Thursday, June 12, 2014

Let's Read Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 18!

It's baaaaaack.



When we last saw our heroes, Stud BeefThud had arranged a really weird gynecologist exam for Ana at his house, because he is rich in the creepiest possible way.

Content warnings for this chapter: Emotional and physical abuse, as always.  Casual misogyny.  Graphic BDSM and sex--I guess I'm pretty inconsistent in warning for that, because that applies to my entire blog and much of my life, but anyway, there's some in here.


Dr. Greene is tall, blond, and immaculate, dressed in a royal blue suit. I’m reminded of the women who work in Christian’s office. She’s like an identikit model – another Stepford blonde.
I think Ana/E.L. might have some issues with other women.  Just minor little ones.  Like repeatedly talking about how blonde women remind her of soulless identical sexbots.
“Thank you for coming at such short notice,” Christian says. “Thank you for making it worth my while, Mr. Grey. [...] Well Miss Steele. Mr. Grey is paying me a small fortune to attend to you."
This is not the behavior of "the best gynecologist in Seattle."  This is the gynecologist in Seattle who is most deeply in debt to the Mob.
After a thorough examination and lengthy discussion, Dr. Greene and I decide on the mini pill. She writes me a pre-paid prescription and instructs me to pick them up tomorrow. I love her no-nonsense attitude – she has lectured me until she’s as blue as her dress about taking it at the same time every day. And I can tell she’s burning with curiosity about my so-called relationship with Mr. Grey.
Taking this paragraph one sentence at a time: There's no such thing as a prepaid prescription.  How do you turn "it's important to take it at the same time every day" into a long lecture?  I don't think a gynecologist is going to be fascinated by the scandalous possibility that one of her patients has sex.
"She said that I had to abstain from all sexual activity for the next four weeks.” Christian’s mouth drops open in shock, and I cannot keep a straight face any longer and grin at him like an idiot. “Gotcha!” 
He narrows his eyes, and I immediately stop laughing. In fact, he looks rather forbidding. Oh shit. My subconscious quails in the corner as all the blood drains from my face, and I imagine him putting me across his knee again. “Gotcha!” he says and smirks.
See, her joke was funny because he wants to have sex with her, and his joke was funny because she never knows when he's going to beat her! They're two funny people!
“Do you want to do this?” he breathes, looking down at me intently. “I haven’t signed anything.” “I know – but I’m breaking all the rules these days.”
Somebody missed the lesson on Saying You're An Asshole Doesn't Actually Make It Okay To Be An Asshole.

It's weird how often people get away with this socially.  Like, apparently if you're a jerk that's bad, but if you go "ha ha, I know I'm such a jerk," then it's adorably self-deprecating and therefore okay.  Except it's really not.  It's just a way to say "if you call me a jerk I won't listen or change anything, because I have fully accepted this horrible, horrible part of my personality."
“Are you going to hit me?” “Yes, but it won’t be to hurt you. I don’t want to punish you right now. If you’d caught me yesterday evening, well, that would have been a different story.” Holy cow. He wants to hurt me… how do I deal with this? I can’t hide the horror on my face.
If he's angry he wants to hit her, but if he's not angry, he also wants to hit her!  It's just an endless fountain of hit!  If only we could point him at a turbine instead of a terrified unwilling partner, we could finally have a sustainable energy source!
“Don’t let anyone try and convince you otherwise, Anastasia. One of the reasons people like me do this is because we either like to give or receive pain. It’s very simple. You don’t, so I spent a great deal of time yesterday thinking about that.”
"I spent a great deal of time thinking about how you don't enjoy pain, and I came to the conclusion that this is incompatible with me getting everything I want, so I decided to ignore it.  Aren't I dreamy?"

One of the many nasty things about this book is that it acknowledges that kinky women exist, but much like blonde women, they blend into a homogenous morass of not-quite-humanity.  Vader ThorpYelm's past submissives don't have any names or distinguishing features, they're just "the fifteen," and Ana and Kent ForksFife always talk about them like there's something cheap and dirty about the fact that they might've actually enjoyed playing with him.

