Introducing the New PDA–Pubic Displays of Affection: Fifty Shades Freed Chapter 3

If any crazy life-changing things happen between Jan 10 and Jan 14, they will not be mentioned in this post as I am writing this a few days early. On Jan 14 I will be stuck on a four hour coach ride and then a three hour wait in an airport and then a seven to eight hour flight. I apologize if my next few posts are mopey and full of bitterness towards the characters in these books (even more so than usual) as I will be missing boyfriend a lot. It feels very strange to call him that. Perhaps I’ll go back to not-boyfriend and remain in my comfort zone.

On a more important note, does anyone have an apps I should download to pass the time in the airport? Cheap or free games preferably. I’m not a huge angry birds fan, so games like that are meh. I like RPG, word games, simulation and stuff like that.

Chapter 3

The big cliffhanger last week was that Ana had red marks all over her breasts, but I spoiled it for you and told you they were hickeys. So that’s basically where we’re at in the book–Ana is examining the hickeys on her boobs. Disturbingly enough, she comments that she looks like someone who’s been in a bad accident. You know, with the combination of the hickeys and bruises left by the handcuffs.

I examine my ankles—more welts. My wrists have a red welt around them from the handcuffs. No doubt they’ll bruise. Holy hell, I look like I’ve been in some sort of accident. I gaze at myself, trying to absorb how I look. My body is so different these days. It’s changed subtly since I’ve known him . . . I’ve become leaner and fitter, and my hair is glossy and well cut. My nails are manicured, my feet pedicured, my eyebrows threaded and beautifully shaped. For the first time in my life, I’m well groomed—except for these hideous love bites.

There’s so much of this that I’m perplexed by. First, like I said above, Ana’s making observations about how bad her body currently looks and then there’s an abrupt shift into how at least she’s grooming now? Is she trying to tell us that even though she seems horrified by how her body currently looks, it’s still better than it ever was before thanks to Christian’s influence?

It would be hilarious if Ana revealed to us that before meeting Christian she rarely even showered. I’d enjoy that revelation.

 I don’t want to think about grooming at the moment. I’m too mad. How dare he mark me like this, like some teenager.

Grooming is for the light of heart to ponder! Not for those who have received hickeys like a damn teenager!

Ana is furious she won’t be able to wear any more of her expensive bikinis on the trip! Don’t you all hate it when that happens? I bet you also throw hairbrushes and storm off when your significant other gives you boob hickeys and prevents you from wearing a bikini on your bazillion dollar honeymoon. Ana is so relatable.

In fact, Ana is so furious, that on a scale of one to ten, she’s at a fifty! Is this finally the last straw that will tear these two apart? It might seem tiny and stupid, but Christian has constantly tried to control Ana, and maybe this is the straw that breaks the camel’s very stupid, annoying back! Break up, break up, break up!

They make up in five seconds. Doesn’t James get tired of writing the same scene over and over and over again? God knows I’m getting sick of recapping the same scene over and over and over again. If the freaking zombie apocalypse would just happen, this would get way more interesting.

They eat dinner, and then Christian braids Ana’s hair while they eat dessert? She asks him why he always wants to braid her hair. At first, he says something about not wanting her hair to catch in anything, but then he seems to remember something painful, so Ana quickly changes the subject. I wish he would have just said, “So your hair doesn’t get in the food.” Braiding hair while eating crème brulée seems so unhygienic! Hair is super dirty and germy.  Ana ends this brief segment with the eloquence we’ve grown accustomed to:

I crack my spoon through the burnt sugar crust of my dessert and shake my head. Will I ever understand this man? Hmm—this crème brulée is delicious.

I, too, like to have semi-deep thoughts and then punctuate them with thoughts about food. Boyfriend is really kind and wonderful to me–God I want chicken nuggets from the shop down the street. No, seriously, though I’m starving and really want those chicken nuggets. You can get eight for two pounds. RIGHT?!?! A steal.

