Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chapter 12, in which there is more banging, but not enough to make me like this chapter.

For the first time in my life, I voluntarily go for a run. .... Kate is walking from her car as I head out of the door. She nearly drops her shopping when she sees me. Ana Steele in sneakers. ... Snow Patrol blaring in my ears, I set off into the opal and aquamarine dusk.

Am I supposed to be interested in every little thing Ana does? Is this the fault of me as the reader, or of James as the author? Because honestly I don't give a shit. Also again with the band names slipped in. Snow Patrol. Blaring? Really? They can blare?

What am I going to do? I want him, but on his terms?

Yup. Now smile pretty and put this lipstick on.

My research has told me that legally it’s unenforceable. He must know that.

It actually makes me more angry that I had to slough through the last chapter and the PAGES of that stupid contract to have them say “But he can't REALLY do anything about it.” Though if it WERE legally enforceable we could make this book go from romance to horror real fast. She wants out, but no, her reasons don't meet Grey's criteria, and as she struggles more and more desperately to get out he makes it harder and harder for her to. Using his power to force her hand he makes her renew the contract before it's up, keeps her away from her friends and family so she can't get help and has the cops under his thumb so when she tries to go to them... Man that would be a way better book.

It illustrates what I can expect from him and what he expects from me – my total submission. Am I prepared to give him that? Am I even capable?

Oh, Ana, sweety. Yes. Yes you are.

I am plagued by one question - why is he like this? Is it because he was seduced at such a young age? I just don’t know. He’s still such a mystery.

MOLESTED. The word is MOLESTED not seduced. Stop trying to romanticize it, and James stop using sexual trauma to flesh out your angsty hero unless you're going to treat it with the respect it deserves. Which you are clearly incapable of, so just keep your grubby paws off of big scary issues and stick to writing hilariously bad sex scenes.

So Ana keeps jogging and then Kate makes her sit through a fashion parade of all the bikinis and sarongs she bought for her vacation and Ana is feeling inadequate because ZOMG KATE HAS A PERFECT FIGURE AND IS SO PERFECT AND BLOND! This isn't the first time Ana has felt inadequate because she was next to a blond. There were the receptionists in chapter 1, Grey's Mother, and repeatedly Kate, but I feel all the women in this book are blonds with the exception of Ana. Is this really James trying to “Other” her main character? By making her have brown hair. THE HORROR! So Ana trudges back to her room to send Grey an e-mail.

Okay, I’ve seen enough.
It was nice knowing you.

I stared in naked glee at these lines until it went on to tell me she was kidding and she hoped Grey would find it funny! No, really. She thinks this is a joke. Telling a man who has very explicitly said “If this shit isn't okay with you let me know and we'll leave it at that.” and has fully expected her to bolt from the get-go that she's actually not okay with this with NO HINT of it being anything but a very abrupt brush off will be clearly taken as the HILARIOUS joke it was meant to be! I love getting jokingly rejected by the object of my affection!

Ana then starts getting anxious because she doesn't get an instant reply. Again. We have a 22 year old who DOESN'T GRASP HOW E-MAIL WORKS.

I don’t know why I glance up, maybe I catch a slight movement from the corner of my eye, I don’t know, but when I do, he’s standing in the doorway of my bedroom watching me intently. He’s wearing his grey flannel pants and a white linen shirt, gently twirling his car keys. I pull my ear buds out and freeze. Fuck!

WHAT THE HELL NINJA?! So Grey reads her saying “Nice knowing you” and rather then saying “Well, she's not into this. Bummer.” and moving on with his life as a normal person would and he made it sound like he would... SHOWS UP AT HER HOUSE. If she WAS dumping him and wanted to do it in person, she would have fucking done it in person, and SHOWING UP UNINVITED AND WITHOUT WARNING at her home is just... So fucking creepy. If I had told a guy I went out with a few times “Sorry but this isn't working” over the phone or by e-mail and he then TURNED UP ON MY DOORSTEP I would be considering a call to the cops. I also really hope Kate let him in otherwise Ana, seriously, cops. Now.

I felt that your email warranted a reply in person,” he explains dryly.

Phone call, sure. Phone call to ASK if you could come over? Also fine. For someone making such a huge deal about Ana's wishes and consent you sure don't give much thought to them, Grey.

May I sit?” he asks, his eyes now dancing with humor – thank heavens – maybe he’ll see the funny side?

Want to know what would help him see the humor? You telling him it was a really bad joke. Naturally she won't and I'll just want to shake Elwood (my laptop) and scream at him some more.

How am I going to dig myself out of this? If I tell him it was a joke, I don’t think he’ll be impressed.