(Then again, three months ago this guy was probably telling some poor woman "you're special, you're not like the fourteen...")
My inner goddess is spinning like a world-class ballerina, pirouette after pirouette.
Source: Ballerina Dalek blog. I love the internet.
He unclasps my bra and then taking both straps, he slowly pulls them down my arms, brushing my skin with his fingers and the tip of his thumbnails as he slides my bra off. His touch sends shivers down my spine, waking every nerve ending in my body. He’s standing behind me, so close that I feel the heat radiating from him, warming me, warming me all over. He pulls my hair so it’s all hanging down my back, grasps a handful at my nape, and angles my head to one side. [...] Pulling my hair behind me, to my surprise, he starts braiding it in one large braid, his fingers fast and deft. He ties it with an unseen hair tie when he’s finished and gives it a quick tug so I’m forced back against him.
Well, that was unexpected.  EXTREME BDSM HAIR BRAIDING.  I like how the author describes it really quickly, so we don't have time to think about him standing there for like fifteen minutes twiddling with her hair.
“I’m going to chain you now, Anastasia. Give me your right hand.” I give him my hand. He turns it palm up, and before I know it, he swats the center with a riding crop I hadn’t noticed is in his right hand. It happens so quickly that the surprise hardly registers.
Ow!  God damn it!  Don't do that!  Seriously, even if the person you're playing with is into being cropped, don't spring it on them like it's a freaking prank.  That does not encourage them to give you their hand in the future.
 He takes my elbow and moves me to beneath the grid. He reaches up and takes down some shackles with black leather cuffs.“This grid is designed so the shackles move across the grid.” I glance up. Holy shit – it’s like a subway map.
You mean like one of these things?
I spent 45 minutes googling "playground slidey thing but I don't mean a slide."
...Actually, that's kind of a cool idea.  I hate to give E.L. James credit for anything, but I might someday use that idea.
This is beyond fascinating, beyond erotic. It’s singularly the most exciting and scary thing I’ve ever done. I’m entrusting myself to a beautiful man who, by his own admission, is fifty shades of fucked-up. I suppress the brief thrill of fear. Kate and Elliot, they know I’m here.
See, for me, I know a date is going well when I don't spend a lot of time thinking about will alert the police if I go missing.

(Safe calls are a good idea, actually.  But this is less "I have people watching out for me, that's nice" and more "at least they have a place to start the missing person investigation.")
Uncoiling from the floor, rising lazily, like a jungle cat, he points the end of the riding crop at my navel, leisurely circling it – tantalizing me. At the touch of the leather, I quiver and gasp. He walks round me again, trailing the crop around the middle of my body. On his second circuit, he suddenly flicks the crop, and it hits me underneath my behind… against my sex.
Oh good, it wasn't officially a bad romance novel until someone called a vulva a "sex."
With one thrust, he’s inside me, and I cry out again, listening to his muffled moan at my ear. My arms are resting on his shoulders as he thrusts into me. Jeez, it’s deep this way. He thrusts again and again, his face at my neck, his harsh breathing at my throat. I feel the build up again. Jeez no… not again… I don’t think my body will with-stand another earth-shattering moment.
She always seems so unhappy about her orgasms.  "This guy hits me, which I hate, but I put up with it because he has sex with me... which I also kind of hate."
“Well done, baby,” he murmurs. “Did that hurt?” “No,” I breathe. I can barely keep my eyes open. Why am I so tired? “Did you expect it to?” he whispers as he holds me close, his fingers pushing some escaped tendrils of hair off my face. “Yes.” “You see most of your fear is in your head, Anastasia.”
Yes, but the reason it got in her head is because of the umpty-zillion times you've done things that did hurt her.

Then they have a bunch more sex in this chapter, but I never know what to write about the sex scenes.  They're not hot to me but they're not interestingly bad. It's just a bunch of thrusting and a bunch of Ana screaming in her head about how this is the best ever and also the worst ever.  But mostly the worst.

60 comments:

  1. "It's weird how often people get away with this socially. Like, apparently if you're a jerk that's bad, but if you go "ha ha, I know I'm such a jerk," then it's adorably self-deprecating and therefore okay. Except it's really not. It's just a way to say "if you call me a jerk I won't listen or change anything, because I have fully accepted this horrible, horrible part of my personality."

    I call this the Littlefinger Tactic (thanks Game of Thrones).

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    1. oh my gosh "littlefinger tactic" sounds like your pinky is up someone's butt

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    2. not that there's anything wrong with that

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    3. I dunno I find my thumb usually gets the job done better but I mean it's up to you

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    4. Howard BannisterJune 17, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      I used to say this, the "I'm such a jerk" thing, and what it meant for me was actually "I have anger and stuff that I don't know how to deal with and I have no idea what to do about it."

      And I'm a lot better these days, after a lot of therapy and alone time and personal growth.

