Monday, March 26, 2012

50 Shades of Grey - REVIEW



How I came about reading this book: This book is written by a first time author, and I probably would not have read it because of its genre, and topics it covers.  As I was watching CNN, Dr. Drew, the Psychiatrist came on, and was profusely criticizing this book and its content; a book written by a first time author. I, always the champion of the underdog wanted to see what this book was about, and if his criticism was warranted. So, I purchased it. Not only I read the first two in one day, and the third over my vacation, I found myself writing a review about it. Because this book is beyond AMAZING!
While finding Dr. Drew’s remarks professional but pompous, and at times unwarranted, I’m still glad I’ve heard them because without his criticism I wouldn’t have read it. He is correct in some of his conclusions as far as bondage and tying up someone and having a singular purpose relationship are concerned. But, there are quite a few points I disagree with him on a lot of his conclusions.

Before I read the book I also read reviews. Some were downright mean, calling the book "mommy porn" or quite a few other derogatory terms. But I tell you this; I've read all three books; I still have no desire to run and watch quote in quote "porn". None at all.

A book reviewer from New York wrote that he was reading the book on his Kindle while riding the subway and he was oh so shocked with all the sex and porn in it! There were grandmothers quietly sitting on the subway while some other passengers quietly sipping their morning coffee, all the while some few other passengers were reading the sports or business sections of newspapers (I bet it was Wall Street Journal). I think he was trying to draw the conclusion that the book he was reading was the most out of place or abnormal aspect in his surroundings. 

But, before you deduct triple digits from the reader's IQ (or mine) for simply reading this book (mine is 157) I'd like to tell you that I'm a veracious reader. I read science, business, physics, astronomy, history, linguistics books in many languages, and I love literature -- having studied Math, Physics, Computer Science and Linguistics, I read diverse topics all the time. Not only do I read a lot, but I translate books in medicine, law, literature, government, technology, software oh, the list is endless... I'm not saying this to boost my own ego, but to demand the courtesy to have and be able to express my own opinions without having to be labeled as someone who likes deviant or porn because I happened to love this book. I like neither! They’re repulsive to me. What I love are books, always have, and always will. And this is a book that has amazing content and a subject matter only few people successfully write about. Kudos to E. L. James! Hope you write many more books; I'll be reading them all!

The subject matter is still taboo which is why people are apprehensive even to say they’ve read the book even though they loved it more than I did. It’s only because of this thought: “What would others say?” Well, damn with the others! I’m an American who fully intends to use her freedom of speech and expression.

What is the book about: The book contains subject matters I would have found abhorrent and demeaning to women under normal circumstances.  Truth be told, I don't know much about the DOM/SUB thing or why people endeavor to participate in it; and same goes for the BDSM life style.  This is the life style of preference of the enigmatic main male character (there are darker aspects of it, but I'll get to it later).  Not having much knowledge, or interest in the topic, you'd be reluctant to read the book, however the story is eloquently written, the emotions are expressed in a way that makes the words come out of the page and almost materialize; it is seductive, and full of love, lust and emotions. 
Having worked for the world’s two biggest search engines for a total of seven years, I’d seen five thousand or more websites per week for my work (what else do you see on a search engine), I’ve seen the subject matters of the book covered in websites, images and videos. Some were repulsive. Therefore, under normal circumstances, no one could make me read a book about BDSM, bondage, spanking, flogging, not to mention dominants and submissives (the idea of surrendering oneself to someone else's total control is scary. But this book also delved into that, and made it clear that it was an issue of trusting your partner implicitly.  Combined with the love in the story, this aspect of the relationship becomes acceptable, and even welcome here).
So what changed my mind to not just like but love the book one might ask? The context. Ever and always, love conquers all, and the rest becomes details.
This is not your ordinary boy meets girl story. Because in this story, Christian Grey doesn’t do the girlfriend thing. He doesn’t date. He has dark needs and he doesn’t like to be tied up with someone emotionally. The irony isn’t lost here, because he likes to tie women up and do a list of prescribed things he likes such as... tying, bonding, covering eyes, and ears depriving the recipient from the sense of sight, hearing, and movement thus surrendering total control to namely for his joy and pleasure as well as his partner's through heightened expectation and that resulting in ultimate mindblowing satisfaction of said parties... One must have complete trust in her partner to hand over such a huge amount of control over oneself which is why he has everything spelled out and has safe words to prevent hurt or injury.  He explains that the pain and pleasure has a fine line; should one let go of his/her inhibitions and get over thinking that spanking is demeaning and embrace the pleasure, it could heighten one's sense of pleasure. (My jury is still out on that one. Spanking, getting flogged, caned somehow brings out medieval torture devices in the eyes of my mind or imagine women being punished elsewhere around the world by these methods, therefore being hit doesn't appeal to me, a turn off.)   Of course he adds toys to the mixture and introduces of love spanking which is different than the aforementioned punishment. Sex is Christian Grey's coping mechanism. One of the ways he punishes his submissives is through denial of org*sm from his partner thus making her frustrated as he is for whatever imaginary transgression line she may have crossed (Oh, may God forgive me! I'm using all these embarrassing terms in public venue th_shy. but I digress.)
And thus the salacious, exquisite, handsome, confident, controlling all fifty shades of f*ucked up Christian Grey never had a girlfriend, or a vanilla relationship (i.e. straightforward sex with no toys involved) after his introduction to the facts of life via the beautiful, older pedophile  Elena, a.k.a. Mrs. Robinson who seduced, deflowered and introduced him to the life of BDSM when he was a teenager. He’s had 15 women who were his submissives over the last 6 years aside from Mrs. Robinson of course, to oh, how shall I put this delicately…. Hmm, yes, of course... to tie up, spank, flog, and f*ck with. And from his own admission to Ana in the story, he’s also had other women he just f*cked without having them as his subs while he was getting *educated* on the topic.  The baggage of his past is so big, f*ckedup and large, you'd need a a couple of 747s to fit them in!
The BDSM relationships he enters start with a Non-Disclosure Agreement (after all, he's a very wealthy man, and he'd like to keep his private life, well, private), and it also comes with a damn a Dom-Sub contract clearly outlining what he expects in terms of obedience, sleep hours, what she should eat, drink, wear, how she should behave and conduct herself, exercise, personal hygiene/beauty (hair, shave, wax the whole works), personal safety, personal qualities and sets up finely detailed parameters for his current submissive. The contract also delves into the expectations from the sub as far as the “red room of torture” is concerned, although he calls it his “playroom”. 

