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50 Shades Darker Chapter 2 recap or “Kinky fuckery”

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Before we get into the recap proper, I have to address something that came up in the comments, re: formatting of the book. In my last recap, there was a section where all the dialogue blended together, like this:

“I am saying something,” person one said. “I am saying something, as well,” person two said. “Well, I am not listening to you,” person one replied.

Some of you have commented that since this book started as fanfic, it’s bound to be rife with errors. I feel like that’s kind of insulting to fanfic. I’ve read a lot of it in my time, and let me tell you, this is some of the worst fanfic I’ve ever read. It’s right up there with the one where the Incredible Hulk rapes Princess Jasmine to death. Let’s not tar all fic with the same brush.

But that said, formatting errors like that aren’t present in the book. At least, the Vintage Books paperback. What happens is that every so often, when I use the block quote function on Blogger, it goes all stupid and lumps everything in together. When I proofread the post, it looks okay. But when I hit publish, sometimes, things go terribly wrong.

I understand blogger in the same way that I understand facebook: I can sort of convince people that I know what I’m doing, but I actually have no idea what’s going on.

So, just like with Jose’s missing accent mark, the book is properly formatted, I just can’t get blogger to accept that format. There is no justice in blogger, and there is no mercy.

When we last left Miss Steele, she was about to drop dead from hunger, because she’s just so skinny. Waaaaay too skinny. So skinny, in fact, that Christian says this upon entering a restaurant:

“This place will have to do,” Christian grumbles. “We don’t have much time.”

Because the timed chip he put in Ana’s brain is set to explode if she doesn’t eat on a certain schedule.

Here is the description of the restaurant that Christian is “settling” for:

The restaurant looks fine to me. Wooden chairs, linen tablecloths, and walls the same color as Christian’s playroom – deep bloodred – with randomly placed small gilt mirrors, white candles, and vases of white roses. Ella Fitzgerald croons softly in the background about this thing called love. It’s very romantic.

One of things I find most annoying about Christian is how he makes a huge deal about how rich he is. Now, I’m not talking about the buying lavish gifts thing. I’m talking about how nothing, ever, is up to his standards. The complimentary wine at a graduation reception or an art show. A perfectly nice restaurant. Other people’s cars. He turns up his nose at everything, and Ana, because she’s Ana and totally naive despite having allegedly attended four years of college with people from all different walks of life, always seems to believe that it’s because he’s rich. It’s not. It’s because he wants people to know that he’s rich, and he wants them to be impressed and intimidated by his very high standards and exquisite tastes. Or maybe he really believes that because he’s rich, he deserves to have the very best of everything all the time. Either way, this guy is still a massive dick.

“We don’t have long,” Christian says to the waiter as we sit. “So we’ll each have sirloin steak cooked medium, béarnaise sauce if you have it, fries and green vegetables, whatever the chef has; and bring me the wine list.” 

Ana doesn’t get to order her own food. But more on that in a second, I’ve got a nit that needs fierce picking. He makes a big deal about how the restaurant will “have to do,” because it’s clearly not FANCY enough for his FANCY tastes, and then he orders… sirloin and fries? Meat, starch, veg… what a FANCY meal for a FANCY guy. Seriously? If he wanted Ana to be impressed, he should have ordered the filet, and when they said, “I’m sorry, sir, we’re just not FANCY enough to carry that cut,” he should have flipped the table and shouted, “THIS IS BULLSHIT! WE ARE LEAVING!”

Just don’t do that at an Applebees, because the tables in those booths are bolted to the walls. Or so I hear.

Ana asks him what the fucking deal is, ordering for her, and he tells her she’s acting childish. Because ordering someone what you want them to eat, rather than what they want to eat, is not a childish act of control. But Christian isn’t referring to that:

“For deliberately making me jealous. It’s a childish thing to do. Have you no regard for your friend’s feelings, leading him on like that?” Christian presses his lips together in a thin line and scowls as the waiter returns with the wine list.

I blush – I hadn’t thought of that. Poor Jose – I certainly don’t want to encourage him. Suddenly I’m mortified. Christian has a point; it was a thoughtless thing to do.

I hate that Christian has a point, by the way, but he’s right. I just find it interesting that in the midst of all his rightness, Ana is still going to end up eating what Christian ordered for her. I have this crazy feeling that Christian is less concerned for Jose and more concerned with changing the subject. To capitulate to her demands for control over what she puts in her body, he tells her to choose the wine. Probably so he can point out how not fancy enough it is. It doesn’t matter, though, because whatever they order, it will have spit in it. Christian treats the waiter like total shit.

I frown at Fifty. What’s eating him? Oh, myself probably, and somewhere in the depths of my psyche, my inner goddess rises sleepily, stretches, and smiles. She’s been asleep for a while.

Too bad she’s not in an irreversible coma. What is with calling Chedward “Fifty” all of a sudden? Did he get shot nine times?

That’s not funny, Jen.
They argue a little bit about how grumpy Chedward is, but he has a very good reason to be grumpy:

“Ana, the last time we spoke, you left me. I’m a little nervous. I’ve told you I want you back, and you’ve said… nothing.”

Okay, it’s been five days. First of all, were they even dating long enough to use the phrase “you left me”? They didn’t live together. They weren’t even really boyfriend/girlfriend. They were more emotionally-stunted billionaire/sexual servant. And the way he’s phrased it sounds like he’s expecting that since he asked her to take him back, she’s just going to. Although we know that she’s going to take him back (because we know that this entire series is just a landslide into frustrating abuse-apology), he doesn’t know this. And he’s just… expecting it. After being broken up for five days. What has changed so much, in five days?

Ana says that she’s missed him, and that it’s been “difficult” without him:

This last week has been the worst in my life, the pain almost indescribable. Nothing has come close.

I understand that what the author is trying to do here is show us how strong the love between Christian and Ana is, that it so completely destroys them to be apart. But this just comes off as melodramatic. Really, nothing has ever hurt as much as breaking up with your first love? I admit, first heartbreak suuuuuuucks. And the ones that follow? Not fun either. But if that’s the worst pain you’ve ever felt, to the point that you’ve never felt anything like it? Ana is living a pretty charmed life.

