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Jealous Haters Book Club: The Mister chapter fourteen or, “The Return of Buster Hymen”

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I am so, so ill, and so, so full of every kind of OTC cold medicine you can safely mix (and some you can’t) that I was tempted to just make this entire recap, “Then they had sex.”

But it’s really, truly bad. As compellingly written as the terms and conditions of the warranty on your new refrigerator, as sexy as the cracked concrete floor of a franchised oil change garage, this is not something I can skip over. Oh no.

Especially not after the staggering generosity everyone showed yesterday and today. Sweet Jesus, I almost feel guilty. You guys literally funded next month’s rent! I cannot thank you enough. Even though I look like I’m auditioning for the role of Zombie Outbreak Patient #3 in a musical production of The Walking Dead, I’m gonna deliver. I’m gonna detonate all around you and start to move, really move. I’m gonna take you into this muted pastel room of pain with me. It will, however, be a short recap because the chapter is short and there’s really not a lot you can say about four pages of kissing.

Get on your masochist bikes. We’re going for a super painful ride.

So, Demelssia is like, oh, shit, I thought playing this piece for Moss would make him happy, but she was not prepared for Dead Brother Grief Fest 2019.

Three weeks is no time. No wonder he’s still grieving.

And she thinks about how her grandmother has been gone for a year and she’s still grieving, and I want to say, you know, I actually like this. I like that Demelssia acknowledges in her POV that grief isn’t something that just stops after the funeral. My baby brother died in 2000 and it fucked me up for life. We have a weird cultural attitude about grief and how long it’s supposed to last and oh, we’re malingering, we’re wallowing if it still bothers us down the road, but I gotta tell you if you’re lucky enough to never have experienced grief, it lasts forever. I’m so happy that James didn’t downplay it.

So, basically, Demelssia is like, I have to make him feel better, so she kisses him, and we go into Moss’s POV, where Demelssia tells him, “I’ve got you,” echoing the bazillion other times he’s said this to her.

I want to crush her to me and never let her go. I can’t remember the last person who consoled me in my hour of need.

Um.

Your sister-in-law?

Remember when you grief-fucked her?

Gradually, my grief recedes, leaving only hunger in its wake.

But not for food, wink wink nudge nudge.

I’ve been fighting my attraction to her since I saw her standing in my hallway holding that broom.

Really? Was that when you were kissing Demelssia in your laundry room or buying condoms with the intention to fuck her and throw her to the kidnappers?

She’s exposed my grief. My need. My lust. And I’m powerless to resist.

Oh, okay. Well, as long as you have no self-control, then.

I’m lost. Lost to her compassion, her courage, her innocence.

Because nobody likes a ruined sex trafficking victim, right?

So, they kiss more, then she pulls back and looks in his eyes, and she tells him she’s never even been kissed by anyone but him. They kiss again. Two pages of tedious kissing written with all the burning passion of a dental hygiene textbook:

I kiss her again, tempting her lips apart with my tongue, and this time I’m met with the tip of hers.

Then he grinds up on her and that gives her pause, so he asks if she wants him to stop and I have to check and make sure I have the right author’s book open on my Kindle.

“You’re beautiful. I want you.”

Her lips part as she inhales.

“I want to touch you. Everywhere,” I whisper. “With my hands. With my fingers. With my lips. And with my tongue.”

When you use Grammarly, there’s this thing that pops up and is like, “Whoa there, Pulitzer Prize Winner, but you have some really repetitive sentences going on and it’s monotonous as hell.” I mean, not in those exact words. But whatever software James is writing on should have that feature, and it should use those exact words.

So, Moss stops like every two seconds to ask if he’s going too fast, if she’s still into it, etc. and while I appreciate that James took at least some direction from the criticism lobbed at Fifty Shades of Grey, it begins to feel a little bit like a virginity fetish, or like we’re supposed to be super turned on by her inexperience, which always makes me a little bit…eurgh. I’ve written virgin heroines. My book that comes out next week (WHERE WE LAND, it’s out Tuesday, buy it) features one. But the emphasis put on Demelssia’s virginity and uncertainty in this scene make it really, really feel like she’s not ready to have sex at all, and that Moss gets off on that. For example, when she finally does make an assertive move:

She stills for a second, then grips my hair firmly, tugging hard, and kisses me with ardor–greedy and feverish.

“Easy,” I breathe. “Let’s take this slow.”

he is the one who steps things back and tries to return to a dynamic where she’s timid and hesitant. Why? After going on about how much he likes “willing” women in all the past chapters, when she’s finally enthusiastic about sexual contact with him, he adjusts the situation so that he can continue being unsure about whether or not she wants him.

Her moan is soft and husky as her head falls into the palm of my hand.

Shouldn’t have untied the green ribbon, I guess.

It’s music to my dick.

There is no photo. No gif. No witty reaction to capture the tremendous horror of this line.

All I can think of is “The Music of the Night”. I already hated that song. Now it’s worse. Somehow, without knowing the depths of her awesome, terrible power, E.L. James has made me hate The Phantom of The Opera even more than I already did.

There’s more gross virginity fetishizing in the guise of obtaining consent:

I cradle her face with both hands and brush her lips with my thumb. “Talk to me. Do you want to stop?”

and when she’s like, nah, let’s do this, he’s all:

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

She nods.

“Tell me, Alessia. I need to hear you say it.”

Okay, but she said it. She’s said it numerous times. At one point, she specifically asked him to kiss her. She straight up says during this exchange, “do not stop.”

Face shining with what I hope is lust and excitement, […]

Bro. If you don’t know, even after she has firmly, verbally established that she wants to have sex with you, you need to not be having sex with people because there is some issue here with understanding what constitutes consent.

Oh god, if we find out he raped Elizaline “by mistake” or some bullshit and that’s why he got kicked out of school, I’m going to set a junkyard on fire.

