“Fifty Shades of Danger”

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With the movie coming up on Valentine’s Day, I’m reposting this from a few years ago….

Note: While this is a topic that mostly effects wives, I feel that it can have a very negative impact on a marriage, and leave the husband not only confused, but wondering how he can measure up to what the wife is reading. It is on this premise, that I write this post.

I’m sure you’re heard of it by now. The series of “erotica” books called “Fifty Shades of Grey” that has sold millions of copies so far in both paper, and e-book form. While erotica has been around for a long time, the popularity of the Kindle and other “e-reader” tablets take away the embarrassment of the consumer having to go to a store and purchase something from a clerk. This I understand. What amazes me however, is the broad acceptance that our culture is giving this brand of smut. Even NBC Nightly News did a full piece on it, acting as if it was “the new acceptable thing” for moms to use to spice up their love lives. Really?! Would the same coverage and acceptance be given to a book series of pornographic images depicting bondage and other fetishes for men to view?  Pretty sure Brian Williams wouldn’t be doing a full three-minute news piece on that one. But how is Fifty Shades of Grey any different? Just because porn targets guys (very visual), and erotica targets girls (emotional, turned on by romance), it doesn’t make it any different. It’s the SAME THING put in a different package! It’s as if the women reading and talking about this set of books (married or otherwise), think it’s ok to read very vivid depictions of people engaging in sex (including “bondage” etc.) because “oh, it’s just a book”.

I was sitting somewhere having lunch the other day, and the table behind me had a few ladies talking about the books. I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief, as I listened to them all talk about it like it was some kind of sexual aid, or way for women to “get back in touch with their sexuality”. They were talking about it over coffee like it was the latest iPod, or trend in clothing. Not one of them (2 of the 3 had wedding bands on) even suggested that it may not be appropriate for them to be reading.

It got me thinking – let’s flip this around for a minute. If I walked up to these same women (even if they were non-Christian), and asked if they would mind if their husbands viewed pornography on the internet once in a while, I’m pretty sure they would respond in a very negative way. I don’t think they would they say that porn was ok because it “helps men get in touch with their sexuality”. Or would it be “ok” if it was a certain kind of “high end” porn that was sold at – let’s say – Barnes and Noble? So why is this “mommy porn” as the media is has been calling it – somehow acceptable?

Let’s check out some of the reasons our “good friends” in the media have been giving us so far –

“It re-kindles the sexual relationship in your marriage” – Sure it does! Just like just like porn makes guys want to make love to their wives! Too bad they’re thinking about the woman in the video, not their wife, when they’re doing it. Does it make the women reading this erotica “horny” and want to jump in bed with their husbands? Yes it does! But is it because they want to build their relationship with their mate? No! It’s because something external (in this case a fantasy that no husband can ever live up to in real life) has turned them on, and since the guy in the books isn’t real, they’ll take whatever then can get – in this case, their husband. What a sad way to approach the sexual relationship that God has created to bring such closeness.

“It’s a way for women to figure out what they really want in the bedroom” – Yeah, kind of like offering a child cotton candy for dinner, lets the child figure out what they “really want” for their meal that evening. Just because something may “feel good” or “taste good” at the time, doesn’t mean it’s best for us, or even remotely healthy. In the same way that the child would grow unhealthy eating cotton candy for dinner every evening, so a marriage grows unhealthy when fantasy about another person is brought into the marriage bed. The marriage bed should be where the couple is able to explore each others bodies, and become closer together, not driven further apart by unrealistic expectations and fantasy.

 “It’s not like it’s hurting anybody, it’s just a few books” – Funny, these excuses are starting to sound a lot like a guy rationalizing pornography. In the same way a wife’s heart is wounded by the husband viewing porn, the husband – while at first may be more than happy to oblige the wife’s strange new desire for more sex – will begin to feel like he is just being used to fulfill a fantasy, and that she is no longer making love to him, but to something or someone in her head instead. He will then start to feel like he is inadequate, and think “if I were good enough in bed, we wouldn’t need to do this stuff she has read about, and she would then think it was exciting to be with me”. It cuts at the very heart of the husband.

It can also affect the overall attitude in the home, because if mom and dad aren’t doing well in their sexual relationship, the marriage suffers. That makes mom and dad a lot more likely to have a “snappy attitude” with each other, and in turn – with the kids. 

To sum it upIT’S JUST NOT WORTH IT! There are so many things out there trying to snip and tear away at our marriages. We have to be PRO-ACTIVE in guarding our hearts and minds against anything that would pose a threat to that. There is a temptation to become “bored” or “fall in a rut” with your sex life after you’ve been married a while – but take it as a challenge! Sit down and TALK to each other about your sex life – what’s working, and what’s not. Change it up a little! There are no rules saying “you have to only have sex in your bedroom” (There’s a great post by “J” at “Hot, Holy and Humorous” called “Where to have sex” that is a great look at having fun with locations), or with the lights off, or only after 9pm. God has given us the AMAZING gift of sex as a married couple, and blessed it! It’s to be something that is treasured between the couple as a pleasure only shared between them. Let’s not take away from, or cheapen what He created to be so incredible, when done in the protection and commitment of the marriage relationship.