      Which is to say, yeah, it's a way of excusing that part of themselves. And it doesn't really matter if they're excusing it because they want to or because they don't know any other way. It means it's going to be coming back, and on the regular.

      As a very wise person said... when somebody tells you who they are... BELIEVE THEM.

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  2. "I love her no-nonsense attitude – she has lectured me until she’s as blue as her dress about taking it at the same time every day."

    I just spent five minutes trying to imagine how someone can project a "no-nonsense attitude" by going on and on about a single obvious point until they're blue in the face, but I failed.

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    1. With some patients, you just get the sense that things need to be explained *very* carefully...

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  3. I took it to mean that Dr. Greene was "burning with curiosity" not about Ana's sex life in general, but about the implication she was having sex with the doctor's wealthy blackmail... er.. benefactor, Dense Meatstack. The implication being she'd like to fuck him herself. Which, assuming he's aware of that, makes his insistence that Ana see this gyno one of one of the weirdest power trips ever: "No I won't have sex with you, but I'll let you examine the vaginas I do have sex with."

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    1. Christ on a bike, that's certainly a new spin on it.

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    2. One of the running themes of these stupid books is that Ana firmly believes that literally every woman in existence (but especially the blonde ones) desperately wants to fuck her boyfriend. Old, young, gay, straight, single, married, doesn't matter - every woman in the world is a threat who wants to steal her man. (This is clearly meant to demonstrate that Christian is the sexiest man alive, but mostly just demonstrates that Ana is a psychotically jealous weirdo who hates other women.) Given that Christian appears to agree with her evaluation of his irresistibility, I think that's actually pretty much what that scene is supposed to indicate. Romantic, huh? Sigh.

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    3. On the other side of things, there's also this weird contradictory theme that about 75% of the men in Ana's life want to have sex with her, yet she says she's with Christian because she believes no one else would ever want her.

      ...Okay, that isn't necessarily contradictory, but I guess I'd rather perceive it as a writing logic failure than deal with the "this is what has become of her self-esteem" implications head-on.

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    4. Now now. It's not just to demonstrate that Christian is the sexiest man alive, but also to demonstrate that ANA HAS WON FOREVER OVER ALL WOMEN BUT ESPECIALLY THOSE BLONDE BITCHES, who must look on helplessly as the object of their desire has chosen a BRUNETTE, so hah!

      (Oy.)

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  4. Don't you begin masochism gently with a first-timer, maybe a few firm taps to the butt and work up from there, rather than just going straight for the vulva with a riding crop????????????

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    1. That would probably be a good idea, but the whole thing's a moot point when she's clearly not a masochist anyway and would be happier being a zero-timer.

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    2. Well, yeah, but my main reaction to that part was "fucking oww".

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  5. Read through these today. You are pretty much the best. I love your comments. Thank you so much.

    You also kinda helped me see that I am pretty sure I am maybe in an abusive relationship. (I used lots of qualifiers incase I am wrong). Thank you for that too.

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    1. I'm sorry. I mean, I'm glad I could help you, but I'm sorry you said "am" instead of "was." Stay safe.

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    2. I also hope you'll be safe. I'd like to offer the thought that a relationship doesn't have to be officially certified "abusive" to be taken seriously. If it's hurting you and making you unhappy then that's already a major problem and you deserve better.

      This Scarleteen thread may help if you're unsure:
      http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/37/t/000003.html

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    3. ^^ Ditto to this. There's no checklist of specific actions they have to commit before the relationship becomes officially abusive. You don't need a "good enough" reason to be unhappy in a relationship or to justify wanting it to stop, if that is something you want. And even if you did need that, I would think that the other person making you feel unhappy more than you're okay with is plenty good enough.

      I spent a lot of time at one point trying to decide if a relationship I had could be called abusive enough, to the point that it was actually a relief in some ways when the other person just unambiguously hit me; something that I could label as "abusive - not okay" without second-guessing myself or making excuses for them. But ten years on... none of it was okay. Making me feel bad about myself wasn't okay, shoving me wasn't okay, making me constantly afraid of what might happen if they got angry so that I was always focused on preventing that wasn't okay. And I eventually decided that "abusive" or not didn't matter; *not okay* was good enough for me, you know?

      As the others said, I hope you stay safe.

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    4. Yes, so important - shamelessly jacking from Dear Sugar, wanting to leave is enough.

      I stayed in a bad relationship (not physically abusive, but very unhealthy) for way too long because I didn't think it was "that bad"so I felt stupid leaving. I'm happily single now.

