I seem to have come down with a terrible cold just in time for Christmas, leaving my head too fuzzy for any other kind of writing. So I’ve been writing Fifty Shades recaps in between doses of cold medicine and the usual Christmas cooking. It’s fun cooking with a stinking cold – you can never be sure if anything tastes the way it should. It’s possible I may have made the world’s most alcoholic vanilla cream custard; I couldn’t be sure if it really tasted of Marsala or needed more.
Anyway – another Christmas, another recap. You’ll be thrilled to bits to discover that after seven chapters of soul-searing boredom, Ana and Christian are finally about to do all the filthy stuff that made these terrible books so notorious.
Okay, not really.
You can’t expect these people to be interesting lovers. They’re dull enough when they have all their clothes on.
Chapter eight opens with Christian Grey aghast that Ana didn’t tell him she was a virgin, because apparently kidnapping women from imaginary dangers, taking half their clothes off and putting them unconscious in bed with you is only bad when the woman in question is a virgin.
“I knew you were inexperienced, but a virgin!” He says it like it’s a really dirty word. “Hell, Ana, I just showed you,” he groans. “May God forgive me. Have you ever been kissed, apart from by me?…how have you avoided sex? Tell me, please.”
It’s not that extraordinary to be a virgin at twenty one. Personally I’m more interested in knowing how the fuck she managed to gain a degree in English Literature without actually reading…well, anything. Ever.
“No one’s really, you know…” Come up to scratch, only you. And you turn out to be some kind of monster. “Why are you so angry with me?” I whisper.
“I’m not angry with you, I’m angry with myself. I just assumed…”
What? That she wasn’t a virgin and therefore a sexual free-for-all? That’s a hell of a Madonna/Whore complex you’ve got there, Christian.
He offers to take her home and she says she doesn’t want to leave, unless he wants her to. Way to assert yourself there, Ana.
“It’s late.” And he turns to look at me. “You’re biting your lip.” His voice is husky, and he’s eyeing me speculatively.
“Don’t apologise. It’s just that I want to bite it too, hard.”
I gasp…how can he says things like that to me and not expect me to be affected.
I have no idea how the final sentence in that quote made it past a line edit. Rogue ellipsis and a missing question mark? Come on, people. I know you can’t polish a turd but if you’re going to insist on trying then at least roll that butt-egg in glitter and spray some Febreze about the place. It’s only polite.
Then he says they’re going to rectify the situation. About sodding time.
“What do you mean? What situation?”
“Your situation, Ana. I’m going to make love to you, now.”
So. After seven chapters of solid boredom they’re finally going to fuck? I don’t know if I should hang out flags or run for cover. There’s no doubt we’re about to be treated to some very badly written sex.
He runs his fingers round the nape of my neck, winds my ponytail around his wrist, and gently pulls so I’m forced to look up at him. He gazes down at me.
“You are one brave young woman,” he whispers. “I am in awe of you.”
Oh, he’s creepy. I don’t like him. And she’s not brave at all – if she had any guts she’d say no once in a while, instead of letting herself be folded around like damp cardboard.
I am quaking like a leaf. This is it. Finally, after all this time, I’m going to do it, with none other than Christian Grey.
‘Doing it’. I would expect nothing other than middle school euphemisms from my pornography. Oh no – wait. I wouldn’t. Because I’ve actually read real pornography.
He strolls slowly towards me. Confident, sexy, eyes blazing, and my heart begins to pound. My blood’s pumping around my body.
Yes…? It’s supposed to? I may not be William Harvey but I’m reliably informed that when it stops doing that, it’s probably a cause for concern.
Desire, thick and hot, pools in my belly. He stands in front of me, staring down into my eyes. He’s so freaking hot.
“Let’s get this jacket off, shall we?” he says, softly, and takes hold of the lapels and gently slides my jacket off my shoulders. He places it on the chair.
