Christian Comes for Team USA. No, I Don’t Know What That Means Either: Grey Chapter 23

Grey: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Grey takes an alarming turn and starts with a sex dream instead of a nightmare. It’s exactly the kind of shocking twist you’d expect from Grey this late in the game.

We’re fucking. Fucking hard. Against the bathroom door. She’s mine. I bury myself in her, again and again. Glorying in her: the feel of her, her smell, her taste. Fisting my hand in her hair, holding her in place. Holding her ass. Her legs wrapped around my waist. She cannot move; she’s pinioned by me. Wrapped around me like silk. Her hands pulling my hair. Oh yes. I’m home, she’s home. This is the place I want to be…inside her…

Can we all please just collectively agree to retire “bury” from our erotic vocabulary once and for all? I find it so repulsive in a sexual content. Burying yourself in your work? Fine, whatever. But a penis is not a small animal burying itself in a hole, okay? Ew. Just ew. It’s like how a moist vagina is gross to think about but a moist cake sounds on point.

I’m too focussed on “bury” to even worry about “glorying in her,” but I clocked it and I will be putting a vote to eliminate that next, okay?

She’s by the door. Her face white, shocked and sad, and she’s silently drifting away…The door has disappeared, and she won’t stop. She holds out her hands in entreaty. Join me, she whispers, but she’s moving backward, getting fainter…disappearing before my eyes…vanishing…she’s gone. No! I shout. No! But I have no voice. I have nothing. I’m mute. Mute…again.

I wake, confused.

The ghost of Anastasia’s love may have confused Christian, but she also gave him a wet dream to remember.

Hell! I’m a sticky mess. Briefly I feel that long-forgotten but familiar sense of fear and exhilaration—but Elena doesn’t own me now.

Jesus H. Christ, I’ve come for Team USA. This hasn’t happened to me since I was, what? Fifteen, sixteen?

Forget that Christian had a wet dream and that alone is hilarious (in fact Matthew was incredibly jealous that I had this in my chapter and he didn’t), what the fuck does coming for Team USA mean? I don’t for a second believe this is a response anyone would have to a wet dream no matter what their personality is. A hilarious jokester wouldn’t say it. A serious businessman wouldn’t say it. A confused man with amnesia wouldn’t say it. WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

I lie back in the darkness, disgusted with myself. I drag my T-shirt off and wipe myself down. There’s semen everywhere. I find myself smirking in the darkness, despite the dull ache of loss.

Ah, yes, the infamous smirk of post-wet dream disgust. I’m so disgusted by myself…but high five, bro. You bagged a hot chick in yo mind. 

We interrupt this hilarious, flawless scene to bring you another horrific nightmare from Christian! And then his morning run to try to forget the nightmare! Also, Christian is sad because Ana, so stalking.

Her building looks gloomy; it’s still in shadow, untouched by the early-morning sun. Fitting. It reflects my mood.

HER BUILDING IS NOT ABOUT YOU, CHRISTIAN. I bet you think this building’s about you, ’bout you don’t youuuuuu?

I hope to God that she’s sleeping alone up there. I envisage her curled up on her white iron bed, a small ball of Ana. Is she dreaming of me? Do I give her nightmares? Has she forgotten me?

Hasn’t it only been two days? If Ana were a goldfish or Drew Barrymore from 50 First Dates, this concern would be legitimate.

This is too much. Pulling my hood up and leaning against the granite wall, I’m hidden in the doorway of the building opposite. The awful thought crosses my mind that I might be standing here in a week, a month…a year? Watching, waiting, just to catch a glimpse of the girl who used to be mine. It’s painful. I’ve become what she’s always accused me of being—her stalker.

It counts as character development that Christian acknowledges that he is actually a stalker because my standards are increasingly low. It worries me that Super Busy Businessman Christian Grey is worried that in a year he’ll have nothing better to do than jog outside Ana’s building, comparing it to his emotional state.

A brief, weird scene where Mrs. Jones gives Christian and omelette he didn’t tell her to make. This is given the significance of something that is significant.

