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 will be thinking, “this does not apply to my wife” will be wrong.
There has been a lot of news recently about the trilogy that start with the book “Fifty Shades of Grey”. It’s being called by some “mommy porn” but it’s audience is far wider than that suggests. 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 who is openly into being sexually submissive. There has been a 30% increase in the sale of “erotic novels” in the last year, with women being the vast majority of that 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 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 more having 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?), while 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 a good and healthy thing. My take is that 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, and that 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, it connects what we read or saw with sex in our mind. This will gradually change our sexual wiring. Read a bit of fantasy in which the woman is restrained during sex, and a woman will start to want that. Read more of the same, and she may find she can’t really enjoy sex if she is tied, or is imaging that she is tied.
Some will argue that “mommy porn” gets women going sexually, and that’s good for any marriage. The sin issue aside, the problem with this is that the same old sex won’t scratch the itch that sexual fiction creates. At first, she may just be horny, and that means more sex and better sex, but once she gets past that initial flush, it will take more than the 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 for problems when they have sex with their husband, and for dissatisfaction in marriage in general.
The bottom line here is that there is a huge push to take kinky sex mainstream, and a big part of that 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, and there is 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 who are reading it. Any of you who read me regularly know that 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 that 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 – O Be Careful Little Eyes What You Read
Marriage By Divine Design – Lead Us Not Into E-Book Temptation
The Romantic Vineyard - Stop Grey From Becoming The New Black And White
Daily Generous Wife Tips Escape Into Grey
Pearl’s OysterBed Libido Boundaries?
Marriage Life I Found Sex at the Library