love and relationships
A couple browses adult toys near the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy area at the Hustler Hollywood, July 30, 2012, in South Florida.  (Sarah Dussault/Sun Sentinel/MCT)

As Christian Grey picks up leather handcuffs, he begins to dial Anastasia Steele’s number. She answers, knowing the private number is Grey. “Hello, Christian,” Ana said. “I’m going to ask you one more time to stop harassing me.”

This was a YouTube commercial I saw for TrapCall, a service that reveals who private phone numbers are. It was a funny twist to the “50 Shades of Grey” film adaptation to be released this Valentine’s weekend, but it was definitely not accurate.

Many question whether Christian is abusive due to his dominant/submissive fetishes. In my opinion, there’s no abuse in Christian and Ana’s relationship. On the contrary, there are many points in the book that Christian is very sweet with Ana.

At the beginning of the book, Ana interviewed Christian for an article. Eventually, he asks her out for coffee. While they’re out, Christian explained he doesn’t usually have a girlfriend. On the same date, Ana was nearly hit by a cyclist and Christian pulls her away so she wouldn’t get hit. This, to me, shows Christian does care for her. If she was just a sex toy to him, he wouldn’t have saved her.

Later in the novel, Ana gets drunk and calls Christian, demanding to know why he sent her an expensive gift. He is immediately concerned and picks her up. The next morning, Ana found herself in a hotel room with Christian. He explains they didn’t have sex but he did undress her because she vomited on herself and her clothes.

It is obvious to me he doesn’t see her as his play toy after this scene. In many cases, drunk young women getting raped because of their vulnerability, but Christian didn’t take advantage of her that night.

After that, things start to get really sexually aggressive, especially after Christian explained his fetish of being dominant over his partners. He asks her to sign a contract to make her exclusively his without any romantic connections. Christian is shocked to find out she is a virgin and they end up having “vanilla sex” that night, no toys and nothing incredibly raunchy.

Christian admits this was the first time having “vanilla sex” and enjoying it. Why would he give up his obsession with dominance to have regular sex if he didn’t care for her? I don’t think he would. Throughout the book, his caring character is revealed and there’s a hint that he’s falling in love with her. Ana is clearly unlike the submissive partners he had seen before.

True, he doesn’t want an emotional connection, but Ana was aware of this from the start. Later in the story, Christian admits to being submissive to an older woman. I personally believe this could have ruined romance for him.

By no means am I saying Christian is a perfect man or that he doesn’t have character flaws. My point is Ana knew what she was getting herself into. The relationship was not abusive because it was in Christian’s best interest to be sure she wanted to go through with a BDSM relationship.

Whether Christian truly ends up falling in love with Ana is going to remain a mystery to me. However, it is no mystery to me that Christian isn’t abusing Ana in “50 Shades of Grey.”

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