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 up – IT’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.