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50 Shades of Grey Chapter 7 - 50 Shades of Limits

Chapter 7 In Brief 

Woman negotiates. Poorly.

Chapter 7 - My View 

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Before we get into Chapter 7 (which is mercifully short) I should probably point out that I have no idea about BDSM relationships. From this point, everything I write will probably seem even more ignorant and poorly researched than the previous 6 chapters. I did have quick look on Wikipedia but there was a lot of writing and I'm lazy.

If you've got a minute, it's definitely worth checking out BDSM on Wikipedia. On the page, the first thing it says is: 

Not to be confused with DMBS. 

What is DMBS you ask? Why, it's a Database Management System! I can only imagine that people have got BDSM and DMBS mixed up SO many times that Wikipedia has had to redirect people. It's fair to assume that the majority of the 'mistakes' have come from seedy CEO's who have no idea what their software company does and have to use Google to discover what DMBS's are. Sadly for them, they get it all wrong, innocently ending up on the BDSM page and spend the next 45 minutes with their trousers and pants down, wanking behind their desk. One of these days I want to be a CEO of a software company. It sounds awesome.

If anyone does want to point out any honking mistakes, generalisations or outright lies that I make about BDSM relationships, please feel free...but you will definitely have your work cut out.

I should probably start writing about the chapter now....

It's fair to say that behind the door is nothing but disappointment and a feeling of sadness (for me.) Shakespeare isn't in the room. Leonardo isn't there. Michelangelo is absent. There's not even a talking rat in a kimono...or April O'Neil. What a shitty playroom. However, Christian was lying when he said that there wasn't an Xbox...there is a massive X-shaped cross...and a box (well...drawers...but they're sort of boxes.) Put them together. Xbox. Christian is an absolute liar. He's also got someone reciting a soliloquy from Hamlet and a scale model of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Put them together. Playstation. From this point on, I will not trust a single word that Christian says.

Ana, utilising the sense of smell, describes the room as smelling like 'leather, wood, polish with a faint citrus scent' Ana...you are going into a room, not describing some wine. For someone so habitually stupid, Ana does seem to have a good nose on her. Maybe the rest of her senses are so dulled, her sense of smell is heightened. Like a dog. I shan't be inviting Ana to my house. She'd probably end up trying to shag my leg or pissing on the carpet.

The room looks like a womb. It's a Playwomb. I have been in a womb before. No big deal. I spent pretty much 9 months there, so I got to know it pretty well. From what I can remember, it didn't look much like the room that Ana has just stepped into. For a start, there was no 4 poster bed so I just had to float around LIKE A BOSS. Secondly, there was really nothing to do. I don't know about the womb that you were in, but mine had a distinct lack of whips, chains and canes. After reading about Christian's Playwomb, the womb I stayed in is going to get a very poor review on Trip Advisor.

Rather than shitting her pants like a regular virgin, Ana just stands there hanging out, touching the accessories. She pays particular interest to a flogger which looks like a cat'o'nine tails. If we're lucky, Christian will inject some much needed humour later on and give Ana an Angry Pirate. In fact...I hope that's the first thing that he does to her, leaving her questioning everything she's ever heard about your first time: 

'Well, I expected it to hurt...but I didn't expect my shins to be so sore...' 

At this point, Ana's subconscious has fled. Good. I hated her inner goddess. I do feel bad for calling her the WORST word in the previous write-up...but sometimes there is no other word that will work. Standing there dumbstruck, Ana asks herself a series of questions. To help her out, here are her answers: 

Why? Because you're easily manipulated and have no self-respect.
How? Easy. Penis in Vagina. 
When? Whenever he wants. You're not going to say no because he's so dreamy and you don't want to disappoint him.
How Often? Very often. Until you have been shredded. 
Who? Christian. He's the guy you've been eye-fucking for the previous 6 chapters.

