Porn for Women

Posted in Marriage Monday with 43 comments

Over the past several months, a new and downright scary book has made its way into the hands, eyes, and minds of millions. This book is all that the devil loves… seemingly harmless, inviting, easy to access, deceitful, and powerful. Some of you have heard of Fifty Shades of Grey and some may have even read it. This is a book that specifically targets women much like internet pornography specifically targets men and I’m here to tell you: it’s NOT okay.

I can give you many reasons why I am against this book, but I’d like to give you some specific evidence of how wrong it is from my own experience. No, I have not read this book, nor do I plan to do so, but the struggles of romantic literature are none to far from me, unfortunately. When Matt and I first got married we were both virgins. I’m proud of that fact and wouldn’t change it for the world. It was a hard wait but it was worth it. We were married young and because of that, were one of the first of our group of friends to get married. While the start of our sex life was not necessarily good (but that’s for another post… one day), I was excited and thought that I was free to seek sex advice wherever I could get it. Like I said, we were one of the first to get married so there weren’t many to ask and even when there were I didn’t know how to bring it up at that point (a lot has changed!). So here I am, a newly married 20 year-old wanting sex help and not knowing who to ask. So what do I turn to? Cosmo.

“50 ways to make him beg for more”, “100 things to do for more sex”, “500 ways you can be sexier”… it all sounds pretty good and promising, does it not? And all I wanted out of it was tips to make time with my hubby better, but it did the opposite. I found myself frustrated as I had high hopes for each issue but then felt like no answers were actually given at all. Instead of finding ways to make things better, I felt instead that I wasn’t good enough to perform some of the recommendations Cosmo gave or ended up comparing our sex life to that of those who wrote in. My thoughts kept turning back to “If I just keep reading surely an article will help me…” I was wrong.

Next came my breaking point. I’m a fiction reader and love any books that talks about love. I was never into trashy romance novels or anything, I only liked simple tales of 2 people finding each other and getting married. I blame Disney. ;) One day I picked up a best selling book that looked like a good read. As I went through it I loved the story and found myself quickly engaged. Then came the sex scene. I had mostly read Christian romance novels before this and had never come across a sex scene besides those occasionally published in Cosmo. I certainly had never read something so graphic. Instead of stopping myself, I continued to read believing Satan’s lies of “I’m married so it’s okay” and “I’m a girl, I don’t struggle with sexual sin”. What lies those were. After finishing the book I found my desire for sex had grown so I used that to affirm the lies I had been telling myself. If anything, it was helping my marriage, right?? But with that came the dissatisfaction, always feeling that something wasn’t right about our love making and thinking that I, he, or both of us just weren’t doing it “right”. I would even get angry at Matt or myself because it wasn’t the way the book described it to be.

It took awhile for God’s truth to sink in. I can’t remember what that looked like exactly, but He found a way to grab a hold of me and gently call me back to the good that He had for me. Since then I have had to make a very conscious effort not to engage in anything of this sexual nature. It is often hidden in books, which makes it difficult, but just as it is hard for a guy to pull his eyes away from a naked picture of a woman, so is it hard to draw my eyes and mind away from sexual fantasy. It takes constant effort, accountability, and God’s grace, but I have remained faithful and free ever since.

So why do I tell you all of this? For one, let me just say that it’s not easy. I struggled over this post a lot. It’s never fun writing the yucky stuff about yourself, but I found strength in what God was calling me to tell you as well as the courage my husband has had in letting me share our story with his struggle. Secondly, I don’t want you to fall into the lies I have with either the Fifty Shades of Grey book or any other literature of it’s nature.  While the world may tell you it’s ok, that it might even help your marriage, and won’t do anything to damage you, it’s not true. Those are lies from the ultimate deceiver himself, and I stand here in experience to tell you that it is not ok.

It is not ok to read anything that will have you question your intimacy with your spouse. It is not ok to read anything that will take you into the sexual encounters of another, fictional or not. It is not ok to release and/or gain your sexual experiences from anything/anyone other than your spouse. It is NOT ok.

I pray that this will be an encouragement to you as well. That this will help you to know that you can be free from the lies and free from the comparisons. Free from what the world wants you to be. You are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) and whether you have struggled just once or are in a downward spiral of fantasy lust, this can be the end. New brides and old, take heed. Do not be mistaken by what you see on those news stands. Seek GODLY counsel in everything, including your sex lives. Find godly women in your life that you can go to, seek sound, Christian books on the subject or read one or all of the amazing Christian Sex blogs available to you. Be free from the ties that bind you!

