I like to read Romance novels, particularly Christian romance or a good Southern romance. I don’t like to read about sex, particularly explicit sex scenes. It disgusts me. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me that in writing, romance and sex go hand in hand. And that’s ok. I have nothing against trashy romance novels. What I do have a problem with is downloading a romance book I found on my Kindle after searching “Christian Romance” or “Christian Fiction” and stumbling upon sex scenes halfway through my book. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve downloaded a book, got into the love story then found myself skipping large parts of the book or just deleting it all together because there’s too much explicit sex in what Amazon had categorized as a Christian book. I can’t complain when I’m finding scenes like this is other categories of romantic literature, but that doesn’t mean I like it.
Ok, rant over. Upon saying the above, I have noticed more lately that Amazon is getting better at putting warnings in the information section of their Kindle books stating that the content is intended for mature audiences and/or includes graphic sexual content. Something I greatly appreciate as I’d grown tired of having so many unfinished books in my cloud. I’ll move on to the point of this post now.
Sexual literature and Christianity. What’s ok and what isn’t and where do you draw the line? Until recently, I wasn’t really aware that this was such a big issue. I guess I had just assumed that Christian women chose not to partake in reading sexual literature. Turns out I was wrong. After talking with several Christian friends I learned that it’s something many Christian women struggle with. While it doesn’t seem like this is anything new, I think the release of “50 Shades of Grey” brought new attention to the issue. It seems most people I’ve talked to find the struggle to be in losing themselves in the sexual literature and finding that they are being turned on by something other than their husbands. This often leads to sexual desire issues between husband and wife. One thing I know to be true, if you stop desiring anything more than you desire your husband (other than God), you will want to have a healthy sexual relationship with your husband. That being said, it’s comparable to the way a Christian man might struggle with visual pornography. I’m sure not everyone relates sexual literature to pornography, but really the only distinction is the written kind requires you to use more of your imagination.
This is an issue that’s been hard for me to understand because it’s something I don’t personally struggle with. Not wanting to read about other people having sex, not desiring to have fantasies from this type of literature, for me is in part because I as a Christian I feel it’s a sin and also it’s disrespectful to my husband. I don’t want him watching porn fantasizing about other woman, in turn I shouldn’t be reading porn, fantasizing about sex with someone else. The second part of my view is because of my past, I honesty feel disgusted when I see explicit sex scenes in a book.
I am a woman who has no desire to read or see, “50 Shades of Grey.” However, I think the Christian community should use the popularity of the book to make this a topic that women should feel comfortable discussing so that those who are struggling with this can get help without feeling judged. It seems all to often that issues like this go undiscussed among Christian women and I really think it’s time women start supporting other women on topics that could be hard to discuss, but shouldn’t be. If we can talk about kids having sex and prostitution, why can’t we feel open enough to talk about sex when it personally affects us?
I would truly value your opinion and insight on this topic, whether your married or single, divorced or engaged, male or female, Christian or atheist, I want to know how other people feel.