Previously, on 50 Shades:
- From here on out, these are probably all going to be even more NSFW.
- If you’re reading via GoodReads.com, you’re probably reading some messed up formatting. Come join the properly formatted post at my blog.
- Abed is Batman now.
It’s a beautiful May morning. Seattle at my feet. Wow, what a view. Beside me, Christian Grey is fast asleep. Wow, what a view.
Christian is gorgeous, even asleep. Ana thinks he looks younger. I think, “Younger than twenty-seven?” I remember when I thought twenty-seven was ancient, too, Ana. And then she thinks he looks like a small child, so, you know. Let’s continue with that theme I was enjoying so much. Ana really enjoys Christian being asleep, because, “I don’t have to worry about what I’m saying, what he’s saying, what plans he has, especially his plans for me.” You know, I get her comparison to small children now, because I feel the same way about my kids when they’re asleep. Only, I’m less verbose about it. Silent, actually, because it’s hard to talk when you’re chugging back a bottle of White Zin.
I could gaze at him all day, but I have needs – bathroom needs. Slipping out of bed, I find his white shirt on the floor and shrug it on. I walk through a door thinking that it might be the bathroom, but I’m in a vast walk-in closet as big as my bedroom. Lines and lines of expensive suits, shirts, shoes, and ties. How can anyone need this many clothes? I tut with disapproval. Actually, Kate’s wardrobe probably rivals this. Kate! Oh no. I didn’t think about her all evening. I was supposed to text her. Crap. I’m going to be in trouble.
She’s staring at me with pursed lips, tapping her foot. So you’ve just slept with him, given him your virginity, a man who doesn’t love you. In fact, he has very odd ideas about you, wants to make you some sort of kinky sex slave.
ARE YOU CRAZY? She’s shouting at me.
Okay, this right here, this is not going to be a criticism of the book. This is just a general question, and if anyone wants to weigh in on it, feel free to jump at it in the comments. Why do we talk about the “giving” and “taking” of virginity? Like it’s a tangible object than passes from hand to hand? I don’t understand it, but it’s definitely in the parlance of our society. The woman “gives” and the man “takes”. I’ve always hated that. I don’t feel like I gave anything away when I lost my virginity. I feel like I shared an experience. But then again, the kid who punched my v-card was also a virgin, so maybe in that case we just swapped virginities. I don’t know. But I really hate the give/take terminology.
Meanwhile, back on the ranch, Ana starts to consider everything that’s happened in the past twenty-four hours, but then she just gives up and starts complaining about her hair. She goes to get some hair ties and finds three texts from Kate, all wondering where she is. I’m wondering how Kate doesn’t understand the concept of sleeping over a man’s house. They’re what, twenty-one, twenty-two?
Remember the complaints I’ve had all along about Ana thinking of sexuality in some way, then immediately thinking of being childlike? Ana laments the fact that “just fucked” hair doesn’t look good on her, so she puts her hair up in… wait for it… pig tails. Her thinking? “Yes! The more girly I look, perhaps the safer I’ll be from Bluebeard.” I would say that this line, and the character’s actions, affirm my suspicion that Ana is sexually immature and unable to confront her own desires in a way that would allow her to consent to Christian’s arrangement. She sees herself as a victim of Christian’s sexuality, casting him as Bluebeard now, because we’ve apparently abandoned Tess of The D’Urbervilles as a literary theme. As Bluebeard’s thematically innocent young wife, she has no recourse to refuse him.
You know what movie uses Bluebeard as a really effective metaphor? The Piano. If you’ve never seen it, stop reading this recap and go watch it.
So, hair in pigtails, wearing Christian’s shirt, listening to her iPod turned up impossibly high, Ana dances her way around his kitchen and just makes herself at home, setting out to make pancakes and bacon. She applauds herself for managing to sleep in Christian’s bed, “even though he doesn’t let anyone in his bed. I smile, mission accomplished. Big time.” So, even though he’s made it clear that he’s not looking for a traditional relationship, this right here tells me that she thinks she’s going to be the woman to change him. She even goes so far as to remind herself that it wasn’t “making love,” but “fucking” (hard) that happened the night before, but then decides to ignore that. This is all following a really healthy path of open communication, right? Christian is sleeping away in the other room, secure in the fact that he’s made the nature of their relationship clear to her, and she’s wearing his clothes and playing house. By the way, this is a scene that is playing out every Saturday morning on every college campus ever. Except Christian is a married English prof and he doesn’t have a sex dungeon so much as a one-bedroom apartment he’s staying in while he “figures things out” and “works on his novel”.