SO YOU'LL ACCIDENTALLY DUMP HIM INSTEAD?! Honestly. So Grey is giving her the “So, NICE knowing me, huh?” and Ana rather then saying “NO IT WAS A SNARKY JOKE! I WAS BEING SASSY!” is all “you were supposed to respond by e-mail...” You couldn't have even thrown a smiley face in there? So they stare at each other with awkward boners and then we get this.

I watch hypnotized as his hand moves to my second pigtail, and pulling the hair tie, he loosens the braid with his long, skilled fingers.

She just, as far as he knows, dumped him. Now he is sitting on her bed. Doing her hair. Next she'll bust out Kate's copy of Cosmo and they'll look for nipples on the models! No, really. What the hell? I'm going to ignore how strange this it to me. This is a gesture that seems far too intimate to be done with someone who just dumped you.

Why, Anastasia?” His fingers circle my ear, and very softly, he tugs my earlobe, rhythmically. It’s so sexual.

Grey asks a fair question - ignoring the incredible ignorance of boundaries and personal space he's using to ask it. Ana is getting distracted by MORE BONERS.

I needed time to think,” I whisper. I’m all rabbit/headlights, moth/flame, bird/snake… and he knows exactly what he’s doing to me.
Think about what, Anastasia?”
And you decided that it was nice knowing me? Do you mean knowing me in the biblical sense?”

Grey, you're an asshole. Do you feel that she used you for your body and you're upset? Is that's whats going on here?

I went to Sunday School, Anastasia. It taught me a great deal.”
I don’t remember reading about nipple clamps in the Bible. Perhaps you were taught from a modern translation.”

Again, Ana, you`re going to make him think you`re dumping him, not being coy and cute.

Well, I thought I should come and remind you how nice it was knowing me.”
Holy crap. I stare at him open mouthed, and his fingers move from my ear to my chin.
What do you say to that, Miss Steele?”

That`s right boys and girls. Grey, who has basically just been dumped, has turned up in Ana`s bedroom to make a pass at her. What, is his plan to ROCK HER WORLD and then just be all ``AND YOU`RE GIVING THIS UP BITCH!``and then strut out? Either way, Ana pounces him but somehow he ends up on top. ? Even James is all “Er, I'm not quite sure how this would physically work so I'm just going to gloss it over...”. OR she is sneakily giving us more hints that he is, in fact, a warlock.

His tongue is in my mouth, claiming and possessing me, and I revel in the force he uses. I feel him against the length of my body. He wants me, and this does strange, deli­cious things to my insides. Not Kate in her little bikinis, not one of the fifteen, not evil Mrs. Robinson. Me. This beautiful man wants me. My inner goddess glows so bright she could light up Portland.

Ana's inner Goddess is a light bulb? That explains a lot, actually... So Ana has had guys chasing her before. Like Jose, and Paul. They not only make passes at her, they CONTINUE to make passes at her even after she says no. Despite this it has never occurred to her that she could be attractive and wanted. Ana is THAT insecure. Also how do you claim and posses someone with your tongue? What does that even entail? Is he licking “CHRISTIAN GREY WUZ HERE” on her forehead?

Trust me?” he breathes.
I nod, wide-eyed, my heart bouncing off my ribs, my blood thundering around my body.
He reaches down, and from his pants pocket, he takes out his silver grey silk tie… that silver grey woven tie that leaves small impressions of its weave on my skin.

You cocky son of a cunt-weasle. He brought his tie. That's like going on a first date with a stack of condoms. So he ties her to the bed its self this time.

If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you. Keep quiet. Katherine is probably outside listening right now.”

Does it even matter if Kate hears? Also she's outside listening? Really? I mean, my old room mate's bedroom and mine shared a wall. Sometimes, I heard.... Things. She did, too. It HAPPENS. Occasionally there would be high-fives exchanged afterwards, and that one time I heard “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”* through the wall. I may have screamed “You're doing it wrong!” back. However Ana apparently is SO SHOCKED by the thought of Kate hearing her banging that she zips it.

Also, how creepy is that line? He's turned up after getting dumped (though not really) to fuck Ana so senseless that she'll agree to be his slave. He is now rendering her immobile and silent so she can't scream for help? So he undresses her, and strips down to his pants or underpants (not sure, he undoes his pants but it doesn't specify he takes them off).

I think you’ve seen too much,” he chuckles slyly. He sits astride me again, pulls my t-shirt up, and I think he’s going to take it off me, but he rolls it up to my neck and then pulls it up over my head so he can see my mouth and my nose, but it covers my eyes.

