The doctor Ana meets with is ‘tall, blonde and immaculate’, like all of the professional women in this novel. Think back: all of the blonde clones working at Grey Enterprises, Christian’s adoptive mother and even Kate, to some extent. Don’t forget, girls – you have to be blonde and hot if you want to succeed on your own, and you have to be virginal and pathetic if you want to be looked after by a rich man.
“We shake hands, and I know she’s one of those women who doesn’t tolerate fools gladly,” Ana says of Doctor Greene. I’m sure she’ll have a whale of a time with you, then.
They decide that Ana should go on the contraceptive mini pill. They head back to the living room (is this the most pointless event in the whole book? Couldn’t she have been on the pill already just to save these pointless paragraphs?) and the doctor says to Christian: “Look after her; she’s a beautiful, bright young woman.” How she figured that out from a vaginal exam, I have no idea.
Christian and Ana sit down for lunch – a salad. “Oh thank heavens, nothing too heavy,” says Ana. Yeah, thank heavens. The novel focuses largely on Christian’s issues with wasted food, but reading between the lines, there are more than a few suggestions of Ana having some form of eating disorder.
As they eat, Ana tells Christian that he’s very graceful. I don’t know any men who would consider this to be much of a compliment, unless they’re a dancer. They open some wine, because who doesn’t want to start drinking at 1pm on a Sunday afternoon whilst eating a salad? Christian questions her about the form of contraceptive she’s using. She responds with the mini pill and Christian puts an alarm on his calendar every day to remind Ana to take it at the right time. As though she’s not twenty-two years old and can’t fend for herself.
When they finish their lunch, Christian asks Ana whether she wants to do this. She replies that she hasn’t signed a contract, and Christian says, “I know – but I’m breaking all the rules these days.” This translates as: “I don’t care if you don’t want to do it, because I do, and you’re going to submit to what I want.” They head to the Womb Room.
Christian says that whilst in this room, Ana belongs to him, and he’ll do what he wants to her. No different from any other room, then.
He tells her to take her shoes and her dress off. “He stands back to examine me and absentmindedly folds my dress.” He folds her dress! None of this ripping each other’s clothes off and leaving them wherever they land. No. This is not a bodice-ripper. It’s a bodice-folder.
When he’s taken her bra off, he starts braiding her hair. Braiding it. This man moves gracefully, drinks a lot of white wine, he loves halter-neck dresses and he’s well versed in hair braiding. Make of that what you will.
Once he’s finished braiding her hair, he makes her kneel in the corner, knees apart, staring at the floor. He leaves the room for about ten minutes and comes back with his ripped jeans on. No man over the age of around twenty-one should be wearing ripped jeans. This also goes for baseball caps, backpacks, shoes with wicker soles and scoop-neck t-shirts.
Christian cuffs Ana to the ceiling, and produces a riding crop. He proceeds to wander around her in circles, occasionally striking out with the crop. “It hits me underneath my behind… against my sex.” Her behind. Her sex. This sort of euphemistic language is completely at odds with what’s actually going on, and makes it sounds completely ridiculous. I just hope she doesn’t start referring to her boobs as her ‘bosoms’ or her virginity as her ‘flower’… oh, we’re too late on that last one. Damn.
It doesn’t last very long. Ana comes from Christian hitting her with his riding crop. They have sex seconds later and she comes again. It’s her first real introduction to the BDSM side of things, and it’s quite… well, tame. For all the build-up, I expected something a bit more x-rated than being tied up and lightly spanked (which, let’s face it, is not as rare as Ana would probably imagine). But wait. Christian says he’s not finished with her yet.
“Stamina, Miss Steele,” says Christian. “I haven’t had my fill of you yet.” He ties her hands with the cable ties he bought at Clayton’s at the beginning of the book. This is where he murders her, isn’t it?
He makes her hold onto the bedposts with her bound hands, spanks her across her ‘behind’ again. “So wet. You never disappoint, Miss Steele.” Two orgasms in five minutes and she’s raring to go yet again. Uh huh. Yep. “He eases out of me slowly, and his other hand grabs my hip, holding tight, and then he slams into me, jolting me forward. “Hold on, Anastasia!” he shouts through clenched teeth.” Hold on?! Are they on a rollercoaster? Is she falling off the side of a cliff? Of all the things to shout during sex. HOLD ON!
“I feel a quickening,” says Ana. That’s the complete sentence. She feels a quickening. A ‘quickening’ is actually the moment in pregnancy when you start to feel a baby move in your uterus. I really hope she can’t feel a real quickening.
“My name on his lips sends me over the edge as I become all body and spiralling sensation and sweet, sweet release and then completely and utterly mindless.” Try and make sense of this sentence. You can’t. She becomes ‘all body’? As opposed to what? All porridge?
This is her third orgasm in ten minutes. She passes out. When she wakes up, Christian unties her arms and dresses her in a waffle robe ‘as if [she’s] a small child’. One more mention of small children in this book and I’m done.