They go upstairs and he does more fetishizing of her childlike innocence:

She’s shy.

She’s innocent.

She’s stunning.

She ends up with her back against his chest while he kisses her neck and undoes her bra. Then he gets his hand down her enormous panties while she throws out a Zot and some other Albanian and he tells her to speak English.

I kiss that spot behind her ear,

You know. That one.

and slip my hand inside her pajamas and slide my fingers over her sex.

She’s shaved!

My very first thought was, “because the traffickers made them do it at the rest stop.” And it got immediately unsexy. Well, I mean. It was already unsexy. This just catapulted it into, “I, Jenny Trout, may never feel tingling in my genitals again,” territory. You’d think after what she told him about being forced to shower that he’d have the same thought and be like, oh man, this is wrong, I shouldn’t be doing this with this chick, she’s been through it. But of course, he doesn’t. He’s just thrilled that she’s completely bare down there, which makes the whole innocence angle even more troubling. I’m not saying, oh, people who like a bare vulva are pedophiles. That’s not where this is going. What I’m saying is, we’ve heard all about how innocent and untouched and totally unaware of everything having to do with sex she is and how much that arouses him, and then she’s sporting a bare pussy, something we tend to think of as grooming we do to be more sexually appealing. He’s getting this fantasy woman with a pornstar lack of pubes and an effortlessly perfect body, but he’s also getting the fantasy of “breaking in” a virgin.

You guys. It’s gross.

So, he starts playing with her clit:

“Yes,” I whisper, and continue stroking her. Teasing her. Arousing her. With my fingers.

Thanks for specifying. For a minute, I thought you might be using a garden hose.

Her legs start to tremble. And I tighten my arm around her. She’s close.

Does she know?

So, again, the fantasy of being the man who unlocks her sexuality entirely.

“I’ve got you,” I whisper, […]

Her orgasm is now on par with a total emotional meltdown over dead brothers and kidnappers.

She whimpers and suddenly cries out as her body slowly convulses,

How does one slowly convulse? I’d like to practice it the next time I seize.

and she comes apart in my arms.

I’m just imagining all her limbs dropping off and hitting the floor.

My jeans feel several sizes too small, and I want to rip off her pajamas and bury myself in her. But she needs time. I know this. I wish my cock understood.

Well, I wish my brain understood, so we’re in the same boat.

He takes his jeans off and gets into bed with her, and there’s more talk about how shy she is.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I ask.

I want her to get up, put her shirt on, and go, “You know what, Mister Maxim? Why don’t you come find me when you’re sure you want to do this.”

Then there’s more kissing. Just. So. Much. Kissing. I don’t mind characters kissing. But Jesus Christ, lady, there are only so many ways to describe tongues and mouths touching and you landed on precisely two and just kept running with those.

My fingers slip under her waistband and she pushes her sex into my hand. I have her. In the palm of my hand. I groan. She’s wet.

She’s ready.

Fuck.

Slowly, slowly, I ease my finger inside her.

She’s tight. And wet.

Hang on, now, is she wet? And is your hand somehow involved? I’m so used to having things repeated three times that I just can’t tell if we only hear about them twice.

“Time to say good-bye to these,” I murmur against her belly.

And then he rips out her intestines.

Nah, he’s talking about her pants. But that doesn’t come up until after more of Demelssia’s dialogue.

Tasting her skin, I skim my lips down her throat to her gold cross. I twirl it with my tongue, enjoying the taste, […]

Do you also enjoy chewing on tinfoil, Moss?

There’s more tit play (there was some before, as well), more Zots, and hey, let’s get a vaginal weather report:

Yes.

She’s wet. Still.

It’s been like maybe three minutes.

So, here’s the sequence of this sex scene so far:

  • Kissing
  • Partial undressing
  • Fingering
  • Orgasm
  • Kissing
  • Partial undressing
  • Nipple play
  • Fingering
  • Partial undressing
  • Nipple play
  • Fingering
  • Orgasm

It’s so. Fucking. Boring. It’s just the same thing, over and over.

Finally, it’s time for the penis in vagina part.

Reaching for a condom, trying to keep my body in check, I whisper, “Are you ready? It’ll be quick.”

Too late.

He asks her one more time if she wants to have sex with him, then he almost unmans himself just putting on the condom.

Slowly. Slowly. Slowly, I sink into her.

See, here I know that he’s doing it slowly because it’s stated three times.

Sadly, though she does cry out, we don’t get to hear his dick turn her into a pirate the way Christian’s did to Ana.

[…]I take her at her word and begin to move. Into her.

Oh, I thought you meant like, to Scotland.

Once. Twice. Thrice. Again. And again.

Whoa. Whoa. That’s five times. Slow down. Some of us didn’t go to expensive, Albanian-capital-teaching schools.

So, he’s thinking about how he doesn’t want to come yet, and she’s writhing under him and begging him to do more.

I move once, twice…a third time,

This is the same page as when he moved once, twice, thrice. We’re talking, a few short paragraphs apart.

Anyway, she has a screaming orgasm with zero clitoral stimulation and:

I come. Forcefully. Loudly. And calling out her name.

IT’S OVER NOW, THE MUSIC OF MY DICK!

via GIPHY

[IMG: gif of the Phantom of the Opera clutching his scarred up head and crying]

 

My impression so far: Not great. The “sexy” writing swings from cringeworthy to boring to repetitive, sometimes blending all those elements into a single sentence. The first sex scene in the book, the one with the nameless harlot or whatever, is hotter than this, and it didn’t even get to the penetration. Maybe I just can’t get aroused by a hero who’s so turned on by the heroine’s lack of experience and knowledge. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been less than twenty-four hours since she was running away down his fire escape and sobbing in his car about how she was almost sold as a sex slave.

I’m clearly not the target audience here. I don’t know who is, but I probably don’t want to know.