And then he goes to get a drink. No, really. I am somehow not even a little surprised that he'd tied her up, threatened to gag her, and left her mostly naked and writhing to wander off and get a drink. She even offered him one earlier. How inconsiderate of him!

I can make out low rumblings, and I know he’s talking to Kate – oh no… he’s practically naked. What’s she going to say?

You were worried about her hearing you fucking, but it's fine to wander around and make yourself at home in Ana's place when you're half naked. Kate can see that, she just can't know Ana is enjoying herself. Alright, then.

It’s white wine. It’s so unexpected, hot, though it’s chilled, and Christian’s lips are cool.
More?” he whispers.
I nod. It tastes all the more divine because it’s been in his mouth. He leans down, and I drink another mouthful from his lips… oh my.

Mmmm. Spit-wine. Wait, you just said there was ice in that glass. He's putting ice into wine?! BLASPHEMY! Also where the hell did this wine come from? Did he bring it himself? Did he swipe a bottle from Kate?

Is this nice?” he asks, but I hear the edge in his voice.
I tense.

Man, I think he's more pissed that she said it was “nice knowing him” then the fact that she basically just dumped him. Also, I want to point out that Ana gets tense and nervous with him, yet consents to letting him tie her up and do she doesn't know what. Black magic? Black magic. So he starts kissing her all over leaving bits of ice in her mouth and basically sets up a body shot on her. Rather then, you know, proceed to do the shot he is all “NO ANA YOU MUST NOT MOVE OR YOU WILL SPILL THE WINE AND I WILL PUNISH YOU IF YOU DO!” Alright, then.

If you spill the wine, I won’t let you come,”

Can you really stop that? Sometimes these things just... Happen. So Grey keeps poking and prodding and teasing and Ana is squirming and literally begging for him to dick her. Dick her hard.

His fingers slip into my panties, and I’m rewarded with his unguarded sharp intake of air.
Oh, baby,” he murmurs and he pushes two fingers inside me.
I gasp.
Ready for me so soon,” he says.

You've been teasing her long enough that this is a reasonable thing. Were the women he was with before that hard to get going? Or is this the REAL reason he likes Ana? She's THIS into him.

You are a greedy girl,”

I thought she was sweet. Didn't we go over that a few chapters back? You were all over how sweet she was. Now she's greedy because she's enjoying you finger blasting her. Also going to bet on just one orgasm this chapter.

His tongue mirrors the actions of his fingers, claim­ing me.

I don't know about you, but I am not nearly dexterous enough to write “Property of Erika” with my tongue and have it be anywhere near legible.

My legs begin to stiffen as I push against his hand. He gentles his hand, so I’m brought back from the brink.

I know I ranted that every vagina is different a few chapters ago, but this doesn't make sense to me. If you're at the brink and about to go over, unless he just stops completely, odds are you're going anyways.

This is your punishment, so close and yet so far. Is this nice?”

Lil bit.

So Ana is BEGGING for him to just fuck her already, but honestly I imagine one or two thrusts and she'd just be done if she's already this close.

Shall I fuck you this way, or this way, or this way? There’s an endless choice,”

We are not told WHAT any of these ways are, but I imagine he's just grabbing her legs and it plays out like this (24 seconds in).

He withdraws his hand and reaches over to the bedside table for a foil packet.

Wait, Ana has condoms on her bedside table? Or did he bring his own? Where did this thing come from? Or is it the half finished burrito Ana had earlier?

How nice is this?” he says as he strokes himself.
I meant it as a joke,” I whimper.

If you think your significant other is keeping things from you, just remember, you can fuck it out of them.

He raises his eyebrows as his hand moves up and down his impressive length.

He actually has to lean over to get to the end of it.

A joke?” His voice is menacingly soft.
Yes. Please, Christian,” I beseech him.
Are you laughing now?”
No,” I mewl.

And then he sets out a saucer of cream and gets out the catnip. Mewl. Honestly, the images that conjures for me are all deeply unpleasant. So he is then “WOO NOT DUMPED!” and flips her over for some celebratory doggie style sex.

He pushes both my knees up the bed so my behind is in the air, and he slaps me hard.

I'm assuming he's slapping her ass?

I cry out – from the slap and from his sudden assault, and I come in­stantly again and again, falling apart beneath him as he continues to slam deliciously into me.

EL James we're buying you a thesaurus for Christmas. Between all the “cocking” of heads, “delicious” clenching, "slamming" of wangs and “oh my” I see the potential for a very dangerous drinking game. Also is she coming “again and again” or is he just jack hammering her rapid fire?

I can’t take this… and he pounds on and on and on... then I’m building again… surely not… no…
Come on, Anastasia, again,” he growls through clenched teeth, and unbelievably, my body responds, convulsing around him as I climax anew, calling out his name.

