The sanctity of marriage has long been threatened by the influence of pornography and media messages that beckon to men from vast and varied platforms. Christian women have struggled to understand the battle that rages in a man who loves God and promises faithfulness to his wife, but looks to pornographic images for satisfaction. A husband’s viewing habits only intensify the age-old question with which wives wrestle: “Am I enough?”
It’s from that place of pain that women have endeavored to give voice to how hurtful pornography can be to intimacy in marriage. Why, then, would anyone think that “mommy porn” in any form would be better for wives and less harmful to marriage than a husband’s pornography?
Times are changing, and marriages face a new foe. With the rise in popularity of major movies featuring male strippers, and the evolution from romance novels to erotica (art or literature intended to arouse sexual desire), culture says that the playing field is simply being leveled. But is that really what God had in mind when He offered the gift of sex to be enjoyed by a husband and wife?
In her book No More Headaches, Dr. Juli Slattery references God’s plan for couples to enjoy the gift of sex as they grow in love and respect for each other. She explains: “Christian couples above all should experience the most freedom to celebrate the oneness that God has designed for them. If you doubt this, read Song of Songs. The poetry contained in this inspired book of the Bible is not restrained or limited but driven by great passion, pleasure and love. Christian married couples, especially, should experience the greatest guilt-free pleasures from sex.”
Unfortunately, women today find themselves wrestling with temptations similar to those experienced by men, and the threat to God’s plan for passion, pleasure and love is evident. Consider the cultural phenomenon associated with the release of E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades” trilogy, starting with Fifty Shades of Grey. Since the initial 2012 release, the controversial books have sparked debate around the world.
As of early 2014, the erotic trilogy had sold 100 million copies worldwide; it had been translated into 51 languages; and it was in production to release as a 2015 major motion picture. Women from all walks of life, Christian and non-Christian alike, have been drawn to read these books in hopes of experiencing a thrill amid the mundane.
We may stereotypically think of sexual temptation as a man’s problem, but women are not immune to the lure of romance depicted in new and graphic forms of entertainment. Let’s take a look at how and why women today are drawn to erotica; what’s wrong with the warped view of submission portrayed in the Fifty Shades books; and how women can be free from the influence that this new form of pornography is having on marriages.