A disturbing trend in female sexual preferences

May 5, 2012

in Links to good stuff, Sexuality

Handcuffed hearts © Igor Mazur | Dreamstime.com

“Kinky? No, it’s romantic!” “Really.”

This will be long – sorry about that. I think it’s important, and I don’t want to break it into too many parts. By the way, some of you who think, “this does not apply to my wife” will be wrong.

There has been a lot of news recently about the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy. It’s being called by some “mommy porn” but it’s audience is far wider. As I understand it, the book features a young virgin woman who willingly becomes a sex slave to a billionaire who is into bondage, domination, and sadism. According the blurb from the publisher, “the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.” In other words, they have a lot of BDSM sex.

I bring this up because it’s not an isolated indecent. HBO’s new series “Girls” reportedly (I’ve not seen it) features a lot of sex which is not at all loving towards the women, and one character is openly into being sexually submissive. There has been a 30% increase in the sale of “erotic novels” in the last year. Women are responsible for the majority of the growth, and 95% of the total audience for such books. Much of the increase in sales may be because e-readers allow women to buy sexual content without having to face a clerk, and several publishers have jumped on this by setting up very sexual erotic fiction lines aimed at e-readers. These stories are not just sexed up versions of the romance novels of the past; there are many detailed sex scenes. Much of it is kinky to the extreme, and a good deal of it is sex where the woman is submissive, bound, or hurt as part of the sex act. To be blunt, much of this is hard porn, and not very nice hard porn at that.

There are no lack of theories on why this is happening, and what it means. Some see it as women reacting to their discomfort over having more power and authority. Others see it as women finally coming out from under the shadow of men sexually. (By being sexually submissive? How does that work?) Still others see it as expressing a female need for a strong sex partner in a world where most men have become wimps. Some see it as harmless, some as troubling, and some proclaim it good and healthy. My take is most of these women are bored sexually and romantically, and they are looking for a thrill. I think there is a natural tendency for women to be the less aggressive partner in sex, which is why this type of fiction works for them. I also see it as a disturbing trend and a future source of sexual problems for couples.

When what we read or view arouses us sexually, our mind connects what we read or saw with sex. This gradually changes a person’s sexual wiring. Read a bit of fantasy in which the woman is restrained during sex, and a woman will start to want to be restrained. Read more of the same, and she may find she cannot really enjoy sex unless she is tied, or is imaging being tied up.

Some will argue “mommy porn” gets women going sexually, making it good for marriage. The sin issue aside, the problem with this is “boring sex” cannot scratch the itch sexual fiction creates. At first, she may just be horny, which means more sex and better sex, but once she gets past the initial flush it will take more than usual sex to satisfy her. Her porn stories are full of passion, drama, and highly charged sex – usually with a man who is beyond perfect in many non-sexual ways. This does to women the same thing an airbrushed, silicon implanted, woman doing things real woman won’t do does to men. Mommy porn sets women up for problems when they have sex with their husband, and for dissatisfaction in marriage in general.

The bottom line here is there is a huge push to take kinky sex mainstream, and a big part of the effort is aimed at women. Books like “Fifty Shades of Grey” are part of this, with other books both more and less sexual doing the same thing. Some of the less sexual books can grab a woman’s attention with so much romance they can tell themselves they are not reading it for the sex. (Anyone remember men saying about Playboy “I only read it for the articles?”) Some series start with a book that has relatively little sex, or mild sex, but then each new book is more and harder sex. There is also “fan fiction” in which a fans of books, TV shows, or movies write stories about the characters – with sexual content being common. “Fifty Shades of Grey” actually started as “Twilight” fan fiction. Additionally there is a great deal of sex in books marketed to teenage girls.

This stuff is out there, with more on the way. If it does not affect your bride or daughter directly, you can be assured it will affect them indirectly because they have friends reading it. Any of you who read me regularly know I am not an alarmist, but I see a huge problem coming here. Knowing it’s out there will help you deal with it.

A number of CMBA member’s have posted on this issue – see below.

Next week: Sex – does she want something more, and should you give it to her? Is “mommy porn” creating new desires or allowing women to admit to what they have long wanted? If she wants something a bit off the normal path, is it wrong? How do you sort it all out?

Edited to add other articles from CMBA members on this issue:

To Love, Honor and Vacuum Why Kindles Can Wreck Marriages: Women, Erotica, and E-readers

Intimacy in Marriage Sex with Your Husband

Mystery32 – Porn for Women Erin gives an example from her life to show how this stuff is dangerous. 

