Q&A: Erotica and Real Touch

I think I have started confusing erotica online with real touch. I find myself loving the idea of sex but not the act itself. My husband and I used to have a okay sex life, but now that I am feeling this it has gone way down. I just want to know if there is anyway I could just forget everything I have learned about sex and start over? And if it’s more complicated than that, what steps can I take to get back in touch with him?

I loved this question. I thought it was very insightful for the writer to be able to recognize this about herself and a lot of women who have battled with the temptation to read erotica can probably relate to her circumstances. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fantasy of a sexualized story. It becomes very real to you and can effect your response to the sexual touch of your husband. Pornography distorts how we perceive sex and establishes expectations which are often not realistic or fair to our husbands. We discussed this in further detail in the article Pornography: The Spice that Destroys Sexual Taste Buds.

Our sex drive is a very powerful aspect of ourselves and if we feed it the wrong stuff it can be very difficult to get the thoughts and images out of our heads. I would encourage you to replace those unhealthy sexual memories with ones that are exciting and edifying at the same time. So if you can focus your sexual energy on your husband and allow your fantasies and desires and thoughts to be about him, the distraction of erotica can be redeemed for godly passion. Remember that in marriage as long as it only involves you and your husband, there is so much sexual fun that is available to you. There is no need to white knuckle your thoughts to being asexual. Just transfer the desires towards your marriage. Our minds are a powerful part of our sexual response so embrace your brain as being part of your sex drive and let your exciting ideas be released in a healthy way.

If you have come to possess ideas and desires that are unhealthy even for your own marriage, then I know that the Lord can help you to have redeemed mind. Pray and ask the Lord to retrain you in those areas. He will do it. He wants you to be living in sexual freedom and is completely available to you by His Spirit. There isn’t anything that you can not overcome when you are living in the life of the Spirit. (Read Romans 8.) So yes, you can “start over,” but you may not forget everything right away. As you avail yourself more and more to the Lord, though, you will someday look back at who you are now and not really recognize yourself. It’s a bit of a mystery how our Christian walk is like that.

To get back in touch with your husband, welcome him into your ideas and desires. Involve him in what you are thinking and enjoy planning out exciting escapades. Write some erotica together or you write it and read it to him. Make it about the two of you.

I hope the thoughts I have shared here are helpful to you and that you will find yourself living in greater freedom in this area of your life.

15 Comments

  1. I’m more recently married (almost 4 mo.), and even though I haven’t been involved with erotica, I can relate to the feeling of disconnection between mind/fantasy and body at certain points. While for me this was largely due to distraction or anxiety about not being able to get off (then! times have changed ;o), I am not sure that the general problem of wanting to be fully present and enjoy sex with your whole self is that different.

    For me it has been very important to intentionally enter into my own thoughts during sex, even if at first it feels unnatural. Somehow the same sensations can take on much more pleasure when you hone in on them and really concentrate on how good they feel. I always get the most turned on when I essentially narrate our encounter silently in my head. Just internally vocalizing what you want from him or what you are enjoying most in a particular sexual scenario may help bridge the gap between your desires and actual sexual experiences you’re having with your husband.

    I also would recommend taking special notice of anything in your environment, relationship, etc. that might be making you feel a bit more inhibited with your own sexuality–thinks that might not make you feel as inhibited when you’re alone reading a book. Discussing the problem openly with your husband might help identify some of these things and move towards positive change.

  2. I like the narration suggestion, Feistyfeminista. I’m going to have to try that.

    My favorite erotica/Romantica are those whose plots I could theoretically roleplay with my husband. I showed him one once that was a science fiction variation of “strangers at the bar” and he immediately asked to try it. A few days later, he started e-mailing me erotica/Romantica that he found online. It turns out that he reads smut, too……

  3. I narrate in my head too! Sometimes it’s almost tiring how hard I have to concentrate to climax, and it helps a lot if I focus that way. :)

  4. Narrating in my head helps me too, otherwise I get distracted by outside noises, thinking of other things etc. I’m subtly teaching my DH how to engage me with words too, as words have always been a big part of my life-more than most people anyway. I speak snippets of my “narration” out loud to show him what works for me and I also ask him questions like “what will you do next…?” , “how do you want…”, etc.