  1. I admit, I’ve been trying to read this and see the appeal. Not until this post, did I realize why it just was not gelling with me. Time to focus on what I should…a healthy marriage and spiritual devotions to God. Thanks a great post!!

    • I’m so glad you changed your mind about reading them! Your marriage will be much stronger because of it! Thanks for responding!

  2. Clear, concise, and straight to the point… Outstanding!

  3. Excellently written. Couldn’t agree more. I, as a woman, am amazed that we don’t get the similarities between written erotica and visual porn. It’s hypocrisy. And most definitely not good or healthy for our marriages or our own minds.

  4. Awesome. Although I had already decided not to read them after researching them a bit, my husband – who NEVER has an opinion on what I read – declared that I was not reading them. Fine by me!

    • Sherrie
    • June 6th, 2012

    Thank you so much for addressing this topic. I was starting to think that I was one of the only ones who felt that the wide acceptance of this was just not right! I even had a much older married man that I work with ask me several times if I was going to read it.
    I hope that more people see your point of view and change their minds about reading it.

    • Ruthanne Saint
    • June 6th, 2012

    Awesome article and made me Laugh out loud! Your sarcasm is perfect! (and totally fitting!)

    • Alaina
    • June 6th, 2012

    While I do agree that the book is SMUT-y I have to say that I didn’t internalize it in the way you are talking about. I kept hoping that she would reform him so that he could love like a human. Now that is a great romance novel for a woman ;).

    • Even so, you still think about it. And you can’t tell me you have never had an idea in the book cross your mind when you make love to your husband. My dad used to say “if you play with fire, you’re going to get burned”. If your marriage is where it should be, you don’t need a romance novel.

      Thanks for your comment!

        • Alaina
        • June 6th, 2012

        I think a lot of TV and entertainment include peoples’ sex lives. I read and watch TV for entertainment. I know that it is not real and it is not assimilated into my own marriage. Though it is good to be concious of the situations you describe.

      • A lot of TV and entertainment DOES include people’s sex lives, but unless you watch a lot of HBO or Showtime, most shows fade to commercial when the couple starts to go towards the bedroom. Erotica however, thrives in the very descriptive detail of the sexual acts going on between the characters.

        Think of it this way – have you ever watched a really scary movie at night? After the movie is over, try walking outside and putting the garbage out, or getting the mail. It’s really hard not to think about a few things you just saw in the movie. Even if it’s totally unrealistic, and “not real” (zombies, aliens etc), it effects you. The same thing applies to what sexual stuff you allow yourself to view.

      • “most shows fade to commercial when the couple starts to go towards the bedroom”

        I have to respectfully disagree with this comment. The reason why I loved your post and felt it was so important is because what we allow ourselves to view and read is such a slippery slope. The truth about television these days is that even prime time shows and basic cable are regularly using soft porn to sell their story lines. Not only do the scenes tell us exactly what the people are doing, but they are continually crossing the line and showing more and more skin and coming closer and closer to actual porn in their depiction of “sex” scenes. To top it off, rarely if ever do you have a show that depicts the reality of casual sex. There’s no stopping to put a condom on, no girl getting nervous and taking a pregnancy test, no guy at the clinic getting tested for an STD, no depiction of emotional scarring from the giving away of their bodies to a different person every episode. I’ve stopped watching most shows because of this.

      • You probably right. I guess I don’t watch much TV anymore. 🙂

      • Amanda
      • February 14th, 2015

      That’s just it….she does change him! She never signs his contract. She pushes back to all of his control and end the end they get married and have children. Yes….there is ALOT of sex, but there is an amazing love story. He was severely abused as a child and has many issues. Her love is what changes his heart.

      • A story of abuse is not my idea of a good love story. If watching a man abuse a woman turns your wheels, I’m pretty sure there is a deeper issue there.

    • Melis
    • June 6th, 2012

    I actually disagree with your statement that says, “If I walked up to these same women (even if they were non-Christian), and asked if they would mind if their husbands viewed pornography on the internet once in a while, I’m pretty sure they would respond in a very negative way.”

    I work in a large environment with mostly married young men and women. Most all men talk nonchalantly about looking at porn, and most of the women know there husbands view it. It really isn’t viewed as a big issue either way. I am sure that is how most secular men are viewing these books. I do believe they would be very concerned with porn addiction, but I don’t think the mindset that casually viewing porn (once in awhile) is an issue. I am definitely not saying I agree. I don’t think they love the idea, but I don’t think they would “respond in a very negative way.”

    • The problem with porn is that it’s very hard to stop, once you view it. “Once in a while” doesn’t stop there. And I’m pretty sure if you ask most married women if they were ok with their husbands looking at another woman’s naked body and fantasizing about having sex with her, they would have pretty strong negative feelings.

      Thanks for the comment!

        • KP
        • March 19th, 2013

        I have to respectfully disagree with:
        “And I’m pretty sure if you ask MOST married women if they were ok with their husbands looking at another woman’s naked body and fantasizing about having sex with her, they would have pretty strong negative feelings.”