Oh dear. If this is a taste of things to come then I’m beginning to understand just how these books came to be so incredibly fucking long. (Due to a lot of incredibly long fucking. Are we really about to be treated to a description of him removing every single item of clothing?)
“Do you have any idea what I’m going to do to you?” he adds, caressing my chin.
I think he’s going to verb your noun. Hard. Or at least that’s what I’ve gathered from all of his previous supposedly sexy-talk. And cheese. Was there something about cheese?
The muscles inside the deepest, darkest part of me clench in the most delicious fashion. The pain is sweet is so sweet and sharp I want to close my eyes, but I’m hypnotized by his grey eyes staring fervently into mine.
I’m so confused. Is she saying she has a problem with her colon? And it hurts? Maybe it was the cheese. Maybe she’s lactose intolerant.
“I like brunettes,” he murmurs, and both of his hands are in my hair, grasping each side of my head. His kiss is demanding, his tongue and lips coaxing mine. I moan, and my tongue tentatively meets his. He puts his arms around me and hauls me against his body, squeezing me tightly. One hand remains in my hair, the other travels down my spine to my waist and down to my backside and squeezes gently.
Wow. This is even more awful than I was led to expect. I’ve read hotter instructions for flat-pack furniture. Good thing the author’s here to tell me it’s supposed to be sexy.
I can hardly contain the riotous feelings – or are they hormones? – that rampage through my body. I want him so badly.
Oh do you? Thank you for telling us that. We could never have figured it out from the way you were standing half undressed in the man’s bedroom, wrapped around his neck and trying to figure out what his wisdom teeth taste like.
He…does something. Let me see. Licks her belly button. Then he kisses his way to one hip bone. And then he does it to the other one. Ana groans – “Ah,” – and says it’s all so unexpected and ‘hot’. It’s not.
Then he takes her jeans off, not for the first time (never going to let that go) and “leans forward, running his nose up the apex between my thighs. I feel him. There.”
There. Could be her pancreas for all I fucking know. Or care, as it happens.
Still kneeling, he grasps my foot and undoes my Converse, pulling off my shoe and sock. I raise myself up on my elbows to see what he’s doing. I’m panting…wanting. He lifts my foot by the heel and runs his thumbnail up my instep.
Again, I have no idea how people are masturbating to this. It’s so boring. This is chapter eight and we’re getting a blow by blow account of him removing her socks? In the Story of O the heroine was missing her underwear by the end of about page three and naked except for a collar by the end of chapter two.
He removes my other sock and shoe then stands and removes my jeans…
…wait. He already did that. Was this thing even edited at all? Ever?
…I’m lying on his bed dressed only in my bra and panties, and he’s staring down at me.
“You’re very beautiful Anastasia Steele. I can’t wait to be inside you.”
Holy shit. His words. He’s so seductive. He takes my breath away.
This is so much worse than I could ever have imagined. I’ve read some terribly written sex scenes in my life, but none as crushingly dull and amateurish as this. It’s like an indictment of why the Show Don’t Tell rule exists and why you should care about it, especially when your characters are dropping their pants.
“Show me how you pleasure yourself.”
What? I frown.
“Don’t be coy, Ana, show me,” he whispers.
I shake my head.
“I don’t know what you mean.” My voice is hoarse. I hardly recognise it, laced with desire.
While I don’t think it’s unrealistic for a twenty-one year old to still be a virgin, this is just another one of those things that makes people think Ana Steele was probably grown in some kind of vat. Didn’t she even ride her bicycle over some cobbles or lean up against the washing machine on spin? Come on. This is bullshit.
Ana admits she doesn’t know how to masturbate and he says “Well, we’ll have to see what we can do about that.”
Spoiler – he doesn’t teach her to masturbate. Ever.
Then they remove some more clothing, one piece at a time. It’s boring. Ana is apparently ‘squirming with need’, which is nice. I’m glad one of us is. This is really doing nothing for me.
“We’re going to have to work on keeping you still, baby.”
