living room of an apartment that I shall only spend another two nights in. A place I have lived happily for almost four years… yet today, for the first time ever, I feel lonely and uncomfortable here, unhappy with my own company. Have I strayed so far from who I am? I know that lurking, not very far under my rather numb exterior, is a well of tears. What am I doing? The irony is I can’t even sit down and enjoy a good cry. I’ll have to stand.

How is it ironic you can't sit and cry? Hey, you guys remember when Kate was all "OH ANA YOU NEVER CRY BECAUSE YOU ARE SO STRONG!" how many times has she started to bawl over Grey? I can think of two or three off hand now. This is also not the first time we've seen her heart broken about Grey leaving, which does not sit well with me. Three weeks and seeing him in two or three days. It just, it doesn't make sense. Why? Why is him going home for the night ZOMG SO HEART BREAKING?

So Ana realizes that it's late, and decides to give her Mum a call. How much do you want to bet this is just going to dissolve into Ana's Mom being all "ZOMG WHAT IS WRONG!??!"

“Ana? What’s wrong?” She’s all seriousness now.

THERE ARE TWO LINES OF DIALOG BEFORE THIS! TWO! "Hi! How was grad?" "Hi. Fine" and then that. That is the flow of this conversation.

“Please, Ana,” she says, and her anguish reflects mine.
“Oh, Mom, it’s a man.”
“What’s he done to you?” Her alarm is palpable.


“I’ve kind of fallen for this guy, and he’s so different from me, and I don’t know if we should be together.”
“Oh, darling. I wish I could be with you. I am so sorry I missed your graduation. You’ve fallen for someone, finally. Oh, honey, men, they are so tricky. They’re a different species, honey. How long have you known him?”

I'm torn on how I feel about her Mother's reaction here. I can sort of get it. She's just so relived that, you know, Ana hasn't been raped/beaten/etc and it's JUST that she's miffed over a crush. What confuses me is that she opened with "I'm sorry I missed your grad". I mean, I'm sure she is. Is this supposed to be that her Mother regrets not being around on a larger scale and that this is the thing on her mind at the moment? That makes enough sense that it seems unreasonable for that to be the author intent. The other thing that irks me is "You've fallen for someone, finally." Finally? Really? You're throwing that in there? When she's distraught over it?

“Ana, darling, that’s no time at all. How can you possibly know someone in that kind of time frame? Just take it easy with him and keep him at arm’s length until you decide whether he’s worthy of you.”

So we know where her inner goddess gets it from now. Ana's Mother then gushes about "Honey come visit! We want to see you! Honey you're too young to let a man get under your skin!". So, let me get this straight, Ana's Mother, who if she has a name I have no idea what it is, thinks it's about time Ana fell for a dude, but she shouldn't let him under her skin? Can't brain that one. So Ana mulls if she should visit her mother (she wants to but moving and job interviews) and gets off the phone when Kate enters stage right.

“Has that obscenely rich fucker upset you again?”
“No… sort of… err… yes.”
“Just tell him to take a hike, Ana. You’ve been so up and down since you met him. I’ve never seen you like this.”
The world of Katherine Kavanagh is very clear, very black and white. Not the intangible, mysterious, vague hues of gray that color my world.

WHY MUST YOU POINT OUT HOW RICH/SEXY GREY IS ALL THE TIME KATE?! Also, this is two border-line title drops IN ONE GOD DAMNED CHAPTER EL JAMES I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU. You know what though, Ana? Kate's right. Your life is as complicated as you let it be (well, ignoring things like illness and death etc) and Ana, you have the power to make your life simpler by ditching Grey, who has become a huge source of stress for you. Kate isn't over simplifying, you're just making things more complicated. SELF-AWARENESS. I WANT IT IN MY LITERATURE.

“Are you okay?”
“I fell over and landed on my behind.”
She doesn’t think to question my explanation, because I am one of the most un-coordinated people in Washington State.

