This Chapter Is Basically Only a Sex Scene: Bared To You Chapter Nine

Today I’m in New York City for a job interview. It is my first time in New York City and my first real post-college job interview. I am terrified. (Dear potential employers: I am actually totally not scared at all and entirely competent, please don’t read that last sentence as anything other than a joke I made for this comedy blog I write for.) (Dear potential employers, part 2: Also please ignore that I write for a comedy blog that’s almost entirely about erotic fiction.)

Anyway, in eBook news, it’s still not available on Amazon because the original cover was rejected by Amazon for being confusing or something. So it’ll be fixed and hopefully actually available sometime soon!

Chapter Nine

Here is basically the sequence of events of Bared to You so far:

  1. Eva and Gideon meet
  2. They express interest in sex, not in each other
  3. They have sex
  4. Things get weird
  5. They decide it’d be better if they started dating because now they actually like each other all of a sudden for some reason

So now they’re a couple and, therefore, really boring.

I mean this is basically the point where I stopped watching The Office.
In other words, Bared To You is roughly at the point where I stopped watching The Office.

How boring, you ask? Well, in this chapter, they go shopping, go to the gym, and have sex. And it reads exactly like you’d expect a novel would about two people who decided to start a romantic relationship despite not having any romantic chemistry, much less even get along, and are only interested in each others’ bodies: they don’t get along and then they have sex and then they go right back to not getting along.

Observe.

They Don’t Get Along

As I mentioned, they go shopping together because Eva needs a new cell phone her mom can’t stalk her through (remember that’s a subplot; maybe it’ll come back). Much like any couple that’s been dating for all of five hours, this is a decision they need to make together.

we argued over who was going to pay, which he seemed to think should be him even though the phone and account were mine.
“You got your way with picking the service provider,” I pointed out, pushing his credit card aside and shoving mine at the girl.
“Because it’s practical. We’ll be on the same network, so calls to me are free.” He swapped the cards deftly.

Okay, um, you two started dating five hours ago. This is weird.

They go to the gym, and Sylvia Day has a rather intriguing idea of what the ideal gym looks like.

Even the women’s locker room was like something out of a science fiction movie.

I personally refuse to go to any gym that doesn't have space toilets.
Hopefully Sylvia Day didn’t see the end of this movie, or suddenly there will be a subplot about the gym questioning why it’s taking orders from humans.

And it wouldn’t be Eva and Gideon doing a couple-y thing if they didn’t fight right away:

“What the hell are you wearing?” he asked […]
“Clothes.”
“You look naked in that top.”

Eva explains the issue as dryly and thoroughly as she possibly can.

I was secretly pleased with my choice, which I’d made that morning before I’d known he’d be with me. The top was a triangle with long straps at the shoulders and ribs that secured with Velcro and could be worn in a variety of ways to allow the wearer to determine where her breasts needed the most support. It was specially designed for curvy women and was the first top I’d ever had that kept me from bouncing all over the place. What Gideon objected to was the nude color, which coordinated with the racing stripes on the matching black yoga pants.

Oh my god, that is a lot of words for “I was wearing a skimpy top”.

I bet I'm the first person to compare Bared To You to Ctrl-Alt-Del.
I bet I’m the first person to compare Bared To You to Ctrl-Alt-Del.

They go to the gym and there’s three and a half pages of them working out, admiring each others’ bodies, some trainer asking Eva if she got a tour of the gym, and how she’s not an official member get, and if she got her free orientation smoothie, and what flavor she’ll get when she gets one and OH MY GOD. The WORDS, you guys. The words.

They Have Sex

Then they go to one of Gideon Cross’s hotels to have sex. Now, admittedly, the main advantage Bared To You has over Fifty Shades is that Sylvia Day can actually write sex scenes, whereas E.L. James is really good at copy-pasting “Oh jeez” over and over again. So, there isn’t really anything to make fun of here.

There is, however, that complaint I made recently about how even though this is a novel told in first person from Eva’s perspective, Eva keeps referring to an event that happened in her past that has deeply affected her and we have no idea what it is. This is still a huge problem, especially when Eva uses that unknown event to explain and contextualize her current feelings, when we still don’t know what it was and why this is supposed to make sense.

I wouldn’t have thought I could bear to be restrained during sex, not with my past being what it was, but Gideon’s total domination of my body ratcheted my desire to an outrageous level.

I have no idea if Eva’s past is supposed to be mysterious or implied or if Sylvia Day doesn’t realize she can’t just assume the reader read the plot summary on Wikipedia first.

Only pre-1800s authors can assume that, although they probably usually don't.
Only pre-1800s authors can assume that, although my guess would be they usually don’t.

They Go Right Back To Not Getting Along

They talk about how awesome the sex was, Gideon goes into the shower, Eva starts snooping around the room and notices something fishy. Like how they literally just checked into the room, yet it’s full of condoms, sex toys, and Gideon’s clothing.

Whether he had a master key or not, he’d need to know which rooms were occupied before he took one . . . unless he’d known beforehand that this particular room would be empty. Clearly it was his room—a fuck pad outfitted with everything he’d need to have a good time with the women who served that purpose in his life.