The Alabaster Jar – Be Careful Little Eyes What You Read

The Romantic Vineyard – Stop Grey From Becoming The New Black And White   

Daily Generous Wife Tips  Escape Into Grey 

AFFAIRCARE ’50 Shades’ and Infidelity–there is a connection!

Pearl’s OysterBed Libido Boundaries?

Marriage Life  I Found Sex at the Library

Links may be monetised
Image Credit: © Igor Mazur | dreamstime.com

Shop to give links page

20 comments
libl
libl

This sort of thing is affecting men, too.  You mention the HBO series "Girls."  While my husband has not watched that series, he has watched "Tudors," "Game of Thrones," and "Borgais" all of which heavily portray graphic sex and full female nudity/sexuality, including lesbianism, rape, prostitution and male dominance...all while the women look like they're ok with it and even receive pleasure out of it.  Add in Playboys, porn and strip clubs in the past, coworkers who brag about how the use women by getting some tail at the bar or something and it has boiled down to this mess of a sex life in which he has little to no interest in giving me pleasure.


He likes when I take charge in the marriage bed and I do often.  He likes when I bring myself to pleasure and bring him to pleasure. (Most of those TV shows portray woman on top or rear entry).  He likes to take charge in the marriage bed, too, but only for his own pleasure.  He very VERY VERY rarely focuses on me and my pleasure.  He never asks what he can do for me.  If I ask him, he sighs heavily or laughs uncomfortably or in an annoyed tone and either doesn't bother or begrudgingly and half-baked tries.


He honestly seems to think that his desiring me and getting off in me should be satisfaction and pleasure enough for me.  As if his sexual attraction to me is enough to make me happy.  


These actresses and even these authors think they are empowering women sexually and doing them favors when they're really destroying them and marriages.  I'm really seeing women being treated and thought of worse and worse by men in general....and I'm seeing women hating men and sex more and more.  I see both just using sex as a means to an end.  


What I wouldn't give to have my husband actually care about and desire for my pleasure in the marriage bed.


TGSantini
TGSantini

So much has been made of this book, but I don't see that it is anything new.  Women can get into porn if it is couched in romance, if romantic stories precede the sex.  BDSM is just another genre of porn inserted at the end of a romantic story in a romance novel.  


This romance novel industry is massively profitable.  Most of it is just porn lit tailored to women.  Just like other businesses they are looking for new products, this is all 50 shades is, like the latest smartphone with new features.  


Just as there will always be new smartphone features look for new features in the romance / porn industry.


 End of story.

SamanthaMarley
SamanthaMarley

This is my hypothesis as a female, but it may be offensive to males and females alike.......

Male sexuality is visually stimulated, hence Playboys and the like. Female sexuality is mentally and emotionally stimulated, so stories allow her to use her imagination. There are not many magazines or pornographic films tailored for women; not saying they are not out there, it is a male-dominated industry.

Women have faced 'men's preferred partner' everywhere and we constantly try to mold ourselves to be that perfect image- skinny, perfect skin, youthful. A woman's ideal male takes care of the family, makes money, protects her. So, our partner preferences will be reflected in our desires in the bedroom- a more aggressive partner who takes charge. That does not mean we all want to be bound and gagged- we just want to be taken care of!

Today's woman is more socially dominant than in the past with an addition of responsibilities to home and childcare; we hold full-time jobs, higher positions at church and civil organizations, and attempt to meet the 'visual preferences of the male'- which, on average, is getting younger and smaller. Fifty years ago, a 5'4 female weighing 150 was considered to be ideal. Nowadays, a 5'4 woman weighing 110 is considered the most attractive. But don't worry, it is a two-way street: since women have gained more independence and social dominance, we are lacking the submissive, housewife role we are naturally evolved to gravitate to. In addition, today's metro-sexual male movement has created a less-dominant male demographic. To counterbalance the lack of male dominance and yearning for our submissive role, women desire a total loss of responsibility and dominance in the bedroom.

Of course, some of us don't want to fess up to be desiring more aggressive action- we don't want to hurt our partner's ego or look like nymphomaniacs! Other females may be fine with their social dominance or their husband may provide this role outside the bedroom, therefore dulling any pseudo-sexual desires. It is highly distasteful for any women to admit this but, yeah, we liked our submissive housewife roles! We don't want to admit it because we also enjoy our freedoms, and today's society encourages female social dominance and rewards it. Social aggression in women invokes hormones that blunt female sexual arousal; in men, the same hormones arouse it. Therefore, more submissive behaviors in the bedroom must be fulfilled to stimulate arousal.