        I have met allot of women -mostly coming from a non-Christian backgrounds, who expressed that they didn’t really care if their husband’s viewed porn or not.
        It’s reality.
        You must come from a really sheltered background like me, because I wouldn’t have known this had I not actually talked to people like this and had them say these kinds of things.
        Personally I agree with your views and I Hate the idea of my husband viewing porn, but from what I’ve heard, allot more women than you seem to think Really don’t care. Our society today is so numbed to these kinds of things that it Really isn’t a big deal to allot if not most main-stream folks.

      • KP,

        Thanks for disagreeing, but I’m pretty sure you go door to door and ask wives if they care if their husband watches other people having sex, and then pleasures himself – instead of using his sexual energy for the marriage relationship – they would have a problem with it.

        Most wives that “don’t care” are either so sick of the marriage and his behavior that they have given up on the couple’s sexual relationship and would rather not bring up a painful issue, or they just feel it’s easier, because then they don’t have to make love to a man that they resent.

        Deep down in their hearts they care. Believe me, they care.

  5. Also, one of the problems with saying that 50 Shades of Grey, etc. spice up wives’ sex lives (as well as porn) is that it focuses on sexual acts rather than relationship. Hey, I’m all about learning a little skill in the bedroom, but ultimately sex is supposed to be an expression of love between husband and wife. Turning it into a kinkfest doesn’t make for a great sex life. Thanks for this post!

  6. This is an excellent article. I 100% agree with everything you’ve written.

    And actually, I had a situation a week or so ago where my neighbor’s friend was trying to convince me that I absolutely had to read this book. It was A. MAY. ZING. I told her that I appreciated the recommendation, but I’d pass.

    Her response was, “No really, Tawna, your husband will thank you later if you know what I mean!”

    Me: “Oh, well, he already does thank me. ;-)”

    Anyway – I love this post! Thank you!

    • OCnative
    • June 13th, 2012

    I also believe that the reader, if a female, can feel inadequate if she compares herself to Ana and the ease at which Ana can “reach the top of the flagpole” so to speak. Just as a man cannot live up to Mr. Grey’s persona, I don’t know of too many women who can be like Ana.

    I’m saying this as someone who read the first book, which was thrust on me by a coworker, and I was curious as to what all the hoopla was about. I found myself cringing at the writing style and the sheer stupidity of the story. It’s sad when a reader finds herself skipping the sex scenes to try and find a redemptive quality in a book. Sadly, I never found it. I actually sarcastically kept expecting him to say, “I’m Batman!”

    I was updating my husband as I read it, and we would both laugh hysterically at just how stupid the book was – and I am saying this as a recovering TwiHard.

    Yeah…

  7. Thank you for such a great post! I have several friends reading these and it just makes me cringe. They even admit that the writing is terrible. I shared this post on facebook in hopes that some of them will see that it is damaging, not just to their marriage or future marriage but to them as well.

    The intimacy factor is huge. And I feel like, as Christians, we often forget that God even gave us a book to show how beautiful the intimate part of marriage is. Song of Songs should be an inspiration, as should the instructions given to husbands and wives in Ephesians. I hope this post goes as viral as these awful books. We cannot simply stand by without saying or doing anything when our own brothers and sisters in Christ are falling prey to the world’s lies.

    • Lara, thanks for the comment! I so agree about the book in the Bible for example. What amazes me the most is how accepted this book series is! Grocery stores are selling this book right on the main aisles! Do I really want my 10 year old having access to explicit sex scenes simply by paging through the book on his way to get a gallon of milk? What’s next? Playboy in the checkout stands?

  8. Thanks for your post from the male perspective. I’m always interested in what guys have to say about these books. I’m surprised more men aren’t upset by them, but I guess some men don’t really know what’s in the books. Thank you for getting the word out! Also, thanks to Mission Wife for featuring my post Read This, Not That about Song of Solomon on her Saturday Roundup! I love reading posts from both of you! It’s great to get her perspective and then read yours.

    • Thanks Melissa! Let me tell you, this post has stirred up quite the controversy. Lots of people trying to justify it as ok. Bit what’s funny, is all the excuses they’re using are the exact ones guys use to watch porn!

      Anyway, thanks again for the comment!

      • I agree, many friends I know reading it have given the same excuses as guys who excuse watching porn. My husband has confirmed this. They also get just as defensive as guys justifying porn, which means something is stirring inside them…somewhere inside they know it’s wrong, but it’s fun, so they justify it. I don’t want to condemn women who read those books, but I’m not going to tell anyone it doesn’t matter or that it fits with claiming to follow Christ. I’ve been accused by many (not true friends, mind you) of judging because I have said and will say again that if you are obsessive about these kind of books or this series, there is something more you are longing for and may be a longing for romance you are not addressing in your marriage. Thanks again for your post!

  9. You make excellent points! The media and women would be up in arms if these books were aimed at men. They would be getting very little coverage. Thank you for your well-thought-out article.

