The room smells citrusy, which I can only imagine is from the cleaning ladies using citrus-scented cleaning equipment when they clean the bodily fluids off everything in the room.
We get a long description. There’s lots of mahogany that’s polished and expensive, but that’s the least interesting part of the description. There’s a wooden cross with restraining cuffs, an iron grid attached to the ceiling with ropes, chains, and shackles, curtain rods with dangling paddles and whips and riding crops and things with feathers and more. There’s also an enormous chest which I’m sure is full of kinky shit, and an enormous bed. With four posters. A red leather mattress cover. And handcuffs.
There are also carabiners all over the ceiling, although the room is really dark, so I’m not sure how she can see these hanging from the ceiling. Maybe she can see in the dark.
Anyway, Anastasia is mildly shocked by all of this. Eventually she asks him whether he uses the stuff on other people, or vice versa. Grey explains that he uses it on women who want him to use it on them.
She asks if he’s a sadist, and he says he’s a Dominant, and explains that he wants her to willingly surrender herself to him. She asks why. He says to please him.
Please him! He wants me to please him! I think my mouth drops open. Please Christian Grey. And I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do (page 100).
Grey explains that he has rules, and if she follows them, he’ll reward her, and if she doesn’t, he’ll punish her, so she learns. Anastasia asks what she gets out of all this.
“Me,” he says simply (page 101).
Quite the ego on this chap, isn’t there?
He leads her out and takes her out to another room that is a normal-looking bedroom, and says this can be her room, if she wants, from Friday through Sunday.
Then they head back to the kitchen to get some food. Even though Anastasia says she’s lost her appetite. Now, keep in mind, up until this point, I really don’t have a problem with anything in this chapter. There isn’t anything wrong with kinky BDSM sex between consenting adults. Other things, I have a problem with.
“You must eat, Anastasia,” he scolds, and, taking my hand, leads me back downstairs (page 102).
“Sit.” He points to one of the stools at the breakfast bar, and I obey his command. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to have to get used to it (page 102).
“I’m really not hungry,” I whisper.
“You will eat,” he says simply (page 103).
This guy is really kind of a dick.
Grey asks her if she wants another glass of wine. Good plan. Get her some more wine before you continue your discussion about what she’s getting into. After all, we know how well Anastasia can handle her alcohol, right?
He explains that they’ll need to set boundaries as to what she’s willing to do, because it’s consensual, and further explains that if she’s not into it, that’s fine, but also they won’t have any kind of relationship because this is the only kind of relationship he’s interested in. And again I’m starting to feel just a little bit creeped here. James is walking a rather fine line. On the one hand, it’s good that they’re setting boundaries and clear expectations, but on the other hand, Grey has already kissed her (without permission, actually forced himself on her, to be precise) given her a helicopter ride to his pad, and now is telling her that they either get to have a relationship but only on his terms, or there is no relationship whatsoever. It just feels a little manipulative to me.
There’s a nice moment where he orders her to eat, again, and she tells him that she hasn’t signed anything so he can just deal with it. This is lovely. We need more of this.
Anyway. Grey busts out his lists of rules. They’re….impressive. I’ll paraphrase.
1. She has to immediately obey anything he says, sexually or otherwise, with exception of stuff agreed in advance that is off limits.
2. Has to sleep 7 hours a night, always. Has to eat from a certain list of foods. Can’t snack between meals unless on fruit.
3. Can only wear approved clothing.
4. Has to exercise four times a week.
5. Has to be clean and shaved/waxed.
6. Can’t drink to excess, can’t smoke, can’t take drugs, or put herself in “unnecessary danger”, which seems ominously ill-defined.
7. Can’t fuck anyone else.
Anastasia’s response to this is much like mine:
Holy fuck (page 106).
So yeah. This is a bit odd. See, most people who do this stuff restrict the rule-playing to the bedroom. You agree on all the rules and then get into the bedroom and have your few hours of BDSM and then leave the bedroom and go about your lives in what most people would agree is a more or less normal manner. Now, occasionally people go a bit farther than that, allowing the sub/dom relationship to move out into other parts of their lives, usually stopping well short of the gimp chained in a box in the basement in Pulp Fiction.
