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RECAP: not a ton to recap from last chapter, it was relatively short and entirely boring for the most part. Ana has a kinky dream about Christian. We meet her step-dad, Ray, and then they go to Ana’s graduation ceremony. The ceremony is boring; Kate makes a speech, Christian makes a speech, Christian stares at Ana and then looks away and Ana freaks out about it, and so on. After the speech, Ana goes to talk to Christian and they talk about the whole Dom/Sub thing and Ana says she’ll give him her answer tomorrow. Christian meets Ana’s step-dad and Ray loves him, because Christian is ridiculously charming (as most sociopaths are…like, oh, say, Ted Bundy). Kate introduces Christian as Ana’s Boyfriend which is shenanigans, but Christian is fine. And then Ana says that she’ll try out the BDSM stuff and Christian practically pees his pants and then they leave. Later, they decide to meet up to talk about the soft limits in the contract, and Christian says he’ll come meet Ana.
Let’s hope this chapter is more interesting!
Christian comes over with a bottle of Champagne, and Ana is being all weird and nervous around him, even though they’ve already had sex, so I’m not sure what the deal is. It’s like she expects him to just start beating her out of nowhere.
Ana tries to give back the SUPER expensive books that Christian bought for her, but Christian is all weird about it.
“I bought these for you,” he says quietly, his gaze impassive. “I’ll go easier on you if you accept them.”
…if she doesn’t want the books, she doesn’t have to take them.
THREATENING TO BEAT HER HARDER IS NOT THE SOLUTION HERE, CHRISTIAN.
Then Christian basically says “well now you’re my submissive so you need to accept the books because I want you to” which is bullshit, but then this whole book is bullshit, so I don’t know what I was expecting, really.
Ana tries to compromise by accepting them but saying she wants to donate them to a charity so the charity can auction them off.
“If that’s what you want to do.” His mouth sets into a hard line. He’s disappointed.
“I’ll think about it,” I murmur. I don’t want to disappoint him, and his words come back to me. I want you to want to please me.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT PLEASING HIM, ANA.
IF KEEPING THE BOOKS MAKES YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE, DON’T KEEP THEM. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO KEEP THEM JUST BECAUSE HE WANTS YOU TO.
If she can’t even hold her ground on this tiny issue, how the FUCK is she ever going to be able to hold her ground if she wants him to stop doing something she’s not comfortable with in the bedroom?
What I’m trying to say is that this relationship is already fucked and they should call it off right now before someone gets hurt.
“I will buy you lots of things, Anastasia. Get used to it. I can afford it. I’m a very wealthy man.” He leans down and plants a swift, chaste kiss on my lips. “Please.” He releases me.
‘Ho,’ my subconscious mouths at me.
DID YOUR IMAGINARY FRIEND JUST CALL YOU A PROSTITUTE BECAUSE A GUY YOU’VE SLEPT WITH GAVE YOU BOOKS.
DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN.
OR AM I HAVING SOME RIDICULOUS FUCKED UP DREAM IN WHICH THINGS LIKE THAT HAPPEN.
GOD I WISH THIS WAS A DREAM.
Accepting gifts from people you’ve slept with doesn’t make you a ho/whore/prostitute! You are in no way obligated to keep those gifts if you don’t want them, but accepting them does not make you a prostitute!
And, pardon me while I climb up on my soap box, what’s wrong with being a sex worker anyway? If it’s consensual, who cares? If it were made legal in the US, it would be safer for everyone involved, there would be less risk of disease, if a sex worker was raped or otherwise made victim of a crime, they would be able to go to the police without fear of being arrested themselves.
But again that’s just my opinion and you are welcome to disagree with it.
But I digress.
Ana is ridiculous.
“It makes me feel cheap,” I murmur.
Christian runs his hand through his hair, exasperated.
“It shouldn’t. You’re over-thinking it, Anastasia. Don’t place some vague moral judgement on yourself based on what others might think. Don’t waste your energy. It’s only because you have reservations about our arrangement; that’s perfectly natural. You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”
I agree with parts of what Christian says, mostly the “Don’t place some vague moral judgement on yourself based on what others might think” thing.
If someone says “I am uncomfortable with this thing that you did because it makes me feel (x),” you probably shouldn’t respond with “WELL YOUR FEELING IS WRONG AND YOUR EMOTIONS ARE WRONG AND YOU’RE BEING STUPID.”
Acknowledge the way the other person feels, try and understand where they’re coming from even if you don’t agree, and for god’s sake don’t belittle their emotions. Ana’s feeling might not be the most rational reaction, but telling her she’s basically wrong for feeling that way is not the best way to handle things.
This whole thing just strikes me as having a lot of classist undertones…or maybe their overtones. There are definitely tones, though.
Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean people with less money than you should be grateful to you for giving them shit that they don’t ask for or don’t need. And just because you’re not rich doesn’t mean you’re obligated to accept gifts that you’re not comfortable accepting for whatever reason.
It was nice of Christian to buy those books for Ana, but to basically tell her that she has to accept them is ridiculous. And his reasoning was basically “I’m rich and you’re middle-class so you should accept my gifts because I want you to and it doesn’t matter what you say.”
Ugh. So many stupid things.