Wednesday, February 6, 2013

50 Shades Freed recap chapter 5, or "In praise of vague anal."

We had an amazing weekend on twitter. Someone came up with the idea to make a #50ShadesIsAbuse hashtag. Actor Stephen Fry (!) tweeted the hashtag to his followers and the damn thing exploded. Once the 50 Shades fans caught wind of the criticism, they circled the wagons. Some of them promptly jumped at the chance to threaten violence against people who didn't like the book, and to tell real domestic violence survivors that they deserved their abuse or should be the targets of further abuse. Some went a more subtle route, repeatedly reporting one #50ShadesIsAbuse poster until his account was suspended twice.

So basically, these books are attracting only the very best people.

In response to all this, a 50 Shades is Abuse blog ring was created. If you feel like despairing at humanity for exalting this book, here's the link.

Also, someone more familiar with Twilight than I am is calling out the instances of blatant plagiarism in 50 Shades. Lest we forget that E.L. James isn't an author. She's a plagiarist.

And then there's this: A fool and his money are soon parted.

When last we left Ana and Christian, they were going to make the security team wait in the other room while they had sex. Christian asks Ana if she wants "kinky fuckery."
I nod, feeling my face flame. Why am I embarrassed by this? I have done all manner of kinky fuckery with this man. He's my husband, damn it! Am I embarrassed because I want this and I'm ashamed to admit it? My subconscious glares at me. Stop over-thinking.
Ana, no one would ever acuse you of over thinking. But what really pisses me off about this paragraph is her assumption that because this man is her husband, she should be able to just give up her body and her desires to him without any reservation. The thing is, that kind of relationship requires trust, and there's no trust between Ana and Christian except for the trust he's forced her to put in him. And even then, she has doubts, so tell me again why she should be totally comfortable sharing anything personal with him at all?

Christian asks if he has "'Carte blanche'" during this kinky fuckery:
Carte blanche? Holy fuck - what will that entail? "Yes," I murmur nervously, as excitement blooms deep inside me.
You may remember that the last time she gave him "carte blanche," he beat the ever living fuck out of her with a belt, and not in a sex game way. In a "I want to cause you as much pain as possible because your suffering gets me off even if your consent is dubious and uninformed," kind of way.

They go into the "play room." I guess that's what we're calling it now, instead of the Red Room of Pain, and thank god. Red Room of Pain sounds like a New Wave band or a Boston-based Irish rap group.
The playroom smells reassuringly familiar, of leather and wood and fresh polish. I blush, knowing that Mrs. Jones must have been in here cleaning while we were away on our honeymoon.
Why, was someone else using it while you were on your honeymoon? Why would it need to be cleaned?
What will he do? He locks the door and turns.
Again with the locking door. Like, dude, you live alone, with a highly trained security staff. Do you think the arsonist is going to drive his Dodge right through that door and interrupt your sex? What is the likelihood of someone busting in on them in the apartment where only they live? I know this is a small detail when compared to everything else in these books, but I've totally fixated on it.

Christian asks Ana what she wants, and she tells him to surprise her. With the exception of, "beat me as hard as you can with this belt so I can see if I can still love you after," has Ana ever actually told Christian what she wanted? It seems like most of the time, she demurs and lets him take control. Which I get, she's a submissive, but hell, he's asking you.

So, read this excerpt, and I'll ask you a question on the other side:
"Here," I whisper, gazing nervously at him as I remove the hair tie from around my wrist and hold it up for him. He stills, and his eyes widen briefly but give nothing away. Finally, he takes the small band.
"Turn around," he orders.
Relieved, I smile to myself and oblige immediately. Looks like we've overcome that little hurdle.
What hurdle? I re-read this part over and over, trying to figure out what all the drama was about, and the best I could come up with was that maybe he didn't want to braid her hair like he did to his subs? Because she's his wife now? Or something? But there's no way to tell. All this tells me is that he's somewhat reluctant to touch a hair tie, for no reason. Or they've overcome the hurdle of telepathic communication, since all she had to do was say, "Here, braid my hair."

Now it's time for bold that word rep! Obviously the emphasis is all mine:
"Now turn around and take your skirt off.  Let it fall to the floor." He releases me and steps back as I turn to face him. Not taking my eyes of his, I unbutton the waistband of my skirt and ease the zipper down. The full skirt fans out and falls to the floor, pooling at my feet.
"Step out from your skirt," he orders. As I step toward him, he kneels swiftly down in front of me and grasps my right ankle.
I get that sometimes, word rep can be sneaky and hard, even for copy editors. Sometimes, there's no way to avoid it. But this is kind of inexcusable.
Suddenly he kneels up, grabs my hips, and pulls me forward, burying his nose in the apex of my thighs. "And you smell of you and me and sex," he says, inhaling sharply. "It's intoxicating." He kisses me through my lace panties, while I gasp at his words - my insides liquefying.
You just fucked in the car, your "insides" are already sloshing with liquid. Pardon me while I imagine Christian getting a huge glob of his own gelled semen up his nose.

Christian tells her to face the wall, so she won't know what he's doing, and she listens while he opens drawers and thinks about how much she loves anticipation and how he's going to do all this naughty stuff to her. Which would be hot, except it's followed by this:
The subtle hiss of the sound system coming to life tells me it's going to be a musical interlude. A lone piano starts, muted and soft, and mournful chords fill the room. It's not a tune I know. 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.
Quick question, does anyone else get a murdery vibe from that? By the way, the song she's describing is "The Great Gig In The Sky," which is not music I would choose for a BDSM scene. Pink Floyd is definitely music to have sex to when you're stoned and laying on the floor and you've already gotten tired of trying to match the lyrics up with Wizard of Oz, but the borderline screaming would make it super distracting if you weren't high as absolute balls. Also, I refuse to believe Ana got through college in the Pacific Northwest without ever once hearing Dark Side of The Moon. Why can't she just say, "Christian puts on a Pink Floyd song?" Why is E.L. so fucking coy about the music or naming songs if she's just going to put the list of songs up on her website, anyway?

Oh, shit! I know why she's coy about the songs, I'll bet. Because back in the day, cracked the fuck down on "song fics," fanfiction where the author would write stories based on popular songs, or built around the lyrics of popular songs. For a long while, they were super strict about this; one of my Phantom of The Opera fics got removed because I included the lyrics to an aria (which was in the public domain, but whatever, in the Pit of Voles, you get what you pay for). I wonder if that's why songs aren't mentioned by name. This is only speculation, of course, since 50 Shades is obviously not at all fanfiction of any type, right? It says so in the disclaimer in the front.

Maybe it's a copyright thing? Like she was afraid someone was going to come after her from a legal standpoint if she used the titles of songs in her published work? Which is kind of... not seeing the forest for the trees, isn't it, considering that her entire work is plagiarized?

Continuing with his theme of "love means never having to use a safeword," Chedward tells Ana:
"You must tell me to stop if it's too much. If you say stop, I will stop immediately. Do you understand?"
Look. My opinion of safewords is, you should probably use them. However, there are situations where people decide to not use safewords, or to just make the safeword, "Ouch, that hurts in the bad way." To engage in safeword-less BDSM, you need a few things:

  • A Dom/Domme who can tell the difference between "(don't) stop!" and "Stop!" Christian has already proven that he can't do this, when he beat the fuck out of Ana while she screamed her head off in a clear, "I'm not into this," way. He was confused afterward, because he felt it was her responsibility to safeword, not his responsibility to monitor the scene (which he shouldn't have engaged in, because she didn't want to play, she wanted to test him on an emotional level.)
  • Trust. Sure, Ana trusts Christian. But that's because Ana is stuck in a loop of learned helplessness. She has to trust him, because she has no other choice. He's broken that trust time and again (putting hickeys and bruises on her on their honeymoon, when she couldn't see what he was doing and couldn't object, for one), but since she doesn't have any agency left, she can't not trust him. That's not trust, that's brainwashing.
  • Clear and open communication. These two do not communicate. They talk a lot, but not about anything important, until someone has a huge breakdown. And if Ana does try to communicate with Christian, he just manipulates her out of being concerned about whatever it was that bothered her in the first place.
So, basically, no. These nitwits should not be in the playroom without a safeword.