Ana tells him that nothing has changed, she can’t be the person he wants her to be. He argues that she’s exactly the person he wants her to be, and then he says this:

“You’re upset because of what happened last time. I behaved stupidly, and you… So did you. Why didn’t you safe-word, Anastasia?” His tone changes, becomes accusatory.

This skeeves me off so much. You took her into your Red Room, knowing that she was afraid of pain, and beat her with a belt. Not a flogger, not a whip, not a strap, not a paddle, a fucking belt with a buckle on it, and you beat the shit out of her. Whether or not she used the safe word doesn’t matter, you should never have taken her into that room that night in the first place, because she specifically said she was going to go beyond her limits in a negative way, just to see how much it could hurt.

“I don’t know. I was overwhelmed. I was trying to be what you wanted me to be, trying to deal with the pain, and it went out of my mind. You know… I forgot,” I whisper, ashamed, and I shrug apologetically.

This is exactly why she should not have been in that room. And you know, Christian, it’s okay for you to shut down the session, too. You kind of have a responsibility, as a dom, to be in control of the situation and make sound judgments, because guess what? People do sometimes get caught up and forget to use the safeword. If you didn’t want to beat the shit out of her with a belt, her not using the safeword didn’t force your hand.

Christian tells Ana he doesn’t know how he’s ever going to trust her again, and then he’s a dick to the waiter again, and Ana apologizes to him for not using the safeword. Christian uses the opportunity to make her feel even more guilty, saying:

“I’m anything but fine. I feel like the sun has set and not risen for five days, Ana. I’m in perpetual night here.”

The original title of this book was “Twilight 6: Night.”

“You said you’d never leave, yet the going gets tough and you’re out the door.”

“When did I say I’d never leave?”

“In your sleep. It was the most comforting thing I’d heard in so long, Anastasia. It made me relax.”

Well, that solves the mystery of the thing she said in her sleep. I like how he thinks he can hold up statements made when one is unconscious as evidence of some kind of betrayal. “You said in your sleep that you’d stay! It doesn’t matter that I wouldn’t tell you what you said, I expect you to stick to it!”

The food comes, and so does the unavoidable conversation about Ana’s eating habits. Unsurprisingly, she doesn’t want to eat, and Christian wants her to.

Deep down, I know I’m hungry, but right now, my stomach is in knots. Sitting across from the only man I have ever loved and debating our uncertain future does not promote a healthy appetite. I look dubiously at my food.

“So help me God, Anastasia, if you don’t eat, I will take you across my knee here in this restaurant, and it will have nothing to do with my sexual gratification. Eat!”

So… it would be a regular old beating, then? Is that what you’re saying, Christian? Let it be known, the hero of this not abuse-promoting book is threatening physical violence in an non-BDSM context against the heroine. Swoon ladies, swoon.

We eat our supper in silence. The music’s changed. A soft-voice woman sings in the background, her words echoing my thoughts.

This is the stuff I live for in these books. They eat their supper in silence… listening to music. Well, that’s not silence, is it? You just didn’t speak, is all.

Ana decides to try to have a normal conversation, so they talk about the music a little bit. But normal isn’t as fascinating as talking about how much Ana eats.

I have eaten half the food on my plate. I cannot eat anymore. How can I negotiate this?

Just say you’re not hungry anymore? I mean, seriously, Ana, you could just say, “Christian, I’m not hungry anymore. I’m going to need a doggie bag.” And if he says anything else about it? Kick him in the dick and scream “No! NO NO NO!” just like they tell you to do in self defense for women.

He stares at me impassively, not answering, then glances at his watch.

Mercifully, Christian is as bored with the “What did Ana eat today” conversation as we all are, and they’re going to leave. Ana asks if they’re going to take Charlie Tango, which sounds like a great idea after they’ve been drinking. Luckily, Christian has arranged for Taylor to drive them back to Seattle:

“[…] Taylor will pick us up. Besides, this way I have you in the car all to myself for a few hours, at least. What can we do but talk?”

Remember how he was talking about their communication problem? They’ve been doing nothing but talk about their relationship this entire evening. When they haven’t been talking about their relationship, they’ve been talking about what Ana is eating. And when they haven’t been talking about that, they’ve been talking about how they need to talk about their relationship. Their communication skills appear to be so incredibly bad that they can’t even recognize that they’re talking about their relationship while they’re talking about their relationship. They’re stuck in some kind of endless loop of talking about their relationship while simultaneously thinking they need to talk about their relationship. It’s like Portal, where you put the orange portal directly about the blue portal, and you jump in and just keep falling faster and faster and faster until you’d seriously concerned that you might not be able to get yourself out this time and you can’t remember when you last saved.

Now you’re thinking with poor communication skills!
Ana points out that Christian is “brusque” with people, even employees he likes, like Taylor. Christian says he just likes to get to the point quickly, and Ana tells him that he hasn’t gotten to the point all night. Oh, snap, Ana, you read my mind. Christian tells her that he has a proposition for her:

He has a proposition? What now? A couple of scenarios run through my mind: kidnapping, working for him.

Maybe he wants you to work for him, and the job will be kidnapping people. Seriously, those are the first two options that jump to mind? Not, “Maybe he wants to revise the sex contract,” or “maybe he wants to put the Audi in my name,” something like that. I mean, I understand the one about working for him, since he’s dangled that carrot in the past. But kidnapping? How does she arrive at kidnapping now, and not waaaaaay back in the first book, when he was buying abduction supplies literally right from her? Ana is a weird person.

They go to the car, and Ana’s obsession with kidnapping continues unfettered:

Christian opens my door. Climbing in, I sink into the plush leather. He heads to the driver’s side; Taylor steps out of the car and they talk briefly. This isn’t their usual protocol.

I love that she’s cautious now. Not in the first book, where she went back to his fortress of solitude after knowing him for like, a week, and in that week she’d seen him buy Dexter-level murder supplies. Not when he locked her in a room with him against her will, or when he stalked her all the way to her mother’s home in Georgia. She let those things pass without a second thought, but she gets suspicious when he changes his car-getting-into protocol, like she’s some foreign dignitary in a hostile country.