Apparently one of Grey's black magic powers is orgasm commands. That... Actually that's a pretty awesome power, though I would use it for such evil. Person in front of me at the store is being a cock hole? INSTA-GASM! She also shatters. Again. See above about thesaurus and drinking game. Would anyone be interested in seeing a 50 Shades of Grey drinking game?

How nice was that?” he asks through his gritted teeth.

Considering this was supposed to be angry fucking, I'm surprised that this is as bad as it was. I would have expected a lot more... Violent. So he tucks Ana, who is a quivering damp mess, into bed. Despite having just been super pissed about being called nice.

That was really nice,” I whisper, smiling coyly.
There’s that word again.”
You don’t like that word?”
No. It doesn’t do it for me at all.”
Oh – I don’t know… it seems to have a very beneficial effect on you.”
I’m a beneficial effect, now am I? Could you wound my ego any further, Miss Steele?”
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your ego.” But even as I say it, I don’t feel the conviction of my words - something elusive crosses my mind, a fleeting thought, but it’s lost before I can grasp it.

So he was pissed because he felt used for his body. His response it to go and rage-fuck Ana. Also there is a lot wrong with his ego. Mainly the massive size of it.

So, that email was your idea of a joke.”
I smile apologetically at him and shrug.


I was going to email them to you, but you kind of interrupted me.”
Coitus Interruptus.”

The Boy happened to look over and see that on my screen. “Coitus Interruptus? What the fuck?”

Yeah. I really fucking hate this book”

I guess if you decided to cut someone off mid-thought with a blow job it would be a reasonable thing to scream before doing so... So now Ana and Grey are about to discuss some of the specifics of the contract.

Only certain things are funny, Anastasia. I thought you were saying no, no discussion at all.” His voice drops.
I don’t know yet. I haven’t made up my mind. Will you collar me?”

I don't blame Grey for being upset that Ana was just saying “Know what? No. Just no.” However that would be her RIGHT. She doesn't owe him an explanation as to why she's backing out, and her “no” should be just that. No. No debate, no discussion, I'm out. She doesn't owe him negotiations, and she doesn't owe him an explanation.

Also yes, collaring is a thing. It's about what it sounds like. You wear a collar to show you're “owned”. Grey hasn't done it to anyone before, but he has had it done to him.

And his Mother didn't stop and say “Hey, son, why are you suddenly wearing a dog collar around the house?”

By Mrs. Robinson?”
Mrs. Robinson!” he laughs loudly, freely, and he looks so young and carefree, his head thrown back, his laughter infectious.
I grin back at him.
I’ll tell her you said that, she’ll love it.”
You still talk to her regularly?” I can’t keep the shock out of my voice.
Yes.” He’s serious now.

You should SEE the post-cards that she sends him. Pure filth. Also Ana is JEALOUS. Like, SUPER jealous. As the plot dictates she must be. Because Mrs. Robinson is going to be the boss fight.

So you have someone you can discuss your alternative lifestyle with, but I’m not allowed.”
He frowns.
I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it like that. Mrs. Robinson was part of that life­style. I told you, she’s a good friend now. If you’d like, I can introduce you to one of my former subs, you could talk to her.”
What? Is he deliberately trying to upset me?

Is Grey that guy who keeps all of his ex-girl friends on the back burner? He totally is, isn't he? I on one hand like that he offers to introduce her to someone who knows the ins and outs. On the other hand, I'd be pissed if my new boyfriend was offering to introduce me to his ex so we could compare notes. “She gave a really great blow job. Ask her about that!”

Ana, shockingly, gets pissed, and Grey is a little miffed by this. … Really? You can't see where she's coming from here? However, the text doesn't play it as this. It plays it off as NO ANA IS JEALOUS.

Are you staying?”
... Besides, I told you, I don’t sleep with girlfriends, slaves, subs, or anyone. Friday and Saturday night were exceptions. It won’t happen again.” I can hear the resolve behind his soft, husky voice.

Suuuuure it won't. So Ana, petulantly, is all “Well after that marathon fucking I'm tired so if you're not going to snuggle GTFO.” He is amused that she does so because NO OTHER WOMAN HAS BEFORE! Honestly what sort of door-mats void of personality does he usually “date”?

God, I’d like to give you a good hiding. You’d feel a lot better, and so would I.”

And then with the leather we can make restraints! He's really just in this for the arts and crafts. So Ana sees Grey out and laments that she REALLY LIKES HIM BUT OH NO HE DOESN'T WANT A REAL GROWN UP RELATIONSHIP! Dude, you're on, what, your third date? Slow down. Grey then sucks her face a little and is all “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!”

