I was dating a guy over the holiday period and he one day said I act exactly like Lorelai Gilmore from the “Gilmore Girls”.
He meant it as a tease because I talk too quickly, make too many pop-culture references, have a bad temper, eat like an American trucker and am extremely sarcastic.
It’s the nicest thing a guy has ever said to me.
And while that whole thing didn’t work out, it did force me to revisit said character. While doing so, I was reminded of how interesting fictional characters can be. I can safely say that every single character in that TV show, even the background or the supporting, has more of a spine than the two leads in this book. They have more purpose, more direction and more wit.
I wish this were a romantic novel about Luke and Lorelai. But it’s not….it’s about Ana and Christian.
*Breathes in and out and opens chapter seven up*
So without any further ado, Christian is showing the sheltered Ana Steele his “red room of pain”. In other words, a room in one of his many properties dedicated entirely to hosting equipment and instruments of a BDSM nature. There’s a whole lot of leather involved. However, instead of being a little unnerved by this, Ana comments on the “mood lighting” and how romantic it is.
Well, fine. Each to their own.
He shows her his flogger. Yes…his flogger.
Afterwords, Ana silently asks us the question, “What is the appropriate response to finding out a potential lover is a complete freaky sadist or masochist?”.
That’s a very good question, Ana. Though may I point out, I have never used the word ‘lover’ outside of an English lesson or a doctor’s appointment. After the disastrous coffee date, I’d say he’s more of a shag-pal.
She then silently weighs up the benefits and drawbacks of said relationship and utters this nonsensical whimsy. “I don’t think he’d actually hurt me.”
Dearest….you are completely missing the point of sadism. One would think, being an English major, that she knew something about the Marquis De Sade.
They converse and Ana dopily tries to vocalise her confusion about why beating women should bring a rich bachelor pleasure. Christian explains that being his submissive would require that she live in his home, with her own private bedroom, and that she basically be at his beck and call sexually. She must eat a certain way, dress a certain way and exercise a certain way.
I…I can’t, I mean–just read on.
He explains that she would need to sign a contract concerning all this. She asks why their relationship has to be this way and, get this, the dick replies with, “This is the only sort of relationship I’m interested in”.
Ouch. I don’t love Ana but the itch to click fingers in his stupid face on her behalf is strong.
Ana asks how many submissive women he’s kept, as he’s never had a girlfriend (bah hah), and he says, “Fifteen”.
He takes her to his study and shows her the contract. I can’t quite convey how irritating the whole contract, which the author displays in its entirety for us, truly is but I will try.
The first few pages are pretty tame; just saying that the submissive must obey the dominant in all ways, both sexual and domestic. the submissive must not smoke or drink or take recreational drugs.
So far, this man and this book are the only things making me consider using the above.
The submissive must not cheat on the dominant.
Well, fair enough. I start daydreaming about creating my own relationship contract. It could actually save an incredible amount of pointless dates and disappointment. He could do one too, obviously.
1. Do not ever insult my singing, even when I’m being stupid about it. Ever.
2. Bath time is my time.
3. The Daily Mail is always wrong. As is Piers Morgan and the BNP.
4. Sometimes I need to be alone.
5. A lot of the time I need to be alone.
6. Cats and dogs are equally beautiful.
7. Smoking is hideous.
8. Being creative is a full-time job.
9. Taste in music is subjective. The charts are wrong. Nearly all of the time, wrong.
10. Sex is nearly always welcome, but only when requested in an appropriate manner. Tugging twice on my ear is not sufficient.
Sadly, Grey’s contract doesn’t touch on the more important elements of a relationship contract, in my opinion. He does list things that will not be allowed and, I must say, I’m relieved. He rules out sex with animals and children (well, quite) as well as using fire, gynaecological instruments, any acts involving breath control and electrocution.
Well, I’m glad you cleared it up, Christian. Sex with animals truly is the elephant in the room, pardon the pun.
Ana admits that she’s never done anything like this before and then squirms with embarrassment. He tells her to tell him what’s wrong because they need to be completely honest with each other and she reveals that she is, in fact, a huge virgin. Grey closes his eyes in horror and then ‘growls’ this little statement.
“Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?”
BECAUSE IT’S NOT YOUR BUSINESS, ASSHOLE!
Chapter eight begins with Christian pacing and running his hands through his hair. He’s basically panicking because he’s about to violate an innocent. I don’t even need to read ahead, I know this is exactly the phrasing that will be used.
He demands to know why she didn’t instantly reveal this information and she says that the subject never came up. He keeps saying ‘virgin’ as if it’s a profanity and waxes on about how she knows so much about his sexual escapades now. He then says, “I just don’t understand. You’re twenty-one. You’re beautiful.”
Yes, Grey. Actually, no, yes EL James. That’s what women deserve to hear continuously. If you’re still a virgin in your twenties, there’s something inherently wrong with you. You didn’t give in to peer pressure, you didn’t have too much to drink at a party with a friend who isn’t really a friend.
You didn’t go out with a guy five years older than you who was a cruel jackass.
How freakish. Says the guy with the cat o’nine tails in his front room.
He rambles on a bit more and even utters, “May God forgive me.”
God may forgive you, Grey but I won’t. You’re a turd and I’d rather be reading Hemingway, which is saying something for me.
He then takes her hand and says he’s going to rectify the situation. There you go, Ana! Not only did he greet your holding onto your hymen as if it were a decease, he’s now going to fix you.
As they reach the bedroom and he produces a condom, he tells her to “Be prepared.”
I don’t know if he’s talking to Ana or the reader.
He kisses her a bit and helps her take her clothes off and my heart starts to sink.
Christian Grey talks while he fucks.
And I mean he talks. He narrates, her instructs and he questions. I was desperately hoping that when we reached the inevitable sex scenes that he would be silent so that I could substitute him for someone who is actually sexy and attractive but no. He’s a talker.
He talks about how he loves brunettes and about how beautiful her skin is.
(It rubs the lotion on its skin……… hssssss)
He starts kissing his way down her torso and it’s obvious where this is going. It’s a damn shame, too, because that’s my favourite part of foreplay. When it was first suggested to me four years ago, I was appalled and couldn’t imagine how it could be enjoyable and was swiftly proven wrong.
So I guess it’s a good thing that books like these are encouraging women to experience it.
Sadly, he’s still talking. God, he doesn’t stop. It says that she moans a lot but he keeps asking if she likes it. Please, spare us.
Ana has her first ever orgasm and sees her first ever erection. She wonders if it will fit.
No, Ana, the human race has survived this long because the stork really does have a baby making service at everyone’s disposal. You’re a twenty-one year old woman with a regular vagina. You’ll live.
She comes about three more times, so it’s four more than I remember getting and it hardly hurts at all. Grey is affectionate and possessive but still, in my opinion, irritating. Ana falls asleep and wakes up hours later to find Grey gone.
She goes looking for him and finds him, would you believe it, playing the piano. And not just tinkering away with “I’ve got rhythm”, but playing real classical greats like a professional.
What are the odds of that?
He is evasive and vague about where or how he began playing and they return to bed and fall asleep.
I get it. After a good lay, you need to bang out a Bach piece to compartmentalise your emotions. We’ve all felt that way, Christian.