When Christian does get into the car, he wants to talk about their relationship, but Ana is concerned about Taylor overhearing. Christian reassures her:

“Happy now? He’s listening to his iPod. Puccini. forget he’s here. I do.”

Not only is Christian super charming in the way he treats his employees, he’s also got his driver listening to earbud headphones while driving. Yeah, that’s illegal in Washington state. It’s illegal in a lot of states, actually, and could endanger Taylor’s commercial driver’s license. Also, I wonder if Christian picked the music Taylor is listening to. I bet he did.

“Did you deliberately ask him to do that?”

No, Ana, he accidentally asked him to wear earphones so he wouldn’t overhear your conversation. Isn’t that a funny coincidence?

Christian gets right down to business with the proposition:

“Let me ask you something first. Do you want a regular vanilla relationship with no kinky fuckery at all?”

Kinky. Fuckery. Forever, that phrase will be burned into my brain. Keeping in mind that the “kinky fuckery” was the reason Ana ran for the hills in the first place, this is her response:

“I like your kinky fuckery,” I whisper.

Girl. Girl, girl, girl. Girl. Sit down and shut your obviously confused mouth for a quick second. You like his “kinky fuckery”? You spent all of the first book talking about how much you hated that he was into BDSM, how much you hated doing it, and then you ultimately broke up with him because you thought he was fucked in the head for liking it. You seriously were so disgusted by the “kinky fuckery” that you broke up with him. And now you like it?

She goes on to explain what she doesn’t like about the “kinky fuckery,” and basically, it’s all of it. She doesn’t like pain, she doesn’t like not being able to touch him, she doesn’t like punishments or anything in the Red Room. So basically, she fucking loves pizza, except for the cheese and the sauce and the crust and the toppings.

Oh, and the eating part, lest we forget.

Ana asks Christian if he’s trying to redefine the hard limits:

“Not as such. I’m just trying to understand you, get a clearer picture of what you do and don’t like.”

That’s called dating, Christian. Most people do this shit as they go along, instead of trying to force their partner into a mold to make them adequate in one conversation that will settle it forever and for all time, which is what the contract tried to do in the first place.

“Fundamentally, Christian, it’s your joy in inflicting pain on me that’s difficult for me to handle. And the idea that you’ll do it because I have crossed some arbitrary line.”

“But it’s not arbitrary; the rules are written down.”

If you remember the contract from the first book, you’ll recall how incredibly vague those rules are, leaving literally any of Ana’s actions open to “punishment.” It’s totally arbitrary, because Christian can and has fit any of her actions and reactions, even involuntary physical reactions, under some clause or another so that he’s allowed to “punish” her.

He asks her if she minds being spanked with just his hand, and when she says she’s okay with that, and she actually liked it when he used the ben wa balls and spanked her, this is how he interprets her answer:

“So you can deal with some pain.”

That’s not what she said at all! She said she didn’t mind being spanked with ben wa balls in her cooch. I wonder how long it’s going to take Chedward to use this against her? “But you said you could take some pain! By refusing to let me beat you with a patio umbrella, you’re betraying me!”

He strokes his chin, deep in thought. “Anastasia, I want to start again. Do the vanilla thing and then maybe, once you trust me more and I trust you to be honest and communicate with me, we could move on and do some of the things that I like to do.”

In other words, maybe if we get back together and get more serious, you’ll be invested enough in this unhealthy relationship that I can manipulate you into doing things you don’t want to do. Have your panties magically melted off your body yet, ladies?

He wants the light, but can I ask him to do this for me? And don’t I like the dark? Some dark, sometimes. Memories of the Thomas Tallis night drift invitingly through my mind.

If you haven’t read the first book, the Thomas Tallis night was when Christian tied Ana up, blindfolded her, put headphones on her and played classical music while he teased her with like, a feather and some light flogging before he fucked her. It was about as dark as a game of Candy Land.

 In 50 Shades of Candy Land, Lord Licorice does unspeakable things 
to that little purple dude in the Red Rope Room Of Pain.

Christian agrees to ditch the rules and punishments, but Ana is worried that such a relationship won’t fulfill his needs. He argues that he needs her more than he needs the kinky fuckery, and he doesn’t like to see her in pain. At least, not emotional pain. And not if it’s not enabling his control.

“But I’m a selfish man. I’ve wanted you since you fell into my office. You are exquisite, honest, warm, strong, witty, beguilingly innocent; the list in endless. I’m in awe of you. I want you, and the thought of anyone else having you is like a knife twisting in my dark soul.”

HA HA HA HA WHAT? Why is he talking like a seventeen-year-old goth kid writing breakup poetry before he’s ever even gone on a date? “a knife twisting in my dark soul?” I’m pretty sure that’s from a Sisters of Mercy song. And I love the “endless” list of adjectives to describe Ana, that tops out at six items, half of which aren’t true at all. Ana isn’t honest, she lies to her friends constantly about her relationship with Christian. She isn’t warm, not even to her mom or dad. And she sure as hell isn’t strong, if she’s planning on getting back together with this creepo rather than go through some post-break up depression.

After listening to Christian objectify her for a few paragraphs, this is Ana’s response:

If that isn’t a declaration of love, I don’t know what is.

Clearly, you don’t know what a declaration of love is. The guy basically just said he’d settle for fulfilling your needs because he views you as a toy he doesn’t want to share. But positively dazzled by his declaration of “love,” she tells him that she didn’t try very hard at their relationship the first time, and that she thinks the pain of being without him would be worse than any physical pain he could inflict on her. She gets into his lap and says:

“I love you, Christian Grey. And you’re prepared to do all this for me. I’m the one who is undeserving, and I’m just sorry that I can’t do all those things for you. Maybe with time… I don’t know… but yes, I accept your proposition. Where do I sign?”