 

Many of the CMBA members are taking a stand against Fifty Shades of Grey and trying to educate all that they can. For more information, take a look at some of their recent posts:

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Intimacy in Marriage

The Alabaster Jar

The Generous Husband

Marriage by Divine Design

The Romantic Vineyard

Pearl’s Oysterbed

Marriage Missions

Hot, Holy and Humorous

 


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43 Comments

  1. Elizabeth@Warrior Wives

    Thanks for this! I’m also disturbed at the number of women in my church that I see/hear recommending Fifty Shades of Grey. I don’t really understand why it’s not ok for men to look at porn but it’s ok to read this book…totally a double standard!

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Thanks for reading, Elizabeth! I do agree that it is a double standard. We call our men to be righteous and we should stand on that as well. Just checked out your blog, great stuff! Keep up the good work!

      Reply
  2. AW

    You haven’t read the books. Your criticism is an uninformed opinion. Read the book and then update your opinion to attain validity :)

    Reply
    • Jason

      All one needs to do is spend10 minutes perusing the reviews on Amazon.com in order to determine that this is a poorly written PORN book. NO NEED to go anywhere near the book to have an INFORMED opinion.

      Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Adam, thank you for your comment and for the smiley face! Happy comments are always best, even if they disagree with me. ;)
      I do understand your take that I do not have an informed opinion as I have not read the book. As I wrote in this post, I do not agree with reading this type of material as it not only trips me up, but is also disrespectful to my husband and in my opinion, unfaithful to him. If he were to write on the subject of a specific porn site I hope (and know) that he would not go to it to be completely informed. It would not really be necessary as he would know the content without having to look. I believe this is similar to Fifty Shades of Grey for me.
      I do want you to know that I do not write my posts blindly. I did a lot of research on this book and even read small excerpts given in news articles and reviews. With only reading a few sentences discussing S&M, bondage, premarital sex, and graphic sex acts I know this is not something that anyone should be reading, and that includes myself.
      Again, thank you for writing. I appreciate all commentary and hope that you will continue to read my blog, even if only to keep me in line. ;) Praying blessings over you this week and hope that you and your wife (if you have been blessed with one) will never have to feel the pain of porn addiction in any way as it is heartbreaking.

      Reply
    • Cindy at Affaircare

      You know I actually thought about this, as I think it’s a really common fallacy. A person does not need to participate in murder to form an opinion and choose not to do it, and their choice to not murder does not become less valid because they did not murder first “to experience it.” Likewise, we don’t need to commit adultery in order to have an informed opinion! I believe that the contents of the book have been verified by enough reliable sources that no one is disputing it is sexually explicit and has scenes of B&D and S&M…and since that is a known fact, I believe it is UTTERLY valid for Erin to choose to not read and to choose to share the way that reading “of this nature” had affected her in the past.

      …just sayin’!

      Reply
  3. Alecia

    Excellent post! We’ve been putting some thoughts together on this as well! You can definitely add us to the CMBA list that are taking a stand against this series and against women believing the lie that it is not porn and not harmful to their marriage!

    Reply
  4. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)

    Romance authors tend to assert that women who read romance, erotic romance, and erotica have more sex. I’m not really sure what data that’s based on. However, women in surveys do state that such books make them more willing to try new things in the sexual realm, including risky sexual behaviors that ignore moral principles and their own health. I have read a novel in the same genre as Fifty Shades and have researched the subject, so I feel adequate to give the opinion that the sex scenes in these books are nothing like Song of Solomon.

    Thank you, Erin, for sharing your story. There is a continuum here with these books, and we need to be careful how far down the line we go. And even with less erotic romance novels, we ladies must remember that this is fiction, and it leaves out all of those things about a long-term marital sex life that I discuss in the “humorous” category of my blog. For myself, I want the real thing, as God designed it.

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Love that last sentence, J: “For myself, I want the real thing, as God designed it.” Amen! Nothing can truly fulfill besides it!

      Reply
  5. Jolene @ The Alabaster Jar

    Hi Erin,
    Thanks for sharing your story and for being transparent and vulnerable in the process! I am sure it has helped many women who have come from a similar background as you and even those who took a different path before marriage. :) Thanks for linking this post up with Marital Oneness Mondays. Let’s keep preaching His Word, Erin, until the whole earth hears! Hope you come by next week as well.

    Reply
  6. Kate

    Thanks for sharing how this has affected your marriage, Erin! I really appreciate your willingness to be real about the pitfalls of books with sex scenes and erotica!

