Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) Fifty Shades of Grey discussion


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Am I the only one creeped out by Christian?

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message 101: by Sönïa (new) - rated it 1 star

Sönïa Dhillion Stephanie wrote: "I read all 3 books and I honestly think that Christian is your typical controlling/abusive guy, the only difference is that he decides he wants to be something else and actively works to change him..."

I have read the books too and I think he never changed at all he always got his way all the time because Annlies never stood up for herself . She was very insecure and not strong strange how her father seemed alpha how could U be a wimp of ur parents aren't like that anyway the only time Annlies stood up for herself was when she found out she was pregnant and really even then she wasn't standing up for her it was abt her unborn baby yes I'll admit that one aspect did changed Christian he realised why his mother was hurt by her friend who abused him that's when he actual understood it was abuse because he imagined that happening to his child n felt sick. So only change that Annlies brought in Christian was that by the end of the book he was comfortable being a father of two children that's it apart from that nothing this book fucked peoples perception of BDSM especially for readers who are new to the concept plus this is also suppose to be a romance where is it I never seen any I saw better romance in crossfire series: bared to you, reflected in you by Sylvia day n the original sinner series: the siren, the angle, the prince by tiffany riesz those are novels with truce romance n BDSM not like fifty shades of grey which was just full of sex no emotions at all


message 102: by Vashti (last edited May 16, 2013 01:53PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vashti Jenna wrote: "Marah wrote: "Yes that is exactly right. Total nutty bat. And that inner goddess stuff seemed crazy as heck to me."

i agree"


I have to agree, as much as I enjoyed most of the books, the "inner goddess" crap got on my nerves to no END!! I thought that was completley ridiculous and juvenile! I was really hoping Christian could grab the inner goddess and beat the crap out of her to shut her the heck up!!!


message 103: by Maggie (new) - rated it 3 stars

Maggie I agree!! He was way to controlling. I didn't find him the least bit appealing and by the last book disliked Ana A LOT!! I wanted to yell grow a back bone, stand up for yourself!!


Michelle 🦂 FINALLY, someone else who found him creepy!


message 105: by Alys (new) - rated it 1 star

Alys Marchand Click here: http://das-sporking.livejournal.com/2...

And ctrl+F for Robert Lee Yates. Oh my god, ladies, the similarities between Christian and a serial killer are FREAKY. Yates was from Seattle, killed 16 women (Christian was with 16 women), he liked brunettes and would get them drunk (Christian likes "little brunette girls" and very often gives Ana alcohol and tells her to drink up), both were victims of sexual assault as minors (yes, Elena having sex with Christian at 15 is a crime in Washington, and I've verified this with two police departments here), both have experience with a type of reconnaissance helicopter only used by the military, both have dealings with war-torn, genocidal countries in Africa starving people to death (Somalia and Darfur), both have issues with their mothers, both have musical abilities, both become obsessed with controlling the objects of their desires, Yates' wife's name was Linda and two of Christian's ex-subs are Elena and Leila (the mash-up is very close to Linda), Yates' mother was Ana, and if this doesn't already have you convinced (I already was), Christian's company deals in two seemingly unrelated enterprises: Communications and industrial manufacturing. These things are not related at all. So what wind of company would handle both? Pantrol, a company in Seattle where Yates worked.

Speculation on this is that, since Erika was re-writing Edward Cullen as Christian and replaced the danger of Edward being a vampire with Christian being into an inaccurate version of BDSM that is really abuse disguised as BDSM, she may have replaced the "monster inside" Edward with the monstrous history of a real serial killer. So there is a monster inside Christian's character.

This makes him even creepier. There are too many coincidences for this to be coincidental.

-Enter to win free copies of my novel, Sacred Blood: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sho...


JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust Regina wrote: "Jenna wrote: "Marah wrote: "Yes that is exactly right. Total nutty bat. And that inner goddess stuff seemed crazy as heck to me."

i agree"

I have to agree, as much as I enjoyed most of the books..."


Regina, you read my mind. I wanted to knock her inner goddess out.


message 107: by Jackie (new) - rated it 1 star

Jackie Nalu.chan wrote: "Seriously, I was completely creeped out by Grey. The sex part was... well, not normal, but there are people who enjoy BDMS and stuff (hey, who am I to judge when someone likes it really spicy). But..."

I agree, I felt the same way. I would run away as fast as I can from this guy.


message 108: by Alys (new) - rated it 1 star

Alys Marchand Ladies, I'd just like to correct one important thing. What Christian did was NOT BDSM. He abused people and called it BDSM. Read back in the first book, chapter 12. As far as he knew, Ana meant it when she said she didn't want to see him again in an email, and his first response was to literally break into her apartment and tell her he was going to fuck her to "remind" her how much she enjoyed sex with him. "She doesn't want to see me, but I'm going to go have sex with her anyway." That is the mindset of a rapist. And then Ana said no when he wanted to have foot play, and he threatened her to be quiet or he was going to humiliate her in front of Kate. Ignoring a No outside of a D/s agreement (which Ana never enters) is rape. When he realized she was joking in that e-mail, he got mad, slapped her, and plunged into her so fast she had no chance to say no and was hurt. In Ana's own words, he assaulted and struck her.

Then, because her physiology worked, she had an orgasm and convinced herself it really meant she wanted it all along. Ana was already overly ignorant of the world, and that bit convinced her she didn't really know what she wanted, and so was putty in the manipulator's hands.

She can't even get away from him at work because he told her he'll buy whatever company she works for. She's trapped, and her only hope is to learn what makes him tick and to not do that and to try to do the things that will get him to go easier on her. Even on her honeymoon she was terrified.


message 109: by Sönïa (new) - rated it 1 star

Sönïa Dhillion Alys wrote: "Ladies, I'd just like to correct one important thing. What Christian did was NOT BDSM. He abused people and called it BDSM. Read back in the first book, chapter 12. As far as he knew, Ana meant it ..."

Alyse your right when I only read this book because I was curious to what this Christian fuss is about, I'll be honest I was new to the bdsm concept so this book freaked me out completely n ana attitude made me mad plus ladies calling this hot n romantic made me confused . I mean I wouldn't want to treated like Ana was n what do readers like about this I never understood ok if U bdsm great but that's not what Christian did so basically readers are materialistic then they love the Bing that's just pathetic. I have other books like crossfire series by Sylvia day , the original sinners by tiffany Reiss well crossfire doesn't really have much bdsm but it still is good its not crazy like this shit but the original sinner by tiffany Reiss does have bdsm, romance, obstacles , scarifies, unconditional love , love that has no limits n is not defined as society rules as in a normal relationship its unique and if you actually want to read abt bdsm then you should read confessions from a submissive by Sophie Morgan its more real and it made me understand in-depth of a Dom n sub feelings what did like etc these books has honesty in them not like this crap where Christian says he wants honesty but is never honest


message 110: by Mochaspresso (last edited May 18, 2013 09:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mochaspresso Alys wrote: "Ladies, I'd just like to correct one important thing. What Christian did was NOT BDSM. He abused people and called it BDSM. Read back in the first book, chapter 12. As far as he knew, Ana meant it ..."


I respect others opinions on why they like or don't like a book. However, it does bother me when someone has an obvious agenda and twists and misrespresents the events of a book to suit their own needs. If people are going to anaylyze this book that intently,you should at least base the analysis on textual evidence. Base it on what actually happened. That is not what happened in chapter 12 at all.

(personally, I don't think this is the type of book that warrants that type of in depth analysis, but whatever.)

Chapter 12 starts with Ana going for a run to clear her head and here is some of the things that she is thinking.....




Quite frankly, I have a mind to run to the Heathman Hotel and just demand sex from the control freak. But that’s five miles, and I don’t think I’ll be able to run one mile, let alone five, and, of course, he might turn me down, which would be beyond humiliating.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 187). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


Ana's orgasm and other reactions to their sexual encounter was not mere physiology kicking in out of the blue. Ana was attracted to him, was sexually aroused by him and thinking of him in those terms before and during their encounter.



What am I going to do? I want him, but on his terms? I just don’t know. Perhaps I should negotiate what I want. Go through that ridiculous contract line by line and say what is acceptable and what isn’t.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 187). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


Again, she clearly states that she wants him but also wants to negotiate the terms with him.

My research has told me that legally it’s unenforceable. He must know that. I figure that it just sets up the parameters of the relationship. It illustrates what I can expect from him and what he expects from me—my total submission. Am I prepared to give him that? Am I even capable?

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 187). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


Her indecision is not over sex and never was. She wants to be in a sexual relationship with him. She is indecisive over whether she wants to do it on his terms.

The following is why I think Ana is a complete and total immature nitwit.....

I feel my resolve hardening. Yes. I need to tell him what’s okay and what isn’t. I need to e-mail him my thoughts, and then we can discuss these on Wednesday.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 188). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


This is what she tells herself that she is going to do, yet this is what she actually does....

