Before I start this installment I have a disclaimer (other than the obvious Trigger Warning that still applies)
When I get into a subject I tend to research it into the ground. Beat a dead horse and all of that. If there's more to learn? I'm going to learn it. So now you get the results.
Now take that raised hand and slap yourself firmly across the face. Once more, for me.
This book presents BDSM horribly and sets the inexperienced and unresearched up for injury.
Yep. I said it. On to the evidence.
He is constantly providing alcohol to her.
She shouldn't be making decisions on alcohol. She shouldn't be playing (kinky sex) on alcohol. Yes, if you're experienced AND with someone you trust you can get lax on this rule and have a drink or two. But Ana has never done this before and should have her full attention focused on what's going on around her.
This is not an across the board thing. Some communities see nothing wrong with a little alcohol to loosen up. Truthfully, I don't either. However, Ana has shown that she doesn't handle alcohol well and Christian KNOWS THIS. He seems to give her wine to make her submit more. That is something I take issue with...
When she asks about Safe Words (an acceptable question) his response is "First of all, I hope you never have to use them..."
This bothers me because it sets an unrealistic expectation for Ana. Someone as naive as Ana could be swayed by this comment and hold back a safe word so she doesn't upset her Dom. Safe words aren't there to piss off your Dominant. They are there to protect the submissive's body and mind. A better way to phrase this would have been "My goal is to keep you safe and comfortable. If you feel uncomfortable you say 'Yellow' and we'll pause and reevaluate. If you reach a limit say 'Red' and everything stops."
Because that's the way it should be, darlings. Safe Word is the equivalent of calling 911.
The first time he practices bondage with her (tying her with a tie) he doesn't establish safe words and he does it without scissors nearby.
Ana is new to the lifestyle. Christian should be reviewing safe words (and having her repeat them) each time they play WITHOUT FAIL. It should be drilled into her head. It's not. And this comes up later.
NEVER practice bondage without a quick out. First of all, silk is horrible for the job because it knots up tightly very quickly. I don't even tie my silk robe tie in a knot! Always have scissors or something close by to remove your chosen bondage implement quickly.
He also doesn't check her circulation and that bothers me too. He should be checking every so often to make sure that it's not too tight or that she hasn't twisted it up. Even the most experienced does this.
"We can work up to caning...but it's part of the deal" when she expresses FEAR and wishes to make it a hard limit.
Lesson: The submissive has most of the power in these relationships. The submissive sets their hard limits. The submissive can Safe Word out. The submissive HANDS OVER TRUST AND CONTROL.
Therefore, if the submissive puts down a hard limit and the Dominant shrugs it off? Run, do not walk, away. If caning someone is part of his deal he needs to find someone that enjoys being caned. Period. Yes, limits can change. But this is one of their first kink encounters. Limits don't change that quickly.
That isn't necessarily a problem if you find someone that enjoys receiving pain (a masochist). Ana expresses her EXTREME dislike for pain on more than one occasion. Yes, she enjoys light pain but the extreme stuff is not her thing. That is FINE....as long as Christian can accept that. (Spoiler: He sucks at it)
Basically: I see nothing wrong with sadism BUT Ana is not consenting to or excited by it. She's not a masochist by any means and that's what he needs.
Thus ends Part 2. I have at least one more installment for Book One. Until then, do your research (And DEAR LORD, don't use Wikipedia.)