Look, I’m only human. And though you probably read this blog and think to yourself, “this Trevor character sure seems like a pretty flawless guy,” that just isn’t the case. I hate to shatter any illusions, but even I make mistakes. In fact, I made a huge one in my last entry, somehow writing the entire Chapter Nine review without citing one of its most unbelievable and unforgettable lines.
Thankfully, loyal Mommy Porn and Me reader Bob was kind enough to point out my oversight in the comments. Even though we’ve since moved on, I would be remiss not to take a moment and share this gem, taken from the bathtub blow job scene:
“Hmm…I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey flavor popsicle.”
Yes, I know. I KNOW! It is almost criminal that I neglected to point this line out. I’m as ashamed by it as you think as I should be, I promise you. So, of course, there is now only one thing left for me to do:
But…no. No, I can’t do it. I mean, I’m not gonna lie – not a moment has gone by while reading Fifty Shades of Grey where the sweet promise of death hasn’t felt downright desirable…but I’m not even halfway through this damn thing. Seppuku would be the easy way out right now. It would be cheating. And you know what they say – cheaters never win, and winners never cheat (except in business, politics, sports and professional wrestling).
Anyway, a brief story before moving on- a few days ago, I was telling somebody about this blog, and when they said they were looking forward to reading it, I actually said “I hope you can get pleasure out of my pain.” It took a few moments for the irony of that statement to truly hit me. Here I am at the Chapter Ten mark, and already I myself am beginning to equate one person’s pain with another person’s pleasure! Could it be? In my quest to unlock my inner Christian Grey, and thus embark on an epic sexual adventure, have I actually begun to unconsciously pick up some of his more forbidden tendencies?
Well, I don’t know…but I got my tie ready, just in case.
Now at this point you might be wondering why I haven’t actually started talking about about Chapter Ten yet. You might even accuse me of stalling. How dare you?! The truth is, I’m only wasting time because there really isn’t that much to talk about. Except for one important character revelation, Chapter Ten is a relatively boring affair, particularly following two chapters of
hilarious titillating sexual escapades. And, I know – I said the sex chapters were boring, too. And they were! But that’s the problem – it’s a complete lose-lose situation with this book. Either you’re bored out of your mind reading about these two daft characters farting around and making awkward small talk, or you’re bored out of your mind reading about them playing the old “in-out, in-out.” I mean, neither option is much fun, but at least with the sex scenes you get stuff like that popsicle line. So I guess those are better? I really don’t know.
“But, wait, Trevor, you sexy beast,” you’re probably saying, “I thought the last chapter ended with the sudden arrival of Christian’s mother, as he and Ana lay in bed in sweaty, post-coital bliss? Surely there must be an entertaining conclusion to that thrilling cliffhanger?” Well, look, you’re not exactly wrong for expecting that sort of thing, but you are forgetting that such an entertaining sequence would probably require an author who knows what they’re doing. Or at least somebody familiar with the last forty or so years of wacky sitcom hijinks.
Instead, E.L. James squanders all comedic and dramatic potential of this scene, which is almost impressive in a weird way. Of all the intriguing things that could have happened here, we end up with…well, nothing, really. Christian is actually pretty excited to introduce Ana to his mother, and tells her to come meet them outside after she has put on some clothes. Ana throws on a pair of Christian’s boxer shorts (“if there’s one thing I hate, it’s not wearing clean panties”), pulls on her jeans and t-shirt, and steps outside into…a rather pleasant interaction, in fact.
Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey is quite pleased to meet Ana, it turns out, and gives the two of them a couple standard “how did you two meet” type questions before explaining that she only stopped in to see if Christian wanted to join her for lunch. Seeing him with Ana, however, she decides not to bother them and quickly leaves. The whole thing is over in a matter of paragraphs. I’m giving James enough credit that I assume she will return later in the book and justify this rather pointless introduction here, but a part of me sort of hopes that’s not the case – that she only appears in this one scene, thus ultimately making her one of the most useless and baffling mother characters since Lisa’s mom in Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.
His mother gone, Christian begins preparing to drive Ana back home to Portland. His shitty, stand-offish attitude has returned, perhaps due to Ana answering a phone call from José (“Dios mio! Ana!”). He only softens when he hands her the Submissive contract he wants her to sign and tells her that he really hopes she’ll agree to it. In fact, he even encourages her to get online and do some research into the lifestyle, in order to be able to make an informed decision. He does not tell her to make sure her computer’s anti-virus protection is up to date before doing said research, which would have been nice of him. But I guess it doesn’t matter, because we now learn something else about Ana:
“Internet! I don’t have access to a computer, only Kate’s laptop, and I couldn’t use Claytons’, not for this sort of ‘research’ surely?”
Call me crazy, but this struck me as one of the most implausible moments of the book so far. Ana is just about to graduate from college, and while she’s not rolling in money she hasn’t really been described as being poor, either. And she has no computer? No laptop of her own? No smartphone? NO access to the Internet except for her roommate’s computer? How deprived is this girl? Can’t we at least get her some dial-up or something?
Thankfully, Christian – being the great, wonderful, incomparable guy he is – promises to lend her a laptop. Wait a sec…lend her a laptop?? I don’t mean to brag, but when I become a millionaire and start asking women to be my contracted sex slaves, I think I might go the extra mile and buy them their own laptops. Nothing fancy, of course, maybe even just a standard netbook. But still…Trevor – 1, Christian – 0 on this whole laptop issue. Just something to think about, ladies.