I didn’t have to look up the definitions for the chores listed thanks to my jobs with the search engines- I patted myself in the back for not needing a dictionary or visual aid to get through the book though I lack the experience – I felt like a new  college graduate who’s never had a job. (Why would anyone want that (life style, need, oh the whole shebang)? I’ll get to the why, how, where, etc. later)
CG defines the Hard Limits in the contract where the things he will not do, and same goes for the sub-the things she will absolutely not do. There are also Soft Limits in the contract defining explorable areas; things, activities, and games you can work up to.

Although Christian Grey assumes that Ana was inexperienced, he didn't realize the lack of it until after he let her read the contracts as well as gave her a tour of his “playroom” later to his utter shame. Though he is angry about the extent of her inexperience, they proceed to rectify the “situation” with vanilla lovemaking which is a first for CG because he’s never “made love” in the past, or had anyone in his bed or just plain slept with next to someone (I don't want to spoil the book telling every little detail, because the first sleep over occurred a day ago was a part that was actually very sweet, and it had nothing to do with sex. He helped her while she was in a rare drunken stupor and saved her from the unwanted sexual advances of her her own friend Jose. But you have to read the book to find out. That was the first endearing moment for me). And thus Ana the innocent blows into his life like a gentle spring breeze but with the full force of an F5 tornado.

Ana is innocent, loyal, beautiful, young, and although she appeared to be “submissive” there is not a submissive bone in her body (You go girl!). This is something CG has not experienced because he’s used to getting his way, and no one really confronts him. She’s a breath of fresh air just by being herself.  Her only issue is that she doesn’t see herself worthy of him sometimes because of his beauty, who he is, wealth, and his larger than life presence.  After being with Christian the possessive whose possessiveness can go neck to neck with any stalker’s thank you very much (and it would be too creepy had his affection was not requited, but somehow, to me at least, it becomes endearing. Had his intentions been malicious, I’m sure I would have thought differently. But it’s not.)
The main characters: Anastasia (Ana) Steele is a 21 year old innocent, virgin university student about to graduate from WSU. She’s from a middle class family, mom’s on husband #4. Her biological father died in a military training exercise, and mom married to husband #2 who became her father figure in life, and when mom moved onto husband #3 she came back to live with her father figure who is ex-army and a loving father.  She works at a hardware store, lives with her roommate Katherine Kavanaugh, a wealthy girl and Ana’s best friend and roommate. She’s a loving beautiful girl, loyal to her friends, innocent, never had a boyfriend though she kissed couple of frogs. She drives an old Beetle and shops at inexpensive stores (Walmart, Old Navy etc.) which clearly is not your everyday Neiman Marcus.
Then there is Christian Grey:  He is 28 years old, more handsome than Adonis, wealthier than ancient Greek king Croesus, über controlling entrepreneur with a dark side. He’s had a rough start in life, born as the son of a crack whore, abused by her pimp, and lived with his mother's dead corpse after she committed suicide for four days as a 4 year old toddler. Then got adopted by the doctor who examined him after being discovered hungry, dirty, scared and abused and her husband, and came to be a member of a loving family. Dropped out of an Ivy league school after two years to start his own business at the age of 21. He has two siblings who are also adopted: Elliott, and Mia. But these bits of information only come out as the relationship evolves among the two.

CG's rough start in life made it difficult for him to cope with life, making him feel unworthy. Growing up he was angry, got into a lot of fights, had to change several schools. Then at the age of 15, he was seduced by one of his mother’s friends who deviously diverted his drinking, fighting, and skipping school tendencies into the Dom/Sub lifestyle and he became her submissive for 6 years. He’s never made love to anyone, though he seems to have ample skills in the department of pleasure (by his own admission, he f**cked a lot, but never made love). He knows how to control himself in all things, and he demands to control all that is around him. He became a dominant around the age of 21, and this is the only style of relationship he knows.  

Christian Grey doesn’t do the girlfriend thing. He does not make love. He fucks (I’m blushing all the way through here, but this word is used amply and those are his words, not mine). He’s not all hearts and flowers, he doesn’t like to be touched, he doesn’t like emotions, and love thing is foreign to him; what’s more, his tastes are very singular, very much focused, and are clearly outlined in his contract. The women he’s involved with must sign a NDA, and a dominant/submissive contract. Well, that’s what he had done with all his previous 15 submissives, until he meets Anastasia completely by chance. (though Ana is asked to sign the NDA as well as the contract. She signs the NDA, but negotiates the terms of the contract instead of just accepting what he's offering). 

In short, Christian Grey is a 28 year old man who knows the difference between his elbow and his ass (considering a lot of people who don’t, that’s an A+ he could receive half his brain and both his hands tied behind his back), but alas he is also fifty shades f*cked up. There I said it.
Since Ana’s and Christian’s worlds revolve on different axis, and in fact they ought to be completely in different solar systems, there is practically no way of the two ever meeting under normal circumstances, fates had a different idea and they meet:
Ana is drafted to interview him for WSU school magazine by her roommate Kate who initially was supposed to interview him but had the flu at the day of the interview. Ana reluctantly agrees to help Kate out, because Christian Grey doesn’t normally give interviews; this one took nine months to schedule only due to Kate's tenacity, and it would have taken another six for them to reschedule, and by then they would have graduated. Ana agrees, because Kate is larger than life, nothing if not persuasive, argumentative and it’s hard to say no to her. Ana takes up the questions written by Kate and her mini disk recorder and heads to Seattle to Grey Enterprises.  The utilitarian building with clean and immaculate decorations as well as the Stepford wives style women working there ~ all blonde, sharply dressed, she immediately feels out of place. Ana who is not sophisticated, or wealthy, shy to the point of stumbling over her feet or her words. Her flustered demeanor, but intelligent observations, and her brunette status with her “yes sir”, “no sir”, as well as her nervous habit of lip biting piques Grey’s interest soon after she stumbles her way through his door and lands headlong on the floor.