I e-mail Christian. From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Shocked of WSUV Date: May 23 2011 20:33 To: Christian Grey Okay, I’ve seen enough. It was nice knowing you. Ana I press “send,” hugging myself, laughing at my little joke. Will he find it as funny?

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. (p. 188). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


You said that she meant it when she emailed him. However, in the book,she clearly states that she is joking with him. Imo, she is a nitwit because instead of telling him what is bothering her about the terms that he has laid out for her....she jokes around with him.

By nine, I’ve heard nothing. Perhaps he’s out. I pout petulantly as I plug my iPod earbuds in, listen to Snow Patrol, and sit down at my small desk to reread the contract and make my comments.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 189). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


She is petulant that Christian hasn't responded to her email joke yet. She's also rereading the contract and making comments. Why would someone who meant what they said in their email and is supposedly not interested do this?

“Good evening, Anastasia.” His voice is cool, his expression completely guarded and unreadable. The capacity to speak deserts me. Damn Kate for letting him in here with no warning.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 189). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


He didn't "literally" break into her apartment like you said he did. Her roommate let him in.

I don't want to be overly pedantic and quote line by line from chapter 12 but here are some lines that directly pertain to their encounter and to her mindset and thinking during it...

My heart is pounding. I can feel that pull, that delicious electricity between us charging, filling the space with static.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 190). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


Desire—acute, liquid, and smoldering—combusts deep in my belly. I take preemptive action and launch myself at him.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 191). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


He wants me, and this does strange, delicious things to my insides. Not Kate in her little bikinis, not one of the fifteen, not evil Mrs. Robinson. Me. This beautiful man wants me. My inner goddess glows so bright she could light up Portland.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 191). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.




This is what he says to her, just before he ties her up with the grey silk tie....

“Trust me?” he breathes. I nod, wide-eyed, my heart bouncing off my ribs, my blood thundering through my body.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 191). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


This is where she says "no" and where he threatens to tie her feet and gag her. But, in my opinion, context is everything. Pay attention to what she says no to. She is not thinking that she doesn't want to have sex. The only thing that she is worried about is whether her feet and underwear are gross because she has just gone for a run and hasn't showered yet and whether her roommate is listening in.

He bends and starts undoing one of my sneakers. Oh no … no … my feet. No. I’ve just been running. “No,” I protest, trying to kick him off. He stops. “If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet, too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you. Keep quiet. Katherine is probably outside listening right now.” Gag me! Kate! I shut up. He removes my shoes and my socks efficiently and slowly peels off my sweatpants. Oh—what panties am I wearing?

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 192). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


I won't quote line by line of the actual sex, people can read it for themselves but I think this is important..

“What do you want, Anastasia?” “You … now,” I cry.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 195). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


That is exactly what he asks of her just before they have intercourse and that is her response. Sorry, but their sex was completely consensual.

I am going to assume that this is the part that people seem to be taking as rape...

He pushes both my knees up the bed so my behind is in the air, and he slaps me hard. Before I can react, he plunges inside me. I cry out—from the slap and from his sudden assault, and I come instantly again and again, falling apart beneath him as he continues to slam deliciously into me.

James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 196). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.



"Slams deliciously into me"? What raped woman uses those terms to describe her rapists actions? None. It's perfectly fine to not like the book. It's fine to think that it wasn't well written. It's fine to think that Christian is creepy. However, it isn't fine to project elements into the story that simply were not there and flat out lie about what happens in the story. Christian didn't literally break into her home and rape an unwilling woman as people are claiming. He was let in by her roommate. Ana could have told him to leave at any time but she didn't. She consented to being tied up and she consented to the sex that they had and she clearly enjoyed it.


message 111: by Alys (new) - rated it 1 star

Alys Marchand My only agenda is to clear the air about what BDSM actually is. Ana herself was terrified of him and her reactions were often looking for ways to get away and trying to avoid his tempter. She herself told the reader he ASSAULTS her (her own word from that first scene that is technically rape because she sent an e-mail saying she didn't want to see him again, and his immediate response was to drive to her home, break into her apartment, and fuck her into submission even while he was under the belief she didn't want to see him anymore, and when he found out it was her idea of a little joke, he, knowing by that point she didn't want hitting, slapped her and rammed himself into her so quickly she didn't have time to say no again after she already said no to him doing stuff with her feet that she said no to and he ignored and instead threatened her to shut up - remember she had NOT agreed to anything with him AND he was under the belief she didn't want to see him at all).

Ana's consent is legally null. She couldn't give informed consent to things she didn't understand. Consent required understanding, not merely being 18. Christian manipulated her. Research Stockholm Syndrome. He used her naiveté against her to manipulate and, as Ana said, RAILROAD her into doing what he wanted. Ana was confused as hell about what was going on and had self-esteem issues that he used against her. He managed to make her believe if was him or life as a lonely cat-lady (literally cat-lady). She had no experience and couldn't believe someone would want her, and she actually had no opportunity to say no. She has said many times she's merely enduring it and hopes to change him because she was scared and thought she could turn him into a normal person. At the end of the first book, he only didn't run after her because HE took thinks so far that she damaged his pride. It's doubtful he would have stayed away.

Did you know that the contract he gave her is actually a slave contract, which is different than a submissive? He lied to her right there. He lied by omission as well in not telling her that these contracts aren't legally enforceable. He didn't give her the information she needed, and gave her a different contract than what he claimed.

Christian stalked her, demanded her availability at all times, bought her place of employment to control her and told her he'd buy anywhere else she went to work, followed her across the country when she went to visit her mother and get a break from him, etc.. He had total control over her, and Ana realized she had no escape. If she would try making a serious attempt at escape, he would follow her. He made that clear when he thought she broke up with him and his first thought was to go rape her (which IS truly what he was thinking - that's what it is when you plan to go have sex with someone who you think doesn't want to see you and you're going to do it anyway) and then left her a sobbing mess without the aftercare any real Dom knows to give. She was trapped, and she was scared, and she wasn't allowed to talk to anyone and she was terrified to break his rules that she didn't agree to. In the third book she finally broke a rule by going out to have a drink with Kate while followed by body guards, and Christian reacted by leaving an event across the country to punish her for daring to disobey him (remember she NEVER agreed to being his submissive and has only obeyed out of terror over what he would do to her).

Rapists routinely manipulate the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of their victims. Christian did these. The ONE time she safeworded he made her feel guilty and wrong for it.

Ana's "happy ending" is learning to endure what he's done. She's enough of a victim of Stockholm Syndrome that she's accepted what she didn't want. Horribly sad that abuse to the point of acceptance is seen as happy. This sends such a dangerous message.

But if you don't want to take my word for it, and want to think that successful manipulation isn't rape or abuse, then take the word of someone who's lived the lifestyle for more than 20 years and knows better than either of us. Peter did a scene-by-scene analysis in context of BDSM. BDSM has rules for safety, and if you break them, you aren't doing BDSM. You don't get to abuse someone and call it BDSM.

http://historyofbdsm.com/category/cur...

http://historyofbdsm.com/category/cur...

http://historyofbdsm.com/category/cur...

http://historyofbdsm.com/category/cur...

A PhD talking about coercive control: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peggy-a...

Here's an actual submissive whose only "agenda" is making sure people know what BDSM really is so people like her don't look bad, and she calls Christian the abuser he is:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/201...

BDSM advocated are concerned about the BAD example Christian sets: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/bdsm-adv...

A BDSM club talking about how the book shows unsafe practices and is actually abusive:
http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/ar...

Fo join some BDSM forums and try arguing that FDoG is a good series on BDSM. Those living the lifestyle will disagree with you because...they know...from PERSONAL experience:
http://www.smplace.com/forum/566332-d...
It's pretty easy to tell who in various forums have been in the lifestyle for a long time and who is there because they ready FDoG and think they know all about it. If you don't know what a sub-drop is, and don't know about aftercare, or that a Dom/me has the responsibility of knowing when to stop even without a safeword, you'll have your butt handed to you there for thinking FSoG makes you knowledgeable. General consensus is that FSoG id all-around dangerous.

Some blogs with info about FSoG by people who LIVE the lifestyle and know the difference between BDSM and abuse:
jennytrout.blogspot.com (she started out thinking she was going to like the books)
http://das-sporking.livejournal.com/t... (one of the "sporkers" there is a very-long-time sub)

Read through the red flags checklist:
http://coffeeandprozac.files.wordpres...
And here it is with examples from the book:
http://jenniferarmintrout.blogspot.co...

If Fifty Shades was really mild and a good example of real BDSM instead of abuse, psychologists, psychiatrists, those living the lifestyle, and other experts, wouldn't universally be saying DO NOT follow the examples in this book because it's dangerous. They would NOT be concerned about these books leading to people getting into abusive situations after reading these books. They wouldn't be warning that more often than not staying with someone like Christian leads to death.

I've been on the end of abuse that some might say I consented to because I didn't run out of the house and so must have consented by staying and trying to find a way to accept my life and still be happy even though it culminated in me trying to kill myself after five years of it and not being able to deny reality anymore (at the end of the trilogy, Ana's had about three years of it). I've also been part of the BDSM community and participated in things that would probably terrify you.