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98 Comments

  1. Jaycie
    Jaycie

    Slowly
    Wetly
    Did I mention slowly?
    One thrust
    Two thrusts
    Red thrust and a blue thrust
    Let me blow your mind
    As we start to bump and grind
    In a scene that fills our blogger up with squick
    Make facepalms at the music of my dick!

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Alice Davis
      Alice Davis

      I nearly spit out my Coke holy shit this was good.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Larissa
      Larissa

      This. Is. Amazing.

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
    • Perfidiousness
      Perfidiousness

      I hate you so much for doing this

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • MyDog'sPA
      MyDog'sPA

      Truly beautamous! Couldn’t have done it better. And I couldn’t reply until I cleaned the coffee out of my nose. Great job!

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • shel
      shel

      That is a better sex scene that what’s in the book.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Angel
      Angel

      So basically Beneath a Moonless Sky. Makes sense.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Transpacific visitor
      Transpacific visitor

      It scans! It scans perfectly!

      You are a God(ess?) among us Jaycie 😀

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
  2. Sarah Peach
    Sarah Peach

    “And then he rips out her intestines” actually made me scream with laughter. Bravo, madam.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jaden Wilkes
      Jaden Wilkes

      Same! I tried to explain to my husband why I was cackling so loudly on the couch next to him, but where do I even start?

      May 8, 2019
      |Reply
      • Cherry
        Cherry

        I’ve just started reading lines out loud to my boyfriend for this exact reason.

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
    • triflepillow
      triflepillow

      I so need to go and watch me some Alien(s) as a palate cleanser after all that…

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • I honked with laughter in an open plan office. Had to play it off like a work email was amusing >.>

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Tammi
      Tammi

      Me too. I’m cackling like a loon over here, and REALLY glad I decided to work from home today.

      May 10, 2019
      |Reply
      • Expecting rain
        Expecting rain

        I am at work and I think I gave myself an aneurism trying to hold back the laughter.

        May 10, 2019
        |Reply
    • Nim
      Nim

      Same! And that’s saying a lot for me right now since I’ve been in such a depressive funk. Really appreciating these recaps!

      June 7, 2019
      |Reply
  3. Tami Marie Alexander
    Tami Marie Alexander

    Okay. I may have mentioned this before — or not — but my mother once told me that when she was married to my father (the guy who raped his 8-year-old sister when he was 16, and then raped and molested his own daughters, one who was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and diagnosed as autistic), he kept urging her to shave her pussy so she would “look like a little girl.” At the time, Mom said she thought he was joking and didn’t do it. She never knew what he had done to his sister. She did not know what he was doing to me, either (like most child abusers, he kept me silent with fear). But she remembered his odd grooming requests after I broke down and told her what he had done to me between the ages of 7-12 (my parents divorced when I was 11 and he managed to get custody of me and my younger sister; at 14, he sent me to live with Mom — probably because I was too old for him, by then — after he remarried and they were expecting their first child, the autistic half-sister he would abuse later). Unfortunately, Michigan has this lovely statute of limitations and by the time I tried to file suit against him, it was too late. Now, I just keep waiting for Karma to catch up to him.

    But with that said…a man who gets aroused by women who look like little girls, who can wear children’s clothing (boys’ hand-me-downs) and big cotton panties, who are “shy” and “innocent” and virginal, and he nearly blows his load the moment he finds out she’s got a hairless coochie? That right there is the putrid icing on the pedophilia cake. Like you, I am not shaming the shaving crowd — but when used in context with all the other descriptions of the character? *shudder* No. No, no, and go fuck yourself with Lucille, EL James, you sick bitch, because — NO. This reveal about Alessia just turned my stomach a million times over and confirmed what I have been saying for several chapters: that James is not only a misogynist, in this book she’s giving off some serious pedo vibes. Someone, please check her computer for child porn files, because this is just GROSS.

    And now, I need to go and take a nice, scalding-hot shower and wash with lye. After I get my nausea to recede.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • triflepillow
      triflepillow

      With all that mounting evidence, the alleged “author’s” earlier comment about Demelssia’s alleged “curves” seems more and more like an afterthought, indeed :-P.

      Also, fingers crossed for Karma to get a move on, because seriously…

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Rachel
      Rachel

      I am so sorry for what you’ve endured.

      May 10, 2019
      |Reply
      • Tami Marie Alexander
        Tami Marie Alexander

        Rachel, what did not kill me made me stronger, and a voice to speak out about these things so I could help others who might be in the same situation. I’ve been through therapy (and encourage others who haven’t to do the same) to address it, and that’s where I was diagnosed with PTSD. I appreciate your sentiment, but don’t worry — I’m dealing with it. 🙂

        May 12, 2019
        |Reply
        • Kimberley
          Kimberley

          You are very brave!!!! Kudos to you!!!!!

          May 14, 2019
          |Reply
  4. ” ‘Her moan is soft and husky as her head falls into the palm of my hand.’
    Shouldn’t have untied the green ribbon, I guess.”

    That was perfection. The fact that she “came apart” at his touch later only made the visuals better. Sew that bitch back together and slowly. slowly. slowly. make dick music to her, Polarkus!

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Mel
      Mel

      I laughed more than I should have at that line. It made up for the rest of the chapter being full of the most unpleasant and boring sex scene ever written.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
  5. “I want to say, you know, I actually like this. I like that Demelssia acknowledges in her POV that grief isn’t something that just stops after the funeral. My baby brother died in 2000 and it fucked me up for life. We have a weird cultural attitude about grief and how long it’s supposed to last and oh, we’re malingering, we’re wallowing if it still bothers us down the road, but I gotta tell you if you’re lucky enough to never have experienced grief, it lasts forever. I’m so happy that James didn’t downplay it.”

