The New Fifty Shades of Grey Book Is Both Sexier and Less Sexy Than ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, And Here Are 5 Reasons Why
Full disclosure: I did not go into the assignment to read the new Fifty Shades of Grey book with high hopes. Sure, I’ve read all three of the original series, but I was definitely not expecting to enjoy a retelling of a book I consider the literary version of some summer eye-candy. Even if it was from Christian’s point of view. But I must say, I’m both pleasantly surprised and justified. Grey both lives up to the hype and also crashes pretty momentously — I'm not sure how it does both, but I'm almost kind of impressed that it manages. Let me explain.
There are some seriously sexy parts to Grey, but the whole plot is struggling so hard to rise above E.L. James’ writing style that sometimes what she’s trying to say gets lost in how blatantly she’s saying it. Is it super-sexy that we get to see Christian toying with Ana in his mind, and thinking about what he’s going to do before he does it? Sure. But is it weird that he constantly calls his penis his groin and refers to it like Ana refers to her inner goddess? Definitely.
Read on for five of and sexiest — and then weirdest — moments in the new Fifty Shades of Grey book. You've been warned.
Christian Knows What He’s Going to Do — and He Tells Us Exactly What That Is
One of the hallmarks of the original trilogy was that it was told entirely through Ana Steele’s eyes. Ana’s sweet, virginal, totally unexperienced in the ways of love, eyes. Now that we’ve got Christian telling the story, that wide, doe-eyed innocence is on the other side of the table — or bed, as it were — and we get to hear Christian’s thoughts about their insanely hot sexytimes. Like the first time Ana calls him "sir," and Christian is “floored” so badly he wants to take her right there on his office desk, or later when she’s interviewing him and he’s thinking of all the things he’d like to do to this sexy, stumbling stranger. What was silence from Christian when we were listening to Ana, is a deafening roar of dirty thoughts when we get to hear his side.
Score: Definitely Sexy
He'll Say “Dick” and “cock” For His Penis, Yet Uses Entirely Correct Anatomical Terms for Ana
Maybe it’s just for the shock value, but hearing Christian think things like “My cock twitches in agreement” you’d assume he’d also talk dirty about his lady’s parts. But no. Any and almost all descriptions of Ana’s genitals are strictly anatomical. The word “vulva” is used during the sex scenes no less than six times, and clitoris is used 16 times. I'm all for calling a spade a spade, but nothing ruins a good sex scene quite like someone referring to a vulva.
Penis is used a mere twice in the entire book, whereas “cock” is used in 43 different places and “dick” is used in 11. Perhaps more disturbing than the almost medical choice of language about Ana, is how Christian speaks about his penis: “My cock agrees,” “My cock twitches in response,” “addresses my dick directly,” “My cock concurs,” “like music to my dick.”You just can’t make this up, guys.
Score: Vulva-crushingly unsexy
We Get to Find Out Why He Has Ana Do Certain Things in the Red Room of Pain
When we see the Red Room through Ana’s point of view, especially when she’s experiencing scenes in it, we do so through the eyes of someone entirely unfamiliar with the crops, crosses, cuffs and other toys the room holds. Basically, we’re looking at something very complex through the eyes of a total neophyte.
But when Christian steps into his own playroom, the commands he issues and the toys he chooses make sense. We find out he listened to her and bought a riding crop like the one in her dream, specifically to use in her first scene with him. We understand now why he has his submissive sit at the door, not making eye contact or looking around the room — in order to build suspense.
Score: So, ignoring the fact that now I can’t stop thinking about vulvas, this definitely registers on the sexy side of the scale.
Ana Reminds Christian of Apple Trees
According to Christian, Ana has a “fresh, wholesome scent that reminds [him] of [his] grandfather’s apple orchard.” OK, well… hm. I — I’m not sure quite what to make of that one. I guess that’s fine? I mean, it brings a whole new meaning to the plot of American Pie, but I’m not going to judge anyone for liking the scent of their lover.
The only place it gets a little weird is when Christian starts sleeping next to Ana after they have sex and then he has a dream about himself as a child playing in his grandfather’s orchard, and he wakes up basically sniffing Ana’s hair. I think we can all agree that's pretty odd. Everything about this memory is set up to revolve around his childhood, he even recalls it in a sort of baby talk, halting narrative, but then we get lines like “She smells of Ana and apples and sex.” So… are apples comforting? Or are they sexy? I’m very sexually confused by this.
Score: So not sexy and teetering towards totally creepy
Christian Is Totally Messing With Ana’s Mind... and It’s Kinda Great
You know that super-famous scene in the tool shop where the reader knows Christian is obviously there to see Ana, and incidentally, to buy a bunch of random stuff for his playroom, but Ana has no idea what’s going on? Yeah, that little show he put on was totally deliberate, 100 percent planned out by Christian and it’s really super hot to see what's going on inside his head. She's biting her lip and he's biting his tongue so as to not say some seriously raunchy things. In the original, Ana’s got the reader mixed up with confusion and attraction during that scene, but Christian has us in absolute lust. You’ll have to put the book down and fan yourself a little once he’s done buying his cable ties.
Score: Very definitely one of the hottest scenes in the book So, my fellow Greyvians. (Is that what we’re calling ourselves? I vote that’s what we call ourselves.) I think that if you go into this new book with some managed expectations, you’re going to love it for what it is: A fun summer read you’ve been waiting years for. And if you’re one of those Greyvians (See? It totally works.) who loves Christian no matter what, then I suggest you invest in some apple pies and cable ties.
Image: Universal Pictures