Friday, September 28, 2012

Chapter 22 part 2

So Ana is woken up from her nap by her Mother, and beats us over the head with "IT'S ALL SO WARM AND MY MOM LOVES ME SO MUCH!" which is sketchy to me because, well, her Mother seems to be one of those people who makes a big show of being supportive and there, but you can't really count on. And maybe she is supposed to be one of those people who means well but just sucks at it, but honestly? Intention only goes so far. Sure, I'll cut people slack if they mean well, but there is only so far that will take you. Eventually you need to actually start being there when things matter.

*Ahem* Anyways, they naturally start talking about Grey seconds after Ana wakes up because her Mother sees the computer yadda yadda yadda.

“Has he emailed you?”
Oh double crap.
“Yeah.” My nonchalance is wearing thin, and I flush.
“Perhaps he’s missing you, huh?”
“I hope so, Mom.”
“What does he say?”
Oh triple crap.

Okay, EL James, we need to talk. Repetition is a good literary device, and I am all about keeping all tools on the table at all times, but you have got to lay off. You re-cap what has happened so far constantly, in great detail, and keep having Ana run into the same problem. You've gotta lay off. You are not illustrating how hard this relationship is going to be on Ana being unable to talk about it, as there are a lot of ways she could but is just too stupid to figure it out. That's right, I said it, Ana is stupid. She is incapable of problem solving or reading social cues at all, and when she does manage to read a social cue, she is so weird about it. Jose is into her, she knows it, doesn't feel that way, and is constantly initiating physical contact with him. He basically assaults her and then continues to do so. She doesn't realize that Kate's brother (who's name I apparently can't be shittered to remember or look up. Ian?) wants to touch her where she pees and she is so miffed and uncomfortable when the people she has decided are close to her show an interest in her life. Also, you know, pretty much every conversation with Grey.

Moving on. Ana's mother leaves her to get dressed and Ana sends Grey an e-mail back. I'm surprised she didn't do this before she took a nap. The e-mail she sends is short and just saying "Got it, it gave me warm fuzzies, will send a real response later". She could have, and arguably should have, done that before. Then again, EL James needs an excuse for Ana and Grey to e-mail (as to text/IM like normal 20-somethings) and in their usual obnoxious styling Ana slips in a joke about "Who spanks you when you roll your eyes?"

I press send, and immediately the image of that evil witch Mrs. Robinson comes into my mind. I just can’t picture it. Christian being beaten by someone as old as my mother, it’s just so wrong. Again I wonder what damage she’s wrought. My mouth sets in a hard grim line. I need a doll to stick pins in, maybe that way I can vent some of the anger I feel at this stranger.

So, I do not get Ana's open and violent hatred of Mrs. Robinson. If it was simply "I hate that she hurt him/molested him" which I think is a part of it, I might, but it often feels more like "She ruined him! She had sex with him first!" and it isn't just rage. She has, at least twice now, expressed an honest want to cause physical pain and harm to Mrs. Robinson. I... am really bothered by this. Ana is supposed to be this mature wonderful intelligent super special creature.  I haven't seen it to start with, but then she does things like this, and it really, really doesn't sit right with me.

And then they start to e-foreplay.

Ana is all "I really need to get ready?" and Grey, being a classy man, offers to zip up her dress. It's short, so I'll just put it up here with some of the trimmings removed.

From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: NC-17

I would rather you unzipped it.

From: Christian Grey
Subject: Careful what you wish for…

From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: Panting


From: Christian Grey
Subject: Groaning
Wish I was there.

From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: Moaning

However they don't get to do anything fun as Ana's mother then calls her for dinner and she must dash! Oh thank god. I don't know if I could handle a sex scenes with all of the "TO: FROM: SUBJECT LINE:" after every fucking line. Can't it get trimmed at all? And as one of the commentators pointed out, Blackberry is known for their instant messaging. WHY are they not using that?!

“Why are you wearing Kate’s dress?”
Oh… no.
“Well I like this one and she doesn’t,” I improvise quickly.
She regards me shrewdly while Bob oozes impatience with his hangdog, hungry look.
“I’ll take you shopping tomorrow,” she says.
“Oh, Mom, you don’t need to do that. I have plenty of clothes.”
“Can’t I do something for my own daughter?

Maybe like go to her grad? I also want to know why Ana's response to "Why are you wearing Kate's dress" is "oh no" and why her Mother gives a flip in the first place. I swap clothes with girl-friends at every opportunity. It's a fun girly bonding thing, plus, if I don't wear it/it doesn't fit right I'd rather see it getting worn then sitting in my closet unloved. As far as I know, this is normal enough that I'm confused as to why Ana's Mother is pursing her lips over it. Also, Ana has been totally broke during school. Jose fixed her beat up shitty car all the time, and she lived with Kate because the rent was super cheap (and they are BFFFs) and so forth. If Ana's mother is going to go "doing things" for her daughter perhaps kicking some grocery money to her would have been better? Maybe she did, the text never tells us, but I really don't think that she did, and this is just her wanting her daughter to be more girly. So, off to the golf club they go. We don't see dinner, instead we get a paragraph.

Seeing her at dinner, she was in her element, funny and flirty and amongst many friends at the golf club. Bob was warm and attentive… they seem so good for each other. I’m really pleased for her. It means I can stop worrying about her and second-guessing her decisions and put the dark days of Husband Number Three behind us both. Bob is a keeper. And she’s giving me good advice. When did that start happening?

Calling your own mom "Fun and flirty" seems weird to me. Mostly because the thought of my Mom being flirty is deeply unsettling. Fun? Sure. Discerningly cheerful? Frequently! Friendly to the point of suspicion? That's my Mom! Flirty wouldn't be strange in that list, but it isn't how I can imagine picturing my Mom, and if she were, I think I'd find it embarrassing. "Mom, you're early 60 and married. Stop trying to pinch the waiters ass." Now, to actually consider this. I am now actually curious about Husband Number Three and am certain he will turn up at some point. I wonder if Ana's Mother legitimately didn't give good advice before, or if Ana never noticed, or if the only thing she's any good at is dating. I mean, she couldn't have been with Bob that long if Ana didn't even know how they were together (or know enough to be comfortable with her Mom marrying him) and to be able to go from dating to marriage without your kid being able to figure that out, I can't see that having been a long stretch. So Ana's Mother is probably very good at dating, which might also be why she was so eager for Ana to get a boyfriend. She knew that was her strong suit and wanted to finally feel relevant and useful.

Then Ana checks her e-mail and more banter Ana is coy about not knowing where they left off etc and then Ana mentions she ate too much and that she normally eats a lot but hasn't been around Grey because he puts her off her food. His response?

I’m sorry to hear that I put you off your food. I thought I had a more concupiscent effect on you. That has been my experience, and most pleasurable it has been too.

Sorry I made you nervous to the point of not eating but I had fun! DOUCHE!

More back and fort and then Grey signs off because he's going out for dinner with a friend.

Which old friend? I didn’t think Christian had any old friends, except… her. I frown at the screen. Why does he have to still see her? Searing, green, bilious jealousy courses through me unexpectedly. I want to hit something, preferably Mrs. Robinson. Switching the laptop off in a temper, I clamber into bed.


So, Ana tries to go to bed, but can't.

Why can’t he see her for what she is – a child molester? I switch off the light, seething, staring into the darkness. How dare she? How dare she pick on a vulnerable adolescent? Is she still doing it? Why did they stop? Various scenarios filter through my mind: he had had enough, then why is he still friends with her? Ditto her – is she married? Divorced? Jeez – does she have children of her own? Does she have Christian’s children? My subconscious rears her ugly head, leering, and I’m shocked and nauseous at the thought. Does Dr. Flynn know about her?

I'm glad that the text has finally called Mrs. R a child molester, and glad that Ana is shifting from "Jealous" to "SHE FUCKING TOUCHED YOU AS A CHILD DUDE!" which is one of the most reasonable things Ana has gotten upset about yet. She springs out of bed, and does some e-stalking. She types Grey's name into Google images and then looks at ALL THE PICTURES hoping to find a picture of Mrs. R. She then remembers that GREY HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN WITH A WOMAN BEFORE! Which is why Kate thought he might be gay. She then finds a picture of the two of them together (arg) and after going through all eight pages of pictures of him on Google (ew) just sends him an e-mail. The e-mail is not calling Grey out for continuing to spend time with the woman who molested him, or trying to force him to confront that fact, but is just saying she hopes he had a pleasant dinner, and adds on an oh so innocent PS asking if it was.

So now it's the next day. We skip the shopping trip and go straight to the bar. Lolwhat?

She is offering more insights into the fragile male ego. It’s very disconcerting.
“You see, Ana, men think that anything that comes out of a woman’s mouth is a problem to be solved. Not some vague idea that we’d like to kick around and talk about for a while and then forget. Men prefer action.”
“Mom, why are telling me this?” I ask, failing to hide my exasperation. She’s been like this all day.
“Darling, you sound so lost.

Looooooool. I am loving this mental image of Ana, exasperated, staring into her drink at the "trendy hotel bar"* as her Mother natters on and on. She then starts to ask about Jose and she knows that SOMETHING is up with Ana! There is, Ana is upset because Grey hasn't e-mailed her back. Ana's Mother then exits stage left really abruptly because it's time for Ana to check her e-mail and get a response from Grey!

Yes, I had dinner with Mrs. Robinson. She is just an old friend, Anastasia.
Looking forward to seeing you again. I miss you.

