Hey sluts! I wrote a post about the semantics of sex in erotica recently, and you might like it if you read these recaps.
We left off last week with Ana admitting that she wants to have some kinky sex. A revelation, in the last book of a trilogy about kinky sex, but whatever.
“”Kinky fuckery?” he asks, his words a soft caress.”
Yes, the return of my favourite phrase! I mean, not only has anyone every described the word “fuckery” as a “caress”, but you know, whatever.
“”Carte blanche?” He whispers the question, eyeing me speculatively as if he’s trying to read my mind.
Carte blanche? Holy fuck—what will that entail?”
OH MY GOD. Look, don’t give the guy who beat you so hard with a belt you wept and were traumatised by the encounter while ignoring all the signs that you didn’t want it to continue carte blanche. Don’t do it. Because he’s shit at consent. Also don’t marry him, but it’s a bit late for that.
They go to the red room of bleh, and he undresses her in an awkwardly written passage. Christian has apparently gotten rid of almost all of his kinky tools, and only a riding crop and a flogger remain. He takes her sandals off for her, and, euch, sandals. Just me? Sandals give me the icks.
Christian tells her to face the wall, and then undresses himself. Of course, it’s time to wedge in some plugs for the soundtrack album:
“The piano is joined by an electric guitar. What is this? A man’s voice speaks and I can just make out the words, something about not being frightened of dying […] I sense him behind me as a woman starts to sing . . . wail . . . sing?”
“”You must tell me to stop if it’s too much. If you say stop, I will stop immediately. Do you understand?”
Aha, except remember that time she asked him to stop and he carried on haha. He teases her a bit, and then trails his finger over her “anus”, a word which is both a) painfully unsexy and b) in the text. Vibrators at the ready, ladies! He puts a plug in her butt, fucks her, and of course it’s sexiest thing in the world ever etc.
“The woman is still singing. Christian always puts songs on repeat in here. Strange.”
I’m actually with Christian on this one, because sometimes you might be getting down to music and then suddenly Spotify shuffles to a Blondie song that you first heard at a concert with your mum when you were seven and it’s hard to touch a penis and have that memory at the front of you brain, you know? So I’ve heard. Maybe.
They have a brief discussion about who cleans the butt plugs (the housekeeper, which, boke), and then Ana goes for a bath with Christian. Ana talks about having to return to work soon;
“He stills. “You know you don’t have to go back to work,” he murmurs.
Oh no . . . not this again. “Christian, we’ve been through this. Please don’t resurrect that argument.””
He’s a great guy, ladies, he just doesn’t want you to have a career or a job because if you have your own income it’s going to make it that much harder for you to escape his grasp. I mean, why else would he want her to not work? He would still have to, so it’s not like they would spend a bunch more time together. It’s just another part of Ana’s life outside of him he’s trying to cut off. Once again, EL James might not have intended to write a guy who just oozes dangerously controlling tendencies, but she did.
Christian shouts at his bodyguard a bit, and Ana goes to clean to butt-plug, thoughtfully enough. There’s a lot of blatant filler in this chapter, and I have no intention of inflicting it on you. Oh, don’t worry, we’ll get back to the abusive, juicy stuff soon enough:
” Part of me dreads going back to work, but I can never tell Christian that. He’d seize on the opportunity to make me quit […]I haven’t yet plucked up the courage to tell Christian that I am not going to change my name at work. I think my reasons are solid. I need some distance from him, but I know there will be a fight when he finally realizes that.”
The fuck? I really hope I don’t have to point out why this is creepy as fuck, but I will: Christian will try to pressure Ana into quitting her job as soon as he’s given the opportunity, even though she’s told him she doesn’t want to leave. Oh, and if he can’t exert his ownership over her own goddamn fucking name at her job then he’ll start a fight with her. What do these details add to the story, except to make Christian seem like a pathetic baby man with literally zero chill? Speaking of, Ana goes through the pictures from their honeymoon:
“Picture after picture of me. Asleep, so many of me asleep, my hair over my face or fanned out across the pillow, lips parted . . . shit—sucking my thumb. I haven’t sucked my thumb for years!”
WHAT EVEN IS ANY OF THIS? Why is any of this in the text? There is no way any of this can not read as creepy. There is no physical way to photograph an adult without their knowledge while they’re unconcious and have it not be at the very least heavy unsettling. Or maybe he’s longing for the days when they first met (all those weeks ago) when she was passed out drunk in his bed and he undressed her?
Ana is, of course, charmed as hell bu this inestimably creepy bullshit, and wanders off to find Christian. Who has received some CCTV of the perpetrator of the fire that I’d almost forgotten about by now! And, if you hadn’t guessed from the laughably bad ending of the FSD movie, it’s none other than Ana’s ex-boss, Jack Hyde!