    Do you know, I hate Eel all the more for getting some things just a little bit right in this horrible wankfest.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
  6. Raven
    Raven

    I would be much more sympathetic with Moss’s hesitation in the sex scene if it were previously established that he had something like Social Anxiety Disorder or something. I have that, and I’m almost entirely incapable of taking the lead with regards to physical stuff b/c I’m lowkey convinced that everyone, even people I that I know love me, actually hate me.

    May 8, 2019
    |Reply
    • Michael
      Michael

      Same here! I actually thought that’s what Eel was doing earlier in the book by mentioning the Thames so often, like looking at the water calms him (I do something similar, but with chocolate). Or maybe it was going to play into the novel somehow, like, I don’t know, he later nearly drowns in the Thames and so his therapeutic aide suddenly causes more anxiety. But, no. No depth, no complexity, nothing. I shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed, but somehow I was.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      I assumed that him asking for her consent over and over was because she’s a victim of sex trafficking. However, this should have been conveyed to the audience either via his POV or outloud to Demelessia. Otherwise it just seems weird

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Rachel
        Rachel

        I have a feeling that Maxim asking Alessia for consent every five seconds is Eel’s halfassed response to the criticisms of the rapey undertones in FSoG.

        May 10, 2019
        |Reply
  7. Zev J
    Zev J

    A+ reference to the “Jenny’s ribbon” story. I couldn’t stop laughing at all the shade thrown at Phantom, and I’m still a fan of it.
    EL James…recycles her characters and it’s really, really annoying. I spotted the Elliot expy in here, and Christian and Ana, obviously…I’m wondering when a Mia expy will show up. And I agree with the comments suggesting to check EL’s Internet history. Seriously, she’s a middle aged woman who wrote a book insisting it was okay for middle aged women to go after teenage boys, and be so upset when the teen grows up and finds someone closer to his own age. Now this. She’s gross in so many–I just had a horrible realization of what her gay romance is likely going to look like. NO, EL JAMES, NO.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Maria
      Maria

      “She’s gross in so many–I just had a horrible realization of what her gay romance is likely going to look like. NO, EL JAMES, NO.”

      no no please no i don’t want to see a future where e.l james has written some awful “call me by your name” fanfic

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Tami Marie Alexander
      Tami Marie Alexander

      Zev, I’m also worried. If she sticks to her formula, James will have her gay Dom preying on a younger man whom she will infantilize, which calls back to the “all gays are child molesters” negative stereotype the LGBT community has fought so hard to evade. As I’ve said before, we do not need her books to set our community back any further than the current administration has done.

      May 12, 2019
      |Reply
  8. Debbie
    Debbie

    ““Time to say good-bye to these,” I murmur against her belly.

    And then he rips out her intestines.”

    Well this had me laughing out loud on a busy commuter train at 6.30am. Thank you for brightening my morning, Jenny.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
  9. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    I seriously don’t know what people find compelling about James’ books.

    Ignoring all the red flags? Fine, you’re allowed to do that. Critical reading isn’t a must. But if you’re just there for the romance: where is it? They’ve barely talked and he, clearly, just wants to plough her. Oh, you’re just there for the sex; those are the good bits. They’re not, though? The sex is super boring and copy-pasted into the “narrative”.

    The only people I can think of who’d like this book are ardent fans of the Thames and even they will eventually be disappointed, because there hasn’t been a mention of their beloved river for a few chapters now.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      I think it appeals to the evangelical crowd (which Jenny touched on the other day). Women who are treated like breed animals by husbands who don’t care about their pleasure. They’ve never experienced good sex. This is good sex to them.

      That’s why the most vanilla “kink” there is is so scandalizing to them.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Bookjunk
        Bookjunk

        That makes sense, sort of. (I mean, I’m a 30+ virgin and even I know that none of what James is dishing up is good sex.) And now I feel bad about the sex lives of evangelical wives with crap husbands.

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • J.
          J.

          I’ve become curious enough to peruse the comments and youtube videos praising Eel’s work to figure out who these people are. It honest to god is a lot of religious mid-western housewives who had no idea one could have sex in any position other than missionary.

          The rest seem to be women who have never read a book (so, so, many reviews begin by admitting this) or more importantly thought it wasn’t possible for anyone to read a book for enjoyment. (Reading to them was solely a form of corporal punishment enforced by the education system you see.) Which makes a lot of sense because if you have no basis for comparison everything is good. So naturally they all think they’ve hit the erotica jackpot. And these are the ones that scare me the most
          because deep down in my heart of hearts I know these people will never read anything else. They’ll continue to sing praises of how Jame’s books were the best ones they’ve ever witnessed and die of old age while clutching an ancient copy of fifty shades to their frail withered bosoms.

          May 9, 2019
          |Reply
        • Heidi Aphrodite
          Heidi Aphrodite

          * raises hand * me too! On both counts!

          May 11, 2019
          |Reply
          • Bookjunk
            Bookjunk

            Yay! Virgins unite! 🙂

            May 11, 2019
    • Fans also buy into traditional gender roles and conventions (which fits in 100% with the evangelical thing). I’ve had multiple fans of the book tell me that I “don’t understand REAL romance/passion” because “EVERY woman wants a man who will throw her up against the wall and not take no for an answer” because that “is so hot!”

      As an abuse survivor? No. No, it is not “so hot.”

      That “he could pick me up and throw me around” idea of “manliness” along with him being a billionaire who pays all your bills is what they find appealing, the “faaaaantasy!”. But like the author of the blog Romance Novels for Feminists once said to me, “If it’s all about ‘women’s fantasy,’ where are the WOMEN BILLIONAIRE CEOs?!”

      They think the only ways to feel protected and valued as a woman is if he has all the economic power and pays for everything so you don’t have to work, and if he could physically overwhelm you… but because he lurves you, he won’t “take it too far” or hurt you *too* much, or if he does, he is really sorry and learns not to do it again.

