Grey Chapter 16 (Tuesday, May 31, 2011)

I barely slept last night, because I had the most horrific stomach flare-up.  Consequently, I’m tired, grouchy and still in a lot of pain.  All of which means that I am prepared to cut EL James – and her crappy “hero,” Christian Grey – precisely zero slack in this recap.

Oh, and in case you missed it, this week on Twitter, the actress who plays Christian’s assistant, Ros, in the movies, actually attacked this campaign for “shitting all over something that has brought joy to millions.”  She asked if we planned on slagging off wine, chocolate or cake, next.  Well, I’ll reiterate what I said to her in response: Neither wine, chocolate or cake has ever implied that the abusive relationship I endured was “romantic.”  Neither wine, chocolate or cake has ever sold the myth that abusers “can’t help” their behaviour if they happen to have had a sad childhood, nor have they insinuated that it’s an abuser’s partner’s job to “fix” the person who is controlling and manipulating them.  Neither wine, chocolate or cake has ever dangerously misrepresented BDSM, insulting and infuriating those who practise it.  So, no.  I like wine, chocolate and cake (all together, sometimes…).  You know what I hate?  Fifty Shades of sodding Grey.  Because it has done all of the above.  Forgive me whilst I shit on your joy, sweet-cheeks.  I like to think of it as awareness-raising, but hey.  Semantics.


And so, onto the recap!

Just for a change, this one starts with a TRAUMATIC DREAM.  I’m guessing this is going to be used to “justify” Grey’s decision to stalk Ana all the way to Georgia, because woe, he cannot sleep peacefully if she isn’t there, you guys.  But we’ll see.

I’m going to copy and paste the entire dream sequence and I should warn you that Ella’s abusive pimp is in it and it therefore could be triggering.  But I want to reproduce it in full here, because it quite clearly demonstrates that Ella was a victim of abuse.  For me, it was painful reading not only because I felt for Ella at the time the scene took place, but because I feel for her now, when her useless, abusive son insults and berates her at every opportunity he gets, despite her no longer being around to defend herself.  Grey’s counsellor is – as I have said roughly seventy billion times before – clearly useless, because if he was any good at his job at all, Christian would have at least some sympathy for his dead mother’s plight, instead of feeling nothing but misdirected rage.

Mommy is gone. I don’t know where.

He’s here. I hear his boots. They are loud boots.

They have silver buckles. They stomp. Loud.

He stomps. And he shouts.

I am in Mommy’s closet.


He won’t hear me.

I can be quiet. Very quiet.

Quiet because I’m not here.

“You fucking bitch!” he shouts.

He shouts a lot.

“You fucking bitch!”

He shouts at Mommy.

He shouts at me.

He hits Mommy.

He hits me.

I hear the door close. He’s not here anymore.

And Mommy is gone, too.

I stay in the closet. In the dark. I’m very quiet.

I sit for a long time. A long, long, long time.

Where is Mommy?

So, Ella was beaten by her pimp, as well as verbally abused.  What a bitch.  She totally deserves the hatred Grey has for her, right?!


Look, I know that childhood trauma can affect adults in various ways.  I’m not disputing that.  And some level of anger is absolutely understandable, given the start Grey had in life.  But directing all of it at his dead mother?!  Dr Flynn should be helping him to see that it’s the abusive pimp who deserves that rage, not Ella.  And this book is written by a woman.  A woman who has sons.  Yet, a woman who is so incapable of stepping out of her own shoes for a brief second, that she cannot comprehend how this character she created might have ended up selling her body, hooked on drugs and being abused by a vile pimp.  Rather than provide us with any kind of sympathy for Ella, she cheerfully piles misogynistic bullshit onto her via Grey, portrays Ella as being as guilty as the man who abused her and expects readers to be perfectly okay with Grey hating his dead mother so much, that he feels the need to beat women who look like her as a way to cope with his past.

Fuck that.

I told you I was cutting EL James zero slack in this and I meant it.

Grey wakes up from his nightmare and decides to go for a run.  He checks his phone and sees that Ana has texted him to say she’s arrived safely in Savannah.  He then decides to check his email:

I quickly scan my e-mail. The subject of Ana’s latest message leaps out at me: “Do you like to scare me?”

No fucking way.


He literally told her he was going to have her bound and gagged in a crate, the next time she flies anywhere.  Why?  Because she teased him by saying she’d had a massage from a very nice man.  And yet, now he’s thinking “no fucking way” does he like to scare her?!  BULLSHIT, GREY.  You literally told her yourself that she “should be intimidated” by you, not long after you first met.  You want her scared, you want her off-balance.  You are a prick.

I’m going to break down Ana’s email to Grey, because… Well, there’s a lot to get through.  Firstly, she says this:

You know how much I dislike you spending money on me. Yes, you’re very rich, but still it makes me uncomfortable, like you’re paying me for sex.

Now, not only would a respectful boyfriend think “oh, okay, I’ll tone it down if it makes her feel that uncomfortable,” because he’d be thinking of her wishes and not only his, but we’ve literally just been reminded that Grey’s own mother was a prostitute.  Ana is saying she doesn’t want to be made to feel like one and this really SHOULD hit home for him.  And yet…  We all know it doesn’t.

However, Ana then kind of undoes what she’s just said by saying she much preferred travelling in First Class and thanks him for upgrading her…


She announces that her masseuse was “very gay” and apologises for winding Grey up about it:

I did enjoy the massage from Jean-Paul. He was very gay. I omitted that bit in my e-mail to you to wind you up, because I was annoyed with you, and I’m sorry about that.

If their relationship wasn’t so wildly unhealthy, he’d have known she was just messing about with him and not reacted so grossly, but hey.

In fairness, Ana does actually grow something of a spine and call Grey out on his massive overreaction:

But as usual you overreact. You can’t write things like that to me—bound and gagged in a crate. (Were you serious or was it a joke?) That scares me…you scare me…I am completely caught up in your spell, considering a lifestyle with you that I didn’t even know existed until last week, and then you write something like that and I want to run screaming into the hills.

This is really important.  Ana is trying to make him see that because of his behaviour towards her, she genuinely doesn’t know whether he’s joking when he makes comments like that and that he ought to be aware of how much she’s considering taking on by being with him, given that she knew nothing of BDSM prior to meeting him.  She’s giving him a side of herself she didn’t even know existed and he really ought to be more considerate of that, instead of treating her like a mere object he owns and can do as he pleases with.

She goes on to promise that she won’t leave, because she’d miss him:

I won’t, of course, because I’d miss you. Really miss you. I want us to work, but I am terrified of the depth of feeling I have for you and the dark path you’re leading me down.

Again, Ana is using words that very clearly highlight the fear she has about the kind of relationship Grey wants.  She’s also trying to tell him how she feels about him, which is something she never seems able to do face to face (yet another sign of how unhealthy their relationship is, given that clear communication is vital, especially when BDSM is added to the mix).

What you are offering is erotic and sexy, and I’m curious, but I’m also scared you’ll hurt me—physically and emotionally.

She could not be clearer, here.  She needs his reassurance that he isn’t going to hurt her in any way.  She tells him she’s frightened he’ll leave her in three months and she’ll have nothing, but acknowledges that the same is true for any relationship.

Yet again, she reminds him that she never expected to be doing something like this and what a big deal it is for her:

This just isn’t the sort of relationship I ever envisaged having, especially as my first. It’s a huge leap of faith for me.

She goes on to agree with him that she doesn’t really think she has a submissive bone in her body, but adds that if being his submissive is the only way to be with him, she’s prepared to try (again, someone not entirely wrapped up in their own needs would realise that she isn’t sounding massively enthusiastic and might need things to slow down, here).  She adds:

I would like to try, but I think I’ll suck at it and end up black and blue—and I don’t relish that idea at all.

Yet again, she is voicing very real fears and looking for reassurance.

She ends:

I am so happy that you have said that you will try more. I just need to think about what “more” means to me, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted some distance. You dazzle me so much I find it very difficult to think clearly when we’re together.


She signs off:

They are calling my flight. I have to go.

More later.

Your Ana

Now, bear in mind how important everything Ana has said is.  She’s told him he scares her.  She’s spoken about being frightened he’ll hurt her.  She hasn’t enthusiastically gone “YEAH, BDSM ME UP, BABY!” but has said she’ll try, despite being afraid she’ll end up “black and blue.”  She’s also told him that it’s important she has some distance from him, in order to allow herself to think, clearly.  There are many, many serious issues brought up in this email, all of which Grey needs to address.

Guess what he fixates on?

I read her e-mail again and again, and each time I pause at “Your Ana.”

My Ana.

Yep.  Owning her.


He then finally goes on his run and as he does, he thinks about Ana’s email.  First, he gets furiously angry with her for saying she doesn’t like him spending loads of money on her:

Paying her for sex?

Like a whore.

I’ve never thought of her that way. Just the idea makes me mad. Really fucking mad. I sprint once more around the park, my anger spurring me on. Why does she do this to herself? I’m rich, so what? She just needs to get used to that.

Yep, very healthy.  She’s asked him to tone down the splashing of the cash in her general direction and instead of listening to how she feels about it, he’s gotten angry and decided she can just deal with it, because he’s not changing.

She says I dazzle her. But boy, has she got that the wrong way around. She dazzles me in a way that I’ve never experienced, yet she’s flown across the country to get away from me.

How’s that supposed to make me feel?

Like an adult, who’s able to question why his behaviour might have brought about that reaction in someone, perhaps?  But no, you’re a pissy little cry-baby, who’s incapable of considering someone else’s feelings for longer than three seconds, so naturally, you’re not going to take that part of the email seriously, either.



He decides to inwardly insult his brother because Elliot isn’t into BDSM:

She’s right. It is a dark path I’m leading her down, but one that is far more intimate than any vanilla relationship—or so I’ve seen. I only have to look at Elliot and his alarmingly casual approach to dating to see the difference.

This…  This just sucks in all manner of ways.  Vanilla relationships can be extremely intimate.  Friendships can be extremely intimate, for crying out loud.  This guy gets his knickers in a knot at the mere idea of someone judging his lifestyle, yet he does it literally ALL THE GODDAMN TIME to other people.

Laughably, he then thinks:

And I’d never hurt her physically or emotionally—how can she think that?

Because you threaten non-consensual violence against her, every time you get angry?

Because you push-pull with her in order to keep her emotions off-balance?

Because you control her against her will and treat her like an object, rather than a person?

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but I’m pretty sure you get the gist.

He goes on:

I just want to push her limits, see what she will and won’t do. Punish her when she colors outside the lines…yeah, it might hurt, but not beyond anything she can take. We can work up to what I’d like to do. We can take it slow.

NONE of this mentions Ana’s pleasure.  NONE OF IT.  And she has spoken very clearly about not wanting physical pain at all.  It’s just “what I’d like to do.”   If he was a responsible Dominant – or just a responsible human – he’d be re-reading her words about not wanting to be hurt, not wanting to end up black and blue etc and about him scaring her.  He’d be thinking about wanting to prove to her that this is as much for her enjoyment as it is for his and that she is really the one who holds all the control.  He’d be thinking about the need to remind her of safe words to ensure she always has a way out if things get too much for her.  He doesn’t think about any of that.  He thinks purely about what HE wants to do.


And the only way in which he thinks about Ana’s needs?  He thinks he’ll have to keep giving her “more” in order to get her to do everything he wants her to:

If she’s going to do what I want her to do, I’m going to have to reassure her and give her “more.”

Not because he cares for her and wants to explore a full relationship.  Not because he wants her to feel valued.  But so that she’ll do what he wants.

I want to burn down the UNIVERSE.

And then, just when you think that this pillock can’t get any worse, he reveals that the most frightening part of Ana’s email isn’t that she’s admitted to being scared of him, or scared of BDSM.  It’s that she has feelings for him:

I take a slower jog around the park to think about what disturbs me most about her e-mail. It isn’t her fear, it’s that she’s terrified of the depth of feeling she has for me.

What does that mean?

That unfamiliar feeling surfaces in my chest as my lungs burn for air. It scares me. Scares me so much that I push myself harder, so that all I feel is the pain of exertion in my legs and in my chest and the cold sweat that trickles down my back.

Yeah. Don’t go there, Grey.

Stay in control.

God forbid you listen to any of her valid concerns.  Nope, you just freak out because she might have big, scary, romantic feelings for you and you might feel something for her.  That’s the important thing, here, not her fear that you’ll actually hurt her, or the fact that she’s not actually giving enthusiastic consent for what she wants and is clearly only doing it because it’s the only way to be with you.

You utter piece of excrement.


When he gets home, he describes himself as “on a mission.”  He immediately begins typing a reply to Ana’s email and the very first sentence tells her that he’s annoyed with her:

I am annoyed that as soon as you put some distance between us, you communicate openly and honestly with me. Why can’t you do that when we’re together?


And then he tells her he’s not going to stop spending money on her, even though she said she didn’t want him to:

Yes, I’m rich. Get used to it. Why shouldn’t I spend money on you? We’ve told your father I’m your boyfriend, for heaven’s sake. Isn’t that what boyfriends do? As your Dom, I would expect you to accept whatever I spend on you with no argument. Incidentally, tell your mother, too.

You’re not her Dom right now, you cancerous polyp of a human.  She hasn’t signed the contract.  She never will.  And it’s up to her whether she tells her mother she has a boyfriend.

He goes on to tell her that he’s angry that she sees herself as a “whore” and – get this – implies that she needs therapy:

For such a bright, witty, beautiful young woman, you have some real self-esteem issues, and I have half a mind to make an appointment for you with Dr. Flynn.


This is gaslighting.  This is fucking straight-up gaslighting.  Making her believe she has “issues” that she needs to see a therapist for, rather than actually listening to how she feels and changing his behaviour accordingly (even if only temporarily) is utterly gross.  I reached this point in the chapter and had to take a break, because my abuser used to do this to me all the time and it’s vile.  It’s vile.

I hate you, EL James.

He tells her that having her bound and gagged in a crate on her next flight was a joke and admits it was a “poor one.”  He tells her that he finds the thought of frightening her “abhorrent,” which is kind of ironic, coming from the man who has more than once told her she ought to feel intimidated around him.

Intimidation and fear are pretty close bedfellows, cretin.

But because this is all about him, he feels the need to add:

However, the fact is the thought of you bound and gagged turns me on (this is not a joke—it’s true). I can lose the crate—crates do nothing for me. I know you have issues with gagging—we’ve talked about that—and if/when I do gag you, we’ll discuss it.

“Hey, you know the thing that really scared you?  I want to do it, anyway!”

Then, he does an about-turn and finally starts telling her that she holds the real power in their relationship:

What I think you fail to realize is that in Dom/sub relationships it is the sub who has all the power. That’s you. I’ll repeat this—you are the one with all the power. Not I. In the boathouse you said no. I can’t touch you if you say no—that’s why we have an agreement—what you will and won’t do. If we try things and you don’t like them, we can revise the agreement. It’s up to you—not me. And if you don’t want to be bound and gagged in a crate, then it won’t happen.

Now, fans will be falling over themselves to point this out.  “Look!  He told her she’s in charge!  It’s up to her, not him!”  But remember what happened when she said she didn’t really want to try anal, whilst they were discussing limits?  He told her he wanted to do it and that they’d work up to it.  Granted, it’s not something she’d tried, so she couldn’t be sure she wouldn’t like it, but she was still trying to say no to something and he was still ignoring her.  And more recently – like, a couple of pages ago – she asked him to stop spending loads of money on her and he has told her to “get used to it.”  It’s all well and good churning out these “the sub is the one with the real power” speeches, but Grey as a character is written as someone who believes the total opposite to be true.  It just feels like EL James has read a couple of paragraphs on real BDSM, thrown a few sentences into this book to “prove” something and then stuck rigidly to the abusive character she created in the first place, rather than write anything that portrays a healthy BDSM relationship properly.

What I’m saying is, he might as well have plucked that entire paragraph out of his ass, for all the sticking to it he’ll do during the course of these books.


He writes some semi-flowery shit about not wanting to lose her and being in awe of her, yada-yada-yada…  Then he piles on the guilt, because she’s asked for some space:

I am nervous that you’ve flown three thousand miles to get away from me for a few days, because you can’t think clearly around me. It’s the same for me, Anastasia. My reason vanishes when we’re together—that’s the depth of my feeling for you.

Hey, you guys?  If you can’t think clearly around each other, like ever, how about NOT BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP, PARTICULARLY ONE THAT REQUIRES CLEAR COMMUNICATION??!!

He tells her that he did try to stay away from her when they met, which is pure horse shit, seeing as he stalked her to her place of work, tracked her phone and kidnapped her to his hotel room when she was barely conscious, all within days of that first meeting.  He tells her nobody has ever affected him the way she does.  He then decides to address Ana’s concerns about him leaving her in three months, by suggesting they increase the length of time their “arrangement” lasts for:

We could make it six months, a year? How long do you want it to be? What would make you comfortable? Tell me.

The whole point, you ridiculously dense ingrowing toenail of a person, was that she was worried that when the arrangement ends, you’d just walk away and leave her.  It doesn’t matter how long the arrangement is supposed to last.  She wants to know she’s not just someone you’re keeping around for sex and submission for a particular period of time.  She wants a relationship.  How are you not getting this?!  Why are we supposed to think this guy is remotely intelligent?!


He reminds her yet again that she needs to be able to communicate with him more openly and honestly and says he knows he needs to earn her trust.  With regards to her fear about being physically beaten, he reduces it all down to this kind of gross line:

I’d never beat you black and blue. I aim for pink.

You know, she talked about her genuine fear of being hurt, but sure, why not trivialise it with a “cute” joke, instead of addressing those legitimate concerns?  We’ve come to expect literally no more than this from you.

He tells her that she’s an “exemplary” submissive in the playroom, because she does as she’s told.  He agrees that outside of the playroom, she’s not submissive at all, but insists that he likes this aspect of her character, finds it “refreshing” and would hate for her to change.  You know, so, remember that, the next time he gets furiously angry with her for having a mind of her own.

Hilariously, he writes:

I shall try to give you the space you need and stay away from you while you are in Georgia.

That shouldn’t be hard.  She’s thousands of miles away.  She’s gone there for space from you and you have work based in the area in which you live.  There’s no reason why you wouldn’t stay away from her, unless you’re a creepy, invasive, stalking piece of crap.



He signs off:

In the meantime, enjoy yourself. But not too much.

Because he’s a controlling, possessive asshole and her only real enjoyment has to come from him, otherwise he’ll stamp his feet and throw his teddies across the room.

At this point, I just want to say – not for the first time – how bloody boring these books are.  This chapter has, with the exception of the TRAUMATIC DREAM and a few fleeting descriptions of jogging, been taken up entirely with emails.  I would rather be reading the contents of my spam folder, quite frankly.  At least I’d get a laugh from all the “improve the length of your penis” emails I get.

I’ll have you know, it’s already much bigger than Christian Grey’s, thank you very much!

Anyway, Grey gets in the car to go to work and despite having just promised Ana that he’d give her some space, he decides he… Well, won’t.

(I) gaze out the window, trying to put Ana and Georgia out of my mind. I fail miserably, but an idea starts to take shape.

I call Andrea. “Morning.”

“Good morning, Mr. Grey.”

“I’m on my way in, but can you put me through to Bill?”

“Yes, sir.”

A few moments later I have Bill on the line.

“Mr. Grey.”

“Did your people look at Georgia as an option to site the tech plant? Savannah, in particular?”

“I believe we did, sir. But I’ll need to check.”

“Check. Come back to me.”

“Will do. Is that all?”

“For now. Thanks.”

“Hey, did we think about siting a tech plant in the place my sort-of-girlfriend has just travelled to in order to get away from me for a bit?  Because I need to reason to show up, there.”


Nope.  This is not okay.  You don’t promise someone space and then immediately start searching for ways to violate that space.  I couldn’t give a toss what excuse he’s come up with.  I don’t care what excuses fans want to make.  This is gross.  She’s told him she needs space.  He’s promised to try to give it to her.  Literally minutes after making that promise, he’s putting plans in place to break it.

Tell me again how much you want a Christian Grey of your own?!

Grey tells us that his day is full of meetings and that he checks his email, but finds nothing from Ana:

I wonder if she’s daunted by the tone of my e-mail, or if she’s busy doing other things.

What other things?

Fucking every single guy in Savannah?  It’s what you’re thinking, Grey.  Because you’re an obsessive, jealous bastard.

And yet, in stunning “one rule for her, another rule for me” form, Grey finds time to take a call from Elena and they make plans to have dinner together, that night.

Imagine what he’d do to Ana if he found out she’d had dinner with another man.  Now imagine that man was someone she’d had sex with, before Grey.  He’d be incensed.  But it’s totally cool for him to hang out with an ex, despite knowing it upsets Ana that he does.

Oh, and he also hears back about a potential site for a tech plant in Savannah and is thrilled that it means he won’t be helping out the economy in the place he grew up.  Because this dude is a weasel.

Bill has come back to me with a potential site near Savannah for our plant. Ruth is making inquiries.

At least it’s not Detroit.


Ana eventually emails him back, because this book hates me and wants me to read dull communication for the rest of my life.  She makes a joke that personally, I feel further highlights how much she’s not keen on this whole “being spanked for punishment” thing:

I have to go to dinner at Bob’s golf club, and just so you know, I am rolling my eyes at the thought. But you and your twitchy palm are a long way from me so my behind is safe, for now.

He boringly reiterates that she’s safe “for now” and reminds her that she pointed out that he also rolls his eyes.


Ana asks who spanks him when he rolls his eyes and for reasons I genuinely don’t understand, given that this has never happened (unless I’ve retconned myself after reading it), he thinks to himself:

Oh, Ana, you do.

All the time.


I’m assuming he means metaphorically, because he goes on to think about her tugging on his pubic hair and… That’s not the same thing.

Grey responds:

It is lucky that I am master of my own destiny and no one castigates me. Except my mother, occasionally, and Dr. Flynn, of course. And you.

Hahahahahahahaaaaaa, Dr Flynn enables you, you lying moron.

Ana responds saying that she’s never had the nerve to castigate him and Grey thinks about how she’s forever castigating him via email.  Meanwhile, I have lost the will to live, because this chapter is SO BORING.

He sends her a reply asking if he can do up the zip on her dress, which causes her to email back saying she’d rather he unzipped it.  Grey then thinks:

Her words travel directly to my dick, passing “Go” on the way.

Please don’t ruin Monopoly for me, EL James.  You’ve destroyed enough with this shit, already.

Of course, he immediately replies with the subject line “careful what you wish for…” and just says “SO WOULD I.”  She responds with just the word “slowly…” and he tells her he wishes he was there with her.  She says “SO DO I” (yes, “shouty capitals” are used and are even referred to as such) and of course, that’s going to be his justification for tracking her down three thousand miles away when she’s asked for space, so YAY, can’t wait for that.



We get a brief respite of literally a paragraph or so, in which Grey tells us how much his day has improved since hearing from Ana.  He’s apparently knocked his personal trainer on his ass twice and he feels ready to see Elena and answer all of her invasive questions, even though Ana’s left him hanging by not replying to his last email.

And then Ana emails him.  Again.

Sir, I think you’ll find it was Elliot’s line originally.

Hanging how?

Your Ana

And he thinks:

Is she flirting with me? Again?

And she’s my Ana. Again.


There is a long, painfully dull exchange, as they pick up where they left off in their previous emails.  Grey says Elliot probably stole the line from someone else and asks her how dinner was.  Ana says she ate far too much, which pleases him and he responds saying she does eat, then?!  To be fair, we were all thinking it…

But Ana’s response should sound alarm bells:

Of course I eat…It’s only the uncertainty I feel around you that puts me off my food.

It’s totally normal to feel nervous around someone you like.  It’s normal to maybe not have a massive appetite around someone you’ve got a crush on, because you’ve got butterflies in your stomach.  But this goes way beyond that.  Ana can almost never eat around this guy and it’s because he makes her feel so unsure.  That, my friends, is not romantic or healthy.

And Grey just thinks:

She loses appetite around me? That’s not good. And she’s making fun of me. Again.

But you LOVE it when she does that, remember?!  It’s just so refreshing!

He replies:

I’m sorry to hear that I put you off your food. I thought I had a more concupiscent effect on you.

Because everything has to be turned back round to sex.  He can’t, even for a brief moment, address a potential problem seriously, by saying “you don’t need to feel too anxious to eat around me.  I’m sorry if that’s how I’ve made you feel.  What can I do to change?”  Instead, he has to make a comment about him instilling sexual desire in her, because that is ALL he is capable of talking about.


Ana comments that he sounds like he’s been playing with a thesaurus and to be fair, she’s right.

Grey tells her he has to go and attempts to copyright “laters, baby.”  No, really:

 I am having dinner with an old friend now so I will be driving.

Laters, baby©.

CUTE.  I mean, in the same way that catching Ebola would be cute.

Grey tells us that Elena will be displeased with him if he’s late for their dinner date and then we cut to him meeting her at The Mile High Club (because it was of importance they went somewhere with a sexual name, because sex is the only “plot” this series has).

Elena immediately starts asking about Ana and Grey tries to brush it off as “not a big deal.”  She asks what Ana does and when Grey says she’s just graduated, this conversation happens:

“Oh. A little young for you?”

I arch a brow. “Really? You’re going to go there?”

Elena laughs.



Grey eventually decides to give Elena a brief bit of backstory on who Ana is and how they met.

“Is she in the lifestyle?”

“Not yet. But I’m hopeful.”


“Yeah. She’s escaped to Georgia to think it through.”

“That’s a long way to go.”

“I know.” I look down at my chowder, wondering how Ana is and what she’s doing; sleeping, I hope…alone.

Just the word “escaped” there creeps me out so much I worry I may break out in hives.  And why is Grey so paranoid all the freaking time?!  Ana has spent half the afternoon sending him boring, “flirty” emails.  She’s told him she has these deep feelings for him, yet he’s still wondering whether she might have taken some random dude to bed with her?!  I mean, Lord knows I wish she would, so she could experience someone who a) lasts longer than a minute and a half during sex and b) isn’t an emotionally-crippled control freak with mother-issues, but really.  She’s not going to.  Put a sock in it, you boring weirdo.