As they prepare to leave for the ride home, Ana asks Christian for permission to talk to Kate about, you know, sex type stuff.
“Well, I flush. How to say this? I need to talk to Kate. I’ve so many questions about sex, and you’re too involved. If you want me to do all these things, how do I know-?” I pause, struggling to find the right words. “I just don’t have any terms of reference.”
He rolls his eyes at me.
“Talk to her if you must.” He sounds exasperated.
Yeah, this guy is quite the charmer.
The sooner I have your submission the better, and we can stop all this,” he murmurs.
“Stop all what?”
“You, defying me.”
Anyway, the two are soon on their way, in Christian’s Ford Fusion…nah, I’m just kidding. I drive a Ford Fusion. Christian actually drives a black Audi R8 Spyder. Which, sure, looks like an alright car, I guess…
…but, you know, my Fusion has cup-holders that light up in a variety of colors….
…so I’m gonna go ahead and say we’re about even on this one.
The two stop for lunch, a noteworthy scene for two reasons. First, there’s this exchange:
“What’s vanilla sex?” I ask, if anything to distract myself from the intense, burning, sexy look he’s giving me. He laughs.
“Just straightforward sex, Anastasia. No toys, no added extras.” He shrugs. “You know… well, actually you don’t, but that’s what it means.”
“Oh.” I thought it was chocolate fudge brownie sex that we had, with a cherry on the top. But hey, what do I know?
Well, actually Ana, I think you’ll find during your “research” that “chocolate fudge brownie sex” is something very different. Come to think of it, there are two different things I guess could fit the definition – both messy, but one certainly more preferable than the other…
More importantly, the conversation continues and we finally get our first info on what makes Christian tick. Every great hero has an origin story. Superman has his parents sending him away from an exploding planet in a rocket. Batman had the tragic murder of his parents in front of his very eyes as a child. And Christian Grey has…
“One of my mother’s friends seduced me when I was fifteen.”
“Oh.” Holy shit that’s young!
“She had very particular tastes. I was her submissive for six years.”
Uhhh…Christian Grey has child molestation.
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking this revelation casts a new, somewhat skeevy pall over the whole thing. But don’t worry, I guess it’s OK, because Christian seems pretty fine with it, right? Right?
“So if she was a friend of your mother’s, how old was she?”
“Old enough to know better.”
“Do you still see her?”
“Do you still…err…?” I flush.
“No.” He shakes his head and smiles indulgently at me. “She’s a very good friend.”
Ana is understandably taken aback by all this, especially with how calm and cool he seems about the whole thing. She is so surprised, she loses her appetite and stops eating for a few seconds, and you know what that means. That’s right – Christian again yells at her to finish her food.
“Is this what our, err…relationship will be like?” I whisper. “You ordering me around?” I can’t quite bring myself to look at him.
“Yes,” he murmurs.
“And what’s more, you’ll want me to,” he adds, his voice low.
Ana receives at least one bit of good news before the meal is over – that Christian is completely monogamous in relationships, and will not be seeing any of his past submissives during whatever time he might spend with her. What a swell guy. They then drive back to her place, mostly in silence. Once they arrive back at Ana’s, she can’t resist the temptation to get the better of him, at least once.
“Oh…by the way, I’m wearing your underwear.” I give him a small smile and pull up the waistband of the boxer briefs I’m wearing so he can see. Christian’s mouth drops open, shocked. What a great reaction.
A relieved Kate is happy to see Ana still alive and in one piece, and immediately begins pressing her for details. Though worried about how much she can and can’t say due to her NDA, Ana does spill the beans that her and Christian got it on. Kate seems happy for her, especially when Ana confirms that Christian brought her to orgasm. Kate can’t believe it, and shares the story of her “horrid” first time, with “Steve Paton. High school, dickless jock.” Well, geez, yeah, I guess if the guy was dickless I can see why it wasn’t a great experience. You would think…wait, what’s that? Oh, she wasn’t speaking literally? Alright, nevermind, then.
Kate looks wistful.
“Yeah, took almost a year to have my first orgasm through penetrative sex and here you are…first time?”
“My first orgasm through penetrative sex??” Again, seriously, does anyone really talk like this?
Anyway, Ana changes the subject by getting Kate to tell her all about the time she’s been spending with Christian’s brother, Elliot (hint: they’re boning…a lot), after which she finally calls José back and allows him to squeak out an apology for the drunken pass he made on her at the bar. She even agrees to meet him for coffee the next day, though mostly just to calm him down after she starts whining about her spending time with Christian, and even almost accusing her of just doing it because of Christian’s money. Yes, call a girl a whore and get rewarded with a coffee date – it looks like everything is coming up José!
The chapter ends with a contemplative Ana, sitting alone and considering everything she has learned about her dream man.
He’s such a complicated person. And now I have an insight as to why. A young man deprived of his adolescence, sexually abused by some evil Mrs. Robinson figure…no wonder he’s old before his time. My heart fills with sadness at the thought of what he must have been through.
It is sad, and I give James credit for not only tackling the sensitive subject of child abuse, but also for allowing her character such a moment of tender, meaningful introspection, showing concern for the well-being of someone she cares about.
. . . .
Hey, remember when she said his dick was like a popsicle?