Do all what for her? Not beat her because she doesn’t like it? What a fucking prince. Oh, hey, is this my domestic violence handout that Kelsey St. James sent me? I think it might be. “You feel bad about yourself when you are around him.” Huh. You mean like, thinking you’re undeserving and feeling guilty that he’s sacrificing his sexual fetish for you? Gee.

Christian hints that the reason he doesn’t like to be touched is because his mom’s pimp molested him or abused him or something. I’m confused about this whole pimp thing, myself. Isn’t a crack whore (and yes, he refers to his mother as “the crack whore” in this scene) someone who fucks people for crack? Do pimps really need their girls tricking for drugs? I thought the whole point of pimping was to make money. Have rappers been lying to me all along? He also tells Ana that he was alone with his dead mom for four days after she committed suicide. 

Somehow, the story of Chedward’s horrific childhood of abuse and trauma lulls Ana to sleep, and she doesn’t wake up until they’re in Seattle, where Christian comments that he could “watch you sleep forever, Ana.” So, yeah, I guess we’re still on schedule for that murder. Chedward doesn’t want to sleep with Ana, because she has to work early in the morning. I feel like he’s getting that wrong, that’s what you say when you’re leaving the girl’s house after you’ve fucked her. Also, he wants her to have to beg him first. Probably something like, “Mister, if you let me go, I won’t – I won’t press charges I promise. See, my mom is a real important woman… I guess you already know that…” depending on the situation.

This is kind of how I see the whole thing going down.

He does have a present for her, though, and she’s supposed to open it when she’s inside. But first, she has to tell him information he doesn’t need to know, in order to complicate her life further:

“My boss wants me to go for a drink with him tomorrow.”

Christian’s face hardens. “Does he, now?” His voice is laced with latent menace.

I don’t think “latent” is a word you can use to describe Christian Grey’s menace. He suggests that he could pick her up after drinks, and she thinks this is a fine idea and not a bid for control in yet another aspect of her life. There is some kissing, it is dramatic and moany, and he says “laters, baby,” and I take another shot.

Inside, Ana opens the present. It’s her laptop and BlackBerry. I suppose those are her rewards for going out with him again. A commenter suggested that there is a keystroke logger on the laptop, and I laughed, and then realized that yup, there probably is. There is also an iPad, and a note from Christian saying that the music on it says what he feels.

I have a Christian Grey mix tape in the guise of a high-end iPad. I shake my head in disapproval because of the expense, but deep down I love it. Jack has one at the office, so I know how they work.

Wait, Christian made a mix tape for your boss? He’s so thorough.

The wallpaper image on the iPad is a picture of the model glider she gave Christian as a breakup present. There’s also a picture of the two of them at Ana’s graduation.

Christian looks so handsome and I can’t help my face-splitting grin – Yes, and he’s mine!

Stand back ladies! He’s all hers!

Ana does a walkthrough of all the apps on the iPad. No, I’m not kidding, she tells us all about the apps, from one of the British Library’s historical collection, a food app, etc. There is an entire page, all about the damn iPad and the apps,  before she gets to the music. Ana mentions a few songs by name, the most unsurprising of which is “Possession.” I can only assume she means Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession.” Have you ever heard it? I suggest you listen to it right now. Try to ignore the fact that she looks like Buffy’s mom.

Funny story about this song. It’s not meant to be romantic. It was written by McLachlan modeled on letters she was receiving from “fans,” some of which had threatening sexual content. Even just a cursory listen tells you that it is an entirely appropriate song for Chedward and Anabella’s relationship, but not the way Ana (and I suspect, E.L. James) thinks it is.

Ana listens to some more of the songs (“Try,” by Nelly Furtado, “The Scientist,” by Coldplay) and thinks about what they mean.

This iPad, these songs, these apps – he cares. He really cares.

That would make a great Apple commercial, right before Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or something. “Show mom you care, with the gift of apps.”

As Ana listens to the songs and compares the meanings against her relationship, I become more acutely aware that this was a fanfic. If you are unfamiliar with fanfic, then let me tell you, the device of having a character apply lyrics and meanings of popular songs to the (relation)ship in the fic is so common that it has its own name: Songfic.

Ana being Ana, she’s ready to just dismiss the whole iPad thing, thinking that she’s probably reading too much into this. See, if they just accepted that they want each other, there would be no reason to continue with the book, so Ana needs to doubt Christian every step of the way. This gives the illusion of conflict.

They email each other about the iPad, and during the exchange, we learn that Christian also put “Every Breath You Take,” by The Police in the “I love you/I want to make a dress out of your skin” playlist. You have got to be fucking kidding me. He also tells her that spanking can be a part of “vanilla” relationships, “Usually consensually and in a sexual context… but I am more than happy to make an exception.” So, that’s the second time in this chapter alone that he’s threatened to hit her in anger. Of course, Ana responds to all of this with hearts and flowers and romance, and she even pulls out the deflated mylar balloon he gave her and hugs it in bed. Because Ana is fourteen.

Jose Gonzalez starts to sing a soothing melody with a hypnotic guitar riff, and I drift slowly into sleep, marveling how the world has righted itself in one evening and wondering idly if I should make a playlist for Christian.

I don’t know, Ana. How many times can you put “Good-bye, Earl” on repeat?

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Here for the first time because you’re in quarantine and someone on Reddit recommended my Fifty Shades of Grey recaps? Welcome! Consider checking out my own take on the Billionaire BDSM genre, The Boss. Find it on AmazonB&NSmashwords, iBooks, and Radish!


  1. Anonymous

    Honestly, the most offensive thing in this book so far is Christian asking for a steak cooked medium.

    March 8, 2013
    • Bea

      I agree. He is supposed to be a blood loving vampire. Worst fanfic evarh.