^ Anastasia Steel in the sequel, “Fifty Shades Darker”.
Again, not saying there’s anything wrong this, if people are actually into it. But I don’t think that Anastasia, who has never done anything with BDSM and, as it happens is a virgin (although, to be fair, Grey doesn’t know that yet) should be leaping into the deep end and allowing Grey to control all aspects of her life, including aspects when she’s on her own and not around him.
They argue about how many days she has to spend exercising and eventually settle on three. Then he pulls out a paper that has his hard limits – stuff he won’t due. This includes fire, piss, shit, needles, knives, piercing, gynecological medical instruments, pedophilia, bestiality, anything that leaves permanent damage, anything that restricts breathing, and electric shocks. Grey asks her if she has anything to add. Anastasia says she doesn’t know. And then…it comes out…that she hasn’t actually had sex before.
“Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?” he growls (page 108).
Because it comes up so often in conversation.
We learn that Anastasia’s actually only kissed twice in her life, and has never actually been close to having sex. Grey’s a little upset and runs his hands through his hair and then abruptly decides that, well…
“Come,” he murmurs.
“We’re going to rectify the situation right now.” (page 110).
Hottest. Invitation. Ever.
He explains that he wants to make love to her. Anastasia feels the floor falling away and is intensely aroused. Of course, maybe that’s the wine talking. After all, if you want to get in someone’s pants, just impress them with your opulence and power, get them slightly drunk, and then tell them you want to rectify their situation.
She asks about the rules, and he says forget about the rules, they aren’t a big deal, not now, because now is just about making love and not beating the shit out of her with a cat-o-nine-tails. Or something like that. She agrees and he leads her into bedroom and he slowly undresses and then starts undressing her and we get lots of description. It’s incredibly hot.
He gazes up at me through impossibly long lashes, his eyes a scorching smoky gray (page 113).
She has absolutely flawless skin, of course, and he’s absolutely gorgeous, and it’s so incredibly romantic that I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. We get some seductive talk:
“You’re very beautiful, Anastasia Steele. I can’t wait to be inside you.”
Holy shit. His words. He’s so seductive (page 114).
I’ve read more seductive words in fanfiction written by twelve-year-olds.
It continues, and I have to say, this is one of the worst sex scenes I’ve ever read in my life. It’s the opposite of titillating. It’s not even really turning me off. Instead, it’s just…boring. We’ve now had four solid pages of foreplay. FOUR. James is just methodically describing everything as it happens, one step at a time, and sorry, that’s a really bad way to describe anything. You want to give just enough details to give the reader a picture, and let their imagination fill in the rest. That way they’re actually engaged in the story. It also keeps it from getting boring.
The dialogue doesn’t help. Grey touches her breast.
“You fit my hand perfectly, Anastasia,” he murmurs (page 115).
We get another page of foreplay, and oh yeah, he has a huge penis, and then they get ready. Now, remember that Grey knows she’s a virgin? Yeah. Turns out he’s just as much of a dick as Mr. Darcy is. See, losing your virginity tends to hurt. A lot. Now, not everyone is the same, but at the very least until you know, you might want to be…I dunno, gentle?
“Hard,” he whispers, and slams into me (page 117).
He’s a classy guy.
So there’s a few moments of pain but that quickly passes and before you know it she’s enjoying herself immensely because as everyone knows, after tearing through one’s hymen the sex immediately becomes really, really pleasurable.
They have sex. It’s absolutely amazing, and then they both have incredible simultaneous orgasms, because that happens so often in real life.
They lay around and breathe and it’s sweaty and he asks her how it was and she says it was amazing and she wants to do it again. So he sticks his thumb inside her and rubs the front wall of her vagina. Then, after a minute, he sticks the thumb inside her mouth.
I taste the saltiness on his thumb and the faint metallic tang of blood. Holy fuck. This is wrong, but holy hell is it erotic (page 120).
I can think of few things less erotic that sucking your loss of virginity blood off of someone’s thumb.
They have sex. Again. And have simultaneous orgasms. Again.
And fall asleep.
Grey is gone when she wakes up, but she walks out and finds him playing the piano, because he’s really good at playing the piano, because Edward Cullen played the piano.
Then they go back to bed and fall asleep together.