He was having dinner with her. My scalp prickles as adrenaline and fury lance through my body, all my worst fears realized, crashing through me. How could he? I am away for two days, and he runs off to that evil bitch.


She’s not just an old friend.
Has she found another adolescent boy to sink her teeth into?
Did you get too old for her?
Is that the reason your relationship finished?

She's two drinks into the night. Two. And she's accusing him of running off with another woman? What? I think Ana has a point about "She isn't just an old friend". I think it's fair for her to call Grey out on this, but I hate how I logically agree with her and hate her in this moment. This is NOT how you should be trying to talk to him. Not while you're tipsy and mad and miles apart-

This is not something I wish to discuss via email.
How many Cosmopolitans are you going to drink?

What the-

Holy fuck, he’s here.

So he didn't answer all day because he was on a plane flying to Georgia. To stalk Ana. When he specifically said he was going to make a real effort not to. Which means he couldn't resist FLYING ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND HAS BEEN SITTING IN THE BAR WATCHING ANA AND HER MOTHER DRINK FOR HOW LONG?! WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?! I hope Ana's Mother starts to push for her to get a restraining order and-

Fuck this noise. I'm going to go drink wine and eat a baked brie. Comments make me want to shoot things less.

*Any hotel bars I've been to have been... just kinda there at best. Sort of dumpy, usually. Then again, I don't go to fancy hotels very often.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

50 Shades of Grey chapter 22 part 1 because this chapter is really long you guys.

So for reasons I don't totally understand, this chapter is a freaking monster. Like, 20 pages. There are a lot of things that could be chapter breaks, but no, EL James plays by her own rules. So this will be a two part post because there is no way you will make it through alive between the chapter its self and my decon/snark in one go. Part 2 will go up on Friday. 

I am manicured, massaged, and I’ve had two glasses of champagne. The First Class lounge has many redeeming features. With each sip of Moet, I feel slightly more inclined to forgive Christian and his intervention.

I've never flown first class. I have hardly flown. Still, I am feeling fairly confident that other then a bitching bar and some potentially decent food, that the "first class lounge" isn't that fancy. Also, I've gotten a manicure before. It takes AGES. So do massages. Was Ana's flight delayed? How early did she show up?

I open up my MacBook, hoping to test the theory that it works anywhere on the planet.

I don't even know what this means. Is her computer on a 3G network? Does Ana think that laptops only turn on when in ideal circumstances? She decides to send Grey an e-mail to thank him, but in it she calls him out.

What really alarms me is how you knew which flight I was on.
Your stalking knows no bounds. Let’s hope that Dr. Flynn is back from vacation.

STOP MOCKING HIS ATTEMPTS TO DEAL WITH HIS ISSUES! They are not "cute" jokes to be made! Also, if you are actually worried about his total disregard for your boundaries, you shouldn't be joking about them! If he knows what time you're flight is at (which you told him) and where you're going (which you also told him) how hard do you think it is to find out which flight you're on? How many planes to Georgia leave at X time a day? They likely are all staggered. Plus if he simply called and said "A plane going to Georgia at X time, the passengers name is Ana, I'd like to upgrade her ticket" he wouldn't even need to know her flight number. LOGIC!

Grey again magically sends her an instant response. The usual obnoxious banter, but I want to point out the signature here.

CEO with friends in the right places, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

THAT IS SO UNNECESSARY! That said, it would be totally reasonable to assume Grey is just making Ana think he's more powerful than he is.

So Grey in his e-mail asked who was giving Ana a massage. Again, this book, it hurts me, you guys. It hurts me in the soul. I didn't know I had one until I started reading this book, but, nope, it is definitely in pain because of this. Grey is getting jealous because Ana got a massage. Ana's response? Rather then annoyance or terror is "mischievous glee" because she can't answer until she's on the plane as her flight was just called! Tee hee! He's going to be SO MAD! Also how does she plan to e-mail him from the plane? Can you get wifi in first class? Or, you know, any sort of- right magic computer. Forgot. So on the plane Ana e-mails Grey back.

A very pleasant young man massaged my back. Yes. Very pleasant indeed. I wouldn’t have encountered Jean-Paul in the ordinary departure lounge – so thank you again for that treat.

So, let me get this straight. Ana let some random guy (she says later she thinks he's gay) give her a back rub, and then brags to her boyfriend that she did so? What is this I don't even... Ana first is pleased with herself for riling up Grey and doing so when she's going to be in the air, and unreachable, and then feels guilty.

After take off, Ana checks her black berry, and, again, not sure how she is supposed to be getting signal. Naturally she is, and he has already replied.

Dear Miss Steele
I know what you’re trying to do – and trust me – you’ve succeeded. Next time you’ll be in the cargo hold, bound and gagged in a crate. Believe me when I say that attending to you in that state will give me so much more pleasure than merely upgrading your ticket.
I look forward to your return.

Christian Grey
Palm-Twitching CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

Show of hands. Anyone surprised? Didn't think so. Ana asks if he's joking and begs for forgiveness, he instead scolds her for nearly killing herself and everyone around her by using her phone on the plane.  Does not even acknowledge that Ana has apologized and begged forgiveness. Instead there's just an implied threat because putting herself in danger is one of the things on the list of things he's allowed to beat punish her for!!

Ana then has a layover and sends Grey another e-mail. This one is a doozy, and I'm just going to post the whole thing up here.

You know how much I dislike you spending money on me. Yes, you’re very rich, but still it makes me uncomfortable, like you’re paying me for sex. However, I like traveling first class, it’s so much more civilized than coach. So thank you. I mean it – and I did enjoy the massage from Jean Paul. He was very gay. I omitted that bit in my email to you to wind you up, because I was annoyed with you, and I’m sorry about that.

Why is she annoyed at him? Because he made her "look like a dolt" in front of the clerk when she checked in because she didn't know she was in first class. THAT is the base reason.

But as usual you overreact. You can’t write things like that to me – bound and gagged in a crate – (Were you serious or was it a joke?) That scares me… you scare me… 

IF HE SCARES YOU THEN GET OUT! Also I DO have to give points here, she's calling him out for his bad behavior. That is something that needs to be done.

I am completely caught up in your spell, considering a lifestyle with you that I didn’t even know
existed until last Saturday week, and then you write something like that and I want to run screaming into the hills. I won’t, of course, because I’d miss you. Really miss you. I want us to work, but I am terrified of the depth of feeling I have for you and the dark path you’re leading me down. What you are offering is erotic and sexy, and I’m curious, but I’m also scared you’ll hurt me – physically and emotionally. After three months you could say goodbye, and where will that leave me if you do? But then I suppose that risk is there in any relationship. 

Yes Ana, in any relationship you always have the option to not commit forever. Even if you're married you can still leave. Oh God. He's going to propose to her at the end of the book, isn't he?

This just isn’t the sort of relationship I ever envisaged having, especially as my first. It’s a huge leap of faith for me.
You were right when you said I didn’t have a submissive bone in my body… and I agree with you now. Having said that, I want to be with you, and if that’s what I have to do, I would like to try, but I think I’ll suck at it and end up black and blue – and I don’t relish that idea at all.


I am so happy that you have said that you will try more. I just need to think about what ‘more’ means to me, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted some distance. You dazzle me so much I find it very difficult to think clearly when we’re together.
They are calling my flight. I have to go.
More later

Your Ana

I'm a little torn on how I feel about this. On one hand, I like that Ana is bluntly saying "I am crazy about you but these are my concerns and I don't know if I can do this but I want to try and I'm scared and having FEELINGS and you need to know about them" because YAY SHE IS COMMUNICATING WITH HIM OPENLY AND HONESTLY AND SHE'S SOBER!!! OH MY GOD YOU GUYS!!! I am so excited about that! I'm however annoyed as fuck that she keeps saying things like "You dazzle me" and "I'm scared of this dark erotic path you are leading me down". Seriously, who the hell talks like this?

I sip slowly, beyond fatigued, and I allow myself to feel a modicum of excitement. I’m going to see my mother for the first time in six months.

So, Ana hadn't seen her Mother in six months and her Mother couldn't leave her shitty new husband at home to go see her daughter for her grad? The guy is right there with her when they pick Ana up from the airport. Am I supposed to hate her Mother? Think she's awful and negligent? Ana bursts into happy, jet lagged, overwhelmed tears upon seeing her Mother and Bob, and reassures them they are happy tears.

“Welcome back, Ana. Why you cryin’?” he asks.
“Aw, Bob, I’m just pleased to see you too.” I stare up into his handsome square-jawed face, and his twinkling blue eyes that gaze at me fondly. I like this husband, Mom. You can keep him. He takes my backpack.

So, how long ago was the grad scene? A week? Two, tops. It's mentioned that he's a bit unsteady, and we're reminded that his leg is hurt, so, why is he taking her bag? Also really not sure how I feel about yet ANOTHER character being blond with blue eyes, and equally unsure of Ana's inner monolog here. Ray was husband number two, did she really hate three? Do you only like him because he's eye candy? That's your Mother's husband. Gross. So, they then head off to the beach because...? Not sure.

“So Ana… tell me about this man who has you in such a spin.”
Spin! How can she tell?

I don't know, maybe the part where you broke down weeping over him a few chapters ago?

“Men aren’t really complicated, Ana, honey. They are very simple, literal creatures. They usually mean what they say. And we spend hours trying to analyze what they’ve said – when really it’s obvious. If I were you, I’d take him literally. That might help.”