    • Lil
    • June 20th, 2012

    Well not that it matters but this christian married woman of 18 yrs has had some awesome sex recently after reading gray.. It’s a book and it is as good as song of Solomon

    • Lol! Well, I’m not going to even mention how many people that have read the book say the writing is horrible, but I will mention how it’s sad that it took a poorly written erotic novel to spice up your sex life with your husband. Oh, and Comparing it to the Song of Solomon is like comparing a skateboard to a Ferrari. Thanks for the comment though….

  10. Born into a Catholic family… I now consider myself U/U while still believing in God. So… Respectfully, I’m also going to disagree about the point you were trying to make regarding women being disgusted that their husbands were viewing porn. I know my husband does now and then and so do I. It doesn’t bother me. If he wants to fantasize about other women, I really don’t care. I have opened the door wide up to bring others into our marriage and told my husband he had the option to sleep with other women if he felt the need. He has declined every time. Is porn ruining our marriage? No. It’s not. I believe my husband would like to have sex with me more often than I’d like to so he will watch porn once in a great while and take care of himself. I really have no problems with that. I have not had much of a sex drive after having a child and gaining so many more responsibilities as a mother. We have no problems separating the fantasy world of pornography and that of our own REAL lives. I sure as heck don’t look anything like a model or porn star and my husband doesn’t expect crazy sex moves from me or anything. My point is, this is all subjective. Do you feel secure in your marriage, period?

    I have not read this book series. Some people view such novels and pornography as forms of entertainment and nothing more than that. I am not dismissing the fact that pornography has ruined some marriages and relationships, but I am pointing out that it isn’t always the case. I think this all depends on how stable your relationship is with your partner to begin with.

    • So where do you draw the line then? Are you ok with your husband touching other women as long as he doesn’t have sex with them? I thought the whole point of marriage was making a commitment to another person that they would be your one and only for the rest of your days?! If not, the question then becomes, why get married at all? Save some money on the rings and wedding venue. It’s not like you get a tax break for getting married anymore. When you get married, you are agreeing to having an exclucive relationship. To me, if you are using someone else (video, book, etc.) to sexually gratify yourself, you are not being exclusive. Thanks for the comment!

      • I draw the line at emotional attachments. To me, marriage is an emotional bond in which two people are linked. After all, our human physical forms are just shells for our souls, correct? I feel that people are linking their souls with another when they are married, not physical forms(they are not giving someone their body and stamping it with another person’s name, but… they link souls and emotional attachments). BUT, as I explained, my husband seems to want nothing to do with other women at this point in time. He could have sex with other women, as I previously stated. That option has always been on the table for him, with no reparations. Perhaps, that has eliminated temptation for him? You pretty much described the marriage my husband and I have. We paid about (maybe) $30 for our stainless steel rings, paid $50 for our ceremony (non-religious), etc… It was a secret ceremony for just the two of us. It was strengthening an emotional bond between us after a disheartening event in our lives. We were solidifying our emotional bond with one another.

        Marriage seems to mean different things to different people. It’s not totally black and white. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to things like that. I can respect all types of marriages(outside of forced or child-marriages), including polygamy. I have even brought that up as an option for us and my husband didn’t like that idea.

        We also watch pornographic videos together from time to time and think nothing else of it other than a form of entertainment. Previously, I stated that my husband also watches these videos by himself every once in a while because I’m not always “in the mood” to have sexual relations. He does this of his own free will, as he’d rather not have sex with anyone else at this point in time and feels he needs to “release” that tension(I apologize for a lack of better wording). I have been overly stressed out and worn thin since we’ve had a child. This has diminished my sexual appetite by a substantial amount and has stayed that way for some time. I don’t expect my husband’s physical self to understand that, which is why I mentioned to him that he had “options” if he felt that he needed that aspect of his life “taken care of.” I’m not going to be angry because someone else has met his physical needs. Mainly because I cannot fulfill those needs he has at this point in time. If something became emotional though, that would cause a riff in our marriage.

        I have been commenting, not to debate but to give a different perspective on these things. I have been very respectful, as have you… So, I appreciate your patience and difference of opinion. =)

      • Wow, so you think your husband could have sex with another woman, without having an emotional connection with her? How exactly does that work? God created sex to be the most intimate thing two people can share! It bonds them together! Why do you think that people that have had sex, even if they aren’t married, have a hard time separating after they have gone all the way? I just don’t understand how you can have a sexual relationship with someone, without having an emotional one also. In fact, if you can, I find that sad, because it shouldn’t be that way. That’s a very hollow sexual relationship. Maybe that’s the reason you don’t have much of a desire for sex anymore, because it’s just a psychical act now, not a bonding experience with your husband. The sexual relationship between a husband and wife is the glue that bonds them together at a deeper level. Otherwise the relationship is only as deep as you could have with any other regular friend.

      • I honestly do not believe that sex is an extremely important part of a relationship or marriage outside of reproduction. I would trust my husband if he wanted to have sexual relations with someone else, that his emotions wouldn’t get involved. I believe that human beings have primal urges that don’t involve feelings. Sex can be one of those and I know from previous experience. I look at the animal kingdom and see that as well. I have always been amazed that the majority of species within the animal kingdom are NOT monogamous beings. So I wouldn’t expect humans to be, in the same respect, regarding sex. I am not speaking for everyone as a whole. These are just my own thoughts and opinions.