Do you have experience on both ends? Have you talked to professionals in the field, those currently in the lifestyle, and research legitimate and credible sources? Or are you just another woman "in love" with Christian and wanting to fix the hot, rich guy's flaws to the point that you've willing to overlook his stalking, coercive, frightening, ABUSIVE behavior?


message 112: by Alys (new) - rated it 1 star

Alys Marchand Also put your little quotes in context. Ana's terrifies, afraid of being alone, doesn't know what to do, and it's allowed to talk to anyone for info or perspective. She's been manipulated into thinking he's it. When she tried talking about the contract, he dismissed her concerns. The next day he pulled a mind-trick by sending her a couple expensive gifts that subconsciously created a sense of obligation. Ana often does what she thinks he wants so he'll go easier on her. Seriously, Stockholm Syndrome.

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedict...

It doesn't take steel bars to make someone captive. Stalking is a way to keep people captive and complacent.

Jump down to page 10. Was Elizabeth Smart not a rape victim because she went along with what her abusers were doing, even refusing to identify herself in public when she would have run?

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/pub...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/art...

Christian Gray was suddenly everywhere in Ana's world and he forced herself into it in ways she didn't want, such as forcing her to introduce her to his father and randomly showing up at her place of employment to buy things he could have bought in Seattle. When he wasn't physically with her, he kept tossing expensive gifts on her, making her uncomfortable. She couldn't escape once he gave her that phone and a computer through which he was tracing her (let me know if you want to know the evidence that he was). Ana was backed into a corner not unlike Elizabeth, or other victims of Stockholm. Elizabeth staying and being submissive was no more of consent (regardless of her age) than Ana, nor was Jaycee Duggard when she accepted what her captor wanted and went along with it to make life easier for her. Nor was the coerced consent given by me or the millions of other women who who don't run, consent coerced out of us by the knowledge that it'll be much worse if we don't try to find a way to make it easier on ourselves.

Talk to women who've been in Ana's position, saying they wanted things they didn't because they were afraid to say no. Ana thought he was sexy and her physiology made her aroused. But she was terrified and often thought about escaping, but felt trapped.

A big glaring problem too is the belief that getting wet and even orgasming means someone really wanted it. All this means is physiology is working. Even victims of stranger rape have it happen, and it's disgusting that the message being sent is if you get off, you really wanted it and so weren't a victim.


message 113: by Alys (new) - rated it 1 star

Alys Marchand Sönïa wrote: "Alys wrote: "Ladies, I'd just like to correct one important thing. What Christian did was NOT BDSM. He abused people and called it BDSM. Read back in the first book, chapter 12. As far as he knew, ..."

Sonia, if both partners are on the same page and truly know what they're getting in for and enthusiastically consent, then it can be fun. Ana didn't even know what an orgasm was, and apparently didn't know anatomy ("tearing through her virginity" after he'd fingered her? - there's no such thing as an internal hymen). She misunderstood fisting and thought it meant hitting. She was scared and didn't want to do any of it. This isn't willing consent just because she did what she believed she had to do.

A good Dom follows safety procedures Christian didn't. A good Dom wouldn't have taken as a submissive someone so ignorant and told her to just go to the Wiki. The contract he gave her is a slave contract. Being a sub isn't to rigid, but he lied to her, and showed his untrustworthiness. He manipulated her and made it about her trusting him when she wasn't sure she wanted to do things. A good Dom doesn't do that. A good Dom knows to stop if a scene is getting to be too much for a sub, even if she doesn't use the safe-word. Scenes can be so emotional for a sub that she or he literally can't remember the safe-word. But since Ana never agreed to being a sub, her NO was NO. Too bad Christian didn't listen to that. Good Doms also don't sub-drop. That is when you have an intense scene and leave without providing aftercare so that a person is left a wreck. After the chapter 12 rape scene (going to have sex with someone who said she didn't want to see you again is planning rape), he didn't stay with her to make sure she was okay. He didn't find out what she needed to get through it emotionally. He just dropped her. If that's how he treated Leila, it's no wonder she was mentally messed up. A good Dom wouldn't have taken the belt to her as he did toward the end of the first book because a good Dom would have realized she wasn't ready and didn't have enough experience to fully understand what she was asking. Good Doms wouldn't ignore their subs' limits (Christian hit Ana even after she told him she didn't want that, starting the very same night she told him). Good Doms have at least two pairs of medical scissors to quickly cut loose any bindings. Slip-knots can still tangle and be hard to get loose in an emergency. Christian had no safety plan. I could go on and on for just the first book aline, but these give you some ideas.

Christian is the opposite of a good Dom. BDSM requires trust, yes, but also self control that he never had. It requires putting the needs of the sub on level with the Dom's desires. The goal isn't to terrify (a little adrenaline rushing in a sub is one thing, but outright terror is another), nor to hurt a sub beyond what she or he wants. Do not take what Christian and Ana did as a good example of BDSM when the reality is they did everything so wrong that it crosses into him abusing her (take out the sex and he's still abusive).

Read those links I posted above and you'll get a better idea. jennytrout.blogspot.com has current recaps with a very active comments section going on. She's a current sub married to her Dom and will talk openly with you about it too. Others in the comments section also live the lifestyle or have participated in the past. We want BDSM to be accepted, but also for people to know that what Christian does to Ana isn't it.


Mochaspresso Honestly, I was never under the impression that FSoG accurately represented a realistic BDSM relationship. I think most rational level headed readers realize that as well. The entire book does have a fantasy element to it. I actually kind of resent the insinuation that because I enjoyed reading the book that it must be because I think the BDSM portrayal is accurate. It's not something that I am into and I don't really care about it one way or the other. Personally, if I were into that lifestyle, I think that I would probably be more bothered by the insinuation that the people who partake are unstable or emotionally stunted in some way. I'm also inclined to think that people who are fans of the book are not overly concerned with the BDSM aspect of the book anyway. From reading the FSoG discussions, it seems that most fans don't even care about the BDSM at all. Most people like how Ana and Christian's story progresses over the course of the novels.

If your agenda is to inform others on what a BDSM relationship should be, then do that legitimately. Saying that FSoG is an inaccurate portrayal is fine. It's fine to say that and state your reasons why but those reasons should be based on factual textual evidence. Saying that Ana was raped in chapter 12 isn't factual. That is projecting personal issues onto the text. For example, you accuse Christian of not providing after care for Ana, however, you completely ignore the fact that Ana herself LIED to Christian and told him that she was fine. There was an instance where she even laughed and joked with him as he was leaving. He didn't deliberately leave her a blubbering mess. He didn't know because she deliberately hid it from him. Perhaps, it is true that a good Dominant would have known, but imo, that goes both ways. A good partner wouldn't have lied about something like that either. Telling someone that you are fine when you really aren't and then blaming them for not being able to read your mind is emotionally manipulative also. They were both immature nitwits, imo.

btw, I've visited the jennytrout blog and I have a bit of an issue with authors slagging another author's work in such a public manner. I think it's tacky and catty. I'm also not the biggest fan of the tongue in cheek style of the other "let's analyze (insert name of a popular fiction book here)" blogs. While some of the sarcasm/wit can make for an entertaining read, I also find them to completely juvenile and not really all that objective. The internet/literary equivalent of watching an episode of South Park or SNL.


message 115: by Alys (new) - rated it 1 star

Alys Marchand MANY readers think that what Ana and Christian have is "true love" and truly can't see the abusive elements of their relationship. Just a few comments up is someone who beca,e scared of BDSM after reading these books. Did you realize that Erika actually advertises these books as sex manuals and that there is a Fifty Shades-branded line of sex toys to encourage people to try acting out what they're reading, and that some people who have have ended up serious injured and tried with crimes? YOU might personally separate these books from what is a healthy relationship, but many do not.

Someone with the blankets pulled up to her chin and sniffling saying she's fine because she's scared isn't someone who is fine. If a man believes a woman doesn't want to see him anymore and his response is he's going to go have sex with her anyway, that is rape. That you don't understand this is evidence that books like this are confusing people about what assault is. Do you really think it's okay for a man, after getting an e-mail that a woman doesn't want to see him anymore, to break into her apartment (no one let him in) with the intent of having sex with a woman who said she didn't want to see him?

Once authors put their work out there, it's open to criticism as well as praise. Do you ONLY say positive things about what you read and see? Do you think that film critics and food critics and book critics should start tossing out reviews that are less than completely favorable? In Erika's case, a lot of the criticism is because she is endorsing Ana and Christian as being the ideal couple in the ideal relationship and passing these books off as a manual. More of the negative reviewing is about this than about the quality of her writing or even that this is Twilight fanfic. She and her publisher are calling this the most epic love story, and millions of people now think that what Ana and Christian have is ideal.