This just sounds like Ana covering for an abusive husband. To me, this is terrifying, not a giddy thrilling secret.

my mind glazes over and I’m pulled back to the Heathman – “Well, if you were mine you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.” He said it then, and all I could concentrate on at the time was being his. All the warning signs were there, I was just too clueless and too enamored to notice.

THEN GET OUT NOW YOU GIT! I was expecting Ana to start perking up about things now that she's made her decision, but, she just insists on being an angst bucket. I can't be the only one who's just annoyed by this at this point, right?

“Kate, it’s complicated. How was your evening?” I ask.
I can’t talk this through with Kate without revealing too much, but one question on her day and Kate is off.

Kate is just awful. She has the attention span of a goldfish unless it's about herself. She is an awful BFFF.

The hot news is that Ethan may be coming to live with us after their holiday. That will be fun – Ethan is a hoot. I frown. I don’t think Christian will approve. Well… tough.

So Ethan will move in with them for DRAMA! I think EL James decided that Jose being brown just wasn't a viable romantic rival so she's throwing Ethan in to pick up the slack? Or is he just going to be one more thing for Grey and Ana to fight about? THE SUSPENSE! So Ana gets ready for bed and then checks the "mean machine". That is an awful name for a computer.

Dear Miss Steele
You are quite simply exquisite. The most beautiful, intelligent, witty and brave woman I have ever met. Take some Advil – this is not a request. And don’t drive your Beetle again. I will know.

I groaned out loud as I read that. The Boy looked over "You working on the blag?" "Yup" "Sucker." SHE'S SO BRAVE AND WITTY AND AWESOME YOU GUYS! And look at how much Grey looooves her! Ana ignores the niceness and sends back a response about how she has to drive the beetle to bring it to a garage to sell it and that red wine is better then advil! Yeah, you won't be saying that in the morning sweet heart. Grey INSTANTLY responds being all "Taylor will take care of it. Now go to bed drunkard" Ana shoots back a response titles "Taylor - is he the right man for the job?"

Dear Sir
I am intrigued that you are happy to risk letting your right hand man drive my car – but not some woman you fuck occasionally. How can I be sure that Taylor is the man to get me the best deal for said car? I have, in the past, probably before I met you, been known to drive a hard bargain.

I don't even have anything snarky to say about this. I'm just so tired of Ana. "I'm just some woman he fucks occasionally! We're not a real couple!" when he ALREADY SAID HE WOULD TRY TO DO A REAL COUPLE THING! He also just sent her an e-mail gushing about how awesome she is seven seconds ago! Seriously. Is Ana not following along with the plot? I RESENT HAVING TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO YOUR LIFE THEN YOU ARE ANA! Grey's response is titled "Careful!"

Taylor is ex-army and capable of driving anything from a motorcycle to a Sherman Tank. Your car does not present a hazard to him.
Now please do not refer to yourself as ‘some woman I fuck occasionally’ because, quite frankly it makes me MAD, and you really wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Holy shit you guys. Grey is The Hulk.

So, he's basically threatening Ana here. "Do what I want or I will be awful to you". This is after Ana has said that he scares her when he's angry, so he should be aware that it has some weight. I get that he's upset that he's been making the closest thing to a real attempt that he can when it comes to her, but this response is actually one of the red flags for "Are you in an abusive relationship?" It's incredibly manipulative.

Also Taylor just got a lot more interesting. If he used to be an Army Guy why on Earth is he working for Grey now to wait in a driveway for two hours while Grey gets his bang on? Alright, time for Ana's response. It's a short and obnoxious one with a subject of "Careful yourself!". I'm just going to put the exchange here and snip out the subject lines and such.

Dear Mr. Grey
I’m not sure I like you anyway, especially at the moment.
Ms. Steele

 Why don’t you like me?

Because you never stay with me.

And then Ana is all proud of herself for giving him something to think about.

