Jul 302012
 

On her way back to Seattle, travelling separately from Christian, Ana thinks about how she’s managed to render the steel-hard man downright squishy.

What does Christian know of love? Seems he didn’t get the unconditional love he was entitled to during his very early years. My heart twists, and my mother’s words waft like a zephyr through my mind:  Yes, Ana. Hell – what do you need? – a neon sign flashing on his forehead?  She thinks Christian loves me, but then she’s my mother, of course she’d think that. She thinks I deserve the best of everything. I frown. It’s true, and in a moment of startling clarity, I see it. It’s very simple: I want his love. I need Christian Grey to love me.
This is why I am so reticent about our relationship – because on some basic, fundamental level, I recognize within me a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished.
And because of his fifty shades – I am holding myself back. The BDSM is a distraction from the real issue. The sex is amazing, he’s wealthy, he’s beautiful, but this is all meaningless without his love, and the real heart-fail is that I don’t know if he’s capable of love. He doesn’t even love himself. I recall his self-loathing, her love being the only form he found – acceptable.  Punished – whipped, beaten, whatever their relationship entailed – he feels undeserving of love. Why does he feel like that? How can he feel like that? His words haunt me:  ‘It’s very hard to grow up in a perfect family when you’re not perfect.’

There’s a hint of an interesting story here: the adopted son of an uptight, WASP family that, despite their best efforts, never quite get over seeing Christian as a problem to be managed. But that’s Christian’s story, and we’re stuck in Ana’s.

I’m also troubled that Ana’s big revelation is not “I love him” but “I need him to love me”. Add to that her disregard for everything else Christian does (stalking, etc), and it isn’t encouraging.

There’s also a curious shift from seeing Christian’s sadism as the problem to seeing his masochism as the problem, almost as if  Ana is even more troubled by the idea of Christian being less than steelhard with somebody other than her.

Neither masochism nor sadism, in the BDSM definition, are automatically the result of childhood abuse or other psychological issues.

There’s a needless description of the flight back to Seattle, notable only in that Ana considers then dismisses the possibility that he also bought the seat next to her on the crowded flight so she wouldn’t have anybody to talk to. (The pacing of this book is off because there are descriptions of trivial scenes that don’t do anything.)

Then she’s back with the Expander in his penthouse.

He drags the hair tie painfully out of my hair, but I don’t care. There’s a desperate, primal quality to his kiss. He needs me, for whatever reason, at this point in time, and I have never felt so desired and coveted. It’s dark and sensual and alarming all at the same time.

[…]

I am rendered speechless by the look of hunger in his eyes. Wow… to be this wanted by this Greek god.

I’m amazed at just how much this is Ana’s pure narcissism, repeating her amazement that he wants her, eclipsing even her own desire.

Another, rather vanilla sex scene. Ana’s period is over, so Christian doesn’t get his “red wings”.

There’s another disturbing moment when Ana fearfully tells Christian she will see Jose’s photography exhibition. Though nothing bad happens, her anxiety shows just how much fear she has and how insanely jealous he is.

“Well, you just seem to be um… on the jealous side.”
“Yes, I am,” he says darkly. “And you’d do well to remember that….”

A second later, he distracts her with the offer of another flight in his private helicopter.

Now it’s into the Red Room of Pain, for real this time. 90 per cent of the way through this book, and we are finally going to have some full-on kink. Is Ana mentally or physically prepared for this? No. Why does she think it will be better this time than the last time? No idea. Christian hasn’t really changed in his desires, or given any indication he’ll compromise with her.

Anticipation runs bubbling like soda through my veins. What will he do? I take a deep steadying breath, but I cannot deny it, I’m excited, aroused, wet already. This is so… I want to think wrong,  but somehow it’s not. It’s right for Christian. It’s what he wants – and after the last few days… after all he’s done, I have to man up and take whatever he decides he wants, whatever he thinks he needs.

This is the wrong kind of masochism at work, the belief that Ana has to suffer at Christian’s hand in order to receive his love. “After all he’s done” may refer to Christian’s gifts, or his emotional revelations, but either way Ana’s sense of obligation is overriding her own desire and judgment. Her heart isn’t into it.

Christian does the right thing for a change: brief his rookie submissive on safewords.

“We don’t have a signed contract, Anastasia. But we’ve discussed limits. And I want to re-iterate we have safe words, okay?”
Holy fuck… what has he got planned that I need safe words?
“What are they?” he asks authoritatively.
I frown slightly at his question, and his face hardens perceptibly.
“What are the safe words, Anastasia?” he says slowly and deliberately.
“Yellow,” I mumble.
“And?” he prompts, his mouth setting in a hard line.
“Red,” I breathe.
“Remember those.”

Ana doesn’t grasp that safewords are one of those things you’d rather have and not need than the reverse. She wants to be able to trust Christian completely, so methods that give her protection and agency within the context of the scene don’t make sense to her.

“Good girl,” he pauses as he stares at me. “My intention is not that you should safeword because you’re in pain. What I intend to do to you will be intense. Very intense, and you have to guide me. Do you understand?”

Another good thing. This is only the second time Christian has played with Ana. He doesn’t know her responses, what will give her pleasure and what will give her pain. He needs to work with her, calibrate his play based on her responses. The problem is that Ana’s self-understanding is so poor, that she likely can’t effectively communicate her experience to him.

Christian prepares to cuff her to the bed, accompanied by a blindfold and a music player (brand name, of course): bondage plus sensory deprivation. He also shows her one of his floggers.

“Touch it,” he whispers, and he sounds like the devil himself. My body flames in response. Tentatively, I reach out and brush the long strands. It has many long fronds, all soft suede with small beads at the end.
“I will use this. It will not hurt, but it will bring your blood to the surface of your skin and make you very sensitive.”

Another technical problem: a soft suede flogger is a pretty mild toy, but adding beads, no matter how small, to the ends of the strands adds a lot of bite to the impact, and means it is probably not good for a light warmup.

On with the bondage, which Ana enjoys, followed by the blindfold and earbuds, then by sensation play with Christian rubbing her with fur. Another good step with a rookie sub: get her used to the soft, sensual side of bondage.

Then suddenly, sharply, it bites down on my belly.
“Aagghh!” I cry out. It takes me by surprise, and it doesn’t exactly hurt, but tingles all over, and he hits me again. Harder.
“Aaah!”
I want to move, to writhe… to escape, or to welcome, each blow… I don’t know – it’s so overwhelming… I can’t pull my arms… my legs are stuck… I am held very firmly in place… and again he strikes across my breasts – I cry out. And it’s a sweet agony – bearable, just… pleasant – no, not immediately, but as my skin sings with each blow in perfect counterpoint to the music in my head, I am dragged into a dark, dark part of my psyche that surrenders to this most erotic sensation. Yes – I get this.

Finally!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)