Tag Archives: Romance

Sex, Romance, and Books

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


Dan left for Kansas for 7 weeks and what did I do? I put in a chic flick and watched Little Women. As I was watching, I thought about the human draw to romance. There is a verse in Proverbs that puts it this way, “There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don’t understand… how a man loves a woman.”

I love romance. I love to see a man and woman fall in love. I enjoy it in movies, books, and real life. Romantic love is a mysterious, power thing. It is what pulls us toward the opposite sex. And for many of us, it is what brought us to our spouse.

God is no stranger to romance. In fact, He is the inventor of it. He could have made Eve many different ways: hairy and muscled like an ape or round and prickly like a hedgehog. Instead, He made her similar to Adam, but also different: beautiful, feminine, inviting. Like a puzzle, each edge fit perfectly with Adam. And Adam’s response when first meets Eve? Wow!

The book of Song of Solomon follows the romantic love between a man and woman: their powerful draw to each other, but also reminders not to awaken love until it is time. The story reads like a poetic dance between the two, culminating to marriage and the night thereafter.

There is nothing wrong with romance. It is a beautiful thing to experience personally and watch unfold in the lives of others. That is why we celebrate weddings and anniversaries. The love between a man and a woman is a mystery, and an amazing one at that.


Why isn’t Marriage Romantic Anymore?

Dan and I were watching The Event one night. Afterwards, I turned to Dan and told him they should have had two of the main characters married instead of just dating. I would have pulled for them more. Then Dan pointed out something: most of the world does not see the romance or permanence of marriage anymore.

Dan’s words saddened me. I guess I’m one of those that still believes marriage can be the strongest human relationship in the world. Where a man finds a woman and chooses to love only her the rest of his life. Where a woman stands beside her man as his lover, friend, and ally. The kind of bond that if the woman went missing, the man will go to the ends of the earth to find her (cue music “I’ll Always Find You”).

I have a hard time believing in that kind of permanent love between two people merely dating. And even harder time believing that of total strangers. Yet that is the romance we see on the big screen or read about in books.

I know, I know, you’re saying that kind of romantic marriage is more fairytale than reality. And considering the amount of divorce, infidelity, and disrespect in marriages nowadays, it’s easy to see why. But isn’t the heartthrobbing, I-will-throw-myself-in-front-of-the-monster (even though I’ve only known you two days), let’s kiss (and do more) but I may or may not be here tomorrow kind of love just as fairytalish?

Why is it that marriage has to be unexciting, unromantic, or the big problem in a movie/book? Why can’t it be the romantic element? That together, the hero and heroine are stronger than they would be apart?

I love the opening scene to Star Wars: Survivors Quest by Timothy Zahn. We watch Luke Skywalker and his wife Mara Jade totally clean out the bad guys. But not just in that scene. They do that through the entire book. And Star Wars series. Apart, Luke and Mara are pretty good jedis. Together, unbeatable. They are a fictional example of a great husband/wife team. They love each other exclusively, watch each other’s backs, powerful in their own right, but even more so together. Why can’t we have more romance like that?

Or how about Spy Kids? The movie starts out with two international spies assigned to take out the other. Of course, they fall in love instead and choose to embark on the “greatest journey of all”: marriage (and kids :)).

I would love to see more of this kind of romance when I read or watch a movie. A romance where marriage is a good thing, something to be desired. It reinforces my own desire for a good marriage, one worth fighting for.

How about you? Would you like to see more of this kind of romance? What books or movies have you seen marriage portrayed as romantic?