She is unassumingly beautiful, sometimes doesn't have a filter between her medulla oblongata and her mouth before she speaks but that's one of the things that interests CG in her, and CG is, well, a complete control freak, and wants to be in control in everything he does or endeavors or everyone who is working for him or currently occupying his "playroom".  That aspect could be easily understood by anyone who half endeavors to be in charge of his or her life.  In order to be organized, even I have to have control of my affairs; but unlike CG, mine isn’t to the extent of other people, just myself and the things I do. Lo and behold, Ana and CG feel the sparks, and taken by each other, but each have reservations because the other is something they usually don’t have much to do with. But chemistry is what it is, Grey wants to know her.

Now those of you, who are deeply religious, would be reluctant to read this book. Catholics would be holding their rosary and saying “Hail Mary” till Madonna has a new hit, and directing me, the enamored reader to the nearest confessional; or my dear protestant friends (keep your panty hose on!) would be talking about ramifications, and sin, and how this book is a one way ticket to hell, and the Muslim friends ~ well, all the ablutions and the perfume in Arabia wouldn’t clean the sin that would taint me through this book. Need I say anything about our conservative Jewish friends? They’re stricter than those previously mentioned. (And yes, I'm friends with all faiths of people. I don't discriminate. Ok, digressing and getting back on track...)

Of course, I will disagree with my dear friends, because, I happened look at it differently. Christian Grey by all intents and purposes is sort of like the ”Prodigal Son”. Even God loves his sinners and sends his shepherd to look for that one lost sheep. So, you feel like you want to save this guy from his past miseries.  That’s one of the draws. The other would be what I mentioned above; that he knows the difference between his elbow and his ass.

"Why is that such a big deal?" you might ask. Consider all these divorces, all broken relationships, and endless miserable homes. Of course the only one who should not consider himself or herself in that category (i.e. outside of the category of people who absolutely MUST READ this book) would be those of you who were conceived through the “immaculate conception.” Alas, I'm not one of those. I am but a lowly mortal whose parents fell in love, and made love and had me the old fashioned way, and are still married to one another.  Therefore this should be of interest for us mere regular people.  Especially those of you who are married, and that goes for men not just women.  
Why do I say that? It’s quite simple actually. We all want and need attention, ties, satisfaction, to be sated by the significant other; emotional as well as physical. The elemental connection with our significant other, the one who completes us, and makes us whole. Few achieve that completeness, and unfortunately many don’t. There is a radio show on Christian radio which broadcasts nationally (oh shut up, and stop your rolling eyes; I’m not going to get into religion here, I promise I have a point) that has a show called “Marriage Mondays” by Dr. Randy Carlson. It broadcasts out of Tucson, AZ. He also has a book called “Starved for Affection”. I have a feeling he's taking his own species' side and point of view, but I digress. He takes calls from all over the country on his show, and a lot of men get on it, and whine and whine and whine about how they’ve starved for affection. The good doctor helps them with their problems and smooth their bruised ego, and they each start their sentence, “boy, Dr. Carlson! I tell you, I’m really starved for affection!” whether that guy is calling from Oklahoma, or swamplands of Louisiana, or suburbs of NY. See, what I’m getting at? No?
The affection they’re talking about is becoming the singular center of their wives' universe, getting physical gratification from her, and the spark, and feeling the connection that must be forged between the two.  I used to hear this particular show every week while driving, and that was before this book was written, and I’d always say “dude, if you only knew the difference between your ass and your elbow, and if you just extended a little help to your little woman, you wouldn’t be calling in!  And the doctor would chime in how these poor guys were starved for affection because of this elemental support and love making they didn't receive from their spouses. But not once did he ask them if he knew how to please his woman, how to make love to her. "Sir, do you know the difference between your wife's fantasy of a good love making and a souffle recipe?" No, that question never came up. I often thought about sending it in. Never bothered though. (Don't get me wrong: Dr. Carlson is a brilliant family therapist and has a lot to offer to his listeners and patients, but as I had listened to him over the years, there were number of times I would deeply disagree with his conclusions.) Lack of this intimacy creates families who are disconnected, couples who become strangers (sometimes with a wondering eye), because they don't make the effort to learn the basics. Another example: You might have seen Ron White, the comedian who smokes a cigar while he's pickling himself with a Scotch or something while performing his stand up comedy.  I don't watch his show, but someone sent me a video thinking it was funny where he was talking about his honeymoon whose wife was on her period during the said event. Guess she wasn't in the mood with cramps and what not, and she instead wanted to go see attractions. He told her "well, I have a log ride here!" Yeah.. I'm sure she was charmed out of her pants with this 'come on'.  Don't get on with your years without learning a thing or two in this very important department of life; perhaps you might learn that from this book, and how shall I say it... yes, your log ride won't be empty for you to be riding alone and at the end of the day you wouldn't be calling Dr. Carlson of how deprived you are of affection.

Here's another example:

My best friend and I were watching Turkish TV at her home and having tea in Scottsdale, Arizona (don't ask, it was a tea party...) There was an entertainment show on TV where the presenter was speaking with the audience. A good looking young man stood up, and spoke with her, and declared his love to his wife of 7 years. He told the whole country and all of Europe how much he loved his wife, and what a beautiful woman she was and that he appreciated having her in his life, the mother of his 2 children. He's always been in love with her and couldn't imagine life without her; and would they play a love song for her honor who was also in the audience.