Ana thinks about how she’s a misfit and Christian is also a misfit, and I think, “the word you’re looking for is misanthrope, not misfit.” Then she turns around and quelle surprise! like we didn’t all see it coming, Christian Grey has been sitting there, watching her for some time. Probably thinking, “Okay… I need to get her out of here like, yesterday.”
Oh, and he looks gorgeous so Ana flushes. I thought by now that was probably a given, but I should mention it in case y’all have short term memory loss.
After some morning chatter, he pulls her pigtail and says, “They won’t protect you.” Well, that’s not… threatening. Ana asks how he’d like his eggs, and he replies, “Thoroughly whisked and beaten,” because while some men get morning erections, Christian Grey wakes with a major hard-on for puns. There is a fair amount of back-and-forth flirting in this section, but honestly, it’s so impossibly tangled up with the most clinical and boring descriptions of cooking bacon and eggs than I just cannot bring myself to spork it.
“Just how sore are you?” he asks as he sits down. His gray eyes dark.
I flush. Why does he ask such personal questions?
“Well to be truthful, I have nothing to compare this to,” I snap at him. “Did you wish to offer your commiserations?” I ask too sweetly.
Ana responds to another person’s consideration with pissery, as is her wont. Seriously, Ana, do you want to be with a guy who isn’t going to ask you how you’re feeling? Especially when he wants to dominate you and involve pain-play at some point in the future? Or would you prefer an inconsiderate jerk who just doesn’t give a shit if you’re in agony? Christian is so considerate of her, he suggests she stay to continue her “training”, but nothing that’ll disrupt her saddle sore:
“Well, as you’re sore, I thought we could stick to oral skills.” I choke on my tea, and I stare at him, eyes wide and gaping. He pats me gently on the back and passes me some orange juice.
So, the first thing we’re going to work on is your gag reflex, then? Then, he asks if she wants to stay, and promises to get her home in time for work at nine the next day. When she says she needs to go home and get clean clothes, he tells her they can buy some, and when she says she’d really prefer to be home that evening, his mouth goes into a “hard line”. Control freak much? You brought her by helicopter, you told her she could leave at any time. Now she’s all, “I’d rather not spend the entire weekend with you after we just slept together the first time,” and you’re disappointed in her? Christian, Christian, Christian. If you could see her internal monologue, you’d see her leaving tonight as a good thing. It’s less time for her to monogram your towels against your will.
They argue about food again. Every single time there is food in a scene with them, he forces her to clean her plate. I assume this is foreshadowing. Either that, or he reminds me of when one of my friends is on a diet, and then all our other friends insist she just try a cookie. Kate calls while Christian is clearing up the dishes:
“Ana, why didn’t you text last night?” She’s angry.
“I’m sorry, I was overtaken by events.”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
“Did you?” She’s fishing for information.
She’s not really fishing, so much as asking outright if you slept with him. But Ana can’t say a thing, because she signed a legal document saying she wouldn’t say a thing. Ana decides the best way to get around the non-disclosure is to ask if she’s allowed to talk to Kate, in a strictly sex-ed kind of way. Christian tells her that if she has sex questions, she can ask him, but Ana thinks, “I can’t ask you. I’ll get your biased, kinky-as-hell distorted world-view regarding sex.” So, again, clearly this is a person who can give fully informed consent.
They go to the bathroom to take a bath together, and Christian tells her for the second time this chapter to stop biting her lip. Let’s add that to the drinking game, shall we? Not every time she bites her lip, just every time he tells her to stop biting her lip, because it’s turning him on so damned much. We also get another description of how desire feels “down there.” Then they get into the bath.
He stands back to gaze at me. I’m naked for heaven’s sake. I flush crimson and stare down at my hands, level with the base of my belly, and I desperately want to disappear into the hot water and foam.
Okay, last night you were all, “Fuck my mouth,” and today being naked in front of him is too much. She really fixates on their nakedness in this scene, like she can’t believe that they’re both naked, together. Even though they had sex twice the night before and she just served him bottomless breakfast. But it’s shocking that they’re naked in the bathtub? I wonder what kind of baths Ana usually takes. Full wet suit? Christian masturbates Ana with a washcloth, but leaves her hanging at the crucial moment to direct attention to his penis. Ain’t that just like a man?