They have some boring interplay about how she wants him to spank her, and he blindfolds her, and then he sticks his fingers in her, and then he plays with her asshole and tells her they're going to have fun with it. And I'm like, "FINALLY. Three books in and we're FINALLY going to see some backdoor action." He fingers her and talks about how wet she is, and I'm like, "Duh, you came in her not five minutes ago, did you get spunknesia or something?"
I hear the quiet spurt of some liquid, presumably from a tube, then his fingers are massaging me there again. Lubricating me... there!
I'm so tired of "...there!" I'm so tired of it. I'm tired of "everything south of my waist" (which, by the by, is used in this scene as well). If you want to write a naughty book, write a naughty book. Just say that he put lube on your asshole, for fucks' sake.

Also, Ana does a lot of hearing in this scene. She hears the drawer opening, she hears the "soft hiss" of the sound system (is he putting on a vinyl LP here? I haven't heard a "soft hiss" since the 1980's, and certainly not on a digital format), now she can tell that there is liquid coming out of a tube. Not a bottle, specifically a tube, and she can tell this because she's fucking Daredevil.
"Most people don't know I'm blind, just because I'm so great at anal!"

"This is lube." He spreads some more on me.
Thanks for mentioning it, because otherwise she might have thought it was salad dressing.

Oh god, I just pictured Ranch dressing on somebody's asshole. There goes lunch.
I groan. And I feel something cool, metallically cool, run down my spine.
"I have a small present for you here," Christian whispers.
An image from our show-and-tell springs to mind. Holy crap. A butt plug.
Anastasia Steele, Psychic Buttsecks Detective.

Are you ready for the most appallingly vague description of anal play you will ever read in a modern novel? Grab your ankles and brace yourselves, because this is happening:
And gently, while his fingers and thumb work their magic, he pushes the cold plug slowly into me.
"Ah!" I groan loudly at the unfamiliar sensation, my muscles protesting at the intrusion. He circles his thumb inside me and pushes the plug harder, and it slips in easily, and I don't know if it's because i"m so turned on or if he's distracted me with his expert fingers, but my body seems to accept it. It's heavy... and strange... there!
"Oh, baby."
And I can feel it... where his thumb swirls inside me... and the plug presses against... oh, ah... He slowly twists the plug, eliciting a long, drawn-out moan from me.
"Ah!" I groan loudly at the supposedly kinky book. It's not graphic... and it's disappointing... and I have... feelings! I'll use... ellipses... to... avoid... describing... anal... because I'm lacking experience or imagination or both.

Throughout this scene, Ana mentions being nervous, having anxiety. This does not a loose asshole make.  But there's no discomfort at all? Not even like, "It's a weird feeling like I'm accidentally shitting myself?" Just, "Oh, it's all pleasure because I'm just soooo turned on, even though I'm nervous and I've never done this before and also I'm routinely terrified of the person who's wielding the butt plut?"

I hesitated to add that part, because I know someone in the comments is going to be like, "Actually, I loved anal the first time I had it and it doesn't hurt everyone and that's not very sex-positive of you to say it does when it doesn't for everyone," and then I was like, fuck it. If you were an anal queen the first time out of the gate, good for you, but most people aren't and this scene doesn't add up to me, knowing everything we know about Ana and Christian. It's just straight up unrealistic first time butt play. She's nervous, a first-timer, and he does nothing to prepare her apart from squirting some lube on her butthole. She has never done butt stuff before. So, the first and most obvious choice would be to finger her asshole, right?  Nope, straight to the butt plug. Which I find really amusing, because he's like, soooo concerned about rushing her into butt stuff, and they have to go super slow and it's this long, intensive process to go through before he can put his wang in her butt, but then he skips the first and most obvious step. But whatever.

Then he has P-in-V with her while pulling the plug in and out, and we get this crazy-ass description:
And he picks up the pace, his breathing more labored, matching my own as he thrashes into me.
Thrashes? What an odd word choice. All I can imagine is Christian violently swinging his cock from side to side like the pendulum in a broken grandfather clock while he tries to penetrate her.
He moves one of his hands from my hips and twists the plug again, tugging it slowly, pulling it out and pushing it back in. The feeling is indescribable, and I think I'm going to pass out on the table.
I know sometimes authors (myself included) use "indescribable" to show the reader that this character is overwhelmed by something. But given the vague descriptions in this scene, I'm going to assume it's just literally indescribable because the author isn't skilled enough to describe it.

And then they come and it's the most amazing orgasm ever and all sorts of trite descriptions, blah blah. Then there is a section break and they're still listening to the same song. I'm like, "That song is about four minutes long, way to have staying power, Chedward," until Ana clarifies that it's on repeat. You know, I love Pink Floyd as much as the next person, but if someone blindfolded me and locked me in a room with "The Great Gig In The Sky" repeating,  I would consider that legitimate torture.

Then they have their usual post sex talk, all quiet and gentle with shy smiles and uncertainty, because nothing turns people on more than needless drama after sex. Christian starts gathering up their toys and says he's going to go run them a bath.
"Who cleans these toys?" I ask as I follow him over to the chest.
He frowns at me as if not understanding the question. "Me. Mrs. Jones."
WHAT? First of all, when frowned like he didn't understand, I was like, "What, he doesn't clean his buttplugs?" Then he said that his poor, sweet housekeeper Mrs. Jones cleans them, and I was like:

Seriously? You do the anal, you clean your own damn toys. Jesus! You're a millionaire. Get a little dishwasher for the playroom and use it only for that. WTF is wrong with you. "Hey, will you clean someone else's shit off this? Thanks."

Whatever Mrs. Jones gets paid, it is NOT enough.

Prepare yourselves, dear readers.

Taking my hand, he unlocks the playroom door, then leads me out and downstairs. I follow him meekly.
The anxiety, the bad mood, the thrill, fear, and excitement of the car chase have all gone. I'm relaxed - finally sated and calm. As we enter our bathroom, I yawn and loudly stretch... at ease with myself for a change.
Okay. There are people who are so into the submissive mindset that they do have mood swings or feel generally ooky if they haven't been dominated in a while. I believe this is more common in 24/7 D/s relationships, but I don't know that anyone has done a study on it or anything. HOWEVER, Ana and Christian are not representative of an actual D/s couple. Ana is now psychologically addicted to Christian's brand of dominance (abuse), and though there was nothing technically abusive about that sex scene, I have to wonder if this isn't a way to justify how Christian treats her even when they're not having sex.

And then I got very sad, and I ate my feelings with a side of burritos.

Christian has noticed that she's been out of sorts:
"Yes, you've been in a strange mood today, Mrs. Grey." Standing, he pulls me into his arms. "I know you're worrying about these recent events. I'm sorry you're caught up in them. I don't know if it's a vendetta, an ex-employee, or a business rival. [...]"
How incredibly artless. It's all three, guys. Just a heads up here. She couldn't even be bothered to throw a red herring into this "mystery".

