Fifty Shades Darker

Chapters Eight and Nine: E.L James clearly only knows/practices two sex positions


Chapter seven ended with Christian and Ana returning to Grey’s digs only to discover that his high-class security team somehow didn’t notice a lone woman sneaking into his private home. So chapter eight begins with Christian and Taylor rushing inside to investigate while Ana waits helplessly outside.

Leila, Christian’s ex-sub is the suspect. She’s gone, it turns out. Maybe she came in, took a bath and dived out the window in true “Orange is the New Black: Season 2” style. But whatever, she’s not in the building. So Ana enters the flat and the two of them decide not to call the police.

Because they’re morons.

Christian decided to take Ana away somewhere and only return when the apartment is completely secure. Ana then assures him that it doesn’t matter if Leila has a gun, because her stepfather taught her how to shoot.

Great. The only thing that could make me hate this weepy, whiney, self-victimising, narcissistic, overly dependent, do-nothing, basic bitch more than I already do would be finding out that she’s a crazy, right-wing “our second amendment rights are more important than human life” nut job.

So don’t do it, E. L James.

While they’re driving in the getaway car, Ana decides that her ego needs stroking and that her low self-esteem is more important than learning facts about this person who may or may not wish her dead.

“I worry that, you know…that I’m not enough.”


Look, I’m not Miss. Confident. We all get plagued with self-doubt, we all feel worthless sometimes. Whenever I do, I write lists and make plans and try to find a social cause to give time and attention to.

Ana clings to her boyfriend and begs him to tell her she’s his whole world.

Gah, dependency is just sooooooo shexy.

After Christian assures her that his ability to function as a living, breathing human is only possible because of her existence in his life, they check into a hotel under false names and start having sex the minute the door is closed.

While they’re necking and undressing, Christian breathes her in and says,”You are Aphrodite, Anastasia.”

Uh….no. I’m happy for you, Christian, and Ima let you finish but–

Aphrodite was the fucking bomdiggity. She basically started the Trojan war by herself because she wanted an apple, she was open with her sexuality and a long-lasting representation of female empowerment and liberation and she didn’t like anyone telling her what to do.

Anastasia is not anywhere near Olympian. Stahp.

When she wakes up the next morning, Christian has called a doctor to come and make sure she is not, or will not become, pregnant. How charming! I love when the men in my life make decisions for me about my body and my reproductive choices. Thanks for asking, Christian!

Dr. Greene tells her that it’s unlikely that she’s with child, but always a possibility.

See, sex without condoms will do that, Ana. It gives his little swimmers a fighting chance at success.

When the doctor leaves, Ana and Christian both panic slightly at the possibility that she might be pregnant. I don’t blame them. Neither of them are fit to use sharp objects, let alone be parents. Christian drones on and on about how he’s not the loving kind, saying “I’m a husk of a man, I don’t have a heart.”

No but you have a wallet and that’s all that matters to Ana, apparently.

Christian takes Ana out to buy her a car. Because that’s what you do when you and your partner have no intellectual ties, no spiritual connection and no deep understanding of meaning and ethics; you buy them things so they’ll stay and shag you.

They go walking arm in arm along the waterfront, next to the marina and Ana sighs.

“So many boats.”

Thank you for continuing to bless us with your engaging and thought-provoking dialogue, Anastasia. It makes reading this turd of a novel so much better. Yes, Ana. Marinas have boats. They float on the water, you see. That’s why they’re better when they’re not on land.

Christian owns a boat, as it turns out. He takes Ana to see it. Notice the word “it”, I chose to use.

“She’s a great boat.”

No. Oh no. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I don’t want to harp on but one of my ABSOLUTE BIGGEST PET PEEVES IN THE WORLD IS WHEN PEOPLE REFER TO OBJECTs AS “SHE”!!!

It’s not okay. Associating the “she” pronoun with attainable objects like cars and boats further promote the idea that women are rewards and “things” to be bought and gained. It’s horrible. It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a culture that means when you turn a guy down at the bar when he offers to by you a drink, he instantly goes from being charming and sweet to bitter and dangerous. It’s happened to me many times and it’s because of shitty attitudes like this.

The boat is not a woman, Christian Grey. Fuck you, for the millionth time.

Christian gives Ana a tour of the boat and then lets her steer for a little while. They kiss, they schmooze, it’s all very “real housewives” and materialistic but then Ana’s “inner Goddess” pipes up.

“You’re going to have your work cut out for you. He’s not going to want this vanilla crap for ever.”

Fucking hell. Ana Steele has some serious, internalised misogyny going on. Yikes.

They, of course, have sex on the boat.

E. L James, you say this is a kinky book but all the positions are the same. They’re always doing it missionary. Where’s the waterfall? Where’s the flat iron? Or, my personal favourite, where’s the face-off? Why so boring all the time? Bad writing is unforgivable in itself, but claiming to be dirty when you only feature two sex positions is downright pathetic.

The chapter ends with an orgasm, dull and predictable as ever. Maybe one of them will say the wrong name soon and we might actually get some drama.

Until next time, shaders.


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