Chapter 17 of 50 Shades aka Anastasia Steele and the No Sex At All

Remember back in chapter 16 when I assured you (and myself) that we could finally dive into the creamy centre of all that steamy kinky sex, now that the contract was finalised? Well, I was wrong. There is no sex is this chapter. At all. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

The chapter begins with Ana dreaming that she is a moth flying into flames. I see what you did there. Subtle. Ana didn’t know she could dream sex, well I didn’t know you could dream clichés.

Ana wakes to find that Christian is still there. She is mildly surprised. Christian wakes up and is also surprised when he finds that he is in bed with Ana. Ok guys, did you figure the bed fairy was going to float you back to your separate beds while you slept?

 

Did I just ruin Fairly Odd Parents for you? I just ruined it for me?

Apparently they did expect a visit from the alarm clock fairy, because Christian looks at the time and realises he’s late for an 8 am meeting. I call bullshit. Seriously. We are supposed to believe that he’s a billionaire who can fly his own helicopter, but he can’t set an alarm on his cell phone? It’s pretty self-explanatory. Even I know how to do it.

Christian rushes off to work, promising to email her a time for the signing of the official contract, and then we launch into another gripping, sexy round of (you guessed it) email – twenty in all. Twenty. Twenty long, rambling, boring emails.

Ana tells Christian that she enjoyed the sex and spanking, but it made her feel bad about herself. He tells her she needs to get over herself, that she’s an adult, and that she could have used one of the safe words, or just left. Yes. Yes she could. But then she couldn’t be all overdramatic and feel sorry for herself.

Ana then goes to work – it’s her last day! I don’t care! And neither does anyone else! Christian, like the creepy-creeper-who-creeps that he is, has a blackberry delivered to her at work. So he can always contact her everywhere she goes. And so he can track her movements – something he has already admitted to doing with her old phone. Ooooh baby, are you as turned on as I am? I.e. not at all? I thought so.

 

So, of course, Ana hates the Blackberry. She hates every gift Christian gives her. She uses it to call him a stalker and suggest he get some therapy (ever notice how the word ‘therapist’ breaks down into ‘the rapist’? You will now). Or, you know, thank you, as we sometimes say. Don’t they make a great couple?  She wants to be an overdramatic bitch and he wants to beat somebody: it’s a match made in Heaven. Or wherever broken weirdo matches are made. Hell? Albany? I don’t know.

Then Ana goes home, and lords her new car over her roommate, Kate. The same car she was furious at Christian for buying. And that she initially refused to accept. Kate and Ana have Chinese take-out with Jose, and then Kate’s boyfriend shows up. Ana and Jose excuse themselves and head out to the local bar to give Kate and her boyfriend some alone time. When they get back Ana checks her phone to find five missed calls and a voicemail from Christian.

She returns his call and they get into a game of you-hang-up-first. Seriously. Literally. They say those words to each other. I don’t think E. L. James knows Americans as well as she thinks she does.

Then we travel forward in time (thankfully) to miss Kate and Ana moving into their new apartment. We find them settled in and ready to relax. A delivery boy shows up, and of course it’s from Christian, who is now sending a bottle of champagne and a helicopter balloon. Ana gets a huge rush out of explaining to Kate that Christian has a helicopter, and flies it himself. I’m just gonna be totally frank here: Ana is just a bad person. She is so unlikeable, I find myself hoping she’ll choke to death on the champagne.

Finally, mercifully, it’s Sunday, big bad contract signing day. Ana meets Christian at his penthouse (in those millions of emails he did specify a time). Christian reminds Ana he has hired a doctor to examine her and provide some birth control. Wow. That is soooo not creepy. At all. It’s even not-creepier that he tells her he’d pay good money to watch her examination, but he doesn’t think that’s appropriate. Luckily we are spared the filthy, sexy gyno appointment because that’s where chapter 17 ends.

You tell ’em Zoidberg. So its onward and upward to Chapter 18, and one sincerely hopes, some of the sexy, sexy sex that these books are so famous for. But I doubt it.

