Christian flies Ana to Seattle in his helicopter. At his penthouse, Christian insists that she sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) regarding their time together, which Ana agrees to sign. He also mentions other paperwork, but first takes her to his playroom filled with BDSM objects and gear. Christian informs her that the second contract will be about dominance and submission, and there will be no romantic relationship, only a sexual one. The contract even forbids Ana from touching Christian or making eye contact with him. At this point, Christian realises that Ana is a virgin. Not wanting her first sexual experience to be a BDSM experience, he has conventional sex with her and sleeps in her bed. The following morning, Christian's adoptive mother, Grace, unexpectedly arrives; she is surprised to meet Ana, having never seen her son with a woman. Christian later reveals to Ana that he lost his virginity at age 15 to one of his mother's friends, Elena Lincoln, and that his previous dominant/submissive relationships failed due to incompatibility. Christian also reveals that in his first dominant/submissive relationship, he was the submissive. Christian and Ana plan to meet again, and he takes Ana home, where she discovers several job offers.
Over the next few days, Ana receives several packages from Christian. This includes a laptop to replace her broken one and research the BDSM lifestyle in consideration of the contract. Ana and Christian discuss the contract. Ana becomes overwhelmed by the potential BDSM arrangement and having a non-romantic sexual relationship. Ana leaves and does not see Christian again until her college graduation, where he is the keynote speaker. During this time, Ana agrees to sign the dominant/submissive contract. She and Christian meet to formally discuss the contract and go over Ana's hard and soft limits. Christian spanks Ana for the first time, and the experience leaves her both enticed and slightly confused. This confusion is exacerbated by Christian's lavish gifts and the fact that he brings her to meet his family. The two continue with the arrangement without Ana having yet signed the contract. After landing a job with Seattle Independent Publishing (SIP), Ana further bristles under the NDA's restrictions and her complex relationship with Christian. The tension between Ana and Christian eventually comes to a head after Ana asks Christian to punish her in order to show her how extreme a BDSM relationship with him could be. Christian fulfills Ana's request, beating her with a belt. Ana realizes they are incompatible. Devastated, she breaks up with Christian.
Several critics and scientists have expressed concern that the nature of the main couple's relationship is not BDSM at all, but rather is characteristic of an abusive relationship. In 2013, social scientist Professor Amy E. Bonomi published a study wherein multiple professionals read and assessed the books for characteristics of intimate partner violence, or IPV, using the CDC's standards for emotional abuse and sexual violence. The study found that nearly every interaction between Ana and Christian was emotionally abusive in nature, including stalking, intimidation, and isolation. The study group also observed pervasive sexual violence within the CDC's definition, including Christian's use of alcohol to circumvent Ana's ability to consent, and that Ana exhibits classic signs of an abused woman, including constant perceived threat, stressful managing, and altered identity.
A second study in 2014 was conducted to examine the health of women who had read the series, compared with a control group that had never read any part of the novels. The results showed a correlation between having read at least the first book and exhibiting signs of an eating disorder, having romantic partners that were emotionally abusive and/or engaged in stalking behavior, engaging in binge drinking in the last month, and having 5 or more sexual partners before age 24. The authors could not conclude whether women already experiencing these "problems" were drawn to the series, or if the series influenced these behaviors to occur after reading by creating underlying context. The study's lead researcher contends that the books romanticize dangerous behavior and "perpetuate dangerous abuse standards." The study was limited in that only women up to age 24 were studied, and no distinction was made among the reader sample between women who enjoyed the series and those that had a strong negative opinion of it, having only read it out of curiosity due to the media hype or other obligation.
Fifty Shades of Grey has often been challenged, banned, and removed in the United States. The book landed on the American Library Association's Top 10 List of Banned and Challenged Books in 2012 (4), 2013 (4), and 2015 (2) because it is sexually explicit and unsuited for the age group; has nudity and offensive language; and for religious viewpoints. Challengers also stated the book was "poorly written," and they were concerned "a group of teenagers will want to try [BDSM]." Ultimately, the book became the eighth-most banned book between 2010 and 2019. 2b1af7f3a8