My friend and I looked at each other, and smiled and nodded and said that was so sweet of him to do such a thing for her!  Well, the presenter asked his wife who was seated beside him if she would like to respond to his declarations. There stood a woman who was dressed very conservatively, hair tightly wrapped in a scarf, and she looked so taut you would think someone zapped her with 1000 megawatts of electricity! (Don't take this as the norm, we've seen other women's shocked expressions in the audience to her response). My best friend and I were a bit confused about her reaction.
The presenter repeated the question to her again, and she responded very stiffly almost scolding: “NO COMMENT!  I think my friend and I both might have said, “What the hell?” She looked into the camera with her big green eyes and said, “Such things should be left within the sanctity of one’s home. Not to be declared in public like this! He shamed me! I’ve no comment!” and sat back down still scowling while the presenter stood shocked and the husband went through flushes of colors like a chameleon.  Granted that this is not a standard reaction from a particular religion, it shows the clear lines of one's taboos. It’s part of the upbringing and where people place the taboo lines. To her, a declaration of love from her own husband on national television was shameful. Where is your line drawn? I may think of her response as disgusting, unloving; but she had her line right there, and we all know that everyone has an imaginary line for his or her taboo.  What he felt for her seemed like unrequited love to me and I may have been mistaken.  But I do know that, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that reaction.  That's not for me. Some of you may settle for it, and that is alright, but why would I allow others to tell me what would be right for me as an individual? There is no “one size fits all”. Therefore, some of you may take of this book as your taboo, but it's your loss. I think it's good for couples. (Just keep in mind that it's FICTION. I'd rather read love stories than war and misery.)
And people; women do talk among each other, at least those of whom who are in my acquaintance. As shocking as it may come to you (!), your wives aren’t interested in a log ride! They want love, passion, compassion and understanding.  Not porn, not deviant!  That’s what I will focus on while reviewing this book. Because Ana here represents our own kind: the women. I loved her character. She's beautiful, smart, independent, and honorable. What's not to love. And she wants "more" in her relationship. “More” entails, love, compassion, companionship, understanding, freedom and many other things.

People ignore the importance of physical closeness especially in a relationship. (I believe in monogamous relationships, commitment and of course marriage.) A lot of people ignore that (i.e. the importance of chemistry, physical closeness). You might hear, “Well, we believe in the same things (so do, 2 billion other people for God's sake, doesn't mean you're marriageable to each and everyone!), we’re equally yoked and are in the same church; he’s attractive; she’s beautiful; comes from a good family; s/he has money; career…”
The list is endless. All of these may be OK for some, but it’s not enough for a relationship. Chemistry is important. How would you sleep with someone day in and day out had you not felt the spark with that person, or that person is not FLOATING YOUR BOAT? Can you? If you go for anything less than love and yes lust (notice the conjunction / noun “AND” because that is a sign of chemistry), you’ll end up on Dr. Randy Carlson’s show sighing, “oh, Doc! I’m starved for affection!” When I was in college, I had a good friend who married a guy who was 24 years her senior. He was wealthy, well traveled, educated, but sweet a person he was, I wouldn't take a second look at him. My friend once said to me nearly gloating, "well, your husband is still in college like us; whereas mine is wealthy and established!" (here's a glass of water to wash that enormous foot down!)  "True," I said. "But it's a joy to go to bed with mine unlike yours! Money had never been my object in a husband. Love and passion on the other hand are what I cared about." In the end one gets, what one desires, you can fine tune the details along the way. Strong foundations. Those go through love and passion for one another.

You see, one very important aspect that  makes reading this book worthwhile above all else is simply: LOVE. Love is such a simple word yet with a lot of impact and promise behind it. This word is larger than life. Why? Because "love" is patient and kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It doesn't dishonor, it's not self-seeking, it's not easily angered; neither does it keep records of wrong. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS. I mean, a whole religion is established with this one single word's principles (though some of you may debate on how people are utilizing it: but that still doesn't change the priciples): "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Love is what makes life worth living, makes life worth getting up in the morning, forging ahead. “…and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Since a number of books cover this sort of topic, i.e. lust, sex, relationships, one night stands, and the like, this story wouldn’t be great, or complete had it not been for the “love”. I’m a sucker for a good love story.  A story is not a good love story if you can’t think the two main characters within the same sentence like; Romeo and Juliette, Edward and Bella, Darcy and Elizabeth, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde, Paris and Helena, Orpheus and Eurydice, Odysseus and Penelope, Paolo and Francesca, Jayne Eyre and Rochester, Layla and Majnun, Eloise and Abelard, Pyramus and Thisbe, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal… You get the point.

Though some of these characters are real, and some are fictional, their stories continue. Their love is never ending. They’re eternal. Love conquers all. It sees no barriers, no time, no expiration date. This is one of those situations. These two names will be remembered together: Anastasia and Christian. Had it not been for the love, I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much, and the sex, well, would be nothing but just dull old sex. But within the context, with love comes sacrifice, and that is the spice of life, the story goes on a high note, continues on that high plateau, and end with a high or rather sad note making you just want to jump into reading the second book without a second thought.

Now, the life between these two characters is one of love, despite the mercurial moods of Christian Grey whose mood swings could easily give you a whiplash, or the fact that he’s closed when it comes to divulging his past, or his controlling attitude; he’s possessive, angry, maddening, salacious, sexy, well read (I’m a sucker for intelligence ~ ignorance does nothing for me), wonton, talented, have eclectic music taste from Classical to modern, to jazz, taking charge of a place or a situation (this is also probably engrained in female biology because we’re as females programmed genetically to go for the type that would give us the best chance of survival, and that’s possibly why the assertive men are more popular because of this simple biological fact. If I were to live in the Wild West in 1800s, I’d be sure to keep Doc Holliday’s (or Wyatt Earp’s) company.) Though Doc Holliday may have been unhealthy, he knew how to survive; he was well read, educated, and smart.

This book is not YA. It is an adult book. But it is beneficial, because it teaches the importance of clear communication, importance of knowing your partner inside and out. I’ve read some reviews criticizing that it was not believable how many times a day they were, uhmm… doing the deed. I think if you’re healthy and fit, in prime of your sexual prowess, AND you are in love with your company, it’s probably doable - although I don't know if its doable in consecutive days (jury is still out on that one). But I didn’t want to insert personal opinion here - they're just that, opinions; so I’ve researched and it appears the consensus on various different web sites and individuals is that one can go and do the deed four to six times a day (though I don’t know if they would have time for other activities if this one aspect is taking all the time). When I initially read those chapters I thought, if they can manage it, more power to them!  I would assume one would need, oooh, I don’t know the recovery time from the soreness due to the force and frequency of the act, but, oh well, maybe they developed calluses or the particular muscles are well exercised and are simply able to handle the action.