After standing in complete silence for a little longer than is necessary (4 pages,) Christian tells her that he is a Dominant and wants her to willingly surrender to his every desire. Despite having had NO previous sexual encounters (apart from a couple of near-rapes + feeling Christian's erection under clothes for about 0.2 of a second) Ana is completely okay with this and can't think of anything she'd like to do more than please Christian. This is her only motivation. She just wants to keep him happy. E L James may as well have replaced Ana with a bobblehead or a nodding dog and it would have still made the same decisions and shown the same level of personality.

Here's my Ana theory, which ties in with the reason that the books are so successful. Ana is completely devoid of personality or memorable traits. She is just a plain human being...but she allows you to fill in the blanks. Ana could be you. Ana is you. Older women can identify with her (stuck in a boring job, always falling over.) Younger women can identify with her (she's a student.) Single women can identify with her (looking for the perfect guy.) Women in relationships can identify with her (she's living the 'Prince Charming' fantasy.) Basically, in creating someone so lifeless, E L James has created a character who is everything to everyone. A character who everyone can see something of themselves in. I don't know whether creating such a terrible character was done on purpose, but if Ana was a strong, clearly defined character I don't think this book would have been anywhere near as successful. You may well disagree...and I'd love to hear if you do!

Anyway...back to the book...

Still in the room, Ana is told that she will need to comply with Christian's rules. If she does, she will be rewarded. If she doesn't, she will be punished. He tells her that the whips and chains are all part of the package, as if she's selecting between the Movie + Sport options for Sky TV. Christian, loving his moment in the spotlight continues talking about what he's going to do to her. In a nutshell, the more she submits, the more he will love it. All she gets out of this shitty deal is him. To continue the Sky TV analogy, Christian is basically getting ALL of the channels in hi-def and Ana is getting nothing but low-budget African channels.

Leaving the room, Christian takes her down the hall to a plain white bedroom. It's going to be Ana's room which she can decorate however she wants but she will only be expected to stay over the weekend. For some reason Christian has turned himself into a Dad from a broken home, getting visitation rights for a few days a week because he can't be trusted to look after his kids sensibly. She's obviously not allowed to stay in his room. Don't be stupid. He rationalises this by saying: 

'I don't sleep with anyone, except you when you're stupefied with drink.' 

Yup...Christian Grey will only sleep in a bed with a woman when she is completely comatose so that he can look up her skirt or teabag her without her knowing. Christian Grey is a classy man. Any woman would be very lucky to have him. Don't you wish you were in the sort of loving relationship where the man doesn't want to share a bed with you apart from the times that he rapes aggressively cuddles your unconscious body?

Back downstairs Christian starts talking about contracts again. Apparently there is some more admin which needs to take place before anything can happen. I don't know why women are finding this book so sexy. I can only imagine that EVERYONE who has read it is a secretary and the only thing that turns them on is Excel spreadsheets and putting folders back into filing cabinets. Filth.

The purpose of this next task is so that they can explore each others limits. Christian tells Ana that if she doesn't sign, there will be no relationship. He then says: 

'This is the only sort of relationship I'm interesting in.' 

I'm a little confused by how this is worded. Part of me thinks that it should say 'This is the only sort of relationship I'm interested in' but I really hope that 'interesting' is the correct word and that in a spanky relationship, Christian actually shows some sort of personality. Too much to ask? Probably.

HE THEN COMPARES A BDSM RELATIONSHIP TO SOME CHEESE.

There have been some terrible moments in this book...remember the 'Big?' 'Big?' bit from the last chapter? That was pretty bad. But comparing a relationship to cheese? I may well go to E L James' house, march up to her, shout 'CHEESE?? FUCKING CHEESE???' at her, then turn around and never return. She'll know exactly what I'm on about and she will agree.

For the next few pages Christian tries to get Ana to eat some food. She seems to be put off cheese for some reason, probably because she's picturing the Brie wearing a gimp mask. He wants her to eat. She doesn't want to eat. It all gets very tedious and is the written equivalent of watching 2 people argue over a restaurant bill.

After eating a grape, Christian is satisfied and starts to talk about the world that Ana will be entering into. He's had 15 previous partners/subs and he has hurt some of them. That makes him a woman beater. Ana is voluntarily entering into a relationship with someone who hurts women for his own pleasure. He will also hurt Ana. Just have a think about that and read on when your mind has come to terms with that little fact.