They take a bath together and Christian tries to get Ana to give up work. Because being a housewife with a live-in housekeeper and no children is going to be real fucking personally fulfilling to a woman, right? Because all we truly desire is to sit around being available for men. Then there's a section break, and Ana goes downstairs and hears Christian giving Sawyer a different kind of ass reaming:
"Where the fuck were you?"
Oh shit. He's shouting at Sawyer. Cringing, I dash upstairs to the playroom. I really don't want to hear what he has to say to him - I still find shouty Christian intimidating.
So, Ana is still afraid of Christian. That's a healthy marriage, right? Being afraid of someone? Also, fuck you Christian. Where was Sawyer? He was in the SUV behind you because you absolutely have to drive your own car. And then you made him wait for his dressing down while you had sex and a bath. So I really hope the answer is, "I was sitting in your study waiting for you to get concerned about the plot again."
Taylor will be back tomorrow evening, and Christian is generally calmer when he's around. Taylor is spending some quality time today and tomorrow with his daughter. I wonder idly if I'll ever get to meet her.
Why would you? If Taylor is smart, he'll keep his kid well away from the fucked up people he works for.

Ana decides to pull her own weight and clean the butt plug. She's intercepted by Mrs. Jones as she tries to make it to the bathroom. Mrs. Jones now calls Ana "Mrs. Grey," and when Ana tells her to use her first name, Mrs. Jones says she's not comfortable with it. Now, Ana, the correct answer here is, "I pay your salary, get comfortable with it," but instead she thinks:
Oh! Why must everything change just because I have a ring on my finger?
Because it's a tiny shackle.

Mrs. Jones wants to look over the menus for the week with Ana, who is shocked at the idea. Probably because she never eats and has only heard of food when other people talk about it, or when her dreamy abusive husband force feeds her. After a brief description of Sawyer crossing the great room, Ana resumes her butt plug cleaning journey.
I dump Christian's shoes on the floor and my clothes on the bed, and take the bowl with the butt plug into the bathroom. I eye it suspiciously. It looks innocuous enough, and surprisingly clean. I don't want to dwell on that, and I wash it quickly with soap and water. Will that be enough? I'll have to ask Mr. Sexpert if it should be sterilized or something. I shudder at the thought.
Why would you shudder at the thought of a sterile butt plug? You should shudder at the thought of a dirty one, really. And I love that she doesn't want to dwell on the fact there's no poop on the butt plug. How could there be? Ana doesn't ingest any physical nourishment. I'm sure she only takes a crap biannually. But the time you don't want to dwell on a butt plug is when there is poop on it.

Christian has given Ana the library to work in, so she goes there.

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 remember Roach's apoplectic reaction when I told him I was getting married and to whom, and how, shortly afterward, my position was confirmed. I realize now it was because I was marrying the boss. The thought is unwelcome. I am no longer acting editor - I am Anastasia Steele, editor.
If it's unwelcome, why don't you get a job and prove yourself somewhere else? Oh, that's right, you can't, Christian will just buy that company too, and make you the CEO.

I'm sorry, but I'm not feeling Ana's "poor me" bullshit over getting promoted to editor within a week or two of working at SIP. Christian was supposed to stop steamrolling over her career. She was outraged when he bought SIP, and she was angry when she accused him of getting her promoted to acting editor in the first place. But now, she knows for a fact that she's gotten promoted because she married him, and she's fine with it? Whatever, we all know she's not going to keep working there for long.
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 don't want to change my name." There's your solid reason. I absolutely fucking loathe that it's still considered a given that a woman will change her name after she gets married. If you want to change it, change it. But the idea that society totally defends the right of a man to be angry about his wife not taking his name is just mind-boggling and infuriating.

Ana decides to get the honeymoon pictures off the digital camera, and then shit goes all One Hour Photo up in this bitch:
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!
Oh wow!  That's totally not creepy or infantilizing at all! How romantic, that being with her husband makes her so vulnerable and child-like again!

Or not, because fuck this. Fuck all of this.
And there's one of him and me on the bed in the master cabin that he took at arm's length. I am cuddled on his chest and he gazes at the camera, young, wide-eyed... in love.
What a gentleman, he took a surreptitious selfie with the chick he just banged. Oh, shit, was that description not romantic enough? Sorry, I guess I recognize malignant narcissism when I see it.

Seeing the photos he creepily took of her while she was sleeping (look, I'll give him one or two, but not "picture after picture"), she's all, OMG I love him, I can't believe someone would want to kill the most perfect and precious human being on the planet," and she runs to his study. He's on the phone with Barney, looking at something on his computer.
When I crawl onto his lap, his eyebrows shoot up in surprise.
Do you suck your thumb, too, Ana? Look, I'm all for some age play, but this isn't written as age play. It's written as totally normal behavior, for a grown ass woman to lapse back into sucking her thumb and crawling into daddy's lap. It's gross, like E.L. is trying to make children or being child-like (without consciously choosing to engage in age play) sexy. And I'm sorry, but this book is fucked up enough.

Christian is looking at his computer, at images of the server room before the fire.
The picture blurs, then refocuses moderately sharper on the man consciously gazing down and avoiding the camera. As I stare at him, a chill of recognition sweeps up my spine. There is something familiar in the line of his jaw. He has scruffy short black hair that looks odd and unkempt... and in the newly sharpened picture, I see an earring, a small hoop.
Holy crap! I know who it is.
It's Mister Clean.
"Christian," I whisper. "That's Jack Hyde."
Or maybe it's a pirate. Are you saying all guys with small hoop earrings look the same to you? That's racist against pirates.

And then the chapter is over. I'm so glad it was only fifteen pages long, because damn.


  1. Spunknesia has my vote for best word of 2013.

    Add "the apex of my thighs" in with the "down there" please.

    1. I know, right?

      Spunknesia: Amnesia that happens upon smelling your own spunk

      A+, will LOL again

  2. $10 says she's squicked about whether or not the butt plug gets sterilized because Mr. Billionaire doesn't buy new toys between subs. Who knows who else has used that plug.

    No kids (yet), no chores around the apartment, no hobbies, not getting to hang out with friends, and he wants her to have no job. Christian didn't want a wife. He wanted a pretty little bird to keep in a gilded cage ready for his personal enjoyment 24/7. Aside from the no chores, he sounds exactly like an ex of mine who moved us far into the country to isolate me. If it weren't for the internet and my ex not knowing how to stop me from getting on while he was at work (thank you, old computer, for not having plugs that disconnected from the towers), I would be dead now. I'll forever be grateful for my now-deceased new-at-the-time friend who reconnected me with the world and got me out.

    Ana is being isolated. She consented pretty willingly to sex once (what position where they in that he could pull the plug in and out unimpeded while PIV was also happening?), and I'm afraid this one time will be the catalyst to her giving up any autonomy she may have left in her life. "I gave in that time, so I guess I can't even think about saying no now." Mental manipulation. On that hashtag #50shadesisabuse, many of us know it painfully well.

    1. I seem to remember he stated in the last book that he buys new steel anal toys for each sub. Which is a bit ironic, since steel toys can be sterilized and most whips and paddles can't. Let's hope he's super careful about never drawing blood and keeping bodily fluids off them.

    2. Well thank goodness only some things are reused. :) Billionaire and he won't even buy everything new between people. Even if the Red Room of Pain (such a horrid name I can't even type it without laughing out loud) is Lysol'd down, I wonder how sanitary it really is.

  3. I lost it at the pendulum cock swinging. And then I felt sad when Anastasia chose to internalize Christian's creepy behavior as sweet and romantic.

    His need to photograph her while she sleeps reminded me of the stash of photos he kept of his subs as "insurance." (Does anyone think he didn't jack off to those pics? Please.) There's something voyeuristic and non-consensual about both episodes. Then again, that's practically Christian's method.

    Re: the anal sex scene... Her muscles protest the intrusion, but the plug slides in easily? Either she's clenching like hell or she's relaxed. Can't have it both ways. One's ideal, the other makes for a pretty uncomfortable experience. Not that I'd know anything about that. Ahem.