Better still, I wish Ana would cheat on him with a girl.

Meanwhile, Elena can tell that Grey is falling for Ana:

“You’re distracted. That’s not like you.”

“Is it that obvious?”

She nods, her eyes softening. “Obvious to me. I think she’s turned your world upside down.”

I inhale sharply but hide the fact by raising my glass to my lips.

Perceptive, Mrs. Lincoln.

“You think?” I murmur after my sip.

“I think,” she says, her eyes searching mine.

“She’s very disarming.”

“I’m sure that’s novel. And I bet you’re worrying about what she’s doing in Georgia, what she’s thinking. I know how you are.”

“Yes. I want her to make the right decision.”

For him.  Not for her.  Because if she decides that the right decision for herself is to walk away from all of this, he’s not going to shrug and go “ah well, cool beans, it was nice while it lasted.”

I hate this book.

Elena then tells Grey to go to Georgia to see Ana.  Which makes me hate it more.  Because although Elena is a child molester, Grey was already planning this and the blame for it can’t just be solely put on someone else’s shoulders.

“You should go and see her.”


“Get on a plane.”


“If she’s undecided. Go use your considerable charm.”

My snort is derisive.

“Christian,” she scolds, “when you want something badly enough, you go after it and you always win. You know that. You’re so negative about yourself. Drives me crazy.”

I sigh. “I’m not sure.”

“The poor girl is probably bored to tears down there. Go. You’ll get your answer. If it’s no, you can move on, if it’s yes, you can enjoy being yourself with her.”

“She’s back Friday.”

“Seize the day, my dear.”

“She did say she missed me.”

“There you go.” Her eyes flash with certainty.

“I’ll think about it. More champagne?”

“Please,” she says, and gives me a girlish grin.

DRIVING BACK TO ESCALA, I contemplate Elena’s advice. I could go to see Ana. She said she’s missed me…the jet’s available.

She said she’s missed you.  But she also told you she can’t think clearly around you and she needs some space.  Space which you promised you’d try to give her.


When Grey gets back from dinner, he checks his email and reads the following from Ana:

I hope you and your friend had a very pleasant dinner.


P.S. Was it Mrs. Robinson?

And because he only needed the teensiest of nudges, he thinks to himself:


This is the perfect excuse. This is going to need an answer in person.

No, it isn’t.

“Yes it was, but I can assure you that it was purely platonic.  The only woman I am interested in is you.”

There you go, that was an email you could absolutely have sent.  But instead, you’re a creepy stalker.  Because however “cute” fans think this is, it isn’t.

Ana hasn’t given him her mother’s address.  Yet he knows it.

Ana has asked for space from him to think.  He’s denying her it.

He doesn’t respect her.  This isn’t about giving her an answer in person.  He was already plotting to head out to Savannah under the pretext of setting up a tech plant, there.  If Elena hadn’t told him to go, he still would have.  He refers to this as “the perfect excuse.”  This is gross, not romantic in any way, shape or form.

But of course, EL James plays this for cutesy giggles:

I buzz Taylor and tell him I’m going to need Stephan and the Gulfstream in the morning.

“Very good, Mr. Grey. Where are you going?”

“We’re going to Savannah.”

“Yes, sir.” And there’s a hint of amusement in his voice.

Because of course this is funny.

And lo, this chapter ends and I can go curl up in the foetal position and pray for the sweet release of death.





Grey Chapter 16 (Tuesday, May 31, 2011)

Grey Chapter 15 (Monday, May 30, 2011)

I have had a lovely weekend, you guys.  Had lunch with my oldest friend yesterday, saw Black Panther and generally had a great time.  Had another lunch with someone lovely today and talked for hours, so…  Yeah, Emma is in a GOOD place.

Let’s ruin that, by recapping another chapter of Grey!


If you remember, the last chapter ended with Grey telling Ana he was going to spank her, not for punishment, but for both of their pleasure.  This chapter starts literally seconds after that sentence, which is… Great?  It also begins with one of the worst lines in literature:

Her sharp intake of breath is music to my dick.


He goes on:

“Then we’ll fuck,” I whisper. “And if you’re still awake, I’ll impart some information about my formative years. Agreed?”

Just as a side note, WHO TALKS LIKE THIS?!  What 27 year old dude do you know who would ever use the sentence “I’ll impart some information about my formative years”?!  Has EL James ever met a human in their twenties?!

Grey gets Ana to suck the kegel balls in order to lubricate them before he puts them inside her, although the description of him removing them from her mouth sounds kind of painful:


“Stop,” I order, and tug them from her mouth.

I can’t say I’ve ever been remotely aroused by the thought of anyone tugging something out of my mouth, but there we go.  Each to their own.

He puts the balls in his own mouth, which I would say was a bit grim, but this is a couple who apparently share a freaking toothbrush these days, so…


He gets Ana to bend down and he places a hand on her ass and claims it as his own:

Oh, this ass is mine, so mine. And it’s going to get warmer.

So mine?  Is he Chandler from Friends, now?  “Oh, this is SO mine.  Could it BE any warmer?!”

I feel like I should apologise to Matthew Perry at once, for sullying the character of Chandler Bing by associating him with the dumpster fire that is Christian Grey.

He starts fingering Ana and she moans and feels wet, causing him to think:

Miss Steele approves. She wants this.

It probably wouldn’t be a sentence I’d think twice about in any other book, but in a story in which consent is coerced, or the lack of it is ignored, I feel like this has been shoved in (for want of a better expression) in order to prove something to critics.  “SHE WANTS THIS, DAMNIT.”

He puts the kegel balls inside her and she tells him they feel strange but good.  He commands her to go and get him a drink of water, so she can get used to feeling them inside her as she moves, then tells her that when she gets back, he’s going to put her across his knee.

When she returns, he tells her to stand beside him in the same position as before and he yet again remarks on how turned on she is and how much she therefore wants this:

“Come. Stand beside me. Like last time.”

She does, and now her breathing is irregular…heavy. Boy, she’s really turned on. So different from the last time I spanked her.

Let’s rile her up some more, Grey.

My breathing gets irregular when I’m nervous, as well as when I’m turned on.  Just saying.  A really good tip for writing consensual sex scenes?  Have the heroine say she’s really turned on and wants this.  Don’t just have the “hero” (I cannot write that with a straight face) assuring the reader that he can tell she wants it.  Again, perhaps this wouldn’t be an issue in any other book, but in this one?  It kinda is.


Grey decides to insist that Ana actually asks him to spank her:

“Ask me.”

Come on, Ana.

Her brow furrows.

“Ask me, Anastasia. I won’t say it again.” My voice is sharper.

Finally, she realizes what I’m asking for and she blushes. “Spank me, please, Sir,” she says quietly.

That doesn’t feel totally out of character or pressured at all.  Yay.

He spanks her, she’s totally hot for it, blah, blah, blah.  It’s about as sexy as plasterboard.

He can take it no more, he puts on a “wretched condom” (second time in this scene that he’s mentioned how much he hates those) and “makes love” to her for all of about thirty seconds, before he “pours (himself) into her,” which just makes me think his penis is some kind of teapot.



And of course, because he made love to her, he starts to feel strange, romantic feelings he’s never felt, before:

A welcome release that leaves me…wanting more. Needing more.

As my equilibrium returns, I push away the strange swell of emotion that gnaws at my insides. It’s not like the darkness, but it’s something to fear. Something I don’t understand.

My abuser used to say love was something he feared and didn’t understand, so…  Yeah, this description is not fun, for me.  It doesn’t make me feel at all sympathetic towards Grey, it just makes me feel slightly stabby.

Of course, despite his promise to “impart some information about (his) formative years,” Grey attempts to avoid having to do so, until Ana calls him out:

“Spill the beans, Grey,” she says with a yawn.

“Miss Steele, you know how to ruin a moment.”

“We had a deal,” she insists.

“How do you feel?”


Grey starts rubbing ointment onto Ana’s spanked ass and we get that fabulous line from the original book:

“The woman who brought me into this world was a crack whore, Anastasia. Go to sleep.”


She tenses in my arms.

I still. I do not want her sympathy or her pity.

“Was?” she whispers.

“She’s dead.”

“How long?”

“She died when I was four. I don’t really remember her. Carrick has given me some details. I only remember certain things. Please go to sleep.”

Is it just me, or does he actually remember a whole freaking lot?!  I mean, we have so many flashbacks  in which we see Ella (the “crackwhore”) baking a cake for him, or playing with him etc and yet he’s never anything but harsh towards her.  Also, you can’t just lay that kind of information on someone who’s desperate to understand you better and then be like “go to sleep,” without expecting them to have further questions.

Although, having said that, Ana is Grey’s dancing puppet and she does what he tells her.  Obviously.


As soon as Christian goes to sleep, he has one of his many TRAUMATIC DREAMS.  This one is about Elliot:

“Don’t just pick the apples and throw them away, asshole!”

“Fuck off, you righteous dweeb.”

Elliot picks an apple, takes a bite, and throws it at me.

So, Christian is angry because he hates food waste, what with having gone hungry when he was small.  But… Elliot calls him a “righteous dweeb” and I just…  Is this set in the middle of Bill And Ted’s Most Excellent Adventure?

It goes on:

“Maggot,” he taunts.

No! Don’t call me that.

I jump him. Pounding my fists into his face.

“You fucking pig. This is food. You’re just wasting it. Grandpa sells these. You pig. Pig. Pig.”

Okay, so… Does Elliot know that Ella’s pimp used to call Christian “Maggot”?  Because…  Wasn’t Christian mute when he went to live with the Greys?  When did he “impart this information” to Elliot?  And if he didn’t, who did?!

If Elliot does know, then it’s a shitty word to purposefully use.  But regardless, Christian’s reaction (which his words seem to imply is less about Elliot’s word choice and more about the food waste) is massively OTT.  I know we’ve been told that he had anger issues (which I maintain have NEVER been resolved), but clearly whatever therapy he was being given at this point – if any – needed to be ramped up a notch.

Carrick steps in:


Dad drags me off Elliot, who is cowering on the ground.

“What is this about?”

“He’s insane.”


It’s not made clear who is saying “Elliot!” but I’m guessing it’s Carrick, admonishing Elliot for using the term against Christian.  Which…  Okay, it’s an ableist term and not a nice one to use, but in Elliot’s defence, he was just being pummelled by Christian and probably deserves to have his side listened to, here.  Yes, he was being an asshole, but I’m not sure beating him to a pulp was a reasonable response.

“He’s destroying the apples.” Anger swells in my chest, in my throat. I think I might explode. “He’s taking a bite and then throwing them away. Throwing them at me.”

“Elliot, is this true?”

Elliot turns red under Dad’s hard stare.

“I think you’d better come with me. Christian, pick up the apples. You can help Mom bake a pie.”

Again, Elliot’s behaviour was bad, but…  Is Carrick really going to just punish Elliot and let Christian get away with punching the crap out of his brother?!  Because I’m suddenly seeing why Christian behaves the way he does…


Then, upon waking, despite the fact that we’ve literally just seen Christian’s dream sequence, he insists on telling us about it:

I’ve dreamed about romping through my grandfather’s apple orchard with Elliot; those were happy, angry days.


It’s seven o’clock when Grey wakes and he refers to this as a “lie-in,” which makes me laugh and laugh, because no.

He then ponders having sex with Ana again, in a manner that sounds a bit… Ew:

I contemplate waking her with a morning fuck; my body is more than willing—but she’s practically comatose and she might be sore. I should let her sleep.

Yes, if she’s not awake to consent, you probably shouldn’t start trying to have sex with her.  I feel like this is basic stuff.


Grey gets up, putting a condom in his pocket for later just in case.  He goes into the kitchen and Gail (Mrs Jones) offers to wash Ana’s clothes from the night before.  They make small talk and then there’s an exchange which just reeks of gender stereotypes:

“How was your sister?”

“Very well, thanks. The kids are growing. Boys can be rough.”

“I know.”

It doesn’t help that I imagine Grey smirking when he says “I know.”  But yo, EL?  I know plenty of girls who played rough as kids.

Then, because Grey is a douchebag, Gail offers him coffee and because she smiles in a slightly different way than usual, he starts inwardly bitching at her:

“Please. I’ll be in my study.” As she watches me her smile changes from pleasant to knowing…in the way that’s feminine and secretive. Then she hurries out of the kitchen, I assume to the laundry room.

What’s her problem?

Okay, this is the first Monday—the first time—in the four years she’s worked for me that there’s been a woman asleep in my bed. But it’s not that big a deal. Breakfast for two, Mrs. Jones. I think you can manage that.


Grey announces he’s not going to work until the afternoon and this causes Ros to tell him in a phone call that she’s pissed at him, because of his hands-off work ethic.  Which is, you know, fair enough.  His concentration hasn’t been on anything but shagging Ana, recently.  There’s a very boring discussion about liquidating a company and he interrupts himself twice within a few paragraphs to inwardly think about the fact that Ana’s eyes are the colour of the sky.


I gaze out at the cloudless sky. It’s the same shade as Ana’s eyes.

Sappy, Grey.

And moments later, when Ana enters the room:

My eyes lock with Ana’s. They are the color of a summer sky and just as warm. Good Lord, I could bask in her warmth all day—every day.

Don’t be absurd, Grey.

I have an unrequited crush, right now.  Her eyes are the colour of the sky.  But I don’t think “oh, her eyes are the colour of the sky” and then glance at her and think literally moments later: “her eyes are the colour of the sky.”  Is… Is EL James forgetting her own writing?  Because if so, I’d like her to tell me how to do that, please.


Grey gets snappy because someone called Sam wants to use Grey’s project to send aid to Darfur to generate good PR for the company.  This feels totally shoe-horned in, so we go “aaaw, Christian is such a sweet guy, he’s doing this amazing thing and he doesn’t even want praise.”  SWOON.

He’s then reminded that the Chamber of Commerce Gala is taking place on Saturday night and tells Andrea, who he has now been put on the phone to, that he needs an extra ticket, as he’ll be bringing a date.  Naturally, this astounds Andrea and her reaction irritates Grey:

“I’ll need an extra ticket, because I have a date,” I inform Andrea.

“A date?” Andrea squeaks with incredulity.

I sigh. “Yes, Andrea, that’s what I said. A date. Miss Anastasia Steele will accompany me.”

“Yes, Mr. Grey.” She sounds as if I’ve made her day.

For fuck’s sake. What is it with my staff?

I mean… Maybe they’re just pleased for you?!  Or surprised anyone wants to be with you, seeing as you’re such an asshole?!  It could be either, to be fair.


Ana has come into Grey’s office because she’s horny:

“I suggest you go and have your shower, or shall I lay you across my desk now?”

“I choose the desk,” she whispers at the corner of my mouth, grinding her sex against my erection.

Well, this is a surprise.

Her eyes are dark and greedy with want. “You’ve really got a taste for this, haven’t you, Miss Steele? You’re becoming insatiable.”

“I’ve only got a taste for you.”

“Damn right. Only me!”

As usual, the sex lasts for under a minute and none of it is worth repeating here, but afterwards, Grey has one of his “ARGH, NO” moments:

“You completely beguile me, Ana. You weave some powerful magic.”

And you jumped me!

I release her wrists and move to stand, but she tightens her legs around me, her fingers tangling in my hair.

“I’m the one beguiled,” she whispers. Our eyes are locked, her scrutiny intense, as if she’s seeing through me. Seeing the darkness in my soul.

Shit. Let me go. This is too much.

So, he can tell her she beguiles him, but if she says it back whilst making eye contact, that’s not okay?  I’m so confused by this guy.

And, because he’s a piece of shit, this is the moment he chooses to become creepily possessive:

I cup her face in my hands to kiss her quickly, but as I do the unwelcome thought of her being in this position with someone else pops into my mind. No. She’s not doing this with anyone else. Ever.

“You. Are. Mine.” My words crack between us. “Do you understand?”

“Yes, yours,” she says, her expression heartfelt, her words full of conviction, and my irrational jealousy recedes.

Red ink, because… Well, duh.  Ana’s given him no reason to think she’s going to run off and leap onto another guy.  And the “she’s not doing this with anyone else ever” thing makes it sound as though even if she left him, he would hound her.

Which we know he would.  And does.


He then decides to hurt her, because he doesn’t want her going to stay with her mother.  No, really:

“Are you sure you have to go to Georgia?” I ask, smoothing her hair from around her face.

She nods.


I pull out of her and she winces.

“Are you sore?”

“A little,” she says with a timid smile.

“I like you sore. Reminds you where I’ve been, and only me.” I give her a rough, possessive kiss.

Because I don’t want her to go to Georgia.

This guy is such a fucking asshole.

He thinks about the fact that last time a woman jumped him, it was Elena and it was always part of a scene.  Ana notices the fact that he had a condom on him and was therefore prepared for sex to happen.  He replies:

“A man can hope, Anastasia, dream even, and sometimes his dreams come true.” I had no idea I’d get to use it so soon, and on her terms, not mine. Miss Steele, for such an innocent, you are, as ever, unexpected.

Ana asks if he means he’s always dreamt of having sex on his desk and Grey thinks about the fact that he’s actually had sex on his desk “many, many times.”  Ana can read his thoughts (I wonder what other superpowers she has) and the idea saddens her.  This in turn, frustrates Grey:

Shit. What can I say? Ana, unlike you, I have a past.

I run my hand through my hair in frustration; this morning is not going according to plan.




They then go on to still not actually talk about any issues in their relationship:

Her brow creases as she studies me, baffled.

“What?” I ask.

“What’s wrong?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you’re being more weird than usual.”

“You find me weird?” Ana, baby, “weird” is my middle name.


Tell her. Tell her no one’s pounced on you for a long time.

“As ever, I’m surprised by you, Miss Steele.”

“Surprised how?”

“Let’s just say that was an unexpected treat.”

“We aim to please, Mr. Grey,” she teases, still scrutinizing me.

“And please me you do,” I acknowledge. But you disarm me, too. “I thought you were going to have a shower?”

Her mouth turns down.


SEE?!  He is STILL not actually saying the things he should be saying out loud.  Tell her you haven’t been jumped in years.  Open up to her about how it’s made you feel.  Tell her she disarms you.  But instead it’s all stupid, cheesy responses like “and please me you do.”  Yes, I know some people have walls built up around them, as a result of their past experiences.  I have much-loved people in my life who don’t open up easily for that reason.  But this doesn’t read that way.  It just comes across as him being obtuse.  Perhaps it’s bad writing.   I mean, this whole franchise is built on bad writing, but…  Ugh, it just bugs me.  We’re meant to believe that this is some great love story, when it’s centred around a relationship with zero healthy communication?


Once Ana has gone off to have a shower, Grey thinks about the fact that she’s so enthusiastic and affectionate and that despite it not being the kind of relationship he’s used to, he likes it.  Which is, you know, something he should be TELLING HER, seeing as he knows she wants to hear that kind of thing.

How the hell can she just waltz into my study and seduce me? I’m supposed to be in control of this relationship. This is what I was thinking about last night: her unbridled enthusiasm and affection. How the hell am I supposed to deal with that? It’s not something I know. I pause as I pick up my phone.

But it’s nice.


More than nice.

He makes a business call and inwardly bitches about the idea of opening a tech plant in Detroit:

My heart sinks.

Does it have to be Detroit?

I have vague memories of the place: drunks, hobos, and crackheads shouting at us on the streets; the seedy dive we called home; and a young, broken woman, the crack whore I called Mommy, staring into space while she sat in a drab, grimy room filled with stale air and dust motes.

And him.

I shudder. Don’t think about him…or her.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: if he knows how much poverty there is in Detroit, why doesn’t he consider the good he could do for the place by bringing money and jobs to the area?!  He sends food to Darfur, because he knows what it was like to go hungry.  But he balks at the idea of doing something that could help other kids in positions like the one he grew up in?!

I feel like I’m using a lot of shrug gifs in this recap, but…


Grey wonders why Ana hasn’t mentioned the whole “crackwhore” thing since last night.  He wonders if that’s why she jumped him that morning and insists he’s fine, when he blatantly isn’t:

Ana has said nothing about my nocturnal confession. I’ve never mentioned the crack whore to anyone. Perhaps that’s why Ana attacked me this morning: she thinks I need some TLC.

Fuck that.

Baby. I’ll take your body if you offer it up. I’m doing just fine. But even as the thought pops into my head I wonder if I’m “just fine.” I ignore my unease; it’s something to discuss with Flynn when he’s back.

And Dr Flynn will enable you and you won’t really work on your issues.  Because that’s how your version of therapy goes.

After her shower, Ana joins Grey and Mrs Jones in the kitchen, where Ana’s ability to survive on thin air is brought back up yet again:

“Would you like something to eat?” asks Mrs. Jones.

“No thank you,” Ana says.

Oh no you don’t.

“Of course you’ll have something to eat,” I growl at both of them. “She likes pancakes, bacon, and eggs, Mrs. Jones.”

This is irritating.  It’s irritating because I don’t know whether EL James is trying to make us all wish we didn’t need to eat and then we could be just like skinny, perfect Ana.  It’s also irritating because Grey shouldn’t be growling at anyone, because despite the lack of realism (I swear Ana would die if she was a real person, eating as little as she does), it’s still not up to him to control her eating.  She hasn’t ever agreed to that and she never will.

Grey goes on to ask Ana if she’s booked her ticket to Georgia, yet.  When she says no, he asks if she has the money to.

“Yes,” she says, as if I’m five years old, and she tosses her hair over her shoulder, flattening her lips, peeved, I think.

I arch an eyebrow in censure. I could always spank you again, sweetheart.

“Yes, I do, thank you,” she says quickly, in a more subdued tone.

That’s better.

I love it when a guy inwardly thinks of punishing his partner with non-consensual spankings.  Remember, she’s enjoyed spanking once, when done in conjunction with kegel balls and done not for punishment, but for pure enjoyment.  So, whenever he thinks of spanking her as punishment, I feel kind of nauseous, because we know – and more importantly he knows – she’s not into that.  Hence red.


He offers her use of his private jet to travel to Georgia in, inwardly knowing she’ll say no, yet he still gets frustrated with her when she does say no.

Surely most women would jump at the opportunity of taking a private jet, but it seems material wealth really doesn’t impress this girl—or she doesn’t like to feel indebted to me. I’m not sure which. Either way, she’s a stubborn creature.

Then, just to ram home the “this guy is awful” in this chapter, he hints that he can find out what publishing companies she’s applying to work for, even though she doesn’t want him to know yet, then they joke about him tracking her phone, because HAHAHA THAT IS FUNNY STUFF, YOU GUYS:

I ask but she still won’t tell me which of the publishing houses she’s seeing. Instead she gives me a sphinxlike smile. There’s no way she’s divulging this secret.

“I’m a man of means, Miss Steele.”

“I’m fully aware of that, Mr. Grey. Are you going to track my phone?”

Trust her to remember that. “Actually, I’ll be quite busy this afternoon, so I’ll have to get someone else to do it,” I answer, smirking.

Naturally, their hilarious chit-chat about his gross invasion of her privacy is apparently exactly what Grey loves so much about his relationship with Ana:

This is what I like: our banter. It’s refreshing and fun, and unlike anything I’ve known before.



Mrs Jones serves breakfast and despite Ana having said she wasn’t hungry, she seems to be tucking in “with relish.”  I assume by that she’s not eating pancakes with actual relish, because ew.

She decides she wants to talk more about his issues and because their relationship is all about the open, honest communication, this happens:

“You know, you never did tell me why you don’t like to be touched.”

Not this again!

“I’ve told you more than I’ve ever told anybody.” My voice is low to conceal my frustration. Why does she persist with these questions?

And then he changes the subject.  This couple are like a pair of fifteen year olds.  And frankly, that’s unfair to fifteen year olds.

He does, however, admit that he’ll miss her whilst she’s away.  So, I guess at least he’s honest about something:

“Will you think about our arrangement while you’re away?” I ask.

“Yes.” She’s earnest.

“Will you miss me?”


She turns to face me, as surprised as I am by the question. “Yes,” she says after a moment, her expression open and honest. I was expecting a smart remark, yet I get the truth. And strangely, I find her admission comforting.

“I’ll miss you, too,” I mutter. “More than you know.” My apartment will be a little quieter without her, and a little emptier. I stroke her cheek and kiss her. 

Guys, I think this is where we’re supposed to swoon.  So…



Grey tries to persuade Ana to stay for longer, but she’s insistent that she needs to get going.  He tells her she can use his toothbrush to clean her teeth and she replies that she fully intends to and I wish I hadn’t eaten so much, today, because eurgh.

There’s this big, long, soppy exchange, in which he insists on following her out to her car so he can kiss her all the way down in the elevator and aaaaw, how cute.  But then as soon as she’s gone, he turns back into a stalky creep.  He immediately calls Welch and demands to find out what flight Ana is taking.

“Welch. Anastasia Steele is buying an airline ticket today, leaving Seattle tonight for Savannah. I’d like to know which flight she’s on.”

“Does she have an airline preference?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

I hang up. My cunning plan is falling into place.

Ew.  Just no.  We know that his “cunning plan” is to book the seat next to hers, so she can’t be tempted to talk to any other penis-owner on the planet.  Let’s not try to make it sound even remotely “cute,” because it’s not anywhere near that.  It’s possessive and gross.

Grey then goes to work, because EL James likes to torment me with chapters that DO NOT END and he opens his email to find a message from Elena, shocked to have heard that he took a “young woman” to dinner with his parents and asking him to call her.  Because that’s not massively unhealthy, at all.

He then receives a creepy call from Welch:

“No airline tickets purchased as yet, Mr. Grey. But I’ll monitor the situation and inform you, should that change.”

“Please do.”

