Should Christians read erotic literature?

Jay Dee

Should Christians read erotic literature?

Feb 06, 2015

Erotica is becoming mainstream.  50 Shades of Grey was a New York Times bestseller last year, and the movie is expecting to be one of the largest grossing movies to date.  Christianity has largely been silent on the issue.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are

Should Christians Read Erotic Literature

Erotica is becoming mainstream.  50 Shades of Grey was a New York Times bestseller last year, and the movie is expecting to be one of the largest grossing movies to date.  Christianity has largely been silent on the issue.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are many blog posts, articles, even books disparaging this trend, and this trilogy in particular, but the individual Christian response has not been so united.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I hear more Christians promoting and giving support, for the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy in particular, than I do Christians who are dismayed or appalled at this trend.

We’ve known for quite some time that porn use is quite high in the Christian community.  Best estimates put it around 50% of men are struggling with porn use (including pastors).  With porn, there is at least the sense of shame and embarrassment about it (although it’s unfortunate that stops so many from seeking help), but with erotica…there’s no such stigma attached.  It’s as if, as a “lesser evil” to porn, it’s been accepted in Christian society, though I strongly suspect the temporary boost in sexual interest from their wives is biasing many men’s responses to this past time.

I’ve been asked, numerous times, what the should Christian response be.  What is the biblical advice on this?  Is this something Christians should be okay with, or something we should stand against?  And so, I shall attempt to give what I believe is a biblical response to the books, knowing that many of you will disagree.  But, at least we’ll be talking about it.

My opinion on erotica, erotica literature and 50 Shades of Grey

Just so we’re all clear, in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m against it.  For those of you still willing to read past this sentence, I’ll spend the rest of the post explaining why.  In short, I think it has negative psychologically and spiritual effects on it’s readers, and this, in turn, negatively affects their marriage (current, or future if they are as yet unmarried).  So, I’m going to spend some time looking at what the Bible says about how we should conduct ourselves as Christians, particularly with respect to sexuality, and then I’m going to try to address all the objections people might raise to my stand on this issue.  Lastly, I want to share some of the comments from our survey that I think art pertinent to this discussion.

What does the Bible say about erotica?

Yes, I am aware there is no passage that says “thou shalt not read erotica”.  However, I think we can safely extrapolate from some verses about what God’s wish for this area of our lives is.  Let’s take a look at some verses.

So, first off, we need to learn some Greek.  Just one word, I promise!  There is a Greek word that shows up 26 times in the New Testament.  That Greek word is πορνεία, and if you’re Greek alphabet is rust, we would pronounce it porneia (por-ni’-ah).  Porneia is sort of a blanket term that typically gets translated as “sexual immorality” and it means a great many things: adultery, fornication, incest, bestiality, prostitution, and others.  In short, it appears to mean doing anything sexually that is outside of God’s will for us.  The word porneia has one other interesting meaning: it holds the concept of selling out, selling off a piece of one’s self.  Some translations use the term “prostitution” instead of sexual immorality because of this facet of the word.  To me, this is pointing to the fact that when we commit sexual immorality, we sell off a piece of our relationship with God in favor for gratifying our sinful nature, to feed our sexual desire in improper ways.  Interestingly enough, this word also mentions idolatry in some of the studies on it, and that’s really what idolatry is: choosing something else over God.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality [porneia]; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Thus, we get the term “sexual immorality”, things that are immoral regarding sexuality, and we define morality by God’s will.  So, what is God’s will for our sexuality?  Well, some of the obvious ones are:

  1. That sex is to be shared between a husband and wife  (Genesis 2:21-25)
  2. That after you are married, you should not have sex with others (Exodus 20:14), even if your spouse says it’s okay
  3. While married, sex should be frequent and no one should have veto power (1 Corinthians 7:5)

There are less obvious ones.  For example, I argue that sex should only be shared with your spouse.  Now, that may seem like a restating of the above, but when you get into discussions about solo masturbation, it becomes less clear for some.  I argue that solo masturbation is wrong, because you are experiencing sexuality without your spouse, contrary to the Bible’s clear intent that sex is to be a shared experience between husband and wife.  One such passage that supports this intent is:

Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:2

To me, this is clear that God intended sex only to be shared with a spouse, and because we cannot control ourselves (see 1 Timothy 5:11), we should marry so that there is a safe place in which to experience this gift of sexuality.

Now, the bulk of the Christian community accepts, largely without question, that pornography (in the form of video) is wrong, though I think we do so for the wrong reason, or rather, for only one of many reasons.  It seems that the major argument rests on this verse:

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:28

And we take that too literally.  We have no problem extrapolating this and saying that women obviously can’t look at men with lust  We extrapolate further and agree that it doesn’t matter if it’s in person, or on video.  But, for some reason, many fail to extrapolate this to include non-graphical expressions of the same thing.  In fact, our society has gone so far as to restrict our definition of the world pornography to include only video, when the actually definition is far more encompassing, and I think rightly so:

Pornography – printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings

I argue that, whether or not erotica include images, it is still pornography, lending credence to the term that gets attributed to erotica: “mommy porn”.  And so we see pornography become mainstream, accepted by a vast number of Christians.

So, how is it that so many Christians can be deceived by this?  I think LatterDay Marriage nailed it on his comment the other day:

I think what you are seeing is that for those who are actively living their faith that sexual intimacy has a bigger spiritual aspect to it (or that part of it is more important to them). What they experience from erotic literature is so damaging to the spiritual side that any supposed benefit in the other areas is effectively canceled out or made irrelevant. A couple that doesn’t have a strong spiritual dimension to their intimate life or doesn’t put as much value on that side of it isn’t going to experience that.

-LatterDay Marriage

While I don’t think this is the entire answer, I think it accounts for a large percentage.  It seems, from our survey results, that being more active in Christianity (Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, small groups, etc.) increases the gift of discernment.  And we see this in Paul’s writings as well.  As His relationship with God progresses, He goes from being “A Hebrew of Hebrews” who could do no wrong (while persecuting them), to including himself as a sinner (Romans 3:23) to being the worst sinner who ever lived (1 Timothy 1:15).  One would almost think Paul was getting worse, was committing more sins.  However, I think his relationship with God was improving, and so he saw more and more what he was doing that is wrong.  He grew in discernment.

So, I agree with LatterDay Marriage, that those who are more active in their Christian faith will be better suited to finding God’s will for their lives, and that offers them some protection from sexual immorality…but some, faithful attendees, regular worshipers and Bible readers are still deceived by it.  So, let’s go through some of the objections to saying erotica is not appropriate for Christians to read.

Objection 1: It helped our sex life

 In our marriage erotic literature has for the most part enhanced our experiences together.

– Comment from the survey

This is the one I see most often.  As I said, I think it’s one of the primary reasons more people aren’t outraged at this infiltration of pornography into our churches.  The problem is that there are a lot of harmful things in this fallen world that can seem to help us.  Typically these are the most devious of the devil’s deceptions.  He masks evil behaviors with easy, large, initial results, results that distract us from the slow, lingering damage, so that we don’t even see the danger.

