Chapter 11. Herein follows The Contract. Aren’t you just wet with anticipation? Contract law – so steamy! The Contract claims that its purpose is “to allow the Submissive to explore her sensuality and her limits safely.” You mean it’s to allow the Dominant to take advantage of said Submissive, because he preys on women with low self-esteem. The parties acknowledge the relationship is consensual, neither one has any illnesses, blah blah blah.
As Dominant, he takes responsibility for her “proper training, guidance, and discipline,” and defines where and when such activities take place, presumably his “playroom” during the Spanish Inquisition. If the Dom fails to keep to his terms, she can leave without notice. As if he’d let her leave that easily! Blah blah, total unquestioning submission. Terms are for three months lease with option to buy, I mean, to extend. She must be available from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, with other times subject to determination. He can terminate contract at any time, and she can request release at any time, but the final decision is up to him. So, really she has no choice in the matter. He will pay for any and all travel costs she may incur to come to him. Blah, blah, service provisions, health and safety, his personal property, no permanent marks or injuries. She must take birth control pills, cannot pleasure herself without permission, cannot look him directly in the eyes, and can only call him “Sir” or “Mr. Grey.” No “Master?” Color me surprised! Oh, and she can’t touch him without permission. The safewords are “yellow” and “red” with the latter being when she absolutely cannot take anymore.
And then the “rules” are reprinted here, in case you’ve forgotten them already. And the hard limits are also repeated, but there’s a new one here: “no activity that involves the direct contact of electric current (whether alternating or direct), fire or flames to the body.” Oh, good, so I guess that means he won’t be putting clamps on her nips and hooking her up to a car battery . . . .
And now, soft limits – what is acceptable to the sub? Will she swallow? Can he use toys? What types of bondage? What is her attitude about pain? How much does she want to receive? Oh, wait, nipple AND genital clamps are on the list, but no batteries.
Ana is appalled by all this. “How can I possibly agree to all this?” It’s simple, you don’t. She scoffs at the obeying – that’s part and parcel of being a submissive. She whines inwardly about never seeing Kate or making any new friends – again, it’s all there in black and white. So, first rule of contracts – read everything thoroughly. Second rule of contracts – if you don’t agree, you don’t sign. But she keeps thinking more. She would want one weekend a month to herself, during menses. Why, when you can just put your feet in cold water to stop the flow? She doesn’t want to be flogged and whipped, but being tied up was hot. Well, see, you can do that with someone else who isn’t Grey and doesn’t want to take advantage of your non-existent sense of self! She thinks the rule about not looking him in the eyes is weird – it’s called control. He will have complete and total power over you, remember? Damn, this girl is a fucking moron.
“This is no way to have a relationship.” So, for the (probably not) last time, don’t do it! She readies for bed, her subconscious and inner goddess having a duel. Which one are we now, Sybil? Inner goddess: “Please, let’s do this . . . otherwise we’ll end up alone with lots of cats and your classic novels to keep you company.” Right, because this and “submit, even though I don’t want to” are the only options. You’re only twenty-one; there are plenty of guys out there. But, they’re not sexy creeps like Grey; ah, there’s the rub.
She begins to think about “his body inside” her. That’s some talent you got there! She wonders if she is submissive. You seem to just do whatever anyone else tells you to do, so it would appear so. She dreams of shackles.
The next day, a guy comes with a laptop and Ana manages to convince Kate that it’s a loaner to try out. Ana is dumb about computers, like most everything else. AppleGuy is amused by her idiocy.
Ana and Grey start emailing each other. It is boring and annoying to me. Please get to the point of this book already. I’m starting to see where the torture is – in the reading! I have written approximately 45 pages on this book (yes, in longhand, I am a geek after all) and we’re only 36% complete at Chapter 11. Who knew ladyporn (I refuse to call it erotica; that’s for a much better class of book) could be so slow and so damned pedestrian thus far?
José and Ana have coffee; she has forgiven him, so you know that he’s going to do something worse later. Ana turns on her computer at home and emails back and forth with Grey some more. She apparently doesn’t know what to search for. Are you fucking kidding me? How are you allowed to graduate? Our protagonist is so idiotic it’s starting to become really sad. Grey advises her to “always start with Wikipedia.” I think many in the educational profession would disagree, but whatev. So, she obeys, and is shocked, but also turned on by what she discovers. “But is it for me? . . . I need to think.” Wait, haven’t you been doing that this whole time?