        I will also beg to differ on the point you were trying to make regarding how hard it is to leave someone after you’ve had sex with them. In my past, my own personal past… I have enjoyed relationships here and there(and one previous marriage). Once I had sex with some of these guys, things started to go downhill and I was no longer interested. Things fizzle out and get stale. So, the point I am trying to make with that is that it’s not that hard to leave someone if you’ve had sex with them. I don’t feel hurt by any of that because I never placed a high value on sex. It wasn’t an emotional “bond” for me. It was instinctual at most. I have connected on much higher levels with previous partners through speech, communication, gestures, and overall character, and similar interests. I don’t feel like my husband and I have a secure bond because of the sex we do or don’t have. I feel that we have a secure bond because we are elated with each other’s traits, character, parenting abilities, our conversations, and the way we handle our disagreements. The sex has had no impact on that. We have a deeper commitment to each other, but it is not through sexual intercourse. For the most part is has been through parenting our child. People don’t normally have children with their “regular friends” do they? I have an amazing bond with my husband because of our son. No one else is the father of my child but him. That puts us on an unbelievable level within our relationship. I can’t imagine being any closer than we already are through the life we created. The only truth I can place on that point is that if I had a child with someone that I did have sex with, it would be tougher to separate. I see my husband as a great father to his son and a great husband to me for being a good father. That is the deep, close bond that we have that is holding us together. Sex does not need to happen for us to feel close.

        I hope I’ve helped you understand a bit where I’m coming from.

    • Vicki
    • July 25th, 2012

    I chose to reply in this thread because there seems to be such good debate here about these books. I will give you a little history of who I am. I am a strong Catholic. I have been with my husband for 9 years, two of which we have been married. I am 27 and he has been my only sexual partner. Through the years, our sex life has been through many ups and downs-get the pun! Though not generally self conscious, I have been a bit shy in the bedroom which in my opinion has affected our sexual relationship. I think of sex as the highest bond two people can have; connected not only physically but through the mind, body, and soul.
    A good friend of mine kept nagging me to read the series and a few weeks ago, I finally caved.n My husband was away and being that we recently moved far, I had nothing else to do with my time but to read. Once I started, I could not stop reading them. I was very hesitant to read them due to the very fact that I too consider them very racy and a bit over the line.
    To be entirely honest, I did feel guilty as I read through the sex scenes. Quite some time ago, I walked in on my husband [JUST] watching a girls gone wild and I freaked out on him; it was not pretty! Since then, he vowed to never watch porn or anything of the sort. He has never had a desire to go to a strip club (though I did ‘allow’ that for the bachelor parties of his friends and such-he declined). So, for me to read the books, I felt as a hypocrite.
    Through the story line, I drawn into the book. I really liked reading about how Christian Grey was transformed into a loving and caring person for not only himself but to Ana and their children. She helped him get through his past. And, I think that though the raunchiness could have been a bit less, it was necessary. There are may similarities to real relationships in this book and it DOES open a women’s eyes but not for the reasons which have been stated already.
    They learned limits about each other which I think every couple has. In the book it was portrayed very differently as in sexual acts and him with touching, but I know many women how blow a gasket when their husbands leave the toilet seat up…this is a limit.
    They learned how to talk to each other-let each other know what the other likes and dislikes and not just in bed. I would say that is a goal in every marriage.
    She learned to be comfortable with not only herself but with another person. He helped her do that by no being uncomfortable around her as well. He bathed her and massaged her and asked her point blank questions regarding her menstruation.
    After reading the books, I realized that the books are not exactly like porn after all. Porn is sex. Point blank sex. Two, or more, people just having sex-no connection, no love, no intimacy. The 50 shades books are about two committed people trying hard to see past the bad and getting to the good in each other. Trying to make it work. They get married. They have kids. And through it all have a strong sexual connection. It’s about doing whatever it takes for each other when you love each other, and knowing when enough is enough. Yes the sex is kinky and unconventional to say the least (though not every time), but the love is there and that’s all that matters.
    Sex in marriage is about pleasing each other and connecting in a special way no one else can. If that kind of sex is what both of you like, so be it.
    One note for you though: I would have taken an entirely different stance if they would not have gotten married and such.

    • Vicki,

      A few things –

      1. You said you “felt guilty” as you read the sex scenes. God gave us a conscience for a reason. If we chose to ignore it, it will finally go away, but in my experience, it’s best to pay attention to it.

      2. You said the books “aren’t REALLY porn” because porn is “just sex”, nothing else, no relationship, etc. Ok, you’re proving my point that books are “porn for girls”. Most times, if you ask a woman to watch a video of a couple having sex, it doesn’t do much for her. A woman IS drawn to a erotica with a “good story-line” and a “redemption in the end” theme. Why do you think even NBC news called it “mommy porn”? And great, they make up in the end. Woohoo! So it’s ok to read very vivid descriptions of a couple involved in bondage, domination, anal fisting, etc, as long as they make up in the end? Did I mention they aren’t even married at the time the most of the sex goes on? What if you husband told you that it was ok that he was watching porn, because the couple was married, or because they make up in the end? I don’t get it I guess.