Have you not seen the "Forget Mr. Right, I'm Waiting for Mr. Grey" items people are buying? Have you managed to not hear about divorces happening because women are seeing Christian as so ideal that their own husbands don't measure up? Women who've left abusive relationships have been shamed for not staying and trying to change their abusers a la Ana.

YOU might think you're unaffected by some books about abuse that you love. Too bad there are millions of women making excuses for him (and really, you are one of them, you are making excuses for what Christian is doing, so if you weren't excusing abuse before these books, well, you've been affected), and that this does lead to women excusing abuse they see in real life.

I encourage you to tell Jenny what you think of her recaps the next time she posts one (which should be within a few days). Let her know how tacky, catty, and juvenile you think she's being for posting her recaps on her blog. Her blog, by the way, didn't have such high traffic until she started posting the recaps. She was in her own little corner of the internet and was starting to post stuff like cupcake recipes and suck. This level of attention was completely unexpected. In case you didn't start reading from the beginning, she started out without any preconceived ideas about whether or not she'd like the books. But looking at them objectively, she saw the abuse, and wasn't going to gloss over it.

As for myself, I like liking what's popular and getting swept up in the frenzy. I wanted to like FSoG. But very soon I was concerned about what I was reading, and found myself triggered by how situations similar to my experiences were being painted as positive. (I also got a chuckle out of Ana driving through Portland from Vancouver to get to Seattle - I live in Vancouver, and Portland is south while Seattle is north).

If you're so certain that people are only seeing these books as fantasy and they aren't hurting anybody and all else you say, post that to Jenny's blog when she posts her next recap. Tell her how wrong she is.


message 116: by Mx3 (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mx3 Are you kidding me we as women need to stop making excuses for the bad choices we decide to make in our lives blaming the divorce rate on Christian G is mind boggling.

If you read some book and decide to leave your spouse then you have some serious issues and Shades is not one of them.

Those women made the choice of leaving instead of sitting down like adults and talking out their problems and finding a solution.

Could she have written out a better BDSM theme throughout the book? Yes she should have but if you're reading a book like Shades it's your duty to find out more info about the subject in hand.

This is what's wrong with this country no one wants to take any responsibility for their own actions.

Reading a book and making excuses for abuse does not even make sense, women stay in abusive relationships for many reason (love) but Shades isn't one of them.

Stating that she was raped when she wasn't, writing things that didn't even happen in the book is just weird to me.

Plus its called fiction for a reason I read Dark Erotica books doesn't mean I'm living the lifestyle. I read and love alpha males doesn't mean I want to date or marry one.

Plus you're giving women the short stick like we're waiting for someone anyone to save us from a fainting spell.


message 117: by Mochaspresso (last edited May 18, 2013 10:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mochaspresso Alys wrote: "MANY readers think that what Ana and Christian have is "true love" and truly can't see the abusive elements of their relationship. Just a few comments up is someone who beca,e scared of BDSM after..."

You can find kooks and nuts in the world anywhere you choose to look. There are women who find "true love" by becoming pen pals with convicted felons on death row. How many crimes against humanity has the bible inspired? If "Son of Sam" thought his dog was telling him to do naughty things, it's not all that surprising to me that some idiot might read FSoG and take something out of it way too far. I blame the idiot for that more than I blame the book. The same goes for the sex toys. Sex toys are nothing new. They have been around since before I was born. I also think that we need to be careful with grandiose assumptions. Selling millions of copies doesn't necessarily translate into millions of people thinking that this is an "ideal scenario". In fact, I think it is actually quite the opposite. I readily admit that I enjoyed the novels for what they were but I'm not swooning over Christian. In real life, I've always preferred males that don't need "fixing". I think it is safe to say that is most likely also applicable to most of FSoG readers.

I'm also not confused about what assault is. What you are stating happened in the book is completely inaccurate. It just didn't happen that way. The book clearly states that Kate let him in and Ana "sniffling with blankets up to her chin" in front of Christian did not happen in chapter 12 at all. Ch. 12 does, however, mention that she smiles up at him coyly as he is dressing, though. (pg 196). Everything in ch. 12 suggests that she is perfectly fine with what happens between them....until their AFTER-SEX pillow talk where he reveals that he still talks to Elena regularly and she gets jealous about it. (Ana's exact thoughts as per pg. 197. Not my own personal projected/biased interpretations of what happened. Those were the words that appeared on my screen.) Then, he offers to let her talk to one of his former subs and she becomes even more appalled and jealous. Her sniffling occurs after he leaves. More specifically, AFTER HE ASKED IF SHE WAS OK AT THE DOOR AND SHE TOLD HIM YES AND KISSED HIM GOODBYE. Her sniffling wasn't about rape or being coerced/seduced into "unwanted sex". It was about jealousy and remorse after the fact because she believes that she wants much more from their relationship than he does. (again, her words...not my interpretations.). On page 200, Kate sees her crying and asks her "What did that creepy good looking bastard do?" Her response.... "Oh, Kate. Nothing that I didn't want him to." After her talk with Kate, what does Ana do next? She emails Christian a detailed list of her issues with his contract that she would like to discuss during their date on the following Wednesday. (pg. 202)

I am not making excuses for what Christian is doing. I blame him for the things that I think that he has done wrong. He's far from "perfect" and the relationship that he and Ana have is dysfunctional and unhealthy on both sides, his and hers. What I am not doing is a) adding elements to the story or his character that were not there b) changing the story to suit my needs and whims c) blaming his character for something that he couldn't possibly have known based on how the story was written.

For me, this isn't one of those "oh wow, I can't believe I missed that in the story" moments. This is a "did we really read the same book because that never happened in the story." moment.


message 118: by Grace (new)

Grace Mocha, I'm going to say a prayer for you tonight that you don't ver go through abuse and learn the hard way what it's like to have a friend ask what happened, and the choice is to admit you've been hurt or to lie and say you're okay. It's really hard to admit being hurt by someone you said before that you trusted because it means you were wrong. So Ana could of told Kate she was wrong and Christian did things to her when she said no, or she would lie. Alys gave you links on Stockholm Syndrome, which isn't the same thing as women having fetishes for dangerous guys behind bars. SS what I went through for a long long time with the first man I was with. He was tall, attractive, well-endowed, good in the sack, very rich, ran a couple family-owned real estate companies, and had his own yacht. I was confused and scared and did what I thought he wanted because even when he wasn't with me in person I was scared and I believed he could hurt me. So I played into his hands and told everyone he was so good because I was ashamed.

Ana can't avoid him because her best friend and his brother are dating, and then he buys the place she works after that. So she did what she had to to get hurt less, and then identified with him. That's what Stockholm is. It's a way to survive. I didn't even know I was abused even with the bruises on me. I thought he just loved me so much he couldn't help it because that's how he was raised. I almost married him after 3 years of it because I thought I loved him. We broke up when he tried killing me because I said no to sex when I was sick. He finally let me go when I was in the hospital and told him I was going to let them know what he did if he didn't let me leave.

Lots of polls show Christian as being one of the most desireable men in the world. Lots of women want to be with that sicko.

The abuse happened, but you're a victim-blamer, so there's no way you're going to get it that she was a victim when you say it's partly on her. Ana is a stupid character, but too ignorant of everything, and he starting messing with her head really early on and made her introduce him to her dad and that established him in her life to her family. Oh, and what Alys said is that he didn't know she was joking, so all he had to go on was her not wanting to be with him anymore and he went to her place to have sex with her only knowing she didn't want him. Ask any decent guy you know this. "If a girl you were only seeing a few days sent you an e-mail and said good bye and the relationship is over, and you decided to go right over to her home and enter it without anyone letting you in to have sex with someone who doesn't want to see you, is that planning rape?"

I'm going to pray for all the women who think Christian hasn't done wrong that theyre and your eyes open to what abuse is so none of you end up going through it and learning the way 25% of women in American learn.

Love,
Grace


message 119: by T.L. (new) - rated it 3 stars

T.L. Brown Got to love how money can change someone's image. Compare him to Jack and see what is the key difference between the two. In the end, they are both equally messed up and actually have similar habits; only difference was the money.

Is Christian creepy? YES!! However, this entire trilogy was very cliche. I wish they just ended it just like they did with book one. Oh well.


message 120: by Mochaspresso (last edited May 19, 2013 05:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mochaspresso Grace wrote: "Mocha, I'm going to say a prayer for you tonight that you don't ver go through abuse and learn the hard way what it's like to have a friend ask what happened, and the choice is to admit you've been..."

I fear that my response is not going to read well, but I have to be completely honest. I don't know any other nice way to say this. You don't know anything about me and what I am or am not familiar with. I really don't mean to be disrespectful but I don't need or want prayers over having an opinion on a book. I refuse to believe that God is truly that petty. I'd like to think he/she/it has more important issues to contend with. I'm pretty sure that you are sincere in the sentiment, and I actually do have a religious side, but I also hate that condescending "I'll pray for you line" that others use whenever someone happens to disagree with them on something. Religious people are already praying for me because I support gay marriage and because I think abortion is a personal choice that women should be able to make for themselves and because I absolutely refuse to believe that Christians are the only people on the planet who will be able to get into heaven.