Continuing the tour of Christian Grey's sex palace, they head to the study where Colonel Mustard is waiting, tied to a chair with a ball gag in his mouth and a candlestick shoved up his arse. In the study Christian produces the contract. Rather than being a contract, it's basically just a list of rules which get more and more preposterous. The contract covers pretty much every single element of life, from food to clothes, sleeping patterns to exercise, obedience to personal hygiene. I could probably spend a bit of time going through the whole thing, but it's just too depressing. To sum it up, Christian is treating Ana like a Tamagotchi.

Out of ALL that is wrong with the contract (which does include being submissive, engaging in any sexual activity that Christian deems fit + accepting punishment for wrongdoings) Ana chooses to bitch about clothes and exercise. YOU'RE DOING IT ALL WRONG!! Rather than negotiating about the pain, suffering and humiliation, she complains about having clothes bought for her. She's such an independent woman. Women, you should really take a long look at yourselves. Ana might be about to embark on a miserable relationship with a dominant, demanding, overbearing man...but she will NOT have clothes bought for her.

Oh wait...she is going to have clothes bought for her. Nevermind. Okay, so she is going to have clothes bought for her, but she will NOT exercise 4 times a week. Christian agrees with this and allows her to work out 3 times a week. He's taking a bit of chance. With all of those grapes that Ana has just eaten, she'll end up with a gunt in no time at all. But...GO ANA!! I stand by my previous point. Women, you should really use Ana as a role model. She may have very little self-respect but she will not exercise if she doesn't want to. Fuck you Emmeline Pankhurst, Ana Steel is here to show you what being a strong woman is all about.

After the tense stand off, Christian pats Ana on the head, gives her a treat and patronisingly tells her that she's a good negotiator. No....a good negotiator would have removed ALL traces of control that Christian has over her. Doing 20 fewer situps a week can not be considered as a victory to Ana. After the negotiations, Ana has a mild panic attack about waxing. Quite why she didn't bring that up as part of the negotiations is anyone's guess. If she wants an afro muff, let her.

Christian then brings out ANOTHER piece of paper, with his hard limits on it. These are things that he will not bring into their relationship. The list contains poo + wee, fire, electricity, animals and CHILDREN. Not even a joke. I really think that it's important to ensure that everything is covered. I'm sure that Ana would be furious if Christian whipped out a baby and started fucking it in front of her. My goodness...this book does make me write terrible things...

Ana reads through Christian's extensive list and is asked what her limits are. She tells him that she doesn't know. Why doesn't she know?

Altogether now 'VIRGIN VIRGIN VIRGIN VIRGIN!'

Christian glares at her. He then glares at you for chanting 'VirginVirginVirgin.' He is not happy.

The blog is getting a pretty good number of views, but I'd love to take it further if possible. If anyone has any contacts that might be able to help share the blog with a wider audience, please let me know by e-mailing dvdjmskng@gmail.com
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As always, feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you agree/disagree with my thoughts.

Comments

  1. Holy shit Dave. I have seen a lot of inane people talking about these books on the Facebook and decided that they are not for me, on the grounds that they are clearly just for people who want a more hardcore Twilight to be going on with, but I didn't realise just what a complete crock of awfulness we were dealing with here until I read your commendable analysis.

    Incidentally, your point about how bland this Ana person is, well, I read the exact same point about Bella in Twilight - that the reader can make her be them (because apparently that is something depressing people would like to do). See, it's the same fucking thing only with erections. Pure, Shitty the Bull brand bullshit.

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    1. Hey! There are times when it is difficult to express how abysmal these books are. I did think it would be a bit of fun, but the bit where I have to actually read the book is painful.

      It seems that in order to write a bestseller all you have to do is create unlikable, unmemorable characters. Seems pretty simple!

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    2. While I get a laugh at some of Dave's stuff, it's only one GUY's view of the book. If you're using this as your guide about whether you should read the book or not, then perhaps you're more like Ana then you would like to admit.