    He seems to enjoy the exchange a great deal, thinking I’m confident and sexy to say such things. And it gets better and better for me. So I also agree with FiestyFeminista about using “internal narration” to bridge the gap, although I haven’t ever personally experienced this addiction.

    One last comment: just make sure you are narrating or romanticizing what is actually occuring, not an alternate fantasy or plot involving unmarried characters. The most fulfilling experience will be one that is true and real, although it may take time for that fulfillment to grow!

  5. To comment on SpicyWifey’s last comment, I think it’s important to emphasize the “true and real” element she mentioned. Too often I feel Christians make a big deal about fantasies involving unmarried people immoral, while they don’t say anything about the many other negative fantasies one could have. I’m not trying to diss fantasizing at all, just wanting to point out that it could also be very damaging to imagine you’re completely different people.

    I think different characters/situations are fine and can be fun. On the other hand, if you’re dreaming that some major part of your or your spouse is different, that can be damaging to both of you. I don’t think it’s something to be paranoid about, just aware. If your fantasies seem to indicate any insecurities about yourself or dissatisfaction with your spouse, those are things that need to be brought to light and thought over, discussed, etc., not temporarily bandaged by arousing yet easily fading visions.

  6. I’ve been married 39 years and fantasy or no fantasy, I have not had an orgasm in years. My husband is a wonderful, patient lover but to no avail. I am new to your website and need lots of help. Thank you for any you can offer.

  7. We interviewed a young lady who became addicted to erotica in her marriage:

    http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2010/02/05/a-marriage-redeemed-from-pornograhy-and-adultery/

    I find it interesting God healed them despite their past. Sexual health does not come from erotica or porn.

  8. I don’t know if the reader who asked the question is talking erotica films, written stories, or just pictures, but here’s something that recently impacted me and it could apply to any of them: A well known porn star (perhaps best known in the world) was interviewed recently (on perhaps the best known talk show in the world), and while the host (who has recently focused on erotica quite a bit in her show topics, for whatever reason) praised the guest for her good business sense etc., the most poignant moment was near the end, when the guest teared up talking about the “horrible things” that happened in her childhood; and, when she pointed out that she originally wanted to work in television helping people…not in porn. She chose that career for the money she could make using her camera talent and people skills; likely, because those talents weren’t recognized positively elsewhere. In other words: The women in these films, no matter how smart and capable they appear now, are broken. If we consume their products, we can easily become broken too. One form of brokenness is the inability to enjoy intimacy without the erotica fantasy present. And as for print erotica that someone else wrote…no, you’re not looking at a person’s image, but you’re inviting the writer of the fantasy into your bed. How much better is it to create your own fantasy – or better yet, learn about your husband’s and fantasize about making it come true? If you have trouble shaking these artificial stimulants in order to feel pleasure with a husband who loves you, perhaps looking at them for what they are – a poor, pathetic imitation of the real thing – can put things into perspective.

  9. I know this is an older article but I want to speak up here just in case someone else comes across this in the archives like I have.

    I used to spend hours online reading erotica. after I got married, I considered it but felt convicted that it was wrong. So how to entertain myself? I turned to writing my own. Seriously, this can work. I’ve written stuff with my husband and myself as the main characters, shared them with my husband and they are some of the best things i’ve ever read. (actually reading them when I’m not hot makes me blush, lol!)

    I must admit that I did not focus on healing myself of my addiction to erotica specifically BUT i did go to God and ask him to purify me and I reclaimed an essesence of purity for myself (bc i had had sex before marriage with multiple ppl both genders. I had really destroyed myself. i share this to witness just how Good God is!). God can really wash you clean and clear your pallette when you have faith and honestly seek Him.

    i’ve also taken to praying silently to myself during foreplay. I read this tip here but do not remember in which article. Essentially, i pray that God give me the energy i need and help me love my husband. Help me focus on only him and what we are going together…..