    Interesting, as always, to see that Christian's focus is on his pleasure rather than getting Ana off or letting her adjust to a new experience. One would almost think she's a prop in his sexual fantasies, rather than, you know, his partner.

  4. just wanna say thanks and keep helping people recognize this is not a healthy portrayal of bdsm. Also - I love "The Boss".

  5. Pirate was a good guess. I imagined it being Mr T for some reason.
    Anyway, this recap made my shitty wednesday a whole lot better, so thank you!

  6. I guess I'd qualify as an anal queen, still the first time I did it my boyfriend asked if it was OK and I said it felt a bit like I was taking a huge poop. It took about 5 minutes for us to stop laughing and continue.

    Also, STEPHEN FRY! If I was to give someone carte blanche, he'd be near the top of the list behind Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom and just before Kate Beckinsale.

    1. I just pictured this lineup as a literal chain of bonking, which ended up with the mental image of Kate Beckinsale pegging Stephen Fry o_O

    2. Dude. Just about choked on a Oreo. I'll never see "Jeeves & Wooster" in the same light again.

  7. Well, about the anal thing, I’m one of those people who liked it the first time and felt no discomfort…but I wasn’t nervous or anxious at all. I completely trusted my partner, who had given me every reason to do so. That’s not the case with Ana and Christian, so I think what you said still holds.

  8. I have to admit, I was more angry about the 50 Shades jewelry line than anything else in this chapter. Partially because I think I've grown numb to the awful things in these books, and partly because I make jewelry as a hobby and I'm already annoyed at how so many people think "jewelry" should mean "one pretty thing hanging off of a boring, nondescript chain". Is it too much to ask for some byzantine, or half-persian, or some goddamned dragonscale? Nooo, it's all just pre-fab 2-in-1 shit. Ugh. And the fact that you can't zoom in on any of the pictures doesn't instill me with a lot of confidence in the jeweler's skills, either.

    Dammit, can't James stick to fucking with one art form at a time?

    1. OT, but any chance you can post a link to sources of good non-boring jewelry chains (or your own stuff, if you sell any of it)? I found a excellent pendant I'm getting my partner for Valentine's, but the chain is pretty nondescript (and probably too girly for my partner's tastes), so getting something more sturdy and more original would be great.

    2. Well, most of the people I know who make and sell quality stuff are on these forums:

      I don't know who all has online stores and who doesn't--I don't exactly shop for the finished products :D But there are image galleries you can use to get an idea of what you want, and then you can always ask if there's anybody who sells what you're looking for (or who could custom make it). Actually, if you say "I have a pendant that looks like X" you'll probably get some good suggestions of what chain would look best with it.

      Other option is to look on places like Etsy for maille jewelry, but be warned that 99% of what you'll find is made by people whose mailling skills are about as good as Chedward's dom skills. Or boyfriend skills. Or 'being a decent human being' skills.


      Looks like they're late launching the line. When it happens, I'm sure we can zoom in on Amazon. I wonder what's going to cost $1,000.

      If I ever see someone wearing one of these pendants, I'll have a hard time not rolling my eyes. Also I am now no longer comfortable wearing my favorite silver key pendant. No joke, I am too uncomfortable with the thought of being pegged as a fan of these books. I just got it a few weeks ago. I guess I'll see if I can return it. :(

    4. I was upset about that jewelry because I have a gold necklace that's pretty much identical to the handcuffs pictured there.

      I bought it a few years ago because, hey, I like to throw down with some handcuffs every once and a while. Now I have to worry someone will mistake me for a 50 shades fan.

    5. My first thought on seeing the tie one was just that it would make you look like a total knob. If someone didn't get the reference they'd just think why are you wearing a tie on a chain, you look like a knob. If they did get the reference they'd think oh look there's someone with Christian Grey's tie on a chain round their neck, what a knob. At least I would, though I appreciate that any piece of jewellery which costs $200 probably isn't aimed at me (I'm in the UK for a start).

  9. Something that's been bugging me from last chapter - wouldn't all the worrying about the paparazzi and/or their security getting a glimpse of naked Ana preclude sex it the car or in the garage? Somebody needs to pick a story and stick with it.

    Anyway, great job as always and let's hope Ana never has to discuss the details of her postpartum healing with her doctor. Because that will be one confused doctor.

    I hope she gets hemorrhoids.

    1. "I was so mortified I could feel my insides turning to liquid as I told the doctor that I could feel...those things...down there... Everything below my waist felt like it was on fire, and not like when Christian looked at me and smiled but like when he was shouty. I was all...painful...there, and then there too. My inner goddess shuddered and curled up under a blanket. Christian hadn't touched me...there...or there...since those things happened there and...the stitches there were still there. And I'm still carrying all this extra weight here and there, so Christian probably doesn't want to touch me there or there anyway."

    2. Ok, I just choked on my dinner. :D
      The best part was, I understood what was going on in that paragraph a lot better than anything that's happened in the 50 Shades trilogy.

    3. Marteani, I finally finished hacking up the graham cracker I inhaled while laughing. Still coughing. That was too funny!

    4. That was just perfect. Good job!

  10. and that's about all the vague anal play I can take... forever... thank God for the adorable bunny.

    And about the links... nothing says "I love you" like a handcuff necklace... also disappointed that the jewelry version of the tie doesn't have the smoldering gaze it has on your blog, because that was kind of the best thing ever.

    Oh, and congratulations, I can now conjure up an image of Chris Hansen in my head at will whenever something gets a little pedophiley (fortunately that is usually an uncommon occurrence, but for these recaps). Blehhhh. I'm so glad I'm not actually reading the book (and my apologies that you are).

    1. Actually, for quite a few kinky folk, a handcuff necklace would actually be a wonderful way to say "I love you". Or it was, at least, until the association with these books ruined it...

  11. "also disappointed that the jewelry version of the tie doesn't have the smoldering gaze it has on your blog, because that was kind of the best thing ever. "


    (Clearly people named Katie have the best ideas ever)

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  13. It's so sad how many women are often uneducated about how to defend themselves/be independent. I'd like to help this issue, but globally, not just in our culture. To do that I have to finish school so if you read my essay and agree you can vote for it and help me win a scholarship to finish school and hopefully eradicate this co-dependent helpless attitude that can sometimes plague women and make them easier to prey on by unscrupulous men.

  14. Isn't this chapter 6, not 5?

    1. I think so - it matches chapter 6 on the other set of recaps I read at

    2. Oh yeah, I suppose it is, if you're good at counting or something. Pff. Numbers. Bah!

  15. No wonder James thinks it's totally legit to go from "English major of unknown rank at unnamed University" to "full time editor" in 2 weeks given the extremely gentle hand the "editors" at Vintage Books used on her.

    "All editors have to do is say nice things to authors and wear heels," James tells herself as she vomits forth another sentence.

  16. "shit - sucking my thumb. I haven't sucked my thumb for years!" How does she know? She didn't remember this instance so it's possible Analolita has been sucking her thumb since long before Mr. Wonderful came on scene.

    1. Thank you! I was wondering the same thing.

  17. "Thrashes? What an odd word choice. All I can imagine is Christian violently swinging his cock from side to side like the pendulum in a broken grandfather clock while he tries to penetrate her."

    This made me laugh so loud that it echoed in my apartment. lol

    Oh and the picture thing creeped me out. As you said one or two pictures is okay but picture after picture would really creep me out...even if the person taking the pictures were my husband.

    1. I'm picturing the kind of thing that happens when you try to control those invisible dogs (on the wire leash) from Disneyland. Just wobbling back and forth at high speed, no control.

    2. I'm picturing a kind of wild flail based around P/V contact.

    3. I was thinking "Call 911," 'cause it sounds like he's seizing. And somehow got his entire body in her cooter.

      It's not very effective...