This is not legal.  This is not even in the same postcode as legal.  This is straight from Illegal Town, Illegal County, Illegal-Land.  What is he monitoring?  Her phone?  Her computer?  Her banking?  This isn’t a “cunning plan.”  Don’t sully Baldrick from Blackadder by using his phrase for such grossness.

Man, I wish I was watching Blackadder instead of reading this trash.


Grey then gets in touch with the woman who provides clothes and shoes etc for all his submissives and orders Ana a “capsule wardrobe.”  I think we’re supposed to find this exciting and glamorous, but I just think it makes it sound like Ana’s a Barbie doll he wants to dress up and play with.

But that’s unfair.  I shouldn’t compare Ana to a plastic Barbie doll.

Barbie has way more personality.


Welch then calls back with the details Grey wanted and Grey – as we knew he would – insists on having his assistant buy the seat next to Ana on all her flights:

“Miss Steele is traveling on DL2610 to Atlanta, departing at 22:25 this evening.”

I jot down all the details of her flights and connection into Savannah. I summon Andrea, who enters moments later, carrying her notebook.

“Andrea, Anastasia Steele is traveling on these flights. Upgrade her to first class, check her in, and pay for her to enter the first-class lounge. And buy the seat beside her on all flights, there and back. Use my personal credit card.” Andrea’s puzzled look tells me that she thinks I’ve taken leave of my senses, but she recovers quickly and accepts my hand-scribbled note.


“Will do, Mr. Grey.” She’s trying her best to keep it professional, but I catch her smiling.

This is none of her business.

Firstly, you have literally just made it her business, you total and utter wazzock.  Secondly, she wouldn’t be smiling.  If he’d only upgraded Ana to First Class and Andrea thought he’d already known her flight information, without being aware that he’d probably gained it illegally and was also ensuring she wouldn’t have anyone sitting beside her whilst she travelled, because he wants to control her and isolate her from all other men, then she might have smiled.  But this isn’t cute or romantic.  I just…  There aren’t enough words for how unacceptable this is.

Ana emails Grey to let him know that her interviews went well and there follows yet another excruciatingly dull exchange.  I’ll skip most of it, for the sake of your sanity (it’s too late for me, but run, save yourselves…), but she calls the sex they had on the desk “impeccable” and refers to him “weirding out” on her afterwords.  He chastises her for using a made-up word and asks what she’s comparing the “impeccable” performance to, because he is as emotionally secure as an open bank vault.

She responds telling him the desk sex was impeccable compared to the other times they’ve fucked (she uses that word) and he replies telling her to watch her language.

She also rather weirdly asks if Mrs Jones is an ex submissive, which…  Okay, he’s still in touch with Elena and he was her sub, but surely she doesn’t think he keeps an ex lover around to cook and clean for him?!  Besides, I’ve never read anything that makes me think Mrs Jones looks remotely like Grey’s dead mother and we all know that’s his type.

Grey explains that he’d never employ someone he’s had sex with, although he’d make an exception for her, because she’s special.  He also responds to her reminding him of how little experience she has, by saying:

I am glad you have limited experience. Your experience will continue to be limited—just to me.

I’m getting “WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT” vibes, you guys.


Ana responds saying she’d never work for him and Grey is annoyed, even though he admits it’s probably a wise decision.  Of course, we all know she will end up working for him, seeing as he’s going to buy the company she works for, but let’s enjoy pretending to be ignorant of that upcoming horror, for a while…

When Ana says that she’s going to have dinner with Kate and will contact him again once she’s in Georgia, Grey decides to reply to Elena’s email.  He tells her:

I met a girl. Brought her to dinner.

It’s not a big deal.

Elena is the last person on Earth Ana would probably want to know Grey was referring to their relationship as “no big deal” to, but okay…

And just in case you thought “it’s not a big deal” was the dizziest of romantic heights Grey was going to reach in his email conversations with the woman who molested him, just wait.  He agrees to have dinner with Elena the following evening and, when she offers to introduce him to the girl she picked out as a potential sub for him, instead of saying “actually, I’m happy with the girl I’m seeing” or anything even slightly nice about Ana, Grey replies:

I think I’ll let the arrangement I have now run its course.

I think we might need to swoon again, ladies.


Just before 10pm, Ana emails Grey to let him know that she’s been upgraded on her flight.  She calls out his stalking:

Dear Mr. Grey,

What really alarms me is how you knew which flight I was on.

Your stalking knows no bounds. Let’s hope that Dr. Flynn is back from vacation.

I have had a manicure, a back massage, and two glasses of champagne—a very nice start to my vacation.

Thank you.


Grey tells her Dr Flynn is back and he has an appointment scheduled for the following week.  He also asks who massaged her back.  Ana purposefully decides to tease Grey by saying:

A very pleasant young man massaged my back. Yes. Very pleasant indeed. I wouldn’t have encountered Jean-Paul in the ordinary departure lounge—so thank you again for that treat.

She’s clearly deliberately stirring, here, but what is deeply unpleasant is how genuinely annoyed Grey gets:

Is she trying to make me jealous? Does she have any idea how mad I can get? She’s been gone for a few hours, and she’s deliberately making me angry. Why does she do this to me?

I don’t have to explain why that’s in red, do I?!  And note: Why does she do this to me?  This, from the guy who illegally tracked down her flight information and booked the seats beside her, to prevent her from talking to anyone.  Dude.  Check your own behaviour.

We already know the response to her email is super duper gross, so TW, because I’m going to repeat it for those who’ve avoided the first books:

I know what you’re trying to do—and trust me, you’ve succeeded. Next time you’ll be in the cargo hold, bound and gagged in a crate. Believe me when I say that attending to you in that state will give me so much more pleasure than merely upgrading your ticket.

I look forward to your return.

Christian Grey

Palm-Twitching CEO

If this is a joke, it falls flat, because I honestly believe he would do that to her.  And again, he refers to his twitching palm, meaning he wants to spank her in anger, rather than out of sexual arousal or the desire to give her pleasure.

Ana’s response is textbook for a person in a relationship with an abusive person.  She’s quick to apologise, asks for forgiveness and admits she doesn’t know if he’s joking:

You see—I have no idea if you’re joking—and if you’re not, then I think I’ll stay in Georgia. Crates are a hard limit for me. Sorry I made you mad. Tell me you forgive me.

And he thinks:

Of course I’m joking…sort of. At least she knows I’m mad.

Red, because ew.


Instead of telling her what she needs to hear – that he’s just kidding and that he forgives her, he merely changes the subject line of his email response to “joking” and then bitches at her for emailing on board her flight, thus putting everyone’s lives in danger.  You know, despite the fact that he is involved in keeping this damn conversation going:

How can you be e-mailing? Are you risking the life of everyone on board, including yourself, by using your BlackBerry? I think that contravenes one of the rules.

Christian Grey

Two-Palms-Twitching CEO,

Red, because yet again, he’s referring to his twitchy-palms because he’s mad at her, not because he’s aroused.  Indeed, his next thought almost implies that he wants to spank her in anger:

And we know what happens if you contravene the rules, Miss Steele.

He checks to see whether her flight has taken off, then proceeds to be a shitty moron:

I check the Sea-Tac website for flight departures; her plane has left. I won’t be hearing from her for a while. That thought, as well as her little e-mail stunt, has put me in a foul mood. Abandoning my work, I head into the kitchen and decide to pour myself a drink, tonight Armagnac.

Taylor pops his head around the entrance to the living room.

“Not now,” I bark.

“Very good, sir,” he says, and heads back to wherever he came from.

Don’t take your mood out on the staff, Grey.

Quick reminder:  He’s having dinner with his ex, tomorrow night.  He’s furiously angry with Ana, because she told him a very pleasant young man gave her a massage, despite the fact that she was obviously just trying to wind him up and has said multiple times that she’s his, but he sees nothing wrong with going out for dinner with his ex, even though he knows it’s liable to upset Ana.

Holy double standards, Batman.

But you guys, he can’t help the way he’s behaving.  It’s because Ana’s affecting him so gosh darn much:

Annoyed at myself, I walk toward the windows and stare out at the Seattle skyline. I wonder how she’s gotten under my skin, and why our relationship is not progressing in the direction I would like. I’m hoping that once she’s had a chance to reflect in Georgia, she’ll make the right decision. Won’t she?

Anxiety blooms in my chest. I take another slug of my drink and sit down at my piano to play.


This is where this chapter ends and ugh, I don’t know about you, but I’m just so excited to read his decision to stalk her to Georgia, in the next chapter or two.  I mean, that’s not going to be creepy at all.  I can almost tell EL James will have tried to heavily sanitise it, such was the criticism of his actions in the first book, but…

Ugh.  For now, I’m going to go to bed with memories of a lovely weekend and try to forget this franchise exists.



Grey Chapter 15 (Monday, May 30, 2011)

Grey Chapter 14 (part 2!)

Okay guys, firstly I really ought to apologise; I should have finished chapter 14 a fortnight ago when I started recapping it, but nope, I hit a wall and just found the controlling, abusive bullshit being presented as “excusable” or worse, “hot,” was too much to bear.  So, for the purpose of this recap, which I should warn you all, features some top notch douchebaggery, when it all gets a bit much, I want you to think of whoever makes you happiest.  Anyone whose awesomeness kicks Christian Grey’s backside.  I mean, it’s not hard to be a better person than Christian, who is basically barely more than a piece of human excrement, but if you have a partner, crush or even just a celebrity you admire, let’s all just agree to focus on them every time Grey is a total and utter wazzock.

So, you know… All the time.


When we were last here, Grey had started to get seriously controlling and gross over the idea of Ana going to visit her mother in Georgia.

Mia brings in drinks and the family are clearly attempting to get on with this little soirée, but Grey insists on continuing to hiss at Ana under his breath:

Mia returns with pink prosecco for Ana and me.

“Your good health!” Dad raises his glass.

“For how long?” I persist, trying to keep my voice level.

“I don’t know yet. It will depend how my interviews go tomorrow.”

Interviews? Tomorrow?

“Ana deserves a break,” Kavanagh interrupts, staring at me with ill-concealed antagonism. I want to tell her to mind her own fucking business, but for Ana’s sake I hold my tongue.


Oooooh, boy.  Let’s unpack this.

Firstly, you shouldn’t be so mad about this that you’re having to try to keep your voice level.  That implies that you’re attempting to conceal the anger you have literally zero right to be feeling.  YOU were the one who has said all along that you’re just going to “try” to have a normal relationship with Ana; you don’t get to suddenly act like you’re some deeply established couple who tells one another everything, now.  Ana has signed nothing (and never will); she’s not actually under your control.  That means she gets to decide who she damn well goes to visit and when.

Secondly, this is extraordinarily inappropriate.  You’re having a family dinner.  It’s the first time your parents and siblings have ever seen you bring a girl home.  And you’re openly hissing at her for going to visit her mother?  Do you want them to know what an abusive shit stain of a man you actually are?!

Thirdly, why are you angry about stuff you could easily have asked her about?  “Hey Ana, how’s the job-hunting going?”  Or “Have you been applying for any internships?”  Even “Are you going to be around in the next few days?”  These are all questions that a person can ask their partner, when they’re not a self-obsessed moron intent on creating pointless drama.  You should try it, sometime.

And fourthly (I wasn’t sure that was even a word, but spellcheck seems to have OK’d it…), this IS Kate’s business, you total plank.  She’s literally the only one defending Ana’s right to getting away and having some time to herself.  She’s Ana’s best friend and she’s seen her in floods of tears as a result of the way YOU have treated her.  She has every right in the world to comment.


Of course, Grey doesn’t have a single rational thought in his copper-haired head, so he just carries on being a huge douche:

“You have interviews?” Dad asks Ana.

“Yes, for internships at two publishers, tomorrow.”

When was she going to tell me this? I’m here with her for two minutes and I’m finding out details of her life that I should know!


Look, I’m currently job-hunting and there are certain people in my life I wouldn’t tell if I had an interview.  Not because I’m keeping secrets, but because some of those people work with me in my current job and also because the last thing I would want would be to tell loads of friends I have an interview, only to have to explain that I didn’t get the job.  If I really try to see this from Grey’s point of view, I guess not being told that your partner has job interviews coming up might feel hurtful.  But rather than just getting mad, it would be super healthy and helpful to question why your partner hasn’t mentioned anything, because their reasons might well be similar to mine.  Or, as in this case, it might be because you’re an asshole who monopolises all conversations to centre around himself.  Just saying.

But hey, who here wants to see Grey physically manhandle Ana and behave threateningly?!  YOU DO?  GOOD!

“I wish you the best of luck,” Carrick says to her with a kind smile.

“Dinner is ready,” Grace calls from across the hall.

I let the others exit the room but grab Ana’s elbow before she can follow.

“When were you going to tell me you were leaving?” My temper is rapidly unraveling.

“I’m not leaving. I’m going to see my mother. And I was only thinking about it.” Ana dismisses me, as if I’m a child.

“What about our arrangement?”

“We don’t have an arrangement yet.”


I lead us through the living room door and into the hallway. “This conversation is not over,” I warn as we enter the dining room.


You might wanna start thinking about your partner or crush right now, because hot damn, we need something to take our minds off this oxygen thief.

There are women out there who actually fantasise about this creep and I so, so don’t want to be judgemental towards anyone, but…  It is NOT romantic or sexy for your partner of less than a month to be grabbing you physically and “warning” you because you’ve dared to suggest that you want to go away and visit your mother for a few days.  It’s creepy, possessive, invasive and gross.  If you actively want to be dominated and controlled as part of a consensual relationship, that’s totally legitimate, but if you’re pining for Christian Grey, you’re pining for someone who is attempting to control someone without consent, who has expressed on more than one occasion that she doesn’t want to be controlled.  That’s not BDSM, it’s just vile.

Also, GO ANA.  Dismiss him like a child because he’s acting like one.  He’s treating her like something he owns, rather than as a person he respects.  He’s showing no concern for her agency or her needs.  And Ana is quite right: they don’t have an arrangement, yet.

And quite frankly, if this kind of low-level problem causes Grey’s temper to “rapidly unravel,” then nobody is safe around him.  He’s dangerous and disgusting.



Grey’s subconscious tells us that his mother has made a huge effort for her son’s girlfriends and just look at how he still insists on referring to Kate:

Mom has gone all out—best china, best crystal—for Ana’s and Kavanagh’s benefit.

He will only refer to her by her surname and you just know it’s because he’s a misogynist asshole and doing so is his way somehow marking her as unworthy of him.  Eeeuuuurgh.

Everyone take a second to think of the cute/nice person of your choice.  We need this.  Go message them, if you can.  Just allow yourself some quality swooning for a second, because… Ugh, it’s getting bad in here.


Did you think of them?!  Good, because as the family make small talk about how Grey and Ana met, this happens, next:

From the corner of my eye I notice that Ana’s studying me.

“What?” I ask.

“Please don’t be mad at me,” she says, so low that only I can hear.

“I’m not mad at you,” I lie.

Her eyes narrow, and it’s obvious she doesn’t believe me.

“Yes, I am mad at you,” I confess. And now I feel like I’m overreacting. I close my eyes.

Get a grip, Grey.

“Palm-twitchingly mad?” she whispers.



Then Kate, who I swear is being written in this book as someone we’re meant to dislike as much as Grey does, notices them whispering:

“What are you two whispering about?” Kavanagh interrupts.

Good God! Is she always like this? So intrusive? How the hell does Elliot put up with her? I glower at her, and she has the sense to back off.

She “HAS THE SENSE TO BACK OFF,” you guys.  What the actual heck was he going to do to her if she didn’t??!!

Also, she’s not really being particularly intrusive, here.  Ana and Grey are whispering to one another during a family meal and let’s be honest, with the knowledge of what’s being said to one another, we can imagine their body language and facial expressions aren’t exactly sunshine and rainbows.  I would say Kate’s probably looking out for her friend by breaking up what almost certainly looks like a potential hushed argument, but then she says this:

Kate smirks. “How was José when you went to the bar with him on Friday?” she asks, with a brash look in my direction.

What. The. Fuck. Is. This?

Ana tenses beside me.

Oh, Kate.  You’ve let me down, you’ve let yourself down, you’ve let Ana down.  If you don’t like your bestie’s boyfriend, I totally get wanting to wind him up.  But if you also suspect that he might be harmful towards your friend in any way, you don’t say something to purposefully anger him, particularly if he’s liable to take that anger out on said friend.


Ana is right to become tense, because Grey decides to tell her he really does want to hit her in anger, now.  No, really:

“Palm-twitchingly mad,” I whisper to her. “Especially now.”

So she went to a bar with the guy who was trying to ram his tongue down her throat the last time I saw him. And she’d already agreed to be mine. Sneaking off to a bar with another man? And without my permission…

She deserves to be punished.

Around me, dinner is being served.

I’ve agreed not to go too hard on her…maybe I should use a flogger. Or maybe I should administer a straightforward spanking, harder than the last one. Here, tonight.

Yes. That has possibilities.

Ana has done nothing wrong.  Yes, José was a creep that night in the bar and if Grey was just a decent guy who was honestly concerned for her welfare, I’d understand his worries.  But Ana has forgiven her friend and Grey is not concerned for Ana’s welfare; he’s concerned someone else might take what’s “his.”  All Ana did was go out for a drink with someone she has decided to remain friends with.  She can be in a relationship with Grey and still have totally innocent friendships with other men – or at least she should be able to.

And now Grey wants to physically punish her, without her consent, because he thinks she “deserves” it.


Whilst all this has been going on, Grey’s father has apparently been answering the phone.  He comes to tell Grace that it’s the hospital for her.  As she goes off to take the call, Grey notices that Ana is hungry and this makes him mildly less angry and also horny.

Again, no really:

Smells good.

Ana licks her lips and the action resonates in my groin. She must be starving. Good. That’s something.

I… I just…  I can’t.

Grey then genuinely describes the fact that he’s hungry as contributing to his bad mood and I was going to mock this, but I get terribly “hangry” when I’ve not eaten in a while, so…

It turns out that the phone call from the hospital was to announce another case of Measles in a child.  Grace says she wishes more people would vaccinate their children and then there’s a seemingly pointless discussion about the fact that all three Grey children had Chicken Pox when they were young and that Elliot had it really badly, but Mia and Christian barely had a spot between them.  I think there’s a reason it becomes important; I vaguely remember a reference to the marks on Christian’s skin and Ana thinking “oh, they’re not chicken pox spots, then” and later discovering that they’re cigarette burns, but that’s obviously not mentioned, here.  Anyway, during the conversation, Grey is his usual charming self in his internal monologue:

“Christian and Mia were lucky,” Grace explains. “They got it so mildly, only a spot to share between them.”

Oh, give it a rest, Mom.

He’s so lovely.


The family’s housekeeper clears the table after they have pre-dinner drinks and canapés etc and of course, because she owns a vagina, we have to be told that she fancies Christian Grey (despite the fact that we’ve already covered this crap, earlier).  And we also have to be told that Christian still doesn’t know her name, because she’s so unimportant.

Mom’s helper starts to clear the table. I still can’t remember her name. She’s Swiss, or Austrian or something, and she doesn’t stop simpering and batting eyelashes at me.

Name me one man that literally every straight woman on the planet fancies.  There isn’t one.  You can try, but you will always find a woman who turns her nose up, even at the most seemingly universally accepted “hotties.”  There is NO WAY that every woman Grey meets would be this attracted to him.  I genuinely believe that it’s all in his head.  He is, after all an egomaniac.

Okay, now brace yourselves.  Think of something or someone lovely.  Because it’s time for the infamous “hey, I’m going to finger my girlfriend whilst sitting a few feet from my parents” scene.  And it’s…  It’s pretty gross.


First, we get some hugely hypocritical shaming of Christian’s parents for daring to talk about their honeymoon.  Because ew, other people having sex is disgusting.

“Have you been to Paris, Ana?” Mia asks.

“No, but I’d love to go.”

“We honeymooned in Paris,” Mom says. She and Dad exchange a look across the table, which frankly I’d prefer not to see. They obviously had a good time.


More importantly, how dare you act grossed out by this, when you’re about to stick your hand up your girlfriend’s hoo-ha IN FRONT OF YOUR FAMILY?!  God, this guy is a cretin.

Mia exposes EL James’ racism/belief in stereotypes by saying Paris is a beautiful city, in spite of the Parisians.  She suggests Grey might want to take Ana there and Grey finds this a “ridiculous suggestion.”  So ridiculous, he feels the need to touch Ana’s vagina.

Placing my hand on Ana’s knee, I explore her thigh at a leisurely pace, her dress riding up as my fingers follow. I want to touch her; stroke her where her panties should be. As my cock rouses in anticipation I suppress a groan and shuffle in my seat.

She jerks away from me as if to cross her legs, and I close my hand around her thigh.

Don’t you dare!

Remember, Grey hid Ana’s underwear and she’s therefore not got any on.  She has every right to want to cross her legs.  His “don’t you dare!” comment therefore sounds rapey as hell.

Mia goes on to describe the “ogre” she was working for in Paris as a “domineering tyrant” and this makes Ana choke on her wine, because HAHAHAHA HER BOYFRIEND IS A DOMINEERING TYRANT, BUT IN A SEXY WAY, HONEST.

“Anastasia, are you okay?” I ask, and release her thigh.

She nods, her cheeks red, and I pat her back and gently caress her neck. Domineering tyrant? Am I? The thought amuses me. Mia shoots me a look of approval at my public display of affection.

Of course it amuses you.  Because you think there’s nothing wrong with controlling someone who doesn’t want to be controlled.  Because you’re a dick.


There’s some boring table chit-chat and Grey starts to realise he’s feeling tense and wonders why:

Ana is eating heartily and listening to the banter. Everyone else has calmed down, and my family is being less weird. Why am I so tense? This happens every day all across the country, families gathering to enjoy good food and each other’s company. Am I tense because I have Ana here? Am I worried they won’t like her, or that she won’t like them? Or is it because she’s fucking off to Georgia tomorrow, and I knew nothing about that?

Or perhaps, you’re just a grotesque wanker with permanent anger issues?  Just a thought.

There’s a brief interlude where Grey and Mia have a conversation in French, which includes Grey telling an hilarious joke, apparently.  I ran it through Google translate and it goes like this:

Mia: the pastries are simply fabulous. Mr. Floubert’s apple pie is amazing.

Grey: Mia, darling, you speak French.  We speak English here. Well, with the exception of Elliot of course. He speaks silly, fluently.


You guys, my sides are splitting.  I’m so amused, I’ve forgotten how much I want to slice Christian Grey’s head off and carry it around on a stick as a warning to abusers.

Oh, no, wait.  No, I haven’t.

Still, Grey’s witty, witty banter only helps lift his mood so much:

But by the end of dinner the tension is really wearing me down. I want to be alone with my girl. I’ve only so much tolerance for inane chatter, even if it’s with my family, and I’ve reached my limit. I peer down at Ana, then reach over and tug her chin. “Don’t bite your lip. I want to do that.”

Okay, gird your loins.  Seriously, I try to make these recaps as funny as I can, but I’ve read ahead and this part made me dry heave, so…  Just a heads up.  Self-care first, guys.

Grey decides that he simply has to grab Ana’s vagina to cheer himself up.  And when Ana, understandably, isn’t keen to have him do that at the dinner table, in front of his family, it pisses him off:

I also have to establish a few ground rules. We need to discuss her impromptu trip to Georgia and going out for drinks with men who are infatuated with her. I put my hand on Ana’s knee again; I need to touch her. Besides, she should accept my touch, whenever I want to touch her. I gauge her reaction as my fingers travel up her thigh toward her panty-free zone, teasing her skin. Her breath catches and she squeezes her thighs together, blocking my fingers, stopping me.

That’s it.

I have to excuse us from the dinner table. “Shall I give you a tour of the grounds?” I ask Ana, and I don’t give her a chance to answer. Her eyes are luminous and serious as she places her hand in mine.

THAT’S IT.  She won’t let him finger her in front of his parents, so he’s going to insist on taking her somewhere alone, without giving her a chance to consent.

He takes Ana out of the dining room and tells his mother he’s going to show Ana the backyard.  He openly admits to the reader that he’s “pretending to be cheerful.”

Outside, my mood plunges south as my anger surfaces.

Panties. The photographer. Georgia.

That’s the name of my debut album.  Sorry, any excuse to find humour in this hell.

We cross the terrace and climb the steps to the lawn. Ana pauses for a moment to admire the view.

Yeah, yeah. Seattle. Lights. Moon. Water.

I continue across the vast lawn toward my parents’ boathouse.

“Stop, please,” Ana pleads.

I do, and glare at her.

Remember, he hid her panties.  José is Ana’s friend and despite what he did to her, it’s her choice to maintain a friendship if she chooses to.  Far more importantly (because again, if Grey was a decent guy, I’d understand his concerns over Ana being friends with someone who tried to force himself on her), she also has every right to go to visit her mother if she wants to.  She has never signed Grey’s contract.  She has not agreed to be under his full control.  And most importantly of all, the thing that tipped him over the edge into total anger?  Was her not allowing him to touch her sexually in front of his family.  He believes that he can touch her whenever he wants, wherever he wants, despite the fact that SHE HAS NOT SIGNED HIS FREAKING CONTRACT AND NEVER WILL.  He’s furious because she said no.  So now he’s going to take his anger out on her.


I honestly want to smash something.  Possibly my own face into a wall for agreeing to recap this shit.


Ana wants to stop to take her shoes off, but Grey decides not to let her:

“My heels. I need to take my shoes off.”

“Don’t bother,” I growl, and lift her quickly over my shoulder. She squeals in surprise.

Hell. I smack her ass, hard. “Keep your voice down!” I snap, and stride across the lawn.

This is not okay.  This isn’t a sexy fun-times smack on the ass.  This guy literally wants to physically punish her for her “bad behaviour,” none of which is actually bad and the last of which was her refusing consent via body language.

There aren’t enough angry gifs in the world.


He tells her he’s taking her to the boathouse:

“Where are we going?” she wails as she bounces on my shoulder.



