Chapter Seven. Lots of leather and wood. Soft lighting. That doesn’t sound like the Inquisition. A St. Andrews cross (she doesn’t call it that, but I know plenty of things I don’t want to know, thanks to the Internet). Shackles, whips, chains, paddles, canes, a king-size bed (but not for sleeping), carabiners (like for rock climbing), et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. She touches a flogger (he tells her what it is). She’s in shock, and perhaps afraid. You should be – this is serious business.
Grey orders her to say something. She wants to know if he’s the bestower or the recipient. Of course, he does it to women. In a twist, he should have been the masochist; then I might have been a little more interested. She still doesn’t understand why she’s there. Because he wants you spead-eagled on that cross, you dolt!
It depresses her that he “likes to hurt women.” Well, provided they’re consenting adults, there’s nothing wrong with it. Just not my thing. My problem is how creepy is he outside the “playroom,” and the picture it paints of others who enjoy their time this way.
Grey has to explain what being a dom means. Of course, once she hears that it would be to “please him,” she doesn’t grasp the rest of the idea. He has to explain about rules, rewards and punishments. That is where the “playroom” fits in, which he has to spell out for her, also. She has to be submissive and that will please him. Then, finally, a smart question from Ana: “What do I get out of this?”
She gets Grey. That doesn’t seem like enough, because she doesn’t get him in the traditional sense. He’s not romantic or anything, so basically, you get the privilege of being dominated by a rich, good-looking man. Which, for some, I guess, would be enough, but . . .
He suggests they go back downstairs where he won’t be distracted. She realizes that Kate was right when she said Grey was dangerous – and it is dangerous “because I know I’m going to say yes. And part of me doesn’t want to.” And this is one of the biggest problems I have with this book, neglecting the poor writing and its ridiculous popularity for a moment. A relationship like this is based upon informed consent. She’s definitely NOT informed at all, and she also isn’t completely invested, and is, in fact, hesitant. She’s drawn in because he’s hot and interested in her. This is not something into which one goes with eyes half-closed. This is when you should leave, clear your head, THINK before you submit. Especially with her self-esteem issues, she’ll say yes to Grey solely because he’s paying court. What are we really saying about this female protagonist?
Grey shows her another room down the hall – a regular bedroom, which would be hers on the weekends, perhaps, subject to negotiation. She can sleep there, but not with him, as he sleeps alone, except when there’s a drunk chick in his bed, and he’s scolding again. She doesn’t understand his changes in behavior.
He brings her back downstairs. He tells her he’ll answer any questions she has. He commands her to sit and she obeys. Starting early . . . The paperwork is a contract outlining the limits. If she doesn’t want it, that’s okay, but he doesn’t do any other type of relationship. Why he enjoys this is hard to answer – it’s just Christian Grey. The rules are all outlined, but first, she must eat. Why Mousey Girl, Mousey Girl wants to know. Apparently, there’s something about her that brings out his stalker side somethin’ fierce. He commands her to eat, but she’s not under contract yet, so she refuses; this seems to amuse him. He’s had fifteen women, some for longer than others. What she doesn’t ask is, what happens to them? Does the contract end, or are they in a ditch somewhere? He has been beaten, but doesn’t elaborate. Is that why you’re a dom now?
He beckons her to the study, where he reveals his rules, which are only a portion of the contract. She, as his sub, will immediately obey any and all instruction he gives (which means that he lives the lifestyle 24/7). She will do anything he wants sexually, excepting anything outlined in the appendix. Right here, she has a problem; she’s never DONE anything, so how does she know what her limits are? She must get at least seven hours of sleep when not with him. She can only eat from a specified foods list, and is only allowed fruit between meals. Her clothes must be approved by him, and approved clothes must be worn anytime he deems fit. She must work out with a personal trainer four times weekly. She must be clean and waxed at all times. She cannot drink too much, do drugs, or do anything stupid to put herself to risk. You mean, like getting involved with you? No sex with anyone else. Her behavior at all times is a reflection on her dom, and any failure to comply is a punishable offense.
She asks what the “hard limits” are. His erection, obviously. *rimshot* She feels uncomfortable about taking money for clothes, but it’s because she might be his escort from time to time, and she won’t be able to afford the things he wants her to wear. Leather is expensive, yo. She doesn’t want the personal trainer, but he insists, because she needs to be “supple, strong, and with stamina.” She negotiates him down to three times a week.
And now, his hard limits, for the benefit of the radio audience: no fire, no bodily fluids (such as urine, shit, or blood), no needles or knives, no gynecological instruments, no children or animals, no permanent marks on skin, no breath control. See, I might have thought he’d be into the latter. He likes to beat, why not choke, too?
Ana is a little squicked by reading these, wondering at the fact that he had to write them down. Well, girl, if you think you’re headed down a dark corridor, there are always darker ones . . . So now Grey would like to know her limits. She, of course, doesn’t know, which stumps him, so she has to spell out the fact that she’s a virgin. Really, dude, you couldn’t guess, with all the blushing and stammering and inability to even say the word “sex?”
This makes him angry. Why didn’t she say anything? You didn’t ask!