Wednesday, May 2, 2012

50 Shades of Grey Chapter Nine Recap or "I'm back like a mysterious rash"

Previously, on 50 Shades:
Damnit.

First, I want to thank everyone for their support during the weirdness this weekend. Let me stress again, I was never considering stopping just because of complaints. That's not my style. It's one of my "hard limits". Also, I know this didn't get posted "bright and early" as I promised, but my daughter had a field trip to the bird sanctuary and I'll be damned if I'm going to miss the opportunity to step in goose shit with a bunch of three year olds just to update my silly little blog.

A few things to keep in mind as we plunge forward, withdraw, and plunge forward again in these recaps:
  • 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.


Ana wakes up in Christian's bed, beside Christian.
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.
Please click here.

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.
I'd like to say Ana peed in his closet. I'd like to say that.

I like how Ana's judgmental programs are online from the moment her feet hit the ground. She's like a Terminator, but one that just tuts disapprovingly at things, as opposed to shooting at them with lasers. It's like any time there is an opportunity to take a bite out of Kate, Ana is on it. She has more clothes than a millionaire! That proves she's evil! You know, maybe he would have more clothes if he didn't spend so much money on kidnapping sex supplies. Just a thought.

Ana finds the bathroom, which is also "bigger than her bedroom". I'm glad Ana isn't a structural engineer: "How long are those support beams supposed to be again?" "Longer than my bedroom, but shorter than my living room!" Ana checks herself out in the mirror. She feels sore, her muscles are all worn out, and her subconscious is in a mood, let me tell you:
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."
"You're okay?"
"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.
 You probably already know what line I was going to quote, just from the picture, right?

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:
Thank you for sharing this moment with me. It is truly magical.

Speaking of horrible flavors for popsicles, you know how else I can tell this was a Twilight fanfic? Because while Christian Grey's penis should be warm and not call to mind a popsicle, Edwards would be cold and perfect for that analogy. Also? Writhing isn't really a subtle movement at all, especially when you've got some chick's head bobbing on your dick. Christian tells Ana that this is the moment, and if she doesn't want a mouthful she better stop. Ana decides to just keep going, and then, "in a moment of extraordinary confidence, I bare my teeth."

NO.

But it seems Christian Grey is the rare specimen who actually likes a lady to use her teeth on his cock, because he blows his load in her mouth and she swallows like a pro. Christian is amazed at how awesome she is at oral, and of course she is, because she is the Mary Sue heroine of the story.
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.
Ugh! Seriously! What is going on in this book? He puts her bound hands over her head and tells her not to move. Ana thinks, "This is not a man I want to cross... ever." Remember what I said about her ability to consent? Fear creates a power imbalance. Where there is a power imbalance, consent becomes a tricky thing. This puts one more mark in my "Ana should not be in a BDSM relationship" column. Chedward tells her that he's going to kiss her all over, and then her "heated blood pools low in my belly, between my legs, right down there. I groan." So do I, Ana. So do I. To his credit, he really does kiss her all over, and over again, because every time she moves her hands, he starts from the beginning. Ana gets super embarrassed when it's time to get to the main event, because he's going to "kiss me there!" By all means, let's continue with the coy use of "there" to indicate your fully adult woman parts, because childish prudery is absolutely not squicky at all when you're already wearing pigtails and constantly referring to aspects of your sexuality as childlike. At least Christian decides that he likes her pubic hair, because honestly, I don't know how I would feel if suddenly she's shaved bare, with big tails, unable to properly name her private parts. I wonder if the sex room has a mock van-and-strangers'-candy set up, and we just haven't seen it yet.

Even though earlier he was all concerned for her soreness, he fucks her, hard, and of course she's totally into it, because all it takes is the right man to take a woman from virgin to veteran prostitute in two seconds.
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?
You should probably jump with both feet into an extreme BDSM lifestyle with this guy you barely know. I mean, he gave you an orgasm, right? In romance novel logic, that's all that matters. Really, think about how many romances you've read where the hero treats the heroine like total crap, but he introduces her tender young body to the mysteries of love, so it's totally cool. Like, 50% of the Smart Bitches' first book covers exactly this phenomenon. So, I'm not really bashing 50 Shades here for following that formula. But I do think it's a really bad idea for Ana to commit to a legally binding contract making her subject to Christian's sexual desires from Friday to Sunday, like some really fucked up vagina custody agreement. Christian continues to pressure Ana, just moments post coital:
"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."
 I'll show her the world. Bitches love worlds.
But oh, wait! Plot twist!
"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.

7 comments:

  1. I can't, just - okay, so I'm several oceans away from Central/South America, which is where Wikipedia tells me the dance 'merengue' comes from. I had never heard of it. Call it a lack in my education or general development if you will, but it was worth it just to crack up at this sentence:
    "My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves."
    Because that's how you spell meringue in my native language. And seeing how salsa is also, y'know, a sauce... The mental image had me laughing so hard I think I may need medical attention now.

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    1. I am from South America, familiar with both merengue and salsa, and the image isn't any less ridiculous. Just think of Inner Ana dancing to festive, upbeat rhythms like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3DHmPLgsD8 . It's not very sexy. And that's the sexy version of the dance, but it mostly makes me think of people laughing and dancing at a birthday party. It ruins the mood. Not that the complete stupidity had enhanced it up to that point, of course. :P

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  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpIoPQHYhrw

    Could. Not. Resist. Hmmmmm!

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  3. You crack me the hell up Jenny! I really love how you summarize and disect this book and add your snarky comments and observations - it saves me a lot of time and provides much more entertainment than the book does (I'm sure)! Thank you SO much for doing this, and I'll probably be telling people about your blog now, and this 50 Shades recap specifically. :)

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  4. I started reading this series because my sister and cousin are fans and I'm so happy to see that I'm not the only one who hates the story, Christian and especially Ana! And the sex is NOT hot! Im not a Twilight fan, but I'm a married woman in my 40s so I think I'm the target audience for this series but no. Just no. Maybe it's because I don't find jealousy, rage or controlling behavior romantic and I have no shame owning my sexuality.

    Keep it up! You've got me laughing at this ridiculous story. And I'm going to check out some of your work. If it has half the wit you show on your blog, I'm sure I'll love it.

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  5. I’m two years late to the party but I just wanted to point out that “It’s so big and growing” and “That was inside me!” both sound like what a 10 year old would say. Besides the pigtails and him commenting on how young she looks, these two things she says are perfect examples of why people refuse to believe that Ana is 21 years old.

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  6. Just started reading your recaps, and I'm enjoying them so very much -- but perhaps never more than the unexpected appearance of the Skeksis chamberlain just now.

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