    5. LOL.

      I just had a mental image of a little 16 bit penis fighting a 16 bit vagina monster. "I choose you, BUSTER HYMEN!"

      That would have been a better book.

  18. "Most people don't know I'm blind because I'm so great at anal."

    Hahahahahaha.... I can't stop.

  19. You want to be ill, read this blog post about 50 Shades Freed:

    Contains such wisdom as:

    Honestly, I think a man would be too dull if he wasn’t a little jealous, a little controlling, a little overbearing (don’t overdo the spices though). You, as the woman, are the measuring cup. You let him put just the right amount of that. Not too much, or not too little. Learn the art of it that your predecessors perfected. Ana does that beautifully, and Christian responds, and reciprocates and responds positively. That’s where the beauty of this relationship lies.

    1. I'm sorry, WHAT? Is this even real life?

    2. Oh my God, I sporked that page on my Wordpress! You should read some of the chapters she has written from Christian's POV, she manages to make him seem like even more of a psychopathic and constantly referring to Ana as 'my woman' :O<<<<<<<

    3. "Their chemistry is so electric, so palpable, you, as the reader can feel it through the book which is one testament to the book’s success. For instance, Christian becomes very expressive and loquacious when it comes to conveying his admiration, feelings when he and Ana get back together, though he is such a self-deprecating person, he doesn’t feel he’s worthy of her love, or anyone’s for that matter."


      "Christian’s personality is not for weak women. You must be able to go toe to toe with him without fear. But living in a society where certain norms are expected, anything out of the ordinary is shunned. I’m not talking about his previous lifestyle. That’s out of option for most people including me. I’m a life force of my own; I’d never submit to anyone. What I’m talking about is that the society now expects men to be docile, flat, and almost submissive"

      Again, WTF?

      "If Ana was never to be with Christian, she’d have a mediocre existence with someone like Jose, or Ethan, or someone else like them. But neither of those individuals have the fire, the life force Christian has. He is truly alive. You feel the life oozing out of him, and it is such a draw. When Christian feels something, he really feels it, and expresses it with his words, his action, his love making, his music, his dance. How much more expressive can someone be… It’s an amazing personality, you can actually visualize him without having an image. Like seeing someone’s soul, it’s that clear. And there’s Ana. I love her character. She’s just as alive as Christian, but level headed. She’s ready to explore herself, she knows what she wants from her life, from her relationship, and that girl can set her priorities."


      "And the biggest draw about Ana is that she demands respect for her own, and she gets it. She sets her lines clear, and has a good idea what is right and wrong. She’s monogamous (heck, Christian is the only guy who’s been in her life), lucky for other guys too, because Christian would have beaten the shit out of them even if it was in the past."

      That settles it. Erica herself is writing that blog.

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    5. Some of those comments literally made me cry, and not from happiness. People really think Ana is a strong woman? And so thoroughly believe Christian is a good, strong, living man despite causing Ana to live in perpetual fear?

      Honest to god, I think I'm going to hang up my novel. if you want a summary and why I've been doing this, if you want to read a couple reviews (from a beta and a different beta's spouse [the beta is 25 and doesn't have kids as old as the other person]). But at this point, I'm just not sure anymore if there's any point if people so completely embrace abuse that it's explained away. What can I, one solitary writer struggling with all my might to make my name and story known to help get an agent, possibly hope to accomplish? I'm failing more and more each day.The love of abuse is becoming more entrenched and normalized in our culture. The mountain is growing faster than I can climb it. If no one stands beside me, then the struggle is futile, and I'm better off using my energy some other way.

      I had big dreams of my manuscript being signed, published, into the hands of women needing a good role model, with royalty money earned going to help those in bad relationships get out (a big hurdle is often money to get away and make a new start), but now I just don't think there's enough demand. If there's no demand, there's no hope. So why waste my time? I've been an idiot thinking I can have a positive impact and help many others.

      3:18am on February 7, 2013, is the exact time my dream died.

    6. Don't give up! I battle with the same thing trying to get my story noticed, but I will bug everyone and anyone until it is published. Fifty Shades and anything associated with it makes me lose hope in the world, but can't kill my enjoyment in writing. Try and take it from my cold, dead hands, James! :P

      I have no idea why someone would waste so much time writing fanfic from Christian's POV and managing to make him seem even more psychotic and creepy. Who can be fucked and how much time does she have in a day to devote to it?

      I'm so sick of every woman seemingly all quaffing from the same Altar of Fail when it comes to their praise of Fifty Shades. Either they really are incredibly ignorant and mindlessly follow trends or they're choosing not to notice the obviously overt references to abuse.

      Oh man, one of the worst chapters Emine wrote were the ones she wrote about Christian not wanting Ana to have a bachelorette party because she might be exposed to the almighty nakedness of Hawt Menz:

    7. I've poured easily 50 hours a week into this manuscript. Writing, revising, revising some more, querying, getting rejections, looking for ways to improve my manuscript and query to query again, neglecting my family, friends, and small business to put more time into this, accepting new clients and working overtime to earn money to set aside for a conference in July and trying to fundraise to get a professional editor that Niel Gaiman told me I should blow off in favor of a six-week intensive he'll be speaking at a thousand miles from where I live, back to editing, revising, neglecting my health, realizing that it's 4am and I've forgotten to eat for the last 38 hours though I've gone through almost a pound of coffee to stay away, hoping with all my might that it might all add up to something that can counter the culture of rape-is-okay-and-abuse-is-romantic.

      While I love writing and do a with a passion, I've dropped everything to focus on this. Between now or later, this manuscript has a message that needs to be heard NOW, BEFORE any more women are hurt or men brainwashed into thinking they need to be like Christian. I'm exhausted and more discouraged than I've been in all the time I've been working on this. This is beyond something I'm doing for fun and hope to make cash on. That's not even on my radar. Getting this manuscript out there as a book that can be passed around on the wide scale is what matters. Putting a strong female who doesn't wait to be saved has been what matters. Showing that the actions of Christian, Edward, and other like them are abuse has been what matters. I even added a good, though flawed, man as an example of a good guy, one who, upon realizing when he has personality flaws, makes a genuine effort to correct them. I've believed that if women can fall in love with him instead of Christian, that they'll hold the guys in their life to the standard of Tristan, a respectful, truly good man, instead of looking for an abuse.

      But no one wants this. It's all about fists and dominating woman and beating us down so that our daughters are going to learn they have to give up their own dreams and hopes and accept what's dished to them. Since this is what is so desperately wanted and is the opposite of what I bring to the table, I'm wasting my time.

    8. I admire the hardwork you've put into your work. I like how dedicated and how much you believe in it, but it shouldn't mean running yourself into the ground. Hopefully you stress down a little, take it slowly and keep yourself sane above all else. It's not worth going crazy over.

      That said, I wish I had an answer as to why quality work is being passed up in favour of spouting neanderthal views and mediocrity. I wish it weren't happening, but the media seems to keep celebrating it and telling us this is what us as women should want and aspire for. I just hold out hope that if more people keep expressing their disgust for books like this and the culture overall, maybe then the tide will start to turn. I just wish more agents/publishers actually took a chance on the new and original for a change.

    9. It sounds like it may be worth considering going an alternative route - there's at least a few works that have been posted online, with a link to buy or donate if you liked it ( does that with all their music, and I know John Scalzi did it with his first novel, Agent to the Stars). Or maybe you could even donate your book to an organization that helps those women - they could use lulubooks or something to print up a few dozen copies for the women who need it most. It's not your dream, but maybe it's better than giving up entirely.

    10. I read a little of Alys Cohen's excerpts before actually loading that page. That... what? It must be E.L. James.
      I don't think I can read that. Not only is it too depressing, but that font makes me eyes scream.