Don't most people mean what they say? I like to just take people at face value. They usually figure it out and start to interact with me on the same level, or they go away. Either way, I win. This also irks me. I've ranted about Kate over simplifying men into walking boners, and while Ana's Mother (seriously no idea what her name is) is being... less awful, the same thought is still there. "MEN ARE SIMPLE AND DON'T HAVE REAL FEELINGS AND SHOULDN'T BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY! THEY SHOULD BE CODDLED!" That right there? THAT is sexist as fuck. Men are real people with real thoughts and feelings, too, not a monolithic mass.

This causes Ana to flashback to the things that Grey has said (you know, the bewitching and such) and then considers that her Mother is on her 4th marriage, she clearly knows something about men! Yes, how to fall in love with them but not maintain a lasting, respectful relationship. Funny how she over simplifies all men with one broad stroke, too. I wonder if that has anything to do with it?

Ana's Mother keeps generalizing men as they have this DEEP CONVERSATION and we find out a little about Ana's birth Dad. He was a marine and died in a training accident. I appreciate EL James' restraint by not making him a war hero. He was just a dude, who died young for a stupid reason. It sucked. I like that.

So that's it for the beach and then Ana goes back to her Mother's home and prepares to take a nap. But first... DRAMATIC MUSIC! Grey's response! Again, it is LONG but I feel the need to inflict it upon all of you. Are you ready for a wall of text? Wait, no, I won't do that to you. I'll break it up with some snark. You're welcome.

I am annoyed that as soon as you put some distance between us, you communicate openly and honestly with me. Why can’t you do that when we’re together?

Because you usually have a whip in hand or are being physically intimidating?

Yes, I’m rich. Get used to it. Why shouldn’t I spend money on you? We’ve told your father I’m your boyfriend, for heaven’s sake. Isn’t that what boyfriends do? As your Dom, I would expect you to accept whatever I spend on you with no argument. Incidentally, tell your mother too.

HA! She beat you to it by days!

I don’t know how to answer your comment about feeling like a whore. I know that’s not what you’ve written, but it’s what you imply. I don’t know what I can say or do to eradicate these feelings. I’d like you to have the best of everything. I work exceptionally hard, so I can spend my money as I see fit. I could buy you your heart’s desire, Anastasia, and I want to. Call it redistribution of wealth if you will. Or simply know that I would not, could not ever think of you in the way you described, and I’m angry that’s how you perceive yourself. For such a bright, witty, beautiful young woman you have some real self-esteem issues, and I have a half a mind to make an appointment for you with Dr. Flynn.

WHY CAN'T YOU SEE THAT YOU ARE THE MOST PERFECT BEING TO EVER BE PERFECTED ANA?! Maybe because she's a drooling dolt? I'mma go with that one. 

I apologize for frightening you. I find the thought of instilling fear in you abhorrent. Do you really think I’d let you travel in the hold?


 I offered you my private jet for heaven’s sake. Yes it was a joke, a poor one obviously. However, the fact is – the thought of you bound and gagged turns me on (this is not a joke – it’s true). I can lose the crate – crates do nothing for me.

EL James just decided the world wasn't ready for a crate sex scene. A moment of silence. 

I know you have issues with gagging, we’ve talked about that and if/when I do gag you, we’ll discuss it. What I think you fail to realize is that in Dom/sub relationships it is the sub that has all the power. That’s you.

Really? Had to remind her she was the sub after THE ENTIRE FUCKING BOOK?

 I’ll repeat this – you are the one with all the power. Not I. In the boathouse you said no.

Except those times when you don't give her the choice or opportunity to say no. Like in the boathouse. You know, when you turned it from "Fine I won't spank you instead I will fuck you in a way you won't like"?

I'm going to go on a bit of a tangent to talk about a shift in how people are trying to talk about consent. There is a lot of talk about how hard saying no can be. And it is. No makes people angry, no is triggering, and when you're scared and intimidated, or your boyfriend didn't take the first no as a cue to knock it off already, or drunk, or just not really sure if you want to or not, or any number of reasons why you would want to say no, saying "no" is that much harder. I've seen a lot of awesome articles on the concept of shifting from "no means no" and instead instituting "yes means yes". Rather then teaching people that they need to stop if their partner says no, we're teaching them to explicitly seek consent instead. Each time. Yes, even with an established sexual partner, because you can still be raped by your Significant Other. I think we need to start putting as much value into an enthusiastic "yes" as we do a forceful "no". I also think we need to start putting more value into all nos. No shouldn't have to be forceful to be taken seriously, it shouldn't have to be loud. It should be allowed to be quiet and timid, or said with a smile, or be clearly uncertain, and still mean just as much.

Right, that should probably be a post for another day. Back to Grey's god-awful e-mail.

 I can’t touch you if you say no – that’s why we have an agreement – what you will and won’t do. If we try things and you don’t like them, we can revise the agreement. It’s up to you – not me. And if you don’t want to be bound and gagged in a crate, then it won’t happen.
I want to share my lifestyle with you. I have never wanted anything so much. Frankly I’m in awe of you, that one so innocent would be willing to try. That says more to me than you could ever know. 

That she's adventurous? 

You fail to see I am caught in your spell, too, even though I have told you this countless times. I don’t want to lose you. I am nervous that you’ve flown three thousand miles to get away from me for a few days, because you can’t think clearly around me. It’s the same for me Anastasia. My reason vanishes when we’re together – that’s the depth of my feeling for you.

Right. PASSION is a great reason to turn into an unreasonable, controlling jack-wagon. 

I understand your trepidation. I did try to stay away from you; I knew you were inexperienced, though I would never have pursued you if I had known exactly how innocent you were – and yet you still manage to disarm me completely in a way that nobody has before. 

You've found women with less personality then Ana? Dude. Wow. 

Your email for example: I have read and re-read it countless times trying to understand your point of view. Three months is an arbitrary amount of time. We could make it six months, a year? How long do you want it to be? What would make you comfortable? Tell me.

Really? She's concerned because it isn't a relationship, it's a contract. You have also said that both of you are free to peace out whenever. Why not just... Drop the time limit and schedule regular re-negotiations instead? I've heard of couples who schedule time to just go over issues and give the relationship a check up. "This is what I'm happy with. This makes me unhappy. This is what I want long term still etc" I was skeptical when I first heard about it, but the people I know who have instituted this policy swear by it. I feel Ana and Grey would do well to schedule something like that.

I understand that this is a huge leap of faith for you. I have to earn your trust, but by the same token, you have to communicate with me when I am failing to do this. You seem so strong and self-contained, and then I read what you’ve written here, and I see another side to you. We have to guide each other Anastasia, and I can only take my cues from you. You have to be honest with me, and we have to both find a way to make this arrangement work.

As obvious as it is that EL James was touching herself when she wrote this part, I actually don't have anything mean to say. He's acknowledging her concerns, validating them, and telling her what she can do to help him help her. He is being open and honest with her, and encouraging her to do the same. These are all good things!

You worry about not being submissive. Well maybe that’s true. Having said that, the only
time you do assume the correct demeanor for a sub is in the playroom. It seems that’s the one place where you let me exercise proper control over you, and the only place you do as you’re told. Exemplary is the term that comes to mind. And I’d never beat you black and blue. I aim for pink. 

Because it's the color that is the real concern. You see Ana doesn't think black and blue suit her, but she'll be just darling in pink!

Outside the playroom, I like that you challenge me. It’s a very novel and refreshing experience, and I wouldn’t want to change that. So yes, tell me what you want in terms of more. I will endeavor to keep an open mind, and I shall try and give you the space you need and stay away from you while you are in Georgia. I look forward to your next email.

In the meantime, enjoy yourself. But not too much.

I'd like this except it is totally inconsistent with everything we have seen from Grey thus far. That and it sounds like fan-fiction written by a 13 year old girl. Ana is reacting like the 13-year old author. She's thrilled! I would say down right giddy! In her fit of nearly peeing the floor in excitement because HE CARES, we get this.

He’s going to try and stay away! Does this mean he might fail to stay away? Suddenly, I hope so. I want to see him. We’ve been apart less than twenty-four hours, and knowing that I can’t see him for four days, I realize how much I miss him. How much I love him.

And all of the "Hey, the characters are starting to not be awful people all the time!" good will I had shored up is gone. IT HAS BEEN WEEKS (about three, I think?) HOW ARE YOU IN LOVE WITH HIM ALREADY?! IT HAS BEEN LESS THEN 24 HOURS HOW DO YOU PLAN TO COPE WHEN HE IS DOING IMPORTANT BUSINESS THINGS LATER ON AND TOO BUSY TO SEE YOU? 

Ana is infatuated and in giddy new relationship mode. I don't have any issue with this, and I know Ana is supposed to be naive, but Jesus, seriously? Love after weeks? No. That is not love. That is lust, or infatuation, or what ever you want to call it, but love is bigger than that. Maybe I'm just unromantic, but to me, love is not, and never has been, big passionate dramatic kisses and declarations. It can be apart of it, but those are not it's totals. Love is contented silence. Love is small gestures. Love is knowing you can trust someone. Love is comfort. Love is support. Love is all of little in-jokes and daily things that just the two of you share. Love is being there when shit gets HARD. Love is millions of little things that vary from person to person, but it is made up of those millions of things to create this one larger, beautiful, strange, and irrational picture. When EL James tries to tell me Ana is in love with Grey, I feel that is under selling and over simplifying love.