Just a theory, but it coincides with the evolution of human sexuality and social science. I would love to get some feedback on this from males or females!

Jason Benning
Jason Benning

Im grateful that my wife has no interest in this smut. While I wouldn't mind my wife enjoying sex or seeing it as more than her wifely duty, to risk the sin involved in this is not worth it.

Brendon
Brendon

I've got a Kindle Fire and I was checking it daily to get a particular photo learning series for free. There's a lot of erotica available for the men, too. They aren't stories, though, they are books full of nude models posing for the camera, and they're pretty cheap, too. So, sexual material on e-readers isn't just an issue for women.

karl
karl

"Her porn stories are full of passion, drama, and highly charged sex – usually with a man who is beyond perfect in many non-sexual ways." Yes, I have to agree, Danielle Steele writes that way. So I'll begin to take an interest in the formation of a committee to study the advisability of a recommendation to author an analytical report debating the likelihood of something worthwhile to be said about Fifty Shades...roughly 1 year after The Christian Marriage Bloggers Association takes a similar coordinated approach to the vulgar "romance" porn of the Cartland and Steele variety. But then again, excuse me, how silly of me, I forgot: Cartland/Steele porn is Acceptable, to be sold in supermarket check-out lanes and WalMart book aisles. Fifty Shades is Not Acceptable, to be hidden away...somewhere. Because there's sex involved, donchaknow. And there's never any sex involved in any supermarket check-out lane literature, like Cosmopolitan...er, wait, hold on there just a second... Has anyone else noticed that both Cartland/Steele-style romance porn and Fifty Shades-style BDSM porn both have effectively the same underlying concept of dominant, manly men taking control of submissive, womanly women? Perhaps there's actually something to this Eph 5 "wife submits to her husband" motif, if both ends of the porn spectrum orbit the same general idea. Cartland and Steele are from Proxima Centauri, Fifty Shades comes from Betelgeuse; neither star system is due to be reached by real humans any time soon. As CL put it so very well, "None of this is new, only the method by which it is delivered." Cartland porn is delivered as a bagger asks, "paper or plastic?", alongside a copy of Cosmo; Fifty Shades is delivered in a brown paper bag, or anonymously via the network. One might wonder at the source of the difference. So maybe you think we shouldn't attach the word "porn" to Cartland and Steele. If so, I suggest you think it through again, regarding what it is that is reached in the reader by such authors.

Jennifer Still
Jennifer Still

Hey Paul, Just like you said, "Her porn stories are full of passion, drama, and highly charged sex – usually with a man who is beyond perfect in many non-sexual ways. This does to women the same thing an airbrushed, silicon implanted, woman doing things real woman won’t do does to men." Women have to be so careful of the "emotional affair". It sneaks up on them and they can get away with it so much easier than a man who has a physical affair. So many of the women I have counseled over the years have similar complaints. Why won't their man stand up and lead the way he is supposed to. Out of every single one of those relationships it is because she won't let him. She is mad at him for not leading when she will not submit. But yet she is crying out that she needs to be rescued. Of course, she needs to be rescued by her Savior first. She needs to fully trust God. But one of the ways my God rescues me is through my husband when I let it happen. It mirrors the same old tactics of the enemy. He takes something beautiful like the submission of the Bride (the church) to Christ (the Bridegroom) and he twists and distorts it. I believe this new trend is really hitting a deep desire in women to be able (or forced because they can not figure out how) to relinquish control and submit. It also plays into her need to be wanted, pursued/sought out and seen/known. I went through domestic violence before I met my husband. I had been hit, kicked, cheated on, lied to and made fun of. But I did not know I was worth anything back then. I bought into the lie. I would take the 10 minutes where he would pay attention to me. I would try desperately to then keep his attention. It was always over when he was done with me. It is sad but I would hang on to those 10 minutes where I felt like I might have been pretty, wanted, or seen vs invisible, used and thrown away. The enemy will take God's design for us and pervert it to resemble the deep ache we were designed to experience. For us women it is the need to be fully surrendered to a God who is good and faithful. His design for us in our marriage Ephesians 5:21-33. One of the most deceitful things about a lie is that it so closely resembles the truth. I believe this is one of those places. It hits something deep in a woman a desire to be able to be fully surrendered, seen, known and pursued. Our enemy is crafty but really it is his same old tactics….truth vs a lie.