“I want you to become well acquainted, on first name terms if you will, with my favorite and most cherished part of my body. I’m very attached to this.” It’s so big and growing. His erection is above the water line, the water lapping at his hips. I glance up at him and come face to face with his wicked grin. He’s enjoying my astounded expression. I realized that I’m staring. I swallow. That was inside me! It doesn’t seem possible.
Hey. If she’s supposed to be on a first-name basis with your cock, you should probably tell her what you named it. It’s just manners.
I think I should run some kind of contest, some kind of “name Chedward’s penis” contest. I’ll have to think up what the prizes would be. Stay tuned, because that’s coming up, I promise.
Ana starts to give Christian a soapy handy-j, and then this happens:
Fuck my mouth… hmmm. I remember him pushing his thumb in my mouth and asking me to suck, hard. His mouth drops open slightly as his breathing increases. I lean forward, while he has his eyes closed, and place my lips around him and tentatively suck, running my tongue over the tip.
“Whoa… Ana.” His eyes fly open, and I suck harder.
Hmm… he’s soft and hard at once, like steel encased in velvet, and surprisingly tasty – salty and smooth.
What about soapy, Ana? Because you didn’t wash the soap off. Look, I’m not trying to over share here, but can I just speak as the voice of experience and say that 1) I’ve heard a lot of guys say that the soapy handy-J seems like a great idea… until you get soap in your urethra, and 2) if you’re going to turn it around into a blowy, you want to be damn good and sure you got all the soap off. But this is a fantasy, as I have been reminded so often in the past few days, so I just have to let that slide. But please, we get that Ana is sheltered and innocent and all that, but are we really supposed to believe that she doesn’t know about oral sex and she’s come up with the idea for a bj all on her own just because he put a thumb in her mouth in the last sex scene. Like, if he hadn’t done that, she would have had no idea what to do with a cock at mouth level? I’m not buying it. Of course, she’s an expert right out of the gate:
Hmm… I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey flavor popsicle. I suck harder and harder, pushing him deeper and deeper, swirling my tongue round and round. Hmm… I had no idea giving pleasure could be such a turn-on, watching him writhe subtly with carnal longing. My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.
Based solely on the number of times Ana says “Hmm…” in this scene, I’m conjuring up a mental picture of her inner goddess, and I’d like to share it with you now:
I long to reach round and embrace him… touch him… but he has my arms trapped in the towel. I’m soon lost in his kiss. He cradles my head, his tongue exploring my mouth, and I get a sense he’s expressing his gratitude – maybe – for my first blowjob?
Maybe he just likes the taste of his own spunk, you ever think of that? I don’t remember seeing “no snowballing” on his list of “hard limits”. Then, after kissing her breathless, he begs her to accept his proposed agreement, and Ana thinks, “He really wants this.” Well, she did just give him the perfect blowy-j. I’m surprised he’s not rushing her via private jet to Vegas to marry her. Truly, he is a man like no other. And that’s not even sarcasm.
After asking Ana to trust him – and come on, she clearly does, she came to your inner sanctum after she saw what you bought at the hardware store – Christian goes and gets the tie from the cover of the book. He uses it to tie her hands together, and then:
He runs his fingers down my pigtails.
“You look so young with these,” he murmurs and moves forward.
I pull my tied hands over his neck and hold him the best I can. I know in that moment that I would do anything for this man. I am his.
The wonder that he’s introduced me to, it’s beyond anything I could have imagined. And he wants to take it further, so much further, to a place I can’t, in my innocence, even imagined. Oh… what to do?
“See how good we are together,” he murmurs. “If you give yourself to me, it will be so much better. Trust me, Anastasia, I can take you places you don’t even know exist.”
“But if he’s still in bed, then he must be ill. He’s never in bed at this time. Christian never sleeps in.”
“Mrs. Grey, please.”
“Taylor. You cannot keep me from my son.”
“Mrs. Grey, he’s not alone.”
“What do you mean he’s not alone?”
“He has someone with him.”
“Oh…” Even I hear the disbelief in her voice.Christian blinks rapidly, staring down at me, wide-eyed with humored horror.“Shit! It’s my mother.”
Thanks, Christian. We didn’t get that from the part where she was like, “You cannot keep me from my son.” Unless Christian is afraid Ana is going to think he’s married and he’s got a baby in a car seat in the closet, like in The Hangover.
Actually, that would be pretty funny. I wish the chapter would have ended that way.