Then Christian and Ana dance, and nothing more of note happens. They go to have sex, and we don’t get any details. Next thing we know, Ana’s waking up the next morning. I wonder what sort of flashback this day will bring!

This brand new day brings us Ana watching Christian while he shaves, and he makes a joke about shaving her again…which leads into a flashback from their honeymoon (which they’re still on…) about when Ana shaved her pubic hair. But it wasn’t completely to Christian’s liking. I am getting so squirmy right now.

During the flashback, Christian asks Ana why she shaved, and she says something in the contract and that one time Christian took her to the salon he owns made her think that’s what he wanted, and he says he’s delighted. And that he wants to inspect her handiwork. Ana is reluctant, though:

“What? No.” He has to be kidding! I cover myself, protecting my recently deforested area.

I didn’t realize Ana’s pubic hairs were actually trees–I don’t know how Christian tolerated her va-jay-jay before the deforestation. I wonder, though, how this will affect the environment and all the wildlife that was undoubtedly taking up residence there.

Christian’s like, “Ya missed a spot, brb, I have an idea,” and he brings in shaving supplies. This is so bizarre. I would never want anyone to shave down there for me! A professional bikini wax is fine, and I guess a professional shaver (?). I don’t know. Basically I would never want my significant other to do such a thing to me.

What the fuck

Pubic displays of affection not permitted here! Ana’s subconscious seems to feel very similarly to me:

Oh no! My subconscious slams down her Complete Works of Charles Dickens, leaps up from her armchair, and puts her hands on her hips.

Ana’s subconscious is still reading this book? At least EL James is consistent. You know shit is real when Ana’s subconscious puts down the book and puts her hands on her hips.

Christian says he craves intimacy with Ana and shaving her would be intimate. Then he’s like, “Don’t go getting weirded out by me now!” Which I guess is a fair enough point. Once someone’s removed your tampon from you, I guess it’s harder to draw a line.

Ana asks Christian if he’s ever done this before, to which he replies that he hasn’t. Ana is pleased by this, and on the one hand, I understand that relief (imagine hearing: I shave every woman’s pubes!), but on the other hand, I’d also be really nervous! That area is sensitive, y’all!

Back to the present! Christian let’s Ana shave his face. I guess this requires trust as well as she could easily slit is throat (hint hint), but it still doesn’t feel like quite the same level.

Afterwards, they go to a medieval village  to pick out art. God this book is seriously just like a really dull reality show where rich people go do staged activities for the viewer like have staged, boring, over-dramatic fights and do shit like pick out art in a medieval village for a day. Every reality show is like, “Here is our activity for the day. Here is what I’m going to fight with this other person about. It is totally realistic and real, don’t worry!” Fifty Shades has just adapted this formula for fiction instead of television.

Ana buys a stupid painting of peppers that costs a shit ton of money, and then they have lunch. There, Christian answers a question Ana asked earlier but I didn’t mention (why he braids her hair). He tells her he likes to braid her hair because he used to play with his birth mother’s hair or something. This moment would be sweeter if he didn’t say, “I used to play with the crack whore’s hair.” It seems like this was meant to be something he did because it was something that comforted him as a child, but it makes it sound like it was something awful. I get that his past was awful and he’s angry about it, but as Ana points out, he loved his birth mother. And hey, that’s okay, buddy.

There’s a genuinely sweet moment where Ana thinks that she wants Christian as he is and the only thing that she wants to change about him is that he feels loved. Hey, I like that! But I don’t really believe it. She obviously also wants to curb his controlling tendencies and other character flaws, so nice try, Ana.

Ug, and then she has to go beyond this sweet moment and make it gross, ” And it’s not just the allure of his fine, fine face and his body that has me spellbound. It’s what’s behind the perfection that draws me, that calls to me . . . his fragile, damaged soul.” Barf.

Anyway, Christian just gets quiet when Ana suggests he loved his mother, and kind of changes the subject. OH FIFTY WHEN WILL YOU JUST LET THE POWER OF LURRRRVE OVERCOME YOUR TRAUMATIC PAST?!?!?!??!!?!

