Alright, six chapters down! There probably can’t be that many left to go now. I mean, I guess I should have done this before, but let me just take a quick look here…
Twenty-six chapters. There are twenty-six chapters.
I have twenty more chapters to go.
Pardon me a second….
Actually, all things considered, Chapter Seven is relatively painless. It’s short, and even less happens than in the last chapter, which is saying something. I sort of expected a lot more, given that Chapter Six ended with Anastasia entering Christian’s “playroom” and saying it felt like she had stepped into the Spanish Inquisition. And it’s not that I took her literally, since I was pretty sure she didn’t mean she saw something like this…
But, still, I guess I was expecting a bit more of an animated response from this prudish character we have spent the last few chapters getting to know. As she describes the room, and all its various sadomasochistic sex toys and harnesses (including a giant metal X to strap women to), she seems fairly nonchalant about the whole thing. It’s not that she doesn’t get what these things are – she definitely does. I think maybe she’s just got bigger things on her mind. For instance:
“So many questions cloud my mind. Why? How? When? How often? Who? I walk toward the bed and run my hands down one of the intricately carved posts. The post is very sturdy, the craftsmanship outstanding.”
Well, see, there you go! Sure, it can be a jarring experience to learn your potential lover is into kinky and potentially dangerous sex-play, but on the other hand you just don’t see very well made bedposts all that often. That’s bound to throw you for a loop!
So after a bit of boring small talk (like Christian helpfully explaining that a particularly scary looking whip she notices is called “a flogger”), Christian finally gets to the point, informing Ana that he is a Dominant, and wants her to be his new Submissive.
“What does that mean?” I whisper.
“It means I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.”
“Why would I do that?”
“To please me,” he whispers…
What’s up with all the damn whispering? It’s a sex-room, not a library.
But whatever – the cat is out of the bag. Christian is looking for Ana to completely surrender herself over to him, to be little more than his plaything, to serve his every need and whim. And, as you would expect from a strong female role-model based on Twilight‘s Bella Swan (certainly one of the all-time great feminist icons), Ana almost immediately goes along with the idea.
“Please Christian Grey…I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want him to be damn delighted with me. It’s a revelation.”
Yeah, I mean, so was Newton’s deduction regarding gravity, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere.
Christian even confirms to Ana that their relationship will go no further than that of master-slave. Actually, what he says is “This is the only sort of relationship I’m interesting in,” which is either a typo or just him admitting that’s he a pretty boring guy outside of all this whips and chains nonsense. Either one makes sense, really.
Christian shows Ana the basic rules of the Dominant-Submissive contract he expects her to sign if she goes along with his wishes. She will live in her own room in the apartment on weekends, only wear clothes approved of and provided by Christian, eat a strict diet decided on by him, not enter any sexual relations with any other men, and – of course – “will keep herself clean and shaved and/or waxed at all times.” Christian is into some kinky stuff, but even he draws the line at going down on Robin Williams, you know what I’m saying?
Oh, and she will also be required to meet with a personal trainer four times a week for hour-long sessions. Remarkably, given everything she has learned will be expected of her, and done to her, this one is the one that gives her pause.
“I don’t want to exercise four times a week.”
Amazingly enough, she sticks to her guns on this, and pouts and “negotiates” enough that he finally agrees to cut it down to three hours. Well, geez, I hope she didn’t just use all her negotiating clout on that one. They say “pick your battles,” and I can’t help but wonder if Ana will really think that extra hour of exercise looks so bad when she’s got a butt-plug the size of Rhode Island up in her business.
Oh, but wait, Christian wouldn’t do anything like that to her, if she first puts it on her “Hard Limits” list. These are acts that both agree are off-limits from the very beginning. In case you’re wondering, Christian’s list looks like this:
I can’t help but notice that “No acts involving necrophilia” is NOT on that list, but I’m gonna go ahead and take Christian at his earlier word, and assume that’s just an oversight. After all, if you can’t trust the word of a man like Christian Grey, then what can you trust?
With his Hard Limits shared, Christian asks Ana what she thinks hers would be. Because she’s a clearly in-over-her-head simpleton that, quite frankly, seems almost completely willing to just submit to what we’ll call the “complete Chris Brown treatment” right about now, Ana is unsurprisingly unable to think of any Hard Limits of her own. Christian tries to give her a hand by asking what sort of stuff she didn’t like doing in her previous sexual encounters.
And that’s when she drops the bombshell.
“Well…I’ve not had sex before, so I don’t know.”
It’s time for our first ever Fifty Shades of Grey Trivia Game!!!
Upon learning that Ana is a virgin, does Christian:
- Laugh, but in a sensitive, non-mocking manner
- Give a caring “I understand, and you have nothing to be ashamed of”look
- Flip his shit and growl “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?”
I’ll give you the answer next time, but really, c’mon…is there any doubt about this one?