My answering smile is weak, completely dazzled by him, and I’m reminded once more of Icarus soaring too close to the Sun.


Dashing back to my bedroom, I close the door and lean against it trying to rationalize my feelings. I can’t. Sliding to the floor, I put my head in my hands as my tears begin to flow.

What? Really? You're seeing him in 48 hours. Kate then knocks and is all “ANA WHAT DID HE DO?” and for the first time ever seems like she might not actually be an awful friend. Until she comments on the awful sex hair, but I'll even give her the pass as she was trying to get her to laugh. Then Kate is all “YOU NEVER CRY BECAUSE YOU ARE STRONG AND SUFFER SILENTLY LIKE A GOOD WOMAN SHOULD! WHAT DID THAT AWFUL SEXY MAN DO TO YOU?!” no, she actually specifies that he's attractive. Then she starts to brush the knots out of Ana's hair. Didn't Grey braid her hair before the sex? How badly knotted can it be?

No, saying I didn’t want to see him anymore.”
And he turns up? Ana, that’s genius.”
Actually it was a joke.”
Oh. Now I’m really confused.”
Patiently, I explain the essence of my email without giving anything away.

I'm confused why you need to specify you're being patient when the e-mail was all of what, six words? Couldn't cover for the BDSM bits with “I'm still not sure because of the age gap/difference in life stages etc”? Also Kate, you are an awful excuse of a woman. You're applauding your friend for being a manipulative harpy, and when she's all “No, no, I'm awful for other reasons!” you're confused. I hate you both.

I’d say he’s completely smitten with you.”
I frown. Christian, smitten with me? Hardly. He’s just looking for a new toy – a con­venient new toy that he can bed and do unspeakable things to. My heart tightens painfully. This is the reality.

Just once I'd like to read a romance novel where the couple getting together isn't needlessly drawn out. Grey has gone to great lengths to tell you how into you he is. How uncharacteristically into you he is. Yet you're still going “NO I'M JUST AN EASY MARK FOR HIM THAT'S ALL HE WANTS!” I know you don't know tons about the “scene” but there are easier ways to find someone into BDSM then picking up random women off the street (or office floor, as it were.). This angst is all so forced and just makes me want to pimp slap Ana and be all “BITCH PLEASE!”

He came here to fuck me, that’s all.”
Who said romance was dead?” she whispers horrified.

It's called a booty call. This is also after he has flown her in his helicopter to Seattle, fed her, fucked her in a variety of ways, driven her BACK to Seattle, bought her a computer, and brought her out to a fancy dinner. THAT FIEND HOW DARE HE NOT MAKE AN EFFORT OUTSIDE OF THE BEDROOM!

He uses sex as a weapon.”
Fuck you into submission?” She shakes her head disapprovingly. I blink rapidly at her, and I can feel the blush as it spreads across my face. Oh… spot on, Katherine Kava­nagh, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

OH GOD IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW! GREY'S GARGANTUAN PENIS IS ACTUALLY A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! If YOUR junk could shoot lasers, YOU would use sex as a weapon, too! Snark aside (I know, I know, that's the whole reason you come here but bear with me), so very much is wrong with this statement. For example, Ana being such a slave to her genitals that “fucking her into submission” actually works, and her calling Kate a Pulitzer Prize worthy journalist for using the obvious turn of phrase here. Moving past my weary rage at Kate and Ana though, there IS something seriously wrong with using sex as leverage. Sex is an intimate thing** and using it like a weapon is a blatant disregard of the trust the other person has put in you. Then again, in my world I don't need “weapons” within my relationship. Unless we're counting a push-up bra and a bitching dinner spread as weapons. If those count then I could kill a man, but I only use my powers for good, honest!

So Ana continues to sulk that he doesn't make love, he fucks, and Kate is all “HURR DURR HE HAS COMMITMENT ISSUES I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WEIRD ABOUT HIM!” Show of hands of people who have commitment issues? Because honestly, that shit is COMMON. I told The Boy off for asking me to move in too many times before we actually did. My ex apparently insists the main reason I left him is commitment issues. I think everyone has some level of commitment issues. Why does that register as “weird” to Kate? Isn't there the stereotype that ALL men have commitment issues? It's bullshit, but it's out there. Women want snuggles and relationships and babies and men just want sex and it's up to the woman to snare her in her sexy trap and trick him into a relationship! AmIrite ladies? Answer – Not even a little. Despite my not being right on this, Kate shouldn't be pegging Grey as "weird" for it, is my point. Ana keeps angsting, and honestly? I've watched paint dry and it's been more interesting. And waaay less obnoxious and whiny.

