Oct 202012
 

Continuing the rich-bastard party, Ana somehow gets into the auction for the first dance of the evening. I say “somehow” because that’s how she gets into everything.

“Now, gentlemen, pray gather round, and take a good look at what could be yours for the first dance. Twelve comely and compliant wenches.”
Jeez!  I feel like I’m in a meat market. I watch, horrified, as at least twenty men make their way to the stage area, Christian included, moving with easy grace between the tables and pausing to say a few hellos on the way.

Ana has unshakable faith in Christian’s financial power, so her first dance will be with him. Christian’s sister Mia, who is also part of the auction, mentions her concern that Christian might start a brawl if he doesn’t win. (Tick off another box on the abuser checklist.) He was apparently a brawler until he hooked up with Elena.

A Mysterious Stranger bids on Ana too, making Christian raise his bid to $100,000.

Before the dance, we get to see Christian’s teenage bedroom, still with posters for The Matrix, Fight Club and The Truman Show.

“I was so mad when you bought my auction lot. All manner of ideas ran through my head. I had to remind myself that punishment is off the menu. But then you volunteered.” He gazes down at me through his mask. “Why did you do that?” he whispers.
“Volunteer? I don’t know. Frustration . . . too much alcohol . . . worthy cause,” I mutter meekly, shrugging. Maybe to get his attention?

This is another example of Ana’s disavowal of her own sexuality and desires, and her passive-aggressive manipulation of Christian. Then, at long last, we get some kink!

“I vowed to myself I would not spank you again, even if you begged me.”
“Please,” I beg.
“But then I realized, you’re probably very uncomfortable at the moment, and it’s not something you’re used to.” He smirks at me knowingly, arrogant bastard, but I don’t care because he’s absolutely right.
“Yes,” I breathe.
“So, there might be a certain . . . latitude. If I do this, you must promise me one thing.”
“Anything.”
“You will safe word if you need to, and I will just make love to you, okay?”
“Yes.” I’m panting. I want his hands on me.

Once again, Christian plays fast and loose with the rules, though at least this time he’s getting consent and doing at least a little bit of negotiation. I’m still not confident that Ana gets the whole concept.

He ties her wrists with his bow tie (not sure that would be long enough), and then gives her over the knee (OTK) spanking.

His left hand curls round my waist, holding me in place as his palm leaves my behind and lands hard, just above the junction of my thighs. The pain connects directly with the ache in my belly Oh man . . .  I moan loudly. He hits me again, in exactly the same place. I groan again.
“Two,” he murmurs. “We’ll go with twelve.”
Oh my!  This feels different than the last time—so carnal, so . . . necessary.

Compared to the two previous impact play scenes, which left Ana in tears, this is a revelation. Finally we have a BDSM scene in which Ana consented and enjoyed herself. It only took one and one-third books to get to that.

Back at the dance, the Mysterious Stranger turns out to be Dr. Flynn, Christian’s therapist. Another inconsequential conversation.

Ana goes off on her own to get her purse, and runs into Elena, who wants to speak to her. Ana’s revulsion towards Elena is out of all proportion.

I don’t know what the social conventions are for meeting known molesters of children.

She tells Ana that Christian loves her, though he doesn’t understand or accept it himself, and gives the couple of blessing. And then EL James spoils it.

“…But what I wanted to say is if you hurt him again, I will find you, lady, and it won’t be pleasant when I do.”
She stares at me, ice-cold blue eyes boring into my skull, trying to get under my mask.

Of course she has to threaten Ana, even though Ana is the far more vulnerable person in this pairing. This fairy tale has to have a wicked stepmother. Ana tells her off, continuing to blame Elena for Christian’s problems.

Christian tells Elena to cool it, but still tries to explain to Ana he has a connection to her, which she doesn’t accept.

Just when things start to look healthy and non-abusive, with all of Christian’s family telling Ana how happy she makes him, Christian says he’s calling in a doctor the next day to put Ana on birth control. Why? He hates condoms.

“It’s my body,” I mutter, annoyed that he hasn’t asked me.
“It’s mine, too,” he whispers.
I gaze up at him as various guests pass by, ignoring us. He looks so earnest. Yes, my body is his . . . he knows it better than I do.

Also, proving that we’re in a world with no personal boundaries, Elena has slipped Ana a note inviting her to lunch to talk about Christian. Ana is actually pleased that this development annoys Christian, as she wants to put up barriers between them.

On the way back to Christian’s apartment, we find out that someone (presumably Leila) has slashed the tires on Ana’s car and thrown paint on it. It’s symptomatic of how much I don’t like these characters that I’m actually rooting for Leila.

On the possibility that Leila somehow got into the apartment, Christian has Ana wait outside, but goes inside for no good reason.

  5 Responses to “The Curious Kinky Person’s Guide to Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter 7”

  1. Your take on these is fascinating to read – i’m really enjoying them. I admit i miss some of the in-depth analysis you did with the first book, but i totally understand not wanting to think about these books more than necessary. One question – another recapper seemed to think that the spanking scene was just as dysfunctional as all the others when you consider how much wine they had with dinner. Do you have thoughts on the bdsm+alcohol issue?

    • Thank you for the compliment.

      That’s a good point about their drinking. I was so relieved to see a BDSM scene in this book that didn’t make me cringe that I ignored they were both probably at least tipsy.

      Personally, I only play clean and sober. My date at a play party last night asked me what I did to “get your head bent.” I pointed at the play area, where about a dozen people were playing, and said, “I do this.”

  2. Christian’s psychiatrist bidding against his client and then discussing his treatment history without consent is so inappropriate.

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