Oct 272012
 

Leila is really slacking off on this whole jealous deranged stalker/champion of class warfare thing. No sign of her in this chapter either, as Ana and the Expander finish their boat ride and have lunch. This makes me want to watch Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct again. Somebody really needs to boil Ana and Christian’s bunny, unless you count Leila trashing Ana’s car.

I should also mention that Ana has not asked Christian anything about Leila. That a former submissive has gone rogue and is stalking a dominant’s current squeeze isn’t necessarily his fault, but it does raise questions.

For our purposes, the major plot point of this chapter is that it broaches the question of if and how long Christian can stay vanilla. Ana asks herself:

Would I leave him again now that he’s admitted he loves me? I gaze up into his clear gray eyes. Could I ever leave him again—no matter what he did to me? Could I betray him like that? No. I don’t think I could.

Self-preservation doesn’t enter her thinking.

Later, over a ridiculously overpriced meal, Ana brings it up again.

I take a deep breath. “I’m just worried that this isn’t enough for you. You know, to let off steam.”
His jaw tenses and his eyes harden. “Have I given you any indication that this isn’t enough?”
“No.”
“Then why do you think that?”
“I know what you’re like. What you . . . um . . . need,” I stutter.

One of Dan Savage’s most common request is how to bring up a kink, or kink in general, with a partner new to it. He usually advises people not to broach the subject the way you’d begin a conversation about your fatal disease. Ana still treats kink like it’s Christian’s fatal disease, his Gothic anti-hero tragic flaw.

“I’m still me, Anastasia—in all my fifty shades of fuckedupness. Yes, I have to fight the urge to be controlling . . . but that’s my nature, how I’ve dealt with my life. Yes, I expect you to behave a certain way, and when you don’t it’s both challenging and refreshing. We still do what I like to do. You let me spank you after your outrageous bid yesterday.” He smiles fondly at the memory. “I enjoy punishing you. I don’t think the urge will ever go . . .  but I’m trying, and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.”
I squirm and flush, remembering our illicit tryst in his childhood bedroom. “I didn’t mind that,” I whisper, smiling shyly.

[…]

“So you don’t want to take me into your playroom?”
He swallows and pales, all trace of humor gone. “No, I don’t.”
“Why not?” I whisper. This is not the answer I expected.
And yes, there it is, that little pinch of disappointment. My inner goddess stomps off pouting, her arms crossed like an angry toddler.
“The last time we were in there you left me,” he says quietly. “I will shy away from anything that could make you leave me again. I was devastated when you left. I explained that. I never want to feel like that again. I’ve told you how I feel about you.” His gray eyes are wide and intense with his sincerity.
“But it hardly seems fair. It can’t be very relaxing for you—to be constantly concerned about how I feel. You’ve made all these changes for me, and I . . . I think I should reciprocate in some way. I don’t know—maybe . . . try . . . some role-playing games,” I stutter, my face as crimson as the walls of the playroom.

Setting aside the issue of coming back to him after the ending of the first book, Ana’s still trying to please Christian without clearly articulating her own desires and limits in the kink realm. Dealing with differing levels of experience and differing desires is a problem you have to deal with in BDSM, and it’s what negotiation is all about.

After all the high-pressure tactics of the previous book, Christian rather remarkably decides to take it slow and asks Ana not to feel pressured.

Back in the city, Christian switches from Jekyll to Hyde. He chews out Ana for mildly flirting with his chief of security.

When Ana asks what Christian will do when he finds Leila, he rather ominously says, “Dr. Flynn has a place.” It makes me picture some privately run mental institution where one-percenters keep troublesome people. Again, Christian is above the law or any civil authority.

Then he starts pressuring Ana not to go to work and to stay in his penthouse, threatening to hold her prisoner. Ana shifts into appeasing little girl mode and agrees to go out with a bodyguard. This is the fundamental problem of women who are attracted to alpha men, that all that alpha-ness isn’t as sexy when it is directed towards keeping the woman locked up or surveilled.

The chapter wraps up with Ana and Christian betting on a pool game. If he wins, he gets to spank her and fuck her. So much for good negotiation.

  2 Responses to “The Curious Kinky Person’s Guide to Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter 10”

  1. guess i was wrong about the inner goddess stuff! it’s infuriating to read even the little snippets of this book, i don’t know how you’re managing to actually read the thing.

  2. He shows within one chapter how much he’s willing to claim reformation to vanilla standards while not meaning it. He’s his old, controlling self by the end of the chapter.

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