Inwardly, I pine. Oh Kate... I wish I could tell you every­thing, everything about this strange, sad, kinky guy, and you could tell me to forget about him. Stop me from being a fool.
I guess it’s all a little overwhelming,” I murmur. That’s the understatement of the year.

See? Don't you just want to shake her like a baby?

Also, some actual potential candidates for understatement of the year:

It's not big deal, just the zombie apocalypse. What evs.
50 Shades of Grey is the worst book ever written.
This book only makes me want to drink a little.
It's just a flesh wound.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was only okay.***
That dress makes you look a touch on the plump side.

So Ana decides that she just can't bear to talk about Grey anymore (Yay?) and asks Kate about Elliot. Since Kate's world revolvers around her she happily starts to gush about ZOMG I'M SO HAPPY! … If your BFFF is depressed and crying when she's not the crying type over a guy, this is the LAST thing you should do. Down play that shit. “Oh, yeah. The new boyfriend is good” and then continue onto a new topic. Gushing about how AWESOME and how HAPPY you are is just dickish.

Oh, I meant to say. Your dad called while you were… err, occupied. Apparently Bob has sustained some injury, so your mom and he can’t make graduation. But your dad will be here Thursday. He wants you to call.”
Oh... my mom never called me. Is Bob okay?”

You couldn't even TRY to come up with an injury, EL James? I am also confused. Ray, Ana's “Dad” (husband number 2 if memory serves) called to tell Ana that his ex-wifes new husband is hurt so she won't make it to grad. I suppose it's possible that her Mother is on awesome terms with her ex-husband because he's been so awesome to her daughter (maybe?) but... Really? You can't call your own daughter to say “Sweetie I'm so sorry I can't make it to your grad the husband has seriously hurt himself and I can't leave him. I'll come down and visit when I can and make it up to you!” Instead she lets her ex-husband do the dirty work for her. It must have taken about the same amount of time to call Ray as it would have to call Ana. If I were Ana here, I would be PISSED. Instead she is calm and detached. “He's okay? Alright. That's nice. I'll call Dad and Mom tomorrow. I am fine now.” and so Kate, now no longer needed, exits stage left.

So Ana goes over the contract, again, and makes notes. She then checks her e-mail and Grey has nothing better to do then send Ana constant notes so there's one waiting for her. It sounds weirdly formal until he's all “Sleep well baby!” and then his usual sign off which is attached to all his e-mails that reinforces that he is AN IMPORTANT BUSINESS MAN WITH IMPORTANT BUSINESS. Not so important he can't drop everything at a moments notice to go rage-fuck his new girlfriend, but you know. He's important.

So Ana sends him her list of issues. It's weirdly legal sounding, but I actually don't hate Ana for these. This is the closest thing she has been to reasonable yet.

The numbers refer to clauses:2: Not sure why this is solely for MY benefit – ie to explore MY sensuality and limits. I’m sure I wouldn’t need a ten-page contract to do that! Surely this is for YOUR benefit.4: As you are aware you are my only sexual partner. I don’t take drugs, and I’ve not had any blood transfusions. I’m probably safe. What about you?8: I can terminate at any time if I don’t think you’re sticking to the agreed limits. Okay – I like this.

Do you really need to point out the things you like?

9: Obey you in all things? Accept without hesitation your discipline? We need to talk about this.

We need to talk about this” I hope translates to “Oh hell no.”

11: One month trial period. Not three.

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS! I am scared. Ana's logic has lined up with my own. Though I would be saying “contract can be renegotiated at any point for the first three months because I'm going in blind” but I'm just happy that Ana isn't blindly signing things again.

15.2: Using my body as you see fit sexually or otherwise – please define “or otherwise.”

I also want to know what “or otherwise” means. Ride her like a pony? Make sandwiches?

15.19: Touching myself without your permission. What’s the problem with this? You know I don’t do it anyway.

Now that you've had your sexual awakening that might change princess. Though this bothers me. WHY does the text need to keep pointing out how Ana doesn't touch herself? Is this just so she can be SOOO sexually frustrated later when Grey is too busy to bone her because she can't just grab a vibrator and go to town?

15.22: I can’t look into your eyes? Why?
15.24: Why can’t I touch you?

Also why am I not allowed to smell your dirty underpants?”

Rules:Sleep – I’ll agree to 6 hours. Food – I am not eating food from a prescribed list. The food list goes or I do – Deal breaker. Clothes – as long as I only have to wear your clothes when I’m with you... okay. Exercise – We agreed 3 hours, this still says 4.