I think people who are in a relationship, or are married should read it (men and women), because it is important to connect with one another on the elemental level: physically and emotionally. There is no shame in love; no shame in what couples do (granted that it's in private). Had it been something to be ashamed of or never to be discussed (though it still is taboo), we would all be born through divine methods; one which did not involve sex. If those of you who are deeply religious doubt this assessment, I will prove you wrong:

Place me like a seal over thine heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Song of Solomon 8:6

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  Genesis 2:24
These needs exist. If they’re not fulfilled by one another in the relationship, then you have an incomplete relationship; one that is devoid of affection and pleasure. Although I was appalled by the fact the Christian Grey introduced the “contract” explicitly defining his wants, expectations, and asking her to fill in her limits, I finally understood that though I wouldn’t go that far, it is important for couples to clearly understand one another’s wants and needs so they can fulfill and be truly complete with each other. With shame and embarrassment you would achieve nothing in the relationship.  Apparently some people have to have toys to achieve these joys at a greater plateau, (I had to look up what a “butt plug” looked like in the second book, looked a bit repulsive but, hey whatever floats their boat), it is all about compromise in the relationship.  If the main character was any less flawed, he wouldn’t be as likable. Because of his flaws, of his “fifty shades of f*ckedupedness (I think this is a word)” most people have at least five shades if not fifty. If you can work through yours, and complete one another in your relationship, you’ll have made it nearly as good as Christian and Anastasia.

Thought the first book ends with Ana breaking up with Christian because she allowed him to flog her and it was highly emotional for her, and she forgot to use "safe words", it was sad and tearful, but made the story all the more valuable, tangible, relatable, and your heart aches for both of them. The emotions always run high in this book, whether it’s positive or negative. All of the three books make you laugh, or cry, or feel for all the characters.

More to come later on the second book which is my most favorite in the series.

I would imagine Anastasia would look like this (except imagine her with blue eyes) (This is Ozgu Namal):


Christian Grey:

It’s a toss between Ian Somerhalder…

Or.. Kivanc Tatlitug..

Wednesday, March 14, 2012



I can’t get her face out of my mind. The crushing look she had, and the heartbreak that was displayed on her face as if she had death in the family. I couldn’t take what I said back. It's for her own good. She's too innocent. Too sweet. Too deserving of something more than what I can offer her. But then her presence pulls me to her. I'm torn apart inside with these tornado of emotions. I just can’t introduce her to my dark world! She deserves better; she needs someone to sweep her off her feet, go hearts and flowers on her which she clearly desires. But then the idea of someone else touching her is killing me inside! (Roberta Flack - Killing Me Softly) I hate this foreign feeling that’s eating me, clawing into my soul. I hate being this way. I'm short with everyone. Even Taylor who generally has his poker face flinches. I'm too edgy.  

It’s been nearly a frigging week. I’m watching her from afar like a teenage boy! She’s going to school, going to work while I still manage my world from the Heathman Hotel in Portland. I can direct my company from here until I finish my duty for the graduation commencement ceremony at WSU where I’m supposed to confer degrees to the graduating class. Including her… Anastasia. Why can’t I get her out of my mind? What am I a fucking teenager? Diversion… What I need is diversion. But nothing is appealing to me except her. It’s like her body calls to me, her sprit, her blood, her being. I can’t fucking escape this feeling!  ( Notion by Kings of Leon)

I have to do something to show her I’m interested in her, but I still feel I have to warn her. She’s into British classics and Hardy she says. I decide to send her Tess of the D’Urbervilles first edition with a note. I’m sure she’s read it. I want her to stay away, but not stay away. At least give her a warning. If she rejects me at least, I can maybe move on. Maybe…

I handwrite the note:
Why didn’t you tell me there was danger?
Why didn’t you warn me?

Ladies know what to guard against, because
they read novels that tell them of these tricks…

I order the 1st edition of the book and have it sent to her house with my warning hoping she’ll get my warning, but part of me also hopes that she’ll disregard it. I’ve never desired someone as much, not by any stretch of mind, and I’ve had quite a few women. I scold myself that I can have my pick of women. Almost any woman! But I don’t want any woman! I want her! Maybe if I can hold on till her graduation and if I see her then, maybe then I can declare my hand to her. I’m fucking losing my mind! She's bewitched me body and soul! I don't want to be away from her!! ( Bruce Springsteen - I'm on Fire)

It’s Friday night. I had my dinner at my hotel room with my brother Elliot who brought some clothes for me seeing as I wasn’t intending to stay this long.  My phone rings. I look at the caller ID and it’s her! Anastasia! I answer the phone on the second ring nearly breathless, surprised but softly I inquire: “Anastasia?”   

She doesn’t sound good. Is she ill? I’m immediately alert and attentive to her voice. Her speech is slurred.

“Grey…” she sounds off key, “why did youuu,” *hiccups* “send me the books?”

I immediately feel concerned. I get in a protective mode because she’s not well. There is definitely something’s wrong with her!

“Anastasia? Are you alright? You sound off key, strange…”

She giggles and slurs again. “Grey, you’re the strange one, not me!”

She’s drunk!

“Anastasia, have you been drinking?” I ask incredulous.

“None of your business! Why should you be con… con…” she struggles to complete her sentence, “con.cerned?”

“Just curious. Tell me, where are you?”

She giggles, actually giggles. “In a bar!” she gushes.

“Which one?”

“Uh uh… It’s a bar in Portland.”

“How will you get home Ana?”

“Don’t know,” hiccups, “I’ll find a way”.
“Which bar is it Anastasia?”

“Why the hell did you send me Tess of the D.. Durb… D’Urbervilles books Christian?”