    11. That link makes me want to drown myself.

    12. I read the fanfiction one and I just had to stop it was so flowery and purple prose and 'twin souls', bleeeeech. Also it's supposed to be Christian's POV yes? Christian sounds an awful lot like a teenage girl in this chapter despite the ridiculous overuse of the word 'sir'. Anyone else get that vibe?

      Also Ms. Cohen I really hope you don't give up on your writing. I got my BA in Creative Writing and while I'm back at school and not working on anything fictional (besides fanficiontal sparingly sometimes) and can't pretend to know what the rejection feels like, but I know too that writing isn't easy. You are one voice in a clamor of who knows how many millions and you feel a certain desperation it seems from your posts, and maybe it's holding you back. I know that giving writing advice without being not particularly older or wiser than anyone else could be dismissed and that since everyone does it so differently it's hard to give anyway, but maybe it's time to slow down and breathe and get some perspective. I think one of the best pieces of advice I got about writing was that sometimes you have to finish something, shut it in a drawer for a while, and then come back to it with fresh eyes. 50 Shades it out there and whatever damage could be done is probably already in motion, and according to the news some damage has already been done. It's too late to stem the tide which sounds defeatist, but as hateful and malignant as I find these books I don't think the fad will last forever. Hopefully the dumb knock-offs will pave the way for more inspiring and good works like yours to be published, but often the industry is playing catch up and sometimes what won't get picked up one year will be dusted off and printed in the hundreds by the next because it's the right time. Another piece of advice that I liked and I think holds true is that you have to write for yourself most of all and if you get lost in the need to save the world with your book it may suffer in some places that you are blind to in your well intentioned fervor.

      Obviously you don't have to stop self-promoting on your blog or whatever in the meantime, but like I said maybe it is just time to let the dust settle again before the might red pen takes another crack at it. I hope you keep writing no matter what, but I would say do it because you'd be delighted to help others if you can rather than writing because you must help everyone.

      "Write a little everyday, without hope, without despair."

      Good luck. <3

    13. I'm looking through this woman's blog and she says she's a "linguist" and translator. Is it too much to hope English is not her first language?

      Although, it explains why she enjoys the 50 Shades books and thinks so highly of them, if that's the level of writing she thinks is good.

    14. I read this blogger's review of the second book, and then I had to stop before my head exploded. It does explain a lot about the general readership of 50shades, though. In particular, this blogger can't write the word "orgasm" without blanking out one of the letters ("org*sm"). Yes, that's right. Orgasm. She also blanks out letters in fuck and cock, but orgasm. So I see why the "down there"s and thigh apexes and "south of my waists" got through the editing process... because the women who enjoy these books are also really embarrassed by genitalia and the things related to them.

      Also, has anyone noticed one of the common comebacks of people who like these books, when you tell them you don't like them and find the relationship depicted abusive, is that you must not be having enough sex? The blogger talks about "some big shot woman" who wrote a review saying the books were bad. Her response to this "big shot woman"? First, "never heard of her, she couldn’t be that important! Nonetheless, she’s entitled to her opinion. I’m just sorry that she exercised her right on my time…" And secondly, "Is it that shocking that two people who are in love having great sex and hmm hmm (clearing throat), you’re not?"

      Friends, obviously because we don't like this book, none of use are having great sex. It is so obvious. If our sex lives were better, we could see this amazing book for what it truly is: a guide to the ultimate relationship. To the org*sm-mobile!

    15. So sexy photos are okay, but no mention of fuck or orgasm in a fanfic of erotica?

      Oh man, this is one of the worst chapters I remember: Basically, after Ana leaves at the end of Book 1, Christian tries to scrub himself clean of his 'sins' in the shower and decides to go all catatonic and try to burn to death. Yeah:

      I sporked the blog here:

    16. 'And secondly, "Is it that shocking that two people who are in love having great sex and hmm hmm (clearing throat), you’re not?"'

      That cracks me up to no end. She goes on and on in her recap of the third book about how she never would have even thought to have her SO shave her netherregions and how intimate that is and OMG, I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY DID THAT!!!!!

      Yeah ... I have done that more than once in my life and long before these books came out. But, yes, we're the sexually repressed group. lol

    17. 'Oh yeah, Fifty Shades is letting us have better sex than all you repressed haters out there... just as long as we don't actually mention the word 'sex' or 'orgasm' and not make any reference to our naughty parts! Yay, so liberating!'


    18. From Chapter 30 of Book 1 by Emine:

      'I start to play the Marcello piece slowly and resolutely. That’s a sad piece and it tugs all the emotions I can’t voice poured forth through my fingers, and in a way giving voice to all my sorrow, and my silent screams.

      The sad, soulful notes slowly and mournfully fill the room, and surround us tugging at our hearts, echoing through the walls, but also echoing the sounds of my soul’s cries. It’s my lamentation that I never let out through my own voice.

      XD I'm going to pee my pants! XD

    19. So...wait. What are these blogfuckery people saying? That because I rather like the fact that my partner isn't like Chedward, I must be JEALOUS? How odd. The attitude that any variance in people's taste or attraction is wrong if it doesn't match their own seems rather defensive to me. Like, "It IS a good thing, it IS, shutupshutupshutupfingersinears la la la I can't hear you"

      I wish they would shut the fuck up trying to speak on my behalf just because I'm a woman. This is what every woman wants? Fuck you. Just because I have a vagina doesn't mean I want a man to tell me what to do and make my decisions for me. Hell, my partner couldn't be less like Chedward, except that he's incredibly dishy of course; I couldn't see myself being this happy with anyone else and GUESS WHAT? He doesn't abuse me. And he is not fucking "dull."

    20. Also: Alys, pleeeeeeease don't give up. God no. The world needs writers like you. I think you're fabulous.

    21. Alys,
      Your book sounds wonderful. Need a beta reader?

    22. Sure. I've decided against deleting it, which I was really going to do until a friend, who has a copy of every revision, told me I couldn't get rid of it because she has it. So I rewrote the first two chapters and so am back to square 1. E-mail me at alysbcohen at gmail dot com and let me know what formats you can open. By default I save in .pages, but can export as .doc, .rtf, etc..

      I got some threats in response to a Kickstarter I had running to help fund a professional copyeditor. That's helped steel my resolve. I ended the Kickstarter, but that drove home the point that we need more anti-violence-against-women stuff out there.

      Jen's got cool fans, just so you all know.

  20. "If there was no sin, there would be no need for redemption." Excerpt from

    Um yeah, true that, except that there has been no redemption for Christian, nor will there ever be, really. Unless EL James takes that stick out of her a$$, there will be no redemption for her stupid characters. There was no sin, in the beginning, what majorly messed Christian was not his fault, everything else after that, though, that was all him and he need to get his a$$ handed to him, but alas, that's never going to happen, unless it's in a fanfiction.

    PS. Does anyone know if EL James has gone on an anti-50 shades fanfiction, kinda how Anne Rice made remove all fan fics of her works?

    1. She's condemned those who've used "her" characters, then got her ass handed to her because of how she started off using Edward and Bella and used the plot line of Twilight only with sex and then published it with minimal changes.

      Check this out: Look four comments down.

      "What annoys me is that she wrote an original piece, put it on clumsily disguised as an Edward/Bella fic, and used Twihard squee-ing potential to get a fanbase for herself before publishing."

      Not a chance 50 Shades is original and is "disguised" as Twilight fanfic. The plot so neatly matches up with Twilight.

  21. "Why, was someone else using it while you were on your honeymoon? Why would it need to be cleaned?"

    Perhaps Taylor and Mrs. Jones have been getting up to some kinky fuckery of their own while these two nitwits were away?

    1. SPOILER: Taylor and Mrs. Jones do get it on. Ana is shocked because she thought T was "way older than Mrs Jones"

      Ugh! So people who are over 20can't have hot sex? PLEASE!