    It may seem overly simplistic but I have found that it works!

    I know my comment has been kinda rambling but I hope that within it someone may be able to relate or find hope.

  10. Thank u for you imput it is reassuring!!

  11. I know that this is an old post, but I have a question about writing erotica with your hubby. I know that it is better to think of things during sex that involve your husband and for me I NEED it just to keep focused ( otherwise I keep swearing I hear the kids:) However it seems that I keep needing the ideas to keep getting kinkier and kinkier. Is this normal? I really wish I could focus on him and not all the erotica stuff, but I just cant seem to do it. You all seem to have had the same questions and I would love to see if anyone can help me on this.

  12. I love this post! Thanks you for sharing your thoughts and strategies with us. I am going to start writing and sharing my own erotica starring my husband and me this week!

  13. I am a sex addict. My main addiction is online erotica. I call it an addiction because it fits every guideline for an addiction, it was (is) controlling me. The same thing is true for my ingesting of erotica and porn…I started to get board of the regular stuff and I looked for kinkier and kinkier stuff (got very hard core before I quit). I was doing the same thing with my husband too. I think that erotica sometimes can take us away from the real intention of lovemaking. We are to connect spirtiually with our husbands. I am not saying that talking out or using our immaginations during sex is wrong…anything but. We just need to remember that our ulitimate goal is becoming more intimate and connected through sex…not the goal of having some mind blowing orgasm. The goal of erotica in sex is different then the goal of intimacy that God has planned for us. I hope this makes sense. And true intimacy in sex is SOOO much better then any kinky thing that I have ever done or thought about.

  14. Christian romance novels were the killer for me, these alone showed me there was NO way I could trust myself with erotica, in fact it was just this morning DH and I were discussing erotica when I realised just how easy it would be for me to get caught up in it.

    In my early 20′s as a single mother I was to the point of obsession with my christian romance novels, my little girl suffered, my whole fantasy was to be fulfilled and married to a man that could measure up to any one of the male characters in the novels. In the end I burned the books and offered my time back to my Saviour.

    I am now married to a beautiful husband and can comfortably read the same material without being influenced. It wasn’t always that way and occasionally when DH and I have a serious argument I have to battle tooth and nail with the temptation not to escape to fantasy land involving “an ideal”. Over the years as a married woman my fantasy land would be my safe haven from my marital grief, I convinced myself because I was reading “christian” romance that it was safe, little did I consider that it was in my own mind female porn.

    Nowdays, I would struggle to to put a simple scenario together involving my husband and I, whilst we’re making love, instead I find myself praying through our lovemaking sessions for God to bless my husband and for Him (God) to be blessed by being a part of our intimacy.

  15. As a Christian woman, viewing erotica or porn for the purpose of arousal (or to the effect of arousal) is wrong to my way of thinking. To me porn or erotica does violate the law of chastity if I am being fed sexually or emotionally. Our motives then become selfish and sexual and somewhat emotional if we let ourselves indulge in erotica. That connection, sexual and emotional, is best kept between me and my husband. Lack of sexual videos or writings has not diminished our sex lives in the least. The scriptures often refer to virtue, chastity and purity both before and after marriage. I really can’t justify viewing explicit sexual images of others as being righteous or chaste. Obviously, whatever you do sexually with your spouse in the bedroom in a physical sense is honorable and virtuous because it remains in the bond of marriage. But bringing others in wedlock, even indirectly, gets over the line as far as virtue goes.
    The principle of the law of chastity is not to have any sexual intimacy with anyone besides your spouse. I don’t see how Christians can justify using any form of erotica in their marriages. Often, we don’t realize what consequences will come from acting out in such a way. I have seen so many couples being destroyed by exploiting sex using porn and erotica.


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