Books like 50 Shades of Grey are mommy porn at best
and are damaging to you and your relationships.
50 Shades is not the first-ever erotica novel, and it won't be the last. But this book has somehow drawn the attention of millions. Over 70 million in the first year to be exact. Even professing Christian women are reading 50 Shades and talking about how wonderful and harmless it is. After all, it is just a book. According to this article, 9% of Christian women have read 50 Shades, the same percentage as overall American women.
Is it harmless? Are words on a page really going to hurt us?
Let's look at some “wonderful” and “harmless” things this book, and others like it can do for you.
1. Erotica novels give you false hope
Erotica gives a woman hope. Hope that a man who does not exist in this world will sweep her off her feet, lavish her with sexual encounters and never pee on the bathroom floor. When we allow our minds to be filled with images and descriptions of fictional events and people, we eventually put our hope in them and a “one-day” mentality forms. “One day, I'll find a man like that.” “One day, we'll make love like that.” “One day, he'll talk to me like that.” “One day, my body will have those feelings.” One could argue that so can Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid and they would not be wrong, but on a much deeper level erotica pulls at our by-design desire to be known in the most intimate way.
2. Erotica novels make you disillusioned
Once you're filled with false hope, you will then look at your life and become disillusioned. The definition of disillusioned is disappointed in someone or something that one discovers to be less good than one had believed. Suddenly the man you married or are going to marry, is no longer good enough. You resent that he hasn't said, done or behaved like the men you read about. When you start to become disappointed, you start to look around and when you start to look around, suddenly the grass looks greener. You might not physically walk to the grass, but you may catch yourself dreaming about the grass on the other side so much that it consumes you.
3. Erotica novels turn love into an idol
How can love be an idol? When it consumes you. When you think about it more than anything else. Love and sex are wonderful things. Awesome things. Great things! But they are great things in the context of your marriage. Good things can turn bad very quickly:
“….A good thing that becomes the primary thing immediately becomes an immoral thing. Any good gift from God that is exalted above God becomes a tool of the enemy. Love, sex and marriage are prime candidates.”
~Juli Slattery, Pulling Back the Shades
A funny thing happens when we read erotica. The same thing happens when we have sexual contact with someone. And the same thing happens when we do drugs. Or brains are washed in “feel good” chemicals that leave us longing for more. More, more, more. Eventually, we begin to think of our drug of choice more and more. As we read above, when we're consumed by something other than God, we've begun to worship an idol, and we cannot worship God and an idol. If you do realize these books are not healthy, the enemy will switch gears on you. Suddenly, the harmless books you reasoned away as entertainment become a trap of shame and guilt that lead you further away from God because you're too ashamed.
5. Erotica novels make your sex life unsatisfying
The more times you experience pleasure while reading erotica, the harder it will be to experience pleasure or even be satisfied with a “normal” “run of the mill” sex life. Why? Because of the chemical response in the brain. New sexual experiences trigger the release of phenylethylamine and adrenaline. Like a drug addict, slowly you need more and more new experiences to become satisfied. So when your 50-something husband with a jaggy toenail wants to have sex, it just doesn't do anything for you because your brain has been exposed to satisfaction from erotica.
To my sisters who have read erotica
There is no condemnation here. If you have read erotica, or if are reading it now, I urge you to take a look at what you are reading and measure it up to the Bible. As Paul said, everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Is erotica drawing you closer to your husband? Is it making your sex life exciting because you've invited Christian Grey into your bedroom on the screen of your mind while you're having sex? Are you discussing the latest book with your friends over coffee instead of encouraging each other to work on your real-life relationships with your spouses?
If what I've said has struck a nerve, convicted you or made you wonder, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart. Dannah and Juli go into such detail with care and compassion for the Christian woman. It's a must-read.
You are not alone. You do not need fictional characters like Christian Grey to get you through life. You have the best lover ever who wants to fill every desire you have with His love and mercy.
If you've never read erotica
If you have never read erotica, never pick it up. It's been dubbed “mommy porn,” and it isn't any different than a man watching pornography on the internet. But, please, don't judge the women who have read it. They need an ear, an understanding shoulder to cry on and a warrior to pray for them. You too need to read Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart so that you have an understanding of the pull of erotica. It is a cleverly crafted lie of the enemy that has trapped so many women. We must understand the pull so that we can pray for and minister to those who are suffering because of it.