“Anastasia..” I say as calmly as possible as my anger is rising to the boiling point. “Tell me where you are!” My calmness is laced with anger.
“You are sooo bossy, controlling person man..”

“Where the fuck are you Ana? So help me, I’ll find out one way or the other!”

“oh so far away from… from.. where you are. Yeah, from Seattle.”

“Ana, please.. Where are you?”

“Goodnight Christian!” and she hangs up! On me!

“TAYLOR!” I yell. My brother looks at me amused. He’s never seen me in pursuit of a woman, and this is a sight to see for him.

“Yes sir!” he shows up.

“I need you to track Anastasia Steele’s cell phone. Find out her location! Now!”


He’s got his little command center setup already to control a space mission let alone finding the location of a Miss Anastasia Steele. Few minutes later I have the location. Elliot opens his mouth to say something and I stop her with one gesture of my hand, and he grins holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender.

“Taylor! Let’s go!” I say, and Elliot also grabs his jacket, sidling along. I look at him pointedly. He says grinning, “Hey bro! I always thought you were gay! This I gotta see!” I clench my teeth, but let him come along.

“Yes sir.” We speed through the night from Heathman’s to the bar. I call Ana back with satisfaction as we speed through the night.

“Hi?” she answers scared. That’s right! You need to be scared.

“I’m coming to get you!” I hang up brewing.  

It’s not too far from where I’m staying, and we make it within ten minutes of me hanging up. I am able to locate her in front of the bar where the photographer is making his advances on her while she’s feebly trying to push him away. I want to hit the living daylights out of the fucker! Elliot is with me.

“Go find her roommate. Cute, strawberry blonde.  She answers to the name Kate Kavanagh!”

“Cute and blonde? With pleasure!” he grins and smoothly walks into the bar.

“I believe the lady said No!” I hiss through my teeth as I emerge from the darkness. It’s taking all my self-control not to jump at him, and beat the crap out of him. He lets go of her.

“Grey,” he says tersely.

As if on cue Anastasia doubles over and hurls the contents of her stomach on the concrete patio splashing the fucker who jumps back muttering something in Spanish.  She’s barely able to stand up. I rush to steady her head while holding her hair back. I pull her to the flower bed where she can do less splashing while clearing out the content of her stomach in the relative darkness.

“If you’re going to throw up, do it here.” I say. She pukes for a long while and even after the entire content of her stomach is gone, she continues to dry heave. I hand her my handkerchief. She takes it embarrassed, while her fucking attacker hangs by the door like a cat who spilled his milk. He mutters her he’ll see her inside, and walks away! Walks away! What kind of friends first forces his hand on his friend and then leaves her with a complete stranger to be cared for? Ana is three sheets to the wind, but she manages to say “I’m sorry.”

“What are you sorry for Anastasia?” I ask. This better be good.

“Oh, you want the list? The phone call… Throwing up… but mostly for the phone call,” she looks chagrined looking down at her hands.

“We’ve all been here one time or another, but perhaps not quite as badly as you are,” she looks as if I slapped her. But I push on, “Do you make a habit of pushing your limits in this manner? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pushing limits, but not in this matter.”

She’s mad at me and defiant.

“I’ve never been drunk before, and,” holding her head trying to steady herself she adds, “I’ve no intention of being one again.” She staggers, and I grab and hold her close to my chest now the danger of her hurling passed.

“Come, I’ll take you home,” I say.

“How did you find me anyway?” she asks petulantly.

“I tracked your phone.”

She looks at me with an expression that says confused, and amused at the same time.

“I have to get my purse and jacket.” She says.  She also wants to tell her roommate of her leaving. I tell her that my brother Elliot is inside and dancing with Kate. She looks surprised but she wants to go in. I usher her back into the bar, but I don’t want her to get sick any more than she already is. So I take her to the bar, and get myself a drink and get her a large glass of ice water. I make her drink it. All of it. I can see that her glare says “you’re bossy!” and I find that kind of erotic. She stands up to me even with her glare. Once she’s done drinking her water, I pull her to me, inhale her heady personal scent that is vanilla, clean soap, and outdoors. Somehow with her personal scent this becomes an intoxicating concoction. I have a hard time keeping my hands off of her. I lead her into the dance floor swinging, and we reach my brother Elliot and Anastasia’s roommate Kate who is like white on rice on my brother dancing their butts off and having a good time. Ana tells her I’m taking her home. She waves us goodbye grinning. As I try support Ana out of the bar and the noise, she starts swaying, and before I know it, it’s out of my mouth: “Fuck!

She’s on the floor headlong. This is times three. Will I always be picking her off the floor? Somehow even the thought of it is endearing though I hate seeing her fall and get hurt. I pick her up and carry her in my arms, and hoist her into the Audi SUV. Taylor drives us to the hotel. I carry her to my suite in my arms like the most precious cargo, like a child. I gaze at her beautiful face. She’s so captivating. I just want to run my fingers through her hair and face, and feel and gaze at her. When I enter my suite I take her to my bedroom. I'm bewitched by this innocent girl. Completely taken. She's here in my bed, and I'm completely helpless against her. Against this sleeping beauty. (Bewitched by Ella Fitzgerald)

I dismiss Taylor by saying “That’s all Taylor!”

“Goodnight sir,” and went back to his room.

I lay Anastasia after pulling the duvet cover up. I stared at her for minutes, hours I don’t know. I couldn’t get my eyes off of her my breath hitching at her peaceful look.