Part two tomorrow, but comments still make me write faster!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yelling at girls from cars

It was a few years ago that this happened, before I was really versed in feminism*. I was in a car with a bunch of guys. One or two were friends but most were acquaintances. We were moving from one party to another and though the night was young as we drove by a pretty girl they cat-called and hollered. I groaned and rolled my eyes. "Really guys? What do you hope to accomplish? Convince her that you have a micro-penis and are a huge douche-bag? Because that is what she thinks of you"

They roll their eyes at me. "They're biddies. You holler at biddies. It's what you do"

"But it makes them feel uncomfortable."

Naturally I was wrong. I mean, I was clearly overreacting and being over sensitive. No one else gave it any thought, why should I?

To this day I don't understand why men do this. I've asked a few, but I made the mistake of asking intelligent articulate men who have not and do not yell at girls from cars, or lie remarkably well about it.

I told one of these men the story above. He sighed "You can't ask them to explain why they do something when they're not capable of having that conversation. Some people are very base. They're driving around going 'dhuurrhurr hard on'. You can't expect self awareness from people like that."

So, in short, these men are doing it... Because they can? Because they want to be obnoxious and rowdy? We dismiss the behviour as "Boys will be boys" but I feel it's time to end that. This behaviour is not harmless fun. This behaviour is toxic.

I want to talk about how it is a behaviour that feeds into rape culture. It takes women from being people and turns them into objects. It reduces their worth to that of their sexuality and attractiveness. I could go on endlessly about it, but I won't. I will make it simpler.

The earliest and most vivid memory I have of this happening to me was when I was about 17. My parents were out of town and it was very late. I was walking home through a parking lot with another friend when a guy from a parked car full of other guys screamed "Hey Blue Shirt! How about a blow job?"

I was shocked. Who does that? Did he expect me to say "Well alright! Why not?"? It wasn't the first time I had been yelled at by a guy in a car, but it was the first time I had gotten a specific suggestion. I was scared. There were more of them then us and they were in a parked car! Heads went down and the pace was quickened. I spent the rest of the walk home casting uncomfortable glances behind me and jumping at every car that drove past us. Now I'm sure that wasn't the intention of these knuckle daggers. They were just being boys! They were having fun! What did I have to go and be so uptight about? It was a compliment!

I was young, there were more of them then us, we were all girls, they were bigger, they were in a car, and I grew up in a culture that taught me from a young age that every man I walk past alone late at night wants to rape me and I shouldn't go out alone at night because there are rapists in every bush**. How am I supposed to differentiate between "Boys being boys" and "boys who want to rape me"? There are certainly enough movies that play with the trope of "group of rowdy boys chase some girl into an alley way and gang rape her" or "Guy on the street starts to harass a random girl before getting handsy before the hero rushes in". The parallels are there, and I don't think that, at 17, it was a strange place for my mind to go. I don't think at 24 it's strange that when I'm walking home alone at night and a guy in a parking lot screams "NICE TITS!" at me that I feel unsafe, either. 

Guys, I'm sorry to tell you this, but even if you don't make every woman feel unsafe and uncomfortable, I'm not the only one you do. You telling me that I should take it as a compliment, and that other women do, is saying "I am alright making you and other women feel unsafe and uncomfortable because I don't make all women feel unsafe and uncomfortable!" You are also telling me that you think your right to be rowdy and obnoxious overrides my right to feel safe walking down the street.

Maybe I'm just being an uptight Buzz-Kill, but I call bull shit and would like to kindly ask you to keep your drive-by "compliments" to yourself, thank you very much.

Standard comment policy of "Differ without being a dick" applies to this post.

*I could build a pretty good argument that "versed" still isn't the right word, but I'm working on it.
**Pun unintended, hyperbole intended.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

50 Shades of Grey chapter 21 in which the characters have moments of not being awful.

Hello again dear readers! Are you ready for chapter 21? I have a drink in hand, so I am! This chapter opens with Ana once again waking up in Grey's bed without him, and idly watches the clouds pass by.

Life in the clouds sure feels unreal. A fantasy – a castle in the air, adrift from the ground, safe from the realities of life – far away from neglect, hunger, and crack-whore mothers.

That is pretty much her first thought upon waking up. Not "Motherfucker my ass is sore" or "Were those tentacle monsters always hanging out at the foot of the bed?" but CHRISTIAN GREY HAS LED SUCH A HARD LIFE!

I shudder to think what he went through as a small child, and I understand why he lives here, isolated, surrounded by beautiful, precious works of art – so far removed from where he started… mission statement indeed. I frown because it still doesn’t explain why I can’t touch him.

So. Much. Wrong. Okay, for starters, I want to repeat that Christian Grey was four years old when he was adopted. Four.Yes, you can be traumatized by things that happen to you at that age, but he has spent many of his adult years in therapy, and with a doctor for a mother I imagine he spent a lot of his childhood in therapy, too. You know, being adopted in a loving, secure, wealthy household at such a young age wouldn't have helped ease any of that trauma or help him cope or anything. Nope. The only thing that could help him with that will be Ana's magical muff! The part that really irks me is the way Ana is obsessing over his past. These are practically her waking thoughts! She latches onto each new bit of information he gives her fervently to continue building this tragic picture of him in her head, one that proves only she really knows him! No one else understands this pitiful, wealthy, sexy, healthy* man! I am so bored about her not being able to touch him. I GET IT ALREADY!

Also, I've lived in apartments in high rises. I remember when I got up stupid early for work, I'd walk into my living room which was filled with the mornings first rays of sun, and a fog so dense that I saw nothing outside. It was eerie and beautiful and haunting. In those moments with everyone else still in bed and the whole building was quiet and still I really did feel like I was alone in the world. They were always very poetic moments, but that wasn't why I lived there. I lived there because I needed to be in that part of town and the price made sense. I imagine Grey is living there because he likes the apartment and the location, not, you know, living in his lonely tower of loneliness because he's just SO GOD DAMNED TRAGIC! If I'm wrong and that is why he lives there then I may need to buy a physical copy of the book so I can burn it.

Ana then laments that she is living a fantasy! In a fantasy house with her fantasy life and fantasy boyfriend! I still think Ana is not listening to what Grey says, and that makes me angry because if the narrator can't be bothered to listen to the twit why should I? We also see see-saw metaphor again. I bet when EL James first wrote it she had a moment of saying "Ah HA! That's brilliant! I'm so talented!"**. Ana then tells us that she goes to the bathroom before going to find Grey. Ana, I didn't need to know that, honest.

In her quest, however, she does not find Grey, but instead finds.... ANOTHER WOMAN!

He’s not in the art gallery, but an elegant middle-aged woman is cleaning in the kitchen area. The sight of her stops me in my tracks. She has short blonde hair and clear blue eyes; she wears a plain white tailored shirt and a navy blue pencil skirt. She smiles broadly when she sees me.

Seriously, so far Ana and Mia are the ONLY women who aren't blonds in this book. Every other woman, from waitresses to secretaries to parents have all been blond.  This is EL James' best shot at Othering Ana. Hair color. I have a sad now, you guys. This woman is Grey's house keeper, Mrs. Jones, and other then to make Ana feel a little more insecure I don't see why she's here.

Why does Christian only have attractive blondes working for him? And a nasty thought comes involuntarily into my mind – Are they all ex-subs? I refuse to entertain that hideous idea.

See? Ana can't deal with women around Grey who aren't related to him! Every other woman wants to have sex with him! Many already have! And they all want to again! Ana, calm the fuck down. What I really want to poke at is what Mrs. Jones is wearing, though. She's wearing a pencil skirt. I've played house-keeper before. Trust me when I say a pencil skirt is low on the list of things I would wear to do it in. Seriously, imagine scrubbing a toilet in a restrictive skirt. Booty shorts would be a better option. A long flowy skirt I could ALMOST understand, but, a pencil skirt? And white? Really?

Moving on. Ana finds Grey in his study and we're treated to some more generic business jargon since he's on the phone being important and stuff. I hate these scenes. I hate them in almost any book. It's meant to establish Grey is important and busy but still making time for Ana, but I already knew that. There is nothing about this scene we haven't seen before (like when people kept calling him when he drove Ana home earlier in the book) and there is nothing new or interesting about it. If Grey was all "Listen, I said I wanted to build a giant ballpit in the main lobby for people waiting, so we're building a God damned ball pit. No, it'll help with moral, damn it!" then I might feel differently, but it's all so generic.

The closest thing to being telling is Grey confirms when Ana will come back from Georgia and gets an extra ticket to an event we're not told about, because he wants to take her to what ever it is. I imagine this will be the typical "Heroin gets all dressed up to go to formal event and she and Hero have a Moment" and if we're real lucky we'll meet Mrs. Robinson! Seriously, we're half way through the book with no antagonist! FIX IT.

So they start making out, because that's my first thought when I get up in the morning. Not "CURSE YOU DAY STAR!" or "jhgfpiahsgsnuggles" but "make out times. Definitely make out times."

“I suggest you go and have your shower, or I shall lay you across my desk, now.”
“I choose the desk,” I whisper recklessly as desire sweeps like adrenaline through my system, waking everything in its path.