This----> Mocha, I'm going to say a prayer for you tonight that you don't ver go through abuse and learn the hard way what it's like to have a friend ask what happened, and the choice is to admit you've been hurt or to lie and say you're okay. It's really hard to admit being hurt by someone you said before that you trusted because it means you were wrong. So Ana could of told Kate she was wrong and Christian did things to her when she said no, or she would lie.

....is exactly what I meant by projecting. I completely understand that in real life, some victims of abuse may often lie to friends and family about what is happening to them....but textually, there is nothing in this particular FICTIONAL story to suggest that this is what is actually happening with Ana. Given the apparent writing style of this particular author, I really do think that if she intended for her readers to know and understand that Ana was being abused, she would have clearly said so somewhere, somehow in the story.

This is understandable as I may be a bit guilty of it too. For example, as I read about Ana's eating habits, I had the impression that she might possibly have some sort of eating disorder. The difference is that I know and realize that there was nothing actually definitive in the text that supports this theory OTHER than my own personal opinions that I am basing on my own personal beliefs and life experiences. Therefore, it would be inaccurate for me to say that "Ana was anorexic!! In real life, her actions could be signs of someone who has a problem." Even though I did have the thought, the textual evidence really isn't there to support that assertion. What I viewed as abnormal and unhealthy eating habits, someone else may view them as acceptable. (of course, while I would certainly disagree with them, I wouldn't go so far as to add something to the story that never actually happened to support my clearly biased view of her eating habits.) That is exactly what I think you guys are doing with the "rape" and "abuse".


message 121: by T.L. (new) - rated it 3 stars

T.L. Brown I agree that everything was consensual, however, all I got out of all this was that Ana is completely immature and Christian is a total creep. Books 2 and 3 do nothing to help this out and make both look even worse in those fields.


Mochaspresso Tom wrote: "I agree that everything was consensual, however, all I got out of all this was that Ana is completely immature and Christian is a total creep. Books 2 and 3 do nothing to help this out and make bot..."

I agree with Ana being completely immature. I thought she was a nitwit, too. I wouldn't go so far as to call Christian a "creep", though. To me, he was more of an "ass".

As an aside, even though I loved it, I thought Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was a complete and total ass also (...for different reasons obviously) and can't for the life of me understand why women still swoon over him to this very day.


Meredith Mocha, you say that you feel pretty confident that most other FSoG fans feels the same way that you do: that the book is fantasy and shouldn't be taken as a how-to manual.

There is so much evidence out there to prove you wrong. I'll come back and list it later; I'm on my mobile now and don't relish the thought of trying to piece together an argument with this tiny keypad.

SPOILERS FOR SECOND AND THIRD BOOK BELOW!

Also, let's take sex out of the story. Stop arguing about whether he did or didn't rape her. Even if a man doesn't rape a woman (and I totally believe he raped her on several occasions in the second and third books), he can still be extremely abusive. And Christian was EXTREMELY abusive to Ana. He stalked her. He tracked her without her consent. He prevented her, through sheer physical force, from leaving rooms she was in. He prohibited her from spending time with her best friend. Or, at least, he tried. When she "defied" him, his first instinct was to punish her. That's not inference. That's written in the text. He gave her hickeys all over her body when she dared go against his wishes and sunbathed topless in France, where that is normal behavior. Even if it weren't, he had no right to physically mar her in order to keep her clothed. That truly disgusted me. He attempted to control every aspect of her life. And that had nothing to do with the contract in the first book. Much of this happened after they were MARRIED. My husband would be kicked to the curb so fast his head would spin. I could go on and on and on... But I think those actions prove he's a disgusting abuser.

Aside from the abuse, how did I like the books? I hated them. Erika is an awful writer. There was NO PLOT. Instead, there were a series of unbelievable mini-plots strung together with an ending that she tried to tie up neatly, but I think she failed miserably. The characters were unlikeable. It's fine for the romantic hero to be unlikeable at the beginning and go through a transformation, but Christian not only didn't turn into a better person, I'm fairly sure he morphed into a WORSE person. And if your romantic hero is unlikeable, you should be able to root for your heroine. I couldn't root for Ana. She was a miserable excuse for a person.

There is no single redeeming quality to these books. I'm baffled as to why people get off on these things. The sex scenes, which should have been the best part of the books, were nothing more than boring, repetitive rubbish. Ana is a 22-year-old woman who apparently can't even THINK the words "vagina" or "penis." Not to mention she's a college graduate who's never used e-mail or a smart phone? Truly difficult to believe. How anyone identifies with these characters, I'll never understand.


Mochaspresso Meredith wrote: "Mocha, you say that you feel pretty confident that most other FSoG fans feels the same way that you do: that the book is fantasy and shouldn't be taken as a how-to manual.

There is so much evidenc..."


I don't have the time at the moment to address every issue brought up either, but as to so evidence that proves me wrong on how people are responding to the book.....like I said, you can find example of kooks and crazies anywhere that you choose to look. If tens of millions of people read a book and 2,000 people imply that it made them do something crazy, I don't buy into the scapegoating hype. I'm fairly certain that those 2,000 people were most likely already crazy. Millions have read it and are fine. Many people liked it and many people didn't, but millions are still fine after having read it. The book is not the problem.

Also, don't assume the my or anyone else's enjoyment of the novels means that I actually condoned most of what happens in the books. I don't condone Christian or Ana's behaviors. Not everyone has to condone what happens in a novel to be able to enjoy it.


message 125: by Siobhan (new) - rated it 1 star

Siobhan In that sense Mocha, I agree with you, because I love we need to talk about Kevin, but I find Eva and Kevin abhorrent.

However, when you have dislikable characters, or uncomfortable situations, they're normally present in novels facing down a taboo or an issue and presenting a well thought out argument against that way of being. They serve to make you look at yourself, or society, and adapt the way you think or behave as a result. That's not typical for a romance novel, and since this is marketed as romance, something has missed the mark greatly.

Because in romance, those that are conveyed as unlikable at first normally have an agenda that is the twist, the reason everything fits into place and excuses their behaviour. Rochester had the crazy wife in the attic, for example. But there is no twist in 50 that excuses or rectifies behaviour - Christian might have earned sympathy being a victim of abuse, or having a drug-addicted mother, but he throws that away with his attitude. There's no buffer to the uncomfortable conversations or situations.

I don't know what this book really is, but romance and erotica it is not.


Tiffany Wilson I really didn't like the book. CG is very controlling, obsessed, etc.. if that was me in Ann situation I wouldn't deal with a man like him. That man needs help before he seeks love. I honestly want to know what's so good about CG??


Reading Lady Maymay wrote: "Maybe that's why I keep ignoring all mentions about his "copper" hair and stubbornly think of dark brown instead. Conan isn't something I want to mix CG with."

I see I'm not the only one who ignored the "copper" hair. I pictured dark brown too. Yeah they both had issues and were unable to enjoy a real relationship but the books are about their journey being able to connect emotionally with other people. The fact that they both still enjoyed their BSDM sex life is beside the point. Just because you like the wild side doesn't make you creepy.


message 128: by Mochaspresso (last edited May 23, 2013 03:01AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mochaspresso Meredith wrote: Mocha, you say that you feel pretty confident that most other FSoG fans feels the same way that you do: that the book is fantasy and shouldn't be taken as a how-to manual.

There is so much evidence out there to prove you wrong. I'll come back and list it later; I'm on my mobile now and don't relish the thought of trying to piece together an argument with this tiny keypad.

SPOILERS FOR SECOND AND THIRD BOOK BELOW!

Also, let's take sex out of the story. Stop arguing about whether he did or didn't rape her. Even if a man doesn't rape a woman (and I totally believe he raped her on several occasions in the second and third books),


This isn't true at all. There was no rape in any of the books. Every single sexual encounter between Christian and Ana was completely consensual.



he can still be extremely abusive. And Christian was EXTREMELY abusive to Ana. He stalked her. He tracked her without her consent. He prevented her, through sheer physical force, from leaving rooms she was in.


I don't agree with a lot of the things that he did regarding the stalking, but this isn't real life or me in the story. Like you, I felt that Ana should have been more upset by certain things. Although, I will say that in real life, people who are being stalked have a whole lot more to worry about than a man trying to deposit $50k in their bank accounts without their knowledge. I think the problem here is that Ana didn't react the way that some people think that she should have and they felt that Christian's motivations for doing some of the things that he did have no bearing on the issue. I'm inclined to disagree with that very black and white rigid viewpoint. In some instances, his motivation for doing some of the things that he did was mainly to keep her safe. In the story, she really was in danger at times. There were instances where his judgement turned out to be right. (ie...not allowing her to go on the business trip to NY with Jack.)

