Well, I’m bored, finished work, and currently trying to find excuses not to clean my flat. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS: it’s Fifty Shades post meridian. Before I begin, though, I’d like to draw your attention to this. ‘Kay? ‘Kay. As your reward: recap time!
We left Ana and Christian just as Christian revealed his playroom to our snoozey Mary Sue. Ana opens the chapter by describing literally everything about the room, right down to the smell (disappointingly, it’s not the scent of banana condoms mixed with vaginal secretions, sweat, and Grey’s ego), even drawing our attention to a large wooden cross with restraining cuffs on each end. Let it be known that when the movie comes out, I’m going to overdub this scene with this music, because I find it intrinsically hilarious and…well, just picture it.
DO DO DO-DO-DO-DO-DO-DO-DOOO-DOOOOO
Ana also mentions that there’s a mattress covered in red leather, which I find pretty offputting. In theory (by which I mean in porn), this is “sexy”, but in practice, you’d just be ripping layers of your skin off every time you went to change positions, earning yourself a tremendous burn and stinky leather in the process. Wouldn’t this also be insanely expensive? I’ve never come across red leather bedding in any form, and even for a gazillionaire like Christian it seems like a pointlessly extravagant purchase.
Ana asks Christian about the room, who he uses it with, and why he brought her heOH GOD MY CAT IS ABOUT TO BE SICK ON MY BED, FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK-
Right, anyway, Christian says he brought her to the playroom because, after expressing physical interest in her and kissing her passionately, he apparently wants to have sex with her now? Look, I know that Ana is meant to be a beautiful, pure untouched virgin, but one minute she’s basically fully understanding what the playroom is for- and bear in mind that many sexually active people go through their whole lives without encountering BDSM of this intensity-and the next she’s surprised that this guy who has basically outrightly said he wants to fuck her wants to fuck her?
The next passage seriously annoys me. In it, Christian explains that he is a dominant and that this room is used to both punish and reward his (consenting) submissives. Suddenly, Ana is all “HE’S DANGEROUS FOR MY HEALTH” and “KATE WAS RIGHT ABOUT HIM” and so forth. Look, of all the fucking creepy shit he’s done so far-which, to recount, includes taking her away from a party, back to his hotel room, undressing her, and sleeping next to her without her consent-having a torture room full of kinky BDSM gear and being comfortable calmly explaining it ISN’T THAT FUCKING DANGEROUS.
This passage happens;
“This is what I cannot reconcile. Kind, caring Christian who rescues me from inebriation and holds me gently while I’m throwing up into the azaleas, and the monster who possesses whips and chains in a special room”.
For the last time: being into BDSM doesn’t make you a monster. Having a room dedicated to BDSM seems pretty sensible. “Rescuing” someone from inebriation is a dick move. I’m drunk right now, and the only thing rescuing me from inebriation is my cat and that’s only because she’s wanting fed. Ana is tremendously confused about what makes a “monster”.
Christian leads her downstairs to get something to eat, despite the fact the seeing his pain dungeon torture leather basement has made her lose her appetite. Once again, we’re pulling on the Ana-is-an-untouched-virgin trope here, but is exposing someone to your sexual desire really that awful? I mean, I’ve encountered my fair share of bizarre sexual stuff, and-aside from one experience where someone else’s period started at a tremendously inopportune moment- the worst I’ve done is say “hey, look, this really isn’t for me”. If Ana is having such an obviously visceral reaction to Christian’s home porn set, why the fuck doesn’t she just politely leave?
Ana eats some grapes after Christian starts haranguing her over whether she likes cheese or not (no, seriously) and that’s that. They discuss his history with BDSM, another one of those scenes which will play out much better in the film (which I will be paying money to see, then reviewing on this blog as a grand finale to these recaps if I can be fucked). Christian takes her to the office, and shows her the contract she’d have to sign if she were his submissive; one of the clauses involves clothing.
“I want you dressed well. I’m sure your salary, when you do get a job, won’t cover the kind of clothes I’d like you to wear”.
The other parts of the contract (OOH ALL THIS TALK OF LEGAL NEGOTIATION IS MAKING ME WANT TO PUT MY DOWN MY TROUSERS) deal with his hard limits, which rule out almost all the fun stuff. What’s the point of sex without a little fire-play? When Christian asks Ana if there’s anything she’d like to add, she reveals that she’s never actually had sex before. Aaand….that’s the cliffhanger to end this chapter on. Ballin’.