It’s finals week of my second last semester of college, and I’m taking a break from working on three papers to write a blog post about erotic fiction. My life. I don’t even.
At the end of the last chapter, Ana finally answered yes to Christian’s proposal. Although he didn’t really propose, but just kind said “hey, you should marry me sometime”, but whatever it’s romantic.
“You’ll marry me?” he whispers, incredulous.
I nod nervously, flushing and anxious and not quite believing his
“Say it,” he orders softly, his gaze intense and hot.
Yep. Romantic is the right word here.
They get all happy and gleeful and playful, but make sure to take a break long enough to totally subtly imply that there was something weird about that helicopter crash…
“I thought I’d lost you,” I murmur, still dazzled and breathless from his kiss.
“Baby, it will take more than a malfunctioning 135 to keep me away from you.”
“Charlie Tango. She’s a Eurocopter 135, the safest in its class.” Some unnamed but dark emotion crosses his face briefly, distracting me. What isn’t he saying?
But lest we get too suspicious something weird’s going on, Christian goes back to being super happy and grateful and Ana accepted his proposal. Just kidding! He goes back to being a creepy sadomasochist.
“I can’t believe you left me hanging.” His whisper is laced with disbelief. His expression alters subtly, his eyes gleaming wickedly, his mouth twitching into a carnal smile.
Holy hell. A thrill runs through me. What’s he thinking?
“I believe some retribution is in order, Miss Steele,” he says softly.
Because what says “I love you” better than “you didn’t tell me if you would marry me right away, I’m gonna punish you”? Except instead of BDSM-style punishment, they just have some shower sex, and E L James demonstrates that she doesn’t understand the difference between “shower sex” and “a cold shower”, which is considerable.
He switches the water on at max. Jeez! Arctic water spurts over my backside, and I squeal […] It’s cold and I’m fully clothed. The chilling water soaks into my dress, my panties, and my bra. I’m drenched and I cannot stop giggling. […] I am soaked, too, flushed, giddy and breathless, and he’s grinning down at me, looking so . . . so unbelievably hot.
Okay, E L James, if you’re going to write an erotic novel, you should probably be aware that cold water decreases sexual desire.
As well as some other problems that would make the following sex scene rather difficult.
The weird part is that the ensuing sex scene is surprisingly boring. By this point in the narrative, E L James has been skipping most of the straightforward sex scenes, but decides that this one merits a full write-up just because it takes place in the shower. Even though nothing interesting happens. They undress each other? He cups her breasts? They wash each other with a soapy sponge? BORING. We’ve seen this before, James!
“Wrap your legs around me, baby.” My legs fold around him, and I cling like a limpet to his neck. He braces me against the wall of the shower and pauses, gazing down at me.
Okay, in the shower, that’s just not safe. Like I’m genuinely concerned that the sorts of idiots who read this novel and actually enjoy it will try this at home and break their necks because spoiler! Showers are slippery.
After they’re done being sexy, Christian and Ana talk about how Christian was kind of a dick about the whole “I went missing for a day because my helicopter crashed no big” thing:
“I was scared,” he confesses much to my surprise. […]
Holy shit. “So you made light of it to reassure your family?”
Yeah, that’s… you’re still being an asshole, Christian. You still made light of being in a helicopter crash; nobody’s going to be like “oh, well, thank god you weren’t scared“. Except for Ana, apparently. I’m always amazed how these two characters manage to become less and less believable as this story continues.
The next morning Ana wakes up and decides to make Christian breakfast in bed. She gets to the kitchen and Jose is there, because Jose’s a character in the novel again. Ana comments on how she feels weird around Jose after having spent the night with Christian, partly because she knows he had/has reciprocated feelings for her. So she gives him some weird mixed signals.
“Want a real man’s breakfast?” I tease.
Christian comes into the room at this point. This is awkward because:
- Jose and Christian both love Ana, but Ana loves Christian
- Christian once had to rescue Ana from Jose sexually assaulting her and has been uncomfortable with their continued friendship ever since
- Christian is half-naked
he saunters into the great room. Holy fuck, he’s wearing only pajama bottoms that hang in that totally hot way off his hips—Jeez!
But then Christian and Jose talk about fishing for half a page and now they’re BFFs. PROBLEM SOLVED FOREVER.
Ana doesn’t tell Jose that she and Christian are engaged and then dwells on the terrifying prospect of telling her parents. Christian says he needs to ask her dad for permission first, which I can get behind, because “It’s traditional”, which I can’t. Fuck tradition, Christian. Your penis isn’t going to fall off.
Ana gives Christian two more birthday presents, a tiny solar-powered model of his helicopter (which she’s worried about because his helicopter was decidedly not-crashed when she bought the gift, but he absolutely creams his panties over alternative energy so all good!), and a box of random shit from his playroom.
He tears through the pale-blue tissue paper and fishes out an eye mask, some nipple clamps, a butt plug, his iPod, his silver-gray tie—and last but by no means least—the key to his playroom.
Which I imagine is more so a symbolic gift because uh you just gave him his own stuff as a present. Tacky.