“I need to be alone with you.”

“What for?”

“Because I’m going to spank and then fuck you.”

“Why?” she whines.

“You know why,” I snap.

“I thought you were an in-the-moment guy?”

“Anastasia, I’m in the moment, trust me.”

The moment is ANGER.  He is ANGRY.  You do NOT perform a BDSM scene based on actual rage at your partner.  Punishing your submissive is about mutual pleasure, never about actually taking out your anger on them.  I want this book to burn.


They get to the boathouse and Ana makes a totally understandable request, which Grey – naturally – doesn’t even remotely understand:

I slide Ana down my body, glorying in the feel of her, and I set her on her feet. Her hair is dark and untamed, her eyes shining in the glow of the lights, and I know she’s not wearing her panties. I want her. Now.

“Please don’t hit me,” she whispers.

I don’t understand. I stare down at her blankly.

Ah, those four words that everyone wants to read in so-called fucking LOVE STORY.  Heads up: if you’re writing a “romance” and your heroine has to ask this of the hero even once, you’re doing it wrong.

Oh and just to be clear, Grey doesn’t understand why she doesn’t want to be hit, because that’s what they’re in the boathouse for.  Seriously:

“I don’t want you to spank me, not here, not now. Please don’t.”

But…I gape at her, paralysed. That’s why we’re here.

“How can she not want me to spank her when I explicitly told her that’s what I was going to do?  How can she have her own ideas as to what she wants?  This is preposterous!”


But because this is a “LOVE story” (to quote EL “la la la, I can’t hear your valid criticism” James), what happens next is not, as I wish it would be, Ana kicking this monster in the balls and making a run for it.  It’s not even an argument, in which Ana tells him he can’t have total control over all aspects of her life and nor can he try to touch her without consent.  No, because this story is all about poor ickle Christian and how Ana cures him with her magical love cave, what actually happens is she touches his cheek, ruffles his hair, “shoves (her) tongue into (his) mouth” and leaves him all breathless and stunned.  Because no matter what he does – no matter how despicable – he has to still be the poor, desperate boy who needs love, in this story.  This isn’t me victim-blaming Ana for not walking away or standing up to him, by the way.  It’s me shit-writer-blaming EL James, because she chose to make this happen.

After they pause for breath, Christian is shocked because Ana has said no to him and that’s a totally new thing:

I’m confused. I wanted to spank her. But she’s said no. Like she did at the dinner table. “What are you doing to me?” I ask.

“Kissing you.”

“You said no.”

“What?” She’s bewildered, or maybe she’s forgotten what happened.

“At the dinner table, with your legs.”

“But we were at your parents’ dining table.”

How is this guy not even remotely understanding why she said no to being masturbated underneath the sodding table, with her boyfriend’s family members and her best friend literally RIGHT THERE?!

True (and gross) story: I was once friends with a couple who were very public in their displays of affection.  One night, many years ago, we went to a club together, along with a couple of other friends.  I went off to dance, the two other guys we were with wandered off to the bar and the couple stayed at the table, supposedly watching our drinks.  After a while, dancing had made me thirsty, so I went back to the table and sat down to have a drink.  The couple made friendly chit-chat with me (as much as you can in a noisy club) for probably five or ten minutes, but the whole time, she was giving him a hand job under the table.  When I realised (because the guy literally sank back in his seat and groaned and her hand started to move much faster…), I was so grossed out that I legged it back to the dance floor.  This happened something like 16 years ago and I am still horrified by the memory, because guys.  Just don’t do that, okay??!!


Grey tells Ana that nobody has ever said no to him before (presumedly, we’re meant to believe it’s because he’s such an Adonis and not because women are terrified that he’ll straight up murder them, although the latter is way more realistic) and that he finds it hot.  However, he also admits that he’s legitimately mad with her.

“You’re mad and turned on because I said no?” Her voice is throaty.

“I’m mad because you never mentioned Georgia to me. I’m mad because you went drinking with that guy who tried to seduce you when you were drunk, and who left you when you were ill with an almost complete stranger. What kind of friend does that? And I’m mad and aroused because you closed your legs on me.”

This is Fifty Shades of fucked up, for sure.  Firstly, he’s pissed that José left her with “an almost complete stranger,” yet that stranger was him and he made the decision to essentially kidnap her and take her back to his hotel.  He doesn’t get to be holier than thou, here.  Secondly, I’m sorry but being angry that she denied him sexual consent at the dinner table is NOT FUCKING HOT.  I know rape-play is a thing for some people.  I know saying “no” when you mean “dear GOD yes” is a thing for some people.  But Ana is not one of those people.  She said no at the table by closing her legs and Grey’s reaction was “now I’m going to angry-fuck her.”  If people can’t see how monumentally messed up and gross that is, I have no hope left.


Naturally, because he’s an abusive asshole, Grey then tells Ana that if he can’t spank her, he’ll fuck her for his pleasure alone:

My fingers inch her dress up her legs. “I want you, and I want you now. And if you’re not going to let me spank you—which you deserve—I’m going to fuck you on the couch, this minute, quickly—for my pleasure, not yours.”

He claims ownership of her vagina, which Ana, like the obedient, self-insert EL James wrote her as, fully agrees to:

“This is mine. All mine. Do you understand?” I slip my finger in and out of her, holding her, as her lips part with shock and desire.

“Yes, yours,” she whispers.

Yes. Mine. And I won’t let you forget it, Ana.

Well, that unspoken thought sounds super duper healthy.

Oh and hey, remember how she doesn’t like to be spanked and has asked him not to hit her?  Well, not for the first time, he decides to threaten her with it:

“We don’t have long. This will be quick, and it’s for me, not you. Do you understand? Don’t come, or I will spank you,” I order.

Orgasm denial is a thing and it can be seriously hot if both parties are into it.  Both parties are not into it, here.  This is just abusive.

He doesn’t last very long (as per usual) and he reminds her she’s not allowed to come, because he wants her frustrated, the way she made him feel, earlier:

Yessss. I come quickly, losing all reason as I explode inside her. I still. Filling her. Owning her. Reminding her that she’s mine.


That was…

I pull out of her and kneel up.

“Don’t touch yourself.” My voice is hoarse and breathless. “I want you frustrated. That’s what you do to me by not talking to me, by denying me what’s mine.”


Grey is momentarily placated now, because he’s gotten what he wanted.

I take a deep breath. I’m calmer now. Much calmer.

Fuck, that was good.

He looks at her and thinks how “lovely” she is, but it falls on ears deafer than a proverbial post, because this ingrowing pube of a man is incapable of caring for anyone but himself and nothing EL sodding James every writes will ever change my opinion on that.  EVER.

He hastily throws Ana’s panties at her so she can put them on, just before Mia calls to see where they are (Ana and Christian, that is, not the knickers…).  He tells Ana “game, set and match to you, Miss Steele,” implying she’s somehow the winner in this situation, which is sodding laughable and I suddenly remember why I quit recapping this chapter a fortnight ago, because this is just awful.

He then tells her:

“Well, Miss Steele, I feel better for that—but I still want to spank you.”

They go on to have this conversation that is clearly supposed to be cute but makes me want to vomit.  On EL James’s fucking face:

“I don’t believe I deserve it, Mr. Grey, especially after tolerating your unprovoked attack.” She is crisp and formal.

“Unprovoked? You kissed me.”

“It was attack as the best form of defense.”

“Defense against what?”

“You and your twitchy palm.” She’s trying to suppress a smile.

AHAHAHAA, it’s so CUTE when he threatens to beat her without consent and then practises orgasm denial on her!  I WISH I HAD SOMEONE LIKE CHRISTIAN GREY IN *MY* LIFE.  *SWOOOOOOON*.


Sorry guys, I know I’m being very sweary and probably less witty than I usually at least try to be, but this is just horrible and triggering and gross.

You know I said picture someone you really like, who’s a billion times better than Christian Grey, during this recap?  All I wanna do is message my crush and tell her thank you for existing, even though it’s entirely one-sided, because I’m just relieved *nice* people are out there who are actually worth swooning over.  Christian Grey can go take a nice, long bath in acid.

Mia comes in and announces that Kate and Elliot have barely been able to keep their hands off each other (because remember, all other couples are revolting and wrong), but that they’re leaving, so Christian and Ana should come down to say goodbye.  As they head out of the boathouse, there’s yet another “cute” exchange between Ana and Christian that makes me want to dry heave:

Mia turns to go and I let Ana precede me, but before we get to the stairs I smack her behind.

She smothers her yelp.

“I will do it again, Anastasia, and soon,” I whisper in her ear, and folding her into my arms, I kiss her hair.

It’s totally fine that he keeps telling her he’s going to hit her, even though she’s asked him not to multiple times, because he kisses her hair, you guys.  She’s curing him!  This is LOVE!


I’ve said this a thousand billion times, but if Ana was really into being spanked, it would be hot that he teases her about doing it to her all the time.  She’s not.  She’s openly said she doesn’t want to be hit.  This “cute” thing, where he’s like “tee-hee, I will do it to you” is therefore the opposite of hot.  It’s bloody freezing cold.

Of course, then EL gives us PROOF of how Ana’s changing this demonic hell-beast into a better person, by having him ponder the fact that Ana’s the only woman he’s ever wanted to introduce to his family:

It’s a beautiful evening; it’s been a beautiful day. I’m glad Ana’s met my family.

Why haven’t I done this before?

Because I’ve never wanted to.



Grey does Ana’s shoes up for her and they have another toe-curlingly excruciating exchange:

“Why, thank you, Mr. Grey,” she says.

“The pleasure is, and was, all mine.”

“I’m well aware of that, Sir,” she teases.

Tee-hee, because he didn’t let her come, you see!  So, the pleasure was only his, hee!

Ana says goodbye to Grey’s family (whilst his internal monologue bitches at Mia for hugging her) and then, as Taylor is driving them back home, Grey realises that Ana is a little quiet:

She’s anxious. Something’s wrong.

“What?” I ask.

She is quiet at first, and when she speaks there’s an emptiness in her voice. “I think that you felt trapped into bringing me to meet your parents. If Elliot hadn’t asked Kate, you’d never have asked me.”

Damn. She doesn’t understand. It was a first for me. I was nervous. Surely she knows by now that if I didn’t want her here, she wouldn’t be here. As we pass from light to shadow under the street lamps, she looks distant and upset.

Grey, this will not do.

It won’t do that you treat her like shit, either, dude.

He placates her by telling her he’s shocked that someone so amazing as she is could possibly doubt herself:

“Anastasia, I’m delighted that you’ve met my parents. Why are you so filled with self-doubt? It never ceases to amaze me. You’re such a strong, self-contained young woman, but you have such negative thoughts about yourself. If I hadn’t wanted you to meet them, you wouldn’t be here. Is that how you were feeling the whole time you were there?” I shake my head, reach for her hand, and give it another reassuring squeeze.

I don’t know… Why is she filled with self-doubt?  Could it be because you’ve been messing with her head and telling her over and over that you don’t want any form of romance with her, but that you do want to shag her, like, all the time?  Perhaps it’s because you openly admit to purposefully intimidating her, to throw her off balance?  Feel free to chip in with ideas, I’m just brainstorming…


Ana tries to soften the whole Georgia issue by telling him that she only mentioned it because Kate was talking about going to Barbados and that she hasn’t fully made her mind up as to whether or not she’ll go.  It feels very much like she’s just saying this to make him feel better, rather than because this is actually how she feels, but hey.  Christian Grey is the most important man in the world, so naturally his feelings are more important than what she might actually want.

Grey asks her if she wants to see her mother and Ana says yes.  Grey then decides that he should go with her, to prevent her from deciding she doesn’t want him, anymore:

My anxiety surfaces. Does she want out? If she goes to Georgia, her mother might persuade her to find someone more…suitable, someone who, like her mother, believes in romance.

I have an idea. She’s met my folks; I’ve met Ray; perhaps I should meet her mother, the incurable romantic. Charm her.

He asks if he can come with her and Ana tells him she doesn’t think it’s a good idea.  Keep that in mind, because you know it’s going to come up again, soon.  Ana then admits that she wants to get away from him in order to clear her head:

“I was hoping for a break from all this…intensity. To try to think things through.”

Shit. She does want to leave me.

“I’m too intense?”

She laughs. “That’s putting it mildly!”

They have a discussion about how she finds him “funny” and he panics as to whether she’s laughing at him or with him, which I won’t repeat, because it’s boring, then she opens up about why she needs space to think:

What do you need to think about in Georgia?”


Fuck. “You said you’d try,” I gently remind her.

“I know.”

“Are you having second thoughts?”


It’s worse than I feared. “Why?”

She stares at me in silence. “Why, Anastasia?” I persist. She shrugs, her mouth turned down, and I hope she’ll find her hand in mine reassuring. “Talk to me. I don’t want to lose you. This last week—”

Has been the best in my life.

“I still want more,” she breathes.

Oh no, not this again. What does she need me to say?

“I know. I’ll try.” I clasp her chin. “For you, Anastasia, I will try.”

I’ve just taken you to meet my parents, for heaven’s sake.

She still wants more and yet he’s still only thinking the things that might make her feel wanted and reassured, rather than saying them out loud, for goodness sake!  Just SAY it’s been the best week of your life!  Hearing that from you is going to make her feel like she’s not just a sex object and you know that’s something she worries about because she’s freaking TOLD you.  And really, if you think she’s this wonderful, magnificent creature who you’ve never felt this way about, is it such a stretch to just say “hey, let’s give a relationship a go?”  Does there need to be all this pointless bloody “I can only have you as my sub and nothing more” drama??!!


Clearly, this would be a great time for them to have an actual conversation about their relationship, like a healthy couple would, but this is Ana and Christian we’re talking about, so naturally, Ana just jumps him instead.  You know, whilst they’re in a moving car, being driven by someone who is definitely not paid enough to have to be a witness to this shit.

He asks her not to go home and to go back to his place, instead, reminding her that if she does go to Georgia, he won’t see her for a week.  Ana agrees and promises that she’s going to try too:

“Yes,” she murmurs. “And I’ll try, too. I’ll sign your contract.”

Christian openly talks about giving her space to think about it before she signs, before his internal monologue literally admits that part of him wants to force her into it.

“Sign after Georgia. Think about it. Think about it hard.” I want her to do this willingly—I don’t want to force this on her. Well, part of me doesn’t. The rational part.


I’m running out of ways to say “ew.”

Ana is practically asleep on her feet when they arrive back at Escala.  Grey comments several times on how tired she is.  But he still says this:

“Come on, Miss Steele, you have a big day tomorrow. Sooner you’re in bed, sooner you’ll be fucked, and sooner you can sleep.”

Sure, she wants to have sex despite being barely awake, because Ana is a human blow-up doll who is constantly conveniently ready for it, but still.

Once they’re in the bedroom, Ana decides to “play hard to get”:

Okay, what’s going on here? Is she reluctant? Too tired? What? “Don’t you want to fuck?” I ask, confused.

“No,” she whispers.

“Oh.” Well, that’s disappointing.

She swallows, then says in a small voice, “I want you to make love to me.”

I stare at her, bemused.

What exactly does she mean?

Make love? We do. We have. It’s just another term for fucking.

Yes, technically it is and to be honest in reality, it kind of bugs me that “make love” is used as this oh-so-special term, as though “sex” is NOT ENOUGH, DAMNIT.  But Ana wants “more.”  Why is he so frequently confused by the fact that she wants romance, when she talks about it LITERALLY ALL THE DAMN TIME??!!


Ana tells him what she means: she wants to be able to touch him.  Grey reacts in the least melodramatic way possible, obviously:

Fuck. No. I step back as the darkness closes around my ribs.

“Please,” she whispers.

No. No. Haven’t I made it clear?

I can’t bear to be touched. I can’t.


This goes on and on, with Ana pleading with him to tell her why she’s not allowed to touch her and him refusing.  I’m on the fence, here, because on the one hand, nobody should feel pressured into revealing something traumatic that they’re not ready to put out there.  On the other hand, he’s expecting Ana to go along with his every wish and yet this is the only thing she’s consistently asked for in return; it would be nice if he offered her a reason as to why he constantly refuses.

There is this hugely laughable bit of cheese:

“Fuck this,” I mutter to myself. At the chest of drawers I pull out a T-shirt and throw it to her. “Put that on and get into bed.” Why am I even letting her sleep with me? But it’s a rhetorical question: deep down I know the answer. It’s because I sleep better with her.

She’s my dream catcher.

She keeps my nightmares at bay.



We get yet more boring crap about how Grey doesn’t *do* romance, because if there’s one thing EL James is good at, it’s repeating the same damn thing over and over until it’s burnt onto your retinas for all time:

One evening at my parents’ and she’s expecting serenades and sunsets and fucking walks in the rain. That’s not what I’m about. I’ve told her this. I don’t do romance. I sigh heavily as I remove my pants.

But she wants more. She wants all that romantic shit.


In my closet I throw my pants into the laundry basket and pull on my PJ bottoms, and then wander back into my bedroom.

This isn’t going to work, Grey.

But I want it to work.

You should let her go.

No. I can make this work. Somehow.

I want her.  But I can’t make this work.  But I WILL.  But I can’t.  But I MUST.

He goes into the bathroom, where she’s cleaning her teeth with his toothbrush, which he then puts straight into his own mouth, which is made out to be cute and sexy and not mind-numbingly grim…


…Ana continues to plead with him to tell her why she can’t touch him and he carries on telling her he’s “fifty shades of fucked up” (because we all just love that line so much) and Ana then decides to bargain with him.  She offers to let him spank her if he’ll tell her the reason he hates to be touched.

He heads to the playroom and returns with some silver Kegel balls, which he tells her he’s going to put inside her, then spank and fuck her for both of their pleasure.

And then, completely randomly and without warning, the chapter ends.

I would say YAY, but I’ve already seen that the next chapter literally starts immediately as the sex does.  Seeing as ELJ has given these chapters dates instead of numbers, the only reason she’s split a chapter mid-scene is probably because she recently told us it was 11:46pm and she can’t possibly finish a chapter by having it spill into the next day.

Ugh.  I’m off to think of literally anything but this.


Grey Chapter 14 (part 2!)

Grey: Chapter 14 (Sunday, May 29, 2011)

The sun is shining – despite it being ridiculously cold – I have eaten cake and waffles this weekend and generally speaking, life feels pretty good, today.  So, let’s dive into chapter 14 of Grey and see if I can muster some enthusiasm for this crap…


With the Rolling Stones’ “Shake Your Hips” blasting in my ears, I sprint down Fourth Avenue and turn right on Vine. It’s 6:45 in the morning, and it’s downhill all the way…to her apartment. I’m drawn; I just want to see where she lives.

Aaaaand my good mood was crushed by the first damn paragraph of this chapter.  Dude, this is stalking.  You are in some kind of relationship with Ana, so why not just wait until she inevitably invites you over?  Why jog past her apartment at some crazy hour in the morning, just to see where she lives?  This isn’t love, this is obsession.  This dude is crossing all kinds of unhealthy lines.  Like, all the time.

Of course, because this book is the kind of trash that needs to be immediately dumped in the sea, Grey remembers Ana making a quip about a word that comes “between control freak and stalker” in the dictionary (after she emailed him the words “rules schmules” and he asked her where “schmules” was in the dictionary) and he thinks to himself:

It’s between control freak and stalker.

I chuckle to myself. I’m just running. It’s a free country.

You’re just running to her apartment.  On purpose.  And you’re chuckling to yourself, because you know this is stalking and you think it’s funny.  I hate you and I wish you were a character in a video game, just so I could kill you over and over and over…


Grey reaches the apartment building, gives us a quick description of it and then tells the reader that he’s imagining Ana curled up in bed.

He then jogs through the market, seemingly in a buoyant mood, because “today’s the day.”

If you’re thinking “oh wow, he’s had a change of heart about Ana meeting his family and now he’s really excited about it,” then…  Oh, please hold onto that innocence.  But also know that nope.

He returns home, showers, puts a hair tie in his shirt pocket and emails Ana the access code for Escala’s underground carpark, plus the bay number she should park in and the code for the elevator.  We get to read all this, because EL James finds dull detail much easier to write than actual, decent content.

Ana replies:

Yes, Sir. Understood.

Thank you for the champagne and the blow-up Charlie Tango, which is now tied to my bed.


This is your regular reminder of my irrational hatred of that damn balloon.

Because Grey is only capable of thinking with his penis, he immediately thinks:

An image of Ana tethered to her bed with my tie comes to mind. I shift in my chair. I hope she’s brought that bed to Seattle.

No, she was planning to sleep on a bed of freaking nails.

He replies “lucky Charlie Tango,” which is painfully predictable, then has croissants and apricot jam for breakfast.  He also feels the need to tell us that apparently Mrs Jones has made enough chicken Caesar salad for two as a lunch option and she’s left it in the fridge for him and it’s the sort of meal that you can eat over two days and he doesn’t mind eating it again with Ana, when she comes over.


That woman is a multi-millionaire, thanks to these books.


We then get one of those delightful moments where EL James literally can’t remember her own characterisation from one chapter of this garbage to the next.  Because Taylor arrives and, during the brief conversation he has with Grey, Grey tells him that he and Ana will be having dinner with his parents that evening.  And this happens:

Taylor cocks his head, looking momentarily surprised, but he remembers himself and leaves the room. I return to my croissant and apricot jam.

Yeah. I’m taking her to meet my parents. What’s the big deal?


I mean, I’m not the best writer in the world, but even I know that you can’t depict a character being all “oh God, I don’t want my girlfriend meeting my parents; the thought makes me really uncomfortable” in one chapter and then shrugging “so what? No biggie,” the next.


Of course, because Grey is super excited to flog Ana (I was going to put “see Ana,” but we all know he’s only excited about inflicting potentially non-consensual pain on her…), he can’t settle on anything and he paces around a bit, before reading the paper.  He notices a photo of himself and Ana on the local news page, taken at her graduation ceremony and describes Ana as looking “lovely, if a little startled.”

Hands up who remembers why Ana might have been a bit startled at that ceremony?  Who remembers Grey grabbing her and locking her in a changing room to have a private discussion she wasn’t ready for?  Anyone?!

Ana finally arrives, wearing Kate’s plum dress and with her hair worn down.  Grey greets her…

“You’re on time. I like punctual. Come.”

…And I honestly expected her to orgasm on cue, seeing as that appears to be her major skill in this universe.

Grey shows her the photo of them together in the newspaper and she finds it funny:

“So I’m your ‘friend’ now,” she teases.

“So it would appear. And it’s in the newspaper, so it must be true.”

Jumping into “Emma’s Personal Trigger List” territory, this made me a bit queasy, because my abuser insisted on referring to me as merely his “friend” for the entire 20 months we were together.  So, I loathed this bit for my own reasons, even though it isn’t in itself particularly awful.

Grey tells us he’s calmer now that she’s there, which is probably supposed to be yet more evidence of how much Ana “changes” him, but meh.

He reminds her that she knows more about his lifestyle and his kinks since they last met and yet she’s still come back for more.  And he thinks to himself:

I can’t believe my luck.

I knew you were a freak, Ana.

Just, you know, your regular reminder that she literally cried hysterically after the last time and he’s had to placate her a whole lot, to reach this point.  I feel I should mention it, seeing as not only has Christian Grey apparently forgotten about it, but so has this shitty book’s shitty author.


Speaking of how terrible this is…  Who’s ready for some cut and paste boring repetition?!  YOU ARE?!  IT’S YOUR LUCK DAY:

“Have you eaten?”


Not at all? Okay. We’ll have to fix this. I drag my hand through my hair, and in as even a tone as I can manage I ask, “Are you hungry?”

“Not for food,” she teases.

Whoa. She might as well be addressing my groin.

I would find this book so much more fun if she was.  Like “hey, Christian’s penis?  I’m hungry, but not for food, wink, wink!”

They have a really dull conversation about the ob-gyn who’s coming over to see Ana and then Grey decides to bring up the idea of her going to his parents’ house for dinner in the least appealing way possible:

“Anastasia, my mother would like you to come to dinner this evening. I believe Elliot is asking Kate, too. I don’t know how you feel about that. It will be odd for me to introduce you to my family.”

“Hey, person who really likes me?  My mother wants me to do a thing that I am literally going to tell you makes me feel odd, rather than say that I want you there.”

It’s not difficult to see why Ana takes offence:

She takes a second to process the information, then tosses her hair over her shoulder in that way she does before a fight. But she looks hurt, not argumentative. “Are you ashamed of me?” She sounds choked.

But Christian Grey, with his supposedly superior intellect, simply cannot compute why his wording might have made her feel that way, so he piles all the blame onto her and gets genuinely angry:

Oh, for heaven’s sake. “Of course not.” Of all the ridiculous things to say! I glare at her, aggrieved. How could she think that about herself?

This leads Ana to have to explain:

“Why is it odd?” she asks.

“Because I’ve never done it before.” I sound irritable.

“Why are you allowed to roll your eyes, and I’m not?”

“I wasn’t aware that I was.” She’s calling me out. Again.

“Neither am I, usually,” she snaps.

Shit. Are we arguing?

Not as much as I’d like, dude.  I’d like her to have the ob-gyn stab you in the eye with a needle.


Taylor arrives and tells them that Dr Greene (the ob-gyn) has arrived.  Grey makes Ana briefly think that he’s coming with her to her examination.

Ana turns and looks at me and I hold out my hand to her.

“You’re not going to come as well, are you?” She’s horrified and amused at once.

I laugh, and my body stirs. “I’d pay very good money to watch, believe me, Anastasia, but I don’t think the good doctor would approve.”

I mean, sure, whatever.  I would have thought he’d have hated watching someone else touch Ana’s vagina, but we all know that consistent characterisation is not a thing in this universe.

They go to meet Dr Greene together and I immediately like her, because she makes Grey uncomfortable:

Dr. Greene has one of those myopic stares; it’s penetrating and that makes me a tad uncomfortable. “Mr. Grey,” she says, shaking my outstretched hand with a firm, no-nonsense grip.