      Good luck and be safe.

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  6. On making use of "humor" to cover bad behavior:

    'If a man simply lets others pay for him, he is "mean"; if he boasts of it in a jocular manner and twits his fellows with having been scored off, he is no longer "mean" but a comical fellow." - C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters (1942)

    At least humans are consistent?

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  7. Wait, did some time elapse between the medical exam and the sex scene, or is she doing PIV intercourse the very same day she got a prescription for the pill? She knows it doesn't instantly start working, right? Or did Dr. Greene forget to mention that in her lecture on "take this at exactly the same time every day or thou shalt surely die"?

    Come on, Dr. Greene. Your patient is Ana Steele, the only person in the world who can try to find porn on the Internet and fail. I hope you explained that the pills go in her mouth, or on her next exam you're going to find she's shoved them all into her urethra.

    (Also, "gynecologist on the payroll of the guy who's fucking her patient" is perhaps the single creepiest thing in this book, and this book is about a serial rapist.)

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    1. Well, having your partner pay your medical bills is fairly innocuous in and of itself, but in this case ... I imagine patient privacy isn't being strictly adhered to.

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    2. Yeah I think picking your partner's gynecologist crosses a line all of its own.

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    3. There's a scenario where it could be innocuous--"Oh, I hear Dr. X is really good if you don't already have a GYN, and since contraception should be both of our responsibility, I'll pay for the appointment."

      However, at the point where you give your partner absolutely no choice in the matter and insist the doctor see your partner secretly in your house while you leer about how it's going to be a sexy sex exam... you've crossed so many lines I can't even count them individually.

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  8. "Well, that was unexpected. EXTREME BDSM HAIR BRAIDING. I like how the author describes it really quickly, so we don't have time to think about him standing there for like fifteen minutes twiddling with her hair."
    Completely minor quibble, but if you know what you're doing, and especially if you don't mind if it's totally smooth and perfect, it is possible to braid hair pretty quickly. Like... okay, I have to try this. *fires up stopwatch app*
    I can go from ponytail to braid in about 45 seconds, and my hair comes down to my waist.
    So there's still the question of why he thinks pulling her around by a braid instead of a ponytail is important enough to bother with (and why he has so much practice braiding?) but it's not totally implausible.

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    1. Whoa. Okay, I'm impressed. When I had long hair I braided it sometimes and it took, like, ten minutes minimum. Clearly I was never in the elite league.

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    2. If he was, you know, a normal person, I would not find that strange. I would just assume he wants to caress her hair. In that case it would not matter how long it takes. (I once had a crush on a man with beautiful hair. If I could have offered to braid it, I would have, just so I could touch it. And also because he would have looked even more lovely with his hair braided.)

      But yeah, why a sadistic asshole would take the time to braid his partners hair is a different question.

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    3. He later uses it as a handle to yank her around by. I don't know why he couldn't do this with a ponytail or just a fistfull of hair, though. But apparently only a braid would do.

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    4. Cliff, I think this depends on hair texture, also?

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    5. When I first read the quote I thought he was braiding a rope into it so he could tie her up by the hair, but no.

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    6. When I go to see my play partner I often do one of those french braid things, because it provides a good handle and also mostly keeps my hair out of my eyes. So for me it's more comfortable, and for him it's more convenient. But I don't think Christian Grey is terribly concerned about Ana's comfort, so that can't be the reasoning here.

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    7. I think it is later revealed that he used to braid his mother's hair so he does have practice. I think it's one of the many parts of the books where they show Christian compares Ana (and all his other subs) with his dead mother. Which is one of the many creepy things in the book.

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    8. I did a Ctrl + F to see if anyone else had already quibbled on this, lol. No-frills English braids are pretty fast.

      I think the weirdness for me in that part is the switch from "I'm touching your body in a sexual way...and now I'm braiding your hair." Aren't romance novel sex scenes supposed to show a steady progression of ever more "intense" activity?

      In real life, sure, we take breaks, get silly, whatever, but it's not written like a moment of realism; it's written like a moment of aneurysm.

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    9. Juu, yeah, I was kind of the-opposite-of-hoping it was something like that, like, "he used to braid Previous Important Woman's hair so Ana is replacing her."

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    10. Considering he left his mother when he was four, I'm very impressed by the image of a three year old CG braiding his mum's hair. Yet another thing he's supposedly perfect at.
      Then again this might be because I reached the age of 20 before being able to complete a semi respectable braid.

