Maybe this says more about me than it says about the book, but nothing mentioned so far is outside my area of knowledge. Secondhand knowledge, of course. It’s so strange how things can change in a generation (note the 40-year difference between us). Through the media, our generation is flooded with sexual images, messages, and options, and it would be hard to stay ignorant even if you wanted to. I was trying to sleep and this woman said, “One of the reasons my husband liked me when I was younger was that I was so innocent and naïve about this sort of thing.” Of course that’s why he liked you. Ugh.
Ana meets Christian’s mom, who is delighted that he isn’t gay. Apparently, Ana is the first of his girls she has met. Number 16. Christian gives Ana a full copy of the contract she is to consider and sign, and he tells her to do internet research on the sex acts he desires. She says she doesn’t have her own laptop and uses the computers at school or borrows Kate’s. WHAT?!! She’s graduating college and she doesn’t have her own computer? How has she survived? How has she entertained herself? I’m at a loss. I didn’t have internet for a week once, and it about killed me. Christian says he will send her one to borrow. Christian’s servant dude, Taylor, looks at Ana with pity. He probably knows Christian is odd.
Christian takes Ana to lunch and tells her that when he was 15, he was seduced by one of his mom’s older friends. This woman made him the submissive to her dominant, so he knows firsthand what Ana is going to feel. This is supposed to explain Christian, I guess. Since he was “abused” (as Ana puts it) in his teens and never had regular sex, his appetites were set early. What’s weird is that he still sees this woman and they are friends. His mother doesn’t know. Dear Lord, I want to meet this woman. I like having an explanation like this. My mom once told me that an older woman can really mess a younger guy up. We also find out that Christian is always monogamous in his “relationships.”
When Christian drops her off, Ana tells him that she’s wearing his underwear. His jaw drops and Ana’s “inner goddess is thrilled.” I wish you guys could see my facial expressions as I read this book. I cringe outwardly. Ana is allowed to tell Christian that she slept with him, but not much else. Kate is in love with Elliot. Ana has interviews for intern placements at two publishing houses, due to her good GPA. Of course Ana has a good GPA. She didn’t have the internet to distract her! Also, lest you forget, she is perfect. Kate’s brother, Ethan, comes up in Ana’s mind. Ana inwardly describes him as “such a lovely guy.” Do I smell a Jacob? A triangle?
Jose calls Ana and asks her about Christian. “Is it about the money?” he asks. Ana: “Jose, how dare you!” Of course not. It’s about the hotness. That’s one reason I can’t like this book. The reasons Ana and Christian like each other are as shallow as they get. She’s hot and he’s hot (and rich and mysterious and powerful). Now, that’s fine for a first attraction, but I firmly believe that you should love the other person for who they are before you sleep with them or put that kind of trust in them. Call me old-fashioned. Ana goes into her room to read her contract, which I cannot take seriously. This contract is unenforceable because its enforcement would violate public policy. I love when a law degree helps me hate 50 Shades of Grey….
The contract covers monogamy, STDs, and repeats the food, clothing, and exercise portions we saw before. Why we needed to see those again is beyond me, although I couldn’t help but note that Christian didn’t make the changes Ana requested on the exercise bit. The contract says, “The Dominant shall take responsibility for the well-being and the proper training, guidance, and discipline of the Submissive.” You know what submission probably is? Mommy and Daddy issues. I don’t know much about why BDSM people do what they do, and I can’t prove jack diddly, but I’m thinking it’s because there was something in their childhood that hasn’t yet been worked out. It’s been said before and I totally agree that romantic relationships bring up your childhood trauma and issues you didn’t know you had.
This kind of relationship is a sexual relationship mixed with a parent-child relationship. It’s like these people need to relive portions of that, including the spankings/corporal punishment parts. For the Dominant, it’s as simple as power and control. Dear God, I hope Christian never has kids. The contract also says, “The Dominant reserves the right to dismiss the Submissive from his service at any time and for any reason. The Submissive may request her release at any time, such request to be granted at the discretion of the Dominant.” So yeah, a) unenforceable, and b) messed up. The Dominant can flog, spank, whip, or corporally punish as he sees fit in order to discipline the Submissive or for no reason at all, provided he doesn’t leave permanent marks or injure her to the point that she would need medical attention.
I think the craziest part of the contract is that the Submissive can’t look the Dominant in the eye and must address him formally. Her eyes must remain downcast. What. The. Eff. Wow, this would not be for me. I’m all about eye contact. Eye contact and actually knowing someone are so much sexier than games and control. Ana must “maintain a quiet and respectful bearing in the presence of the Dominant.” Aw HELL no. Ana also has to take birth control, which is funny, because birth control has hormones that can change who you are attracted to and make you want more sensitive men. In reality, the birth control would make her less attracted to Christian. Also, Ana can’t masturbate or touch Christian without permission. MY TORSO IS MY OWN. There are safewords, which is good.
Then there is a list of sexual acts that Christian wants. They include genital and nipple clamps. AHHH. Let it be known, throughout the world, that Ern will never have anything to do with clamps. Ouch. How is that sexy? No freaking way. Not no way, not no how. No spanking either. I already had a dad, thanks. I don’t want to sleep with one. Ana is understandably shocked and disgusted, but an email and new computer from Christian the next day changes her mood. Christian’s flirtation is truly awful, in that it is nauseating and stupid. Maybe it’s just that I hate ALL flirting though. Just be genuine. I hate coyness. Ana starts with Wikipedia and looks up “submissive.” She’s thrown by the results. I’m always so glad when two chapters of this book is over. It’s not even a good STORY, even if you took out the sex stuff.