      February 17, 2015
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  12. C

    Shit. Fuck. Damn. Sorry for potty mouthing on your blog but I was truly stupid enough to NOT heed your warning about the prologue. I, in my not so infinite wisdom, tracked it down on another blog. I was at least braced for it, but I must say, who could read that and see that Christian is a product of his early childhood environment and of being the victim of statutory rape later on? And before someone tries to crucify me, no I do not mean the BDSM part. My father wasn't quite that bad but he was fucking bad enough that, at the age of 34, I still struggle with PTSD because of his abusive tendencies. This series is absolutely horrible. I warned my Mom not to waste her money on them, because she would just wind up with nightmares again. And that would be after she shredded these shitty books and used the pieces to line my sister's chinchilla cage. Poor Booth the chinchilla has done nothing wrong to be punished by having to bed down on this tripe. Even if he would have the chance to shat upon it shat fodder. That might even be an insult to shat fodder… I wonder what gets lower than that. Without insulting various insects, innocent soil and rocks, I mean. Oh yes, lower than that would be Hell.

    May 3, 2013
  13. C

    Oops that was supposed to say who could read it and NOT see what he was a product of. I am not saying that every person who is exposed to abuse winds up that fucked up but it does alot of damage to the pyche. I mean shit, my Mom and I both have fucking nightmares about my dad and I wouldn't be surprised to find out my brother and sister do too. But it does not take a freakin genius to see where Christian's problems stem from. And this, ladies, is the paragon of manhood and our leader into sexual enlightment. Please, PLEASE, leave me unenlightened. Thank you Jenn for risking irreparable damage on our behalf by reading and rereading this utter piece of crap book. I would honored to visit you in whatever asylum you wind up in. I'll even try to use art therapy and play all your favorite shows and music for you whenever you start rocking back and forth screaming “laters baby” at the top of your lungs. That is how much I appreciate your work here. You rock. Sincerly yours~ Cindy.

    May 3, 2013
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  15. When I was reading these books, I went to youtube to look up a song mentioned, because so many are. Imagine my lack of surprise to find entire playlists/video lists of songs from the book there. SMH.

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  22. “Really, nothing has ever hurt as much as breaking up with your first love? I admit, first heartbreak suuuuuuucks. And the ones that follow? Not fun either. But if that's the worst pain you've ever felt, to the point that you've never felt anything like it? Ana is living a pretty charmed life.”

    Well, to be fair, the worst emotional places I've ever been stuck in have been post-breakup. It's so awful that I don't really date anymore – the breakup isn't worth it for me, even after shortish relationships. I have a much better time dealing with personal tragedies, health issues, etc., than a breakup. Some people (ahem, me) have a really really hard time with breakups.

    Having said that, if I broke up with Chedward, I think I'd throw myself a party.

    June 15, 2013
    • Karen Wapinski
      Karen Wapinski

      you know whats not-funny? i actually have a friend who went on so much about her break up that when my other friend complained to her she said to us ‘if you’ve never really been in love you wouldn’t know what real pain is.’
      excuse me!
      i suffered childhood friends die before they became adults, thinking my mom had breast cancer, two relatives i love with all my heart fight their way through cancer treatment, been gang-raped at a party i thought i was safe at, seen my parents struggle under the economy knowing i couldn’t help, and been hospitalized for an eating disorder not to mention EIGHT CONSECUTIVE DAYS without a bowel movement. saying i don’t know what pain is because i haven’t had a rich jerk dump me just..i have no words.
      but these are the people who like Ana. because they are Ana. and they believe this tripe

      September 23, 2013
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  26. I think if Joyce Summers was the oldest sister, and Baby from Dirty Dancing was the youngest, Sarah McLachlan is the angsty middle sister, full of middle-child-syndrome-y-ness. Also, have you ever seen those literal music videos? Because now I’m really hoping they made one to that song.

    (I actually found your blog with the Buffy ReWatch (that you need to get back on top of please! withdrawls! I has them!) and I read 50 Shades of Gray through you yesterday and I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time, so thanks. This has been an awesome project)

    September 12, 2013
  27. ColeYote

    Funnily enough, we had the exact same reaction to Every Breath You Take being on there. I mean, god, that’s *barely* a step above Sex Type Thing, a song LITERALLY sung from the point of view of a rapist!
    Which I’m going to go listen to now because Stone Temple Pilots are awesome.

    > “… and wondering idly if I should make a playlist for Christian.”

    I can help with that! Ticks & Leeches by Tool, End of Me by Apocalyptica with Gavin Rossdale, This Love by Pantera, Fuck You by Cee-Lo Green, You’re So Vain by Carly Simon, So What by Pink, Welcome Home by Coheed & Cambria, Barrel of a Gun by Depeche Mode, Next Girl by The Black Keys, all good songs.

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    November 20, 2013
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  29. Nijichan

    I just noticed… Ana says that those five days have been the worst of her life.

    Her biological father died on her birthday, just before or just after.

    But breaking with someone who beat her (her word) is worse than that ?

    May 17, 2014
  30. Haleigh

    Let me start off by saying that given the amount of hype over this book and the contents therein, if you have a problem with the BDSM life style, you shouldn’t have read it, especially since its the second book and you knew what the first what entailed.. Secondly, as a “Switch”, someone who can be a Dom or a Sub, it is both parties job to know and recognize the limits of their partner. So with that statement “no one forced your hand” I agree. However, she did specifically ask him to show her “how much it can hurt.” As for the comment about “a regular beating” when they were in the restaurant and she wasn’t wanting to eat, do you not have children? If you do, do you spank them when they misbehave in public? I do and I do spank my child. If she doesn’t eat, or rolls her eyes at me, or really many of the things that Ana gets punished for my child gets punished for as well. Obviously not the very sexual things. But before I get too pissed off and go 100% Dom, Mrs. Robinson on you’re, prudish, sheltered, misinformed ass I will politely stop my rant, and spare your vanilla ass from the spanking of a lifetime.

    January 16, 2015
    • JennyTrout

      …if you’re such a high and mighty BDSM expert, why are you defending this book? The BDSM in it is dangerous. He coerces her, makes her feel like she can’t use a safe word (in the third book he actually cries when she uses one), stalks her and makes her feel like there’s no way out of their relationship. She also NEVER consents to 24/7 submission. He asks her to, and she never signs his contract or says she’s down for it. She makes it clear throughout the first and second book that she doesn’t like the things he’s doing to her. By book three, she’s doing it to “cure” him of it. Throughout the first two books she’s being psychologically abused, physically abused (because she does not give enthusiastic consent to impact play) and raped (because she doesn’t give enthusiastic consent to many of the things he wants to do–like finger her under the table at her parents’ house).