Here's my take on some of the other things that she seemingly put up with. Deep down, I think Ana was a "closeted opportunist". (Christian also refers to her as being "quietly ambitious" in the last book.) Even though he crossed some lines, she also often benefitted from it in some way. She liked the perks and and the lavish lifestyle that she was being introduced to. For example, Christian was out of line for exchanging her plane ticket without her knowledge. She SAID that didn't like it but she didn't turn down that first class ticket, though. She enjoyed flying first class immensely and said so several times. (I will be completely honest, if I were in Ana's place, I wouldn't have been mad about that either. I have no problems with being upgraded from coach to first class by anyone. I don't need any advance notification either. Feel free to surprise me at check in, anytime!!! Just don't expect me to sign anything allowing him to flog me in his boom-boom room for it, though. I wouldn't go that far for first class tix.) Tracking the car......he's within his rights to do that. He's the one that bought it, it's really his car. Notice that she continued to drive the car (quite happily) even after knowing that he could track it. Therefore, it is safe to say that it didn't bother her. The same goes for his buying the company that she worked for. He was definitely out of line....and yes, she certainly voiced her disapproval and they fought about it...but notice that she didn't leave the company after she found out and she didn't turn down the promotion that she was given either. The same goes for the clothes. She claimed to not like him spending so much on her wardrobe but she sure did wear the clothes and even had a bit of a panic attack when she thought that he'd taken them back. In my opinion, stalking and controlling behavior is a problem if the attention is unwanted and/or if the person on the receiving end of that attention finds it threatening or harmful in some way. Like it or not, people just want to focus on Christian and completely overlook the fact that Ana clearly liked and wanted and benefitted from the all of the attention that she was receiving from Christian. She liked Christian's alpha-male, type a personality.


He prohibited her from spending time with her best friend. Or, at least, he tried.

If you are referring to Kate, that's not true at all. That never happened in the story. He didn't try to stop her from seeing Kate. He even told her that she could spend time with her. He just didn't want them to go out that one night because she was being GENUINELY stalked by her ex-boss. If you are referring to Jose, I think that it is important to remember that Christian didn't really know Jose. The last time he saw Jose, he was forcing himself on a drunk Ana outside a bar. From a realistic standpoint, I can totally understand Christian not liking or trusting him after that kind of impression. Over time, Christian's opinion of him does change and he does come around. I think that counts for something.

When she "defied" him, his first instinct was to punish her. That's not inference. That's written in the text.

This is true. It's not something that I condone or agree with. However, I will say that Christian was very honest about this from the very beginning. Ana knew the type of relationship that he was looking for as he made it abundantly clear. He also never did anything to her "punishment-wise" without her consent.


He gave her hickeys all over her body when she dared go against his wishes and sunbathed topless in France, where that is normal behavior. Even if it weren't, he had no right to physically mar her in order to keep her clothed. That truly disgusted me.


I totally agree with you. I don't condone EITHER of their behaviors. Ana was wrong to take off her top for two reasons... 1) the only reason that she did it was out of spite. She was deliberately trying to push his buttons. 2) It should have occurred to the nitwit Ana that she was married to a public figure now and can't always do what the normal folk do anymore. Anastasia Steele, recent college grad could go topless on the beach, but Mrs. Christian Grey, the CEO's wife can't. She was also extremely mortified when he had to remind her that he's a public figure that gets followed around by paparazzi and photos of her topless could end up in the press. Kate Middleton learned this lesson the hard way. If you don't want naked pics of you in the paper, don't go outside naked. It really is that simple.

In that instance, Ana was being immature and behaving foolishly and he compounded it by behaving equally as immature and foolish. Imo, they were both wrong in that scenario.

He attempted to control every aspect of her life. And that had nothing to do with the contract in the first book. Much of this happened after they were MARRIED. My husband would be kicked to the curb so fast his head would spin. I could go on and on and on... But I think those actions prove he's a disgusting abuser.

I agree but the key word to me is "attempted". He attempted, but he wasn't very successful in a lot of things. He didn't want her to go out with Kate, she went anyway. He didn't want her to work, she did anyway. (view spoiler) He wanted a submissive. Ana never signed that contract and never truly became his submissive.



Aside from the abuse, how did I like the books? I hated them. Erika is an awful writer. There was NO PLOT. Instead, there were a series of unbelievable mini-plots strung together with an ending that she tried to tie up neatly, but I think she failed miserably. The characters were unlikeable. It's fine for the romantic hero to be unlikeable at the beginning and go through a transformation, but Christian not only didn't turn into a better person, I'm fairly sure he morphed into a WORSE person. And if your romantic hero is unlikeable, you should be able to root for your heroine. I couldn't root for Ana. She was a miserable excuse for a person.

There is no single redeeming quality to these books. I'm baffled as to why people get off on these things. The sex scenes, which should have been the best part of the books, were nothing more than boring, repetitive rubbish. Ana is a 22-year-old woman who apparently can't even THINK the words "vagina" or "penis." Not to mention she's a college graduate who's never used e-mail or a smart phone? Truly difficult to believe. How anyone identifies with these characters, I'll never understand.



I won't argue against any of this because it's fine to not like the books. You are completely entitled to your opinion. It's also fine to wonder what others see in it. I've pissed off quite a few people with my unfavorable opinions of "On the Road" and "Wuthering Heights".


Mochaspresso What I find interesting is that whenever people in the anti FSOG threads list their reasons for not liking the book, they rarely list the things that really bothered me the most about Christian.

1) His going into submissive mode in book 2 to stop Ana from leaving. I saw that as emotional abuse.

2) His reactions to (view spoiler). That REALLY pissed me off.

3) The sulking in his study for long periods of time after he doesn't get his way.

4) Lying about things or hiding information from her, even if he only thought he was protecting her by doing so.

5) Barging into her place of work (even if he does own the company) and making a scene. That's a HUGE biggie for me.

6) While he was honest with Ana about his lifestyle and his intentions as far as their relationship was concerned, the books do try to manipulate the reader into thinking that he wasn't truly a sadist. In my opinion, I really do think he was one. Deriving sexual pleasure from inflicting pain is sadism to me.


message 130: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I hated this book! It didn't offend me, I just could not get into it. The plot was ok, but it was just too far fetched and he was just such an overbearing ass, I couldn't even finish it, and I always try to at least finish a book when I start it, but couldn't.


Alexandra Signorile-côté It is truly disturbing how many people are defending Christian's behaviour as not being abusive. The reasons they use:

1) He was abused as a child.

2) Ana enjoys the sex.

3) It's BDSM.

4) Ana claims to be fine/knew what she was getting into/didn't tell him to stop.

5) He's just trying to keep her safe.

6) It's just fiction/fantasy.

Let's go through these one by one, shall we?

1) He was abused as a child.

Not an excuse, not ever. Most survivors of abuse do not go on to abuse others. Some do, but that does not excuse their abuse, and they are every bit as much an abuser as the people who abused them. Abuse victims become survivors with love and support, yes. Abusers do not become ex-abusers without themselves wanting to. No one can love an abuser into an ex-abuser. It doesn't happen and it's not possible. Can we please let go of this stupid, dangerous, and frankly outdated and boring narrative already?

2) Ana enjoys the sex.

Sexual arousal on the part of the victim does not mean a rape did not occur. No, I'm not even just talking about purely physical reactions. It is possible for person A to rape person B, who has a crush on Person A. It is possible for person A to rape person B, who wants to have sex with person A. For example, if person A engages sexually with person B while person B is asleep, that is rape. If person B, for whatever reason, says zie doesn't want person A (even if zie secretly does), and person A proceeds, then person A is still a rapist.
In book 1, Ana told Christian she didn't want to see him. He didn't know she was joking. He didn't ask to see if she was joking. No, he drove straight to her apartment and frightened her into submission. That she was sexually aroused the whole time doesn't matter. What matters is that she was afraid, and that he did what he did on the assumption that she meant what she wrote in her email.
In book 2, after Leila broke into Ana's apartment, Christian later had a breakdown which led to a lengthy conversation between Ana and Christian. Christian then wanted sex, Ana said no, Christian proceeded. Rape.
In book 3, Christian sexually assaulted Ana as punishment for her going for a drink with a friend, and then made her feel guilty for safewording.

3) It's BDSM.

BDSM is not abuse, and abuse is not BDSM. Most of the abuse that happens in these books are not even during the BDSM scenes. The abuse is his controlling behaviour and the irresponsible way in which he practices BDSM.

4) Ana claims to be fine/knew what she was getting into/didn't tell him to stop.

Many victims of abuse claim to be fine to themselves and to others. Ana did NOT know what she was getting into. She'd never even masturbated ffs. How could she possibly know? Christian took complete advantage of that. Furthermore, Christian misrepresented the contract (master/slave, not D/s). She did not know what she was getting into. Not at all. Also, absence of no does not equal a yes, and that's only if we discount the times that Ana DID tell him to stop and he didn't. Every time she's told him to stop, he's manipulated or frightened her into complying.

5) He's just trying to keep her safe.

