Mr. Grey Will See You
Of the two billion males in the world who have access to this book – I’m not including third-world countries, they’ve suffered enough – I’d wager that I’m the only one that’s gotten through all five-hundred-fourteen pages of Snowqueens Icedragon’s (yes, that was her real fanfiction username) masterpiece. Most people ask why I bothered when there’s Wikipedia synopses, and the answer is that I thought it might be the answer to understanding women. Women liked it (well, except for the ones that didn’t). Plus, it’s a book you consider yourself proud for getting through, kind of like Lord of the Rings, but without all that prestige. Lord of the Cockrings, perhaps.
The female protagonist, Anastasia (who doesn’t go by Asia, which might have given the book a more international appeal), dotes over something she calls her inner goddess, which is her subconscious. Or something. She’s quite talented and apparently excellent at multitasking:
“My inner goddess leaps unexpectedly high, reaching for the stars”
“My inner goddess sits cross-legged, waiting patiently for me to make a move”
“My inner goddess retreats to her room, anticipating the pleasure within”
I actually made all those up – but you thought they were real, didn’t you? The actual lines are much more absurd. Unfortunately this little tooth fairy is omitted in the film because it’s so much more realistic. I’m sure they could have gotten Ricky Gervais’ face to play it if they really wanted to.
Anyway, the book focuses on this single-facial-expression-Kristen-Stewart-esque virgin who thinks she’s not terribly good looking despite the number of characters who want to get in her apparently Steele-plated pants. This, instead of focusing on her much smarter, more successful, and prettier best friend (kind of how the Harry Potter series should be titled Hermione Granger) – the katabolic Katherine Kavanagh, who it’s more fun to refer to as KKK. Her expansive vocabulary encompasses phrases like “oh my,” (79x) “crap,” (101x) “hot” (37x) even though she’s an English Literature Major. Too bad the same can’t be said of E.L. James. Sometimes she’ll explain her “freaking hot” moments with the ejaculation “double crap.” And for all the unholy things she’s doing, she has her share of “holy crap,” “holy cow,” “holy shit,” “holy fuck,” and the paradoxical “holy hell.” She’s rather repetitive – “I must not sleep with it wet. I must not sleep with it wet.” – or maybe James was just trying to increase her word count. Ana’s referring to her hair, in case you were wondering, you dirty reader.
And then there’s Christian Grey – the wrongly cast “epitome of male beauty” that Ana stumbles into because KKK was too sick to interview him (Sidenote: I’m irritated that I never even received an audition call). He’s apparently a billionaire, and a vampire (oh wait), which crosses off two of the top three attributes women look for in men. Oh, and he probably had to have penis reduction surgery because he’s so big (there’s the third)… yeah, he’s just got the one now. And for some reason, Mr. Giganto-Dick wants to do have sex, control her diet, have anal sex, beat her sensitive parts, have period sex, stalk her, have oral sex, and make her sign nondisclosure agreements – stopping just short of adopting House Bolton’s flayed man as his sigil – but he has the balls to buy her a car, so it’s okay. Bring on the genital clamps.
The most phallic thing in the film is probably the building that Christian works in (Which Ana naturally stares up at in awe. Simple things surprise her; fitting since she doesn’t have an e-mail account and has apparently never accessed Google.) which makes sense because the whole 2.13 hour box-office success is slightly less sensual than James Franco’s paintings of Seth Rogen. But that’s not for a lack of bad source material right? He wants her to get to know “on first name terms…with [his] favorite and most cherished part.” He probably nicknamed it ‘Little Jimmy’ because he’s ironic, among his other attractive traits. Or maybe he calls it ‘Jerome’ when it’s fully erect. Remembering that she’s had all the sexual action of one of the stems of broccoli Christian makes her eat, Ana’s somehow incredibly willing and comfortable jumping to third base, where “he’s my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle.” All those years of not pleasuring herself have paid off, because in true Amanda Bynes fashion, Christian has her getting off like five times every hour while somehow managing to not get there himself #enormocockproblems. The sex scenes are written badly enough for you to fall asleep while masturbating – NOT speaking from personal experience – and it shows in the movie, since nobody even bothers to fake an orgasm. Not even when he fingers her under the table at a family dinner, because oh my, what’s not super-hot about that?
Eventually, because it hurts to get punched in the face with a butt plug (hey, I don’t know how this stuff works), and because he can’t love her (even though he told her that from the beginning), they split up. Not that they were ever together, but he stalked her enough to make it feel like they were. Never seems to work when I try it, weirdly enough. And in the next two books, they get back together, get married, and you find out that Christian likes punishing girls that remind him of his mother because he hated his mother. Shades of Heath Ledger.
All this to say, that despite the anti-feminist, disrespectful, sadist, inherently jealous, no-means-yes and borderline rapist tendencies of the love interest that sets back the notion of a healthy relationship by years and is incredibly toxic to young girls, there must be some reason that women are so drawn to this. After all, I’d wager that there are quite a few women out there somehow dealing with the terror of a Christian Grey who’s considerably less attractive.
Maybe it’s that women like sex? No, that’s impossible. Guys like sex. They just don’t have an iota of knowledge on how to find any – without spending money, that is. Maybe it’s that women are discreet about it, just like they are about eliminating waste or flirting with other girls.
And yeah, I couldn’t really think of a better title for this. Apparently E.L. James couldn’t think of better dialogue, either – nor could her parents think of a better moniker than three first names. I could have written a better book than that. Sixteen-year-old me could have written a better book than that. *My inner goddess contorts her lips into a snarl* (okay, that one was real). But the difference between me and her is that she has a net worth of $80 million, and I’m still writing Tumblr posts, so what do I know really. Double crap.