      So healthy. So empowering!

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        I’m not averse to the throw me against the wall trope. But if he won’t take no for an answer, then that’s rape and not just rough, fun and consensual sex. HUGE difference.

        I’ve been reading a lot about the purity movement and that’s crossed over into finding more and more things about the fundie/Quiverfull underbelly. It’s a gross, scary, horrible place. If you’ve never heard of Michael and Debi Pearl, it’s worth looking them up just to see what’s actually going on. The scary thing is these are the people behind the president and they really are trying to take over and kind of succeeding.

        Women in that world exist only to have babies and serve men and literally they are not allowed to say no to sex (of course, every marriage is different and not all men even in those circles is evil, but that’s the ideal).

        This is an excellent blog on the subject:

        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/

        A couple specific series she did:

        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/12/created-to-be-his-help-meet-a-compilation-of-posts.html

        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2011/07/sex-miseducation.html

        And I read a book last year called “Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free” by Linda Kay Klein that was eye-opening. I highly recommend it.

        And somewhat on the subject, but not specifically about the sexual stuff is “Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity” by Bruce Bawer. Now, that author has since apparently been body-snatched and turned into an alt-right Trumpster, but that book still stands as worthwhile and insightful. I’m not sure what happened to him since, though. I was disappointed when I found out.

        It’s funny because my fundie friend was absolutely hateful toward 50 because it was “immoral.” Like, I support hating the book, but for the right reasons! lol So it’s funny to me that the kind of women who seem to go ga-ga over it are often (not always) the uber-evangelicals. They either love it or hate it, I guess.

        Either way, I think that you can only find it THAT exciting and sexy of you’ve had a relatively disappointing sex life.

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        “I’ve had multiple fans of the book tell me that I “don’t understand REAL romance/passion” because “EVERY woman wants a man who will throw her up against the wall and not take no for an answer” because that “is so hot!””

        I do find that throw me up against a wall and not take no for an answer thing hot, when it’s in a long standing relationship with a guy who knows my non-verbal signs. If I’m not in the mood it’s pretty clear. But as a first time, or even early in a relationship? OH HELL NO! That sort of “roughness” is only sexy in an established, loving relationship, where we’ve discussed it.

        My last guy and I would do that sort of thing, after texting each other all day about how it was going to play out. We both agreed to what was going to happen but holy hell was it hot when I opened the door to him and he pushed me back, shutting the door and pushing me up against the wall. Because he knew I wanted it, because we’d discussed it. If some guy tried to do that to me on the first date I’d be calling the forking cops.

        I also understand something Eel clearly doesn’t. Women aren’t actually interchangeable. Just because I like it a bit rough doesn’t mean all women do. Hell, I don’t even like it with all the men I’ve been with. (I might not be blonde, but I’ve had sex…with more than one man!, so I’d totally be a villainess in an Eel book, and I’m proud of it!) I’ve only done rough stuff with one guy, because I trusted him, because he’d earned my trust. (and not by being hot and rich and having every female in his orbit want him. I wouldn’t’ want a guy like that. Too much work.)

        “but because he lurves you, he won’t “take it too far” or hurt you *too* much, or if he does, he is really sorry and learns not to do it again.” Which is pretty much how every abusive relationship goes.

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • That’s it *exactly*. That’s what I’ve been blogging about and discussing for ages. 1) What works in a framework of trust and consent doesn’t just work all the time (and Christian and Ana and many of these other BillionaireDomAlpha couples do not have a framework of trust and consent). 2) NOT ALL WOMEN FIND THE SAME THINGS SEXY AND THAT’S OKAY! GOD DAMN.

          Just because one woman likes XYZ and another woman doesn’t care for XYZ also doesn’t mean that the woman who doesn’t care for XYZ is “kink-shaming” the one who does by… not liking it.

          I’m so goddamned sick of women being told that abuse red flags and lack of power is “sexy,” and if they don’t like it, they’re judging and kink-shaming all other women and ruining the entire Romance genre industry.

          May 9, 2019
          |Reply
        • Bookjunk
          Bookjunk

          Exactly! “man throws woman up against the wall” CAN be sexy. Just not with every man and every woman in every situation. But let’s be honest here, what mostly fucks up this potentially hot trope, is that it’s in the hands of James. And she seems to not think about what she puts on paper, so that it comes across as completely different from what she intended, all the effing time.

          May 10, 2019
          |Reply
      • Sigyn
        Sigyn

        Oh word. I had the option to leave my job and move in with a guy who inherited a house and some money in a distant city. I chose not to because my job has been more stable than my relationship with that person, and I don’t want to risk being out on my ass in the middle of a strange, remote town if we got into a really bad fight. To me, having income of my own and time & money to work on personal projects without the opinion of a man I’m fucking is much more empowering.

        May 10, 2019
        |Reply
        • Sigyn, you clearly don’t understand romance and passion and love and trust and redemption.

          May 10, 2019
          |Reply
  10. Leebeenz
    Leebeenz

    Once again you made me laugh out loud. Jenny, you are the best.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
  11. Ellen
    Ellen

    I feel the need to add, wet != consent, and a lot of the focus on that comes across (through the recap because I’m not reading the actual book) a lot like this is a part of Eel’s attempt to make the consent clearer in this book.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • triflepillow
      triflepillow

      Yeeeeah, only that’s a physiological reaction that can have nothing to do with consenting to an act and just be tied to its mechanics. I mean, you can be wet while still consciously not wanting the stimulation that’s bringing it about :-P.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        Wet=consent has been used by rapists as a defense at trial regularly over the years.

        Wet absolutely does not mean consent.

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Bookjunk
          Bookjunk

          Apparently ‘!=’ means ‘not equal to’. (I did not know that. I looked it up just now.) So, we’re all arguing the same point here: wet does not equal consent.