    As for whether reading the book or not is important, I think when content that can and will take you places you should not be going (mind or otherwise), then it is always wise to flee! To think of others in bed or you with another person is lust and therefore sin! God says to flee from sin and don’t look back. As much as I like to stay informed about the culture of marriage today, I will NOT be reading these books! Just sayin! We have to be very careful what we see in movies and read in books, for us women! I love what Erin said about her hubby not going and checking out a porn site just so he can be informed! I would not want my hubby to do that and I know he would not want to either. Porn in any form-written or visual has the ability to tear marriages apart. Porn and erotica is an unrealistic, warped sense of God’s plan for marriage and intimacy!

    Thanks again Erin for sharing! :)

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      So true, Kate. Thank you for your comment. It really does have the power to tear marriages apart and we have to stand firm to prevent that! I’m so thankful for you and the other CMBAers to know that I am not alone!

      Reply
  7. April

    Erin,
    Thank you SO much for sharing this post! I think this is a HUGE problem that is almost completely unnoticed. I haven’t read any pornographic or sexually explicit romance novels – but I have to admit that even the Christian novels with people falling in love can easily make me feel dissatisfied and want what the fictional couple appears to have. I have stayed away from romance novels and have been enjoying the romance that I have in real life without any comparisons and it is DEFINITELY much more satisfying that way! I think women can also get into trouble when they compare themselves with their friends or what they think their friends have. Even just going to a wedding can bring up tremendous feelings of envy and jealousy for women (single, dating, engaged and married women!)
    Thank you for this important post!

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Thanks, April! You are right, Christian novels can bring their own faults. While they will hopefully not contain any sex scene, they do have the potential to make a woman (specifically) desire more than she believes that her husband can give to her. And amen on the wedding envy! Am I the only one who went through wedding grief? ;)

      Reply
  8. AG

    Good grief this post is dripping with judgment. Who are you to judge what is and is not “ok,”and to declare and label things ofthe devil?

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      AG, Thank you for your comment and I am so sorry that you felt I was being judgmental. I had absolutely no intention of judging anyone through my post. My goal in writing was to warn people of the danger that this type of literature can bring, from my own experience, from my research, from my faith, and from the experiences I know of others. It is in no way my job to judge others, I believe that is only the Lord’s. James 4:12 says that there is only ONE lawgiver and judge, and I in no way am trying to be that.
      My goal for this site is to promote healthy, godly marriages, and that is what I am trying to advocate in this post. By turning to anything/one other than one’s spouse for something sexually related is not ok. Be that this book, internet pornography, masturbation, etc. God has gifted us with a husband or a wife and the blessing of sex for just that purpose. As I said here, doing anything else will only cause heartache and I pray that no one will ever have to go through the pain that we have been through.
      I also had no intentions of labeling anything of the devil. I said that he loves to use things such as this and it is true. The Bible calls him a prowling lion (1 Peter 5:8) looking for someone to destroy. He will use any avenue to tear a marriage apart, and one may only look around our world to see that sex is one of his very favorite things to use.
      Again, I’m sorry that my post frustrated you, but I do hope that I managed to address every aspect that concerned you. Please let me know if you have further questions. I also encourage you to seek counsel in God’s Word and/or through a pastor if my response did not answer things properly. Many blessings! :)

      Reply
    • Jason

      AG, are you able to demonstrate – using Scripture from the Bible – that it is “ok” to read pornographic literature? If so, please enlighten us where this post is in error.

      Reply
    • Kate

      @AG – I hear you on the judgement factor. It is definitely something we Christ followers have gotten a label of. Some of those labels are deserved and some are not. I don’t feel that Erin was being judgemental, I see that she was sharing from her own life a lesson she has learned. Just because we have freedom to do everything does not mean it is beneficial to us. For example-smoking. For many years we did not know the harm it did to us. Now we know and have seen evidence of the harm. Some still choose to smoke, others do not. We as Christ following wives see the evidence of damage erotica does to marriages. It shows a very warped, unrealistic portrayal of sex and intimacy. Regardless, we all have the right to share our thoughts and beliefs on any subject and that includes what we feel to be good and what we feel to be not beneficial. Erin has done that with grace, tact and honesty. Judgemental would throw stones at those who have read or do read these books. As Erin has said, judgement is for God and God alone. We are called to love others as Jesus has and to follow Him in every avenue of our lives and the things he calls us to do. So while I hear your concern on being judgemental and labeling things of the devil, I don’t see that at all in Erin’s post! :)

      Reply
  9. DoNotDisturb-Megan

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I pray alongside you that women (and men) would understand that although God created sex and it is indeed good trying to make it good at any cost is not part of the original design. Thank you for speaking openly about the lessons you have learned the hard way and for sharing a well spoken word of caution. Blessings to you in your ministry.
    Megan

    Reply
  10. Elizabeth J

    Excellent article Erin! Society is so quick to judge men for porn, but they do not address women addicted to porn/erotica material.