CL
CL

[Note from Paul - I've left the link to CL's site. The site does not show any offensive images, but does link to sites that do - with warnings on those links.] I think you have missed the deeper significance. None of this is new, only the method by which it is delivered. What exactly is wrong with a woman who wants to be dominated sexually? If that is what she desires and her man tells her she is disordered and refuses, is he not rejecting her sexually? Is this loving behaviour? The argument could be “it is loving if it is helping her to overcome her disorders”, but to that I say: wanting to be overpowered and restrained during sex is hardly a disorder. Taken to its extreme, one could argue that having a man’s weight on her in the missionary position is too much domination, so we shouldn’t desire that either. Wussy men are a turn-off. If he does not have enough dominant strength to assert his insertion I would be unsatisfied. I see this all the time with Christian blogs - this kind of strange criticism of female submission - and it irks me. Is this just a 'kink', or is it something deeper? I suggest you think about male and female natures as reflected in the body; the male acts upon, the female is acted upon. The Perversion of Normal

Matt
Matt

This was a really eye opening article. Thank you. I've long understood how porn can trap guys, but never really thought about the things out there that draw women in. Thanks for shedding light and exposing this.

Rosemary
Rosemary

I understand how the popularity of books like this can be alarming. But I see it as just a temporary fad, given a disproportionate amount of attention by 24-hour "news" outlets that are constantly starving for new, sensational stories. Books like this have come and gone from time to time. Consider the "Story of O". which was a big sensation back in 1954. Not many people recall it today. Depictions of any type of unhealthy or destructive sexual behavior in books and films is definitely something that we want to keep away from impressionable young people. But I'm not worried that many adult women are going to have their basic nature changed by this. Out of curiosity, I read the "Story of O" years ago. It didn't give me any desire to get involved in BDSM, and I would be surprised if it had that effect on other women.

Kat
Kat

THANK YOU for addressing this issue. It is much needed. Even Newsweek had a cover article about it! Blech! The only thing remotely interesting about this to most women I know is occasionally a bit of submission, i.e., being held down. But my husband likes this too sometimes. :)

Chris
Chris

Paul, I was hoping you would bring this topic up regarding this new book. I theoretically agree with everything you have said and admit where porn in my past had damage on my marriage. Been married 16 years and after a rough year for both of us, I believe we now have the most emotionally and physically intimate marriage we have ever had. Now comes to this book, and my wife's curiousity as she is an avid fiction read (not romance novels). To get to the point on possibly a "pro" to the book -- this book has created one phenomenon that is a good thing (IMO) regardless if my wife actually reads the book. I am talking about "shame." No matter how many times my wife is told herself that marriage is a space open to your own unique desires in the marriage bed, an old Catholic upbringing is self-admittantly still encoded in memory. My wife is private. conservative and has conservative friends. Many have read the trilogy. The fact they are discussing this subject matter helps with some of the "shame" in itself. As far as reading the trilogy...well me telling my wife what she can or cannot read instead of trusting in her own self-awareness could sabotage our emotional intimacy. I have an intellectual side of me that wants to read it just to stay informed (I have a daughter). My wife asked me a couple rhetorical questions - what does it say about her as a person if she liked it? and what would I think of her if she liked it? In both cases I would say she is human. I would be lying if I told you a part of me doesn't want her to read it...wow, maybe more sex :) Knowing my wife, she won't read any more erotica after this. So I am in the middle on this. Finally, we have both candidly discussed how fantasy hurt our marriage in the past because of lack of self-awareness, resentment, etc. If our marriage wasn't in a great place, I would say this would be ddefinitely a bad place to be. But back to "shame" - For many conservative women, can shame, and ignoring that women are human and have maybe a fleeting thought in a sexual nature makes them weird, I wonder if a single experience in this movement with women discussing sex as a positive, could actually strengthen a marriage. I know it's a slippery slope. I know of cases where conservative women suppress, repressed their natural carnal desires long enough to only act them out with an anonymous stranger because they thought their husband would judge them. I am on the fence....

J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)
J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)

Great post, Paul. I would like to add that one of the arguments often given for proponents of BDSM is that the female hasn't really lost control. The couple agree to the arrangement, and the submissive has a "safe word" that she can utter and the dominant man is then obligated to stop doing whatever he's doing. The fact that such a word is even needed tells me there is nothing "safe" or personal about this approach to sexuality. And it sure isn't what God designed for marital intimacy.