Eva gets upset and feels used. Then something remarkable happens: Eva’s troublesome mental health is actually portrayed well. Eva tells us all the damn time that she has issues, but this is the first time she really shows us, and it actually comes across very naturally.

As I dressed, my mind went through the steps I’d learned in therapy: Talk it out. Explain what triggered the negative feelings to your partner. Face the trigger and work through it.
Maybe if I’d been less shaken by the depth of my feelings for Gideon, I could have done all that. Maybe if we hadn’t just had mind-blowing sex, I would have felt less raw and vulnerable. I’d never know. What I felt was slightly dirty, a little bit used, and a whole lot hurt. This particular revelation had hit me with excruciating force, and like a child, I wanted to hurt him back.

Eva behaves irrationally, but understands she’s behaving irrationally. She acknowledges that while she put herself in a situation she knew would present this challenge (Gideon’s womanizing past), and she knows what she’s supposed to do to deal with the challenge, which is extra problematic given her mental health (talk out the trigger), it’s not a challenge her mental health will let her take on right now (“like a child, I wanted to hurt him back”, even though he has no idea he’s hurt her, nor did she really learn anything new that would hurt her; more so she was bluntly faced with a harmful truth she already knew).

I’m actually kind of impressed. It’s a very realistic depiction of this sort of insecurity-based mental health issue, and I can relate to it and, for the first time, actually relate to the character.

I mean, not this exact same situation. Fuck off. You know what I meant.

But Is It Better Than Fifty Shades of Grey?

The couple doing couple stuff? Sucks in both. The sex? Better written in Bared To You.  The main character’s mental health actually making her look human? Better written in Bared To You. Provided we have any idea what she’s talking about.

The Winner This Round: Bared To You

Man, sorry, everyone. I haven’t made a joke in a while. Here’s a silly gif.

bongo-spider


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11 comments

  1. Bellomy Reply

    “Eva gets upset and feels used. Then something remarkable happens: Eva’s troublesome mental health is actually portrayed well.”

    It’s too bad we have no idea why she has these issues yet, right?

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      • Bellomy Reply

        Oh, I agree with you on that. But the fact is there’s that huge elephant in the room. We only realize that this is being portrayed well because the reason she had these mental health issues was leaked to us. This is a MASSIVE problem, because without knowing the root causes Eva looks crazy-now, knowing what the root cause is, of course she isn’t, but instead of this being a very good example of character development it’s a frustrating game of “What’s her problem?”.

        In other news-in this particular example, I’m more cynical than you are. Go figure.

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  2. killashandrafalta Reply

    50 vs. Crossfire… I liked both, but for re-reading… It would be Crossfire every day of the week. Why? English language. By that, I mean that in 50, EL James finds a word and makes it her best friend. For instance… “murmur” or “blanch”. OMG. Blanch is like in every damn sentence. To make this more noticeable, listen to the audio, unabridged version. No, seriously. He murmured, she murmurs, I murmured… Yuck.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      That was the first thing I noticed about Fifty Shades: everyone murmurs all the goddamn time. It must be really hard to hear anyone in this story.

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  3. Pingback: The Master Straight Up Kidnaps Pamela Now: Pamela Part 5 | Bad Books, Good Times

  4. mcferocious Reply

    I LIKE UR BLOG.

    But I wish I’d had more warning that there would be a close-up shot of a spider on the page. I like getting warned about spiders so I can choose not to see the spider.

    I hesitate to call myself an arachnophobe because there are apparently real life people who are reduced to sobbing screaming panic attacks in corners at the sight of a spider photo. In public. At their workplace. (My ex felt so bad for what she accidentally did to that poor bank teller, she was trying to make conversation but now she can NEVER GO BACK TO THAT BANK AGAIN.)

    I’m not that bad, but even just photos of spiders being silly and spidery reduce me to paranoid heebie jeebies for like hours.

    SO THANKS A LOT, MATT. I know you didn’t mean it, and I forgive you for the fact that I now have to arm myself with a zippo and thoroughly check under my chair and table to make sure hostiles aren’t infiltrating my base as I speak. Wish me luck in the battle ahead. If I don’t return from this op, tell my family I liked them okay.

    War never changes.

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  5. mcferocious Reply

    UPDATE: I LOOKED AND THERE WAS A SMALL BUG WITH LOTS OF LEGS SCUTTLING OMINOUSLY ACROSS THE EDGE OF THE TABLE.

    IT TURNED OUT IT WAS SOMETHING GNAT-LIKE AND NOT ACTUALLY A SPIDER BUT I ALREADY PANICKED.

    CANCEL THE ORBITAL STRIKE.

    FOR NOW.

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  6. rantofalifetime Reply

    i was re-reading all the crossfire summaries you guys did to write essay on money and jacob/brett in these twilight-y photocopies when i realized that the thoroughly dry and confabulated summary for skimpy top is a roundabout brag by eva that she has d cup or d cup plus breast we should imagine. oh goddess!

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