I see this same argument used for doing drugs, watching porn and having open marriages.  And now, we see it with this surge of written pornography.  These benefits are often short lived.  We saw from our survey results that those who have exposure to erotic literature have no more sex than those who don’t.  So, what happens?  The spouse who reads them (most often the lower-drive wife) suddenly is aroused by an source external to the marriage, this generally leads to more sex.  But for how long?  Until the book is done?  Maybe a little longer?  Then what happens?  You need a new fix, a new, fresh injection of excitement to arouse you again.  But, have no fear, there’s a second book!  And so, we repeat the cycle, and again with a third.  And what’s this?  Oh, a movie!  Well…it can’t be that bad, can it?  After all…the books helped your sex life.

But what about after the movie?  Your sex life has now had a fairly stead influx of arousal from an external source.  Now you know it can be more exciting…but your spouse hasn’t changed.  Are you going to be content going back to your previous normal?  Will your spouse be happy with the frequency dropping back down to normal?

These books, stories, whatever, they are a temporary boost.  They make your heart race, your libido soar…and then, when they’re done, you slow down again, your libido settles back down…and you’re left feeling…unsatisfied.

Increasing intimacy should be internally driven.  It should come from knowing each other more, experiencing more, sharing more, being more vulnerable.  I think that’s why the euphemism in the Old Testament is “to know” your spouse.  Because that is when we truly experience greater excitement, intimacy, arousal: when we know and are fully known.  These books…they don’t let you be known, they don’t let you know your spouse better.  They let you know the author’s sexual mind…I don’t think that’s what God intended.

Objection 2: They aren’t real people, so it’s okay

I feel it’s a lot different then porn simply because there are no faces to the names.

– Comment from the survey

I think this again has to do with that Matthew 5:28 verse.  People think that so long as they aren’t looking at someone real, it’s okay.  After all, you can’t lust after a fictional person can you?  Yeah, you sure can.  In fact, I’d argue if you are fantasizing about a version of your spouse that is unrealistic, then you’re cheating on your real spouse too.  Think that’s too far?  Hear me out.

You should be focused 100% sexually on your spouse, no one else.  If you are reading about someone else (or watching, fantasizing, whatever), then you aren’t focused on your spouse, and for those that say they are…that makes no sense.  What you are doing is getting someone else to arouse you, and then transferring over to your spouse.  This is the psychological equivalent of going to a bar, meeting a stranger, grinding up against them all night long, flirting and chatting them up, making out, and then going home to work off your arousal with your spouse.  Hopefully I don’t have to argue that this is a bad practice.  The only difference is that the person “isn’t real”.  But, our minds make it real, don’t they?  Tell me when you read your book, you don’t create a look for the person based on the description, that no imagery, no sounds, smells, textures come to mind.  Our experience of reality is based on an abstraction of the physical work.  To our brain, there is little difference between a real person and a made up one.  The same chemicals get produced, the same arousal pattern happens.  Even if you’re fantasizing about this “perfect” version of your spouse, your not focusing on the real one.  After all, does the fact that they look the same, in your mind, mean anything?  They aren’t the same person after all, are they?  I mean, that’s the point of the fantasy.  You are letting someone other than your spouse get you aroused.  Your starting foreplay with someone else, than tapping your spouse in when you’re good and worked up.  Would your spouse be okay with that?  Real or imaginary, I’d call this adultery.

Objection 3: It’s okay if it’s about a married couple

I only like to read erotic material about committed monogamous couples

– Comment from the survey

To the people who said this, I’m curious: Would it be okay if it was video of a married couple.  What if you were to watch them in person?  Still okay if they are married?  I think this is a rationalization, something along the lines of it being a “lesser evil” if they’re only reading about monogamous, committed couples having sex.  Sort of an “at least we aren’t promoting adultery or fornication”.  But, that’s not really a valid argument, is it?  I mean, that’s like telling the police “Well, yeah, I killed him….but he was a criminal…so, it’s okay right?”  That’s not going to get you off of any jail time, and no, it’s not okay.

Really don’t know what else to say on this, except to again reference my answers to Objection 1 and 2.

Objection 4: What’s the difference between reading erotica and reading Song of Solomon or this site (

If someone has an issue with the spiritual negative aspects of erotica then I would ask how is this site any different?

– Ricky on a post comment

This objection came up a couple times in comments and on the survey.  In short, I think it boils down to intent.  My intent is never to arouse you, the reader.  I mean for this site to be communicative, informative and educational.  And, I think Solomon had the same idea for Song of Solomon.   I don’t think his intent was to arouse every reader that came across his poetry.  I think it was expressionistic, and also, I think educational as well, given his other writings.  And while intent does not always equate to result, I would argue that there is a vast difference between this site and erotica…hopefully my readers will agree.

Comments from the survey

Lastly, I want to leave you with some comments from the survey that exemplify my stance.  It didn’t come out in the numbers, but I was quite surprised at how many comments were from people who used to read erotica and stopped, because they realized it was wrong, or saw damage done to their relationships first hand due to it.  So, without further ado, here we go.  Note: I reserve the right to edit for brevity and spelling.  Also, all survey comments are anonymous, so I’m not going to attribute any names.

  • I minister to women in my church and I can confirm that many struggle with expecting their husbands to live up to the characters in this kind of “literature”…always having the right words and actions for their women/wives. It’s sad that Satan is using this to break down relationships as expectations (that are totally unrealistic) are not met.
  • I don’t believe I should have read the literature I did read as it leads to fantasizing about sex with women other than my wife which is sin.
  • As the wife with the higher sex drive… And a husband with a very low drive, I turned to erotic literature…… Which only increased my sex drive, which in turn made me more dissapointed with my husband.
  • The erotic books then didn’t suffice. So then I started watching porn.
    I have confessed to my husband and have tried to stay away from all erotic books and movies.
    It has not been easy. I struggle and sometimes fall.
    I have recently read ‘Pulling back the Shades
    I highly recommend it. It helped me to understand why I was drawn into the books. And why it went further. And why it hurt my marriage more than helped.
  • I no longer read erotica. It sets up unrealistic and unfair expectations of my husband, as all the characters are easily aroused, are expert lovers and nothing awkward ever happens. Such is the case with mainstream movies on romance and love.
  • While erotic literature may be intriguing at the time I feel it causes me to lust for a man like is portrayed in the books. And that in fact causes sin in my heart which damages my marriage to the man I actually married.
  • I used to read erotic novels as a teen and early married wife, but found that it’s unreality was messing with my reality and causing dissatisfaction for me in my marriage, so I chose to not read that genre anymore.
  • I considered for this survey, for me, Game of Thrones would be light exposure to erotic literature.  It’s not intended to be that, but sex was frequent, immoral, sometimes violent, often emotionally detached, and explicit.  I read the first two books and had to give up the series because I felt so gross in my spirit exposing myself to the sexuality of that fictional culture.
  • The only erotic literature I have read was as an unsaved single woman and it was maybe 2-3 books.  I wouldn’t even think of reading it now as a Christ follower!!  I plays on the mind and spirit in a similar manner to porn.  It can cause you to easily commit adultery in your heart as well as start to leave you unsatisfied with your current marriage due to unrealistic expectations.
  • I no longer view erotic material as at one point I became addicted. Porn addresses the fantasy area of the mind.
  • Reading erotic literature led me to writing it which led to a breakup of my previous marriage
  • Exposure was pre-marriage (high school sexual curiosity). It was eye-opening, not really “educational”. Being in a marriage relationship it is unappealing and made me realize how it is as fake as porn.
  • Books of this variety made me want to compare my spouse to the men in those novels. Of course he was not the same and it made me less interested in him. I think that they damaged our relationship so I chose to give them up.
  • For a period of time in our marriage (early on when sex was still very painful for me) I used erotic literature to “shortcut” arousal.   My husband was completely aware of it.  We’d found very little support in terms of easing my pain- drs just said oh, it will get better dear.  3 yrs in it was certainly not better.  And reading that stuff worked- I was turned on and relaxed enough to deal with the pain.  But ultimately it didn’t promote intimacy in the least.  And it didn’t teach my husband any of his own skills for how to help get me in the right frame of mind.  We gave it up, suffered for another yr or so, had a baby and physically the issues resolved.  I wouldn’t recommend erotic literature to anyone.
  • The way my wife and I see it, if you’re looking to other things, such as pornography and erotic literature, then there is some need that is not being fulfilled by your spouse. Looking away from your spouse for sexual arousal is sinful. Jesus said that if you even so much as look at another woman lustfully you have commuted adultery in your heart.
  • When I used to read romance novels it took me to an imaginary place where everything would work out & my knight in shining armor (or rough pirate) would be the man who swept me off my feet and loved me always. Coupled with society low view of the importance of waiting for marriage to have sex I was lost for a long time in sexual interlude after sexual interlude and all without the benefit of marriage. Now I have a spouse who struggles with sexual sin and porn/erotic literature just allows him to disappear into a fantasy that isn’t really me and all about him.

So, those are a few.  I had quite a few more, but the list became ridiculously long, and I realized most wouldn’t bother reading it.

Your Turn

So, those are my thoughts.  I’m curious what yours are.

65 thoughts on “Should Christians read erotic literature?”

  1. Charles says:

    As Christians we spend a lot of time trying to find loopholes and ways to justify things that we want to do that provide us with what is ultimately short term pleasure or happiness.

    Our relationship with Christ should be one of open communication where we are able to confess and repent of our sins, pray for our needs and the needs of others, ask for guidance and wisdom as well as direction for what is going on in our marriage from an intimacy standpoint.

    So if you can picture yourself talking with Jesus and could say to Him “Check out this book that I have been reading” how do you think that he would respond? If you feel the answer would be that he would approve and you asked Him for guidance and wisdom on it then read it as you desire. Remember though, you need to look at things through His eyes and not how you want Him to see it.

    1. Anonymous says:

      What about men with wives who will not, ever, be intimate with him at no fault of his own?

      1. Jay Dee says:

        You can’t justify one sin with another.

    2. Hannah says:

      I’ve read a few comments here and I totally agree that it’s wrong to seek arousal from anywhere other than your spouse. But what about people who aren’t married or in a relationship? When you don’t have anyone to “cheat” on and when you don’t act in any “unholy” way while reading, is it still bad?

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Yes! I cannot tell you how many wives and husbands I’ve talked to who struggle in their relationships because they have expectations from porn, erotica, romance novels and more of how coupled like “should” be like.

        You’re still cheating your spouse, and you’re cheating yourself – you’re just doing it ahead of time instead of during the relationship. You’re going to go into it with baggage and habits you will struggle to control later on. You’re creating obstacles to intimacy that didn’t need to be there. That’s what we’re trying to save you from – it’s not about breaking the rules, it’s about wanting you to have a healthy relationship, whether that’s now, or someday in the future.

  2. JAMES WITTER says:

    great article… good job writing this article…. very informative

  3. barry says:

    Very good write up in fact this piece has changed my mind set about porn and erotic literature books, I will share it.

  4. Sandi says:

    Great article Jay Dee! Reading printed material that was written with the purpose of arousing someone other then your spouse is encouraging then to use their spouse as a mean to satisfy a physical desire without the effort to cultivate true emotional intimacy which God designed to keep us bonded to our mate for life, not just till physical release is had.

    Intimacy requires vulnerability which will foster trust and unless you’re writing stoeries for your spouse to read you are involving at least one person in your bed.

    Well said, brother!

  5. LatterDay Marriage says:

    A sexual relationship needs a strong spiritual component to ensure that over time the search for mutual sexual pleasure and satisfaction doesn’t take a couple (or a single spouse) into forbidden territory. Erotica wears down that spiritual safeguard leaving a couple or person more vulnerable. Little compromises lead to bigger ones and perhaps outright rebellion against the commandments of God. Just because something is arousing and thrilling doesn’t mean it is good or healthy.

  6. DMV says:

    I guess I will have to be the one to supply a dissenting vote on this one (and I’m not convinced one way or the other). Questions/responses:

    On 2 and 3) I will agree with you on these two. These are just “excuses” or “rationalizations”. If God truly disapproves of erotica as strongly as you claim he does, I don’t see how these two really apply to discerning God’s truth on the topic.

    On 4) Intent, on both the author’s and reader’s part, seems important.
    Why is “arousal” always the judge of intent here? Is arousal such an evil thing?

    Perhaps it is just an extension of the “intent” argument, but I believe that sites like yours (and most others in the CMBA and others around the internet) are about trying to discuss and discern God’s truth about sexuality, which, I believe, is a good goal. I’m sure they can be read with a different intent, but readers who visit these sites with the same intent seem to me to be in good company. In other areas of human nature, I have found fictional works that have been quite effective at teaching some truths of human nature. Recognizing that the vast majority of erotica, just like the vast majority of literature in general, is of lower quality with very little of truth to teach us, are we saying here that it is impossible to teach and learn about sexuality and God’s view of sexuality through fiction?

    Another aspect of this that often comes to my mind is the question 100% abstinence vs. limited use. Your tone here seems to prefer the complete abstinence from erotica. Is it possible that God is ok with limited, controlled use?

    On 1) This, to me, is particularly interesting — especially the comparison to “drugs”. You didn’t specify “illegal” drugs (though I suspect that was your intent), so you have left me the opening to compare it to drugs in general. I suspect that primary “justification” for using drugs in western society is “treatment of some disease or another”. In an oversimplified way, a drug in this context is a “toxin” that, through careful study, medicine has determined dosages and side effects and other things that I’m not expert enough to understand that allow us to use this toxin to heal rather than harm. Much of this is a “cost benefit” analysis where, if the side effects are too severe compared to the potential benefit, then we will not want to use this toxin/drug at all. In cases where the side effects are minor, or the side effects are “manageable”, or the benefits are stellar, we choose to employ the drug/toxin. In almost all cases, dose is a key variable. In many cases, long term dependency/addiction is a concerning side effect that we consider in weighing our choice.

    With that comparison in mind, is there any room in your view of erotica to be used as a “bibliotherapy” type “drug” for various sexual dysfunctions? The example “scare tactic” scenario you used seems to be the standard “you might develop a dependency/addiction to erotica” (the debate over whether erotica/sexual stimuli can even be addictive is still going on without conclusion). While it seems likely that some will descend into some form of “dependency”, I expect that there are many who will not — especially if one is cognizant of the possibility and controls their use to avoid such a dependency. You seem to be of the opinion that the benefits are too small or overstated or something and the risks are too great. All in all, I guess I am not convinced. Maybe this comes back to the question of “complete abstinence” vs. “controlled use”, but it seems to me that there is not enough evidence for a definitive conclusion one way or the other.

    1. Sandi says:

      Do you think pornography in video format could be used therapeutically as well then? If you knew the pornography was made by a married couple where they both felt it could be used as a treatment modality, would you consider that acceptable?

      Your post sounded to me like you’re looking for a way to make it okay. Perhaps I’m reading into it, but that’s what my first impression was.

      1. DMV says:

        Do I think visual pornography could be used therapeutically? I see it discussed in more secular contexts. I personally like to avoid a “double standard” that sometimes seems to exist regarding written erotica vs. visual porn. So, I guess the answer to your question is, I would apply the same questions I am asking to visual porn as well (if that was the topic of discussion). As you note below, we as Christians seem to have a universal aversion to pornography, but seem less averse to the literary form, so it seems that we often have a double standard here. I personally don’t believe that God has a double standard on this, but I’m not sure what God’s standard is.

        You also accuse me of “trying to make it ok.” It does concern me, because I am not always sure if I am looking for a way to justify sin here or not. Isaiah (5:20) warns against calling evil good, and I certainly do not want to do that. In the next breath, however, he also warns against calling good evil. What I really hope I am doing with these kinds of questions is trying to understand truth well enough so I can call good good and evil evil. Jay Dee concedes in his OP that the Bible does not have an explicit “thou shalt not read erotica” or view porn teaching, so all of the conclusions he has reached here are what he (and many others) have read into the scriptures. Perhaps they are right on this, but some days I am not sure.

        1. Sandi says:

          Thanks for clarifying and I wasn’t making an accusation. More like an observation. 🙂 I agree that it would be a double standard if we accept literary pornography while calling visual pornography unacceptable.

          1. thoughtfulwriter says:

            As I’ve indicated below, I think it really comes down to what is being portrayed rather than a blanket “it’s all bad” type of mindset.

            1. Sandi says:

              For me, I see making it a married couple doesn’t redeem what is sinful. Sex isn’t sinful, but watching another couple having sex is because it’s bringing others into your marriage bed.

              What really amazes me is that anyone would be okay with someone else arousing one’s spouse so they’ll enjoy sex with their real spouse.

              1. DMV says:

                Sandi said “What really amazes me is that anyone would be okay with someone else arousing one’s spouse so they’ll enjoy sex with their real spouse.”

                I think it is interesting how we all tend to filter life and truth and morality through our own personal filters. My filter — after years in a sexless marriage, if I thought that a little erotica would jump start my wife’s dormant/MIA libido, it would be awfully tempting to try it. Sure there would be some concerns over potential “habituation” like Jay Dee pointed out, and some sense of “it’s not me, it’s the book” issues that I would need to deal with. There would also be certain questions around “effectiveness” of such treatment (which I have seen mostly positive but still mixed results from the sex therapy literature). Somewhere along my own journey, I have been opened up to the possibility — perhaps just out of desparation.

                In composing this, I thought of another aspect of this “double standard” that we talk about. The flip side of it is that, it seems that women’s reaction to their husband’s/boyfriend’s porn use is much more visceral — much more vocal than a man’s response to his wife’s/girlfriend’s reading of romance novels.

                1. Sandi says:

                  If men knew the dissatisfaction that can be bred by reading romance novels they might have a more visceral reaction. But romance novels are to erotica what Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition is to Hustler (is that even around anymore?). Wives, aren’t freaking out all over the place over Sports Illustrated are they?

    2. Ricky says:

      Wow what a post Jay Dee. Really got me thinking. I do feel that unless the bible is specifically clear on something thing then it simply comes down to your relationship with God and does what your doing convict you. I think two people could be convicted completely differently about erotica. My wife and I have only read 50SOG. It was a great experience. It didn’t die off and we have read another book of this type yet because it was “fun” it wasn’t necessary. I feel like society has impacted sex in such a negative way that now. Jay Dee you say that it’s ok to masturbate with your spouse watching even if she’s not touching you simply one can learn from watching another. How it reading stories or experiences on sex any different. I still argue that though your intent isn’t to “arouse” members here you have still caused them to convent and lust after what they cannot have. Again I really enjoy your page so it’s not a diss it’s a opinion on a possibility. I really just believe that want to comes to stuff like this that wasn’t clearly stamped out in the Bible is wrong they comes down to your relationship with God and does this convict you or not. It if somebody else is going to try to make you feel bad for not being convicted about something then that’s their problem. Drinking alcohol is another big one in the church I see.

      1. Ricky says:

        I meant to say we HAVEN’T read another book yet. How is reading stories any different when read. “Together.” Also Convict not convent lol. This is what happens when I use my phone.

      2. Sandi says:

        I would say if reading here causes one to covet or lust then they should probably not read here.

        Erotica has no other purpose then to arouse. Arousal itself isn’t wrong. But should it be acceptable to seek out something/someone to arouse us other then our spouse. Isn’t that bringing someone else into your marriage bed? Would you consider it okay if your wife says she’s fine with swinging? Erotica isn’t getting physical, of course, but examine the principle behind the command to keep the marriage bed pure. That’s why I believe it’s wrong.

        As to relying on your own sense of conviction about it. How reliable have we been throughout history in using our own conviction as our measure for right and wrong? That reminds me of when people say “I have a peace about it”. Yikes!

        1. Ricky says:

          If you can’t go off of personal conviction on a topic based off of theory or opinion then what can you? I constantly see bible verses used to support arguments. Vague verses. Nearly metaphorical in a sense. That’s why I believe that the bible is a guide book. In sports you can teach basic fundamentals but not everyone has the same form. Not everyone responds the same to the same fundamentals. Bringing toys into the bedroom is no different then bringing a book in. Both have the same purpose when used together.

  7. Sandi says:

    You said: “If you can’t go off of personal conviction on a topic based off of theory or opinion then what can you?”

    I would say that first search the scriptures for yourself. Then search out the opinions of theologians/scholars you respect and then see how that squares with your personal conviction. You didn’t qualify your original post where you mentioned conviction. I have heard people say “they have a peace about” doing things that go against scripture based on their lack of conviction. That’s really what I was referring to.

    From what I have read the objection to video pornography is pretty universal throughout the Christian community. Erotica seems to be the literary equivalent. The impression I’ve got from reading scripture, respected pastors, blogs etc is that the objection is based on the principle of keeping the marriage bed pure by reserving it for the couple and God only. I don’t see where that allows for another person to provide the arousal.

    1. Ricky says:

      Sandi I totally understand where your coming from when you say, “they’re at peace with something.” That’s how I feel when I hear follow Christians say, ” I prayed I really feel God is calling me to this or that.” That’s exactly where I’m with everyone feeling convicted differently by God on situations where the bible doesn’t not specifically say “erotica” is wrong. I would not argue the closer to God the better the discretion. However, I see Jay and others post verses all the time that are obviously not clearly stating something but POSSIBLY implying and it’s followed by, “this is what I believe God is trying to say.” I love the personal beliefs of others and differences and I’m not trying to be that guy questioning everything but I have a lot of questions regarding stuff like this and the bible and I’m trying to have realistic open minded views on it. If erotica is wrong when used together then toys are wrong too. The toy is then the person being brought into the bedroom in my opinion. My org bring arousal and pleasure and neither are coming directly from the spouse regardless of the spouse benefiting. I don’t feel this way but the argument is there if ones wrong then basically nothing other then JUST the spouse and the spouse only is probably wrong too. Whips, ropes, paddles, ect. Wouldn’t you agree??

      1. Ricky says:

        Both bring I mean arousal or pleasure I mean*

        1. Sandi says:

          I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I think erotica violates the no third party guideline for a marriage bed, but I’m not seeing how toys do that.

          1. Ricky says:

            It’s ok I respect your opinion. I just think if we’re going to say one is wrong and one isn’t, it boils down to what I’ve been saying all along about the personal conviction thing. Whether it’s a “third party” erotic book or a man made toy both are serving the same purpose when used together and that is to provide stimulation and arousal for a couple. I personally see no difference. I also think the motive is a big thing. Is it necessary to provide stimulation and without it sex wouldn’t be as good or is it just a nice change of pace to spice things up.

  8. thoughtfulwriter says:

    I think it’s perfectly justifiable and can actually help a marriage. So, not with you on this one. My strongest objection is that you seem to think it doesn’t matter if the couple is married — I just can’t agree on this one at all. What could possibly be the problem? I’d actually strongly encourage such material and it is when Christians resist this that we lose people. And, yes, I think it would be okay if it was on video too. Married sex should be celebrated. [Removed a link to a site that I deemed has inappropriate content]

    I like your blog but on this one, I think you’re off base.

    1. Ricky says:

      Thoughtfulwriter, the only issue with the video or literature and the basis of such things being around marriage seems to not really differ at all if the watcher/reader is using it for the wrong intent and in such case whether the people are married or not has no relevance. I wonder myself if either video/literature is used as a stimulation or guidance tactic in a marriage on occasion, with the characters not as the main focal point but the acts of the characters and both parties (husband/wife) are in agreement on it, how it’s a negative thing. In this case it’s not the people being desired but the acts of the people. I would also argue not with you but from a educational standpoint from a sexually non-knowledgable person is where is the line drawn and can there be one when one is simply wanting to learn. Can you even watch videos of sex educationally without the purpose if arousal? If so what differentiates that from porn or being sinful to beneficial. I would love to hear Jay Dee’s opinion on this and if yes what would he consider the line?

      1. thoughtfulwriter says:

        I suppose my opinion would be that there is nothing inherently wrong with arousal. We are aroused by various things in life, everything from a trip to the pool or working out at the gym, when you might be surrounded by attractive people in limited clothing. Are we supposed to refrain from such things or not ever look at a member of the opposite sex or comment on their appearance? I suppose I’d say that’s unrealistic.

        Arousal, sexuality, etc, are God-given feelings that are positive in nature and it’s humans that corrupt them. An erotic story, a video even, depicting a married couple having sex is not a negative to me. I suppose I do understand the argument that erotic stories depicting unmarried couples are sinful — I totally understand if that makes someone uncomfortable — but to me that calls for a need of a kind of a new line of “erotica” — those featuring married people.

        I don’t even like calling it erotica because to me married couples having sex is part of life. It’s exciting. It’s fun. And portraying it in writing or in movies might actually inspire people to want to one, wait for marriage to have sex, knowing how good it is; and two, already married couples to have even more sex and make it more of a centerpiece of their marriage.

        I do understand and appreciate how 50SoG might not be everyone’s cup of tea and why some don’t want to read or view it. I don’t plan to, for instance, somewhat because BDSM has no appeal to me whatsoever, but also because they aren’t married. If they were, and this was a movie/book discussing a married couple using light d/s stuff to enhance their marriage, I wouldn’t have any problem with it.

        I also somewhat understand the difference between a written word and a video, but to me the key thing would be if the video was more like one you’d find on HBO or it was truly graphic. The latter could really cause someone to stumble, the former, if it portrayed a married couple, to me would be a positive.

        I believe in enhancing a more sex-positive approach within Christianity and to me, that means not fearing novels, videos, or short stories, particularly if they involve married couples. In fact ,that’s my main objection at this point – we need more creative works in the area of sexuality that feature happy marriages.

  9. Erynn Haskins says:

    I’m surprised by the porn statistics in Christian! Is this really true?thats crazy!

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  12. Keelie Reason says:

    I completely agree with what you are saying. I think so many people have gotten hung up on the BDSM aspect of 50 Shades of Grey, but haven’t stopped to ask if it is ok to watch people having sex on television or read about people having sex.

    Anyone that wants to ask the difference between what you are writing here v. erotica, has either…never read your blog…or never read erotica. Seriously. Erotica is painting a visual picture of a sexual encounter between two people that you see as real.

    When you address questions about sex and talk about it, that is a very different thing. You don’t give specifics that make the rest of us have a visual picture in our heads of you and our spouse. So so different.

    I wish this movie wouldn’t come out. It was bad enough for women to read erotica, but now they are exposing themselves to a movie that will drive them to reach for unhealthy standards in their sex lives. Sigh…

    1. Sandi says:

      I totally agree. 🙂

  13. Angel says:

    I was just hired as a book editor and my first assignment was with the Erotica section. How do I reconcile my beliefs with this kind of work? I keep wondering if this is right or not.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      You can’t. You need to make a decision. Which is more important to you: Your relationship with God, or your job. One can’t hope to continue to grow their relationship, while helping to pollute the world in this manner. You will slowly drift from Him, because you will be embarrassed to come to Him while continuing to undermine His Kingdom here on Earth. This is an irreconcilable situation. You have to decide, and the longer you wait, the easier it will be for you to rationalize trying to do both. But you can’t.

      No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24

      There is another alternative. You could go to your boss and say you cannot take this project because of your religious beliefs. I don’t know about where you are, but in my country they cannot fire you for religious observances. It’s illegal. Doesn’t mean it still doesn’t happen though, I can’t promise you will ever get another project, even if it’s illegal for them to do it.

      But, I do know that a job isn’t worth losing your relationship with God. That’s my opinion anyways.

  14. Tommy says:

    Why do Christians add unnecessary restrictions to scripture and view sexuality as something inherently criminal. The idea that masturbation is a sin is not founded in scripture but is a “tradition of men” that places a heavy yoke on people. Not once did God condemn this act which is a part of our nature no different from eating, drinking, urination, defecation. Masturbation is a private sexual act to relieve sexual stress and make us feel good(we are sexual beings and that is a good thing) but it is NOT unlawful sex. To claim it is a sin is to add our ideas to God’s word. In the book of leviticus, God placed lawful ejaculation under uncleanness not sinfulness. It didn’t matter whether the ejaculation was with one’s wife or solo. Both resulted in uncleanness without any need for a sacrifice or death. We know that ejaculation in marriage isn’t sinful but we still vehemently teach that it is solo.

    Sexual fantasy accompanying masturbation is also never condemned in scripture. Sex is not evil. That is the ascetic deception. Sex in the wrong context is evil (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, incest etc). The Song of Solomon is full of sexual content but it isn’t promoting sex in the wrong context.

    Many people cling on to Jesus’ statement about “lust” by reading into the text our modern understanding of the word lust. The word means an ‘intent’, a strong desire with intent. It has nothing to do with fantasy(which is usually without intent). Jesus was telling married men that if they looked at other women or masturbated with intent(to actually commit adultery) then they have done so in their heart. In effect, coveting was adultery in the heart. A far cry from condemning sexually frustrated boys and men(and girls and women) from releasing their stress through meaningless (no intent in the heart) fantasies or in some cases no fantasies through the natural act of masturbation. Masturbation is not an act of sex and cannot be compared to real sex and has nothing to do with real sex. It is a valid(uncondemned) mode of sexual release but is no replacement for real sex. The only legetimate real sex is that between married couples.

    Some people allege that if masturbation were a godly act, we shouldn’t be ashamed to do it in front of others. But sex in marriage is wonderful and not a sin, yet we don’t expect spouses to openly indulge in the act in public. What about excretion or urination, it is no sin but none of us would proudly strip in front of others to get the job done. Masturbation is just like these, a fact of life and a private act.

    Nonetheless, I do believe that Erotica can be extremely sinful if it encourages people to engage or desire to engage in unlawful sex.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think you’ve completely missed my stance on masturbation as every argument you brought up has nothing to do with my position that it’s a sin. For more information, I suggest you check out Is masturbation a sin? Hopefully it will clarify my position. It has nothing to do with the physical act, or even ejaculation, but rather the sexual experience without your spouse.

  15. Riley says:

    Great article! I myself am a 17 yr. old young man struggling with an addiction to the thrill of pornography as you’ve shown it really is defined. Before I got to erotica however, I discovered ‘porn’ as the world seems to limit it to. But even before that I discovered masturbation, which I think led me to those things. I’ve been struggling with visual pornography and masturbation since I was 11, maybe even 10 years old. Recently I have made a strong resistance to masturbation and visual porn, so after a while I started to crave such things. The ‘lesser evil’ of Erotica became extremely appealing and naturally I’ve stumbled down that road trying to avoid the others.

    Today has been tough, because I have been craving the thrill of erotica but a day or so ago I started to feel rather guilty about reading it. So I have been arguing about in my head whether or not it is sinful and thus it has lead me here. I would agree with all of the points you have made in the post. I hope to be married one day but I have always feared strongly that I might be unfaithful to whoever my future spouse is because of my past experiences. I pray that I can regain all of the pieces of myself that have been lost due to sexual immorality.

    However I have a question. What if there was a couple where either spouse might write an erotic story about themselves being together, and would show it to the other. I am just wondering if this would be a good or healthy use of it?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, I think writing erotic for your spouse (and for them alone) is perfectly acceptable. I keep meaning to write a post about that actually.

      1. Vic says:

        I write erotic stories for my wife, and my wife alone. Some background on me: sexually abused as a child, struggled with porn addiction for years, saved at 21 years old, completely cleansed from sexual sin and shame. Delivered from masturbation addiction and porography, clean from 12 months, even unto marriage. Met my wife in church, we vowed not to get physical until our honeymoon, and successfully made it. Been married now for close to 7 years, and I must say, we have a great sex life. Neither of us were virgins, both had a history of porn abuse, but Christ made us whole, and thaught us the real meaning of sex. It wasn’t until recently (earlier this year) that I started writing erotica for us. We watched porn together and realized it was wrong, we repented and stayed away from it. We are constantly communicating, talking and expressing our feelings toward eachother sexually, and the topic came up. I began writting and she loved my stories, it definatelly boosted excitement in our bedroom, I struggled with content, wanting to go beyond Godly boundaries in my stories, but always stayed within ourselfves. I have written about our desired alteregos, and it boarderlines with unrealistic expectations, but it also brought out certain things in both of us that would not have otherwise been discussed between us (at least I believe). Anyway, I am a praying man, and constatly talk to the Lord about my stories. There is a very thin line of morality with what I do, and it is dangerous, almost like playing with fire. I dont think I will be doing it for much longer because it definately brings out some demons to play, and if I am not careful, I will find myself writing about things I shouldn’t be. In short, writing erotica for my wife has sparked excitent in our sex life, it has shown her a side of me she would not have easily seen otherwise, and vice versa. But it has also rekindled many desires from my life previous to Christ, so it is very shaky ground to be walking on. I would love to hear your thoughts.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Yeah, I think if writing erotica, even if just for your wife, is causing you to focus on immoral acts, then it’s probably a temptation you should stay away from. But, you already knew that. I’m not sure what else to add. Sounds like you know what you should do.

  16. Roseate says:

    This was a great article but I noticed you’ve only spoken about married people , what about the single people who reads it?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Well, the blog is about married sexuality, so yeah, I tend to focus on married people.

      But, as for the singles, the rules doesn’t change just because they aren’t married yet. Sex is supposed to be between a married couple. If you aren’t married: don’t do it. Whether it’s in person, on video, or on paper.

  17. Kayme says:

    I need help because I am confused and hurt and don’t know of I’m just over-reacting. I found out my husband was looking at porn off and on through out the almost 20 years of our marriage –not everyday but “just a couple times a year.” He says he “is sorry because it hurt you as my wife and I haven’t looked at it again since you found out and won’t look at out again because I see how much it hurt you, but it is not wrong if other people or couples want to view it or watch/read things like 50 Shades of Gray.” I’m trying to think if I’m overreacting as a Christian… because I feel if he tolerates it anywhere — even if he doesn’t still do it himself– he’s giving permission/turning a blind eye for other people/couples to do it and thus isn’t REALLY sorry because he still is justifying it in another domain. Am I wrong and just being stubborn and overly hurt?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, I’d be concerned if my spouse didn’t think it was a problem. I would see if the same as “well, I don’t think adultery is a problem, but I don’t do it because you think is it.” It means they don’t respect the holiness of the marriage.

      Now, that said, I’m not sure what you can do about it. I mean, you can’t force someone to believe what you believe.

      So, no, I don’t think you’re wrong or being stubborn. I just don’t think you can make your spouse do anything.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    What are your views on the kama-sutra…..

    1. Jay Dee says:

      It depends on what you mean by the kama-sutra. Originally, it was a textbook on how to achieve a good state of desire in your life. Only 20% of the book is about sex, and the rest is practical life application, philosophy, and some other things (not all of which are moral, like how to deal with prostitutes…) It was also not illustrated originally. It doesn’t appear to have been intended to be erotic, but rather, instructive. But, I think there are probably better resources out there for Christians.

      Later it was added to and illustrated, and turned into a bit of a different book. If someone added explicit illustrations of all the sex scenes in the Bible to it’s pages…would you recommend people reading it? I don’t think I would.

      1. Two says:

        Some people would enjoy it (sexually explicit version of the Bible).

        I think there’s too much of an emphasis on ignoring ‘sex’ in Christian culture. It paints an unrealistic picture.

        But of course, discretion is needed. That’s why there are may children versions of the Bible out there.

  21. Two says:

    I don’t believe anything is inherently evil in this world. It is how people ‘use’ it that it can become sinful.

    Idols cannot be idols unless there is some there to idolise it/him/her. It all has to do with the role erotica plays in your life.

    If people are so easily influenced and lost in the ‘fantasy’ erotica creates, that is their weakness. They should abstain from it, or better, learn to think differently.

    This would also rope in all kinds of fantasy fiction. Some people would even want to kill themselves because their fantasies don’t match up with reality.

    This boils down to the reason people like stories. Because it’s new, it’s exciting, it’s like going on an adventure. Just know that, after the adventure ends that’s that. There’s no more to it than the memory and wisdom gained. It’s a form of entertainment and should never replace reality. Readers should also control how it influences their take on reality.

    If people can’t learn that they should stay away from it.

    Erotica should be a lighthearted side entrainment that people can do without. If it spices things up then great. If it doesn’t then do away with it.

    Everyone’s life is different and everyone has a different take on things.

  22. Erotic Christian says:

    Victorian moralism so pervades the evangelical movement that it rises to the level of a delusion – a fixed, false belief that defies normal limits of logic and reason. Erotic desire and imagination is normal and a part of the everyday life of Godly men and women. It is no more lust than watching a Pizza commercial is gluttony.

    Since the anti-erotic delusion of the evangelical world is not supported by the Bible, it was necessary for you to rephrase God’s laws about sex. God needed your help with editing his word.

    You provide your own reducto ad absurdum proof that your rewrite is nonsense. If “sex should only be shared with your spouse” then solo masturbation and true stories of erotic encounters of other married couples is wrong. But God forgot to mention this prohibition against masturbation in his very comprehensive list of sexual sins. I guess that is because touching yourself was discovered suddenly during Woodstock in 1969. And God’s production of his own erotic literature in the Song of Solomon was only “informative.” Wow, I wish that he had mentioned that when he talked about the lover eating her fruits in her garden of myrrh and then kissing her with his myrrh covered lips. I guess we ought to interpret that “spiritually.” I mean, it must be about Jesus covering our sins with his death or something. This part of the Bible, of course, cannot be interpreted “literally”.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      My stance about solo masturbation is better spelled out here, here and here.

      I’ve not rephrased God’s law, I merely shared the consistent message I see across scripture. It has nothing to do with touching yourself, by the way. I’m strongly in favor of mutual masturbation.

      And calling my views “Victorian moralism” is well, just laughable consider posts like this, this and this one.

      As for Song of Solomon, I do take it literally. I think Solomon did a wonderful job of writing about a sexual topic, leading an example, without being overtly erotic. Yes, the imagery is erotic, but I do not believe his intent was to arouse. One can write about erotic things without intending to arouse someone. A line I constantly work to stay on the right side of on this blog. I doubt anyone is reading Song of Solomon and masturbating to it.

      P.S. I cut out the link to your Facebook page about pornography in Christianity. I refuse to allow promotion of things I find clearly sinful on my blog.

      1. Marius says:

        I enjoy erotica maybe to much and have trued to stop but find it difficult. Thats why i feel maybe it is wrong for me any way. I have even wrote a few short stories. So now that i can say i know for me its wrong its a road i find difficult to recover from but one i must undertake.

  23. Jay says:

    I know I’m very late to this conversation, but just wanted to say: Great post! Even if we don’t all agree on things said, it is important to wrestle with these issues with an open mind. It is true that there is a concistent message throughout the bible that we can deduct great wisdom for living from, that will help avoid many a pitfall in our life and yet, if taken to far, can also make life real difficult. God gave Moses clear instructions for living which later were taken way to far by many Rabbis and Pharisees, and Jesus ended up completely ignoring some of them, which, as we all know, caused great concern and debate between the leaders. I find that in many ways our Christian teachings on sex and sexuality has gone in a similar direction over the centuries and and really confused good meaning Christians in many ways when it comes to sexuality in marriage. And off course, whenever you have one extreme, people will either adhere to it or gravitate to the opposite extreme. On many issues in life, there are the extremes on either end and and a wide (or sometimes not so wide) spectrum in between.
    Just a few examples:
    Divorce: Never, for no reason – any and every reason
    Alcohol: Total abstinence – full blown alcoholism
    Porn: Zero arousal from outside – polyamory or swinging, watching unrealistic mainstream porn
    Gambling: All income left to chance – Playing the tables at casinos

    In much the same way, I’ve found that the easiest way for the ‘Church ‘(and Christian leaders with a voice or platform) has often been to label something that isn’t spelled out clearly in the bible as sin, but could be on a gray area spectrum, as forbidden for Christians, because it is much easier to not have to deal with exceptions or things that may not be inherently bad at one point but could lead to more extreme behaviour that could have bad consequences. I’ve been in church leadership for decades and have had other church leaders confirm this to me me as well. I’m totally not saying that it’s right, but it is a sad reality. After my first marriage ended in divorce due to numerous affairs and abandonment, a very well meaning and respected pastor told me that if I got re-married, I would commit adultery and sin everytime I would have sex with my second wife. I must confess, there has been allot of that going on here in the last 2 decades. Am I an advocate for divorce? Not in the least! Am I an advocate for erotica, porn, drugs, alcohol, lust, even sex toys? Nope!! Not either.
    But some people here have asked great questions about these things. All of these have a ‘one word label’, yet a vast spectrum of material or activity falls under that label. I have heard people describe a written story about a married couple having beautiful intimacy, as ‘porn’, but also the grossest violent sexual acts on the internet fall under that same label. I can assure you, while Song of Solomon may not have been intended to arouse, it has had that effect on me and I’m sure many others. Some people today have such a twisted view of what married sex should be like (on both ends of the extreme), it would probably do them really good to read a beautiful depiction of a married couple in the throws of passion, and take notes or share it with their spouse.

    The same goes for alcohol. I’ve seen what alcohol can do to a marriage and family. My wife could write a book about it. I on the other hand could write a book about the judgemental attitude that gets bread into someone growing up in a family where alcohol was classified next to the unpardonable sin. Much is said in the bible about the dangers of alcohol. But culturally, we are willing to take and navigate the risk.

    Or take sex toys: Someone touched on it earlier. I’d say that women can become dependable on a sex toy about as easily and as much as men on porn. Both can be quite harmful to a marriage. (If you disagree, ask any husband who’s wife could orgasm by focusing on him and what he did and meant to her before and now reaches for he toy 9 out of 10 times, to have a better and faster experience) I’m not in favour of either but one is culturally acceptable and the other isn’t.

    Drugs are another one, but someone already covered that earlier too!

    What I’m trying to say here is:
    In essentials of our Christian faith (who is Jesus, what did he do for us, how are we saved?), let’s have unity!
    In none-essentials (preferences in what exactly is or isn’t sin and the best way to live), let show each other liberty (allow someone’s different opinion to stand)!
    And in all things (blog posts, comments, interactions with our spouse) charity (kindness)!

  24. Savli A. Shrimale says:

    Great article! It completely changed my perspective about reading erotic literature, which I will not be indulging in from now on. Thank you for the valuable insight.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Glad you found it enlightening!

  25. Mark says:

    Of course it’s wrong. Ever hear people talking about movies, and inevitably one will say, “Oh, but the book was SO MUCH BETTER!” Well, that pretty much says it all. The written word gets to us deeper. The picture may be worth a thousand words, but the well chosen words, are chosen to connect as effectively as possible.

    Why then should there be written forums such as this, or on any topic for that matter. Expressing oneself (successes, failures, desires) usually has a goal of seeking self betterment, such as having a better sexual relationship in marriage, or self agrandizement, that others think well of us. One purpose in reading erotica might be to find what someone else did, or didn’t do, that caused them success or failure. The problem is discerning what is fact, and what is fiction, since they are so intermixed.

    If we go to banning, condemning, erotica, we ought to get rid of the written sex books for newlyweds (and teenagers in general), since the drawing of a naked body might arouse someone. However, the DON’T TALK ABOUT SEX” approach is already one that causes SOO many problems, and makes Christians a laughing stock to the world. You can’t have INTIMACY if you never talk about what’s inside.

    In to me, see!

    I thought to whole idea of freedom in Christ, and the taking away all the SHAME, was supposed to be what the “He told me everything I ever did” testimony was all about. He (Jesus) knows us as we really are, and isn’t trying to shame us, or humiliate us. He’s matter-of-factly acknowledging the present lover, the isn’t a spouse, not SHAMING the person, to get them to grovel, before dispensing grace.

    I see these sorts of arguments as those “endless genealogies” that Paul warned us about; to stay away from. These don’t get us learning how to restore the broken, just how to fine-tune our list of pecadillos to get upset about.

    Like many places, Jesus says that the one who is WITHOUT SIN should throw the first stone. Fine-tuning our lists, is absolutely Pharasaic in nature. With age, we don’t see those older men looking for something to cover up the woman caught in adultery with. They just walk away, first. They don’t remember that the law said BOTH the man an woman caught should be stoned.

    I definitely have more sex drive than my wife. That doesn’t mean I go crazy seeing a picture of a naked woman, or that I’m hitting on every woman around me. I don’t read erotic literature thinking of those women there, except from wondering what I might learn. I must say I’ve read lots of different things, trying to get better ideas for doing it right, in our bed. The Christian sex books don’t hold the answers any more than the Internet it seems. There are even “Christian” sex forums where the women argue about what turns them on, or not, and so it seems there’s no good source of wisdom without being shamed more.

    It really makes me contemplate more those that willfully became Eunuchs for Christ, as there seems no way to find the victory that preachers like to talk about.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      “Oh, but the book was SO MUCH BETTER!” Well, that pretty much says it all. The written word gets to us deeper.

      Well, the book generally has a lot more detail to it. Movies need to be cut down. I’m not sure it’s that text gets to us deeper. I’d argue porn in video format definitely has a stronger effect on our brain than erotic. Not that either is okay by any stretch.

      As for forums like this. There is a large gap between pornography and instruction like this. Or at least, that what I’m basing my entire ministry on. My goal here is not to titillate, or write anything anyone would deem erotic. I’m not attempting to arouse anyone in my posts. Rather, I’m hoping to improve their marriages so they can arouse each other.

      It’s not that it “might” arouse someone, it’s that it’s intention is to arouse everyone. And yes, if reading this blog causes you to struggle with temptation, you should stop. But to shut it down because it “might” arouse someone. Well, that’s just throwing the baby out with the bathwater I think.

  26. James says:

    You’ve done more than answering my issue about erotica, if it really is bad, if it is same as visual porn. I know what I need to do, and it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it

  27. . says:

    I think this is a great article but….I’m a man. You, the author, a man. I think if you took your name off the article and a woman was the author it would have greater impact. Are there any women doing similar work or do they agree with you?

    On a plane ride, I looked over my wife’s shoulder and read her kindle. Pretty steamy. I was turned on. I don’t know how she couldn’t have been. I was pretty uncomfortable with her reading it but didn’t say anything. At dinner the next night she said “I love my book. This author draws you in. I have avoided reading her books because they have some pretty sexy stuff” she said a friend of her thought it was ok because it made her want to have sex with her husband. My wife asked how I felt about it. I made several of the points you made. She said she thought that was fair and would stop reading books with that content….but she was going to finish that book and didn’t think there was any more sex.

    I notice my wife and her circle of friends love to read. They tear through books. I don’t know how many of them are reading errotica/mommy porn but I think it’s happening. It seams a little addictive.

    I’m trying to wrap my brain around all the reasons some would give for why this isn’t harmful and I just ask myself, if it was a video, would you feel the same and the answer is always no.

    Other questions to ask.

    Could you read this with your partner?
    Is it a secret from your partner?
    Who is the wisest person/woman you know? How would they feel about it?

    I’m just working it out in my own head and trying to put myself in women/my wife’s shoes. What are my blind spots?

    I think the secular world will be very supportive of this and kind of shame me/my wife/Christian’s into saying that this material is ok and good. We as Christian’s are wrong/stupid/prudish. Our sexual relationship at best, as it is intended should mirror they way God Loves us and how he chases after us. Does sexually explicit literature pull you towards this or away from this?

    Is it totally hypocritical for men, who have largely failed in their sexual purity, to have an opinion on this?

    Can you openly talk about this with your spouse and bring everything into the open.

    Are men embarrassed to address this because they are hiding they own sin?

    Are men encouraging or supportive because they are caught in their own sin?

    I was thankful my wife brought this up, because I wanted to talk about it. It bothered me. I’m actually awake at 4 am reading about this while she sleeps.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I don’t see what my being a man has to do with it. I’ve read a lot of erotica over the years when I was addicted to porn, and I’d dare say it was probably my preference over images and videos.
      I know what it’s like, I know the pull, I know the rationalizations because I’ve lived them and made them.

      And is it hypocritical for men to have an opinion on this? If you fell in a hole, would it be hypocritical for you to warn others about the hole you fell into? I don’t think so at all. If you’ve experienced sin in your life, and see someone else heading towards the same pain – as a Christian, I think it would be hypocritical not to warn them.

      I also know though that it’s hard to challenge wives on sexual sin, because sometimes challenging their sexual sin means you’re going to get less sex. I think not many men have the strength to tell their wife, “yeah, that thing that’s getting you turned on and making you want to have sex … I don’t think it’s good for you.” I think they’re more likely to rationalize it away because of the fear of the sex disappearing.

      1. Anonymous says:

        I think women would hear this message better from other women. I do think that men should be able to talk to their wives about this but the broader message to larger group of women would be more clearly heard from other women. I think being open about this would be healthy. Just as I carry shame over past porn consumption, I think some women are also uncomfortable being confronted by it.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Hopefully, the husbands will have the strength to talk to their wives.

          1. . says:

            I had that conversation with my wife. Thanks for your post on the topic!

      2. . says:

        I think everything you are saying is spot on. My point by pointing out that you are a man is just women will hear it more clearly from another woman. Fair or unfair.

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