“Thank you for coming on such short notice.” I flash her my most benign smile.

“Thank you for making it worth my while, Mr. Grey. Miss Steele,” she says politely to Ana, and I know she’s sizing up our relationship. I’m sure that she thinks I should be twiddling a mustache like a silent-movie villain. She turns and gives me a pointed “leave now” kind of look.

And then he left and the book ended and Ana and Dr Greene lived happily ever after.


Grey has to leave and yet again, he informs us that he wishes he could watch Ana receive her medical exam:

“I’ll be downstairs,” I acquiesce. Though I would like to watch. I’m sure the good doctor’s reaction would be priceless if I made that request. I smirk at the thought and head downstairs to the living room.

It would be a massive red flag, for most doctors.  Just saying.  But then, this dude is just one massive, walking, talking red flag, so…

Of course, because Ana’s magical vagina is the only thing that makes poor ickle Christian feel better, he immediately starts feeling agitated because she’s not with him.  He starts preparing for lunch:

Now that Ana’s no longer with me, I’m restless again. As a distraction I set the counter with two placemats. It’s the second time I’ve done this, and the first time was for Ana, too.

You’re going soft, Grey.

…?  Do you usually not feed your subs, then?  Or do they have to eat separately from you?  I don’t understand why setting Ana a placemat is such a big deal, here.

He also literally has to turn his iPod up loud, in order to try to stop himself from thinking about what’s going on between Dr Greene and Ana.  I just…  This seems to be the kinkiest thing he’s into, to be honest.  I hope all the clinics in the area have very thick blinds in the windows, that’s all I’m saying.

When Ana’s examination is over, she and Dr Greene return and Dr Greene can clearly see something in Ana that proves my theory that theyd make a better couple than Ana and Christian:

“Yes, Mr. Grey. Look after her; she’s a beautiful, bright young woman.”

What has Ana told her?

“I fully intend to,” I say, with a quick what-the-fuck glance at Ana.

Red ink, because why should this be Ana’s fault?  He’s asked for a doctor to come over to see Ana for contraceptive purposes.  The doctor knows he’s having a sexual relationship with Ana.  Yes, it’s arguably unprofessional for Dr Greene to tell him to look after his girlfriend, but I’ve known people say similar things in total innocence.  It bugs the life out of me that Grey’s immediate thought is that Ana must have said something about him to cause the doctor to remind him to look after her.  It bugs me partly because he’s constantly looking to blame Ana for things, and partly because it’s proof that somewhere, deep down, he knows he’s not looking after her and he doesn’t like to be reminded or challenged.  And when you read it like that, the “I fully intend to” part sounds like a threat.


And it’s only when Ana seems oblivious as to why Grey’s evil-staring at her, that he realises she hasn’t done anything wrong:

She bats her lashes, clueless. Good. It’s nothing she’s said, then.

I hate this jerk so much, I could power entire continents with my rage.

Ana jokes that the doctor says she has to abstain from sex and although Grey seems to eventually appreciate Ana’s sense of humour, I feel as though his initial response is not that of a caring, considerate partner:

 “She said that I had to abstain from all sexual activity for the next four weeks.”

What the hell? I gape at her in shock.

Ana’s earnest expression dissolves into one of taunting triumph. “Gotcha!”

Well played, Miss Steele.


Of course, Grey then has to make a “joke” of his own, based on the fact that he knows his temper frightens Ana.  I wish I was making that up:

My eyes narrow and her grin vanishes.


He goes on:

“Gotcha!” I can’t help my smirk. Reaching around her waist, I pull her against me, my body hungering for her. “You are incorrigible, Miss Steele.” I weave my hands through her hair and kiss her hard, wondering if I should fuck her over the kitchen counter as a lesson.

All in good time, Grey.

As a lesson for what??!!  Making a joke?  Not saying anything to Dr Greene?  And you shouldn’t be fucking her anywhere without enthusiastic consent, nor should you be planning on fucking her to teach her any lessons, because that doesn’t sound like you give a shit about her pleasure, it sounds like rape.  Please, please die.

Grey tells her she has to eat (because reading that never gets dull) and says he doesn’t want her passing out before he’s had time to do all the things he wants to do with her.  Ana responds with a question:

“Is that all you want me for—my body?” she asks.

Look, I know couples tease each other a lot, in a kind of “oh, you only want me for sex, haha” way, but Ana has had genuine concerns about feeling used by him.  So, you know, this would be a really good time for him to say he wants her for much more than just that.  But naturally, since this guy is an absolute pillock, what he actually says is:

“That and your smart mouth.” 


There’s a load of boring pre-inevitable-sex-scene drivel, in which Ana coos over Christian Grey’s classical music choices, he takes salad that someone else made out of the fridge and thinks of himself as “domestic” and Ana compliments him on the way he moves.  I could not possibly care less.

Grey asks Ana what form of contraceptive she’s chosen and she tells him she’ll be taking the mini pill.  He asks her whether she’ll remember to take it every day and once she’s replied, he laments that he couldn’t control exactly what form of contraception she uses:

“I’m sure you’ll remind me,” she says with a hint of sarcasm, which I choose to ignore.

You should have had the shot.

Dude, this is already so invasive.  Ana should have been able to choose her own doctor, see that doctor at a place of her choosing and, most importantly, decide for herself whether she even wanted to start taking any kind of contraceptive.  Ana may have been perfectly happy to keep using condoms.  Just remember that this has all been done because he wanted to ride bareback, not because he had any kind of genuine concern for Ana’s medical health.  And yet, here he is, wishing he could control her more in this deeply personal area.

I would really appreciate someone removing his balls.

They eat the chicken Caesar salad and he’s stunned because Ana’s actually consuming food.  Afterwards, his mind immediately turns to sex (as if it hadn’t been there literally the whole time) and we get the regular attempt at proving consent in this horror show:

“Do you want to do this?” I whisper, inwardly begging her to say yes.

“I haven’t signed anything.”

“I know—but I’m breaking all the rules these days.”

He’s asking for her consent, but he hasn’t told her what for.  Considering their contract – which, as Ana points out, she hasn’t signed – features a long list of BDSM things she will or won’t allow him to do, this is important to note.

And then this happens:

“Are you going to hit me?”

“Yes, but it won’t be to hurt you. I don’t want to punish you right now. If you’d caught me yesterday evening, well, that would have been a different story.”

Her face turns to shock.

Okay, I’m going to say this in loud, shouty-capitals:


He then tells her:

“Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise, Anastasia. One of the reasons people like me to do this is because we either like to give or receive pain.”

Here I go again…



He tells her that he’s been thinking a lot about the fact that she doesn’t actually like receiving pain.  She asks if he’s come to any conclusion and he replies:

“No, and right now, I just want to tie you up and fuck you senseless. Are you ready for that?”

I don’t care that he’s asking for her consent, here.  I care that he openly admits he hasn’t reached a conclusion on what to do about her dislike of pain, having just told her that he’d have beaten her in anger, had she been there the night before.  This guy is grotesque.

But of course, Ana says yes and Grey thinks “thank fuck,” which doesn’t make it sound like he’s the sort of person who would have accepted her saying “no” without a fight.  Swoon, ladies.  Go on.

He takes her to the playroom:

“When you’re in here, you are completely mine. To do with as I see fit. Do you understand?”

That would be a sexy sentence, if uttered by basically anyone else.

Ana agrees and so the sexy, sexy fun times begin.

He tells her to strip down to her panties and braids her hair, tying it with the hair tie he put in his pocket, earlier.  He tells her this is how he expects her to be dressed whenever she’s in the playroom, then commands her to kneel in the corner and informs her that that is where she is to position herself whenever they go into the room.  He gets her to spread her legs and tells her to keep her head bowed.  So far, it’s just like “do this thing.  Now do that thing” and I’m wondering why anyone finds this level of unimaginative “erotic” writing even remotely hot.

He brings out the riding crop he ordered:

I quickly flick the end across her palm. She startles and cups her hand, blinking at me in surprise.

“How does that feel?” I ask.

Her breathing accelerates, and she glances at me before looking back at her palm.

“Answer me.”

“Okay.” Her brows knit together.

“Don’t frown,” I warn. “Did that hurt?”


I love that he genuinely thinks he can control her subconscious facial expressions.

Anyway, he cuffs her to a grid and tells her this isn’t going to hurt, this time.  He takes off her panties and sniffs them (much to Ana’s shock) and then puts them in his jeans pocket.

He gives her an orgasm with the flogger, just like in her dream.  I’m not posting any of it here, because it’s just boring.  I’ve read sexier IKEA self-assembly instructions.


The sex is exceptionally dull and afterwards, Grey asks her if she found the flogging painful:

“Well done, baby. Did that hurt?”

“No.” Her voice is barely audible.

“Did you expect it to?” I ask, and I push stray strands of her hair off her face so I can see her better.


“You see? Most of your fear is in your head, Anastasia.” I caress her face. “Would you do it again?” I ask.

She doesn’t answer immediately, and I think she’s fallen asleep.

“Yes,” she whispers a moment later.

Thank you, sweet Lord.

I wish he’d stop with the whole “your fear is in your head” stuff.   Yes, there’s probably some truth to it; she almost certainly does build things up in her mind, because she has no frame of reference for this stuff and it’s fairly natural that she might imagine it to be worse than it is.  But she’s also experienced pain at his hands and although she was aroused, she also said she felt “abused” and didn’t want him to do it again.  So, not all of her fear is “in her head” and each time he says this, I feel as though he’s trivialising her concerns.

This post-sex scene is where we also start to get suggestions that Grey – icy and aloof – is actually falling for Ana:

I’m so proud of her. She did it. She did everything I wanted.

She’s everything I want.

And suddenly I’m overwhelmed by an unfamiliar emotion that rocks through me, slicing through sinew and bone, leaving unease and fear in its wake.

Falling in love is scary sometimes (I speak as one who has feelings for someone totally unexpected and I’m much, much too terrified to tell that person ever), but this level of melodrama is just irritating, because I loathe the character and genuinely don’t give a rat’s ass about his feelings.


Ana then leans her head against Grey’s chest and naturally, this gives him a chance to be even more melodramatic:

The darkness swells, startling and familiar, replacing my unease with a sense of dread. Every muscle in my body tenses. Ana blinks up at me with clear, unflinching eyes as I struggle to control my fear.

“Don’t,” I whisper. Please.

She leans back and peers at my chest.

Get control, Grey.

“Kneel by the door,” I order, uncurling around her.

Go. Don’t touch me.

He’s just made it sound as though he’s falling for her, but now he’s pushing her away immediately after sex.  AGAIN.  If he gave half a shit about her, he’d use this opportunity to at least speak a little to her about his phobia of being touched.  Instead, he forces her out of bed when she’s just had an intense BDSM experience and could be at risk of sub drop – something he knows he caused her last time, due to his total lack of aftercare.  He doesn’t really care about her as a person.  She’s a vagina.  That’s it.

As she kneels by the door, she looks every bit the ideal submissive. Her eyes are glazed; she’s tired. I’m sure she’s coming down from the adrenaline high. Her eyelids droop.

Oh, this will never do. You want her as a submissive, Grey. Show her what that means.

He even recognises that she’s coming down from her high and is exhausted.  And that still doesn’t stop him.

“You’re shattered, aren’t you?”

She nods with a bashful smile.

Oh, baby, you’ve done so well.

“Stamina, Miss Steele. I haven’t had my fill of you yet..”


He uses cable ties to bind her wrists and tells her to grab onto one of the posts on his four-poster bed.  And there’s a warning:

“Lower,” I order. She moves her hands down to the base until she’s bending over. “Good. Don’t let go. If you do, I’ll spank you. Understand?”

She has expressly told him not to spank her, because she didn’t enjoy it.  Remember when he told her that he’d been thinking all day about her dislike of pain?  Well, he’s clearly not decided to stop threatening it if she does anything wrong.

And hey, why just threaten it?


I smack her hard across her backside.

“Yes, Sir,” she says immediately.

Red, because she DID NOT CONSENT TO THAT and Grey KNOWS that being hit like that is something she didn’t enjoy, when he last did it.

He even toys with attempting anal sex without consent, too.

I’d like to claim her ass. Now. But it’s too soon for that.

Not only is it too soon, but you freaking ASK before you go there, you vile wank stain.

They have sex, it’s boring, she comes on demand…Yawn.


After the sex, we get another little “look how Ana is changing him” nugget:

 I stare up at the karabiners, wondering if she’ll ever let me suspend her.

Probably not.

And I don’t care.

See!  He doesn’t care!  Because he luuuuuurves her.

Grey removes the cable ties and makes a lame “I declare this Ana open” joke, which makes Ana giggle.

She giggles, her body juddering against mine. It’s a strange and not unwelcome feeling that makes me grin.

“That is such a lovely sound,” I whisper as she rubs her wrists. I sit up so that she’s in my lap.

I love making her laugh. She doesn’t laugh enough.

“That’s my fault,” I admit to myself as I rub some life back into her shoulders and arms. She turns her face to me with a weary, searching look. “That you don’t giggle more often,” I clarify.

If you know it’s your fault, here’s a fantastic idea: TREAT HER BETTER.

We then discover that poor Taylor and Mrs Jones have had to see nude Christian, post-playroom, in the past:

I reach for my jeans and slip them on. “Don’t want to frighten Taylor, or Mrs. Jones, for that matter.”

It wouldn’t be the first time.

Those guys do NOT get paid enough for this shit.

He carries Ana to her bedroom (the one he presumedly gives all his subs) and they lie on the bed, together and fall asleep.

Now… You know how Grey likes to tie up little brown haired girls who remind him of his birth mother?  Well, guess why he enjoys braiding their hair?  YEP.  In a flashback, we discover that ickle Christian watched his mother braid her own hair when he was little.

I brush her hair. It’s soft and smells of Mommy and flowers.

She takes the brush and winds her hair round and round.

So it’s like a bumpy snake down her back.

There, she says.

And she turns around and smiles at me.

Today, she’s happy.

I like when Mommy is happy.

I like it when she smiles at me.

She looks pretty when she smiles.

Christian Grey wants to fuck and beat his dead mother.


Grey wakes up because he can smell Ana (I’m not making that up) and he realises he’s never slept with a sub in their room.  This makes him freak out, because of course it does.

When have I ever slept in this room?


The thought is unnerving, and for some unfathomable reason it makes me uneasy.

What’s going on, Grey?

I sit up carefully, not wanting to disturb her, and stare down at her sleeping form. I know what it is—I’m unsettled because I’m in here with her.


Whatevs, Grey.

He then starts acting super creepy.  He leaves her to sleep, but forms a “plan” with her stolen panties, despite the fact that they’re going to his parents’ place for dinner, later.  And he even treats himself to a shower before they go, because he needs to be clean before he sees his family…

He does some work in his study and then goes to wake Ana up:

“Come on, sleepyhead. Get up.” I kiss her temple again. “I’ve brought you a drink. I’ll be downstairs. Don’t go back to sleep, or you’ll be in trouble,” I warn as she stretches her arms. I kiss her once more and with a glance at the chair, where she won’t find her panties, I saunter back downstairs, unable to suppress my grin.

Playtime, Grey.

This is just so gross.  Ana is being taken to meet his parents and he’s forcing her to do it without underwear.  She’s bound to be nervous – supposedly so was he – and he does this to her?!


Grey expects Ana to be embarrassed and to ask for her underwear back, but she doesn’t.  Instead, she seems to be into the idea of going knicker-less in front of his parents, so… These two are definitely meant to be together.  Mainly to keep either of them from being with anyone else.

Now I will have to sit through dinner with my parents, knowing my girl is not wearing any underwear. In fact, I’m traveling down in this elevator right now, knowing she’s naked beneath her skirt.

She’s turned the tables on you, Grey.

You did this, you moron.  Don’t be all “oh God, I have to sit through dinner whilst she’s not wearing pants!”  This was your idea.  All she’s doing is going along with it.

On the way to his parents’ house, Grey thinks about the fact that Ana is about to meet his family and he decides that, despite not having an orthodox relationship, and despite the huge fuss he made about it last chapter, he actually does want her to meet his parents:

Who am I kidding? If I didn’t want her to meet my folks, she wouldn’t be here. I just wish I wasn’t so anxious about it.

Yeah. That’s the problem.



Ana interrupts his thoughts by asking him where he learned to dance (they danced before they left the apartment, but it was boring as hell so I skipped it).  Turns out, it was his molester!  Hooray!

Oh, Ana. She’s not going to want me to go there.

“Christian, hold me. There. Properly. Right. One step. Two. Good. Keep in time to the music. Sinatra is perfect for the fox-trot.” Elena is in her element.

And Christian just danced to Ana to Sinatra, so…  Ew.

“She must have been a good teacher.” Her whisper is tinged with regret and reluctant admiration.

“She was.”

I say again: EW.  Every time I think this book must have finished romanticising abusive behaviours, it proves me wrong.

Ana starts asking questions about their afternoon together, including asking why he used cable ties to restrain her (he says he knows they’re “quite brutal,” which sounds like ELJ’s way of responding to all the criticism she got for putting them in the first book).  Then she sighs and Grey wants to know what’s on her mind:

“I wish I knew what you were thinking,” she says.

I smirk, relieved to hear this, and glad she doesn’t know what’s really on my mind.

“Ditto, baby,” I reply.

Like…  This isn’t healthy.  If you’re falling for someone and you want your relationship to go somewhere, you’re supposed to be honest and open.  You’re not supposed to smirk because your partner wants to know what you’re thinking and you’re not prepared to tell them.


As they arrive at his parents’ place, Grey makes a point of whispering “I bet you wish you were wearing your underwear, right now.”  

Mia regresses to the age of about 10 upon meeting Ana, screeching and bear-hugging.  Remember how Grey really loves Mia?  How he told us last chapter that she’s the one he can be himself around?  Well, he thinks this:

Yes, for fuck’s sake, Mia. Stop making such a scene.

There’s a weird passage about everyone wanting to hug Ana (including Elliot, which naturally makes Grey grossly possessive over her) and how everyone seems very touchy-feely all of a sudden.  Grey therefore deliberately doesn’t touch Ana as he sits down beside her, thinking: I need to set an example for my overly demonstrative family.

Grey discovers that Elliot is going to Barbados with Kate and her family and he proves that he genuinely believes a woman’s only worth is in her sexual ability:

Dude! I stare at Elliot. What the hell happened to Mr. Love ’Em and Leave ’Em? Kavanagh must be good in the sack. She certainly looks smug enough.

Smug women are just naturally good in bed?  Okaaaaay.


Grey’s father asks whether Ana will be taking a break now that she’s finished her studies.  She tells him she’s thinking of going to Georgia for a few days.  Grey’s reaction is… Not great.

“Georgia?” I exclaim, unable to hide my surprise.

“My mother lives there,” she says, her voice wavering, “and I haven’t seen her for a while.”

“When were you thinking of going?” I snap.

“Tomorrow, late evening.”

Tomorrow! What the fuck? And I’m only learning of this now?

Ugh, you know what?  I’m tired.  I’m sick of this abusive shit.  I’m fed up of pretending this isn’t harmful.  I hate to do this to you guys, but I’m getting angry and this is depressing me.  I’m going to call a friend and mope over my unrequited crush.  We’ll finish this recap over the coming week.



Grey: Chapter 14 (Sunday, May 29, 2011)

Grey: Chapter 13 (Saturday 28th May 2011)


I woke up this morning with a stinking cold.  I’m already on medication this week for other ailments, so…  I’m feeling mardy, is what I’m trying to say.  Let’s see how far I get through this chapter recap, before I spectacularly combust.

Ooh, and before I get into the recap proper, some of you may remember a guy called The Dom made an amazing video about Fifty Shades of Grey, highlighting the abuse in it.  It’s a long watch (well, half an hour, but that’s a lifetime in this day and age), but if you’ve not seen it, I heartily recommend it.  Anyway, that same guy is now reading the subsequent books and tweeting his thoughts, ahead of making another video on the subject, so…  Yay!  It’s well worth checking him out.

To refresh your memories, at the end of the last chapter, Grey was planning on buying a riding crop to use on Ana, because she’d dreamt of him using one on her and it gave her special feelings down there.  Of course, in the waking world, he’s recently spanked her and she referred to herself as feeling “abused” and told him she didn’t want to be physically punished again, so…  Meh.

We open this chapter with Grey picking Mia up from the airport.  Mia immediately asks about “this girl” he’s been seeing, but he swerves the subject by insisting on hearing all about Mia’s trip to Paris.  Apparently she went there to learn to cook, but she talks more about fashion and shopping and doesn’t want to cook dinner for the family that night.  Grey tells us:

I’ve missed her chatter; it’s soothing and welcome. She is the only person I know who doesn’t make me feel…different.

We then get a flashback, because this book simply has to reiterate that Christian Grey is a poor ickle man-baby and we should wuv him vewwy vewwy much.

“This is your baby sister, Christian. Her name is Mia.”

Mommy lets me hold her. She is very small. With black, black hair.

She smiles. She has no teeth. I stick out my tongue. She has a bubbly laugh.

Mommy lets me hold the baby again. Her name is Mia.

I make her laugh. I hold her and hold her. She is safe when I hold her.

Elliot is not interested in Mia. She dribbles and cries.

And he wrinkles his nose when she does a poop.

When Mia is crying Elliot ignores her. I hold her and hold her and she stops.

She falls asleep in my arms.

“Mee a,” I whisper.

“What did you say?” Mommy asks, and her face is white like chalk.

“Mee a.”

“Yes. Yes. Darling boy. Mia. Her name is Mia.”

And Mommy starts to cry with happy, happy tears.


Forgive me; if this was any other book, about any other non-psychopath, it would be cute that gaining a baby sister was what made a mute child suddenly start to speak.  But a) this is convenient Mia-love in a book where Grey constantly bitches about literally every member of the family he then claims to love so much, making this scene seem rather contrived and b) I hate him and I do not care about any of this because I just want a mug of honey & lemon and a nap.

Upon arriving back at Grey’s parents’ house, Mia is disappointed to see that nobody’s home.  Well, almost nobody.  Because if this book isn’t shoving ICKLE CHRISTIAN into our faces, it’s reminding us that adult Christian is irresistible to every woman who has ever existed.

Where is everyone?” Mia is in full pout. The only person around is my parents’ housekeeper—she’s an exchange student, and I can’t remember her name. “Welcome home,” she says to Mia in her stilted English, though she’s looking at me with big cow eyes.

Oh, God. It’s just a pretty face, sweetheart.

I’m just gonna say it: I don’t find Jamie Dornan attractive.  Way before the films, when the books first came out, I didn’t even find the written description of Christian Grey attractive.  He has grey eyes and copper hair.  Great.  Give me more to go on, EL.  And, you know, make him less of a douchebag, so I actually want to fancy him.

Anyway, Mia tells Christian So-Hot-The-Ice-Caps-Melted Grey that she bought him a present from Paris:

Warily I open the box, and inside I find a snow globe containing a black grand piano covered in glitter. It’s the kitschiest thing I’ve ever seen.

“It’s a music box. Here—” She takes it from me, gives it a good shake, and winds a small key on the bottom. A twinkly version of “La Marseillaise” starts to play in a cloud of colored glitter.

What am I going to do with this? I laugh, because it’s so Mia. “That’s great, Mia. Thank you.” I give her a hug and she hugs me back.

“I knew it would make you laugh.”

She’s right. She knows me well.

Does she, though?  Because I’ve seen precious little evidence of it, beyond the author of this crap repeating it over and over.  Show, don’t tell, EL James.  Show, don’t tell.

Mia then asks Christian to tell him about Ana, but he’s saved by Grace returning from being on call.  She asks Grey to take Mia’s bags upstairs and he reacts with typical… well, grace, funnily enough:

“I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to meet you, darling,” Grace says. “I’ve been on call. You look so grown up. Christian, can you take Mia’s bags upstairs? Gretchen will give you a hand.”

Really? I’m a porter now?

“Yes, Mom.” I roll my eyes. I don’t need Gretchen mooning over me.

Remember how much he loves Mee-a?  How she just gets him?  But heaven forbid he actually does a nice thing for her, without inwardly (and outwardly, what with the eye-rolling) moaning about how he’s just too damn important for things like that.

He then says he has to leave for an appointment with his personal trainer “before I’m pestered with more questions about Ana.”

Mia has mentioned her twice.  That’s it.  And he’s avoided answering twice, so…  Why must he be such a snot about everything?!


We get a brief scene of Christian being beaten by his personal trainer, who tells Grey that he’s “gone soft in Portland” and that he seems distracted.

As he heads back to his apartment, he texts Elliot to ask for Ana and Kate’s new address and has Andrea send champagne and the damn helicopter balloon as a moving in present (I just hate that balloon, okay?!).  When he gets home, he also discovers that the riding crop has been delivered and he has some internal thoughts that I’m going to have to pick apart, like pulling teensy bones out of a piece of fish, because…  Hmmm.

Taking the crop, I stroll into my bedroom. This will be the perfect introduction to my world: by her own admission Ana has no sphere of reference with regard to corporal punishment, except the spanking I gave her that night. And that turned her on.

She referred to herself as being horrified that she was turned on by it and she also said she’d rather you never spanked her again.  Then she experienced major sub drop because you provided little to no aftercare and you ended up having to go and see her when she was obviously incredibly upset.  It’s so weird that you would forget something like that exceptionally important fact…

With the crop, I’ll have to take it slow and make it pleasurable.

So… You admit that you rushed her into something that she wasn’t ready for and that you didn’t consider her own pleasure at all, whilst spanking her?  Because that sure as hell isn’t the point of consensual BDSM.

Really pleasurable. The riding crop is perfect. I’ll prove to her that the fear is in her head. Once she gets comfortable with this, we can move on.

Now, see what you’re doing?  You’re acknowledging that she has fears about this, but then you’re writing them off as merely being in her own head, as though they aren’t valid.  If a potential sub is showing as much fear and doubt as Ana is, it should be incredibly obvious to an experienced, caring Dom that she is not up for this and shouldn’t be pursued for this kind of relationship.