This is an excuse made by many abusers. Ana is not a child, and thus Christian has no business treating her like one. For a man who supposedly cares about her, he does a lot of victim-blaming. For a man who supposedly cares about her safety, he does a good job of making her feel unsafe every time she "defies" him. It doesn't matter if he's sometimes right about the danger; his behaviour is still inappropriate. But the biggest evidence that Ana's safety isn't his concern is when Ana's decision to go drinking with Kate meant she was safer from Jack than if she'd stayed at the apartment like Christian wanted (Jack broke into the apartment while Ana was out). Christian then sexually assaulted her as punishment.

6) It's just fiction/fantasy.

If all of the above was represented as a rape fantasy sort of thing, I honestly wouldn't have such an issue with it. I'd still have hated the books, but I would have left it at that. However, these books are presented as the thing to spice up couples' sex lives. It's presented as what all women want. It's presented as a how to manual on how couples should be. And that is infuriating. It doesn't matter that some people know between fiction and reality because as outlined above, clearly most of the people touting it as just that don't even understand what abuse is.


message 132: by Mochaspresso (last edited May 23, 2013 07:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mochaspresso Wow. Either you didn't read the books at all or you skimmed/skipped parts and filled in the blanks by forming your own extremely incorrect ideas about what actually happened between them.


This is what really happens between on the night when Leila breaks into his apartment....

“Christian … Stop. I can’t do this,” I whisper urgently against his mouth, my hands pushing on his upper arms. “What? What’s wrong?” he murmurs and starts kissing my neck, running the tip of his tongue lightly down my throat. Oh … “No, please. I can’t do this, not now. I need some time, please.” “Oh, Ana, don’t overthink this,” he whispers as he nips my earlobe. “Ah!” I gasp, feeling it in my groin, and my body bows, betraying me. This is so confusing.

“I am just the same, Ana. I love you and I need you. Touch me. Please.” He rubs his nose against mine, and his quiet heartfelt plea moves me and I melt. Touch him. Touch him while we make love. Oh my. He rears up over me, gazing down, and in the half-light from the dimmed bedside light, I can tell that he’s waiting for my decision, and he’s caught in my spell. I reach up and tentatively place my hand on the soft patch of hair over his sternum. He gasps and scrunches his eyes closed as if in pain, but I don’t take my hand away this time. I move it up to his shoulders, feeling the tremor run through him. He groans, and I pull him down to me and place both my hands on his back, where I’ve never touched him before, on his shoulder blades, holding him to me. His strangled moan arouses me like nothing else.

James, E L (2011-09-13). Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (pp. 342-343). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.



“Ana,” he breathes. He suddenly releases me and sits up; he removes his boxer briefs and leans over to the bedside table to grab a foil packet. His eyes are a blazing gray as he passes me the condom. “You want to do this? You can still say no. You can always say no,” he murmurs. “Don’t give me a chance to think, Christian. I want you, too.” I rip the packet open with my teeth as he kneels between my legs, and with trembling fingers I slide it onto him.

James, E L (2011-09-13). Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (p. 343). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


The only way that someone could possible see that as rape is if they stopped reading after the first line. She was indecisive in the beginning but he clearly asks her what she wants and she says that she wants him. People can read the rest for themselves if they are so inclined. She clearly consented and was not raped by any stretch of interpretation. In fact, she puts the condom on and she's the one on top when they have sex.

I won't even bother addressing the rest. There is no point, it seems. You clearly insist on misrepresenting the events in the books to suit your own personal agenda. (btw, they don't have sex at all on the night of Jack's break in. Ana tries to initiate sex the next morning and he actually turns her down.) I am well aware of what is possible in real life abusive relationships....but that isn't what is happening in FSOG and there is no indication from the text that it is. The things that you are saying happened in the story didn't actually happen. You basically re-wrote your own story in your mind and added it in.


Mochaspresso To Alexandra, et al. I guess I will just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that. You guys are essentially rewriting your own version of the books to suit your own personal biased agendas. There was no rape in the books. Ana clearly consented VERBALLY and THROUGH HER ACTIONS to every single sexual encounter.

In real life, most people who hunted whales did so for their oil. That doesn't change the fact that in Herman Melville's fictional story, Ahab went fishing for Moby Dick out of revenge. That happened in the story. It's clearly stated. It's not something that is open to interpretation. Ahab cwas seeking revenge. I can't go back and rewrite Moby Dick and say that Ahab just went on leisurely fishing trip just because I decided to join PETA and I have an agenda against literature that promotes the killing of endangered species.


message 134: by Inna (last edited May 24, 2013 07:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Inna Well, yeah, he definitely has problems with sex, cruelty and bossiness but if you think of his past .. it all makes sense, especially his memories of being molested as a child will never fade away.


message 135: by Inna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Inna Erika wrote: "Nima wrote: "Take away the good looks, the money and the giant d**k, and tell me whats left....."

I've always wondered, if Christian Grey was not a millionaire but a trucker, fans just love him th..."


Speaking from my perspective - yes. Have you read "Easy"? Lucas was an attractive guy but poor, with a dark past as well. He had like 5 jobs because he was in need of money, yet, I fell in love with his character right away, so again, I think money, and the size of his penis should not concern or bother you at all. :)


Alexandra Signorile-côté Mochaspresso, you clearly do not understand rape if you think his continuing after the first "no" was in any way acceptable. It's not. As it is, she tried to stop him TWICE. The fact that he later said she could say no any time she wanted to DOESN'T matter because he has already JUST demonstrated that her "no" will be ignored. That she's on top during the rape? Irrelevant. You think no rapist has forced zir victim to be on top before?

By the way, nowhere did I say Christian and Ana had sex on the night Jack broke in. But maybe you need to reread the fallout of that night. Here's what happened: Christian came back from a work event. His reason? That Ana went out with Kate. When he found out about the Jack incident, rather than be happy that Ana was safe and be proud that the went against his wishes, he was still pissed that she'd "defied" him, and still for some unknown reason wished she'd been at the apartment that night. To punish her, he first withholds intimacy. That not being enough, he later brings her into the play room without telling her what to expect and then non-consensually (remember, he never told her what he would do) uses orgasm denial until she's brought to tears. He continues until she safewords, and then he proceeds to make it all about him until she agrees to be more understanding of his "need" to control. That, Mochaspresso, is sexual assault and abuse. Period.

I really have to wonder who's actually rewriting these books in zir mind? Because I read them thoroughly. You say you're aware of what happens in real-life abusive relationships, but you continually demonstrate a serious lack of understanding, and you definitely don't know what sexual assault is.

You...think PETA would be okay with Moby Dick as it is? Your analogy fails. Try again.


Alexandra Signorile-côté Inna, speaking as a person who suffered abuse as a child (quite similar to Christian's, actually), his past is not an excuse, not even a little bit. Most survivors of child abuse do not become abusers themselves. Those that do deserve sympathy for the abuse they suffered, but condemnation for the abuse they inflict. One does not excuse the other. Christian Grey is an abuser, and what he suffered as a child doesn't make up for it. Only he can decide not to be an abuser. Instead he's chosen to abuse, his past be damned.


message 138: by Siobhan (new) - rated it 1 star

Siobhan Alexandra wrote: "Mochaspresso, you clearly do not understand rape if you think his continuing after the first "no" was in any way acceptable. It's not. As it is, she tried to stop him TWICE. The fact that he later ..."

This, this right here, is how a lot of us feel.

Fun experiment for all the 'Christian-did-not-rape-Ana' camp. Imagine yourself in Ana's shoes, and your partner in Christians. Imagine you've been in any of these situations ... lets pick the email scene. You're starting out, you're not sure about the relationship, you've not had one before and although you're enjoying the headiness of the feelings you're experiencing, it's important that you get answers before actions. The answers you start to get overwhelm you, and you rather inelegantly turn this into a joke with someone you've met twice. Twice. They then force their way into your house, when you've never said where you live, and then they demand sex. You say no, but they're not really listening, they want to have sex with you. You've done it once, and yes it was fun but you're 21 and only just had sex once, as a result you're putting a huge emotional investment in it. Only, you can't articulate that since you couldn't express yourself properly in an email (and somehow, he's aware of this) and the best you can do is say no again. But they're not listening, because this is what they want. And yes it feels good, but that's not what you're about and are they really paying any attention to you if they've proceeded on your hesitation? This is how no-means-no doesn't work. Because I've just basically written that scene from second person, not first, and if it doesn't sound like like rape now ... well, I hope you're fortunate enough to only meet good, well-meaning people.

It's about a sober, enthusiastic yes. It's about mutual respect. It's about communication, proper communication. That scene lacks them all.


libellule (o_Ô) Mochaspresso wrote: "Wow. Either you didn't read the books at all or you skimmed/skipped parts and filled in the blanks by forming your own extremely incorrect ideas about what actually happened between them.


Thi..."


Wow, the fact that you, and probably many others, don't see how messed up that scene is, is really disturbing.