      So, let’s talk about misinformed. We can start with how fucked up it is that you would compare a spanking I would get from my husband/Dom in a sexual context to spanking children for misbehavior. I’m even into Daddy Dom kink and that grosses me out. We can also talk about how fucking special you think you are, that you’re going to roll into my blog, read one post, know nothing about me, and assume that I’ve never a) researched anything and b) done any of this myself.

      PS. using “vanilla” as an insult is “I’m super speshul BDSM 101.” So spare me your Kinkier-Than-Thou routine. You are not the only person in the world who is into BDSM. Take your tantrum and go brag about how kinky you are somewhere else.

      January 16, 2015
    • Dani

      Ms. Trout has never once voiced a bad opinion of BDSM. This is about the fucked up nature of the relationship between the two main characters. The BDSM (as shoddily written as it is) is hardly the issue here. It’s an unhealthy relationship with or without the kink.

      February 16, 2015
    • Nyeh

      I love how you’re too much of a coward to reply to anyone because you know goddamn well they’re right.

      Oh, and by the way, Ana is a motherfucking ADULT. Adults do NOT punish other adults for mundane shit like rolling your eyes or refusing to eat. Commit a fucking felony and THEN we’ll talk about adults punishing adults. What you are advocating is domestic violence. Period. Oh, and fuck you for beating your children. If they cry when you spank them, it’s because YOU FUCKING CAUSED THEM PAIN, not because “they know they’re in trouble.” It sickens me that you get off on causing ANYONE pain, ESPECIALLY your own children. And don’t you DARE lie to me; you DO get off on it. You know goddamn well that kids don’t learn jack hit from being spanked. Parents spank to satisfy their vile urge to hurt someone they are mad at. That has been proven time and time and time again by multiple psychologists. Pain NEVER teaches a lesson; it just satisfies the rage of the person who causes it. All your children will learn from pain is how to avoid it. They won’t learn respect. Hell, they’ll only learn to HATE you even more. I hated my mom’s guts every time she spanked me, and only resolved to be more careful about getting caught doing bad things. It didn’t make me want to behave because it was the right thing to do. The desire to be bad was still there in my heart, as it is with all children who get beaten rather than having their parents explain to them, like a civilized human being, how what they did was wrong. When my mom stopped hitting me, apologized for ever having harmed me in the first place, and started treating me like a goddamned human being, THEN I started respecting her and behaving myself.

      Your children hate you. Every single one of them. And you deserve it.

      July 27, 2017
    • Meggy

      Do you want a hero cookie?

      February 19, 2018
    • Ashley

      Their relationship isn’t a real BDSM one! People who are in BDSM relationships find these books go be insulting. They’re worried that people get the wrong idea about it, and they’re right. Just imagine a real young girl getting into an abusive relationship and thinking it’s okay because of these books. A real Dom doesn’t spank his submissive the way Christian does. Also, she is not a child! She’s 22 and shouldn’t be getting spanked like a child. Christian isn’t her father. She has not consented to get spanked! It’s you who isn’t informed.

      August 2, 2018
    • ChelG

      Pretty much every expert on Earth agrees that spanking children is abuse now, too.

      August 22, 2022
  31. watergirl

    This person’s post is a perfect example of the harm that this series has done to the BDSM community. It is because of this abomination of a book, that the BDSM community is now infiltrated with creeps, perverts, manipulators, and abusers, like this poster. People read 50shades, they peruse a BDSM website, and they think they can claim they are legitimate participants of the lifestyle.

    It is because of tourists like this, that now subs have to wade through the muck trying to find legitimate partners, and not control freaks who think that having a sub means having a slave to work their abusive issues out on.
    A sub/Dom relationship is psychologically a complicated one. It is the purest form of trust. Experienced subs do not get involved with control freaks, as you can’t trust them. Subs are not whipping boys. Experienced subs don’t go for the person that is the most controlling, they go for the person who respects their autonomy and personhood. When I am searching for a Dom, they second they display controlling behavior, the second they show the slightest disregard for my boundaries and wishes, they are cut off immediately. You do not put yourself in a position of ultimate vulnerability with a person who doesn’t have your utmost well-being in mind. If I came across this poster while searching, not only would I run in the other direction, screaming, I would warn other subs about them. Spanking children for not eating, saying they want to spank you, saying they want to go full Dom on you, are massive, massive, red flags of someone who doesn’t respect people, doesn’t respect autonomy, and doesn’t understand boundaries. They are looking for a victim, not a playmate.

    It is because of this horrible *book* that I now have to wade through a bunch of mid life crises, that couldn’t get someone on Ashley Madison, that claim their wives don’t want to have sex with them, and they think a sub is someone that they get to do whatever and whenever they want with. That is not how this works, that is not how any of this works.It is a dream come true for them.

    These people show up in BDSM communities now, acting like Christian Grey, because they actually think that is what someone wants. And they are making life miserable for the rest of, because we all now have to wade through this muck.

    It is like when the movie, The Craft, came about, and all the 14 yo became witches for shock value, and go by The Craft, which has about as much to do with paganism and witchcraft as Harry Potter. And they made legitimate practices and the pagans, quite miserable.

    Now for this god awful post.If this person is legitimately knowledgeable about BDSM, then I am a starting quarterback for the Packers.

    I wish I could insert pictures, because I would insert a picture from the first episode of Sherlock where the detectives are talking to the press and whenever they gave an incorrect statement, every cell blew up simultaneously with the word: WRONG!
    That was my brain when reading this post.

    I am a sub. I am also a survivor of an abusive marriage. Everything that Jenny has said has been spot on. But I still laughed my ass off. That is a skill not many people possess. You are my hero, Jenny.

    And since Jenny is a professional, she can’t get overly snarky with you. But in this scenario, I am not. So I will indulge.