So accepting what he says without question is a discussion point, but food list is non-negotiable? Also despite the fact that we started this chapter with Ana going for a jog she's really hung up on not working out.

Soft Limits:Can we go through all of these? No Fisting of any kind. What is suspension? Genital Clamps – you have got to be kidding me.

The thought of being collared, which is wearing a collar in public to show you're “owned” is a concern but genital clamps MUST be a joke you guys! Nipple clamps seem like they could be fun. Who doesn't love having something that's hooked up to a car battery hooked up to their nipples!? Genital clamps can only be more fun, right? I am also endlessly sad that fisting is off the table as the sound of my sorrow at all those lost jokes is heart breaking, honest. 

So while I'm actually really glad to see Ana NOT being a drooling waste of space, I'm also bothered. Why? Because it is TOTALLY inconsistent with everything else we've seen of her character. James is TRYING to sell us Ana as an independent, smart, capable, but naive girl. These are not the things Ana are, and it is irking me endlessly that James keeps dropping these jarring (if not reliving) moments of Ana being sensible to try and fit her into this mold.

Grey once again INSTANTLY e-mails her back and is all “Well that's a long list” not really “why are you still up?” and Ana thinks she's SO CLEVER and is all “I was working on it before a passing control freak turned up to fuck my brains out” and Grey once again INSTANTLY RESPONDS by telling her to go to bed NOW.

GREY STOP SOUNDING LIKE A DAD! Though I want to give credit where credit is due. In his I AM SO IMPORTANT e-mail signature in this one there is a small change.

Christian GreyCEO & Control Freak, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

I hope that auto-saves as his new signature and he accidentally sends an e-mail to a random person with that in there.

Oh… shouty capitals! I switch off. How can he intimidate me when he’s six miles away?

Black magic. How many times must we go over this?

Ana then puts herself to bed, still feeling sulky and sad, and that is the end of this chapter. I hope you enjoyed reading my rants on it more then I enjoyed reading this chapter. 

As always, your comments/encouragements/drink recipes/linking this blog elsewhere are endlessly appreciated. Till Tuesday!

*He was apparently trying to burrow between the mattress and the box spring. I stand by my statement.
** Well, you know. It can be not intimate, but we're talking within the bounds of a relationship here.
*** Seriously, most fun I have had at a movie in as long as I can recall off hand.


  1. For the first time, I happened to be reading this while my husband was nearby. Not for the first time, I started laughing so hard that tears were coming out of my eyes. Needless to say, he thought I was a little nuts. :-)

    Glad to see this twice a week now!

  2. Oh, great that she HAS TO FIND OUT FROM HER RESEARCH that the contract isn't legally enforceable. Christian, who knows exactly how inexperienced and sheltered she is, should have told her. I bet he'll be all, "But of course it's not, silly you." Nice gaslighting, Grey!

    1. Another thing I wanted to say, everything about this chapter is so contrived. The "joke", apart from being neither funny nor witty nor anything positive really, is absolutely not in-character. Ana just keeps turning into that cheeky, coy, flirty, teasing, self-aware person from time to time she just isn't.

      Also, wow, Christian just keeps getting creepier. I'm not even sure if the word creepy is enough to describe his honestly frightening behaviour. On some site, I saw an essay called "Bella Swan and the Illusion of Choice", which was basically about how nothing Bella does is really her choice. Well, this book should be called "Ana Steele and the Illusion of Choice" because that's exactly what it is. If it were a book about a young woman choosing the bdsm life style because she's genuinely excited by it and enjoys it, more power to her. But it's a book about a sick guy manipulating a girl into accepting his abuse under the guise of "bdsm".

  3. I made this face:

    when she was talking about the ear petting being sexy. What is she, a dog?

    Sigh. I suppose she is, as far as Christian is concerned. AND WHAT A CREEPY FUCK HE IS.

  4. YES to the drinking game. Many times yes!

  5. Many yes to the drinking game. I think that this would be a game that has to be played in multiple roles, though, as one person couldn't get through everything without severe alcohol poisoning. Each player takes a character role (or the author) and then follows the penalty list for that character.

    The are some suggestions for drinks per character - I'm not sure whether to give the Dirty Girl Scout to Ana or Kate, but I think Christian gets Sex on the Beach, and Jose is forced to do tequila shots because of the presence of so many bad stereotypes.

    And then there's the content of this chapter. EL James, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. You basically just had the manipulative bastard walk entirely over Ana's consent, and her come away from that loving it and not shouting to Kate about the violation of her consent. Also, Ana is not shrewd enough (unless her research has been very thorough, and if it has, surely she understands that Christian is Wrong Run Away) to start negotiating like that on his contract.