          May 9, 2019
          |Reply
          • Anon
            Anon

            Oops! lol I don’t think I even noticed the “!”. Sorry.

            May 10, 2019
  12. bewalsh7
    bewalsh7

    ok, 2 things.

    First, I’m confused by the line

    ““Time to say good-bye to these,” I murmur against her belly.”

    because wasn’t he standing behind her? How did his mouth get near her belly? Or is that just in the the sections not in the recap?

    Second, this is for English people out there, how do you pronounce Trevethick? I keep saying “Trev-thick”, but it’s super awkward to say and I have a feeling that’s not correct.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Rebecca
      Rebecca

      Taking a guess from other British pronunciations, Truh-VETH-ick. But because James is out of touch with everything, including her own damn culture, I’m certain she’s going for something like TRE-VEE-THICK.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Yeah, he’s clearly more “ick” than “THICK” but we all know what Eel thinks he’s supposed to be.

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
  13. Gretel
    Gretel

    So, there’s a German website for fans of Japanese culture and media. One of the features of the site is that you can write text-based RPGs. Some like to show off their characters and there was one writer who described the shape, color, size, and attractiveness of the characters’ genitalia.

    And I’m not joking here, she described the clean shaven, bleached, and rose petal silky butthole of the heroine to then use this exact (translated) expression for the shaved vagina: baby pussy.
    Hairles, smooth, no inner labia peaking, perfectly small and tight little baby pussy.

    And by all that is holy, I WISHED I was joking. I’ve never laughed and cringed so hard while being creeped out at the same time. Just imagine the vagina of an adult woman being described in detail and called “baby pussy”.

    Mind you, she had the same eye for detail when describing her brother’s penis and balls. But this description didn’t use infantilizing language. It was ridiculous and funny, but not creepy.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • GS
      GS

      Animexx veteran fistbump? I am not surprised.

      May 11, 2019
      |Reply
  14. merry
    merry

    Okay, with this book EL James managed up the ante and write a female protagonist, who isn’t unlikable!
    Maybe at some point in the future she’ll write a romantic lead that will not be unlikable either.
    Her progress is slow though.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Bookjunk
      Bookjunk

      You’re right that Demelssia isn’t unsympathetic like Ana, but I’m guessing that’s just because we spent so little time inside her head (where most of Ana’s douchiness was on display) and there’s simply so little ‘there’ there. Demelssia is the Switzerland of characters: neutral.

      I bet once we spent some more time inside her head and she meets other female characters (Caroline! Let the slutshaming commence!) she’ll be just as unlikeable as Ana.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Imagine how much we might like EL James’s characters if she didn’t write them at all!

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
    • Casey
      Casey

      She’s not *un*likable, but I don’t especially find her likable either. She’s just sort of . . . a doll that Moss drags through scenes and sets up wherever he wants her. She’s less of a character than a list of character traits that could be really interesting if they were attached to an actual personality.

      Ana was a despicable person, but at least she was a *person*. Maybe I’m remembering 50 with rose-tinted glasses, but I kinda miss Ana.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • Jules
        Jules

        If they do make this a movie they really could just use a blow up doll to play Dimzelda. She has no personality at all. She really is just a doll for Moss to play with and get off on. UGH. Why does Eel hate women so much? Isn’t she one?

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
      • Lucy
        Lucy

        Definitely. As unpleasant as it was, at least Ana had a personality. Alessia is a cardboard cutout.

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
  15. Mr. Fell
    Mr. Fell

    >> “It’ll be over quick”

    Maxim is lucky Alessia apparently knows nothing so she didn’t accidentally start laughing in his face after this.

    The sex was already incredibly boring and it just made me feel for Alessia in a “JUST LET HER HAVE SEX ALREADY” way.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
  16. Maria
    Maria

    i don’t write smut and every time i’ve tried it just hasn’t worked, but i have *read* much better sex online for free. el james seems to have a no middle sliders policy where she’s either writing the most boring or the most infuriating shit

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
  17. Mel
    Mel

    I’ll give Eel this, at least she didn’t have her hero slam into the virgin vag this time. So she learned about two things from her criticisms, I guess. She still managed to make this unsettling and boring though.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Yeah, I’ll take “Slowly. Slowly. Slowly” over him “ripping through” her or whatever it was that Christian did. *shudder*

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Tashi
      Tashi

      This makes me think of Faleena Hopkins, who thinks the only way she can write her male protags are as unlikeable assholes. Watch, when fans complain the sex is too plain/boring, James is going to use that as justification why she needs to write her sex scenes bordering on rape.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
  18. Alice
    Alice

    Confused by the shaving… if she did it at the stop when the traffickers told them to wash, shouldn’t it have started to grow again? It’s been at least a couple of weeks.
    Also if she did it I suppose the trafficker specifically told the women to shave and in that case… Why would there be women not believing Alesia when she says she heard them in English talking about the sex trafficking? Like guys telling you to shave there wasn’t a red flag already?
    It also means that everytime she masturbated before, she could feel the smooth skin she had because of the sex trafficking and how did that not stop her I have no idea.
    The whole thing doesn’t make sense. At this point it’s almost most likely that she did it on her own a few days ago but ehhhhhhhh

    I hate how eljames tries to make their love meaningful not by actually showing them building something strong but by making all the other characters awful. Moss is all like “no one has ever been there like this for me before” just because she kisses him when he is crying? Wasn’t your brother a great man? What kind of friends do you have? He says he is amazed by alesia’s compassion but I haven’t seen it at all. Same with Alesia who falls for him basically because he is not abusive and therefore great? Basic human decency is loaded as extraordinary in these characters!
    I would so prefer if his friends were complex but likable characters. I want Caroline’s pain to be taken seriously, to have her still try to be there for Moss in her own grief, hell I’d even love to see her becoming friends with Alessia. His two others friends are given backgrounds that should make them empathize to the situation (one’s father was an immigrant, the other knows trauma and ptsd) but they are just here to be worse than moss just to make him seem like a great man.