A brief, boring scene where Ros is concerned about Christian because he can’t focus on the biz. Shouldn’t she have been worried when he couldn’t focus on business for the entirety of the book? Also, a reminder that Christian is still going to buy SIP, the company Ana is working for. However, according to the laws of stalking, because he acknowledged he is a stalker, it’s cool that he’s doing this.

Christian talks to his therapist Flynn, who gives Christian an inspirational, therapeutic pep-talk about how he should try things Ana’s way. He tells Christian how amazing and special he is, which seems like a bit of a stretch.

Christ—all the firsts I experienced with her: the first girl I’d slept beside, the first virgin, the first to meet my family, the first to fly in Charlie Tango, the first I took soaring.

“The first virgin.” These are not the words of a special man.

Christian realizes what he’s realized repeatedly for the entire book. ANA IS SPECIAL AND HE MISSES HER.


If you realize this almost every chapter in a book, chances are we already know that this is the case.

“Do you want to be with her?”

Be with Ana? 

What…what a strange and new concept. Be…with…Ana…

“Yes,” I whisper.

A gut-wrenching and unexpected revelation for the ages.

Later, Christian stands on his balcony and vows to get Ana back, the moonlight as his witness!



  1. notlaurie Reply

    Maybe “came for team USA” is a reference to the fact that Elena is from another country, maybe, I dunno? But then that means he’s never been aroused by an American woman? I think it means E.L. James wrote this book all in one sitting and even she’s starting to tire at this point.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      I feel grateful that you’re trying to think of something, anything, it could mean. My husband and I debated it for a good 15 minutes last night and couldn’t come to any real conclusion except that if you have to think this hard about it, it’s a terrible phrase and not as clever as James probably thought it was.

      The writing the book in one sitting conclusion feels pretty accurate as well.

  2. Kaymia Reply

    I was really hoping that “came for Team USA” was some sort of weird inside joke that is only known to British people but somehow EL James assumes everyone would know (see: assumption that CCTV exists broadly in Seattle). However, if you are stumped, my only conclusion is that “Team USA” was the biggest group of people that EL James could think of to use in her description of how much semen we’re dealing with here. Maybe it was a thinly veiled jab at how many athletes Team USA sends to international events?

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Hahahaha. What seemed to be a throw-away sentence was actually a huge statement! The political consequences will reverberate for years to come.

      I wish James would do another ask the author so we could find out for sure.

  3. babysteps22 Reply

    Why,why, WHY are we still reading this book? ?? He’s probably just confused, the therapist should have used words like ‘Do you want to bury yourself in Ana till the end of time so that she doesn’t forget you (obviously)?’ instead of ‘be with Ana’.

  4. E.H.Taylor Reply

    The thing that worries me the most is that he’s planning his stalking a year down the road. I mean, normal people would recognize that a year down the road they’ll have probably moved on. But not Christian. He’s planning to still be standing in the shadows across from Ana’s building in order to watch her go about her day. But even that is not enough to clue him in that he wants an actual relationship with her…

    Please tell me we’re almost done with this book (which I’ve only been on board for for three chapters)! My head can only hit the desk so many times before there’s permanent damage.

  5. readlikebreathing Reply

    ugggggh WHY DID THIS SEEM LIKE A GOOD IDEA?! WHO WANTS TO READ ABOUT SEMEN?! also ana is boring. how could someone ever feasibly be THIS obsessed with anyone so basic.

  6. bookbaron Reply

    It’s painful. I’ve become what she’s always accused me of being—her stalker.

    Huh. So he only becomes a stalker in his mind when he’s no longer dating her… Except he did this before he dated her too sooooo I don’t know how this man’s mind works.

  7. Robin Tachoir Reply

    My only guess for the team USA comment is it is an acronym? Unintended Semen Appearance? Unexpected Sperm Abandonment? Unapproved Sperm Abstersion? I’m assuming some urban dictionary out there has I ridiculously simple acronym I’m not thinking of… Any thoughts anyone?


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