She wasn't indecisive at the beginning:
- “Christian … Stop. I can’t do this,” I whisper urgently against his mouth, my hands pushing on his upper arms.
- “No, please. I can’t do this, not now. I need some time, please.”


The first time she's refusing him and even tries to push him away, the second time she's actually begging him to stop. If you're mistaking this for indecisiveness, I agree with the previous posters about your lack of understanding about rape.


message 140: by Mochaspresso (last edited May 24, 2013 03:05AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mochaspresso You guys are analyzing my statements in the same ways that you analyze literature. You are inferring a bunch of things that I never actually stated or implied.

What you guys are failing to realize is that my statement of what happened between them is about the events as they happened based on what was written in the book. This is not my endorsement of it. I didn't say the scene wasn't messed up. I didn't say that I condone it. I read and enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. That doesn't automatically mean that I condone a woman (view spoiler). I don't like how the book ends. However, I can UNDERSTAND (...which is not necessarily synonymous with condone, agree with or endorse) why it ended that way based on what is happening in THEIR story. (get it...their story as it was written....not what might happens between some couples in real life.....THEIR story)

I've stated that I thought that their relationship was highly dysfunctional. The book wasn't even well written (imo) from a literary perspective. However, that didn't stop me from be able to enjoy the story.

All I am saying is that she consented to the sex and that your statements of a lot of what happened surrounding the sex scenes were not accurate. You keep adding extras that weren't in the book in to suit your whims. "He broke into her apartment." The book clearly states that Kate let him in. "She was serious when she said that she didn't want to see him anymore in that email." The book clearly says that she was joking about that. "She was sniffling with the covers up to her chin when told him she was fine." The book clearly says that she smiles coyly up at him.

In the last scene that I posted, I never said that it was ok for him to keep trying to seduce her or pressure or however you want to phrase it. The one word that doesn't describe it is "rape". I don't even think it's ok or healthy for them to have sex at all at that point considering what happened between them that night. Throughout the books, they spend way too much time having sex and not enough time earnestly talking to each other. All I said was that it wasn't rape because she gives her consent to the sex. FSOG isn't some teen after school special. (even though I do feel that Christian and Ana are both equally as immature) This is a book about consenting adults.

What you guys are doing isn't a genuine way to analyze literature, imo. It's not right or fair to add extra events, extra character feelings or character motivations that were not directly stated or implied in the text as you all are.


message 141: by Mochaspresso (last edited May 24, 2013 03:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mochaspresso Siobhan wrote: "Alexandra wrote: "Mochaspresso, you clearly do not understand rape if you think his continuing after the first "no" was in any way acceptable. It's not. As it is, she tried to stop him TWICE. The f..."

I will answer you more directly later. I just don't have as much time right now. But the one thing that I will say is that the scenario that you are setting up here didn't happen in FSOG. He didn't force his way in. He was let in. He did know where she lived at that point in the story. (He later admits that he did a full background check on her. I don't condone that, but I also don't really see that as "stalking" per se either. He also readily admits that he does one on everyone around him. Which given his career and sexual lifestyle, is understandable imo....understandable as in understandable.....not understandable as in I condone it.) He'd sent her gifts to her place and his brother Elliot was seeing Kate at that point, too. I'm also not so sure about the "met only twice" either. But I'd have to reread to check that and I don't have time right now.


message 142: by libellule (last edited May 24, 2013 04:09AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

libellule (o_Ô) Mochaspresso wrote: "You guys are analyzing my statements in the same ways that you analyze literature. You are inferring a bunch of things that I never actually stated or implied.

What you guys are failing to real..."


You can't just ignore the first lines of the text, and say that it's okay because she consented after that (and I disagree about that).

If Christian was not a rapist he would have stopped when Ana first refused him, and if he for some misguided reason didn't stop, he absolutely should have immediately done so when she begged him to. He didn't, and that makes him a rapist.

It doesn't matter that Ana gave up because the way her body responded confused her, because if Christian wasn't a rapist it should never have gone that far in the first place.


Mochaspresso I didn't say that he was right. I said that she consented to sex. Different moral judgments at work.


message 144: by libellule (last edited May 24, 2013 07:18AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

libellule (o_Ô) Mochaspresso wrote: "I didn't say that he was right. I said that she consented to sex. Different moral judgments at work."

In other words, you chose to ignore the paragraph where she doesn't consent.

Do you also believe that it's doesn't count as rape unless the victim tries to physically resist the rapist?


Mochaspresso Like you are ignoring her yes at the end......

No, I didn't ignore it. Her words and thoughts and actions after that clearly demonstrate that she changed her mind and consented. It ceftainly didnt take much to do it either. a
woman can change her mind at any time and say no, she can also change his mind and say yes.

Your other question doesnt apply to fsog


Alexandra Signorile-côté Oh, ffs, Mochaspresso, for someone accusing me of not reading these books thoroughly, you are being willfully obtuse.

You state that we said "She was serious when she said that she didn't want to see him anymore in that email." Not a single one of us has said this. YOU MADE IT UP to support your belief that we just don't understand. We understand. We KNOW she meant it as a joke. The problem with that scene is that Christian DID NOT. He acted the way the way he acted when she was serious TO THE BEST OF HIS KNOWLEDGE. He never asked to see if she was joking. He didn't know that she was joking. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. If you continue to accuse me of saying that she wasn't joking, then you are disingenuous.

"No, I didn't ignore it. Her words and thoughts and actions after that clearly demonstrate that she changed her mind and consented. It ceftainly didnt take much to do it either. a
woman can change her mind at any time and say no, she can also change his mind and say yes."

If one partner says no or stop EVEN ONCE, and the other partner doesn't stop? That's rape. You cannot say yes if you can't say no. After ignoring two of Ana's objections during that, Christian made it abundantly clear that she couldn't say no. It doesn't matter that he after the fact said she could say no, because he'd ALREADY IGNORED IT TWICE. You can pretend that's not rape all you want. You can backpedal and say, "But that doesn't mean I condone it!" The fact of the matter is you are calling what is by definition rape, not rape, and that means you don't understand what rape is. If a person says no twenty-seven times and then says yes, it's still rape. If a person says no once, but is ignored and then says yes, it's still rape. Maybe you have it in your head that rape involves a man leaping from the bushes and beating his victim with a rock, but that is far from the only kind of rape, and far from the most common kind. The most common kind is that which Ana endures. One of the reasons it's the most common is because people like you insist it's not rape. Congratulations: you're part of the problem.

But then, you think his doing a "background check" on her without her prior knowledge or consent isn't stalking. Your reason? That he's done it to other women. Did they have prior knowledge or consent? If so, then he wasn't stalking them, but did stalk Ana. If not, then he stalked them too.

I'd really like to know what you think rape and stalking are if you think neither happened in these books.

You like to backpedal a lot, claiming you just understand without condoning. Yet you refuse to call things what they are. That's not understanding without condoning; that's denial, that's making excuses.

Understanding without condoning would be "Yes, it's rape, but given the story, it fits with the nature of the book. I don't condone the use of rape as a romantic element, but I understand it for the purpose of the story". What you're doing instead is this (let's use one of the other stories you brought up: Gone Girl): [she wasn't framing her husband for murder; she just faked her death, and he got the blame! I don't condone her faking her death, but she wasn't framing him.] You can't just say you understand without condoning when you won't even call it what it is.

You know what I understanding without condoning? A parent killing a person who murdered their child. I understand it because if I were that parent I might want to do the same thing. However, I don't condone it. How do I not condone it? Because the parent still murdered that person. The fact that I understand why doesn't make it any less murder. The fact that you understand (so you claim) why the rape scenes happened in FSOG doesn't make them any less rape.


Mochaspresso Cant answer fully but you are clesrly changing the plot of gone girl too. He didnt just happen to get the blame. She planned it all.


Alexandra Signorile-côté By the way, nobody cares that you enjoyed the Fifty Shades trilogy. That's a matter of opinion. I, for one, enjoyed the Twilight series, and I won't back down on that. But you know what? Edward's behaviour is still controlling. Jacob's imprinting on Renesmee is still disturbing. Jacob's forcibly kissing Bella is still sexual assault. I was still able to enjoy THE STORY, but that doesn't mean I pretend those things didn't happen or that I don't call them what they are: abusive behaviour, sexual assault, pedophilic elements, etc..


message 149: by Lobna (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lobna Nalu.chan wrote: "Seriously, I was completely creeped out by Grey. The sex part was... well, not normal, but there are people who enjoy BDMS and stuff (hey, who am I to judge when someone likes it really spicy). But..."

I read Bdsm and I like some of it but this one was insult to that life style , it was more like a Porn , really missing the point and the relationship between the dom and the sub so I hated him too


Alexandra Signorile-côté And Ana didn't just happen to say, "Stop!" "No!" and then "Wait! I change my mind; I want sex!" Nope. Ana said "stop". Christian continued. Ana said "no". Christian continued. Only then did Ana say "yes", and "yes" doesn't count when "no" is ignored. "No" always overrides "yes".


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