It’s been one long day, one emotional wrench after another.

Ana then recaps what has happened over the last three chapters. Thanks, Ana! Glad you went over that so I could remember! It isn't like I didn't read them myself!

And then this evening, he actually hit me. I’ve never been hit in my life. What have I gotten myself into? Very slowly, my tears, halted by Kate’s arrival, begin to slide down the side of my face and into my ears.

SHE'S SO SAD! That said, the fact that thinking "I've been hit" is what's triggering her is... Terrifying. However, the real reason she's sobbing isn't over being beaten. 

Why is he so fucked up? It must be awful to be as affected as he is, and the thought that as a toddler he suffered some unbearable cruelty makes me cry harder. Perhaps if he was more normal he wouldn’t want you, my subconscious contributes snidely to my musings… and in my heart of hearts I know this is true. 

The real reason Ana is sobbing is over how TRAGIC Grey is because being so DAMAGED and TRAGIC he is surely going to break her heart! This is all topped off with an order of piping hot self loathing! Ana thinks that the only way a man could want her is if he is deeply damaged. That's... Really sad. Ana's weeping is interrupted by yelling from the hallway!

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?”
“Well you can’t!”
“What the fuck have you done to her now?”
“Since she’s met you she cries all the time.”
“You can’t come in here!”

That's right, Grey has, once again, turned up uninvited. I imagine this is just for some snuggles, though. He also bursts past Kate who is screaming the above at him. Oh, Kate, you sad excuse for a character you. So Grey lets himself into Ana's room, where the lights are all off because she was trying to sleep, and start turning on EVERY LIGHT IN THE GOD DAMNED ROOM! Grey, you suuuck. What if she had been sleeping? Couldn't just let a drunk girl sleep it off and talk to her tomorrow? No, no, that wouldn't be DRAMATIC enough, would it? Kate lurks at the door growling at Grey until Ana tells her to heel and she stalks off.

“Part of my role is to look after your needs. You said you wanted me to stay, so here I am. And yet I find you like this.” He blinks at me, truly bewildered. “I’m sure I’m responsible, but I have no idea why. Is it because I hit you?”

I'm kind of with Grey on this one. He then stalks off to get her advil because she didn't take any like ordered. I also get that this is showing that NO HE'S TOTALLY GOING TO TAKE CARE OF HER AND TREAT HER LIKE A PRINCESS! But to me "princess" is starting to mean "spoiled child" which in a book about FUCKING is not a welcome parallel.

“Talk to me,” he whispers. “You told me you were okay. I’d never have left you if I thought you were like this.”
What can I say that I haven’t said already? I want more. I want him to stay because he wants to stay with me, not because I’m a blubbering mess, and I don’t want him to beat me, is that so unreasonable?

Why are they still talking? So, Grey isn't being a dick, though he's being dense, which considering he's damned near psychic half the time is confusing. Ana is also being dense and as I said before, petulant child.

“Anastasia, you can’t tell me what you think I want to hear. That’s not very honest,” he admonishes me. “How can I trust anything you’ve said to me?”

And then Grey looks at Ana, who is emotional and vulnerable and weepy, and... Makes it about him. Why you gotta be like that Grey? 

“How did you feel while I was hitting you and after?”
“I didn’t like it. I’d rather you didn’t do it again.”
“You weren’t meant to like it.”
“Why do you like it?” I stare up at him.

Is this whole book going to be about how Ana fixes Grey's BDSM obsession? It is, isn't it? God damn it. Also haven't we been over why he likes it already? He likes to control the everything because his damaged youth had him in a powerless position.

“I like the control it brings me, Anastasia. I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn to behave the way I desire. I enjoy punishing you. I’ve wanted to spank you since you asked me if I was gay.”