    Just a thought provoking question – towards the end of your post, you said, “It is not ok to read anything that will have you question your intimacy with your spouse.” I know several wives/mothers in some groups I am part of question their intimacy (sexual as well as emotional) with their spouse after watching romance movies such as “The Vow” and “The Notebook”. I know women are suckers for romance movies/novels – this I also blame Disney for – but quite a few of them are married to men who are not romantic/have stopped pursuing them since they got married. Watching movies such as these makes them question and even resent their husbands for not making them feel loved and wanted like the men in these movies make the women appear to feel. Any thoughts on this and any suggestion on how I should approach and encourage these women? Thanks!

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Hey Elizabeth! Thanks for commenting! That is an excellent question. Like I said, anything that makes one question the intimacy they have with their spouse is one that they should turn away from. A 2 hour movie is not worth the thoughts and frustrations that could ultimately end a marriage. As to how to approach these friends, do so prayerfully and with compassion. If they are sharing with you of their marriage frustrations then they are most likely wanting your advice and support. If they share that a movie made them feel bad, a gentle question linking it to their marital frustrations might be a good start. It can also be good to bring up such movies in conversations about marriage hardships. Saying something like “You know, they make it seem so easy in the movies, but it’s really not, is it?” can lead into giving your opinion on their struggles. Of course, I always want to advocate counseling and never think it is wrong to suggest it to a friend who is discussing a hurting marriage. Feel free to send them back here as well! :)
      I hope that gives a satisfactory answer. I would love to hear other’s opinions and ideas as well! Blessings!

      Reply
  11. Jennifer

    Thank you for sharing something so personal in your life. I hear of women all around that are reading this book and ones like it, and it just saddens me to know that these women are believing the lies of the world- that it’s ok for x, y, z reasons. I know that when I read books that aren’t even very sexual, but just filled with romance, I find myself being less satisfied with my own husband. Compared to the men in the books, he isn’t generous enough, good-looking enough, romantic enough, just enough. That is unfair to him- actually, the word unfair doesn’t begin to describe it. I don’t want to be, nor deserve to be, compared to an airbrushed model any more than he deserves to be compared to a fictional model of perfection. As I am a hopeless romantic, I have to reign myself in and for the most part, even avoid those books for that very reason. I am blessed that God has opened my eyes to how such things can worm their way into minds and hearts and become hazardous to even the happiest and most secure marriages. I pray that God uses your testimony to touch other women’s hearts as well.

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Thank you for the support, Jennifer. Us hopeless romantics got to stick together, huh? ;) It’s easy to be led astray by a “fictional model” like you said, but real marriage is worth pursuing and focusing on rather then fantasy. Thank you, again!

      Reply
  12. Nicci

    I just wanted to post and say I agree. My husband and I both love sexy romancy stories so we write them for one another and take photos etc and I think it is a fun and healthy way to still indulge in story telling whie keeping it faithful to your spouse,

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Way to go, Nicci! Way to indulge in your SPOUSE rather than something fictional. The real thing is so much better, anyway!

      Reply
  13. Paul Byerly

    Erin,

    Thank you for adding your voice, and for allowing your mistakes to be displayed for the benefit of others. This kind of fiction sows dissatisfaction, just as porn does.

    Reply
  14. Tina

    Thank you for posting this! I have been seeing on my FB newsfeed of some reading this book and I am so glad that I read about it FIRST on your blog. I haven’t been reading a lot recreationally (I’m a student) but sometimes, I’ll just pick up the “next book” that people are talking about just to read it without first prior looking to see if it’s worth reading or if there’s questionable content.

    This is really making me think harder about the wisdom we need as women to see where are weaknesses lie. For me, sometimes, it’s a romantic comedy or something when there’s a “void” somewhere in my marriage and fantasize “if only he could be as passionate as that guy in this movie”! LOL! But of course, it’s JUST a movie but it can really affect us women. I am blindsided sometimes. And it’s NOT real.

    Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book!