And then Grey tells Ana she's getting to be insatiable. The exchange is meant to be playful and underscore Ana coming to be comfortable with her own sexuality (which is an awesome thing and one I look forward to seeing more of. I like assertive Ana) but there's something about it that irks me. I've had a few of my female friends, all in what they tell me are happy, fulfilling monogamous relationships, that they are not having enough sex. Not only are they not having enough sex, when they try to initiate it, they are told "No" and made to feel guilty and ashamed about it. They want it too much. It's not normal. I want to scream when ever I hear this because THERE IS NOTHING WRONG OR WEIRD OR SHAMEFUL ABOUT SEX AND WANTING IT! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "normal" SEX DRIVE! THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE AND WE SHOULD ACCEPT THAT! But more importantly I want to scream because I'm seeing someone I care about questioning if they ARE being strange and wrong about it. So seeing in EROTIC FICTION the main hero telling his girlfriend she's starting to want sex too much... I hate it. I hate it because more and more I'm starting to think that this is an actual problem. Women aren't supposed to want sex. We're supposed to be frigid and chaste or some bull shit?

Fuck that.

“Damn right, only me,” he growls, and suddenly with one fluid movement, he clears all the plans and papers off his desk so that they scatter on the floor, sweeps me up in his arms, and lays me down across the short end of his desk so that my head is almost off the edge.
“You want it, you got it, baby,” he mutters, producing a foil packet from his pants pocket while he unzips his pants.

At least Grey is quick to oblige. Seriously. Just a "FUCK YOU THINGS ON MY DESK THAT ARE LIKELY IMPORTANT WORK THINGS!" God I hope he didn't have a gold fish or something on the desk. Some sort of glass paper wheight that some one gave him... Also he just... Has a condom in his pocket at all times? I'd have expected it in the desk, but, in his pocket? Really? Oh, well, you know what this means, right guys? Unintentionally hilarious sex scene time!

“I sure hope you’re ready,” he breathes, a salacious smile across his face. And in a moment, he’s filling me, holding my wrists tightly by my side, and thrusting into me deeply.

 "Because the author is bored with writing foreplay!"

“Christ, Ana. You’re so ready,” he whispers in veneration.

Oh, don't pretend like that isn't from your black magic glamor, Grey. We all know. 

He starts to move, really move. This is not making love, this is fucking – and I love it.

He's actually doing a jig.

I revel in his possession, his lust slaking mine.

What the hell does slaking mean? I DO NOT WANT MY EROTICA TO SEND ME TO THE DICTIONARY EL JAMES! Alright, let's take a side trip to google.

Oh my God. You guys! I swear to you this was the first hit I got.

Slaking are large, bulky, ape-like Pokémon.

I don't even want to know what the word actually means anymore. As far as I'm concerned, this is just what Grey looks like during sex.

Oh my. I close my eyes, feeling the build up – that delicious, slow, step climbing build. Pushing me higher, higher to the castle in the air.

You leave castles in the sky alone, James.

“Come on, baby, give it up for me,”

He actually just wants her to give up her eggo, but she'll never leggo her eggo.

I cry out a wordless, passionate plea as I touch the sun and burn, falling around him, falling down, back to a breathless, bright summit on Earth.

 Wait, so if I fuck an evil wizard I can have sex in euclidean geometries? Damn, that's tempting.

“What the hell are you doing to me?” he breathes as he nuzzles my neck. “You completely beguile me, Ana. You weave some powerful magic.”

Says the evil warlock. STOP TRYING TO BLAME THIS ON ANA GREY! Also who the fuck says beguile in casual conversation? Was "endear, delight, charm, bewitch, enchant, make me fear for my life" all not fancy enough for Christian Grey?

“You. Are. Mine,” he says, each word a staccato. “Do you understand?”
He’s so earnest, so impassioned – a zealot. The force of his plea is so unexpected and disarming. I wonder why he’s feeling like this.
“Yes, yours,” I whisper, derailed by his fervor.
“Are you sure you have to go to Georgia?”
I nod slowly. And in that brief moment, I can see his expression change and the shutters coming down.

I think I would only want to interact with my boyfriend if his dick was in me if he acted like this the second it was out. Grey's emotional unavailability and his inability to communicate are supposed to be plot points. However they just make him entirely unattractive to me. I struggle to find any reason why someone would actually fall in love with him.

He then tells Ana that he likes it when she's sore because it reminds him of where he's been. ... What? You want your girlfriend to be in pain and discomfort because it strokes your ego?


“Always prepared,” I murmur.
He looks at me confused as he redoes his fly. I hold up the empty packet.
“A man can hope, Anastasia, dream even, and sometimes his dreams come true.”
He sounds so odd, his eyes burning. I just don’t understand. My post coital glow is fading fast. What is his problem?

I like Ana this chapter so far. She's not endeared by this, she's not swooning, she's wondering what the fuck is going on with him. She's been open about her own desires and initiated sex instead of just waiting for him to. These are good things!

“So, on your desk, that’s been a dream?” I ask dryly, trying humor to lighten the atmosphere between us.
He smiles an enigmatic smile that doesn’t reach his eyes, and I know immediately this is not the first time he’s had sex on his desk. The thought is unwelcome. I squirm uncomfortably as my post coital glow evaporates.

There goes the good will. We are repeatedly told that Ana is so smart and caring and never cries and is totes emotionally balanced. If this is the case why is she so jealous, jealous to the point that the realization that- SHOCK- she isn't his first, sends her sulking into jealousy? It isn't cute or endearing, it's sad. I get that Ana's first IS Grey, and so it makes sense for her to be anxious or bothered by the level in emotional and life experience his exes represent. THAT I could understand and by sympathetic about. I don't think that's how Ana feels. Ana is upset that he has had sex with other women.

So the two talk some more and Grey, to me, just reads as typical Grey. Ana insists he's being weird and we're supposed to think he is, too, but not know why. Ana then goes about angsting about how emotionally unavailable and complicated and hard to read Grey is! I agree. I also finding reading him difficult because it makes me want to kick things.

So then Grey demands Ana eats and orders bacon, eggs, and pancakes from Mrs. Jones. He however has something else, and this irks me. I know she's paid to be there, but in an industrial kitchen, this stuff is ready to go. Your veggies are prepped, your bacon half cooked, your pancake batter made. It's just a matter of throwing it on the fire and cooking it. That is not the case here, as it's a person's home. It just seems really... Douchy, to me. I know it's more meant to be "LOOK THEY LIVE IN A FAIRY TALE LAND WHERE THEY NEVER HAVE TO COOK AND CAN ALWAYS HAVE WHAT THEY WANT!" but to me it reads as "Entitled assholes who've never had to take care of themselves". When I'm at work and people make weird demands of their food, I just do it. One, because that's my job, but two, because I'm set up to. If I was working in someones home, for the sake of not making them wait an hour or two for each meal (specially if I'm playing short order cook) I'd give them menu options ahead of time so that way I could have prep done and- WHY DO PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND HOW COOKING WORKS RAAAGE.

Ahem. Sorry about that. Right, so, Grey is, once again, forcing Ana to eat. Despite having wanted her on a restricted diet (something she declared a deal breaker) he isn't ordering her an omelet and some fruit like he does himself, he's ordering her fatty and greasy breakfasts. It's meant to show him being considerate, "This is what you ate last time so I know you like it" but it just strikes me as really strange and inconsistent for the character. He has dictated what Ana would eat before now with no idea about her likes and dislikes, why the sudden interest?

“I have a jet. It’s not scheduled to be used for three days, it’s at your disposal.”
I gape at him. Of course he has a jet, and I have to resist my body’s natural inclination to roll my eyes at him. I want to laugh. But I don’t, as I can’t read his mood.
“We’ve already made serious misuse of your company’s aviation fleet. I wouldn’t want to do it again.”
“It’s my company, it’s my jet.” He sounds almost wounded. Oh, boys and their toys!

Got privileged? Cause Grey does! So he's going to go visit her in Georgia and meet her Mother, right? That's going to happen. What bugs me is Grey sulking, and Ana's incredibly dismissive and condescending thought. "Oh those silly boys!" it just... It feels like she just doesn't see him as a person at all.

“I am fully aware of that, Mr. Grey. Are you going to track my phone?” I ask innocently.
“Actually, I’ll be quite busy this afternoon, so I’ll have to get someone else to do it.” He smirks.
Is he joking?

 Ana legitimately isn't sure if he would stalk her. I just need to point this out. She at least perceives that he thinks that little of her privacy. That just makes me really sad. So they eat, and then Mrs. Jones boogies out to let them talk about SRS stuff.

“You know, you never did tell me why you don’t like to be touched.”
He blanches, and his reaction makes me feel guilty for asking.
“I’ve told you more than I’ve ever told anybody.” His voice is quiet as he gazes at me impassively.
And it’s clear to me that he’s never confided in anyone. Doesn’t he have any close friends? Perhaps he told Mrs. Robinson? I want to ask him, but I can’t – I can’t pry that invasively. I shake my head at the realization. He really is an island.

More sads. I'm unsure of how Grey was able to grow up so closed off to the world considering how his family is. Surely he has confided about something to someone before, even if it wasn't something so huge? I also like how Ana, after repeatedly badgering him about why she can't touch him, draws the line at asking if he's told anyone, specifically, Mrs. R. If you wanted to respect what you should and shouldn't pry into, maybe you should, you know, stop asking the same thing over and over again because he clearly isn't comfortable talking about it?

So then they say they'll miss each other when she's gone (gag) and we're onto Ana's interview! Oh, this is going to hurt me, isn't it?

This is my second interview today, and the one I’m most anxious about. My first interview went well, but it was for a larger conglomerate with offices based throughout the US, and I would be one of many editorial assistants there. I can imagine being swallowed up and spat out pretty quickly in such a corporate machine. SIP is where I want to be. It’s small and unconventional, championing local authors, and has an interesting and quirky roster of clients.