      3. Remember how you felt when you caught your husband watching girls gone wild? Well, now you have a pretty good idea of how he feels now, even if he doesn’t admit it. It doesn’t feel good to “not be enough” for you. Or at least quite enough.

      Just a few things to think about. Thanks for the comment!

    • SarahJ
    • August 7th, 2012

    Have you actually read the books?

    • No. I have read several in depth reviews about them from both sides of the issue, but no. And if you’re going to reply, “well how do you know if they’re bad then?” I say you don’t have to hold a hold a lit match to your finger to know that it’s going to burn you.

    • Not Christian
    • September 6th, 2012

    As I explored the book with my wife when i finally confronted her on the ill effects in our marriage, I learned about the insidious nature of the progression of the book. It starts as attraction and curiosity. Turns sexual and the sex quickly progresses to debasing acts. The relationship turns deeper and Anastasia is able to save and change Christian. In the end, they have a beautiful marriage and family. Anastasia has the perfect husband.

    I believe this for my wife mimicked her sexual experiences growing up which progressed (although not to the level of the book, she skipped those parts). This gave her a sense of validation. Anastasia survived, learned, and grew. So no matter how debasing it was it was okay.

    Then it grew to a relationship with an open and honest man, whom Anastasia changed. On some level we all want to change others to meet our needs and expectations. Anastasia succeeded.

    The book ends with a great relationship. It caused disappointment for my wife, because even though I would like to be the perfect and attentive Christian, we live in the real world and that sorta thing takes lots of work.

    My wife threw the books away and is now really growing from all she has learned, and so too is our marriage.

    • Jonathon
    • January 19th, 2013

    my girlfriend and i have been dating for a year and nine months now. I just graduated college in fall of 2012 and will be 23 in February. she is a junior in college, will be 21 in May and expected to graduate a semester early next winter.
    For the sake of getting to the point; during the time of our relationship we have both come to know Christ and early last fall made the choice to become water baptized together. she is an avid reader and for the last year or so has been indulging time after time into daily scripture books and many other Christian growth books. I have been extremely proud of her growth and knowledge that she has obtained towards God!
    then about a week or two ago she started reading 50 shades of grey. she has told me how amazing and addictive it is and after reading the first in less than a week, she immediately went out and bought the second and in three days almost has it finished.
    Now lets go back three days from now; recently i just landed a new job and have had exceptional success. (no where near i strive to be professionally but enough to pay my bills and live off of). So given the new job and her getting back into school after the holidays, we haven’t been able to see each other a whole lot. so after work on Tuesday (it is now Saturday) I decided to swing over to her house and surprise her. As she opened the door her face looked as if she saw a ghost, definitely surprised and seemed very giddy. we talked a little, she told me about a dinner that she was invited to with the president of her school on February 6th (my birthday). I told her how amazing that opportunity will be and told her we could go out to dinner for my birthday another night. she gasped realizing it never even crossed her mind. then ahead told me she would like to talk and went on to say that she needs to find herself. Remembering how tough od a time i had settling down my junior year, narrowing in on my degree, and asking myself if it is intact what god has intended me to strive for, i told her i understand. completely blinded and heart broken i went home. that night, every thought of what i could have done wrong rang through my head. now i am in no means perfect but i do treat her like a queen and when talking to god, the divine plan came to mind and i realized that i have been in a sense “worshiping” my girlfriend more than god. given this realization, i have told myself that this is bids way of opening my eyes. the next day, i talked my girlfriend into getting together and talking things out. i went to her house, and everything was great. we spoke about how us being so quick to brush things the other does, under the rug and move on has probably led up ti something small causing an avalanche and that is why i was blinded. she apologized and we had the most passionate kiss i have ever experienced. fast forward two hours, i took a fifteen minute nap while watching tv with her and her parents and woke up to her reading her book. before i went to leave i tucked her into bed and it was like a light switch had been flipped. she was reserved, said we’re moving too fast and wanted space. she implemented no communicating during the day other than good morning and good night and that would give her time to figure things out. not wanting to push her away and knowing that with her searching for herself that there is nothing i can do i obliged and have since then been talking to giddy non stop about the whole situation and then it dawned on me; yes we have had our bumps in the road that every relationship experiences when bringing two individuals together but until this book we have never had anyone thing like this.
    so when stumbling over what Im aloud to say while trying not to push her away during our “good night”call last night i told her that “i don’t know how i feel about the book” she immediately dismissed my cry out and we said our good nights. after waking uo at four in the morning with this on my mind, i decided to search reviews on 50

      • Jonathon
      • January 19th, 2013

      (i accidently hit post comment) so, i decided to Google search “reviews on 50 shades of grey” andfound everyone praising the book. then i refined my search to, “Christian reviews of 50 shades of grey” and came a across an entirely different set of opinions.

      So, my question to any and all Christians is, how does one suggest i approach my girlfriend with my feelings toward the series? prayers are welcomed and i greatly appreciate in advance any and all suggestions on how to get back the glimmer in my girlfriends eye that i once gave her.