    Also I feel the pov should have been hers?

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if DimZelda just can’t grow hair down there because she is that pure and innocent. Watch, now that her secret garden has been watered by Moss Poldick’s magical juices, those pubes are going to grow like weeds. Maybe he should buy her a “thanks for the sex” razor next chapter. Just in case.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Riea
      Riea

      I just thought that maybe she just shaves her vag on a regular.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
      • bewalsh7
        bewalsh7

        that doesn’t jive with someone who is supposed to be so innocent and pure and virginal and naive, etc etc

        May 9, 2019
        |Reply
        • Xebi
          Xebi

          I don’t really see why not. It depends on why she does it. Maybe she finds it more comfortable. Like, I shave under my arms even in winter when nobody’s going to see, because I don’t like the sensation of hair there.

          The issue I have is, and I could be wrong here, I’ve lost track of time a bit, but how long has it been since she would have had an opportunity to shave? She would at least be a little bit…sandpapery Down There.

          May 9, 2019
          |Reply
          • J.
            J.

            But remember, she’s from a backward medieval country like Albania! They don’t have credit cards! And trash floods the streets! Are we sure she knows what a razor is? Do they have razors in Albania?? James didn’t say so I don’t know if they do! She is the expert an Albania after all. Her husband makes soup!

            May 9, 2019
          • Alice
            Alice

            It’s true that every woman will deal with it differently. Also culture can have an impact on it I think? But as someone else pointed out, it is weird to have a character who has no money to buy one piece of clothing of her own do it. If we were in her point of view and if we saw that it was something she prefered, that she kept shaving after arriving in London because it actually made her feel in control of her body that would be interesting and deepen the character! As it is, it’s only here to turn on Moss…

            May 10, 2019
  19. Lucy
    Lucy

    So Alessia, in spite of having a job, can’t even afford a cheap pair of pyjamas at a thrift store (you’d also think she’d get hand me downs from her female employers since it’s mentioned she works for an old woman at one point) but… she buys razors and cream for something as frivolous as shaving her ladyparts?? Again, this character is a complete mass of contradictions.
    And the observation on virgin heroines is spot on: as a bit of a late bloomer myself, I think it’s refreshing to be reminded that not everyone loses their virginity in their teens or has accumulated a ton of sexual experiences by the time they are in their twenties, but why does it have to be treated in such a fetishized way? Inexperience in sex means just that, it doesn’t stop you from being potentially experienced in plenty of other contexts, nor does it automatically make you childish and naive.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • MayaB
      MayaB

      “Inexperience in sex means just that, it doesn’t stop you from being potentially experienced in plenty of other contexts, nor does it automatically make you childish and naive.”
      I was a late bloomer myself, so I can say from experience that virgin != absolutely oblivious about all things sex. Plus Alessia has already masturbated so she’s not the purest of flowers either (and I’m not saying this as a bad thing).

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
    • Monique
      Monique

      Yes! The previous chapters described her masterbating, so it’s not like she is a purity person. Girl knows about clitoral stimulation.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
  20. Anon
    Anon

    I’m happy we could help you with your rent. I wouldn’t have been upset if you had to skip a day or two to recover.

    Speaking of … have you thought of compiling some bits and pieces of your blog into a kind of essay/memoir and shopping it around? You already have an audience. Might be worth a try. Or even writing some new humorous memoir-like material?

    “… kisses me with ardor–greedy and feverish.”

    Wut?

    Her virginity and sudden NEED to have sex just isn’t coming across realistically here, especially with all the fear. The characters have zero chemistry, have barely spoken and she’s this super innocent thing who falls into bed with him like she’s been sexing for a decade. It’s so weird and disturbing. I’m pretty sure this is worse than 50.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Mr. Fell
      Mr. Fell

      Forgetting the horrible sex-trafficking background (just like EL James did!) it’s not that weird? Her virginity just means that she hasn’t had sex, not that the does not want to. Her “innocence” is more about her not having a fucking clue about anything ever, but she clearly gets turned on and horny and he’s… There and willing.

      May 11, 2019
      |Reply
  21. Rachel
    Rachel

    I’m not sure which creeps me out more; the subtle pedophilia vibes, the fact that this sex scene takes place almost right after Alessia breaks down about being sex trafficked, or the fact that this is a sex scene between a wealthy employer and his dirt poor maid who speaks so little English that she didn’t know how to say “truck.”

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Agent_Z
      Agent_Z

      Said dirt poor maid also being a human trafficking victim who is terrified of men.

      May 13, 2019
      |Reply
  22. Liza
    Liza

    “I want to crush her to me”
    What?

    He tells her to speak English? Ex-fucking-cuse me. Idk why that pisses me off so very much.

    I’m struggling with EL’s understanding of how the sex works. Her heroines always orgasm multiple times in response to minimal stimulation. I mean, I guess we write what we know, right? If this is EL’s sex life, more freaking power to her. But that’s not the experience of many women. I just can’t get turned on by a woman who orgasms at the slightest touch.

    Also, every time I read that he touches her sex, I just laughed. How is that a sexy description? I don’t really read erotica, so maybe that’s a common phrase, but it just seems so silly and nondescript. What actual named body parts are you’re touching, man?

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jules
      Jules

      “He tells her to speak English? Ex-fucking-cuse me. Idk why that pisses me off so very much.”

      Oh, that pissed me the hell off too. Because it shows he doesn’t give a rats ass about her or her wants or needs. He needs to hear her say the words HE wants to hear.

