Ariel often talks about the search terms that led people to Bad Books, Good Times in her posts, and I’d like to point out two recent ones that piqued my interests. First, someone found this blog by searching for for Ana’s favorite type of tea is, so good thing I made a joke about that the one time it came up! And somebody really wanted to know what it was for some reason! Second, someone searched for what chapter Fifty Shades of Grey finally gets good at, and to that poor soul, I wish I had an answer for you, for I am as lost as you.
Well, Ana and Christian made out in an elevator and now they’re in a car and Ana is thinking.
He hasn’t mentioned the outburst of passion that exploded in the elevator. Should I?
She is not very good at thinking, however.
“You like classical music?” I ask, hoping for a rare insight into his personal preferences.
“My taste is eclectic, Anastasia, everything from Thomas Tallis to the Kings of Leon…
Oh my God, I bet we’re in for a “Sex on Fire” joke.
He presses a button an the Kings of Leon start singing. Hmm… this I know. “Sex on Fire”. How appropriate.
Yep. Only took ten sentences.
I wanted to run my fingers through his decadent, untidy hair, but I’d been unable to move my hands. I am retrospectively frustrated.
Next time I get a haircut, I’m totally going to say that I want it to look decadent.
So they get in Christian’s helicopter because obviously they have to travel by helicopter, and Christian gets all kinds of creepy making not-so-subtle implications about the BDSM to come that Ana totally misses. Now while it would be one thing is Ana was just naively ignorant to all this, but, man, she’s just being stupid. She signs a nondisclosure agreement without reading it, and has some bullshit “don’t kiss and tell” reasoning behind doing so when Christian points out her stupidity to her. To be fair, in between all his creep-tastic jokes, Christian warns Ana that she can leave any time she wants to roughly three times a page, but we can’t really praise him for anything because then he says things like this:
“I don’t make love. I fuck … hard.”
And, like any normal person, Ana’s reaction is:
Holy shit, that sounds so … hot.
Wait, did I write the word “normal”? That was a mistake.
Well, Christian takes Ana into his secret room of secrets and this is the chapter where we finally learn about all the BDSM that’s about to take place. I bet things are going to be sexy!
The first thing I notice is the smell: leather, wood, polish with a faint citrus scent. It’s very pleasant
Okay, well, I bet things are at least going to not be not-sexy.
The walls and ceiling are a deep, dark burgundy, giving a womb-like effect
Fuck this book.
I can observe and absorb but not articulate my feelings about all this, because I’m in shock. What is the appropriate response to finding out a potential lover is a complete freaky sadist or masochist?
Probably not to use the term “lover”.
“Do you do this to people or do they do it to you?”
“People?” He blinks a couple of times as he considers his answer. “I do this to women who want me to.”
Now, this isn’t the first time Christian has made of point of asserting his heterosexuality. Unfortunately, I’m pretty certain this is the result of poor writing by someone who hasn’t given particularly much thought to a more progressive discourse of sexual identity, but the novel’s constant “I’m not gay! How dare you think so!” undertones are moving from immature to actually starting to piss me off.
On the plus side, we’ve finally hit one hundred pages! Only… four hundred more to go?! Jesus Christ, why is this book so long?!
He likes to hurt women. The thought depresses me.
I just want to point out that this is a real sentence written in a real book that became a New York Times Bestseller in the year 2012.
Christian and Ana begin to discuss how the only relationship they could have is a contractual BDSM one and not a romantic one, but before we get into any details about this, we are interrupted with a discussion about cheese:
“How did you become this way?”
“Why is anyone the way they are? That’s kind of hard to answer. Why do some people like cheese and other people hate it? Do you like cheese? Mrs. Jones – my housekeeper – has left this for supper.”
Not even kidding.
We’re talking about cheese … Holy crap.
Well, much like Ariel mentioned during her reading of these chapters yesterday, our already inconsistent understanding of Ana’s crap scale is now completely thrown out of whack. It made enough sense (sort of) beforehand when she limited herself to quantitative values of crap, like “Crap!” or “Double crap!”, but how the hell are we supposed to fit a qualitative degree of crap into the crap scale?! Even worse, every usage of the crap scale beforehand has dealt with an uncomfortable social situation, which was already horribly inconsistent since somehow Ana reacted to an awkward interview with Christian with a double crap, and then later reacted to sexual assault with a single crap. So it’s not like the crap scale made much sense beforehand, but now we’re really up shit creek because now we have a non-quantitative degree of crap. The holy crap. And it’s used not to evaluate social awkwardness or physical danger, but cheese.
I don’t think we can make any definitive revisions to the crap scale yet, but due to the different nature of the crap (qualitative) and the subject matter prompting the crap (cheese), I want to propose, tentatively, that there are two crap scales in place. My tentative theory, until we see another use of “holy crap”, is that the quantitative crap scale (single v double v the nearly-mythical triple crap) is for uncomfortable/dangerous situations, whereas the qualitative crap scale (holy v… something else?!) is for surprise. Otherwise we have to figure out how to somehow place holy crap in a scale where a single crap is often worse than a double crap… and god forbid Ana ever says “holy double crap”.
But I digress, because now we’re getting into the real heat of the action… more paperwork! Christian’s contract is basically just a long list of rules for what Ana would do during sexy time (mentioned in the contract as the “Term”, which an impressively efficient way of removing anything even remotely sensual out of the subject matter here) and on her own time, which includes being given a personal trainer (I cannot wait for how awkward those scenes are). Then there is a list of “Hard Limits”, which (hopefully) outlines all the crazy shit that will not be in this book like bestiality and, which I am super thankful for, needles. And this is the point where Ana decides it’s a good idea to tell Christian that she’s a virgin and the chapter ends, so I imagine the next chapter will be… horrible.