I hope we can move on …

We’ll take it slow. And we’ll only do what she can handle. If this is going to work we’re going to have to go at her pace. Not mine.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Sure.  You’ve totally been respectful and taken things at her pace rather than yours, so far, so I totally believe this not-at-all shoe-horned line.

Seriously.  This is ELJ going “SEE?  SEEEEE??!!!  NOT ABUSE!  NER, NER, NEEEER!”  And that is all it is.  Because this line is so out of character, he may as well have suggested he feels like heading to a gay bar and drinking cheap wine all night.

Then Grey’s phone rings and he hopes it’s Ana, but it’s actually his molester, hooray!

AS I FLIP OPEN my laptop to start work my phone rings. I hope it’s Ana, but it’s disappointingly Elena.

Was I supposed to call her?

“Hello, Christian. How are you?”

“Good, thanks.”

“You’re back from Portland?”


“Fancy dinner tonight?”

“Not tonight. Mia’s just in from Paris and I’ve been ordered home.”

“Ah. By Mama Grey. How is she?”

“Mama Grey? She’s good. I think. Why? What do you know that I don’t?”

“I was just asking, Christian. Don’t be so touchy.”

“I’ll call you next week. Maybe we can do dinner then.”

“Good. You’ve been off the radar for a while. And I’ve met a woman who I think might meet your needs.”

So have I.

I ignore her comment. “I’ll see you next week. Good-bye.”

As I shower I wonder if having to chase Ana has made her more interesting…or is it Ana herself?

Okay, a few little things, here (beyond EW this is so inappropriate, which it clearly is):

  1. Elena is supposed to be friends with Grace.  Why is she calling her “Mama Grey”?
  2. Why does someone asking after his mother’s health immediately make Grey leap to the idea that they know something he doesn’t?  People ask me how my mum is all the time.  I don’t get arsey with them.  This feels like just further evidence that Grey is a massive bell-end.
  3. Grey has not met a woman that meets his needs.  He’s met a woman he’s going to force into meeting them.  Not the same thing.
  4.  I find it so creepy and gross that Elena is still meddling in Christian’s love life that I no longer crave cake.  And I always crave cake.  Thanks a bunch, EL James.


We immediately jump to dinner at the Grey family home, after the phone call and Grey refers to Mia as a “princess,” with “the rest of the family merely her minions, wrapped around her little finger.

Mia asks him to tell them all about Ana.  After various attempts at avoiding the subject for a few lines, Grace suggests that they’re surely all going to meet her the next day at dinner.  And… Well, Grey’s thrilled.

“You’ll all meet her at dinner tomorrow, won’t we, Christian?” Grace says with a pointed smile.

Oh, fuck.

“Kate’s coming,” Elliot goads.

Fucking stirrer. I glare at him.

“I can’t wait to meet her. She sounds awesome!” Mia bounces up and down in her chair.

Mia is apparently six years old in this scene.

“Yeah, yeah,” I mumble, wondering if there’s any way I can wriggle out of dinner tomorrow.

Look, I get feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of your very new girlfriend meeting your parents.  Besides, Grey is still refusing to actually refer to Ana as such.  But this feels like such a double-standard on his part.  He wants her to belong to him.  He hates her having anyone else in her life.  He insisted on meeting her stepfather.  He expects her to be in constant contact with him at all times.  He insists on having clothes bought for her so she can attend various public functions with him.  And yet when she’s invited for dinner with his family, he’s totally grossed out by the thought and suddenly doesn’t want them knowing anything about her?  Dude, you either want her in your life or you don’t.  And if it’s all about feeling as though his privacy is being invaded, why doesn’t he use his big-boy words and just say to his family: “Look, this relationship is very new.  I’ll ask her to dinner, but please don’t ask loads of probing questions – we’re still working out what we are to one another and I don’t want to scare her off.”  Job done.  But no, he has to pout and whine like a child.

Also, we know full well he’s only bothered about privacy when it suits him.  We all remember what happens during that fateful family dinner, right??!!


Back at tonight’s family dinner, Grace says Elena has been asking after him:

“Elena was asking after you, darling,” Grace says.

“She was?” I affect an uninterested air, developed over years of practice.

To be fair, he has an uninterested air regarding basically everyone in his life, so sure, that practice paid off…

He explains that he’s been in Portland on business, hence not being in touch.  He then announces that he needs to leave, as he has an important call the next day that he ought to prepare for.  His mother tries to persuade him to stay, but he literally refuses based on the fear that his family will ask him more questions about Ana:

“But you’ve not had dessert. And it’s apple cobbler.”

Hmm…tempting. But if I stay they’ll quiz me about Ana. “I have to go. I have work to do.”

USE YOUR WORDS, DAMNIT.  Why, why is it so hard for this prat to say “Her name’s Ana, she’s recently graduated, she’s looking to work in publishing, but we’ve only been together a few weeks and it’s still really new, so I don’t want to say too much”?  His own father has literally defended his right not to want to talk about it in detail, when Mia was asking questions.  This guy just loves making a drama out of every sodding thing.

As payback for Elliot making comments and “stirring” by saying that he’s bringing Kate for dinner tomorrow night, Grey suggests as he’s leaving that Elliot does the washing up.  He then winks at Elliot, which…  Seems like something he wouldn’t do, seeing as he doesn’t actually have a working sense of humour, but hey.  Whoever said writing a novel had to mean you have a consistently written main character?!

Grace once again says she hopes to see him and Ana the next evening.  Then, this mercifully short chapter ends thusly:

Shit. It looks like Anastasia Steele is going to meet my family.

I don’t know how I feel about this.

Don’t worry, Christian.  I’m sure you won’t do anything wildly inappropriate.


See you next time, folks!




Grey: Chapter 13 (Saturday 28th May 2011)

Grey Chapter 12 (Friday May 27th 2011)


Yes, we’re back in the world of lusty man-child Christian Grey.  Aren’t you just thrilled?!

At the end of Chapter 11 (which was, seemingly, nine bazillion pages long), Ana had sent Christian Grey an email telling him she wasn’t sure she liked him.  The reason?  He’d spanked her hard with very little warning, fucked her and then left shortly afterwards, without providing more aftercare than a little lotion to her sore backside.  There was no emotional aftercare, whatsoever, despite this being Ana’s first real experience of BDSM.  So, you know… Totes don’t blame Ana here, but then again I never like Christian Grey, so…  *shrugs*

Anyway, Grey took this email as the end of the freaking world and his total panic that she might be ending their “arrangement” was the cliffhanger we ended on, last time.  I swear, we circle this “is she ending things?” merry-go-round so often in this bloody book, I’m dizzy.

Chapter 12 begins with an email response.  You know, like all truly great works of literature do.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Careful Yourself

Date: May 27 2011 00:03

To: Anastasia Steele

Why don’t you like me?

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

I get up and open another bottle of sparkling water.

And wait.

Remember, we’re supposed to think he’s INTELLIGENT.  Why might she not like you, Christian, oh guy who slapped her ass and then walked out on her?!  HUH?!


Also, the whole “and wait” bit at the end of that would have been perhaps slightly dramatic, had we then seen Christian having to, well, actually wait for a response.  But that’s not what happens.  She replies instantly:

To: Christian Grey

Because you never stay with me.

BINGO.  And Christian’s reaction is… Well, this:

Six words.

Six little words that make my scalp tingle.

I told her that I didn’t sleep with anyone.

But today was a big day.

She graduated from college.

She said yes.

We went through all those soft limits that she knew nothing about. We fucked. I spanked her. We fucked again.



He thinks “oh, but I told her I don’t sleep with anyone,” yet he veers straight to acknowledging that “today was a big day,” bypassing the part where he has to take any responsibility.  Because, you know, he’s an asshole.  He even references the soft limits “she knew nothing about,” yet doesn’t pause to think “oh yeah, that might have been a lot for her to take in.”  His summary of their evening is “we fucked.  I spanked her.  We fucked again.”  Tell me some more about this being a true, deep love story.

Naturally, despite the late hour, Grey’s response is not to talk things through like a normal person, but to rush back to Ana’s apartment and demand to see her.

I knock quietly, and Kavanagh opens the door.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?” she shouts, her eyes blazing with anger.

Whoa. Not the reception I was expecting.

“I’ve come to see Ana.”

“Well, you can’t!” Kavanagh stands with arms folded and legs braced in the doorway, like a gargoyle.

I try reasoning with her. “But I need to see her. She sent me an e-mail.” Get out of my way!

“What the fuck have you done to her now?”

“That’s what I need to find out.” I grit my teeth.


Ana has sent an email in which she said she wasn’t sure she liked him.  And yet he wasn’t expecting Kate to seem angry and not want to let him in?!  AND HE STILL TALKS ABOUT NEEDING TO FIND OUT WHAT HE’S DONE TO ANA, DESPITE THE FACT THAT SHE HAS ALREADY TOLD HIM SHE’S UPSET WITH HIM FOR NOT STAYING WITH HER??!!



Then this exchange happens:

“Ever since she met you she cries all the time.”

“What?” I can’t deal with her shit anymore, and I barge past her.

Red ink, because Kate is highlighting a major red flag for abuse.  Ana has been emotional and upset ever since meeting Christian.  In a healthy relationship, finding out something like that would be cause to step back and reflect, but not in this flaming hell-hole.  Christian Grey physically barges past Kate, because he “can’t deal with her shit anymore.”  That shit?  Being honest about how his behaviour is affecting her best friend.

Irritatingly, fans will (and do) insist that Christian pushes past Kate because he’s just so darn worried about Ana’s wellbeing.  I call bull on that, because if he had been concerned about Ana’s emotional state, he would have broken his own stupid rule about sleeping with subs (seeing as he’s already broken it with her before and he supposedly knew what a big day it was for her) and just stayed.  It’s just a brief interaction, but this short exchange is a massive, massive red flag.

He describes Kate as “shrieking like a harpy” as he storms through the apartment, towards Ana’s room.  Which not only confirms his misogynistic hatred of Kate, but also marks him out as someone angry, rather than concerned.  You storm in a huff, not out of deep worry.

Upon reaching Ana, he notices the state she’s in and basically admits that he’s an abuser:

She’s huddled in her bed, wrapped in her comforter. Her eyes are red and puffy, and squinting in the overhead light. Her nose is swollen and blotchy.

I’ve seen women in this state many times, especially after I’ve punished them. But I’m surprised by the unease that grips my gut.

BDSM, when done consensually, as part of a healthy, sexual relationship, should result in both partners experiencing pleasure and being satisfied.  Although “sub drop” is a recognised thing (whereby a submissive sometimes experiences a crashing low after the high, or needs to release their emotions after a scene and therefore becomes upset), if a sub is in a state similar to the one described – crying and in clear distress – it’s up to the Dom(me) to offer aftercare and to talk through the situation.  That Christian Grey has seen women in this state many times before, but is only now remotely bothered by it or feels at all compelled to offer any care whatsoever to his submissive, proves to me that he is simply an abuser who enjoys beating women who resemble his mother.


Ana asks what Grey is doing there and before he can answer, Kate offers to get rid of him:

“Do you want me to throw this asshole out?” Kate barks from the doorway.

Fuck you, Kavanagh. Raising an eyebrow, I pretend to ignore her.

Christian Grey is a dick.  He spent the first few encounters he had with Kate inwardly thinking about what a lousy best friend she must be and that she can’t possibly take care of Ana the way he would.  But when she actually proves that she’s loyal and she wants to defend her friend from the guy who’s caused her pain, he hates her for it.  I mean, granted, he hates her because she’s defending Ana from him, but still.  Massive double standard.

EL James is also a lousy writer.  You don’t pretend to ignore someone.  You might pretend not to hear them, but that would just mean you are ignoring them.  And Christian is ignoring Kate, here.  He’s not pretending to ignore her.  He just is.


“Just holler if you need me,” Kate says to Ana, as if she were a child. “Grey,” she snaps, so I’m obliged to look at her. “You’re on my shit list, and I’m watching you.” She sounds shrill, her eyes glinting with fury, but I don’t give a fuck.

I hate this man, I hate this man, I hate this man sooooooo muuuuuuuuch.


Okay, firstly, how dare he have a go at Kate for talking to Ana as though Ana’s a child when he does it literally ALL THE FREAKING TIME?!  And Kate’s words weren’t remotely condescending, either.  She was merely expressing concern for her friend and letting her know she’s around if Ana needs her.

And as for him not giving a fuck…  If he loved Ana, the way the fans of this utter trash insist he does, he would care that her best friend was this mad at him for upsetting her.  He’d care because he wouldn’t want Ana to ever be that upset in the first place.  He’d care because he’d know that Ana’s friends are important to her and that their judgement of him would be something she’d be inclined to listen to.  So, he might be saying that he doesn’t give a fuck that Kate’s annoyed with him here, but he may as well be saying that he doesn’t give a fuck about Ana.  Particularly as when Ana asks him again why he’s there, his mental response is: “I don’t know.”  He STILL can’t understand why she might be upset and he’s not sure why he bothered going round.

I want IQ tests done on everyone who finds this piece of crap attractive.

What he actually says out loud, when Ana asks why he’s there, is:

“Part of my role is to look after your needs. You said you wanted me to stay, so here I am.” Nice save, Grey.


He didn’t actually care about her needs, but hey, he lied about it to save himself, so let’s all freaking swoon over him, hey?!

He asks if she’s upset because he hit her.  She doesn’t answer, but flinches when she tries to sit up.  Grey asks if she’s taken the Advil he suggested she take and when she says no, he goes to find some, whilst inwardly moaning that she’s still not doing as she’s told.

He has to speak to Kate to ask where the Advil is (he tells her that Ana has a headache) and he describes Kate as being surprised by his concern for Ana.  Just… Look, if people are surprised when you do something that demonstrates a fairly basic level of giving a shit about someone other than yourself, I think we can just take it as read that you’re a terrible human.

Upon returning to Ana’s room, Grey says something that sounds totally out of character with everything we’ve seen up until this point:

“Talk to me. You told me you were okay. I’d never have left you if I thought you were like this.”

They then have a conversation about the spanking that took place earlier that evening and… It’s a) painfully obvious that Ana is not into this kind of thing and b) equally obvious that Grey is into it for reasons well beyond consensual pleasure.

“How did you feel while I was hitting you, and after?”

“I didn’t like it. I’d rather you didn’t do it again.”

“You weren’t meant to like it.”

“Why do you like it?” she asks, and her voice is stronger.

Shit. I can’t tell her why.

“You really want to know?”

“Oh, trust me, I’m fascinated.” Now she’s being sarcastic.

“Careful,” I warn her.

She pales at my expression. “Are you going to hit me again?”

“No, not tonight.” I think you’ve had enough.

“So.” She still wants an answer.

“I like the control it gives me, Anastasia. I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn to behave the way I desire. I enjoy punishing you. I’ve wanted to spank you since you asked me if I was gay.”

And I don’t want you rolling your eyes at me, or being sarcastic.

He’s literally saying “I enjoy punishing you” despite the fact that she has just said she doesn’t like it and doesn’t want it to happen again.  She comes across as fearful of it happening again and yet this is still something Grey is intent on pursuing.  They are INCOMPATIBLE.  If he was the considerate, experienced Dominant that he claims to be, he would do one of two things at this point.  He would either offer to drop the physical punishment aspect completely and have a “vanilla” relationship with her, until such time as she feels more able to try again.  OR, if beating brown haired girls is such a deal breaker for him, he would walk away from her, knowing that however “affected” by her he may be, it’s not right to try to force his lifestyle on someone who is ill-prepared for the intensity of it and who has expressed a strong dislike for it, already.

Naturally, he does neither.

Instead, Ana asks him why he wants to change her and he tells her she’s lovely just as she is…


…Which is a total lie, because he does almost nothing but try to change her, throughout the bloody trilogy.

Ana brings the conversation back to the subject of punishment:

“But you want to punish me?”

“Yes, I do.”

“That’s what I don’t understand.”

I sigh. “It’s the way I’m made. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way, and if you don’t—” My mind drifts. I find it arousing, Ana. You did, too. Can’t you accept that? Bending you over my knee…feeling your ass beneath my palm. “I love to watch your beautiful alabaster skin pink and warm up under my hands. It turns me on.” Just thinking about it stirs my body.

Notice he doesn’t say the whole “can’t you accept that you liked it?” bit out loud.  Because that would give Ana a chance to say that she either didn’t, or that she was confused and distressed by her own arousal, rather than simply enjoying it outright.

“So it’s not the pain you’re putting me through?”


“A bit, to see if you can take it.” Actually, it’s a lot, but I don’t want to go there right now. If I tell her, she’ll throw me out. 

He’s STILL not being honest with her.  This is about causing her pain and he refuses to admit it.  It’s not fully safe or consensual.  He wants to get some kind of sodding revenge on his dead mother, by beating the crap out of women who look a bit like her.  Ana’s lack of full enjoyment of this is not remotely important to him and he knows that if he admitted the truth, she’d want nothing to do with him, so he carries on lying to her, instead.

I wish Buffy The Vampire Slayer was real, because I want Dark Willow to flay this guy alive.


Sorry to anyone who found that gif a tad graphic.  I’m just really angry right now and imagining that’s Christian Grey is easing my rage.  At least a bit.

He asks her again how she felt after he’d spanked her.

She blinks. “Confused.”

“You were sexually aroused by it, Anastasia.”

You have an inner freak, Ana. I know it.

Closing my eyes, I recall her wet and wanting around my fingers after I spanked her. When I open them, she’s staring at me, pupils dilated, her lips parted…her tongue moistening her top lip. She wants it, too.

Shit. Not again, Grey. Not when she’s like this.

“Don’t look at me like that,” I warn, my voice gruff.

She’s literally been crying because she’s so messed up about the fact that he spanked her hard, had rough sex with her and then left, and now he’s angrily warning her not to look at him a certain way, because it’s making him want to have sex.  I want this guy thrown into the damn sun.

He tells her he can’t have sex with her because he has no condoms and says he’s “not a monster” (HAHAHAHAHA, you totally are, though).

He’s confused as to why she’s so quiet in person, when she has no problem expressing herself in emails and texts, then asks if she finds him that intimidating in person that she can’t speak.  Don’t forget, dear reader, that this is the guy who actually said he wanted her to find him intimidating when they first met…  Anyway, Ana responds in syrupy language that made me dry heave, leading Christian to begin using similarly retch-some words:

“You beguile me, Christian. Completely overwhelm me. I feel like Icarus, flying too close to the sun.” Her voice is quiet, but brimming with emotion.

Her confession floors me like a swift kick to the head.

“Well, I think you’ve got that the wrong way round,” I whisper.


“Oh, Anastasia, you’ve bewitched me. Isn’t it obvious?”

That’s why I’m here.

She’s not convinced.

Oh, so that’s why you went dashing round to the apartment of a woman who’d just told you she wasn’t sure she liked you, anymore.  To prove how much you do!  Aaaaw, cute.

He tells her that he wants an answer to his “do you find me that intimidating?” question, even if she has to send it in email form.  Then, he tells her he’s tired and he wants to go to sleep.  He asks if he can stay and Ana counters by asking if he really wants to.

“Do you want to stay?”

“You wanted me here.”

“You haven’t answered my question,” she persists.

Impossible woman. I just drove like a maniac to get here after your fucking message. There’s your answer.

I grumble that I’ll respond by e-mail. I’m not talking about this. This conversation is over.

Before I can change my mind and head back to The Heathman, I stand, empty my pockets, remove my shoes and socks, and strip off my pants. Slinging my jacket over her chair, I climb into her bed.

“Lie down,” I growl.

So, despite the fact that Ana has been visibly upset all evening and almost certainly still needs to talk things through, he has decided that the conversation is over, because he doesn’t want to answer the question as to whether or not he really wants to stay with her.  It’s an answer that Ana really needs to hear, one way or the other, so his refusal to respond to it and to become angry and controlling instead is spiteful and manipulative.  He knows that by sleeping with her, he’s giving her what she wants, but he doesn’t actually have to give her the emotional back-up beyond the action.

I hope a million wasps sting him to death.


Or just one really big one.

“If you are going to cry, cry in front of me. I need to know.”

“Do you want me to cry?”

“Not particularly. I just want to know how you’re feeling. I don’t want you slipping through my fingers. Switch the light off. It’s late, and we both have to work tomorrow.”

“I want to know how you’re feeling.  But not now, because I’ve decided this conversation is over, even though you’re clearly still upset.”  What a charmer.

Now, I won’t lie to you, this is where it got uncomfortably personal for me.  The next line will mean nothing to anyone, probably, but it had me teary-eyed and needing to look at stupid posts on Tumblr for a while, instead of this raging pile of crap.  Because he then says:

“Lie on your side, facing away from me.”

I don’t want you to touch me.

And my abuser said that to me most nights.  Except the “I don’t want you to touch me” part was spoken aloud, too.  Along with “you make me feel sick.”

Never, ever tell me this is “just a book.”  It’s triggering to survivors of abuse and, as survivors know, the slightest, seemingly insignificant thing can actually be a trigger.  Christian Grey is an emotionally, psychologically, physically and sexually abusive bastard and we’re being told we’re supposed to want him.  No.  Screw that.  The only way in which I want him is if I’m wearing his toe-bones as a crown, to show what we do to abusive arseholes like him.

Ugh, sorry.


We then get the following dream – because what chapter could possibly be complete without a deep and sodding meaningful dream of Christian as a child?!  I’m copy and pasting it all, because if I had to suffer the damn thing, so do you:

Lelliot is running through the grass.

He’s laughing. Loud.

I am running after him. My face is smiling.

I am going to catch him.

There are small trees around us.

Baby trees covered in apples.

Mommy lets me pick the apples.

Mommy lets me eat the apples.

I put the apples in my pockets. Every pocket.

I hide them in my sweater.

Apples taste good.

Apples smell good.

Mommy makes apple pie.

Apple pie and ice cream.

They make my tummy smile.

I hide the apples in my shoes. I hide them under my pillow.

There is a man. Grandpa Trev-Trev-yan.

His name is hard. Hard to say in my head.

He has another name. Thee-o-door.

Theodore is a funny name.

The baby trees are his trees.

At his house. Where he lives.

He is Mommy’s daddy.

He has a loud laugh. And big shoulders.

And happy eyes.

He runs to catch Lelliot and me.

You can’t catch me.

Lelliot runs. He laughs.

I run. I catch him.

And we fall down in the grass.

He is laughing.

The apples sparkle in the sun.

And they taste so good.


And they smell so good.

So, so good.

The apples fall.

They fall on me.

I twist and they hit my back. Stinging me.


But the scent is still there, sweet and crisp.



Grey wakes up with an erection (apples make me horny too, to be fair), but decides that he and Ana should wait until Sunday before they have sex again.  It turns out that they both slept really well, because they have actual magical powers that only work on each other, or something.

Ana tells Grey it’s 7:30am and he’s like “NOOOO” because he has a meeting at 8 and he’s never late (he could not, would not want to wait).  He warns Ana not to drive the Beetle and rushes off without shaving.  He’s also only wearing a t-shirt beneath his jacket, because he’s such a rebel.  Or perhaps he’s in a boyband.  I mean, he never did say who he was meeting…

His assistant adds him to a conference call with people including Kate’s father.  During the supposedly important call, Grey gets an email from Ana and, because you can definitely become a millionaire by doing no work and prioritising your sex life above business calls, he reads it.

It begins with words that prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that Ana is not into BDSM:

Dear Mr. Grey,

You wanted to know why I felt confused after you—which euphemism should we apply—spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me.

If this was remotely consensual, she wouldn’t be using that word.

And Grey simply thinks:

A tad overdramatic, Miss Steele. You could have said no.

COULD she, though?  Because you’ve manipulated her into thinking this is the only way she gets to keep you in her life.  You also told her it was happening and didn’t ask her to say yes or no.  So, shut your victim-blaming gob.

Ana continues:

Well, during the whole alarming process, I felt demeaned, debased, and abused.

Again, this is where a respectful Dom would think “blimey, she’s really not up for this.”  But not our beloved psychopath, Christian Grey.  He merely thinks:

If you felt that way, why didn’t you stop me? You have safe words.

Safe words that she has only just been given.  Besides which, she was trying to please you by letting you do whatever you claim you “needed” to do.  Sure, she could have said “stop,” but if you’re an experienced Dominant, you’d know that a brand new sub, who has never gone through anything like this before, might need a reminder that she can say “stop” or “red” or whatever before the whole thing gets started.

Ana admits that she felt aroused, in spite of herself:

And much to my mortification, you’re right, I was aroused, and that was unexpected.

Sometimes, rape victims can orgasm.  It doesn’t mean they enjoy being raped – it’s a physiological reaction, almost as a defence mechanism.  But rather than simply think “oh, this is potentially positive news,” Grey decides he knows Ana’s body better than her and his internal monologue of douche-baggery simply says:

I know. Good. You’ve finally acknowledged it.


Ana goes on:

As you are well aware, all things sexual are new to me—I only wish I was more experienced and therefore more prepared. I was shocked to feel aroused.

What really worried me was how I felt afterward. And that’s more difficult to articulate. I was happy that you were happy. I felt relieved that it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. And when I was lying in your arms, I felt…sated.

But I feel very uncomfortable, guilty even, feeling that way. It doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m confused as a result. Does that answer your question?

She was happy that he was happy.  She’s not saying “I was happy because I enjoyed it.”  She didn’t feel “sated” from being spanked.  That feeling only arose out of lying in his arms, afterwards.  There’s so much to be unpicked here, all of which basically amounts to this almost certainly not being the right path for Ana to be walking.  But naturally, there’s no way Grey is going to accept that.

Whilst still supposed to be on an important video-call, he replies:

If that is how you feel, do you think you could just try to embrace these feelings, deal with them, for me? That’s what a submissive would do.


“Hey, you know how you’ve just told me you feel confused, debased, assaulted and really unsure?  WELL JUST DEAL WITH IT.”