Well – if there was ever a vague hope of a ladyboner, it’s gone now. Baby. Oh he’s so creepy. And why can’t she move? She’s supposed to move. I’m reminded of that Victoria Wood song – “Spots, specs, terrible at sex; I lay there like a stunned gazelle. I was thirty three when it dawned on me that girls could move as well.”
“You fit my hand perfectly, Anastasia,” he murmurs and dips his index finger into the cup of my bra and gently yanks it down, freeing my breast, but the underwire and fabric of the cup force it upward.
I am genuinely sitting here yawning like a hippo as I type these words. Just get on with it.
Then he pulls her tits about a bit and Ana, like most virgins, has her first climax from nipple stimulation alone.
Holy hell, what’s happening to me?
“Let go, baby,” he murmurs. His teeth close round my nipple, and his thumb and finger pull hard, and I fall apart in his hands, my body convulsing and shattering into a thousand pieces.
There it is, ladies and gentlemen. Ana’s first orgasm. Ever. Apparently you just twiddle her nipples and tell her to ‘let go, baby’ and she blows her stack so hard her eyes roll back in her head.
Admittedly it’s stupid, but if she’s managed to go through the entire process of puberty without wanking once then maybe it makes a weird kind of sense. She’s like a sexual Vesuvius – the longer she goes without it, the bigger the explosion.
Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know he’s finally poked a finger ‘down there’ and ‘palms my clitoris’. Oh dear. No. That’s not how a clitoris works. A woman wrote this?
Finally – after almost eight chapters of total boredom – Christian Grey gets his cock out. Are the goods worth the wait? Well, Ana seems to think it’s ‘considerable’, but then Ana has light up titties and a palm sized clitoris, so maybe she’s not in the best position to determine penis size. All I’m saying is he brought her here in a helicopter. I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions from that.
“Pull your knees up,” he orders softly, and I’m quick to obey. “I’m going to fuck you now, Miss Steele,” he murmurs as he positions the head of his erection at the entrance of my sex. “Hard,” he whispers, and he slams into me.
So. That’s a nice way to introduce a nervous virgin to the world of penetrative sex, isn’t it?
“Aaargh!” I cry as I feel a weird pinching sensation deep inside me as he rips through my virginity. He stills, gazing down at me, his eyes bright with ecstatic triumph.
I have no idea why – in a book written by a woman in the twenty-first century – the heroine apparently has a hymen half-way up her vagina. Or why, on brutally puncturing said hymen, the hero starts preening like some medieval French baron dead set on hanging the bloody marriage-bed sheets out of the window so that everyone knows he fucked a virgin last night.
It’s almost as much of a mystery as why I’m actually supposed to find this monstrous shitlord remotely sexually attractive. I think I’d rather grind on a cheesewire than fuck Christian Grey.
It took him two pages to get her socks off and the same number of pages to fuck her to yet another voice-activated orgasm. I mean, really. Even if you leave aside the fact that the guy’s a douchebag, he’s coming off as kind of a two-pump chump here.
“Come for me, Ana,” he whispers breathlessly, and I unravel at his words, exploding around him as I climax and splinter into a million pieces underneath him. And as he comes, he calls out my name, thrusting hard, then stilling as he empties himself into me.
Anyway, he asks her if she’s okay, which is nice of him, but would have been a lot nicer if he wasn’t all “I’m gonna fuck you – hard,” on her first rodeo. But hey – maybe he’s too literary to be considerate in bed.
Then there’s maybe two pages of afterglow and they’re good to go again. Oh dear.
“I’m going to take you from behind, Anastasia,” he murmurs, and with his other hand he gently grasps my hair at the nape in a fist and pulls gently, holding me in place. I cannot move my head. I am pinioned beneath him, helpless.
“You are mine,” he whispers. “Only mine. Don’t forget it.” His voice is intoxicating, his words heady, seductive.
He’s awful. I hate him.