I kneel on the floor and untie the laces of her Converse shoes. I pull them off her feet. Then I pull the socks off. I then unzip her jeans and pull them off her revealing her flawless long legs. I pull the duvet over her; sit in the chair watch her lay in the infant position breathing slowly. It gives me an enormous amount of peace I have not felt in a long time. I just want to crawl next to her, and hold her all night. I’ve never had someone next to me in bed… to sleep with. Here’s a first. I strip off my pants and shirt. I pull a t-shirt on, and turn the side table light off. First time in my life, I sleep a peaceful sleep without any nightmares of the crack whore who was my mother or her pimp. I dream of Anastasia. ( Dream On by Aerosmith)

Being a morning person that I am, I wake up early after what felt like the most restful night next to beautiful Anastasia. I could watch her for hours, but I need to work out to get rid of this sexual draw towards her. I put my workout sweats on. I leave by the bedside table a glass of orange juice to give her a shot of vitamins and two pills Advil to get rid of her hangover. I work out hard, sweat pours out of me. After what feels like an eternity, I get back to my suite, and knock on my bedroom door before entering to not to make her feel uncomfortable. She’s awake, and her eyes watch and trail me. As her eyes linger on the sweat stains of my workout pants, her breath hitches, and that reaction does something to me, and I feel myself harden.

“Good morning Anastasia,” I say, “How do you feel?”

“Better than I deserve,” she whispers shyly, then looks up at me with her bright blue eyes. As I take the towel off my neck she gazes at me intently and asks “How did I get here?”

I go to the edge of the bed and sit. I’m close enough to touch her, but I won’t.  I don’t want to tell her that I wanted to gaze at her all night trying to decide if she’s what I want. I opt for a lighter explanation.

“Since you managed to soil the bar’s vicinity, I didn’t want to take a risk with the car’s leather seats. I brought you here instead. It was closer,” I say passively.

She bites her lip hitching my breath, “Did you put me to bed?”

“Yes,” I say with my poker face.

“And undressed me?” she says in a barely audible whisper chewing that lip again.

“Yes,” gazing at her lips.  

“And, did we… uhm?” she arched her eye brows, and turned red before lowering her gaze.

“No Anastasia. You were completely passed out. I don’t do necrophilia. I prefer my women completely receptive, and aware,” I say dryly.

She turns red as recognition goes through her face. That’s right. I’m very straight!

“But it was a very interesting experience to have you in my bed.”

“You slept next to me?”

“It is my bed,” I said wryly. “It was treat and one I won’t forget for some time,” I say. For a long time...

She questions me on my stalking tendencies as she calls it. Though she sounds chiding, she looks pleased.

“You should be happy I stalked you, because instead of here, you would have woken up next to the photographer who was pressing his suit on you last night, in fact rather forcefully,” I say remembering, none too pleased, and my anger rising again towards the fucker.

“You sound like a courtly knight,” she says. Her incorrect observation throws me off, and brings me back to my worries. How little you know me. There’s nothing light about me baby. It’s all dark and fucked up.

“Anastasia, there’s nothing light about me,” I say, “maybe a dark knight.” She looks disbelieving. I give her a bitter smile. It’s too early to talk about my dark soul, or the lack of it thereof. I change the subject.

“Did you eat last night?” I question her. She shakes her head in the negative. I’m appalled.

“Anastasia, that was why you got violently ill last night! You must always eat, especially if you intend to drink!” I scold her exasperated. She flinches back, but replies.

“Will you keep scolding me this morning?”

“Am I scolding you?”

“You sure sound like it,” she says petulantly.

Good, I think my palms are twitching. “Be glad that’s all I’m doing. Had you been mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit on your behind for a week after what you did yesterday!”

“What did I do?” she scowls back. “What’s it to you anyway? Who asked you to swoop in and save me?”

Her answer oddly feels hurtful, yet another feeling I’m not familiar with.

“You behaved badly. You didn’t eat, you drank excessively, and got sick, and would have even been raped by what you call your friend. You put yourself in a position to get hurt!”

She lowers her gaze again chagrined. “Jose is my friend, he wouldn’t have hurt me. Maybe he just got out of line with too much to drink.”

“Maybe he should be thought some manners!” I barely contain myself. Maybe I should teach him a lesson he’s never going to forget! She looks up at me and locks her gaze with me.

“You are quite the disciplinarian Mr. Grey!” she spurts out. Baby, you have no idea! I grin.

Oh Ana, if you only knew how much!” My grin gets wider. Sometimes she sees right through me. I get up and walk towards the bathroom. “I’m going to shower right now, unless you want to go first...” I ask questioning. She gasps and holds her breath. My body responds to it like metal to magnet. I walk towards her and gently thug her lower lip out of the grasp of her teeth. My thumb grazes over her lower lip as the jolt of current passes on between us in a constant flow. I want to take her down and have my way with her right here, right now!

Instead I say, “Breathe baby!” and release her face.  I feel her gaze glued behind me as I move to the bathroom. I’m hooked.

I shower as quickly as I can as to not to miss a minute with her. I take the speediest shower in my personal history, and come out coolly with a towel wrapped on my waist. She’s out of bed, looking around. Her jaw drops as she sees me, but then again, so does mine to see her so close to naked. One innocent, breath taking woman who is so unaware of her own beauty. She stills in her place. I tell her that her jeans were soiled with her vomit, and point to the clean clothes I had Taylor purchase for her this morning. Her eyes brighten, and eyes me trying to hide her gaze, she mutters “I’ll take… uhm.. that shower now.” And walks into the bathroom.

I dress in my pants and white linen shirt. I take my morning paper to read at the table while waiting for the food to arrive. Ten minutes later there is a knock on the door. Room service. I let the waiter bring the food on the dining table. After sending him off, I go to the bathroom door and knock letting Anastasia know that the food is here. She stutters an “okay,” making me smile. She’s very unease around men. Very inexperienced. Somehow this makes me pleased. When she comes out she looks breathtaking, innocent, but makes me frown when I see her hair damp. I have this protective urge to keep her safe even from herself.

“You haven’t dried your hair!” I scold her.

“I didn’t see the hair dryer,” she mutters. I narrow my eyes. She’s not mine… She’s not mine… She’s not mine… I chide myself. Not yet.. But I’d like her to be.

“You look astounding in that color,” I find myself saying unable to take my gaze off of her. She blushes.

“Thank you for the clothes Christian,” she says biting that lip again. “I should pay you for it.”

I frown. I don’t want to be paid for them! I can afford them. I feel like I should take care of her.

“You should learn to graciously accept gifts Ana,” I tell her firmly.