I am grateful for your inexperience. I value it, and I’m only beginning to understand what it means. Simply put…it means that you are mine in every way.

Nope.  She belongs to herself.  She hasn’t signed your contract, you controlling cretin.

He tells her he was glad she was aroused and that that aroused him and he describes himself as feeling “ecstatic joy” after spanking her.

Punishment spanking hurts far more than sensual spanking—so that’s about as hard as it gets, unless, of course, you commit some major transgression, in which case I’ll use some implement to punish you with. My hand was very sore. But I like that.

She has literally just referred to herself as feeling as though she’d been assaulted.  Last night, she said she didn’t enjoy being spanked and would rather he never did it to her again.  Yet, here he is, responding to an email in which she talks about her confusion and dislike of pain, by telling her that if she crosses one of his many arbitrary lines, he’ll hit her harder.

The guy is shit on my shoe.  All I want to do is wipe him into the ground and sterilise myself from having been anywhere near him.

Ana responds by asking “aren’t you in a meeting?” (and yes, he’s supposed to be) and tells him:

I’m very glad your hand was sore.

And if I listened to my body, I’d be in Alaska by now.


P.S.: I will think about embracing these feelings.

She’ll think about embracing the feelings, because he wants her to.  But if she actually listened to her own body, she’d run far away from him.  And yet this guy does not once question whether he ought to leave her the heck alone.  Because he is not a Dominant in a consensual BDSM relationship with a woman he genuinely loves.  He is a manipulative, egotistical abuser, intent on getting what he wants, no matter who has to suffer as a result.


And because I wasn’t quite on the verge of an embolism thanks to my rage, yet, Christian replies with an email that victim-blames and threatens the woman he supposedly cares for:

For the record, you stood beside me knowing what I was going to do.

You didn’t at any time ask me to stop—you didn’t use either safe word.

You are an adult—you have choices.

Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the next time my palm is ringing with pain.

You’re obviously not listening to the right part of your body.

Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you.

I can track your cell phone—remember?

I…  I can’t.  Last night, he saw her crying and confused.  She’s told him she didn’t enjoy being hit.  He keeps telling her he’s excited to do it again.  EL James claims to have done research on this subject, but if she had, she’d know CONSENT IS BLOODY VITAL AND ANA IS NOT GIVING FREE CONSENT, SHE IS BEING MANIPULATED AND THREATENED INTO IT.

As for threatening to track her phone and find her if she tried to leave him… We all know that’s something he would do.  And that’s not sexy or romantic, it’s fucking abhorrent.

But of course, the subject is laughed off, because EL James is a trash person and this is a trash book.  Ana replies:

Have you sought therapy for your stalker tendencies?

And Grey thinks:

I smother my laugh. She’s funny.



Grey resonds with:

I pay the eminent Dr. Flynn a small fortune with regard to my stalker and other tendencies.

And I laugh for about half an hour, because Dr Flynn is a quack and Grey should be in prison.

Thankfully, Ana does at least call him out:

May I humbly suggest you seek a second opinion?

I am not sure that Dr. Flynn is very effective.

Hilariously, Grey then ponders whether Dr Flynn is any good, although he still thinks Ana’s joking and… Well, let’s just say the best jokes are funny because they’re accurate.

Damn, this woman is funny…and intuitive; Flynn charges me a small fortune for his advice. Surreptitiously, I type my response.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Second Opinions

Date: May 27 2011 08:43

To: Anastasia Steele

Not that it’s any of your business, humble or otherwise, but Dr. Flynn is the second opinion.

How much do you want to bet Grey’s last therapist was actually ethical and good at their job and therefore didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear?!

They have a distinctly boring, but supposedly cute and funny back and forth about Ana being late for work, with Christian warning her not to speed in her new car (he types those words that make me want to seal my vagina shut: “my palm is twitching”).  Ana gets bolshy (far be it for me to agree with Dickwipe Grey, but she is much feistier in print than in person; then again, I don’t blame her) and reminds him that she hasn’t signed his contract and therefore doesn’t have to obey his rules.  More jokes are made about stalking, because that’s hilarious.

But just as I’m despising everything in this book, a small ray of light comes in the form of Ros, who has a well-deserved pop at Grey for blatantly not having been interested in his video conference call.

Ros is glaring at me when I unmute her. “What the hell, Christian?”

“What?” I feign innocence.

“You know what. Don’t hold a goddamn meeting when you’re obviously not interested.”

“Was it that obvious?”



“Yes. Fuck. This could be a huge contract for us.”

“I know. I know. I’m sorry.” I grin.

He grins.  We’re supposed to believe this guy has built up a massively successful business, yet he displays genuinely unprofessional behaviour in a meeting and finds himself hilarious, rather than being genuinely apologetic.  He’s the boss – he’s fine – but if he messes his company up, the people who work for him are the ones who will suffer.  He never stops to think about that for a second.  Nor does he consider that the people on the other end of the conference call were also giving up their valuable time.

I feel like I can’t stress enough that this guy is the literal worst.


Of course, we have to be told that Ros is secretly really amused by Grey’s ridiculously unprofessional behaviour, because I can’t have nice things.  Besides, he’s just so adorable, you guys…

And then we get evidence that he’s rubbish at business as well.  He’s determined to buy a publishing company and we all know it’s purely so he can control Ana’s career:

“I’m heading back around lunchtime. In the meantime, ask Marco to investigate all the publishing houses in Seattle and see if any are ripe for a takeover.”

“You want to go into publishing?” Ros splutters. “It’s not a high-potential-growth sector.”

She’s probably right.

“Just investigate. That’s all.”

He then rings Andrea to organise a gynaecologist for Ana and to sort out a personal shopper for her, too.  I think we’re meant to find these things attractive, as though all women crave having loads of money spent on them and no longer having to worry about something as pressing as buying their own clothes or sorting out their own birth control.  But I just find it creepy.

Grey continues about his day, but he has one thing on his mind, as usual:

Ros noticed how distracted I was during that conversation.

Shit, Grey. Get your act together.

I wolf down my breakfast, drink some cold coffee, and head into my bedroom to shower and change. Even when I’m washing my hair I can’t get that woman out of my head. Ana.

Amazing Ana.

And then he thinks about her intelligence, her spirit and… Ha, just joking!  He thinks about her in a purely sexual sense:

The image of her bouncing up and down on top of me comes to mind; of her lying over my knee, ass pink; of her tethered to the bed, mouth open in ecstasy. Lord, that woman is hot. And this morning, waking up next to her, it wasn’t so bad, and I slept well…really well.

He goes on to think about how funny she is (I… I don’t know where he’s got that from, but okay):

Her e-mails make me laugh. They’re entertaining. She’s funny. I never knew I liked that in a woman. I’ll need to think about what we’ll do on Sunday in my playroom…something fun, something new for her.

He decides he’s going to use a riding crop on her, like he did in the dream she confessed to having.  I mean, okay, she did fantasise about that, but she also told him much more recently that she didn’t want to be hit again, so…  Whatever.  We all know none of this is really about Ana’s pleasure.


Grey spots that everyone is noticing how much happier he seems since he met Ana.  This is clearly supposed to be the start of him “changing,” which is hilarious, because directly after he swoons over “the Ana effect,” he goes straight back to being a really gross asshole.  Elliot texts asking how things are with Ana and whether Grey is going to help the girls move to their new apartment.  And Grey?  Consistently thinks “fuck off” as a response.

Swooooooon.  Such change.

Having been informed that a courier has been dispatched with the new Blackberry Grey has bought for Ana (which he refers to as being “on loan,” thanks to Ana’s refusal to accept the car outright), Grey decides to email Ana to tell her how important it is that he can contact her at all times.

You know, because…  Um… Nope, I’ve got nothing.  Sex emergency?!

Credit where it’s due, Ana responds in feisty fashion, once again:

I think you need to call Dr. Flynn right now.

Your stalker tendencies are running wild.

I am at work. I will e-mail you when I get home.

Thank you for yet another gadget.

I wasn’t wrong when I said you were the ultimate consumer.

Why do you do this?

Grey replies:

Dr. Flynn is on vacation.

And I do this because I can.

Oh, well that’s okay, then.

Andrea gets in touch to say a gynaecologist called Dr Greene has been found, but that she’s very expensive.  Grey says he’ll pay whatever she wants, because he’s the richest man in the universe and that makes his abusive behaviour okay, apparently.  He thinks about phoning his mother to check Dr Greene’s credentials, seeing as they work at the same hospital, but decides not to, in case his mother asks too many questions.

Grey then contacts Ana to tell her that the doctor will see her at 1:30 on Sunday, before arranging a housewarming present for her (a card, some vintage champagne and that bloody helicopter balloon that Ana ends up sleeping with – ugh).

Despite the fact that he’s just been thinking about the fact that Ana is moving house in a couple of days and is probably very busy, he then gets mad that she didn’t get in touch him the second she finished work.

I wonder if she’s okay. She said she would contact me when she got home; I’ve called her twice, but I’ve heard nothing, and it’s pissing me off.

Tough.  She has a life.

But that doesn’t matter to Christian Grey, so he calls her and leaves an angry voicemail:

“I think you need to learn to manage my expectations. I’m not a patient man. If you say you are going to contact me when you finish work, then you should have the decency to do so. Otherwise I worry, and it’s not an emotion I’m familiar with, and I don’t tolerate it very well. Call me.”

If she doesn’t call soon I am going to explode.

I sincerely hope you do.


Grey goes to a charity event and takes a moment to be misogynistic, egotistical asshole.  Again.

I’M SEATED AT A table with Whelan, my banker. I’m his guest at a charity function for a nonprofit that aims to raise awareness of global poverty.

“Glad you could make it,” Whelan says.

“It’s a good cause.”

“And thank you for your generous contribution, Mr. Grey.” His wife is cloying, thrusting her perfect, surgically enhanced breasts in my direction.

“Like I said, it’s a good cause.” I give her a patronizing smile.

Because you see, everyone loves Christian Grey, because he’s the most perfect looking specimen of masculinity that has ever been seen.  And that alone makes it okay that he’s also a fuckwit.

Having already been rude towards people wanting to do business with in a video conference call that morning, Grey now takes the opportunity to be rude towards people he’s attending a charity event with.  Purely because Ana hasn’t called, texted or emailed.

Guys… That’s not love.  That’s obsession.

I look around the table at all the middle-aged men with their second or third trophy wives. God forbid this should ever be me.

I’m bored. Seriously bored and seriously pissed.

What is she doing?

He gets home from the black tie event he spent an evening being a petulant brat at and emails Ana again.  Because obsessive stalker:

“I am at work. I will e-mail you when I get home.”

Are you still at work or have you packed your phone, BlackBerry, and MacBook?

Call me, or I may be forced to call Elliot.

I’m red-inking the crap out of that, because threatening to call someone else to check up on your partner because they haven’t called you is really possessive and creepy.

He then goes directly on to thinking about how he could have been with Ana right now, if only he had agreed to help her pack and get ready for the move.

Why did I volunteer to collect Mia? I could be with Ana, helping her pack all her shit, then going out for pizza with her and Kate and Elliot—or whatever ordinary people do.

For God’s sake, Grey.

That’s not you. Get a grip.

Man ALIVE this guy thinks he’s special, doesn’t he?!  “Whatever ordinary people do?!”


And then, because whenever Grey is an asshole (ALL THE TIME, OBVS), we have to follow it with a scene that’s meant to make us feel sorry for him, because he’s just a poor boy, nobody loves him…

I wander around my apartment, my footsteps echoing through the living room, and it seems achingly empty since I was last here. I undo my bow tie. Perhaps it’s me that’s empty. I pour myself an Armagnac and stare back out at the Seattle skyline toward the Sound.

Are you thinking about me, Anastasia Steele? The winking lights of Seattle have no answer.

Of course, then she calls him.  Because actual tension is not something that exists in this universe.

Thank. Fuck. Finally. It’s her.

“Hi.” I’m relieved that she’s called.

“Hi,” she says.

“I was worried about you.”

“I know. I’m sorry I didn’t reply, but I’m fine.”

Fine? I wish I was… 

“Did you have a pleasant evening?” I ask, reining in my temper.

“Yes. We finished packing, and Kate and I had Chinese takeout with José.”

Oh, this just gets better and better. The fucking photographer again. That’s why she hasn’t called.

He shouldn’t be having to rein in his temper.  Sure, it’s annoying when someone says they’ll call and then they don’t.  But Ana only said she’d send him an email.  She’s also just days away from moving and Grey knows as much.  He shouldn’t have expected that she’d drop everything to ring him the instant she got home.  When someone says “I’ll email you when I’m home from work,” that doesn’t necessarily mean the SECOND THEY GET THROUGH THE DOOR.  Besides which, she’s already apologised for not having gotten in touch.

And sure, José is an ass, too, but it’s Ana’s business as to whether she decides to remain friends with him.  If Grey sat her down and explained that he was worried about her socialising with someone who had attempted to violate her lack of consent, that would be more understandable.  But he can’t do that, because he violates her lack of consent all the damn time.

They have a genuinely nauseating “you hang up,” “no, you hang up” conversation, which also features Grey admitting that he was very angry with her for not calling, but he’s not anymore, because he’s an “in-the-moment type of guy.”  Which bodes well for someone really into beating women who look like his dead mother, doesn’t it?  “Sorry I hit you so hard I made you bleed; I was in the moment.”

Finally, the conversation comes to an end and with it, the chapter:

“Go to bed, Anastasia.”

“Yes, Sir.”

She doesn’t hang up, and I know she’s grinning. It lifts my spirits higher. “Do you ever think you’ll be able to do what you’re told?” I ask.

“Maybe. We’ll see after Sunday,” she says, temptress that she is, and the line goes dead.

Anastasia Steele, what am I going to do with you?

Actually, I have a good idea, provided that riding crop turns up in time. And with that enticing thought I toss down the rest of the Armagnac and go to bed.

I know I have to come back to this hellish place next week, but for now…












Grey Chapter 12 (Friday May 27th 2011)

Grey: Chapter 11 (Part two, because EL James has no idea about brevity…)

Soooo yes, I promised to get this chapter finished before Christmas and yes, I have failed spectacularly.  I can only apologise and truthfully tell you I got wrapped up in family Christmas/New Year stuff and then, last weekend when I fully planned to be writing this recap, I was instead sitting in the small hours of the morning, with my head firmly down the toilet.

So, you know, at least I felt like I’d finished recapping the chapter…


But, I’ve had a few days to regain my appetite and my energy, so what better way to reward myself (and all of you) than by diving straight back into the abyss?!  Don’t say I never do anything for you…

Oh, and as usual, TRIGGER WARNINGS.  Please exercise self care.

So, when we left Abusey-McAbuseFace, he was trying to persuade Ana not to give him back the first editions of Tess of The D’Ubervilles he gave her.

“I will buy you lots of things, Anastasia. Get used to it. I can afford it. I’m a very wealthy man.”

And that makes everything okay, ladies.  It’s perfectly fine for a guy to stalk, threaten, control and manipulate you, as long as he buys you lots of stuff.  At least, that seems to be one of the big take-home messages of this crappy book, so…  Meh.

Ana is less than thrilled:

“It makes me feel cheap,” she says.

“It shouldn’t. You’re overthinking it. Don’t place some vague moral judgment on yourself based on what others might think. Don’t waste your energy. It’s only because you have reservations about our arrangement; that’s perfectly natural. You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”

I find it so sexy when a man tells me how to feel.

Look, instead of telling her she shouldn’t think the way she does, how about listening to her, you total plank?!  Because sure, you might think she’s overthinking and wasting her energy, but if you asked her why it makes her feel cheap, you might get an answer that enables you to understand each other better.  Maybe it’s because you refuse to refer to her as your girlfriend and therefore she feels like you’re throwing her gifts just to ensure she still has sex with you?!  Maybe it’s because she’s not very materialistic and she’d really rather you spent time with her, instead of blowing cash on her?!  ASK HER.

But no, because then there’d be no pointless drama and I could go back to reading a good book…


As is Christian Grey’s wont, when he doesn’t get immediate agreement to anything from Ana (sexual or otherwise), he decides the best bet is to give her alcohol:

“Have some champagne,” I whisper, and she rewards me with a small smile.

“That’s better.” I open the champagne and fill the dainty teacups she’s placed in front of me.

“It’s pink.” She’s surprised, and I haven’t the heart to tell her why I chose pink.

He doesn’t tell us either, but my guess is it’s because he wants to slap her ass until that’s pink, because literally everything about him has something to do with his enjoyment of supposedly kinky sex, because that’s literally the only personality trait he has.

Ana suggests they begin discussing her soft limits and they move to the sofa.  There is a boring conversation about how Grey had Ana’s stepfather eating out of his hand, then the subject changes to the wine served at Ana’s graduation, as they sip their champagne:

She takes another sip and closes her eyes, savoring the taste. Opening them again, she asks, “Did you try the wine at the reception?”

“Yes. It was foul.” I grimace.

“I thought of you when I tasted it. How did you get to be so knowledgeable about wine?”

“I’m not knowledgeable, Anastasia, I just know what I like.” And I like you. 

You know you’re with a keeper when you’re actually thinking about how much your new partner would detest the wine being served at your graduation, rather than thinking about the small fact that you just, you know, graduated.

Also, notice again that Grey only thinks the “and I like you,” part.  Because he never says the important stuff out loud.  I can’t decide if it’s EL James’ lousy writing, his stupid personality or both.

Probably both…

Anyway, buckle up, because deliberately getting someone drunk in order to gain consent is about to happen!


“Some more?” I nod toward the bottle on the table.


I fetch the champagne and refill her cup. She regards me suspiciously. She knows I’m plying her with alcohol.

“This place looks pretty bare. Are you ready for the move?” I ask, to distract her.

A stereotypical Fifty Shades fan sent us a rather abusive tweet, today, advising us to “read the fucking books and learn about consent.”  Well, duh, we’ve read the books, sweetie, and as for consent?  PLYING SOMEONE WITH ALCOHOL TO DELIBERATELY COERCE AGREEMENT IS NOT FREAKING CONSENT AND THE SOONER YOU LEARN THAT, THE BETTER.

I obviously replied in a very polite way, explaining that we have read the books and that we’re trained in abuse, as well as being survivors of it.  The fan blocked our page.  Because they have no argument when presented with evidence.

Anyway, in case you’re not aware, deliberately encouraging a person to drink lots of alcohol in order to make them more likely to consent to your sexual demands is a form of rape.  So, Christian Grey is, yet again, showing himself to be a rapist, here (hence the red ink).  Or a “raper” as the fan said, earlier…


Grey uses having to pick Mia up from the airport as an excuse for not helping Ana and Kate move and casually mentions that he knows Elliot will be assisting them.  He ponders the fact that it’s unusual that Elliot’s still interested in Kate and inwardly thinks that their “liaison” makes his relationship with Ana more complicated.

I mean, it doesn’t at all really, but sure.  Anything to cover up the lack of a decent plot, I guess.

Then Grey changes the subject to Ana’s future career plans and gets angry that she hasn’t told him literally everything about them.  No, really:

“So what are you doing about work in Seattle?” I ask.

“I have a couple of interviews for intern places.”

“You were going to tell me this when?”

“Um… I’m telling you now,” she says.

“Where?” I ask, hiding my frustration.


Seriously, the level of aggression there is utterly unnecessary.  “You were going to me this when?!” is the kind of sentence I might have been able to understand him using had it been the night of their anniversary, with a romantic meal booked and the champagne already on ice, only for Ana to announce she was blowing it off in favour of a girl’s night out with Kate.  But she has no reason to feel compelled to tell him what internships she’s applying for.  According to their arrangement, all she has to do is let him know when she’s going to be available to meet.  That’s it.  And his attitude is the exact reason why Ana spends most of the trilogy not telling him things.

Oh and Grey?  You’re not hiding your frustration.  Like, at all.

And his gross attitude only continues when Ana answers him:

“A couple of publishing houses.”

“Is that what you want to do, something in publishing?”

She nods, but she’s still not forthcoming.

“Well?” I prompt.

“Well, what?”

“Don’t be obtuse, Anastasia. Which publishing houses?” I mentally run through all the publishing houses I know of in Seattle. There are four…I think.

I want her to throw her drink in his supposedly-perfect-but-actually-very-average face.

SPOILER:  She doesn’t.

Instead, she explains why she doesn’t want him knowing about where she’s applying for jobs:

“Just small ones,” she says evasively.

“Why don’t you want me to know?”

“Undue influence,” she says.

“What does that mean?” I frown.

“Oh, now you’re being obtuse,” she says, her eyes twinkling with mirth.

“Obtuse?” I laugh. “Me? God, you’re challenging. Drink up, let’s talk about these limits.”

So, let’s just look at that in black and white (and red): He’s angry with her because she didn’t explain in detail where she might be applying for internships after university (which she was never under any obligation to do), then when she tries to explain that she doesn’t want him using his influence on her career, rather than address her concern, he pops right back to getting her drunk so he can gain her consent.



Her eyelashes flutter and she takes a shaky breath, then drains her cup. She’s really nervous about this. I offer her more liquid courage.

“Please,” she responds.

Bottle in hand, I pause. “Have you eaten anything?”

“Yes. I had a three-course meal with Ray,” she says, exasperated, and rolls her eyes.

Oh, Ana. At last I can do something about this disrespectful habit.

Okay, I personally think EL’s atrocious writing makes it unclear as to what the disrespectful habit is here, because Ana rolling her eyes makes her sentence sound like sarcasm – and let’s be honest, we know Ana eats, what?  A lettuce leaf a week?  So, originally, I thought Grey was excited because now he gets to beat the sarcasm out of her.  But then he goes on to talk about her rolling her eyes, so I’m guessing thats the disrespectful habit he can’t wait to smack out of her.

Also, note how he’s already decided that he gets to “do something” about her “disrespectful habit,” despite the fact that a) Ana hasn’t signed anything beyond a non-disclosure agreement (and never will) and b) the fact that they haven’t even started discussing her limits, yet.

I hate him and I hope an army of green ants bite his penis to oblivion.

Leaning forward, I take hold of her chin and glare at her. “Next time you roll your eyes at me, I will take you across my knee.”

“Oh.” She looks a little shocked, but a little intrigued, too.

“Oh. So it begins, Anastasia.” With a wolfish grin I fill her teacup, and she takes a long sip.

“Got your attention now, haven’t I?”

She nods.

“Answer me.”

“Yes, you’ve got my attention,” she says with a contrite smile.

I’m sure this would be sexy if Ana had any idea about BDSM and was really up for it.  But we all know she’s not keen on physical punishment, so it just makes me dry heave.


They begin looking at the list of limits.  This is basically regurgitated word for word from the original Fifty Shades, because EL James is lazy as well as awful.

“No fisting, you say. Anything else you object to?” I ask.

She swallows. “Anal intercourse doesn’t exactly float my boat.”

“I’ll agree to the fisting, but I’d really like to claim your ass, Anastasia.”

Look, sure, we don’t know we don’t like something until we’ve tried it, but for the love of JEBUS, what was the point of having a discussion on limits, if you’re going to ignore her when she says she’s not really up for something, purely because you want to do it?!



Grey tells her that her “ass will need training.”  Ana asks some questions and discovers that Christian has had anal sex, himself:

“Have you done that?” she asks.


“With a man?”

“No. I’ve never had sex with a man. Not my scene.”

“Mrs. Robinson?”

“Yes.” And her large rubber strap-on.

Ana frowns and I move on quickly, before she can ask me any more questions about that.

Because God FORBID the inexperienced girl asks questions about sex from you, her sexual partner.  This is yet more evidence that Grey is a lousy Dom.  He wants Ana’s submission, but doesn’t listen to her when she brings up a soft limit she’s unsure about, because it’s something he wants to do.  Then, when she begins asking questions about it, he shuts her down, because he doesn’t want to answer.  The fact is, a good Dominant would be open to answering any questions she had – he would encourage those questions – because a huge part of BDSM is consent and for consent to be given 100%, it should always be informed.  Grey is purposefully ensuring that Ana is not informed.

He goes on to become misty-eyed about his time with Elena and how much he enjoyed being a sub…

Oh, baby, Elena had my submission. She could do with me as she pleased. And I enjoyed it.

…Which makes me wonder why he’s not interested in letting Ana dominate him; if not full time, then at least switching, now and then?  But I guess he enjoys beating women who look like his mother too much to ever stop being the one doling out the punishment…

And hey, you know what would really help this situation, in which Ana really needs clear judgement?!  MORE ALCOHOL!

She nods and finishes her champagne.

“More?” I ask.

Steady, Grey, you just want her tipsy, not drunk.

“More,” she whispers.

I refill her cup and get back to the list.

I just…  He’s openly admitting that he’s getting her “tipsy” on purpose.  How are the fans wilfully blind to this?!  What part of this is free, informed consent, when he’s deliberately avoiding  either answering her questions or actually letting her ask them in the first place and he’s openly admitting to plying her with alcohol?!




They move on to a list of toys Ana is supposed to either be agreeing to or vetoing the use of:

“Butt plug? Does it do what it says on the box?” She grimaces.

“Yes. And I refer to anal intercourse above. Training.”

Her reaction is to “grimace.”  His is to “refer to above,” meaning “you’re doing it, because I want to.”

I hope his butt is plugged with molten lava.

When Grey mentions “eggs,” Ana – who is entirely naive about all this stuff, remember – is horrified:

“Eggs?” Her hands shoot to her mouth in shock.

“Not real eggs.” I laugh.

“I’m glad you find me funny.” The hurt in her voice is sobering.

“I apologize. I’m sorry.”

For fuck’s sake, Grey. Go easy on her.

“Any problem with toys?”

“No,” she snaps.

Shit. She’s sulking.

You know how her “sulking” could have been avoided?  If you’d maybe taken time to explain each thing on the damn list, rather than expect someone with zero experience to just know all of this.  Sure, he apologises, but he’s supposed to be the experienced Dominant.  Okay, all his previous subs have been fully clued up about everything, but he knows Ana isn’t and he’s still not giving her the kind of support she needs.