He pokes his fingers up and praises her for being wet and responsive, then shoves his thumb in her mouth so she can taste herself.
“See how you taste,” he breathes against my ear. “Suck me, baby.” His thumb presses on my tongue, and my mouth closes round him, sucking wildly. 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.
Thanks to the magic of the internet I will never read the above lines in anything but the golden voice of Gilbert Gottfried. Thank you, Gilbert Gottfried – thank you for taking a terrible thing and turning it into something beautiful. You are truly a prince among men.
“I want to fuck your mouth, Anastasia, and I will soon,” his voice is hoarse, raw, his breathing more disjointed.
Much like the punctuation in this section of the book. That’s not even a dialogue tag.
“I want you sore, baby,” he murmurs, and he continues his sweet, leisurely torment, backward, forward. “Every time you move tomorrow, I want you to be reminded that I’ve been here. Only me. You are mine.”
No – she’s not. Trust me on this. Owning another person has been illegal in your country since 1865.
“You. Are. So. Sweet,” he murmurs between each thrust. “I. Want. You. So. Much.”
You. Are. Mine. Come for me, baby,” he growls.
And. She. Does. That’s three orgasms so far. And all of them apparently voice-activated. He calls her ‘baby’, she spaffs her drawers – that seems to be the deal.
He pulls out of me immediately and rolls onto his side of the bed. I pull my knees up to my chest, utterly spent, and immediately drift off or pass out into an exhausted sleep.
What the fuck was that paragraph? Two ‘immediately’s, she conks out like a stunned mullet and can’t decide if she drifts off or passes out? Did the author’s batteries run out or something? (Oh God – that’s it, isn’t it? That’s exactly what happened. Oh dear. I’ve made myself feel ill now.)
Anyhow – Ana wakes up in the next section to discover that Christian is gone and she can hear piano music. This is because Christian is playing the piano at five o’clock in the morning, because if he didn’t nobody would realise he was beautiful and complicated and that they were supposed to want to bone him.
Christian is at the piano, completely lost in the music he’s playing. His expression is sad and forlorn, like the music. His playing is stunning. Leaning against the wall at the entrance, I listen enraptured. He’s such an accomplished musician.
How do you know, Ana? You don’t know anything about music. Or anything, actually. He could be playing Chopsticks for all you know.
“Sorry,” I whisper. “I didn’t mean to disturb you.”
A frown flits across his face. “Surely, I should be saying that to you,” he murmurs.
Ana, Christian. Her name’s Ana. Not Shirley. (I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist.)
Anyway, hips, pants, music, hot. It’s Bach or something. Transcription by Bach of an oboe concerto by Alessandro Marcello. That’s fucking fascinating, Christian. Why don’t you tell your neighbours that? I’m sure it’ll make them feel better about being woken up at five in the goddamn morning.
“How long have you been playing? You play beautifully.”
“Since I was six.”
“Oh.” Christian as a six-year-old boy…my mind conjures an image of a beautiful, copper-haired little boy with gray eyes and my heart melts – a moppet-haired kid who likes impossibly sad music.
And thus begins Ana’s increasingly creepy obsession with an imaginary child version of the man who keeps sticking his dick in her. Given that he constantly calls her ‘baby’ while they’re getting down, it’s kind of weird. In fact, it’s only the start of the weird stuff. It’s kind of the first layer of the dicked-up Oedipal lasagne that is the Fifty Shades Trilogy.
She sees he has scars on his chest and tries to touch them, at which he swats her hand away and tells her to go to bed. Then she falls asleep thinking that “Christian Grey has a sad side,” and maybe he does, but his horrible sides are so numerous and so many that he’s like some kind of twenty-sided roleplaying dice of Awful.
So. That was the first sex-scene of Fifty Shades of Grey. Did you enjoy it? I hope you did, because I’m buggered if I’m wading through another one of those things in detail.
Happy Holidays and thank you for reading!
“Offensive…not cool, Ms. Roberts. Not cool.”