      Delete
    3. Agreed! I think that everyone who reads the blog should buy the book + make their own minds up about 50 Shades! My retelling is partly based on fact...and partly silly things that my brain makes me write.

      Delete
    4. I'll pass, thank you. I read the first Twilight book,and that was enough badness for me. I think if I read 50 Shades, it would destroy me psychologically. Not that I'm putting the book down. I would never put the book down. That's how I got conned into reading Twilight.

      Delete
  2. Alison Richard18 July 2012 at 12:17

    A friend of mine read the book, and after my opinion of her dropped slightly, she said it is basically about abuse and the worrying thing is that young women may read this and naively think this is what relationships are about. I am still laughing at your take on it, but am horrified by what the author is actually writing so very badly about!

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    1. I couldn't agree more Alison. It is utterly depressing how flimsy and passive Ana is. She's a bit of a 1950's housewife, there to satisfy the guy's every desire so long as he doesn't have to life a finger. It does get worse in Chapter 8!

      Delete
  3. Oh my word!!!! I have been inundated with all of my friends reading these books and have been slightly intrigued but pretty much content with life sans E L James and her BDSM literary porno! I now know I only have to read your blog to know what all the fuss is about...a demented air head who is being sexually abused for the gratification of some uber freak with a bad cheese dream...
    I've recently accepted that I am most likely bordering on being a bit of a feminist (not in the burning bra way-just the hating chauvanists way) so thank you for saving my blood from boiling (not in the sexy way) and reading such utter tosh!

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    Replies
    1. I would say that it is my pleasure to read this book on your behalf...but it really isn't because it's just SO bad! I only hope that in writing this blog, I can warn people how bad it is + prevent some people from going through what me and millions of others are going through. Think of me as a public service.

      Delete
  4. Aww, man...I was going to make that same point about Bella being the same way, but I was beaten to the punch by your 7 hour time advantage! Curses!

    Additionally, I did not realize that this book is also set in the great Pacific Northwest, obviously a haven for sexual deviants and vampires. However, I can offer first hand experience from both books. I have been to Forks, WA, and there is nothing better to do there than become a vampire. As for Portland, well, you can be sure that Ana's misgivings about clothes are because she is a hipster, and only buys her authentic vintage 80's suspenders and horn-rimmed glasses from specific, locally owned co-ops.

    Honestly, this book is more enjoyable if I think of Ana as a hipster.

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    1. Haha...sorry for existing in England! I love the idea of Ana as a hipster. I'm hoping that we'll get to a chapter where she does nothing but ride round on a shitty old bike, discussing her love of French cinema. That would make this book infinitely better.

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    2. I don't want to ruin it but don't hold your breath.

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  5. Please don't take this the wrong way, but it makes me happy to read how miserable you are reading this book.

    I haven't laughed out loud reading something in such a long time. Genuinely genius.

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  6. This makes me laugh hysterically, weep for my gender and pray that you're exaggerating all at once, well done and good luck!

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    1. I promise that there is only a little bit of exaggeration. In fact...this chapter is the one where I stick most closely to the actual story! Ana really is that much of a dickhead.

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  7. These books DID start off as Twilight fan-fiction. Ana = Bella. A surprisingly accurate portrayal of Bella. Hence the whole hollow husk of a human being.

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    1. I'm waiting for the chapter where Ana stares out of a window for a whole year. That'll make for exciting reading. I've not read Twilight, but I have seen the movies + that bit made me want to tear the cinema screen down.

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  8. I know, right? What kind of grown ass woman writes Twilight fan fiction?

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    1. A woman whose ass has grown from all the time she's spent at the computer writing fanfiction!

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  9. In fairness, the ass grows first, the fan fiction writing then becomes the only thing left in life. Besides sexy cheese, that is. I'm with Ana on the contract negotiation. I will happily be whipped and beaten but no man should choose shoes for me, it will only end in tears. I am worried about what your hard limits might be Dave, if they involve not reading the second and third books there will be a great deal of disappointment. And perhaps whipping.

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