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    11. Yeah, I braid my hair whenever I have sex. My hair is to my butt, so if I let it loose, it sometimes gets caught in my butt crack (sexy, right?). Plus if I'm trying to give a blow job I get all tangled in it. Long hair is not nearly as cooperative as Disney would have you believe. Plus, I like it when my partner uses it as a hand hold to yank my head around and anchor it in place, so yeah, I did the sexy braid. And considering this is Ana we're talking about (girl can't even walk without falling on her face half the time), in this instance I don't blame His Jerkliness for assuming she might have difficulty braiding her own hair. Coordination is not exactly her strong suit. (doesn't mean the mom thing isn't weird as shit though)

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  9. Thank you for starting up the recap again. I am again blown away by how fucking awful this stupid book is. Why oh why would you write a sexual coming of age story and have the protagonist NOT like the new things she is discovering? And then in this very chapter they have a discussion about how there are people who enjoy receiving pain and how ANA IS NOT ONE THOSE PEOPLE. WTF is the point of this story? Is this supposed to be some morality tale about the heroine gets to have sex with the man she finds so hot yet manages to be punished for at the same time?

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    1. "Is this supposed to be some morality tale about the heroine gets to have sex with the man she finds so hot yet manages to be punished for at the same time?"

      You know what? I think you may have just nailed the entire series. That's sad.

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  10. "You see most of your fear is in your head"

    I suppose it's just the terrible writing, but this sentence irritates the shit out of me. All fear is in your head - it's an emotional state. That's where emotional states come from. Not from the imaginary people you use to personify your sex drive.

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  11. 1. Oh, god, I'll never be able to look at playground equipment in the same way again. This will make things interesting when I'm taking the kids to the park this summer.

    2. Kind of a minor detail, but interesting to me as a doctor: Why on earth does the gynaecologist decide the mini-pill is the best option for Ana? It's less reliable than the combined pill or the 'fit and forget' things like coils/the implant. OK, I get that lots of nullips don't want coils - is the implant not available in the US? And, even if Ana decides she'd rather have the pill than the implant - which is perfectly possible - why would she go for the mini-pill rather than combined? Maybe she's got some medical contraindication to the combined pill, which is possible, but unlikely. It all just left me feeling that contraception is yet another thing that this author doesn't know anything about.

    Also, why was the doctor not talking to her about condoms? And since when is lecturing someone for ages a likeable no-nonsense attitude?

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    1. Where I live (Scandinavia), the mini pill is used often, especially for younger women who are not comfortable with the estrogen found int he combination pill. Also, Christian later uses Ana's inability to take pills as a thing to punish her for, so there *is* a -- ridiculous -- plot related reason.
      One thing that is certainly a problem s that the mini pill, to my knowledge, is quite uncommon in the US.

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    2. It's pretty clear that EL James has an extremely superficial knowledge of how things are done in the States. As far as she's capable of characterisation she imagines Ana as British with a few American props. I live in the UK and the mini pill is what most GPs would prefer you to be on until about 30 - 35ish. I'm surprised that if Drill ChuckBit had access to any treatment HE wanted and didn't want a fuss that he didn't order something like Depo-Provera injections.

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    3. Huh - I also live in the UK and have been on the combined pill since I was 15. I'm 23 now, and no doctor has ever questioned it. I guess that could be because it's harder to mess up taking the combined pill than the mini pill (more leeway if you're late taking one) but then, I wasn't sexually active when I was first on the pill and my doctor knew it, so that also seems unlikely. The default I've always encountered has been to try the combined pill, and only move to the mini pill if the combined pill doesn't suit you.

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    4. It must vary between NHS trusts or whatever they're currently called. Here it's like, "oh, you don't need the full pill yet." I should know better than to assume that things are the same across the while country.

      That reminded me of the first time the GP suggested I go on the pill. I looked a bit confused as I was definitely in the "too geeky to exist as a girl" category as far as teenage romance was concerned. I asked why and the doctor looked past me and said, "Because I know what teenagers are like. You'll get bladdered, pass out and be gang banged." I think I was too shocked to say anything back, I can't even remember why I'd gone to the GP in the first place. I didn't see a GP again until I started uni.

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    5. Apparently we do have coils in the US (one called Essure was approved in '02), but I have literally never heard of them until just now. IUDs/implants I think are fairly well known, but since I hang out a lot in feminist spaces, I won't guarantee they're widely known in the general public.

