Christian Grey Punishes Anastasia Steele, And Also The Reader: Fifty Shades of Grey Chapters 16 and 17

Posted on June 19, 2012 by


Ariel and I were discussing super top secret plans for Bad Books, Good Times, and a running joke that tends to come up while we discuss what we want to do with the blog is that we often come up with the same ideas, and therefore we’re the same person, so long as bad books are involved. The good news is that this means that if one of us is ever in a hostage situation in a library, all we have to do is find a bad book, read it, and the other person will immediately know what’s up! The bad news is that hopefully our inner goddesses aren’t the same person too, because that could get a little awkward.

Anyway, smut!

Chapter Sixteen

Instead of reminding you where we last left the story, I’m gonna let you guys guess!

So they wake up and we’re treated to probably the best pillow talk ever! Wait, I typed “best”. I meant “fucking weird”.

“Why don’t you like to be touched?” I whisper, staring up into soft grey eyes.
“Because I’m fifty shades of fucked up, Anastasia.”

Sure, this is stupid, but at least it’s a coherent sentence.

“If you imagine for one minute that I think you ceded control to me, well you haven’t taken into account my GPA.”

Does this make any sense to anyone?

“Miss Steele, you are not just a pretty face. You’ve had six orgasms so far and all of them belong to me,” he boasts

“You’re not just a pretty face, you’re also a sex slave!”

“When is your period due?”

Sexy times! After this, the pillow talk (or whatever) is pretty much over, and now they’re just talking about contraception, which is a pretty important conversation, really, but Ana doesn’t really understand why they’re talking about it. Hell, Christian asks her if she has a doctor and Ana says no. Before meeting Christian Grey, Ana had neither a computer or a doctor. Next we’re gonna find out she doesn’t have a bank account or a pair of lungs.

Oh, and then Christin Grey describes some of the most terrifying roleplaying scenarios ever.

“Oh, you know, explosions, car chases, kidnapping, incarceration.”
“You’d kidnap me?”
“Oh yes.” He grins.
“Hold me against my will?” Jeez, this is hot.

Okay, which part of that description was hottest? The explosions or the incarceration? But seriously, if a sexual partner suggested some roleplaying, and the first thing they came up with was “explosions”, I’d run for my fucking life.

Well, we know what they were up to in there!

Oh, and then Ana rolls her eyes at Christian, so he spanks her for three pages.

Let that sink in for a second. Not only do we have to read a scene where Christian spanks Ana for “disciplining” her for talking back to him, but it has to go on for three pages.

“I told you what I’d do. I’m a man of my word. I’m going to spank you, and then I’m going to fuck you very quick and very hard.”

This is exactly what happens for the next, and I really can’t stress this enough, three pages.

“Put your hands up on either side of your head,” he orders.
I obey immediately.
“Why am I doing this, Anastasia?” he asks.
“Because I rolled my eyes at you,” I can barely speak.
“Do you think that’s polite?”

Okay, I get that there are plenty of people that find the whole dominant-submissive thing to be a pretty sensual thing, but I’m pretty sure this is just objectively devoid of any sensuality. So after all this build up (we’re on a page and a half before the actual spanking), how does E L James, master wordsmith, describe the spanking itself?

…and he hits me – hard. Ow!

The scene really heats up later with “…he put his penis in me. Sex!”

So he just keeps spanking her and spanking her, then fingers her to prove that she was turned on by the whole thing? And they fuck.

“The feeling is beyond exquisite, raw and debasing and mind-blowing.”

This is probably the first time in the history of the English language that the words “debasing” and “exquisite” have been used to describe the same thing.

Christian squirts baby oil into his hand and then rubs my behind with careful tenderness – from makeup remover to soothing balm for a spanked ass, who would have thought it was such a versatile liquid.

Ariel often points out the weird, sexual advertisement-like passages in this book. Thanks for missing this one so I had to read it, Ariel.

Christian leaves, Ana calls her mom to feel generically sad about a boy, and her mom gives her generic advice in return, with no less than three “honey”s and three “darling”s. The conversation only lasts a page. Come on, E L James, I know you own a thesaurus.

Ana and Christian have a very bizarre email exchange, and it occurs to me that Ana refers to her laptop as “the mean machine” every single time she mentions it. She actually never says “laptop” or “macbook” or “computer”; it is always “the mean machine”.

Ana’s brand new MacBook Pro, apparently.

Ana calls out Christian for never staying with her, indirectly calling him out for not holding up his “be a real boyfriend” end of the deal, and YAY ANA FOR FINALLY DOING SOMETHING THAT MOSTLY MAKES SENSE. Unfortunately, she said it to someone to whom it inexplicably does not make sense, so he shows up completely unaware that physical abusing her made her sad:

“You said you wanted me to stay, so here I am. And yet I find you like this.” He blinks at me, truly bewildered. “I’m sure I’m responsible, but I have no idea why. Is it because I hit you?”

And they talk about dominance and submissiveness and punishment and control and blah blah blahhhhh I’m bored of reading this again and again.

Chapter Seventeen

Christian Grey wakes up next to Ana, discovering that when you sleep with a sexual partner, it’s entirely possible you might wake up with an erection.

“Hmm … this has possibilities”

What? His penis?

I flush, but then I feel seven shades of scarlet from his heat.

Yeah, this is a thing that happens now. Ever since the “fifty shades of fucked up” comment, Ana the narrator starts making all kinds of “number shades of something” comments, and it gets really annoying. The best other one in this chapter is when Ana says that Christian would “probably like to beat seven shades of shit out of me”, which is… well, kinda gross that her first thought in response to Christian being upset with her is about how many different colors her poop comes in.

Christian leaves for work, Ana sends him an email, and Christian writes back that her subject line is “slightly overstated”, and finally, I was wondering if at any point in this book they’d acknowledge how weird their subject lines have been on their emails. I don’t think I’ve really talked about them yet, but as long as Christian Motherfucking Grey gets to point out how weird they are, well, let me just share these with you. This is one of a metric shitton of email conversations in this book. Almost every single email has its own subject line, and, well, they’re basically all like this:

  • Assault and Battery: The After-Effects
  • Free Your Mind
  • Consenting Adults!
  • You Didn’t call the Cops
  • Stalker
  • Stalker? Me?
  • Expensive Charlatans
  • Second Opinions
  • Descriptive Linguistics
  • Challenging but Amusing Young Women

In case you haven’t thrown up already, during this exchange, Ana says “rules, schmules”, Christian writes back that “Schmules” isn’t in Webster’s Dictionary, and Ana writes back that “It’s between control freak and stalker”. This is kind of the most lifeless flirting I’ve ever seen, and I have a pretty good history with that. I can judge.

I’ll leave it to your imagination.

Ana has her last day working at the hardware store, then Ana and Kate move into their new apartment, and it’s really all very boring until it gets straight-up surreal when Elliot visits, apparently just starts fucking Kate in the middle of the room (not really), and Ana and Jose go to a bar escape them even though the last time they were alone in a bar together he sexually assaulted her (really). The chapter ends with Ana going to what’s apparently her first appointment with an ob-gyn ever… at Christian’s house. And Christian Grey has not one, but two comments that reach nightmare fuel levels of creepiness!

  • “Ready for some contraception?”
  • “You’re not going to come [to my ob-gyn appointment]?” I gasp, shocked.
    He laughs. “I’d pay very good money to watch”

Jesus, how many more chapters are in this book?