See? Ana then thinks "IF KATE HAD GONE SHE'D BE SITTING HERE INSTEAD OF ME!!!" right after this. No, Ana, she wouldn't. Kate would have told him to suck it. Also, I want to point out that Grey's first response to a younger woman asking if he was gay was to want to hit her. Why does anyone ever like Christian Grey? There is then some really tedious dialog. I'll try and sum it up.

Ana: Why don't you like me how I am? Why must you try and change me?
Grey: I don't want to change you. I just want you to act/think/talk/behave in a way that I want you to. I gave you the rules. Follow them or I will beat you.
Ana: I don't get.

“It’s the way I’m made, Anastasia. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way, and if you don’t – I love to watch your beautiful alabaster skin pink and warm up under my hands. It turns me on.”

Grey just talks like a robot. A creepy abusive robot. Then again, maybe this is just proof that I could never be a BDSM Sub. Or Dom. The "I like to watch your ass" part, meh, but "I need to control you as a human being entirely" part? I'm struggling to see this as not being controlling and abusive. If Ana was happier, or more at peace, about the issue, I'd simply accept it as one of the many cases of "I don't get but they're happy and seem to work together so what ever" but that isn't how this is coming across at all.

Look, I’m not explaining myself very well… I’ve never had to before. I’ve not really thought about this in any great depth. I’ve always been with like-minded people,” he shrugs apologetically.

And he then changes the topic. To how Ana felt about things after the spanking. He explains that she was turned on. He has to tell her that she liked it. Maybe Ana should be with someone totally domineering if she's this bad at gauging her own reactions. Ana derails the conversation by getting a lady boner.

“Don’t look at me like that,” he murmurs.
I frown. Jeez what have I done now?
“I don’t have any condoms, Anastasia, and you know, you’re upset.

Yup. That happened. Grey then complains that Ana isn't honest with him in person, just in e-mail.

“You beguile me, Christian. Completely overwhelm me. I feel like Icarus flying too close to the Sun,” I whisper.
He gasps.
“Well, I think you’ve got that the wrong way around,” he whispers.
“Oh, Anastasia, you’ve bewitched me. Isn’t it obvious?”

THEY'RE JUST SO IN LOVE AND IT'S A SILLY MISUNDERSTANDING!! So Grey tells her to send him an e-mail since that seems to be the form of communication she's more comfortable in. I kind of like that. It shows that he's paying attention and at least wants her to, you know, talk to him. However I'm miffed that he expects her to be totally honest when he has made it very clear that a misstep ends in a spanking. Or him being sullen and angry. Then they snuggle up and Grey demands that if Ana must cry, she should do it in front of him. So he can bottle her tears to use as lube.

“Do you want me to cry?”
“Not particularly. I just want to know how you’re feeling. I don’t want you slipping through my fingers. Switch the light off. It’s late, and we both have to work tomorrow.”
So here… and still so bossy, but I can’t complain, he’s in my bed. I don’t quite understand why… maybe I should weep more often in front of him.

Ana is thinking about using her tears to manipulate him. She is also painfully stupid. I'm sorry, but you sent a sulky e-mail about him not staying that concerned him so he came to investigate and saw you weeping. That is why! How is this so difficult to figure out Ana?!

So Ana assumes the little-spoon position and they snuggle up and she goes to sleep. That's end. Chapter end!

This chapter just hurt me. I just hate the entire cast so much. The whole thing is tedious and the characters are all awful and arg. Comments and drink recipes always welcome. Till Thursday!

*A friend of mine can't be on hormonal contraception otherwise she'll have a stroke. She's 23. I'm not saying the pill is bad or evil, it isn't. It just irks me that so many people think that hormonal contraception is safe and feasible for everyone. If it works for you, awesome. If not, join the club!


  1. “Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia.”

    I hate it when authors feel the need to title drop.

    Wait, you mean he actually said that? I thought you were making it up.

    If Ana was happier, or more at peace, about the issue, I'd simply accept it as one of the many cases of "I don't get but they're happy and seem to work together so what ever" but that isn't how this is coming across at all.

