I read about a series that hit the bestsellers list on a blog a couple weeks ago. Intrigued, I went to Amazon to check it out… and stopped cold after reading the first review. My heart sunk and I felt sick. The descriptions the reviewer used made me blush and wish I had something I could clean my mind out with.
Shortly afterward, everywhere I looked, the book series kept popping up. I found it on lists, more blog posts, and everyday conversation. But what struck me the most were the people interested in reading this book: Christian women.
The book I am referring to is Fifty Shades of Grey.
Fifty Shades of Grey is about a young woman’s encounter with a brilliant, handsome man. A man who has dark tastes when it comes to the physical. They embark on a “daring, passionately physical affair” where the young woman explores her own dark desires.
That description alone made me hesitate, but then the reviews talked about all the sex in the book. Graphic, erotic sex. And then the blog posts started coming in. Even secular bloggers were taken back by all the sex. And not just regular sex, but more. No, I have not read the book, but when it shows up at the top of a list labeled “kinky sex” (I replaced a word), then there is definitely something disturbing (at least for me).
So why do I bring this up? To slam a series? No, to share my heart with you. What makes a book filled with descriptive sex any different than pornography? Both are visually stimulating. Both contain graphic content. And both are addictive.
You will never find a book with a white bunny and photos of nude women on the bestsellers list (at least I’ve never seen one). However, it seems that if the images are enclosed inside a story, then it’s okay. And to me, that is scary. Unlike a TV show or movie where you can just fast-forward through the scene, I find myself scrambling to a stop halfway down the page. But by then it’s too late. The words are already there, inside my mind. And with my photographic memory, they will never leave.
I write this post as a call to Christian women. For some, it is a warning about books like these. I stumbled into these kinds of books when I was a young girl and wish I had never opened the covers. I had no idea books with graphic sex existed. I had been taught that to look at naked people in photos was wrong, but not about books with naked people. So as a fellow Christian woman to another, I am warning you now that these books exist, and to be careful with what you read.
For others, this is plea to not go down this road. I will be the first one to say I love romance. I think it has been ingrained in us since the moment God first brought Eve to Adam (see my post about romance here ). But consider the romance in these books. Is it really romance? Or simply lust?
And I would take it a step farther and say reading books like these is no different than your husband sitting down with the latest Playboy. How would you feel if you saw him do it? How do you think he would feel about your book?
My friends, the images and scenes you read generally don’t stay in the living room. They follow you to the bedroom and can destroy the intimacy between you and your husband. Your husband will never live up to the hunky hero in a book. So it can be tempting to replace your husband inside your mind with the hero from your book. Or wish for a more exciting sex life, instead of finding fulfillment and pleasure in your husband.
Romance is good. Sex is good. But there are just some things that should be left behind closed doors and not displayed for the entire world to see. Even on the page.
For another great article about this subject, check out Mommy Porn is okay, But Daddy Porn is not