      EL has this thing about age!

      At one point, Ana says "I'm 22, I'm getting old".

      I think I know why E.L. wrote this tripe, maybe since she may be WAY older then myself (yes, I am 40) , this is her way to get over her OWN fear of aging?

      Yes, it does sound mean, but NO ONE thinks they're old at 22!

    2. It's cause Bella Swan had a thing about aging. EL can only create so much of this bullshit on her own XP

    3. I thought Mrs Jones was "middle aged" (which is why Ana isn't jealous about her) - how old is Taylor? There's only so old he can be and still be an effective bodyguard.

      Whatever, Ana's insane. Though actually slightly less insane on this particular topic than Bella.

  22. My goodness, your recaps give me an emotional rollercoaster from eye-gouging "WTF is this I despair for the state of the world" to helpless laughter.

    So... you know, write more. Thank you :)

  23. "I don't want to change my name." There's your solid reason. I absolutely fucking loathe that it's still considered a given that a woman will change her name after she gets married. If you want to change it, change it. But the idea that society totally defends the right of a man to be angry about his wife not taking his name is just mind-boggling and infuriating.

    And continued thanks for slogging through this massive pile of shit; your re-caps are a treasure.

    1. In some cultures, like Cambodian, for instance women keep their maiden names. Kids take the dad's last name as their own.

      I feel the same way Jen does though, I mean really, what's up with that anyway?

      I guess its another way for Christian to control Ana's life. Sit Ana! Woof Woof! Good girl!

  24. Oh dear. I'm going to have to have The Talk about anal with my female students once the girls reading this crap is on the third book, won't I?

    Clearly their regular sex-ed + parents + the internet has not taught them enough, considering they're unsure about a lot of the basic biology. They're 14/15 (I'm in Sweden, our age of consent is 15) and I feel such a huge responsibility to fill in the gaps in their knowledge before they manage to have too much bad sex due to a lack of information and communication.

    1. I was wondering at the beginning if you were in a different country, because you wouldn't be allowed to have that conversation in any but the most progressive schools here in the States.

      It utterly depressing that people refuse to look at the facts as far as comprehensive sex ed and lowered teen pregnancies and get their feathers all ruffled over anything but abstinence only programs. Our educational system is so freaking broken, and the "it's a sin" abstinence program is just the icing on the head-in-the-sand cake that so many Americans seem to like to do.

    2. I was wondering at the beginning if you were in a different country, because you wouldn't be allowed to have that conversation in any but the most progressive schools here in the States.

      It utterly depressing that people refuse to look at the facts as far as comprehensive sex ed and lowered teen pregnancies and get their feathers all ruffled over anything but abstinence only programs. Our educational system is so freaking broken, and the "it's a sin" abstinence program is just the icing on the head-in-the-sand cake that so many Americans seem to like to do.

    3. These girls have a male biology teacher, and they're uncomfortable asking him questions. I teach English (L2). I've only worked at my current job for two weeks, but I made it pretty clear from the get go that I'm immune to embarrassment and pretty much willing to talk about anything if they want to ask me something.

      I might also have barged in like an elephant with "hey-the-relationship-in-this-book-is-abusive-and-that-has-nothing-to-do-with-the-sex" when I heard some girls discuss 50SoG. I was pretty clear about thinking the books were awful, but that it's ok to read awfully written books, as long as you think about what you're reading.

      I might be slightly overly involved in my job, yes. But I'm really damn proud of myself for being the kind of teacher that cares enough for the students to want to talk to me.

      I don't think there's anything I can tell them about that could get me into legal trouble. I mean, I can't encourage criminal activity, but there is no knowledge I have to consciously deny my students. I would get fired soooo quickly if I tried teaching in the States though. Like, within the first day. I'd say something deemed as inappropriate("yes, drugs feel good, that's why people take them", "allsex is perfectly ok, as long as you're consenting, careful and protected, and yes, there might be poop if you try anal" or "that's not how a scientific theory works, we're pretty sure about evolutionary theory being true"), accidentally swear in front of/at a student or have a freak-out about the head-in-the-sand-thing and try to lead the students in a revolt against EVERYTHING.

  25. Also, because I just realised it was unclear: Their knowledge of sex and other genital and emotional issues is lacking. I think it's ok to not have a full mental grip of anal sex at 14...

    1. But being misinformed about such issues isn't going to do them any favors... They are going to be curious about such things, and if their parents and teachers won't make sure they get real information, all their knowledge is going to come from stuff like this book.

  26. The amazing thing about these books is that they keep amazing you. You're like, 'Could this be any more boring?' And the plot gets pissed away! When you wonder, 'Will they ever have interesting sex?' the old sex scenes are recycled! And every time you think, 'This literally can't get any more fucked up' - you're proven wrong.

    I'll have to give E.L. James that.

  27. The most disturbing part of all of this?

    The greek yogurt I was eating when I got to the ranch dressinged asshole comment.

    Seriously though, Phantom of the Opera Fanfic? This has never occurred to me. I must seek it out.

  28. Because I already have a headache, and thinking about this pile of shit is making my face hurt, I'm just going to post a picture of a cute dog. One of my dogs, specifically. You said I could and I think it's best that's all I do. Look at his mohawk.

    1. Holy cow, that dog is adorable. I appreciate the adorable puppy post. :)

    2. What kind of dog is that?! I love those dogs, but I never remember to ask what kind they are. They look like old people and are cool as hell!

    3. It's a terrier of some sort. I don't know which specific one, though.

    4. Oh, if you google JRTs, look for the wiry-coated ones. They come smooth and wiry. "Eddie" from Frasier was a wiry-coated JRT.

    5. Yeah when we adopted him they said "Terrier mix" so that's all we know. But he does look like an old man, and he's the cutest little guy. And he bites my chihuahua regularly (in play) which she desperately needs because she's a dick, so it's good all around.

  29. I had SUCH a Phantom of the Opera obsession when I was about 11/12. I feel a Spiritual Kinship with you now.

    And he picks up the pace, his breathing more labored, matching my own as he thrashes into me.

    Sorry, am I the only one who just heard Tina Belcher? "This is where I thrash!"

    God, it really is such a weird word choice though. I just think of him flopping around on top of her like a fish.

  30. We love you Jen -- I don't think we can ever say enough of this -- for reading through this massive pile of turd so that we don't have to. I was getting worried that you may just drop these reviews entirely since you were really raging in the last few posts but you came across a lot chipper this time around. :)

    Btw, "Christian tells her to face the wall, so she won't know what he's doing, and she listens while he opens drawers and thinks about how much she loves anticipation and how he's going to do all this naughty stuff to her. Which would be hot, except it's followed by this [...]" -- that's the thing that annoys me the most out of these books. It's marketed as the sexiest of all sexy book we're ever going to read but then we get this bizarre passages that totally kill the mood such as: random adjectives that convey fear and violence as oppose to excitement, irritating Inner Goddess doing random pom-pom waving and cheerleading stunts in the background (seriously?? wtf?? GTFO!!), descriptions of Ana's hesitation and general lack of enthusiasm and self-confidence and self-worth in the middle of a sex scene, .... Jesus, the list goes on. I'm surprised you still have all your hair Jen, because I would've yanked all mine out from irritation by this point of the series.

  31. I'm just scrolling down here before reading the post to snark quickly about the jewelry line- as a sub in a(n actual) BDSM relationship, I've always worn a key necklace as a slightly-more-subtle than a collar tribute, and reminder to myself. I guess it sounds weird put in words, but it makes sense, and has meaning, to me. I'm going to be really irritated if people start trying to associate my necklace with 50 Shades.

    1. The association should fade, just not soon enough. Cuz people have been wearing keys and locks and chains with master locks (I recall a brother in a full D/s relationship and he wears a chain with a Master brand lock with pride) long before 50.