The "I'M SO INDIE I BLEED OBSCURE MUSIC!" hurts. How does a publisher "champion" an author anyways? And how does she know they have a roster of "interesting and quirky" clients? I get wanting to work somewhere smaller, but I have no idea how Ana knows some things. Did she have a friend who worked there? I don't think she really has friends, so I've no idea. Maybe she really aggressively bought into a recruiters pitch?

The receptionist is a young African-American woman with large silver earrings and long straightened hair. She has a bohemian look about her, the sort of woman I could be friendly with. The thought is comforting.

Okay, this is the second not blond character in the book, and once again, Ana feels a quick bond. She is the second black character we've seen among all the extras, and I just want to point this out. On the whole I feel this whole book is really white-washed.

As Ana sits in the waiting room, waiting for an interview for her dream job, she is naturally thinking about Grey. Not, you know, the job, or the interview, but her boyfriend. She gets a lady-boner and keeps insisting to the reader that Grey is likeable. Agree to disagree, shall we Ana?

So the woman who is interviewing Ana introduces herself, and, again, not a blond! Clearly Ana belongs here! She is also described as "Bohemian" which is strange in a publishing house to me. I understand that we're supposed to see that they are laid back and easy going and it's such a small tight knit group! Buuuut.... Could EL James really not do any better then bohemian? She couldn't have anyone be hip or artsy or trendy? For some reason the woman leads Ana into the office of the CEO who is apparently interviewing her himself. LOL!

At the head of the Maplewood conference table sits a young man with red hair tied in a ponytail. Small, silver, hooped earrings glint in both his ears. He wears a pale blue shirt, no tie, and grey flannel trousers. As I approach him, he stands and gazes at me with fathomless dark blue eyes.

Ooooooh. He's going to be another love rival, isn't he? Right. Gotcha.

“You have a very impressive GPA. What extra-curricular activities did you indulge in at WSU?”

NO ONE CARES ABOUT GPAS IN REAL LIFE! NO ONE! I have seen people MOCK resumes that put their GPA on it! Openly and cruelly!

I launch into details of my librarianship at the campus central library, and my one experience of interviewing an obscenely rich despot for the student magazine. I gloss over the part that I didn’t actually write the article. I mention the two literary societies that I belonged to and conclude with working at Clayton’s and all the useless knowledge I now possess about hardware and DIY. They both laugh, which is the response I’d hoped for. Slowly, I relax and begin to enjoy myself.

Really? You're enjoying a job interview? I'm putting this here because I feel it's an important bit of character building. So Ana starts to skim the interview a bit "Jack asks smart questions but I keep up!" EL James heard the rule of "show don't tell" but she just laughed in the face of whoever told her.

“And where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” he asks.
With Christian Grey, the thought comes involuntarily into my head. My errant mind makes me frown. 


So Ana goes home to Kate who starts asking lots of random questions and Ana asks her to stop riling Grey. She defends her actions but agrees since it's what Ana wants her to do, and then does something super decent.

“You’re just, I don’t know… different. I hope you’re okay, and whatever issues you’re having with Mr. Moneybags, you can talk to me. And I will try not to wind him up, though frankly it’s like shooting fish in a barrel with him. Look, Ana, if something’s wrong, you will tell me, I won’t judge. I’ll try to understand.”

YES! KATE AT THE MOMENT I DON'T HATE YOU!  This is a good thing to say! She ruins it by badgering Ana about confessing her love ASAP and then tells her that if the fucking is good then that's half the battle for a good relationship! Arg.

So Ana then goes and ZOMG THERE ARE NO MESSAGES OR EMAILS FROM GREY! So she sends him one saying the interview went well, and then sits there sulking that she's not getting an instant response. He said earlier he was too busy to stalk her with work, and he obviously took the morning off to spend time with her, which probably made his day more busy. Naturally none of this occurs to Ana. When he finally responds...

Dear Miss Steele
Everything you do interests me, you are the most fascinating woman I know.
I’m glad your interviews went well.
My morning was beyond all expectations.
My afternoon was very dull in comparison.

 ANA IS THE BEST EVER GUYS! So she asks him if he used to fuck his cleaning lady.

Mrs. Jones is a valued employee. I have never had any relationship with her beyond our professional one. I do not employ anyone I’ve had any sexual relations with. I am shocked that you would think so.

Really? Because didn't you repeatedly offer a job to Ana? Oh, wait, he points that she'd be the exception because she's soooo special! Siiigh. More obnoxious banter and then Kate gets home and then Ana runs off to eat food and then we skip forward to Ana at the airport. She finds out that her ticket was upgraded to first class! Oh! The poor dear!

And that brings us to the end of chapter 21! It was... Pretty boring. The characters had moments of not sucking, but over all? Arg. Till next week dear readers! As always, comments make me write faster, as do good drinks!

*Physically healthy.
**I won't pretend I have never done that. However I've yet to drag those moments back out on you guys even though you tend to point them out as awesome, too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday - An announcement

Alright, so, not for the first time lately, I find myself on update day with no post for you guys. I'm starting to take the fun out of writing 50 Shades posts by trying to do them twice a week. That's a lot of awful to consume and deconstruct in a week. It hurts me in the soul. I also want to keep running Sunday randoms, because they give me a chance to write about things that are important to me, and to write things that are silly fun. However, they take a lot more time and energy then I consistently have in a week to spare. I'm finding balancing two 50 Shades posts a week on top of a Sunday Random really difficult.

Clearly, my current system is not working. So I'm trying a new one!

Tuesdays will be either 50 Shades OR a random post. Thursdays will remain 50 Shades posts. Forever. OhgodwhydoIdothistomyself?

Sorry if this is a huge disappointment to you guys, but I am confident that giving myself a little more breathing room for these posts will make them better. My rage should be less tempered when I have some time to reboot in-between chapters. Which means more drinking, and I know how much you guys love it when I get liquored up and rant for you.

Till Thursday!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Okay, so I have not had the time to put together a post for Sunday this week. As an apology, here's a dancing Vader. Next week should have a post about cat calling women from cars!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

50 Shades of Grey Chapter 20 in which Grey is basically a rapist.

So I'm going to start using trigger warnings on these posts, though I question my ability to do so well. If I miss something that you feel should have been mentioned, please feel free to tell me in the comments. Before I figured that if people were reading this feature they knew what they were in for, but I've had some people get upset over this book now, and I'd rather err on the side of caution.

So, TW: Rape, rape-culture, abuse, childhood abuse, battered woman mentalities, using sex as a weapon, claiming ownership of another person, more of Grey's temper.

Last chapter ended with Grey luring Ana away from a family dinner and then carrying her off to fuck her.

Christian bursts through the wooden door of the boathouse and pauses to flick on some lights. Fluorescents ping and buzz in sequence as harsh white light floods the large wooden building. From my upside-down view, I can see an impressive motor launch in the dock floating gently on the dark water, but I only get a brief look before he’s carrying me up some wooden stairs to the room above.
He pauses at the doorway and touches another switch – halogens this time, they are softer, on a dimmer – and we’re in an attic room with sloping ceilings. It’s decorated with a nautical New England theme: navy blues and creams with a dash of red. The furnishings are sparse, just a couple of couches are all I can see.
Christian sets me on my feet on the wooden floor. I don’t have time to examine my surroundings – my eyes can’t leave him.

Ana, I feel like you're trying to put your dick in two places, here. Do you have two dicks, Ana? Did you not get a chance to look around or are you noticing the "nautical New England" theme? Also, what the hell is a nautical New England theme?

His breathing is harsh but then he’s just carried me across the lawn and up a flight of stairs.

I KNOW I JUST READ THAT SHIT AT THE END OF THE LAST CHAPTER! Does EL James expect her readers to finish a chapter, say "I can't stand this shit" throw the book down in disgust, and then pick it up again weeks later?

Holy shit. I could spontaneously combust from his look alone.


“Please don’t hit me,” I whisper, pleading.
His brow furrows, his eyes widening. He blinks twice.
“I don’t want you to spank me, not here, not now. Please don’t.”
His mouth drops open slightly in surprise, and beyond brave, I tentatively reach up and run my fingers down his cheek, along the edge of his sideburn, to the stubble on his chin. It’s a curious mixture of soft and prickly.

So Ana is trying to be soft and gentle to try to convince Grey not to hit her. Rather then say "He is a scary abusive prick" she decides "I'm going to adapt to him" and that just makes me sad. No one deserves having to deal with a temper like this. I know I gave Ana hell for telling Grey he needed to "Do better" as far as his therapy was going, but... Well, he's THIS CLOSE >< to committing a felony because of his ZOMGRAGEHULKSMASH!

His soft moan is barely audible, and when he opens his eyes, his look is – wary, like he doesn’t understand what I’m doing.

Really? He's moaning from a little hair tug? I also find him being confused that Ana is touching him really really sad.

“What are you doing to me?” he whispers confused.
“Kissing you.”
“You said no.”
“What?” No to what?
“At the dinner table, with your legs.”
Oh… that’s what this is all about.
“But we were at your parents’ dining table.” I stare up at him, completely bewildered.
“No one’s ever said no to me before. And it’s so – hot.”

No one has said no to you ever? Not even when you were a kid? Or when you went to rent a movie but they were out of the movie you wanted to rent? Now I'm just picturing Grey at Jumbo Video with a raging hard on. Also I can't believe he is so shocked that she was closing her legs on him trying to ram his hand up her cooch with his parents right fucking there. I wonder if Grey was never told no, or never accepted no, before. He's entitled enough that I wouldn't be shocked.

