Bateman’s appearances at work lately have been, in his own words, “sporadic.” His apartment reeks of decomposing bodies, which makes sense as he’s scooped the contents of the rotting head of “Christie” into a glass bowl and left other body parts to rot around his living room. He heads over to Paul Owen’s apartment. Donald Kimball, he’s learned, has confirmed Owen’s presence in London.
The quality of Bateman’s life, once meticulous and perfect, has taken a complete nose dive. The sense of monotonous cleanliness he exhibited earlier in the novel is completely gone, and he has begun to leave and display his victims’ bodies as trophies for himself. Though he learns Paul Owen has been confirmed as being seen in London, he is unbothered – what does this mean about his earlier descriptions of the event?
Sitting in Owen’s apartment, Bateman calls to hire two prostitutes, paying for it with Owen’s card. The girls arrive and they begin making small talk; one of the prostitutes tells a story about a former pimp she had whose pet monkey refused to watch anything but “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The three start having intense sex, the girls climaxing multiple times. Eventually, they are all on top of each other, and Bateman has his mouth between one of the girls’ legs. He bites her vagina, causing her to scream and bleed everywhere – the other girl first thinks these are screams of pleasure.
Bateman takes great enjoyment from using Owen’s card to buy prostitutes and having sex with them in his apartment. The transition from sex to violence is explicitly described in this encounter. It is neither a clear shift from one to the other nor a moment of blacked-out, missing narration. This time, Bateman describes how he uses the aggression of his sex to move right into violence, conflating his sexual and violent acts.
Bateman then starts to attack both girls with a nail gun, spraying them with mace, and skinning them alive. He films their deaths, even as he starts cutting them to pieces and having sex with their dying body parts. One of the girls is still alive, so he takes a match and starts burning her eyeballs, eventually shoving his arm down her throat and ripping her apart. When the deed is done, Bateman goes about his day – he has things to do, videotapes to return, and plans with a new girl he’s been seeing named Jeannette. He returns later to discover the mess, unable to tell one body from the other, and scrawls “I am back” in blood on Owen’s wall.
Even once Bateman has killed the women and skinned them, the sexual aspect of the encounter continues. His torture is more gruesome, graphic, and sadistic than it has ever been, and he continues to gain sexual satisfaction from reaching new levels of violence. From here on out, Bateman’s distinctions between sex and violence disappear; all sex is violent and all violence is sexual.