    And he's still in contact with the woman that did all that to him? That sounds more like "I have her tied up in another room of my dungeon. If you ever find her, you will join her there for your life, and I will once again try to find someone who doesn't have any reason to drop an egg and doesn't have the curiosity to go looking." Which would probably be a better story than what we're getting."

  6. WHY?! Why do women *sploosh* over this guy?!

  7. Very yes to the drinking game. Might have to spread the penalties out among various players adopting roles of characters. To avoid alcohol poisoning, that is.

  8. So now I'm vacation with my in-laws and BIL's GF and I discovered a copy of 50 Shades of Grey on the endtable. MIL has read the first two books, BIL's GF is working on #1. I almost died.

    So should I read it and add to my already-poor opinino of it, or should I resist?

  9. I hate this book more and more and more. Even the characters hate themselves and can't be consistant.

    Oh the horror of being fucked. Horror, I say! Booty calls? I'm HORRIFIED!!!! (Says the girl who had Elliott rubbing his trouser snake all over her back on the dance floor.)

    Thank you so so much for going through this for us, I had never been more happy to NOT read a book. And I tell everyone I know NOT to. This is just absolutely ridiculous. What is wrong with society that this is such a big thing?

  10. "I’m all rabbit/headlights, moth/flame, bird/snake… and he knows exactly what he’s doing to me."

    So you're transfixed (I prefer Deer in headlights, but whatever), drawn to a dangerous thing, and... flying over a threat with no concern? What exactly can a snake do to a bird? I know there are birds that eat snakes, and snakes sneak into nests and eat bird eggs, but even if there are snakes that do eat birds, that isn't such a common image that you can simply drop it in with the other two.

  11. I am really bothered that he showed up after she sent him an e-mail which, as far as he knew, was to end contact between them. He is such a douchelord.

  12. There are things called "aftercare" and "sub-drop" in the BDSM community. Not providing good aftercare for your sub, my cause her psychological discomfort. Christian just comes in angry-fucks Ana (which is a scene, even though it may not seem like it at first glance, because it's not over the top with toys and props, but it is a definite D/s scene, especially for Ana, who is very to all this) and then he just leaves. He doesn't provide emotional care for her at all, and this has been very emotional experience for her. Of course she will cry, he is an AWFUL Dom. Other than that, thanks for the amazing re-cap, you're awesome!

  13. Just wanted to add that a "collar", in the BDSM world, isn't necessarily anything like a dog collar. It can be a symbolic piece of jewelry even, and doesn't have to be worn on the neck either. My co-worker is in the lifestyle and she wears a thick round bracelet as her collar.
    That aside, this chapter recap had me really cracking up - even though I know I'm very late to the subject - so I thank you for that! :)

  14. this book is sssssooo sexy and your commentary makes it all the better

  15. "Is he licking “CHRISTIAN GREY WUZ HERE” on her forehead?"
    I literally, almost fell off my chair laughing.
    I know this post is old but I'm catching up with all of them since I found your blog yesterday.
    So if you do read this, greetings from South Africa and keep up the great work.

  16. I live in united state, Two years ago i married a lady called saline, we had two children together, we were very happy to be husband and wife, so when i travel on a business trip to Brazil, i spent a year in Brazil due to my kind of business, i and my wife talked on phone all the time, we chatted on the Internet, i never knew that my wife had started cheating on me by going out with her old school friend called Mark, i never knew something was going wrong till i came back from my trip, then i and My wife started having problems, she goes out and come back late at night, she changed in a strange way that i could not endure, i tried to do everything to please her but it got worst, so one day she left the house and never came back, i tried reaching her but no way i could reach her, i never knew she had travelled with her new lover which was Mark, i wanted her so much because of the children she left for me and because i loved her so much too, because of the heart break she has put me into, i went into search of a real magic spell caster though I was scammed twice by a spell caster, but I never relented in my search because I wanted a happy life with my wife, So one morning i saw a testimony about a spell caster Esango Priest, so i contacted him and to my greatest surprise this made life manful for me again, my wife came back to me after 3 days of a love spell from this Esango Priest, i took her back and I am now settled with my wife by the magic power of Esango Priest .
    Malcolm franks'

  17. een reading here for a while and wanted to let you know how much I've been greatly enjoying reading all of your 50 shades posts. I was always curious about all the comments people made about it (mostly bad) but I couldn't bring myself to actually read it, so thank you for doing it for me. I normally enjoy romances of almost any kind, but writing was so bad it was a false start. Your snark and humor, and at times research as well, have made this the only way to read this book and I have passed on your blog to a number of friends. Keep writing (and drinking...) and I hope you come back and do the third book someday.