“I’m mad because you never mentioned Georgia to me. I’m mad because you went drinking with that guy who tried to seduce you when you were drunk and who left you when you were ill with an almost complete stranger. What kind of friend does that? And I’m mad and aroused because you closed your legs on me.”

Okay, Georgia, I'll give him. The rest? Fuck you Grey. Also I like how shocked and outraged he is that Jose let Grey take Ana off, but Kate's in the clear as far as that one is concerned. I would also like to point out that he's a near stranger who infringed on Ana then when she had no ability to say no and didn't give a fuck what her feelings on the matter may have been and the hypocrisy, it burns.

“I want you, and I want you now. And if you’re not going to let me spank you – which you deserve – I’m going to fuck you on the couch this minute, quickly, for my pleasure, not yours.”

OhGod. Okay. This is Grey declaring that he's willing to rape Ana here, right? I mean, she's going to be into it because fiction, but what if she wasn't? Would he have just done it anyway if she had tried to say "No, we're at your parents place"? You know, like she's been doing all night? I sent that line to a friend. His response was "What in all the fucks?". I'm going to go drink now.

“This is mine,” he whispers aggressively. “All mine. Do you understand?” He eases his finger in and out as he gazes down at me, gauging my reaction, his eyes burning.
“Yes, yours,”

The "mine" is her cooter for those of you who may have missed it. I'm picturing them getting married and divorced now and they get into a fight over who gets Ana's snatch. She DID say it was his... I read this to The Boy and he said "Seems reasonable" I think I might need to draft up a pre-nup now...

He rolls the condom down over his impressive length.

He also knocks over the lamp with it.

“We don’t have long. This will be quick, and it’s for me, not you. Do you understand? Don’t come, or I will spank you,” he says through clenched teeth.
Holy crap… how do I stop?


I groan loudly, gutturally, and revel in the fullness of his possession.

It's not even "there" or her "sex" now, it's his possession. Did this happen because EL James needed a new thing for Ana to call her muff?

I am trapped. He’s everywhere, overwhelming me, almost suffocating.

He's an octopus now. Octocock?

But it’s heavenly too, this is my power, this is what I do to him, and it’s a hedonistic, triumphant feeling.

So Grey loosing his shit and being willing to assault Ana is her fault and that's a good thing? He just can't help himself around her!  Also in EL James world - She was asking for it, look at how she's dressed! Gotcha. The sex scene is quick because, well, Grey just wanted to get his rocks off and didn't want Ana to do the same.

All of a sudden, he withdraws, leaving me aching and hungry for more. He glares down at me.
“Don’t touch yourself. I want you frustrated. That’s what you do to me by not talking to me, by denying me what’s mine.”

Ana's body belongs to Grey, and if she says no to sex, she's denying him a right to something that belongs to him.

WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?! THAT IS NOT BDSM! That is being abusive and controlling and possessive and so, so much is wrong here. This whole chapter so far is reeking of rape-culture.

He stands and removes the condom, knotting it at the end, and puts it in his pants pocket.

For later use. D:

“Here. You may put these on.”
From his inside pocket, he produces my panties. I don’t grin as I take them from him, but inside I know – I’ve taken a punishment fuck but gained a small victory over the panties. My inner goddess nods in agreement, a satisfied grin over her face – You didn’t have to ask for them.

Small victory or common decency? YOU DECIDE! To avoid having to actually talk at this point Mia is at the bottom of the stairs yelling up at Grey because Jesus fuck dude family dinner that you brought your new girlfriend to so everyone could meet her!

“Up here, Mia,” he calls down. “Well, Miss Steele, I feel better for that – but I still want to spank you,” he says softly.


“I don’t believe I deserve it Mr. Grey, especially after tolerating your unprovoked attack.”
“Unprovoked? You kissed me.” He tries his best to look wounded.
I purse my lips.
“It was attack as the best form of defense.”
“Defense against what?”
“You and your twitchy palm.”

The sad thing is this is supposed to be a joke, but that is exactly what she just did.

“Kate and Elliot are about to leave. Can you believe those two? They can’t keep their hands off each other.” Mia feigns disgust and looks from Christian to me.  

So far it sounds like it's been a lot of "arm around shoulders" kind of stuff, but I want to point this out because, Mia, as the only other female brunette in this whole book is clearly destined to usurp Kate and become Ana's new BFFF. I also point this out because, well, it's the author reinforcing Ana. If you thought Ana was being too harsh before, PROOF that she wasn't! Mia thinks so too!

He pulls me gently in front of him, and as Mia turns to go, he swats my behind. I gasp in surprise.
“I will do it again, Anastasia, and soon,” he threatens quietly close to my ear, then he pulls me into an embrace, my back to his front, and kisses my hair.

ARUGUHSWGOIHWRGKNLADBIPewhgkk\qehtpuehgpIWJHBP9! MIA WOULD HAVE HEARD THE SMACK! Also Ana is all "I don't want to be spanked" but Grey is just desperate for an excuse to do so anyways.

“I need to speak to you about antagonizing Christian,” I hiss quietly in her ear as she embraces me.
“He needs antagonizing, then you can see what he’s really like. Be careful, Ana – he’s so controlling,” she whispers. “See you later.”
I KNOW WHAT HE’S REALLY LIKE – YOU DON’T! – I scream at her in my head.

Okay, not sure where to start here. I get where Kate is supposed to be coming from, but that is not how you should be going about talking to your friend about their skeezy boyfriend. Ana, on the other hand, is slipping into some battered women patterns. "I know what he's really like! You just don't understand him like I do!" and she gets mad at Kate for over stepping her bounds. What Kate is doing is stupid, as Ana won't want to tell her things for fear of them getting to Grey, which... isn't good. If Kate is worried about Ana being with a controlling d-bag she should be making sure Ana feels comfortable talking to her, not making her afraid to do so. That way Kate will be in a position to help when Ana is ready to let her, and keep Ana from getting totally isolated. Which is what controlling d-bags do.

I scowl at her, and she pokes her tongue out at me, making me smile unwillingly. Playful Kate is novel, must be Elliot’s influence.

Because everything Kate does isn't novel and worth mention to you Ana? Honestly, I do not get. What I want to mention is Ana assuming Kate being playful is all Elliot's influence. They've been dating what, two weeks? It can't just be she's in giddy new relationship mode? Or excited about her trip? Or excited about being done school and the move? I've also seen her be what I would describe as playful before in this book, but sure Ana, like happy Kate, or shocked Kate, or inquisitive Kate, we can treat it like a new entity.

Mia embraces me warmly as we say our goodbyes.
“We never thought he’d find anyone!” she gushes.

Holy non-sequester Batman! You do not say that to your friend/brothers new SO as if she is a sane person it might scare her off, or just put a lot of pressure on her in general. So his parents are lovely and warm and welcoming to Ana as they say their good byes.

“Let’s not frighten her away or spoil her with too much affection,” he grumbles.

Ana comments that she doesn't think he's kidding. Poor thing. In the car, Grey asks her what's on her mind as she seems off and Ana decides to call him out for only inviting her because Elliot invited Kate.

“Anastasia, I’m delighted that you’ve met my parents. Why are you so filled with self-doubt? It never ceases to amaze me. You’re such a strong, self-contained young woman, but you have such negative thoughts about yourself. If I hadn’t wanted you to meet them, you wouldn’t be here. Is that how you were feeling the whole time you were there?”

Every time Grey is nice to Ana it feels like a Dad giving a speech to cheer his daughter up. "You are so strong and beautiful and confident!" replace "and I'm so into that" with "any guy would be happy to have you" I have also yet to see anything in text that would make me feel this way about Ana. I was talking to one of my editors about Head-Cannon. As you write, you draft further into your own head, so there are a lot of things going on in your head that never reach the page, or when they do, come out very differently on page then in your head. It causes a rift. I feel that is how EL James writes. She sees her characters in X way, but is writing them as Y.

I only mentioned Georgia because Kate was talking about Barbados – I haven’t made up my mind.”
“Do you want to go and see your mother?”
He looks oddly at me, like he’s having some internal struggle.
“Can I come with you?” he asks eventually.

I'm sure in Grey's head this is "Well, you just met my parents, sooo" however going to parents place for dinner, not as big a deal as traveling and staying with your new girlfriend's Mom when it's only been a few weeks. I met The Boy's Mom before he met my folks because she lived in town, mine didn't. The second travel enters into it, meeting the parents becomes a much bigger deal.

Ana has to tell Grey she doesn't want him to come with her because she wanted a break from him to think over if this is a good idea or not and just process everything. Grey asks her about why she's having second thoughts.

Because I think I love you, and you just see me as a toy. Because I can’t touch you, because I’m too frightened to show you any affection in case you flinch or tell me off or worse – beat me? What can I say?

That? Maybe? Though thinking you love him in less then a month might be better left off the list. Ana then goes on to say "But I DO want him because he makes me feel so alive!".

We’re coming near to the end of the bridge, and the road is once more bathed in the neon light of the street lamps so his face is intermittently in the light and the dark. And it’s such a fitting metaphor. This man, whom I once thought of as a romantic hero – a brave shining white knight, or the dark knight as he said. He’s not a hero, he’s a man with serious, deep emotional flaws, and he’s dragging me into the dark. Can I not guide him into the light?


Ana says she wants more, Grey says he'll try, and tells her to sign after Georgia. Ana climbs into his lap and slips him the tongue in gratitude for being not a douche.

I let my mind drift, and I allow myself to fantasize that he loves me. Oh, and it’s so real, tangible almost, and a small part of my nasty harpy self-conscious acts completely out of character and dares to hope.