    Yeah. Are you sure we're supposed to be rooting for these two to be together?

    Maybe Ana should be with someone totally domineering and if she's this bad and gauging her own reactions.

    This sentence is confusingly typo-ridden. I think I figured it out in the end, but you should probably fix it.

  2. I realize I'm not really the right audience for these books, but my god, all I want to do to Christian Grey is kick him in the nuts repeatedly. He's creepy, controlling, abusive, and waaaaaay outside the lines of any kind of okay relationship. There are no words for how creeped out the whole thing with her car makes me. I feel like that's the biggest example of the power disparity - he can do anything to her because he has money. He can control every aspect of her life even before she signs the contract. Nothing about this relationship is sexy. It's fucking scary. She has no certain out and he's increasingly placing her in a position of owning nothing that is hers. Making it harder and harder for her to get away or get help or protection from him.

  3. This is argh in all the really bad ways. Can clear one thing up, though - Ana its constantly childish because her source character, Isabella, its similarly self-characterizing as childish whenever she's assertive. He's confusion despite psychic abilities and black magic is a holdover from when he was Edward Cullen. The fanfic is showing a lot at this point.

    Also, Christian Grey is not good at his supposed dominant-ness, from what I've heard and, y'know, basic research. The concept of aftercare has apparently never been important to him, not to mention the part where the submissive is usually dealing with feelings that are not very happy, even when it isn't a punishment. The amount of critical research failure going on here is unhealthy. Agreeing with depizan above - this is a situation for abuse of the kind where breaking free basically means starting over with nothing at all and not having any friends to support you in your new life. Assuming he isn't Blackbeard and plans on killing her when he's done using her.

    Blargh. There are so many, many things wrong with all of this that Ana really should be getting advice from everyone to dump Grey and go find someone sane that doesn't want to override her consent at every turn.

  4. You know, for the past 2 weeks, I've been on vacation outside the country. I met so many new friends, all within my group age (25-35) from all over the place. It has become a joke, not to mention this stupid book in front of me, because If anyone did, I would just start ranting. Apparently it was a quite funny rant, but still, it would just set me off. (I can't remember how many times I've told people to read your blog, hopefully that gets you new readers.)

    But I was happy to see that most people agreed with me, or at least never gave in to read this horrible book. Most people are curious about it, because everybody is talking about it. Surprisingly though, not a whole lot of people have actually read it. And that is a good thing, because Ana is the worst character in history. I am TERRIFIED that this will get turned into a movie.

  5. Yeah, this just seems totally fucked up. I've been spanked in a sexual situation before. You are very much indeed supposed to like it. WTF? He's not a dominant, he's an abuser using BDSM as a framework to legitimize abuse (a problem in the community).

  6. I agree that when title-dropping is deliberate, it feels dirty and wrong. Sometimes editors will pull random words from random lines to make the title, which is how Twilight got its name (I watched a series of Stephanie Meyer interviews so I could just HATE on them and learned this tidbit).

  7. Oh my! I found your blog whilst searching for something else...about 3 hours ago! I haven't laughed this hard in a very long time- thank you! Tears of laughter, I tell you. Tears. Pistol-whipping, smelling milk, Canada...

  8. There is a type of relationship in the BDSM community called Daddy Dom/little girl sub. Now, I am not a fan of that one even without the shadiness of 50 shades, to me your lover replacing our Father in one form or another has always been creepy, but I am just sayin' - it exists and Christian and Ana's relationship is pretty much that, except unconsciously (I think) and extremely, extremely creep!y! Also, I wanted to pint this out in the last chapter or the one before that, I don't know, but the point is Kate is Rosalie, so Christian's sister Mia is Alice. Ethan is Jasper.

    Anyway, awesome re-cap as always!

  9. I am so in love with this blog! I stumbled upon it yesterday and spent all day and night and today reading it! I would never read 50 Shades or see the film but I'm addicted to this blog! Lol