      Hell, in a number of cases it has nothing to do with being a sub and everything to do with vague fertility and spirituality or memorial symbolism. So your irroataion is well shared but this shall too will pass.

      *I* don't make assumptions when I see people wearing locks, keys or mini hand cuff jewelry but then I've always found such things stylish and have been around the fringes of teen and adult Goth, Punk and Metal crowds.

      I will almost PAY to see the reaction of some key/lock wearing Metal Goth getting questioned about wearing keys in tribute to 50 Shades.

    2. I use an anklet instead (pressure against my ankles helps me feel calmer in general, and also my lord doesn't like having things around my neck) and am very grateful for that right now. But the association will pass. If you're worried about it, maybe you could add a heart or something on the same chain so the key doesn't stand out?

      I have a couple of gothy friends who wear that sort of thing; I should ask them what they'd say. That would be pretty funny.

  32. I knew it. I knew it would get worse. That doesn't make me as happy as it should. Or at all.

  33. Sometimes when I don't sleep well for a while and I get stressed, I get this twitch in my eyelid.

    ...this book makes my eye twitch.

  34. Oh! Why must everything change just because I have a ring on my finger?

    Because it's a tiny shackle.

    That was fantastic. Also, I've been a longtime lurker but I finally spoke up on this post, so I may as well continue -

    Thanks for the perfect beatdown of these awful books. I love the way you write and express yourself and because of this, I've purchased several of your ebooks already. I'm reading "American Vampire" at the moment and digging it.

    Getting your books also prompted me to finally get an eReader/tablet which I'm really enjoying, so thanks for that as well. And finally, I'm loving "The Boss." It's a great read.

    In short, thanks all around for being an awesome human being. If you were closer to California, I'd make you my best friend. Alas, I shall continue to admire you from afar via your blog. :)

  35. Everyone please join me in a moment of silence followed by a good solid cry for the human race that THIS is a thing:

    If for some reason that link doesn't work its a Fifty Shades mag, apparently there was only one, but one of the articles is actually titled "Sex Whisperer: I use my body to fix broken men like Christian Grey."


    1. Hahahaha! This is so many shades of fail I just have to laugh. Lord... Fix broken men? Really? Christian Grey is a man? Not a rip off of a fictitious character who sucked at its core? Really? Sex whisperer?? Really?? Hahahahaa!

  36. >"I use my body to fix broken men like Christian Grey."


  37. I just wanted to say that I have learned so much about writing from these recaps.

  38. I have decided what I'm giving up for Lent. I am no longer looking at any website, blog or article that touts Christian and Ana as the perfect couple. I am sick of reading how I'm stupid because I want an equal partnership.

    Every relationship I view in awe is exactly that, equal. Where in each partner sees the others strengths and covers their weaknesses. They help each other through difficult issues and don't lay blame, even if it does lay with the other. There is no jealousy, no posessiveness. Like any normal human couple, fights happen. But there is no fear of reprisal.

    These things exist. I see it every day in my closest friends and in my own family. I am single by choice because I know I will only be disappointed with anything less. And I refuse to let anyone suggest that I'm stupid because of this.

    So, I'm going to keep reading these recaps because I love the snarkines, and picking apart the writing warms my pedantic heart. But I will not be opening anymore of the links. I find it easier to function with my brains IN my head.

  39. One thing that becomes evident from reading opposing views is that fans of these books talk in general terms about the story being 'romantic' andthe characters 'strong' and so on, but you never ever see them use quotations to support their assertions. People who criticise the books use many, many quotations. I'd love to see a fan try to use the actual text to extol/defend these books.

  40. "Thrashes? What an odd word choice. All I can imagine is Christian violently swinging his cock from side to side like the pendulum in a broken grandfather clock while he tries to penetrate her."

    I lost it at that.

    You have truly outdone yourself in this review. So many hilarious quotes.

    I feel like EL Fudge learned how to write anal from slash fanfiction on AFF

  41. I love your blog and all the books you've written, so don't mistake this next thing as me being a angry 50 shades fan.

    'And I'm like, "FINALLY. Three books in and we're FINALLY going to see some backdoor action."'

    Why is that so exciting? I mean...they've done some pretty out there things like period sex and spanking. In the realms of sex and pornography anal is the norm. Much more normal than seeing period sex.

    I think most men in the western world have at some point hounded their girlfriends for anal, so I don't think of it as kinky, but selfish*. :/ Christian's case, yea...I'm surprised they haven't been having anal this entire time. I'm surprised he lets her orgasm at all.

    *I know there are plenty of women who love anal and blahblahblah. Good for you, but some of us hate it (even with all the lube and relaxation in the world) and hate getting badgered all the time to do it.

    1. No, it's exciting because they've talked about it since the early chapters of book 1, setting it up like it was going to be some big deal, and then it never happened, and it never happened in book two, and it was like, "Seriously, why are we devoting so much time to talking about this?" I mean, they spent soooo much time discussing anal in these books, and he's never so much as put a finger back there, I was just relieved we're done listening to them talk about what they're going to do when they finally do butt stuff, because now they've already done it.

  42. Okay, the pictures of her sleeping...totally creepy...
    Anyone else think it's related to his mother? Pictures of Ana sleeping, laying there his mother must have laid there when she was dead...just saying.
    This dude is way too creepy for his own good.

  43. Jen, you've managed to create the only site where the comments are almost as hilarious as the posts (and not full of trollishness). You win the internet!

    Also, I suggest mandarin-sesame if you're dressing assholes. The acid from the orange inspires a delightful burn.*

    *Not intended as medical advice.

  44. Can I just say this?

    I'm not an amazing writer, though I'm trying to get an erotica novel written. (Many commenters here probably are, because they both hate that this garbage has been published and made millions of dollars, and because anyone with a fifth grade reading education can, apparently. Do it, folks, get those novels on the market. Please, for the love of god.)

    But. All I can think right now is this:
    Christ on a crutch, the juvenile ejaculations of "holy crap!" Are bad enough, but what the fuck possesses a writer to use the phrase "holy crap" immediately before making a reference to assplay.

    Who let that happen. In drawing compositions, there is a term (which I've spent ten minutes Googling and flipping through art books looking for, but have given up on remembering) for drawing a line that is so close to another line in the image that it creates a distracting or confusing interpretation for the eye.

    This moment was the literary version of that for me, and unfortunately, E.L. James is guilty of it so often it makes me really want to chuck a toaster at a puppy, because out there are some jack hole editors probably making a lot more money than I am to slack the fuck off because for some reason, these books are still making hoverboard money.

    Rant over. But only for now.

    ...uuuuurgh. I need an ice pack.

    1. insanely late, but I think the term you want is tangent

  45. Every time you post an excerpt with fragmented sentences or paragraphs that are ellipsis heavy, my mind leaps to family guy's portrayal of William Shatner. Every time.

    Also, with the name change thing, I would have loved it if she'd Phoebe Buffay'd. Princess Consuala Banana Hammock and Crap Bag were a much better couple than AnaBella and Chedward ;)

  46. Does this book have 2 chapter fives? Because the last recap article (the car chase one) was also a 'chapter 5' recap, and this one is a chapter 5 recap.

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  55. 'Pardon me while I imagine Christian getting a huge glob of his own gelled semen up his nose.'

    That made me gigglesnort

    'These nitwits should not be in the playroom without a safeword.'

    Those nitwits shouldn't be in a playroom even with a safeword. Chedward has proven time and time again what Anabella wants isn't something he concerns himself with.
    And Anabella isn't well educated about 'BDSM' to be agreeing to anything.

    'Anastasia Steele, Psychic Buttsecks Detective.'

    I would pay good money for that story.


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