 I can't even muster frustration or anger for Ana right now. Right now she's just really pitiable.

He reaches up and grasps my chin, freeing my lip from teeth.
“One day I will fuck you in this elevator, Anastasia, but right now you’re tired – so I think we should stick to a bed.”

We already knew that. Also I just picture her biting her top lip now, it makes it hurt less.

“You’re going to settle for plain old vanilla?”
He cocks his head to one side.
“Nothing plain or old about vanilla – it’s a very intriguing flavor,” he breathes.
“Since when?”
“Since last Saturday. Why? Were you hoping for something more exotic?”
My inner goddess pops her head above the parapet.
“Oh no. I’ve had enough exotic for one day.” My inner goddess pouts at me, failing miserably to hide her disappointment.

I actually like Grey here. At this point Ana has made it clear she wants him, and he's catering to what is easier on her. He also goes on about how she has a big day and he should get her in bed, so the sooner they go to bed the sooner he can pounce her and then she can get a full nights rest. Is it strange? A little, but I get the feeling that his concern is an honest one.

I oblige, and in one breathtakingly swift move, he removes my dress like a magician, grasping it at the hem and pulling it smoothly and fleetly over my head.
“Ta Da!” he says playfully.
I giggle and applaud politely. He bows gracefully grinning. How can I resist him when he’s like this?

 His next trick is sawing you in half, so enjoy it while you can.

“Don’t you want to fuck?” he asks.
“I want you to make love to me.”

Panic time?

He stills and stares at me blankly. His expression darkens. Oh shit, this doesn’t look good. Give him a minute! My subconscious snaps.

 Panic time.

Grey tells her no, pretty bluntly, and when Ana presses about touching being a hard limit, and why, he throws a shirt at her and tells her to go to bed. I've mixed feelings on this. I think Grey should be allowed to have his boundaries and his secrets. I think everyone should, and I think Ana is being really disrespectful in her continuing pressing him on it. She isn't asking for a compromise, or half way sort of thing, either. She wants to touch him and she demands to know why she can't. On the other hand, I understand Ana's frustration of not being able to ask your partner about something important, and about having your needs not being met.

“Anastasia, you know where the bathroom is. Today, at this point in our strange arrangement, you don’t need my permission to use it.” He cannot hide his irritation. He shrugs out of his shirt, and I scoot into the bathroom.

So Ana is forced to wear a shirt, and he is taking his off, despite having very deliberately kept his on before? What? Also Grey is being a bit of a wank. Ana isn't sure where the boundaries are, and is trying to feel them out. When she over steps one she skirts away from others, this is a pretty normal response, and Grey getting so bitchy about it is endlessly frustrating to me. So Ana goes to the bathroom and has a conversation with herself.

What did you expect – that you’d grow horns and a little pointy tail? My subconscious snaps at me. And what the hell are you doing? Touching is his hard limit. Too soon, you idiot, he needs to walk before he can run.

Baby steps are important. Her subconscious is painted with some really unflattering imagery, but this time I think she's not being unreasonable.

You are making him mad – think about all that’s he’s said, all he’s conceded. I scowl at my reflection. I need to be able to show him affection – then perhaps he can reciprocate.

What bugs me about this isn't Ana or her subconscious. What bothers me is that her subconscious is treated as an entirely different character. EL James doesn't treat Ana's Inner Goddess or Subconscious like parts of her, she treats them as totally different people. That... Is not how inner dialogues work. I get in fights with myself, however it's usually two narratives in my head taking different sides of the same issue and trying to concede and be reasonable with one another, they are both, however, definitely me. There isn't a lot of "NO SHUT UP YOU SUCK" and dancing going on for me. Maybe I'm the strange one but it makes Ana so much less believable then she already is.

My subconscious is right of course. I’m rushing him. He’s not ready and neither am I. We are balanced on the delicate see-saw, that is our strange arrangement – at different ends, vacillating, and it tips and sways between us. We both need to edge closer to the middle. I just hope neither of us falls off in our attempt to do so.

This passage hurts me. The whole thing is just beating me over the head with everything I already knew.

So both of them brush their teeth and Ana goes to bed and Grey joins her and there seems to be no fucking.

“Imagine if I said to you that you couldn’t touch me.”
He clambers onto the bed and sits cross-legged.
“Anastasia, I’ve told you. Fifty shades. I had a rough start in life – you don’t want that shit in your head. Why would you?”
“Because I want to know you better.”

So his reasoning for telling Ana isn't boundaries or that he doesn't want to talk about it, but that he wants to protect her? Dude, respect her enough to let her make that call. Ana's solution is that if he tells her, he can spank her. So, she's using her body and sex as a bargaining chip. For fucks sake.

“You’re bargaining with me?” His voice resonates with astonished disbelief.
I nod. Yes… this is the way.

Oh, joy, Ana has found a new way to communicate with Christian. He agrees, and then goes to get a toy. I'm actually not entirely sure what he's just pulled out, but they're described as two metal balls on a string, basically.

“I am going to put these inside you, and then I’m going to spank you, not for punishment, but for your pleasure and mine.”

The deal is he's going to spank her, fuck her, and if she's still awake at the end, then he'll tell her because turns out her interview isn't until two! Bets on Ana passing out? We're nearing the end of book 1, just about a hundred pages left (yay!) so I'm not sure if it's "too soon". I think she'll get a little out of him before passing out. 

Very gently, he puts the balls in my mouth.

He puts his balls in her mouth and then makes her suck them for lube. Hee.

“Now turn round, bend down, and grasp your ankles.”
I blink at him, and his expression darkens.
“Don’t hesitate,” he admonishes me softly, an undercurrent in his voice, and he pops the balls in his mouth.
Fuck, this is sexier than the toothbrush.

The toothbrush was sexy?

Oh my. They’re body temperature, warmed by our collective mouths. It’s a curious feeling. Once they’re inside me, I can’t really feel them – but then again I know they’re there.

Once she's standing she reports that she can feel them, and Grey orders her to fetch him a glass of water so she can feel them jangling around.

Oh my… I may have to keep these. They make me needy, needy for sex.

 As to normal needy, which you also are. Though Ana, you're not allowed to wank, remember? That would just be cruel to yourself.

“Ask me, Anastasia. I won’t say it again.” And there’s such a threat implicit in his words, and it dawns on me. He wants me to ask him to spank me.
Holy shit. He’s looking at me expectantly, his eyes growing colder. Shit.
“Spank me, please… Sir,” I whisper.

 I do not understand the italics in this book. So Grey throws her over his knee and makes sure he can see her face as he does this. Naturally she's going to love it this time around because balls.

He lifts his hand and brings it down in a resounding slap against the junction of my thighs, my behind, and my sex. The balls are forced forward inside me, and I’m lost in a quagmire of sensation.

Words I don't expect to see in erotica: quagmire.

I screw my face up as my faculties attempt to absorb all these foreign feelings.

  I want you all to try and think of the most absurd facial expression that you can here.

because this is on my terms, I don’t mind the pain. It’s not painful as such – well it is, but not unbearable. It’s somehow manageable, and yes pleasurable… even. I groan. Yes, I can do this.

 Show of hands, anyone surprised? Didn't think so. They fuck, it's really fast, which I actually like. We see lots of foreplay means shorter time until orgasm, and that's, well, realistic. It's one of the few things that treats sex realistically. Often it turns into these marathon sessions in these books.

Honestly, all this fuss. I feel very sleepy.
“Your ass is a glorious color,” he says approvingly, and he tenderly massages the cooling lotion into my pink behind.
“Spill the beans, Grey,” I yawn.
“Miss Steele, you know how to ruin a moment.”
“We had a deal.”

Oh, hi there Ana's spontaneous backbone! 

“The woman who brought me into this world was a crack-whore, Anastasia. Go to sleep.”
Holy fuck… what does that mean?

It means that his biological Mother was a crack whore. So, are the pock marks on his chest from his Mother stabbing him with needles then? She's dead, and died when he was four. Carrick (his Father, who he refers to as such) seems to have known her. THE PLOT THICKENS!

And I slip into a dazed and exhausted sleep, dreaming of a four-year-old, gray-eyed boy in a dark, scary, miserable place.

AND THAT'S ALL FOR NOW FOLKS! Oh, man, this chapter. I just, I'm just going to go drink for a while. Comments and drink recipes are always loved. Till next time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

50 Shots of Grey

Rather then just miss an update, I will instead give you guys something I've promised for a while. A 50 Shades of Grey drinking game! So get your liquor of choice ready for Thursday, because here it is!

50 Shots of Grey

Pick as many rules as you are comfortable with. All of the rules should only be played by someone with an iron liver. This game is also intended to be played with a "drink" being defined as taking a drink, not doing a shot. They're listed in order of approximated difficulty (easy to hard).

Drink every time 

There is a scene not about Grey - I expect to use this rule maybe twice after the first few chapters. 

Grey further proves that he is, in fact, a Warlock.

There is strangely clean language EX: Ana talks about Grey wailing away on her "behind"

Inappropriate lady-boners. EX: Ana and Grey are discussing how he was molested as a kid and she gets a lady boner because of his dark, sad eyes. 

Ana's Inner Goddess or Subconscious come out to play. Though this one is superfluous, I mean, you were already doing that, right?

Consent is ignored. 

Ana goes into waaay too much detail about something.

Kate is inconsistent. So basically any time Kate is on page. 

Grey and Ana e-mail each other (once per exchange, not one per email otherwise you'd die).