Aaaaaand we’re back. There’s been some kind of glitch in the Matrix where I live in Scotland, so I’ve spent this week basking on riverbanks and drinking alcoholic ginger beer like some sort of boozy Famous Five. But alas, the good times must come to an end, and Fifty Shades Darker beckons me back to it’s doom-filled bosom once again. We left off last week with- Oh God, this chapter opens with a sex scene. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse.
Christian and Ana are getting down to the dirty, as they never stop doing, after Christian showed Ana where it was and wasn’t okay to touch him on his body.
“Boy, I want him inside me, now.”
BOW HOWDY MISTA. Why does Ana’s inner monologue sound like a cheeky fifties schoolboy asking for candy? Her nipples grow hard and “elongate” under his touch which, um, isn’t how any of this works, but alright.
““You’re so wet.” His voice is filled with wonder.”
And once again, doubt is cast over whether Christian has ever actually aroused a woman before. She goes on top, and is lost to a void of pleasure etc (seriously, the flowery sex language is so jarring that I’m not sure how anyone isn’t distracted enough to get aroused)
“Up and down . . . again and again . . . Oh yes . . .”.
Yup, try and keep it in your panties, ladies, because I know we’re all squirting like broken fire hydrants right now.
““My Ana,” he mouths.
“Yes,” I rasp. “Always.””
Rasping: the sexist noise, and certainly not just the one I spent the last week making because I have a fucking chest infection. Just picture the scene: Christian mouthing shit at Ana like one ear hasn’t popped yet, while she replies in a voice that sounds like that guy who sang Roxanne in Moulin Rouge.
They come, and literally half a page later Christian starts on this:
““All those boys pursuing you—that isn’t enough of a clue?”
“Boys? What boys?”
“You want the list?” Christian frowns. “The photographer, he’s crazy about you, that boy in the hardware store, your roommate’s older brother. Your boss,” he adds bitterly.
“Oh, Christian, that’s just not true.”
“Trust me. They want you. They want what’s mine.””
They’re still cuddling in bed at this point. He’s literally just pulled out of her, and he’s already starting with the “WEH WEH BOYS FANCY YOU AND IT’S NOT FAIR” malarkey again. How unreasonably pathetic is that? If Christian Grey is an “alpha” then I’d hate to see what a “beta” comprises of. A literal pile of goo that accuses you of friendzoning?
Also, why is he getting pissed at Ana for this? It’s not her fault people find her attractive, though God knows why. This is one of the nastiest parts of Christian possesiveness; treating Ana as if the reactions of other people are her fault (remember in the first book when he threw a hissy over Jose calling her?). This isn’t Ana’s problem, it’s Christian’s, but of course he’s making it her fault because he’s a fucking man-child who can’t face up to any of his own faults. Also strange: Ana denying these men were into her. She knows they were- she ackowledged it in the first book. It’s just character inconsistency, but it feels a lot like Ana backtracking to try and assuage Christian’s anger at her, which is some nasty bullshit.
Christian takes off the condom and drops it on the floor- which is completely fucking disgusting, by the way- and then he just threatens Ana’s bodily autonomy a little, you know, pillow chat:
““I hate those things. I’ve a good mind to call Dr. Greene around to give you a shot.””
A contraceptive shot, to be clear, not that Ana has ever expressed a desire for one. We gloss straight over that, and Ana touches him some more in his “allowed” zones, and then they fuck (off-screen, mercifully).
We cut to Ana in the shower, and she’s thinking about Mrs Robinson-and she actually gets angry for a bit, cursing her out for taking advantage of a child and fucking him up even further, which is about time. Then she gets out of the shower and puts on some sexy clothes for the event she’s attending with Christian and his family that evening, which is way more important, and Christian comes in and ogles her some.
He’s got some vibrating sexy-time balls, and suggests Ana put them up herself while they go out to the big masked ball that they’re off to. Look. I don’t know what you’re into, but the thought of having a vibrator up me for the duration of a family gathering doesn’t really get me hot. What if they fell out? Or someone heard the vibrating? Or I had an uncontrollable, screeching orgasm in the middle of dinner? Considering Ana’s “every time the wind changes” orgasm control, I’m surprised this hasn’t crossed Christian’s mind.
Ana agress, and Christian inserts the balls (ugh, not alright), and they head off. Ana spends two full paragraphs talking about her great she looks- “worthy of the red carpet”- because she’s sooooo modest and mousy and doesn’t think she’s worthy of Christian at all. Christian tells her she looks stunning as they’re going to leave, and for some reason this pisses me off:
“I flush at this compliment in front of Taylor and the other men.”
Because if it was in front of other women, she would be gloating that she was the prettiest. For some reason, Christian goes to show Ana his library which, as a student of English Literature, HE NEVER THOUGH TO SHOW HER BEFORE. They finally get in the car and go.
Christian gets Ana all hot and bothered in the car, and tells her what to expect from the event- rich people, fancy dresses, etc. They arrive, and apparently the papparazzi recognise Christian despite his mask because of his “copper hair”. This is interesting to me, because this is the colour of copper:
– and I don’t recall Jamie Dornan’s hair being that ginger in the movies at all. Why the discrimination against gingers, movie industry? Moving on.
They bump into Christian’s sister Mia, who introduces Ana to her friends. Of course, they’re jealous of the fact she snagged the indisuptably amazing Christian Grey:
““Of course we all thought Christian was gay,” she says snidely, concealing her rancor with a large, fake smile.
Mia pouts at her.
“Lily, behave yourself. It’s obvious he has excellent taste in women. He was waiting for the right one to come along, and it wasn’t you!””
Yes, it was
EL James Ana you wanton harlot! She’s the prettiest and the smartest and has the hottest boyfriend SO THERE!
Ana meets some other people at the party, and one of them mentions that her company is being bought out- and Ana internally notes that it’s Christian behind it all, or, in her words, “a stalker par excellence”. Again, this stalker stuff: right there in the text. I’m not pulling this from nowhere, you know.
She’s introduced to his grandparents, and we get some more random woman-bashing, because God forbid we miss one opportunity:
“Mrs. Trevelyan is all over me like a rash.”
Nice. That’s someone’s Gran, you cunt. They put some money in envelopes, and we take half a page out to regurgitate the menu, which sounds…fine, I guess. They eat dinner, and Ana comments internally on how loud Mia is and how Christian’s grandmother is too nasty to her husband. A waitress stops by- but not just any waitress, one who has the audacity to have met Christian before! Ana snarks on her hair, and acts pleased when Christian doesn’t acknowledge her.
Mmm, yeah, your rampant insecurity, baby, so sexy, much hot. These two shits deserve each other- they’re like a couple of fifteen-year-olds throwing vague Facebook statuses at each other whenever one of them so much as glances at someone else. Is Ana actually being worse than Christian in this chapter? Not far off. Why does Ana hate all women who cross her path? Why is that considered a desirable trait in a leading lady? Is internalized misogyny not a thing EL James is aware of as a concept, or is she just so deeply entrenched in it she can’t do anything but write it into her characters?
Ana goes to the bathroom to take out the sexy-time balls, and they return to the table.The prizes for the auction take up another half-page and Ana winds up bidding the $24,000 Christian forced on her a few chapters ago on a weekend at Christian’s family’s property in Aspen, and wins. And…that’s the end of the most insecure chapter of all time!