Another example of what Kate Kavanagh gets right, and poor, perfectly-pale-faced heroine Anastasia Rose Totally Not Bella Steele doesn’t?
Kate and Elliot, erm, Rock the Cashah in a spontaneous way. Those public displays of affection Ana complains about, which we mentioned earlier? While they never go so far as to just overtly have sex in front of family and friends, they do find a way share a little passion in public now and then, and by all accounts and descriptions, they do so in a pretty spontaneous way.
Those are some Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts E.L. James doesn’t seem to be in favor of, given her propensity for blasting Kate to make Ana look better by contrast (in theory, anyway) but there’s still something nevertheless hot about being unafraid to embrace your partner in public.
Compare that with Ana and Christian. On the one hand, Christian (repeatedly) demands that Ana sign a contract allowing him to have the sex he wants on his own terms (because nothing says romance like contractual obligations and paperwork am I right?) On the other hand, they go at it in the elevator of a hotel.
You don’t or shouldn’t need a ‘contract’ to get it on with your partner; those of us with brain stems as well as sexual organs might think that just a bit odd, controlling, and oh yes, lacking in all the spontaneity and surprise which is necessary for the sort of steamy encounters Fifty Shades of Grey purports to be all about.
That being said, there’s also the possibility of going to the other extreme, and don’t worry—Christian Grey does that too, as despite his assurances that they’ll ‘take it slow,’ he springs one Fifty Shades of Grey sex act onto Ana after another.
And really, ‘extreme’ is a good word to describe the book’s attitude towards sexual encounters and human relationships as a whole.
Ignoring thousands of years of philosophy, Eastern and Western, the fact everyone and everything from Aristotle and the Bible to Buddha and Confucian ideology tend to agree that balance and, you know, ‘everything in moderation’ is a generally good approach to life, Fifty Shades of Grey is about taking one man’s sexualized fantasies and running with them to the extreme, one woman’s extreme insecurity, paranoia, and all the ‘justifications’ for abusive relationships and run with those to the extreme, and taking BDSM play and running with THAT to the extreme.
The result? Christian objectifying Ana, Ana internalizing and justifying that objectification, and a whole community unhappy that their form of sexual interplay has been improperly displayed. Spontaneity is a definite ‘do’ when it comes to doing the deed, but thrusting your fantasies onto someone irrespective of their wishes is a definite ‘don’t.’
That doesn’t just ruin the fun of Fifty Shades of Grey sex acts, but ruins the nature of your relationship and makes it into the sort of abusive nightmare which Ana puts up with, sadly, but really shouldn’t to.