Chapter 16 of 50 Shades of Grey takes it to 11 on the Facepalmeter

Oh my god it sucks it sucks it sucks! I’ve had a lot of trouble with this chapter because it sucks so badly that it isn’t even funny anymore. It’s like a giant sucking bog of suckiosity.

So, the contract has been finalised. Now we can get down to all the hot sexy, sex. Right? Right?!

Sigh.

Wrong.

Chapter 16 opens with our crappy couple having just had sex. Christian gets up to leave and tells Ana that he’ll have the revised contract ready for signing on Sunday. Since he’s having normal sex with her until she signs the thing, Ana realises that she can string Christian along if she just doesn’t sign.

Ana proceeds to say this out loud. Christian tells her that he won’t be able to control himself, and in fact will kidnap her and hold her hostage until she signs. Kinda negates the consent, wouldntcha say? But sweet, sweet, special Ana thinks this is sooper hawt! He then threatens TPE 24/7. Ana responds with this bit if sexy dialogue:

“’You’ve lost me,” I breathe, my heart pounding…’”

I think Ana suffers from Sexlexia. It’s a tragic affliction.

Dangit! My link’s broken. Grrrr….

He explains what that means and then Ana rolls her eyes at Christian, and all Aitch-Eee-Double-Hockey-Sticks breaks loose. Way back in the last chapter (which I’ve tried my level best to forget aided by intense therapy and large amounts of alcohol) Christian promised Ana that he would punish her if she rolled her eyes at him again. So, good to his word he proceeds to spank her soundly and send her to bed. Sexy, sexy bed. Apparently the signing is just a formality after all.

It’s as bad as it sounds. It really is. He hits her eighteen times. Eighteen. Then they have sex. Ana calls it demeaning, and sexy, and hot. Yes. Because demeaning and hot are so easy to mix up. She’s a bear of very little brain, you see.

Still, she’s not very happy about the whole situation, but she isn’t quite sure why. She literally thinks, “I don’t understand.” Sensing a theme here?  Because I am. She then proceeds to call herself a whore inside her own head. Because what kind of girl would she be if she had kinky, kinky sex, and just enjoyed it for its own sake? A whore apparently. It’s like E. L. James thinks that being dumb and confused and unwilling makes her a better grade of woman than the ones Christian has been screwing up until now. It doesn’t. It makes her a chump. A chump who’s having sex with a man who she really wishes was somebody else.

She sees him out, and then calls her mother to whine. Ana gives her mother a made-up sob story, so she can still feel sorry for her, but break the NDA. Ana’s mom invites her to come home for a visit to get some space and think about it.

Then Kate gets home. Ana promptly lies about hurting herself – the sign of a healthy relationship I’m sure. Kate is furious (like a normal person) that Ana is so upset. For about ten seconds. Until Ana distracts Kate by asking how her night went. E. L. James’ world is, apparently, filled with objectionable, self-centred jerks.

Ana excuses herself to her room, and then we’re off again for another rousing round of email! They argue over selling Ana’s old car, and Christian threatens to beat her again. He tells Ana, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

Ooooooooh! I get it! He’s the Incredible Hulk! It all makes so much sense now. Hulk mad! Hulk fuck pretty girl!

She then tells Christian she doesn’t like him, because he keeps leaving after the sex. She closes her computer and has a good cry. Then to make things even better Christian shows up and yells at Kate before barging into Ana’s room. He’s mad because she said she was OK, and she obviously isn’t. For no reason that he can figure out. We’ve got a couple of Einsteins here, eh?

Long, boring story short, he stays the night even though he has vowed never to do this. See? Crazy, ditzy, unwilling sex girl wins the man, where willing, consensual partner couldn’t. It’s the feel creepy story of the year!

This chapter really takes it to 11 on the facepalmeter. Will they finally make with the binding and the whipping in the next chapter? Or will we be treated to another score of pages filled with email and tears? I wish I didn’t have to find out.

Chapter 15 of Fifty Shades of Grey is More Boring Than it Ought to Be

what males think about 50 shades of grey

I feel your pain Gaston, I feel your pain.