    Now onto me shredding this pleb’s post:

    “Let me start off by saying that given the amount of hype over this book and the contents therein, if you have a problem with the BDSM life style, you shouldn’t have read it, especially since its the second book and you knew what the first what entailed.. “

    I don’t know if you are reading the same blog that I am, but Jenny dutifully points out what is healthy BDSM, and what isn’t. Maybe reading comprehension isn’t your thing. And as Jenny also accurately points out, none of this, especially in the first book, is actual BDSM, just kink. The second that Chedward, the controlling and powerful man-child was made the Dom, I knew this book was bull. An experienced Dom would of never tried to convince a virgin who didn’t like BDSM, and who thought it was an abomination, to join the relationship. People look for BDSM to fulfill their needs, they don’t recruit, they don’t force it anybody. What Chedward is doing is creating a victim.

    it is both parties job to know and recognize the limits of their partner.

    When one is an experienced Dom, and the sub is in training, it is the Dom’s job to train the sub, question them, and gently help them learn what their limits are. A person can’t enforce limits when they have never tried anything before. They have no idea what they like or don’t like until they try it. Anna is a sub in training, not an experienced sub, and a virgin five minutes earlier. This is how I know both you and E. James do not know BDSM. Most Doms would be nervous about taking on a virgin in the first place. Secondly, they would teach the sub, not list the rules and expect them to adhere to them immediately and understand what they are. Also Doms are capable of having vanilla relationships. No one has a “need” so strong that there are no other options other than to force a virgin into it. That is why this whole book is offensive. They make him a disturbed mental patient who uses BDSM as a coping mechanism, and Anna cures him of it, like it is an affliction.

    ‘I However, she did specifically ask him to show her “how much it can hurt.’

    Yea, and?? He is an experienced Dom. He knows how much it can hurt. She has zero experience. An experienced Dom would of started at the lowest level of spanking, and slowly built her up to it. You don’t go full throttle on an inexperienced person, especially with a belt. It is his job to acclimate her, not oblige her. Also what Jenny pointed out, Anna has been unhappy with the arrangement, not a good time to full throttle when a newb doesn’t understand. He then proceeded to put the blame on her for not remembering the safe word.Yet he points out repeatedly that she is naive and in innocent. So just because she says something, doesn’t mean it is a good idea. A good Dom has the well being and safety of the sub at the forefront at all times. That is their job. Apparently you have never read the literature on the proper care and feeding of your sub.

    I used to play paintball. And you always had the fools who wanted to know what it felt like. Even when we would try to convince them that it really, really hurt, they would still want to know what it felt like to get shot with a paintball, anyways. (higher grade paintball guns have the speed of actual guns) So we would cave and shoot them to shut them up. Some people even cried. Anna reminds me of those fools.

    As for the comment about “a regular beating” when th gey were in the restaurant and she wasn’t wanting to eat, do you not have children? If you do, do you spank them when they misbehave in public? I do and I do spank my child. If she doesn’t eat, or rolls her eyes at me, or really many of the things that Ana gets punished for my child gets punished for as well.

    This is disturbing on so many levels that I don’t even know where to begin. I truly hope you are lying about having kids, because you are abusive, which is maybe why you like this book. First off, it has been known for a decade now that corporal punishment is never good for children. It is a sign of a parent who can’t control, cope, and teach emotional intelligence, and treats their children like second class citizens. Beating them for not eating? My god, are you trying to fast track them to eating disorders? Because that is how you develop eating disorders in children.
    Next, an experienced Dom or sub would never compare BDSM activities with child punishment. That is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Not even in daddy play. These are two completely different things.

    Obviously not the very sexual things.
    But you still compared them, which is disturbing. If I was the sub talking to you and I saw this, I would run screaming in the other direction, because you have obvious control issues.

    “But before I get too pissed off and go 100% Dom,”
    Please stop embarrassing yourself. No one goes Dom on anybody. People go postal. People open a can of whoop ass, no one goes “Dom” on somebody. It also shows you have no clue what a Dom actually is.

    Again, this shows that you are nothing but a tourist, because Doms would never talk that way to a civilian. And even if that person is a sub/switch. A Dom wouldn’t step on another Dom’s toes like that.

    The very action of using it as a threat, especially on a civilian, just goes to show how clueless you are. Did you watch the Craft, recently?

    “Mrs. Robinson on you’re, prudish, sheltered, misinformed ass I will politely stop my rant, and spare your vanilla ass from the spanking of a lifetime.


    Please, do not tell people you are into BDSM, this book has caused enough problems in the mainstream that we don’t need tourists like you, faking their way through forums.

    You don’t need BDSM, you need a therapist to deal with all your anger and control issues. Throw in some parenting classes while you are at it. And a caseworker.

    I am not even going to explain about how bad you look, and what a real Dom would do, because you are just a disturbed individual with issues, and the less you know, the better.

    January 20, 2015
    • Sammie

      I’m late to the thread, but I still need to tell you….thank you for saying everything I was thinking and more while staying reasonable. I was shaking my head thinking fuck this, that child needs to be taken away.

      July 18, 2015
    • xxx

      Would have, not would of. How do you reach adulthood without knowing this? That is a legitimate questions, by the way. They teach you this shit in like fourth grade.

      July 27, 2017
      • Cat

        This is an informal comment section of a (very hilarious) blog. Do you really feel the need to get on your grammatical high horse here to validate your own feelings of self-worth?

        I am a huge advocate for formal spelling, grammar and punctuation: in the proper places, such as a resumé or a published article – believe me when I say how my eye starts to twitch everytime I see an apostrophe in a possessive “its” in things that should have been proofread. Carelessness in a professional setting is bad form and very much gives off a “couldn’t give a shit” vibe that pisses me off someone got paid for writing it.

        In a comment section though? We’re at the Internet equivalent of the water cooler or the pub, where we should be allowed to be as half-assed about our grammar as we want to be without being insulted about our schooling or intelligence by entitled prigs.

        October 29, 2017
  32. carynmichelle

    So I’ve just found the recaps and am enjoying them all immensely. I was itching to know what the fuss was about but just couldn’t bring myself to actually buy the books.