Then there’s a flashback of Christian giving Ana an expensive bracelet, and it’s really short and unnecessary. It furthers nothing about the plot or their relationship, I assure you.

In the present, Christian inspects Ana’s ankles and admits the marks make him uncomfortable, but Ana assures him she enjoyed what they did, just that she didn’t like the hickeys. Then Christian gets a phone call that their was a fire at the Grey house and that it was probably arson.

The chapter ends with Ana thinking, “What next?” Don’t worry, Ana, probably nothing interesting.



  1. Chuck Reply

    If you’re looking for some addictive free games, I strongly recommend Free Flow and Bridges. You’ll be hooked, trust me.

    I actually bought the e-book version of your FIFTY SHADES Spanknotes so I could have it to read on a plane. Really passes the time. (As I ignore the 10 other books I’ve downloaded but haven’t gotten around to yet.)

      • Mary Reply

        Free Flow is the most addicting game ever! Highly recommend it at well. Also the app Logo Quiz helped pass the time for me once. They give you a picture of a logo and you have to name the company that goes with it. It’s a good time killer.
        Great post too by the way! Made me laugh 🙂

      • 22aer22 Post authorReply

        Thanks for the game suggestions you guys, loved Free Flow! The Logo Quiz game I actually played a little this summer with a friend, good fun!

        D’awwwww thanks Chuck!

  2. bookbaron Reply

    I meant to say here that I have an app called Townsmen that’s a castle building sim. Also the game Phase 10, highly addictive. If you’ve ever played the card game, the app is pretty fun.

    • bookbaron Reply

      Ah let me correct myself. It’s more of a kingdom building sim. Like building a medieval village. It’s a good time waster. Doesn’t take a lot of brain power. And there’s like simple quests and things to up the difficulty.

      • 22aer22 Post authorReply

        I didn’t get a chance to download this before the journey, but I’m definitely going to get to it at some point soon. Sounds like fun!

  3. bookbaron Reply

    P.S. Actually a comment on the chapter you read, I think I remember Gray was buying her the expensive bracelets to cover up the welts on her wrists. Because he was afraid other people might see them. And Ana was like “No I’m proud of them…” or something. Iunno, I was half awake while reading that part. It got really dull with the art gallery stuff. But yeah… I just remember being really bothered by that scene.

    Not as much as the “shaving” scene but I digress. It was a little on the “abusive boyfriend trying to cover his tracks by claiming girlfriend fell down the stairs” side.

    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      He is so abusive!! How do many women not see this?! Urrrrg you’re so right. I guess I’m just becoming numb to his ways or something, but my eyes definitely glazed over for that bit.

  4. biancaeb Reply

    Great post, and great description about how boring these two are akin to a staged reality show, I agree! And I suggest Jumbline for a game you might like, it’s a word jumble game I love 😀

    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      It took me awhile to figure out what the book reminds me of, but when it clicked I was like, “How did I not see it before!”

      I love word jumble games! I will definitely give it a go 🙂

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  6. Irish Skye Reply

    Bruises, you say? Well, then that might be why BDSM COUPLES DON’T USE “REAL” HANDCUFFS! Jesus, ELJ, research your fucking material, would you?? She’s a font of old cliches and adages; how does she NOT know the one about “write what you know”? And if you are not going to write what you know, if you are going to make up a world all your own like Tolkien or George R. R. Martin or Terry L. Brooks, for God’s sake, THINK IT THROUGH and make sure it’s believable on some level so your readers can relate! Jeez, these books make me so freaking mad. But I love the humor in your posts and in Matthew’s and I thank you so much for this blog.

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  8. Nunyabizz Reply

    “There, Christian answers a question Ana asked earlier but I didn’t mention (why he braids her hair).”

    ~ Actually, you DID mention it earlier:

    “They eat dinner, and then Christian braids Ana’s hair while they eat dessert? She asks him why he always wants to braid her hair. At first, he says something about not wanting her hair to catch in anything, but then he seems to remember something painful, so Ana quickly changes the subject.”


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