Chapter 15 of Fifty Shades of Grey should be good, but it isn’t. Ana and Christian get together to negotiate the terms of the BDSM agreement. So here I am expecting lots of heated discussion about limits and safe words and just exactly what all this bondage stuff might involve. But what I get is chapter 15. Back in chapter 14, Ana agreed to the contract (subject to negotiations of course) in the middle of her graduation reception. Now, in chapter 15 Ana is ‘unbearably shy’ when Christian shows up at her house to “finalise the contract”.

Right out of the starting gate they engage in some very British innuendo that I actually had to look up, even though I’ve seen and read quite a lot of British cultural products. Christian shows up with champagne, and says, “Nothing beats a good Bollinger.”

Dictionarydb.com defines it thusly:

“n., a noticeable bulge in the front of a man’s pants, comprised of the p*nis, testicles, or both, that causes onlookers of both s*xes extreme discomfort, especially in a public setting.”

Here’s a pro tip: jokes aren’t funny if your target audience has to Google them.

Way back in chapter I-can’t-be-bothered-to-look-it-up Christian bought Ana some super expensive first edition books. Ana decides now is the time for her to tell Christian that they make her feel like a high class prostitute. Which she is. But she doesn’t want to feel that way. Cue eye rolling…now. Christian then chides Ana for thinking too much. She barely thinks at all! Obviously. Or she wouldn’t be here.

Also, for his own crazy reasons Christian insists on knowing what Ana eats. She tells him she had a three course meal before he arrived, and then she rolls her eyes. Christian grabs her chin, and threatens to spank her if she ever does that again. Ana thinks this is super hawt! Maybe it would be if you were the child of an absent dad and an emotionally distant mum who had a string of boyfriends, one of whom you had a weird attachment to even though he wasn’t really your father…oh wait. That’s this book sorted, then.

So, where were we? The contract negotiation. Christian feeds Ana champagne during the whole thing. Because that’s not creepy and manipulative at all. Bleh.

They finally start talking about the contract. Christian is totally willing to do anything in the list. His no-nos are already off limits and apparently not negotiable. No one mentions them. She says no fisting and he’s OK with that. She says no to anal intercourse, and he’s not OK. But then he tells her they’d have to work up to it anyway – that you can’t just have anal intercourse without working up to it. Guess what plebs? You can. You really, really can. So whatever.

Ana agrees to all the sex toys and the various types of bondage. She is drunk after all. They agree to forego suspension because Christian thinks they won’t have time for that anyway. Ana says no to genital clamps and Christian is OK with that too because, “it’s caning that hurts the most.” So as long as they keep the most painful stuff, he’s totally willing to throw her a bone.

Yeah, I just said that. You can’t stop me.

Some negotiation, eh? Ana ought to do this professionally. She could have that Middle East crisis solved in minutes. She’d just get drunk and agree to whatever the other side wanted. Awesome. Contract concluded.

Then Christian decides that they will discuss one more thing before they repair to the bedchamber for a thorough rogering. He announces that one night a week, they will play at being a normal couple. Ana is shocked and thrilled. And apparently totally believes it. She’s a little bit dumb. Have I mentioned that?

But! There’s a  condition. He’ll only play happy couples if Ana agrees to accept a new car. Ana is furious. For a minute. She suddenly remembers that he was only adopted into money, so he can’t possibly know how incredibly insulting this is. He means well, she thinks (if you can call it thinking), he just doesn’t know any better. Yeah baby. If that’s what it takes to get you through the night. Ana agrees to keep the car as a loaner. Not a gift. Because that’s soooo different.

Now it’s Christian’s turn to be furious. What a great couple! He threatens to rape her on the car for not accepting his gift properly. Sweet! Why is he still single? Apparently this is also sooper hawt and they repair to the bedroom for some surprisingly boring sex. I mean, a good time is had by all, but except for a little pinchy-pinchy there isn’t any of the BDSM that this book is supposed to be famous for.

I have to say I am more than a little bored with this crap. I was promised naughty, naughty sex,  and so far there has been zilch. Will chapter 16 be better? Now that they have got the contract sorted they can bring on the kink, right? Nothing but hot leather-clad, whips and chains action right? I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.