“I can’t, see, you’ve given me some very expensive books,” she says, quickly adding, “which intend to return of course, but clothes, I don’t know. I should pay for them. I know I can’t afford to pay for the books,” she trails off, “but I can pay for the clothes.”

“I can afford them Anastasia! You don’t need to pay for them,” I say to this stubborn beautiful girl before me.

“I know you can Christian. That’s not the point. I’d feel better if I did, that’s all,” she looks at her fingers as if some answers are written on them. She then raises her gaze at me and asks, “why did you give me those books Christian?”

I close my eyes briefly, and exhale. When I open them back again, I say, “because I felt that you needed a warning. When I was holding you, you looked at me begging me to kiss you, and,”I said running my hands through my hair in a nervous gesture. I felt a loss for words first time in a long time, but gather my thoughts and continue “and, look, I’m not the hearts and flowers kind of guy. I don’t do that. My tastes are very singular. You should stay away from me if you know what is good for you. Although God knows, I can’t stay away from you” I look at her hoping she wouldn’t stay away, and hoping she would with a confused mess of emotions. I close my eyes to sort this damned feeling out. I’m not good at feelings, and if I knew what’s good for me, I would steer clear of her as well! Her proximity is bewitching, beguiling, drawing me like an undercurrent I can’t escape. Like a moth to the flame. Like her soul is calling to mine like it’s lost half seeking to merge. Even when I close my eyes, I feel her.

She whispers, “then don’t stay away from me…”

I feel I owe her the protection from my fifty shades of fuckeduppedness; I don’t want to see her hurt. She’s too innocent. Like none I’ve met, and I’ve met quite a few. I close my eyes again.

“Anastasia you don’t know what you’re asking for!”

“Tell me then!” she urges me.

“I guess that means you’re not celibate,” she whispers. That brings me out of my reveries, my eyes darken with passion for her, and desire heightens. I give her a salacious smile. “No, Anastasia,” I say amused, “I’m NOT celibate.”

“Oh!” she whispers her breath catches with desire and I can hear her heartbeat like the fluttering wings of a hummingbird trying to escape her chest. That does things to my body, boiling my blood. I just can’t let her go now. Come hell or high water. I have to try! I make my decision.

“What are your plans for the next few days Ana?” I ask my eyes dark with desire.

She tells me she is working today after midday.

“How about tomorrow?” I ask leaning forward.

“I’m working all week, and Kate and I are supposed to be packing because we’re moving to Seattle.”

“Do you have a place yet?”

“Yes, someplace in Pike Market District.” I smile pleased. She’s going to be very close to me.

“I’ve applied for internships and I’m waiting to hear from them.”

“Have your applied to my company?” I ask.

“No, I haven’t,” she stutters.

“What’s the matter with my company?” I think out loud.

She grins, “your company, or Your Company?” God, I like her! She has a smart mouth, but unlike anyone I’ve met before. It’s a breath of fresh air. She’s not afraid of speaking her mind to me.

“Are you smirking at me Anastasia?” I ask her wanton. She catches her breath and bites her lip. I just take it anymore, “God! I like to bite that lip!” I growl. Her mouth opens as she gasps with desire, squirming. I like her response. I bet she’s wet all the way. The thought makes me desirous but not as much as what she challenges me to do next, “Why don’t you then?”

I make up my mind. I can’t stay away from her, but she still needs to know my terms. “Because I will not touch you until I have your written consent Anastasia,” I say smiling.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s pretty literal. I need your written consent before I touch you. I have to show you. When do you finish with work Anastasia?” I ask. She replies “eight.” I tell her that I could take her to Seattle this evening to enlighten her.

“Why can’t you tell me now?” she asks.

“Because I’m enjoying your company and I don’t want you to run to the hills, just yet.” She looks puzzled as I expected she would be. A lot of emotions pass through her face, but finally she looks resolute.

“Okay,” she says determined.

I arrange for a standby pilot for Charlie Tango as I have a feeling she may not agree to what I have in mind for her in which case she may want to come back home, and to my disappointment, this would be the end of our brief encounter. But I am really hoping that it’s not.

“You’re very bossy,” she observes after I hang up the phone. How right she is! Yet she still doesn’t have any idea how much more bossy I can be. No idea at all!

She’s unable to finish her food, whether it’s from nervousness, or excitement, but I still have a hard time with wasted food, and I tell her to eat it. I can’t help it! Doesn’t she know that there are people who are going hungry every day?

When we’re finished eating, she heads to the bathroom to wash-up. She emerges while I’m on the phone. I hang up in a few minutes, and I take her hand to walk out. There’s something about her that is drawing me to her. When she’s near me I can feel the air crackling. I impatiently press the elevator call button. In a minute or two it dings open. We enter into the elevator, and the air is even more electric and current is pulsing between us. She feels it too. Bites her lip. Our gazes lock, moth to the flame. Passion flames knotting my insides, I feel myself hardening.

Oh! Fuck the paperwork! (Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon) I growl, and lunge at her, pushing her to the elevator wall gripping her hands above her head with one hand, I steady her with my body pressing her to the wall, and fix her head with my other hand as my mouth explores hers. What a sweet exploration that is! She moans into my mouth, as our tongues start a tango of their own, dancing and exploring, and kissing. She wants me and I want her!

“You. Are. The. Sweetest. Thing. I’ve.Ever. Met!” ( Feeling Good by Michael Buble) I find myself enunciating. I lost my sense enough to f*ck her in the elevator when it suddenly dings and stops on one of the floors letting three businessmen in. We spring apart, as I don my poker face while she looks disheveled and desirous still. I eye her from my peripheral vision while slowly exhaling this pent up sexual energy. The businessmen grin as we exit the elevator on the first floor as I grab her hand, and mutter to myself, “What is it with the elevators!”

She used my toothbrush as her mouth tasted minty fresh, and she smiled in the affirmative when I asked her about it. She’s one of a kind. We exit the hotel. I’m putty in her hands.  Only if she knew. All of a sudden I feel elated with her next to me. I am only 27, and for the first time with Anastasia, I feel young. We are young! (We are young by Fun ft Janelle Monae)