    Reply
  15. Alyssa Rasnick

    Erin, I am really loving your blogsite- its incredible that you have dedicated so much of your time and passion towards your purpose of furthering God’s kingdom and sharing his love for us in the context of marriage! I haven’t picked up a magazine in the grocery aisle in years and since getting married I had thought about scoping one out for the very reason you had mentioned in your article. Thanks for sharing the truth and the danger found behind the cover. I haven’t thought about reading Shades, but I thank you for helping me in my early weeks of being married! A new territory that is so fun and yet so prone to Satan’s lies. You are loved and missed, sweet friend! Lots of love from Ark-an-saw!

    Reply
  16. Dr Bar

    WARNING – DO NOT READ… My wife was loaned Fifty Shades of Grey and she would spend time each night reading before she went to sleep. (Due to an injury I had, she sleeps in another room.) This book was a large piece of a complex puzzle that changed a Godly woman into a worldly woman.

    The book cleared the way by allowing fantasy to run wild in her mind. There was a “business friend” that would stop in her place of business and spoke with her for almost an hour or two every day. I would tell her you cannot have a man waste your work time that should be used to help the company generate income.

    To shorten 5 year long and complicated nightmare, she has convinced herself that me telling to stop spending time with another man was abusive to her. While she was reading this book, she stopped any and all physical contact with me. That is because her “friendship” with this other man went into a full blown affair that has caused untold damage to our family.

    We went from being a well respected Christian family to a gossip topic. One of the major problems after this married man (for lack of another name) confessed to his wife prior to a major surgery (type of death bed confession) is that I discovered there are very few Christian resources for men who are betrayed by their wife.

    The affair has continued for over a year even after his family knows and his daughter confronted my wife. My wife finally told me what I had known for over 3 years prior that they were “More that Just Friends”.

    The ugly affair continues and there is no one to hold her accountable for her actions. Now I am in the position of watching someone I care deeply about enter into the phase of an affair that always happens. It is the phase where the ramifications of sin start hitting.

    She thinks they have been able to hide the affair but when you go out to lunch with someone of the opposite sex that is not your spouse, people begin to talk. She is telling anyone that will listen about the abuse she endured during our whole marriage and how terrible her life has been. I have been researching this subject and found that people attempt to justify the affair by re-writing the marriage history. Also, she has always had a tendency to think negative thoughts ever since I have known her.

    By the way, we have been married to for 38 years and just had a reminder of our marriage day on September 4, 2014. I arranged for a very nice dinner and surprised her by having our fine China and candles and served her with an extremely special evening. I even purchased roses and a nice card for her. NOTHING in her expression or feelings or comments of any warmth. Only a cold reaction toward the whole evening.

    I attempted to provide this special meal time out of love for her but got the Ice Woman in return. I have a dear Christian man that know both of us and he is providing Godly counsel to me. He has been praying for our situation and has encouraged me to do what I can to stay married because God hates what happens to people after a divorce, even though adultery is a case where the innocent person can end the marriage.

    The special dinner was for me because I learned some valuable things about myself that will be of benefit for the rest of my life. I now have the confidence to begin seeking another life mate because my wife made the poor choices to commit adultery.

    The book in question was not the only cause of her adultery but was part of the dismantling of a former Godly woman and the tearing down of the Full Armor of God that she wore for most of her life.

    Fifty Shades of Grey could be a book that “opens your eyes” to new things and spice up your sex life but it is a trap. Just as satan told the woman in the Garden, the fruit is OK because God put it here, didn’t He.

    This site has links to some Christian sites that may be helpful for your sex life – in marriage as God intended. I heard one minister on TV recently that sex is good, stop, he said, no….SEX IS GREAT when done in the structure of a marriage.

    If I could end with this for all the Christian women that are married – try to find as many reasons as possible to make love to your husband. While many women are tired from all that is part of life these days, if you take every, AND I MEAN EVERY, opportunity to spend time with your man and make love to him often (7 to 14 times a week if possible) you will have a man that is happy, more successful, encouraged and can overcome the obstacles of life much easier all because you make him feel like a “Real Man”.

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      Wow, thank you so much for sharing and I am so sorry for what Satan has been doing in your marriage. It shouldn’t be surprising that he can get a foothold on a marriage no matter how long it has lasted, but it still blows me away to hear stories like this. I’m saying a prayer for you now. Thank you for sharing your story, it may really help someone who stumbles across this. Especially as the movie is soon to be released.

      Reply
  17. Dr Bar

    I think Christian women should talk to each other about this subject. God wants us to have fun and enjoy sex with our spouse. We are the only creatures on earth that were Made in the Image of God and the only creatures where sex is much more than reproduction only.

    Reply