DoNotDisturb-Megan
DoNotDisturb-Megan

As a woman, thank you so much for delving into this subject. It pains me so much to know that women are turning to all the wrong things to achieve what they think they want. Looking forward to reading your thoughts. Megan

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@libl  This has long been true for men, and it is getting ever worse. It seems fairly new for women, at least being as mainstream as it is. Both sides cause problems, and when they mix it is even worse.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@SamanthaMarley Thank you so much for chiming in!

I agree men are primarily visual, and women primarily emotional/mental. I think both have both, but most are very weak in the one that is not the primary one for their gender.

That women usually respond well to a more aggressive man is well documented - even among women who consider themselves independent or "liberated". I suspect there is an inborn gender preference on this. This is becoming a problem because men are being told not to be that way, and many do tone down their sexuality in an attempt to be what society tells them they should be. Likewise women are trying to fit into a mold that is not natural or comfortable for them.

And yes, both men and women are caught between what they really desire and what they think they should desire. Between doing what they want (which is probably close to what their spouse wants) and what they think they should do/want.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

CL - There is a good deal of merit in what you say. I've been wrestling with these very thoughts as I work on the promised follow-up to this post - which will be out tomorrow. It's titled "Sex - does she want something more, and should you give it to her?" BTW, the opening paragraph of your post about what I wrote here suggests you have not read much of what I write. My bride and I are very much about headship and submission. Lori has chosen to submit, and has encouraged other women to do the same. We may draw the lines on that differently when it comes to sex, but that is a sub-issue. Your comments about my " worrying that she will want excitement and that is bad" also misses the mark, and is easily disproved by much of what I have written. If you applied to your post the moderation rules your blog has for comments, I think it would have been rejected for making claims that are clearly false. Hang around a bit and find out what I really think!

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Rosemary - Yes, it does come in waves, but it seems that each wave is higher. It seems this book is far more than "Story of O" was. More concerning to me is the news from the industry that shows they are climbing over one another to get more of the same out there. As a one-off the harm is limited, but if we see more and more than I think there is a reason for concern.

CL
CL

If I'm proven wrong I'll be the first to admit it. Yet, it doesn't really change the problems with this post. What I said was speculation and presented as such, not as a claim of fact. If you have a problem with anything I wrote, you are free to come and refute it on my post.

Valecynos
Valecynos

I'm going to assume here that most people haven't read either the Story of O or the 50 shades trilogy. I haven't read 50 shades, but I have read O many years ago. From friends that read 50 Shades, the one huge difference between the two is that O allows herself to be killed in my memory serves me. I mean she literally offered herself up and saw it as the ultimate sacrifice for her "master." (Not sick at all, right?) In 50 Shades I don't believe anyone actually dies. However, I agree it does seem to be a "wave" of these things. Not sure what year, but another author that is mainstream wrote books that was about BSDM under another name. It was long after O but long before 50 Shades. (I'll not name them; no need to get people curious about them too.) But I can tell you from my limited experience of working in a large book retailer that this time, with 50 Shades, the wave has gotten much higher. We were absolutely SHOCKED at the people that were asking for the Grey series, and now are asking for others like it. Mommies with toddlers in tow, little old ladies, middle aged women, and not a few men getting them for wives/girlfriends as gifts. Yes, I believe there is reason to be concerned.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Generous Husband – A Disturbing Trend In Female Sexual Preferences (Husbands, please read this post. You may be surprised to find your wife is tempted in this […]

  2. […] The Generous Husband misses the deeper significance of the recent explosion in erotica use by women. None of this is new, only the method by which it is delivered. What exactly is wrong with a woman who wants to be dominated sexually? If that is what she desires yet her man tells her she is disordered and refuses, is he not rejecting her sexually? Is this loving behaviour? […]

  3. […] This one is written by a husband, but it is so worth the read for us women too, it’s called A Disturbing Trend in Female Sexual Preferences. It tackles the subject of “Mommy Porn” and at the bottom of the post it links to other […]

  4. […] Other great reads on 50 Shades of Grey: How Kindles Can Wreck Your Marriage 50 Shades of Danger Disturbing Trends in Female Sexual Preferences Stop Grey from Becoming the New Black and White (with lots more links!) And if you’ve had […]

Previous post:

Next post: