What this book has done is bring erotica in some form or fashion into the spotlight of our national culture. I was flying back from a meeting last week, and stopped to buy a magazine for the plane, and three separate women in front of me were buying the book. What amazed me was not that three people in one line were buying a book, but that it was about sex and BDSM, and they were doing so without blushing or trying to hide their identity.
I’ve been an avid reader and writer of erotica for over a decade now. And honestly it’s not something I’m ashamed of, but it is something that I hide from the world. Even when my wife and I were dating I didn’t divulge that I was an erotic writer. It’s something that hasn’t been discussed in society.
This book alone is not going to cause society to change its views about erotica in general, but it is a step in the right direction. Erotica is awesome and we, as a society, should be embracing our sexual side, instead of repressing it. We see sex being sold in advertising and all over the television, but in print, the written word, it is something that is ignored and hidden away like some sort of trashy thing. Erotica is a fantastic way to connect with your partner in a safe and non-threatening way, and have it be a lot of fun as well.
Lots of people enjoy watching porn or viewing photos on computers/magazines, etc. I never was one drawn to pornography really. I preferred the imagination involved with reading erotica. My wife is the same way, she does not enjoy watching or looking at pornography at all, but give her some erotica and she’s all for it. It engages so much of the mind, picturing what’s going on, imagining what the characters are feeling and doing, even what they look like. It isn’t for everybody of course, but it definitely works for us.
Recently I gave my wife an erotic novel to read as a gift. (No, it wasn’t 50 Shades of Grey, though she has read that one as well.) I didn’t give it to her with an ulterior motive, but the writing was strong and she really enjoyed it.
We began to discuss the book first in an intellectual way, and then in a sexual, sexy way. I asked her what she enjoyed within the book, and she told me exactly what points and actions turned her on the most. We wound up in bed nearly the entire weekend talking about what made us hot about the book, and then doing our best to act out what we had just discussed. We weren’t role playing and pretending we were the characters, we were incorporating it into our lives by acting out scenarios. It was some of the best sex we’ve had in years. It was incredibly hot and passionate, and showed us something that we hadn’t thought of sexually in a long time.
When I’m giving my wife an erotic novel, or a collection of erotica stories I always try and do it in a certain way. I know that when the toddler is running around, wanting to play or watch a movie, it’s not the best time to feel sexy and read sexy stories. So, I tend to wait until he’s asleep, or away at his grandparents’ house for the night or weekend. Then I give her the book, and I leave her alone and let her have some peace and quiet in order to be able to read.
From there the words on the page seem to do the rest of the work. The connection that we get after this is always incredible. Sometimes she’ll describe the scenes that she was reading, sometimes she won’t. Occasionally we’ll recreate what she was reading and other times we won’t. Whatever happens is always something special between the two of us. It is always something that not only ignites the fire in one evening, but also reignites the flame in a relationship that can sometimes lose passionate focus when the rest of the world starts to close in.
This way of setting up an evening can be used in any relationship as long as there is trust between the two people in that relationship. It requires that the two be open and share what their dreams, feelings, and fantasies are. And sometimes that is the hardest part of the entire enterprise. Opening up to the person who knows you best, and telling them what they didn’t know you felt.
So, I’m glad that 50 Shades of Grey is such a hit. And while I’m skeptical, I hope that it opens up a dialogue throughout society.
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