      Best

        • Caryn S.
        • March 5th, 2014

        Jonathon, I know this comes kind of late, but have you looked at the one-star reviews of the book? I can guarantee you that the vast majority of those panning the book are in fact NOT Christian, in fact there are a considerable number of people who are literature majors and instructors, people who enjoy this literary genre, and even people from the BDSM community who hate it. It’s a bad book, even if you have no moral objection to it. I rather enjoyed myself one afternoon just laughing at these reviews on Amazon…there are some amazingly witty retorts of the just plain stupidity of the book. I also availed myself of the “look inside” feature on the books Amazon page and read a rather lengthy exerpt (naughty bits removed, thankfully!). I had to struggle to keep myself awake, it was that awful. I am a practicing Catholic and there is no way you can convince me that these books have any value, but I like to see what a broader cross section of society is saying about this, rather than just the Christian community. These books are not well received by anyone with any ability to discriminate.

  11. I think you don’t like it for all the wrong reasons… I wouldn’t mind if my future husband watched porn and reading about/watching something and wanting to try it out with your significant other is healthy for the relationship, so are sexual fantasies. This is not why people (women in particular shouldn’t read this books and think they are amazing. They are actually pretty boring.
    And now to all women out there, who think this is great love story: IT IS NOT. THERE’S NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. CHRISTIAN GREY IS ABUSIVE AND ANA CAN’T ‘CHANGE HIM’, PROVEN BY MILLIOONS OF ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS. ALSO: ABUSE ISN’T BDSM.

    • If your husband was able to watch porn, and keep it at that, this may work for a while. However, as sin always does, it keeps taking more and more and more, until finally he’s not going to want you at all, because you’re not like the girls in the films he’s watching. You don’t always want sex. You don’t always want to do the crazier and crazier things he’s going to be watching, because while it may start out pretty “normal” porn, it will start to not satisfy anymore, and he’ll need more and more to arouse him.

      I know men that have used porn for years, that can’t even get an erection from looking at their wife’s naked body, because their brain is so wired to only become aroused by looking at porn, that is doesn’t know how to respond to a REAL person anymore.

      Porn may seem harmless at first, but so do most other sins. Until you get into it, and realize the hold it now has on you, without you even noticing.

      • I am just going to go on a limb here, and guess that you are a Christian. Nothing wrong with that, I believe in personal choice, but let’s try and refrain from using words as ‘sin’, because not everyone’s morals go word with word with the bible (which I admit, I haven’t read, but I still doubt it says anything about porn). And if you’re not a Christian, sorry, I guess.
        Anyway, what I want to say is: you can have a glass of wine every once in a while, does that make you an alcoholic? You can even get drunk once in a while, still you are not an alcoholic. You can play poker Sunday night with friends – doesn’t mean you have a hazard obsession. My point is: while I believe that porn and all other types of sexual fantasies are healthy sometimes, that doesn’t mean you should let it obsess your life. Also – just because you WATCH (for instance) something doesn’t necessarily mean you want to do it/experience it. Say, I like slasher movies. Does that mean I want to get an axe and start killing people?

      • Maybe not yet, but if you watch them enough, maybe you would. Why do you think there are so many school shootings, and mall shootings, and shootings of every kind that NEVER happened 100 years ago. You can’t sit there and tell me that those thoughts just “happened” to get into people’s heads. Come on.

        And maybe YOU wouldn’t want to act out a sexual scene you see in porn, but you’re not a man. I can line up 20 men for you if you’d like, and let them tell their stories of how they started out with “just a little porn”, and ended up running up 15k in credit card bills for x-rated websites. I’m telling you, for a MAN, the habit is going to grow. That’s just how it is.

        Sorry you don’t like me calling it sin. I guess I just try to call a spade a spade. Sorry you haven’t had the chance to read the Bible. You should try it! It helped me actually find meaning in my life.

      • Caryn S.
      • March 5th, 2014

      A glass of wine once in a while is not an apt analogy. It’s more like, you can have a needleful of heroin once in a while and MAYBE you won’t develop an addiction/ lose your sensitivity/ build up a resistance that leaves you needing more for the next high. Do you really want to play with that fire? Also, the relativistic argument never works. There’s always some absolute that comes into play. Sin is an objective truth, whether or not you are a Christian. Sin is something that does harm to you and your relationship with other people, whether you believe in it or not. You think your husband looking at porn isn’t going to color how he views you? You are terribly naive.