      The greatest thing about sex, for me anyway, is losing yourself in the moment. If I’m lost in the moment, I’m not going to start google translating in my head because the guy I’m with is a selfish prick. I’m going to shout out in my native language and the guy better realize that it means he’s doing something right because I’m no longer thinking, just reacting.

      It truly showed how horrible this guy is. Eel has the worst taste in men.

      May 9, 2019
      |Reply
  23. Xebi
    Xebi

    Jenny, for someone who feels poorly this is a brilliant recap. Doing a show like yours must really take it out of you. Hope you feel better soon.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
  24. Karin
    Karin

    The music to my dick part just baffles me. It takes my mind to weird places. Especially because I interpreted it as if he made music with his dick? (Non native English speaker here in a semi-permanent exhausted state because of 7 month old baby who thinks sleep is something you can only do in the arms of mom. Needless to say, mistakes are made, this is just one of the more hilarious ones).

    Like, wondering what colour the music to/of his dick would have in Demelssias mind. (Probably some crusty cum yellow)
    Or, if she also has music to her cunt and it would become a duet? And what happens during an orgie? Would it be like the sound of one rubber chicken, which magically transforms when you hear multiple at once? (See this YouTube movie. It fills me with glee everytime. https://youtu.be/5Pd8Kbv6lEE )

    And then I remembered this: https://youtu.be/jHxqdhux_TU
    Make sure to select English subtitles. It seems mister cock-for-ears could learn something from this.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      “Music to my ears” is a common saying. I don’t know about the UK, but it is in the US and probably there, too.

      It just means someone said something that you really liked and that was just the thing you wanted. So, “music to my dick” would basically be what she did or said made his penis very happy.

      It’s still gross and weird, though.

      May 10, 2019
      |Reply
  25. Maureen
    Maureen

    “IT’S OVER NOW, THE MUSIC OF MY DICK!”

    JENNY! I was at work! I couldn’t laugh at this as hard as it deserved!

    I know it’s not your fault I was reading this at work, but now I’m doomed to find this much funnier than I otherwise would because I couldn’t have my full reaction. You may have forever ruined Phantom of the Opera for me.

    Also, um, Alessia’s a virgin, right? Maybe, if EL is so determined to focus on that, it would make sense to do this chapter from her perspective since she’s the one experiencing something for the first time? No? Only focus on the dick? Ok, I guess Maxim finally blowing a wad is more important.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
    • Perlite
      Perlite

      Right? It’s like what everyone’s said before about Eel not knowing when to switch POVs. We’ve heard about Maxim have sex, what, five times already? Is THIS instant suddenly more important than the others because it’s “true love”? Like, if she was so disinterested in the female lead’s agency why insert her POV at all? Oh, guess we wouldn’t know how hot Maxim was.
      It’s like the Thames. How will we know unless she mentions it EVERY OTHER chapter?

      May 10, 2019
      |Reply
  26. Sigyn
    Sigyn

    Oh dear. I hope you feel better soon! And please be safe with your medicines.

    “Get on your masochist bikes.” I would, but he turned me down

    Thank you for wordsing the words about the virginity fetish!!! I was always bothered by that but I never understood why!!!

    “Thanks for specifying. For a minute, I thought you might be using a garden hose.”
    1. Some people are into that lol
    2. I’ve seen dirty talk that had “Lick it with your tongue” and thought pretty much the same thing.

    May 9, 2019
    |Reply
  27. Tammi
    Tammi

    “Shouldn’t have untied the green ribbon, I guess.”

    That’s it; order my coffin.

    May 10, 2019
    |Reply
  28. As bad as this chapter undoubtedly was, this recap made me laugh the most of all of them sk far!
    Somehow what pissed me off the most was him telling her to speak English in the throes of passion. Wtf?! What a weird thing to do.

    May 10, 2019
    |Reply
  29. Stormy
    Stormy

    I know that when I have sex with someone, I hope against hope that they’re so into it and swept away in the moment that they’re literally counting out their movements in their head. SWOON.

    May 10, 2019
    |Reply
  30. Vivacia K. Ahwen
    Vivacia K. Ahwen

    Did Lionel Richie’s “Once, twice, three times a lady” start playing in anyone else’ head whilst reading this recap?

    May 10, 2019
    |Reply
  31. Chip Otle
    Chip Otle

    Just a minute, I need to install the new sandpaper seat on my masochist bike.

    May 11, 2019
    |Reply
  32. Alisha
    Alisha

    I laughed so hard at the ribbon line I scared my poor dog!

    May 11, 2019
    |Reply
  33. Jenn H
    Jenn H

    Cracked.com has run their own review. Oh gods it gets even worse, Alessia’s fiance shows up, and Maxim ends up going to Albania and meeting her family…

    May 12, 2019
    |Reply
  34. Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)

    This book is so gross!

    One of my favorite books ever is a M/M romance where one guy is a virgin who’d been the victim of an attempted date rape. Other MC knows something happened because MC 1 is skittish and flinches when things get too heated. When MC1 says he’s ready for sex sex, MC2 is freaked out because he wants to, but what if he does the wrong thing or hurts him? Or what if he doesn’t make it perfect and MC1 hates sex forever and it’s all his fault? After asking several times if MC1 is okay and what he wants, MC1 says that he wants MC2 to show some enthusiasm and quit asking if he’s okay. It was so sweet after a long, slow burn and there was almost no description of the sex, which was grinding without penetration, because the emotions were the important part. And I’m sure Eel would say it wasn’t “real sex.”

    I’m guessing Eel has never shaved. The hair grows back. I do hair removal once or twice a month and the skin gets bumpy and itchy if I don’t treat it properly. If she shaved at a truck stop even with cream, she’d probably look like she had a rash from scratching at it as the hair grows back. And if she’d never shaved herself before, I can’t imagine she doesn’t have cuts somewhere and blood on her one pair of granny panties. Gross this book is so gross.

    May 14, 2019
    |Reply

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