      But I think an IUD probably would best suit Christian (as much as it skeeves me out to type that sentence): it's in there, it's permanent, there's really not too many ways to fuck it up, unlike with pills or the shot.

      But then, if Ana had had an IUD, we couldn't have had that shitty pregnancy plot in book three :D

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    6. You actually could, especially if it happens in the first six months. That's when IUDs are most likely to slip out of place, especially in young women who have never been pregnant. Also, getting it inserted hurt like a motherfucker--at least for me. That's apparently fairly common. I was completely unwilling to have sex for awhile because it hurt so damn bad. It was like the worst cramps ever. (Totally worth it for a birth control that doesn't require me to remember anything for perfect use, though). It also might be that for this book's target market, which is presumably young women, an IUD isn't as well-known as pills.

      The other reason I think the pill was chosen is because if Ana gets pregnant with an IUD in, it's genuinely not her fault. There's literally nothing I can do, short of try to remove it with a pair of pliers, where I'll be at fault if it fails. So then Christian won't have an easy, "understandable"* reason to fly off the handle and beat her for being stupid.

      Plus, do you see Christian going without sex for a few weeks because Ana's recovering from having an IUD in? Of course not.

      *not actually understandable.

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    7. Saying that the minipill is for young people and the full pill for older people sounds completely backwards to me. The full pill allows for more forgetfulness and is a bit safer overall. Younger people are usually more forgetful and they're definitely more fertile. So, logically, it should be the other way around - full pill when you're young, minipill when you're older (assuming you wanna use the pill at all, of course, and don't get any bad side effects and so on).

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  12. I just checked to see if the movie adaptation of this piece of shit book is still happening, and they're projecting a Valentine's Day release date for 2015. I imagine my paramedic roommate is going to get so many awkward sex-scene-reenactment-gone-wrong 911 calls.

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  13. Also in this chapter:
    “Hold on, Anastasia!” he shouts through clenched teeth.

    I was skeptical of this, so I tried it, and it turns out you actually can shout through clenched teeth!
    Learned something new today.

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  14. I hate this book and everything about it, and reading your chapter by chapter review of it has just made me hate the fucking thing even more. It saddens me to no end that this - this fucking dangerous drivel has made that illiterate, ignorant bastard so much money!

    You're funny though, and you have some really great insights that I would probably have missed. I really appreciate that.

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  15. "Oh good, it wasn't officially a bad romance novel until someone called a vulva a "sex.""

    As an aspiring fantasy, romance, and fantasy romance novel writer, is there a good list for terms to use/avoid? I've heard a few arguments back and forth about various terms and euphemisms that work, don't work, sound funny, etc.

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    1. There are certainly terms that I know I never want to see used ever again in sex scenes and 'sex' as a euphemism for vulva or vagina is definitely one of them. The other one that makes me want to throw the book across the room (which is bad because ereaders are less durable than print) is 'core'. That one doesn't even make sense to me.

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    2. Maybe if you're in a position that requires abdominal strength? lol

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  16. Pre-paid prescriptions are a thing in the UK.

    Actually, as a Brit in a relationship with a US-American, a lot of things in this book make me think E.L James is a Brit trying to write about America when she's never actually been there or met anyone from there...

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    1. This is probably quite likely. She is British and if she had ever been to the US prior to writing the book she didn't pay much attention.

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  17. OK, coming in late on this chapter, but it seems like as good a place as any to ask. This weekend I saw the person sitting next to me on an airplane reading this (or one of the sequels), because the title was top and center on their iPad. I badly wanted to tell them that no, really, you can do better, there's better smut, better kinky smut out there - is there any reasonable way to handle that situation?

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    1. Probably not, unless they engage you in a conversation about it. Otherwise it's one of those things where even if you're in the right, it's awfully intrusive.

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    2. You could potentially go for a sort of "Hey... it's none of my business what you read and I hope you enjoy the book, but just so you're aware, it's about rape and domestic abuse - a lot of people don't realise that so I just wanted to make sure you didn't think it was a romance or anything. Okay, bye!"

      It's still intrusive, but it's within the bounds of quick-comment-then-leave-them-alone which is generally the best formula when you really feel like you have to intrude.

      Delete
  18. Like, apparently if you're a jerk that's bad, but if you go "ha ha, I know I'm such a jerk," then it's adorably self-deprecating and therefore okay. Except it's really not.

    Asshole Admits To Being Asshole In Supreme Asshole Move

    ReplyDelete