Have I mentioned today that I hate him?  Because I hate him.

Ana agrees to be bound with various materials.  Grey checks over the list of ways in which she agrees to be restrained and offers to put suspension down as a hard limit (seeing as he injured a former sub that way).  He references spreader bars and this happens:

“Don’t laugh at me, but what’s a spreader bar?”

“I promise not to laugh. I’ve apologized twice.” For Christ’s sake. “Don’t make me do it again.” My voice is sharper than I intended, and she leans away from me.

HE is mad because HE was in the wrong and therefore had to apologise.  And now Ana’s scared that he’ll laugh at her inexperience (because he already has) and HE is pissed off that he might have to apologise again??!!

Do not ever tell me this guy is “nice deep down.”  There is no “deep down.”  This is his level.  This is the level he is always at.  And whether or not he meant to sound as mad as he did is irrelevant.  If he listened to his partner and actually read her body language as much as he thinks he can, he’d know not to snap at her when she’s already upset with him for having done it, before.

And how does the swoon-worthy Mr Grey handle the aftermath of this moment?

Ignore her reaction, Grey. Get on with it. 

Yep.  Pay no attention to her valid response and continue to rush her into drunken agreement.



Ana says she’s nervous about not being able to breathe if she’s gagged and Grey says he’ll “take note.”  She also asks how she’ll use her safe words if she’s gagged and Grey tells her that he hopes she never has to use them, but that she can use hand signals.

This would probably have been a good time to tell her what those hand signals might actually be, but that would involve Christian Grey being a caring partner who actually responds properly to her questions and concerns, so…

Ana asks whether he ties up his submissives so that they can’t touch him and he admits that that’s a part of it.

“You don’t like talking about that,” she says.

“No, I don’t.”

I’m not going there with you, Ana. Give it up.

So, he’s allowed to get aggressive because she hasn’t told him which publishing houses she’s applied to, but if Ana asks questions about his life, it’s an absolute no.  Okay, cool.

And what’s the best way to ensure she can’t ask any probing questions?  That’s right, GET HER DRUNK:

“Would you like another drink?” I ask. “It’s making you brave, and I need to know how you feel about pain.” I refill her cup and she takes a sip, wide-eyed and anxious.

More so when you read the story from his perspective, I’m going to call bull on his “it’s making you brave” assessment.  So far, Ana has had four cups of wine, if my maths is right.  She’s a lightweight and that’s enough to be making her tipsy.  But nowhere have I seen it make her brave.  She’s become upset when he’s mocked her lack of knowledge, she’s snappily agreed to all sex toys just to move past that particular conversation and she’s had basically all of her queries or concerns shut down.  This isn’t about her being “brave.”  It’s about getting her to say “yes.”

That’s literally it.

Grey asks Ana if she was physically punished as a child and when she says no, he realises she has no frame of reference for how much it might hurt when he physically punishes her.  Ana asks a question that might make any good Dom realise she might not be 100% up for it, but which Grey pays very little attention to:

“Do you have to do it?”



You really don’t want to know.

“Goes with the territory, Anastasia. It’s what I do. I can see you’re nervous. Let’s go through methods.”

If she’s asking if this is something that has to happen, chances are, she’s not keen on the idea and is looking for a way out.  Grey’s internal answer of “you really don’t want to know” is gross, seeing as we know it’s because he wants to beat his own mother.  But physical punishment doesn’t just “go with the territory” of being a Dominant.  He could merely tie her up, use handcuffs or be otherwise dominant in bed (and out), without having to physically punish her, too.  And if it’s something he does feel he needs, he should be doing it with someone willing.  Someone who consents without having to be coerced with alcohol, manipulation or threats.

If EL James did one tenth of the research she claims to have done, she would know all of this.


They look through the list of punishment methods.

“Well, you said no to genital clamps. That’s fine. It’s caning that hurts the most.”

Ana pales.

“We can work up to that,” I state quickly.

“Or not do it at all,” she counters.

“This is part of the deal, baby, but we’ll work up to all of this. Anastasia, I won’t push you too far.”




Ana is still obviously concerned about the punishment aspect of their relationship:

“This punishment thing, it worries me the most.”

“Well, I’m glad you’ve told me. We’ll keep caning off the list for now. And as you get more comfortable with everything else, we’ll increase intensity. We’ll take it slow.”

She looks uncertain, so I lean forward and kiss her. “There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Aaaaaw, is ickle Ana placated now?!

She looks “uncertain,” so rather than discuss her fears any further, he gives her a sodding kiss and says “that wasn’t so bad, was it?”  No further discussion.  He’s made her some very weak promises about taking it slow, railroaded her into agreeing to things she initially said she wasn’t sure about and ignored her very obvious discomfort, but hey, a little kiss and that’s the end of that.

And why is it the end of the discussion?  Because he’s horny:

She shrugs, still doubtful.

“Look, I want to talk about one more thing, then I’m taking you to bed.”

“Bed?” she exclaims and color flushes her cheeks.

“Come on, Anastasia, talking through all this, I want to fuck you into next week, right now. It must be having some effect on you, too.”

Where has she seemed aroused?  She has seemed scared, embarrassed and deeply unsure.  The fact that she still looks doubtful is your first clue, moron, the second being the way she exclaims “bed?”

But of course, when it comes to sex, suddenly Christian Grey is king of body language recognition.  Ana squeezes her thighs together and squirms in her seat and that alone makes him decide she must feel the same:

She squirms beside me and takes a husky breath, her thighs pressing together.

“See? Besides, there’s something I want to try.”

“Something painful?”

“No—stop seeing pain everywhere. It’s mainly pleasure. Have I hurt you yet?”



Of course, before any sexy times can begin, EL James has to show her beloved Christian Grey making some kind of character development (HAHAHAHAHAHA), so this is the point at which he tells her he’ll try to give her “more” than just the Dom/sub relationship he wants:

I have to try. I don’t want to lose her before we start.


I take her hand. “Outside of the time you’re my sub, perhaps we could try. I don’t know if it will work. I don’t know about separating everything. It may not work. But I’m willing to try. Maybe one night a week. I don’t know.”

You know what this reminds me of?  Richard in Friends, telling Monica that he’ll have a baby with her if that’s what it takes to keep her.  He doesn’t want a baby; he wants Monica.  But Monica recognises that and tells him she doesn’t want a baby with someone who doesn’t really want a baby.

They break up.

Ana and Christian do not.

Life is truly unfair (although I do love Monica and Chandler… Heck, why can’t I just go and watch Friends instead of reading this horror?!).



Of course, Grey isn’t just making this promise to trymaybe, it might not work out of thin air.  He has a condition attached, because of COURSE he does:

“I have one condition.”

“What?” she asks, her breath hitching.

“You graciously accept my graduation present to you.”

The present is, as we all know, an Audi A3.

“Anastasia, that Beetle of yours is old and, frankly, dangerous. I would never forgive myself if something happened to you when it’s so easy for me to make it right.”

She gapes at the car, speechless.


“I mentioned it to your stepfather. He was all for it.”

Perhaps I’m overstating this.

Perhaps you are OUTRIGHT LYING (hence red ink).  What Ray actually said was that whilst the Beetle was old, it’s Ana’s car and therefore her decision as to whether she sells it.

Her mouth is still open in dismay when she turns to glare at me.

“You mentioned this to Ray? How could you?” She’s annoyed, really annoyed.

“It’s a gift, Anastasia. Can’t you just say thank you?”

“But you know it’s too much.”

“Not to me it isn’t, not for my peace of mind.”

Come on, Ana. You want more. This is the price.


Sure, he only thinks this, but we’re peering through a window into his brain, by reading this from his PoV and he’s basically just admitted – if only to himself – that he’s only going to offer her “more” if she’ll accept him doing whatever he wants with her and her life.  That is not “love.”  That is not “romance.”  That is top drawer manipulation – an abuse tactic.  Christian Grey is an abuser.  Stop swooning over him and damn well look at what he’s saying and how he’s behaving.  It’s there in black and white.  I’m not pulling this stuff out of my ass – EL James WROTE him this way.  And she sold him to millions as some kind of romantic ideal.

I don’t know what’s worse: that she sold an abuser as a hero at all, or that anyone bought it.


Ana says she’ll only accept the car as a loan:

“Okay. On loan. Indefinitely,” I agree through gritted teeth.

“No, not indefinitely, but for now. Thank you,” she says quietly, and leaning up, she kisses me on the cheek. “Thank you for the car, Sir.”

Her use of the word “Sir” sends Grey into raptures and he kisses her “forcefully.”  Once she responds, he tells her it’s taking all his restraint not to fuck her on the hood of the car just to prove she’s his and if he wants to buy her a car he will.

Then this happens:

Then I kiss her once more, demanding and possessive. Taking her hand, I stride back into the apartment, slamming the front door behind us and heading straight for her bedroom. There I release her and switch on her bedside light.

“Please don’t be angry with me,” she whispers.

Her words douse the fire of my anger.

“I’m sorry about the car and the books—” She halts and licks her lips. “You scare me when you’re angry.”

Shit. No one has ever said that to me before. I close my eyes. The last thing I want to do is frighten her.

Calm down, Grey.

She’s here. She’s safe. She’s willing. Don’t blow it, just because she doesn’t understand how to behave.

Are…  Are you shitting me?!

Ana is openly saying he frightens her when she gets angry and his reaction is “she doesn’t understand how to behave”???!!!

Okay, I know he probably means that she should graciously accept the car, like any other sub would, but again, this is a case of a) lack of research (because a good Dom would talk to her at this point and reassure her that there’s nothing to fear and that he’s not genuinely angry – of course Grey can’t, because he’s a shitty Dom AND was genuinely angry) and b) seriously bad writing.  Because this reads as though Grey is now thinking Ana doesn’t understand how to behave, because she’s openly admitted to being afraid of him, as though that’s just not an acceptable thing to do.

And you know how I talk about the fact that he says the least important things out loud and keeps the vital stuff in his head?  Well, having thought about the fact that he doesn’t want to frighten Ana, how do you think he responds verbally to what she’s just said?


Opening my eyes, I find Ana watching me, not in fear, but with anticipation.

“Turn around,” I demand, my voice soft. “I want to get you out of that dress.”

She obeys immediately.

Good girl.

She’s probably anticipating an answer to the very serious thing she’s just said, which any decent Dominant – nay partner of any kind – would give her, you total and utter rancid bell-end.

Excuse my language.  I really try not to get this angry, but…  I’m reading Grey.


Grey removes his jacket and starts undoing Ana’s dress.  He thinks:

Now that she’s doing what she’s told, I relax.

Because he’s a hero.  A hero whose face I want to watch get eaten by wasps.

He tells her he’s going to make her come just by playing with her nipples, but then he changes his mind…

“I don’t think you’re ready to come yet.” And I still my hands, just holding her breasts, while my teeth tug at her earlobe. “Besides, you have displeased me. So perhaps I won’t let you come after all.”

Orgasm denial with consent can be hot as hell.  But Ana has not consented to this.  Orgasm denial without consent is confusing, frustrating and can be painful.  So that gets a red mark.

He tears her panties apart with his bare hands, which with anyone else might be sexy, but with him, I’d be sending a freaking bill for new ones.

Christian decides he wants Ana to take control (spoiler: he guides her through this whole scene, only giving her the guise of control, whilst actually keeping it himself, as Ana actually points out, afterwards).  He leaves his t-shirt on so that if Ana loses her balance whilst she’s on top of him during sex, she won’t accidentally touch his bare skin.  I find the image of him constantly keeping just a t-shirt on during sex so hilariously un-sexy, I’m going to have to try to switch off any mental images that may occur.

I’m basically imagining him as Donald Duck.


Ana pushes Grey onto the bed and then starts trying to get his jeans off, which is hugely entertaining to him, as he inwardly keeps asking “how are you going to get these off, now?!” as though removing clothes requires some kind of PHD.  Sure, pulling a guy’s jeans off when he’s already lying on a bed can be tricky, but dude, lay off the whole “MWAHAHAHA, HOW WILL YOU EVER SUCCEED?!” vibe.

Eventually, he helps her by lifting his hips and easing the jeans off.

He sits up and lowers Ana onto him, so she can take control and he actually says this out loud as he enters her:

“That’s right, baby, feel me, all of me.”



After the sex (which I am skipping most of, because it was in turns dull, hilarious and then boringly predictable), Ana tries to place a hand on Grey’s chest and he gets melodramatic as always:

She stirs and nuzzles me through my shirt, then splays her hand on top of my chest.

The darkness slithers, quick and strong, into my chest, into my throat, threatening to suffocate and choke me.

No. Don’t touch me.

I grab her hand and bring her knuckles to my lips, and roll over on top of her so she’s no longer able to touch me.

“Don’t,” I plead, and kiss her lips as I dampen down my fear.

“Why don’t you like to be touched?”

“Because I’m fifty shades of fucked up, Anastasia.” After years and years of therapy, it’s the one thing I know to be true.

And after years and years of highlighting the abuse in this trilogy, I still think that’s a stupid line.

He tells her he had a very tough introduction to life, but that she doesn’t need to know any more.  He then claims to own all of her orgasms (creeeeeeeeeepy) and Ana confesses to having had a sex dream that made her come.  He is delighted when he discovers that the dream was about him (God knows what he’d have done if it wasn’t…).

“What was I doing?”

She hides beneath her arm again.

“Anastasia, what was I doing? I won’t ask you again.” Why is she so embarrassed? Her dreaming about me is…endearing.

Why are you being so aggressive, again?!

Ana tells him that he had a brown plaited leather riding crop in the dream and he tells her he owns several riding crops and can get one like the one she dreamt about.  Of course he also takes this to mean that she’s been researching and that the research is “affecting her.”

He then moves straight to this conversation:

“When is your period due?” I ask. “I hate wearing these things.” I hold up the knotted condom and pull on my jeans.

She’s taken aback.

“Well?” I prod.

“Next week,” she answers, her cheeks pink.

“You need to sort out some contraception.”

Just ew.

Grey gets up and starts getting ready to leave.  Ana is surprised he isn’t staying.  She offers to drive him home:

“I can drive you. I have a lovely new car.”

That’s better. She’s accepted the car as she should, but after all that champagne she shouldn’t be driving. “I think you’ve had too much to drink.”

And then they have this exchange:

“Did you get me tipsy on purpose?”



“Because you overthink everything, and you’re reticent, like your stepdad. A drop of wine in you and you start talking, and I need you to communicate honestly with me. Otherwise you clam up, and I have no idea what you’re thinking. In vino veritas, Anastasia.”


Nope, nope, nooooooo, nope.

If you want someone to communicate honestly with you, you cultivate the kind of relationship in which they feel relaxed and able to do so.  You answer their questions, show them respect and explain how important honest communication is for the kind of relationship you want to have.

If you want someone to agree to things they don’t fully understand and not question you when you fail to answer their queries properly, you ply them with drink.

And notice the manipulative way he speaks to her, as though he had to get her drunk, because naturally, the communication problems are all with her.

You’re an abusive piece of shit, Grey.

This is compounded when Ana responds:

“And you think you’re always honest with me?”

No, he bloody well isn’t.  But he lies and says he “endeavours to be.”

Ana asks him to stay and use the second condom he had in his pocket.  He tells her he’s already crossed too many lines and has to go.  Then he says he has a scene in mind for them on Sunday, if she signs the contract.  Ana suggests she stretches out the current situation by not signing (another clue that she’s not as into the idea as he’d like to think…) and he responds by saying she could, but he might “crack.”

“Crack? How?” she queries, her eyes alive with curiosity.

“Could get really ugly,” I tease, narrowing my eyes.

“Ugly, how?” Her grin matches mine.

“Oh, you know, explosions, car chases, kidnapping, incarceration.”

“You’d kidnap me?”

“Oh yes.”

“Hold me against my will?”

“Oh yes.” Now, that’s an interesting idea. “And then we’re talking TPE twenty-four-seven.”

“You’ve lost me,” she says, perplexed and a little breathless.

“Total Power Exchange—around the clock.” My mind whirls as I think of the possibilities. She’s curious. “So you have no choice,” I add, with a playful tone.

“Clearly.” Her tone is sarcastic and she rolls her eyes to the heavens, perhaps looking for divine inspiration to understand my sense of humor.

A list of things like that is generally only funny when they’re all things you know your partner would never actually do to you.  With Christian Grey, I genuinely believe he would happily kidnap her.  Technically, he already has, by taking her back to his hotel room when she was passed out and couldn’t consent.  So, forgive me for not breaking into gleeful giggles.

But never mind the “jokes,” Ana has rolled her eyes at him and that can only mean one thing:

“Anastasia Steele, did you just roll your eyes at me?”


“I think you did. What did I say I’d do to you if you rolled your eyes at me again?” My words hang between us and I sit down again on the bed. “Come here.”

For a moment she stares at me, blanching. “I haven’t signed,” she whispers.

She’s “blanching.”  Her words are coming out in whispers.  Isn’t it funny how Christian Grey can only read subtle body language cues when he believes them to mean someone wants sex?!  Because I’m getting “not sure I want to be spanked” from Ana’s body language here and he’s either not seeing that, or he’s ignoring it.

“I told you what I’d do. I’m a man of my word. I’m going to spank you, and then I’m going to fuck you very quick and very hard. Looks like we’ll need that condom after all.”

Will she? Won’t she? This is it. Proof of whether she can do this or not. I watch her, impassive, waiting for her to decide. If she says no, it means she’s paying lip service to the idea of being my submissive.

And that will be it.

Make the right choice, Ana.

Her expression is grave, her eyes wide, and I think she’s weighing up her decision.

“I’m waiting,” I murmur. “I’m not a patient man.”

Taking a deep breath, she unfurls her legs and crawls toward me, and I hide my relief.

I’ve red-inked the whole “make the right choice” bit, because he’s not remotely concerned about whether she makes the right choice for herself.  It’s about what he wants.

I grasp her hand and abruptly pull her over my left knee, so that her head, shoulders, and chest are resting on the bed. I drape my right leg over her legs, holding her in place. I’ve wanted to do this since she asked me if I was gay.

Again, red ink because wanting to beat someone for asking if you’re gay, because that pissed you off, is not the same as wanting to spank someone as part of mutually pleasurable sexy fun-times.

Oh, and remember he didn’t want to say why he’d bought pink champagne?  WE GUESSED RIGHT:

She has a fine, fine ass. And I’m going to make it pink…like the champagne.

Hey, remember how he said he’d take things very slowly – start softer and build up the intensity, when it came to punishment?

Lifting my palm, I smack her, hard, just above the junction of her thighs.

Of COURSE he was lying!


She gasps and tries to rise, but I hold her down with my other hand at the small of her back, and I soothe the area I’ve just hit with a slow, gentle caress.

She stays still.



Yes. I’m going to do that again.

I smack her once, twice, three times.

She grimaces at the pain, her eyes screwed shut. But she doesn’t ask me to stop even though she’s squirming beneath me.

Christian “I’m so great at reading body language” Grey can tell she’s in pain, but he’s not stopping, because she’s not telling him to.  This is the first time she’s experienced physical punishment and really, he ought to be going a little easier on her (you know, like he promised to).  He should also be checking in on her, to ensure he’s not going too far.  She’s a novice and has had a lot to drink; using her safe word might not be at the forefront of her mind, even if she isn’t enjoying what’s happening.

“Keep still, or I’ll spank you for longer,” I warn.

I rub her sweet flesh and start again, taking turns: left cheek, right cheek, middle.

She cries out. But she doesn’t move her arms, and she still doesn’t ask me to stop.

“I’m just getting warmed up.” My voice is husky. I smack her again, and trace the pink handprint I’ve left on her skin. Her ass is pinking up nicely. It looks glorious.

I smack her once more.

And she cries out again.

“No one to hear you, baby, just me.”

I spank her over and over—the same pattern, left cheek, right cheek, middle—and she yelps each time. When I reach eighteen I stop. I’m breathless, my palm is stinging, and my cock is rigid.

“Enough,” I rasp, trying to catch my breath. “Well done, Anastasia. Now I’m going to fuck you.”

I swear, if this scene felt fully consensual, I’d be fine with it, but it just doesn’t feel that way.  Not with her having to be coaxed into it, the way she was.

After he’s finished spanking her, Grey tells Ana that she’s wet and he reasons that she must have enjoyed it.  You know, never mind the fact that they just had sex a few minutes ago and that she wanted to do it again right before this happened…

I stroke her pink behind gently, round and round, moving down. She’s wet.

And my body gets harder.

I insert two fingers into her vagina.

“Feel this. See how much your body likes this. You’re soaking, just for me.”

After they have sex, Grey is amazed that Ana isn’t crying.  Like… He actually says as much in his own monologue:

“Well done, baby.”

She’s not in tears. She did as she was asked. She’s faced every challenge I’ve thrown at her; she really is quite remarkable.

He then starts saying he wants to buy her silks and satins to sleep in, ignoring her as she sleepily tells him she likes her sweatpants and camisole.

As they start to fall asleep together, Grey decides he can’t possibly get comfortable with her and makes a dash for it:

Closing my eyes, I relax in our quiet moment, a strange contentment warming me, filling me up inside.

This feels right. Too right.

“I have to go,” I murmur, and kiss her forehead. “Are you okay?”

“I’m okay,” she says, sounding a little subdued.

All the “ooh, she’s squeezing her thighs together!  She wants sex!” in the world can’t disguise the fact that he’s literally right next to someone who is suddenly being very quiet towards him and he can’t read why.

He heads to the bathroom to get rid of his used condoms and brings back a bottle of baby oil to rub on her sore behind:

She’s dressed when I return, evading my gaze. Why so shy suddenly?

“I found some baby oil. Let me rub it into your behind.”

“No. I’ll be fine,” she says, examining her fingers, still avoiding eye contact.

“Anastasia,” I warn her.

Please just do as you’re told.

Didn’t you just go on an internal monologue about how she’s accepted every challenge you’ve thrown at her, tonight?!  Cut her some damn slack.

After Grey has applied some oil to Ana’s backside, she walks with him to the front door, still very quiet.  And yet again, he marvels at the fact that she didn’t cry when he hit her:

“You didn’t cry.” My voice is low.

And you let me spank you. You’re amazing.

Note that she’s not amazing because she’s kind, or because he can really open up around her.  She’s amazing because she lets him do whatever sex stuff he likes to her.


He kisses her and stops himself from asking if he can stay (a line I’m certain is only in there because so many people rightfully slated EL James for having him leave immediately after a punishment scene).  He gets in the car with Taylor (the poor guy has been waiting since 9pm), stares at his own “ghostly face” as it’s reflected back at him in the car window, then starts reminiscing about the sex he’s literally just had.

He tells Taylor to “dispose of” Ana’s Beetle, which is totally not his right to do, but hey, the guy’s a douche canoe.


He arrives back in his room and decides to “say goodnight to Ana,” which he does by sending her an email that is as complimentary as it is utterly creepy:

Dear Miss Steele,

You are quite simply exquisite. The most beautiful, intelligent, witty, and brave woman I have ever met. Take some Advil—this is not a request. And don’t drive your Beetle again. I will know.

He’ll know, because he stalks her, you see…  That’s just one of the many dreamy things this wonderful guy does.  *sigh*

Ana actually demonstrates her feisty side in her response:

Flattery will get you nowhere, but since you’ve been everywhere, the point is moot.

I will need to drive my Beetle to a garage so I can sell it—so will not graciously accept any of your nonsense over that. Red wine is always more preferable to Advil.


P.S.: Caning is a HARD limit for me.

Grey replies, telling her to “go to bed” (something he just loves to say in emails, which he then sits up and waits for a reply to, just so he can say it again).  He says that Taylor will sell the Beetle and get a good price for it.

Ana is taking none of his shit:

Dear Sir,

I am intrigued that you are happy to risk letting your right-hand man drive my car but not some woman you fuck occasionally. How can I be sure that Taylor is the man to get me the best deal for said car? I have, in the past, probably before I met you, been known to drive a hard bargain.


Grey is utterly incensed by the fact that she’s referred to herself as “some woman you fuck occasionally.”  He also – hilariously – thinks she’s driven a very hard bargain with him, because he’s having to make so many concessions with regards to his kinks.  Not able to understand why she might be feeling unhappy or used, he inwardly insists that he’ll be devoted to her, if she agrees to be his sub.  He’s so mad at her that he has to count to ten and picture himself sailing on his damn yacht in order to calm down, before he responds.  Apparently, Dr Flynn would be “proud.”

This is what he sends her:

I am assuming it is the RED WINE talking, and that you’ve had a very long day.

Though I am tempted to drive back over there to ensure that you don’t sit down for a week, rather than an evening.

Taylor is ex-army and capable of driving anything from a motorcycle to a Sherman tank. Your car does not present a hazard to him.

Now please do not refer to yourself as “some woman I fuck occasionally” because, quite frankly, it makes me MAD, and you really wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Christian Grey

His calmed down response, is to threaten to beat her without consent and then remind her of how angry he can get, despite the fact that earlier that very evening, she got upset about the fact that he frightens her when he’s angry.



After sending the email, he has to calm himself further, whilst asking who else could possibly get under his skin the way she does.  Which, you know, is just an abusive way of making his threatening behaviour her fault.

Ana, solid gold legend that she is in this brief section, sends back this:

Dear Mr. Grey,

I’m not sure I like you anyway, especially at the moment.

Miss Steele


And rather than look at his own behaviour even a smidge, Grey just takes this opportunity to be a melodramatic asshole at the end of the (utterly ridiculously long) chapter:

I stare at her reply, and all my anger withers and dies, to be replaced by a surge of anxiety.


Is she saying that’s it?


I wish this book ended here, at a point where I kind of like Ana and where Christian can go cry his stupid grey eyes out.

But alas, I’ll see you in a week or so, for chapter twelve…

Grey: Chapter 11 (Part two, because EL James has no idea about brevity…)