    • Sherrie
    • March 7th, 2013

    Thank you for writing this piece. I recently read the 50 series out of boredom. Prior to the books I read Christian spiritual self help; this was an about face change in both genre of reading & mentality toward my marriage. While it did help to knock down a few walls that were beginning to be ‘built’ in my 5 year, 3 babies marriage, it was also building something in me. Confusion, projection and loneliness. I was confused because my type A personality was used to being more of the ‘leader’ in our marriage, yet I suddenly wanted my husband to be more authoritative like the character in the book. It wasn’t natural for my husband; it wasn’t natural for me. And yet, I began to isolate myself, feeling unhappy because I wasn’t seeing changes in my husband, even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to be “submissive”. I went so far as to ask my husband to read the books and got upset when I would see him reading with his eyes closed & snoring. He tried, he really did. But I have realized in the month since reading the series that it wasn’t healthy for me, for us, for our marriage. I project too much and while it was a mental heart-ache for me, it did get us talking about our walls & that was needed. I am thankful for the openness it’s given us. I am thankful for your article too because I googled “how 50 shades ruined my marriage”, as a means of therapy. I needed to see that others felt conflicted about this series of books. It’s porn. Porn is porn. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Joyce Meyer book to read.

  12. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this website needs far
    more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

    • Alia
    • June 26th, 2013

    I read those books only because I pulled in by the hype and my curiosity got the best of me. I understand how they could be dangerous to a marriage, but that wasn’t the only thing I found. After reading I felt humiliated, because I could not understand how a female author could view acts of rape as acceptable or how any other person could fail to see this as such. I am glad for those that kept this book out of their houses and marriages. The message it sends its damaging one, and tarrying since most Americans have come to accept it. I respect your articles and thoughts. Thanks for what you do and God bless.

    Alia

    • An. K.
    • August 1st, 2013

    I’m sorry but I can’t find my comment. I had written it about a week and a half ago.

    • alana
    • January 1st, 2014

    I disagree about the fifty shades of grey book I have read it and I would never try most of those things in it the submissive dominant thing is ridiculous but I believe if you are the type of person that reads erotica and then becomes dissatisfied with your sex life when you were previously satisfied with it then you shouldn’t but if you are like me that can read it and not be intrigued by the acts then I don’t think it’s a problem and that book can’t be compared to porn, porn is real people that book is fiction men watch porn and then become dissatisfied and or ask unrealistic things of their wives and lusts after these women but there are women out there that can read the book and not have it affect them I am one it could be because my emotions don’t rule me then again I believe is people’s choice at the end of the day it boils down to them and God p.s you should know what you can handle if you have read simple romance novels and have become unsatisfied after then you shouldn’t be reading ‘fifty shades of grey’ ‘fifty shades darker’ and ‘fifty shades freed’ and it’s not only about sex it’s a story also about a guy that has a lot of issues which is why he ends up in that life and how it took someone that accepted him fully but wouldn’t stand for his lifestyle and in the end helps him overcome his issues.

    • alana
    • January 1st, 2014

    also i’ve read christian erotica articles that were much more explicit in description than that book does that make it right because they are christians and married? I felt more uncomfortable reading those christian articles because it was real people talking about their sex lives for anyone to read

      • Caryn S.
      • March 5th, 2014

      Wow there is such a thing as Christian erotica? That seems oxymoronic. Seems like they are just using the word “christian” to draw in the unsuspecting.

    • Todd
    • July 31st, 2014

    I agree. And oh, by the way, the Bible does say to not even have a hint of sexual immorality. And the Bible also says that if you look upon a woman with lust in your heart (other than your spouse) you are committing adultery in your mInd. As you know, all action starts in the mind.
    I also understand if you don’t believe the Bible, then me quoting the Bible as an argument is akin to you evangelizing me with a comic book.

  13. Hi,
    Due to 50 Shades my relationship with my girlfriend is over. I could not stand her adiction to these books and soon these films. I’m really sad.
    I hate you El James ! You and your cursed books and movies !

    • Faith
    • October 5th, 2015

    My husband of 32 years asked me last night if I wanted us to rent 50 Shades movie and watch it. I said “Absolutely not. I’m not interested in that lady porn.” And he was angry! I am so confused by his response.
    I haven’t read the books because I feel it would be a stumbling block in my sexual relationship with my husband. I don’t want to have those images in my mind. I believe our sex life is healthy and adventurous. We have sex 4 or 5 times a week and sometimes more. We role play, enjoy mutual oral, and some light B & D. I sometimes treat him to a lap dance or strip tease routine. I know my husband uses porn sometimes and has all our married life. He’s a sweet caring husband to me though.
    I have tried watching porn with him years ago, but I hated it.
    Do you think he felt I was condemning him for wanting to watch it and that’s why he was angry? My husband has always had a huge appetite for sex and I’ve done my best to satisfy him, but I always seem to fall short somehow. He says he’s happy and pleased sexually in our marriage, but I just don’t know if I believe that.

    • You will never be enough as long as he is using porn. Get rid of the porn, and you’ll be enough again. And the reason he was mad at you for not wanting to watch it, is because he was mad at you for not being complacent in his sin. It’s like he wanted your approval, to do something he knew was wrong, but when you did not give it, it made him feel guilty, and in turn mad.

    • Northern girl
    • April 19th, 2016

    I read the books. I am physically stronger than my husband and he loves it. Normally he wants me to dominate him… I longed for him to take the more dominant role occasionally and the books helped me to put in to words what I wanted and we had an AMAZING night that night. Let me tell you that not once did Christian Grey or the books cross my mind that night in bed. The next day walking to grad school, I reflected on the night before and realized that the books helped a bit 😉

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