I know I'll have to read rape scenes from his point of view. I've already read enough excerpts to know it will be decidedly unpleasant so I made sure to tell my support system what I'm doing so I can reach out to someone if I need help dealing with it.
What I didn't know was how much I'd loathe this book in the very first chapter. Look, I write a sex blog and am currently juggling five partners. I think about sex a lot. And yet, I was incredibly skeeved out about how every other thought Christian has about Ana from the second she literally falls into his office is about how much he wants to fuck her, beat her, and own her. It's so gross.
And then the infamous, "Are you gay?" question gets asked and he's horribly offended because being gay is such an awful thing to be accused of and he immediately thinks about how much he wants to force her over his knees, spank her, and then tie her hands behind her back and fuck her while she's bent over his desk. And while those actions could be hot in certain circumstances the fact he's thinking them while he is actually pissed off at her scares the shit out of me. I've stopped two scenes in my life. I wrote about the timeI forgot to safeword, but the other one was the time I realized my top was playing while he was angry. Angry Doms are not safe, you guys.
Moving on, chapter 2 is the one in the hardware store where he gets Ana to show him where various BDSM supplies are located. One of the things he buys is 5 yards of natural filament rope that is coarse and will "chafe more if you struggle against it". Up until this point in the book (and I'm going to take a wild guess throughout the rest of it) Christian keeps fantasizing about suspending Ana. Not just tying her up, but actually having her body suspending from the ceiling. While I've done some light bondage, I've never done a suspension scene. So, spending more time on this one issue than EL spent researching for the whole damn series, I asked some people what they thought of Christian's rope choice.
It turns out that using natural filament is the preferred rope for suspensions - not because you want to hurt the person being tied but because the same thing that causes chaffing helps keep the rope from slipping. You don't want knots that are holding a person up coming undone. However, they agreed with me that 5 yards is nowhere near enough to get someone off the ground. "It's probably enough to hang someone," the Cheerful Sadist said, "but that's about it." Also, I want to add that initially I read it as 15 yards of rope and even that isn't enough according to the people I talked to. (The others didn't want to be named.)
And no, the text doesn't say that Christian is definitely going to do this. But I'm aware, and I would have hoped Ms. James is too, that people read these books and then try the stuff out. All she had to do was include a passing thought in Christian's head about how he was adding this to his collection of rope since it wasn't enough to tie someone up properly and things would be fine.
And while I was still annoyed about that, I read this:
If you can't tell from my pen names (Julia Crawford being my other nom de plume) I am a huge Austen fan. And I am livid - LIVID - that E.L. James is insinuating any of the "heroes" in those books are hearts-and-flowers types. Mr. Darcy wins the hand of Elizabeth Bennett mostly through means of honest communication (via a letter where he insults her family but also explains himself better) so she gets to know the real him. But when he makes a grand gesture he doesn't say it with fucking flowers. He says it with bribing a dude to marry Lizzie's youngest sister so said sister doesn't bring disgrace on the entire family. (You don't need Hallmark when you do that and take her uncle fishing.)
Pride and Prejudice has a lot of themes in it and if I started listing them "romance" would appear towards the end. (And this isn't me slamming romance, I like quite a few romance novels where the love story is the main theme.) One of the more subtle themes (and this shows up in other Austen works) is the heroine learning that the way the world should work and the way it does work are two different things. When Charlotte marries purely for practical reasons, Lizzie is really upset about it. While she grows to be less bothered by the decision, I've always hoped that by the end she realizes that poor Charlotte didn't have much choice. First time readers often make fun of Mrs. Bennett and her sole goal of marrying off her daughters, but when you've reread it for the zillionth time you start realizing how terrified she must be. If her daughters are not married they will be impoverished.
Ana certainly seems to have caught "fear of spinsterhood" from all her readings - she regularly agrees to things in the original series because if she doesn't she'll wind up alone with just her books and cats. (Which isn't that bad compared to what faced the Bennett girls if they didn't find partners, but whatever, Ana. ) However, this notion that Christian, who claims to have read the books, has that literary heroes are all hearts and flowers kills me. Then again, she seems to think Thomas Hardy wrote romance novels so maybe EL and I just define the word "romantic" very differently.
And on that note, I'm off to do some camping. My next post will be hotter, I promise :)