Updated on May 24, 2015
50 Shades of Grey – Chapter Seven
This is it guys: we’re going to see inside Christian Grey’s ‘playroom’. Unfortunately, the ever dense Ana will be present too. But it’s OK, she thinks she’s going to see his Xbox. Actually, she sort of is…
50 Shades of Grey
The first thing I notice is the smell…
Yep. Not the piles of sex toys. The smell.
…leather, wood, polish … It’s very pleasant.
I don’t think ‘pleasant’ is what he’s going for.
The walls and ceiling are deep, dark burgundy, giving a womb-like effect…
EL James’ imagery is as subtle as ever.
I will summarise: there is big X-shaped piece of wood with handcuffs on each strut, an iron grid hanging from the ceiling covered with dangling chains, and a couple of carefully laid out racks of sex toys. Well, it’s nice to know he keeps the place tidy.
But what dominates the room is a bed. … There is no bedding … just a mattress covered in red leather and red satin cushions…
The man has scatter cushions in his sex room. He’s a keeper.
An odd arrangement … to have a couch facing the bed … I’ve picked on the couch as odd, when really it’s the most mundane piece of furniture in the room.
Damn it, now she’s critiquing herself. Stop doing my job for me.
Weirdly, all the wood, dark walls, moody lighting, and oxblood leather makes the room kind of soft and romantic…
For someone who has spent the past few weeks freaking out and losing the ability to speak when a man is even mentioned, she seems wilfully unfazed by this entire revelation.
I think I’m in shock. My subconscious has emigrated or been struck dumb or simply keeled over and expired.
Or the correct answer, D: it has done none of the above.
We are treated to another dose of robotic Ana, in which she coldly observes what she is feeling, without seeming to actually feel it, and calculates how her response measures up to what might be expected in such a situation. Then the slowly grinding machine that is her brain chunters through all the usual questions (Why? How? When? How often? Who?) – crucially omitting ‘What?’ – before eventually shuddering to a halt.
“Do you do this to people or do they do it to you?”
“I do this to women who want me to.”
I don’t understand.
Ana Categorically Misunderstanding A Basic Sentence: Example 1,052.
He likes to hurt women. The thought depresses me.
He likes to hurt women who like to be hurt. Not seeing a problem.
His eyes are a scorching gray…
An oxymoron if ever I heard one. Like fiery beige.
“I am a Dominant… It means that I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.”
Implying she has an iota of independence to begin with. Don’t worry, Christian, she doesn’t.
I think my mouth drops open.
I can never be sure.
And I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want him to be damned delighted with me. It’s a revelation.
To you, maybe.
Christian explains the Dominant-Submissive relationship. He will get pleasure out of exerting his will over her. If she does as he says, she will be rewarded; if not, punished. The playroom is his means for executing both reward and punishment. She will also have her own bedroom, to decorate and live in at the weekends.
Kate had said he was dangerous … How did she know?
Because she has enough common sense to know that he probably didn’t become a young billionaire by being a really nice guy.
“I don’t sleep with anyone, except you when you’re stupefied with drink.”
Ah, happier, simpler times.
“Well, apart from the NDA, [I need] a contract saying what we will and won’t do.”
“And I will sign it with my semen, and you must sign it with your blood! Nah, not really, but the look on your face…”
“How did you become this way?”
He likes a bit of BDSM. This does not mean there is a terrible secret in his past. (I expect, however, that EL James will include one.)
“Why is anyone the way they are? Why do some people like cheese and other people hate it? Do you like cheese?”
Why yes, Christian, I do! Cheddar is my favourite, but I also like feta and…
“No. I haven’t signed anything yet, so I think I’ll hang on to my free will for a bit longer”
…parmesan is great on pasta. Mozzarella is … oh, sorry. Ha. Free will. As if. Now, mozzarella…
Christian breaks out the contract. This is getting good. (Of course, that is a relative term.)
The Submissive will ensure she achieves a minimum of seven hours’ sleep a night when she is not with the Dominant.
Oh man, but what if it’s really late and Made In Chelsea’son? Seriously, I love that show.
The Submissive will eat regularly … from a prescribed list of foods.
I hope cheddar is on that list. And feta. And parmesan. And the odd bit of mozzarella.
The Submissive will not snack between meals.
I would be a shit submissive.
The Submissive will wear clothing only approved by the Dominant.
Fortunately the Dominant is stinking rich, so they’re going to be really nice clothes.
The Submissive will keep herself clean and shaved and/or waxed at all times.
And shall absolutely never be seen in depression pyjamas.
The Submissive will not enter into any sexual relations with anyone other than the Dominant.
Oh yay! They’re exclusive! Or at least, she is. Maybe they’ll fall in love! They’d better not fall in love.
“Hard limits?” I ask.
“Yes. What you won’t do…””
“I’m not sure about accepting money for clothes. It feels wrong.”
Of all the things to pick up on in the contract, turning down presents is the first thing that springs to mind?!
I stare down at his rules. Waxing! Waxing what? Everything? Ugh.
I think that might be the least of your problems.
Christian shows Ana his list of hard limits: no fire, no urine or faeces, no needles, knives or blood, no animals, no suffocation, no electrocution. Aw, he’s taken all the fun out of it.
“Well, when you’ve had sex, was there anything that you didn’t like doing?”
“Well … I haven’t had sex before, so I don’t know.”
“Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?” he growls.
And when exactly should she have done that? When she was puking on your shoes?
Read Chapter Eight.