    The food order at the restaurant was really the tops. If it had been me (and it likely wouldn’t have as I would totally not be able to take his crap) I’d have let him order let the food come out and not touched it saying that I don’t like my steak cooked to medium and in fact I didn’t care for steak that evening. I wanted chicken. Which he would have known if he’d only asked.

    Or just interrupt him and sweetly tell the waiter that I’d rather view my options and if he’d be so kind as to fetch me a menu?

    Again I’d probably never have been in that situation to begin with…

    January 25, 2015
  33. Dani

    I want steak and fries now. Fucking Chedward.

    February 16, 2015
  34. Daniela

    “I’m sorry, sir, we’re just not FANCY enough to carry that cut,” he should have flipped the table and shouted, “THIS IS BULLSHIT! WE ARE LEAVING!”Just don’t do that at an Applebees, because the tables in those booths are bolted to the walls. Or so I hear.”

    Omg I’m laughing so hard that I’M CRYING! Jeeez! lol

    How do you come up with such funny lines? I wish I had your witty humour, seriously, your posts are full of comedic gems!

    February 17, 2015
    • Lainey68

      That was hilarious, and. I want to do that in a restaurant one day.

      March 1, 2015
  35. Alisha

    I’ve been re-reading your recaps because, with all the hype over the movie and so many of my coworkers raving about it, I started to wonder if maybe I was being too harsh, if it wasn’t as abusive as I remember, etc.

    It’s not. It’s fucking worse.

    February 25, 2015
  36. Lainey68

    Okay, even with your wildly entertaining recaps, I cannot go on withnthis insipid story. First of all, what 21 year old in this century speaks the way Ana does? My biggest problem with all of this is that NOTHING IS HIS FAULT! She ALWAYS takes on the wrong. Lastly, I hate this guy because he is my former boss, right down to the steely eyes. I was in an abusive work relationship much like this for 6 1/2 years. Minus the sex, but there was the under current. The emotional manipulation that I endured under my prick boss was so much like this, it makes me sick. My boss would ‘punish’ me by alienating me from my co-workers. He watched everything I did. He knew everything about me. Every. Fucking. Thing. He knew what I ate, what time I ate. What color clothes I preferred. What time I came in and what time I left. Who my ‘work’ friends were. I was in a vulnerable position because I am by nature passive, but I also needed the health insurance because my daughter is severely mentally ill, so I would never jeopardize my job. I really should write about it. I’d call it ‘Fifty Shades of Prick’. Or ‘The Devil Wears Dockers’. Anyway, as much as I have laughed at your recaps, I can go no further. I just can’t.

    March 1, 2015
  37. Adeline Raina
    Adeline Raina

    >>> Christian treats the waiter like total shit. <<<

    Another domestic violence Red Flag: the waitress test. What how the dude treats servers in bars and restaurants. However they get treated is a big clue as to how you will be treated in 6 months time.

    How has ELJames got domestic violence so spot on? This can't just be her accidentally writing in twisted shit. This must be intentional. I'm actually getting to be convinced of that now.

    March 19, 2015
  38. Maggie

    I honestly thought the fanfic about Snape and Hermione was the worst thing ever. I was wrong.

    April 24, 2015
    • Nyeh

      Which one? There are thousands of fanfics about that one pairing alone.

      July 27, 2017
  39. Mandy

    “I don’t know, Ana. How many times can you put ‘Good-bye, Earl’ on repeat?”

    I fucking lost it at that. I laughed so loud that my boss came into the break room because she thought something had happened.

    May 12, 2015
  40. Cat

    Fucking hell, EL James. Stop ruining songs I like!

    The only people I’ve met who think “Every Step You Take” is romantic are songfic-writing 12-year-olds. Doesn’t say much about EL James’ comprehension abilities.

    May 15, 2015
  41. Thette

    So, semi-nice cut of beef, fries, some sad veggies and béarnaise sauce (known as “bea” over here)? Congrats, Mr Billionaire, you ordered the standard Friday night special at the local crapstack restaurant, or “it’s better than a burger (TM)”.

    June 25, 2015
  42. Giulietta

    This is where I literally couldn’t read the series anymore. I picked it up multiple times trying to get through it because I hate not knowing what happens even if it sucks, but I could never get past a sentence or two and had to give up. I commend you for your dedication.

    July 1, 2015
  43. Yvonne

    If you are unfamiliar with fanfic…

    ~ Actually, “fanfic” refers to an individual work of fan fiction, so in order to pluralize it, you must add an ‘s’ at the end. The above sentence should then read as “If you are unfamiliar with fanfics” or “If you are unfamiliar with fan fiction.”

    I’ve been involved in MANY fan fiction communities for over a decade, and that’s just how they state these things.

    July 14, 2015
    • Maggie

      No, “fanfic” is perfectly acceptable as a collective noun, and has been since at least 1983, when I started writing/publishing fanfic.

      August 13, 2015
  44. Alice

    This may just be me being overly cynical, but I’ve been thinking a lot about these books and why American culture seems to be comprised of such garbage lately. It occurred to me that maybe this book is being so widely promoted and talked about in order to inoculate the young generation with a skewed idea of relationships. Maybe this wasn’t E.L. Jame’s intention, but it could certainly be part of an agenda by the media/publishing industry/ everyone else responsible for promoting this trash.

    I really don’t know, but as somebody who used to be with an emotionally manipulative man, some of the shit Ana says/does really makes me upset because it reminds me of how I used to be as a teenager. Idk, just throwing my 2 cents out there. I really enjoyed this recap though!

    August 7, 2015
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  46. ‘We have NO time, just a couple of steaks, medium, and make me a frickin bearnaise sauce, oh but bring me the wine list first? Be quick about it, man, I am very busy and important!’
    Over and above (but not really) all the abuse and assault stuff, Chedward, just as a food service professional, fuck you for every word of that order! You really are short on time? Then how about a sandwich and a Coke. No, of course, not, rich important men of industry don’t eat like that, bring him the finest green veggies in the land!

    March 2, 2019

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