Wifey Wednesday: 50 Shades of Grey is Bad for Your Marriage

Christian Marriage Advice

It’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! And today I want to tell you how I really feel about 50 Shades of Grey.

I know, I know, I rarely hold back, but on this one topic I did hold back a little bit. You see, the 50 Shades of Grey book trilogy is selling by the millions. The books are “mommy porn”, a bit of bondange erotica that married women are buying in huge numbers.

I’ve written some posts about the phenomenon generally, talking about how erotica & Kindles provide a temptation we need to look out for. And last weekend, in the Reader Question of the Week, I posted a question from a woman whose friends at church are all reading 50 Shades of Grey. What should she do?


50 Shades of Grey is Bad for Your Marriage: Mommy Porn Only Makes Things Worse!

I didn’t give the name of the series in either of those posts because I didn’t want to inadvertently cause someone to search for it and buy it. But I’m beginning to realize that may have been a mistake, because people are turning to them. Every time I speak now I hear women talking about the books, or asking me about the books. They’re the majority of emails I get these days. So I can’t ignore it.

Most of my thoughts are already here, but I want to add a few more things.

50 Shades of Grey and Pornography: Don’t Create a Double Standard

Most women who may be tempted by this sort of erotica (and I have to admit that I do understand the temptation) would not want their husbands watching porn. We think this is somehow different, because we’re just “reading stories”, we’re not watching two people do something. We’re not objectifying anyone.

But you’re still doing harm. Sex is supposed to be something that joins two people together in love, and that enhances a relationship. If, instead, you allow “erotica” to get you aroused, and then you use that arousal to make love to your husband, you’re likely not focusing on him. You’re focusing on the story, and he’s really just secondary. Can the sex be good? Sure! But that’s not the same thing as saying that it is intimate. And what we’re aiming for is intimate (and truly intimate sex is good on every level).

50 Shades of Grey Is Bad Because It Causes Dissociation–Not Being Present

Erotica causes you to dissociate during sex (fantasize in your mind) so that you’re not really present with your husband. If you’ve ever been worried that your husband is fantasizing about someone else (or something else) when you’re making love, then why would you turn around and do the same thing?

And there’s one more issue that a reader emailed to me that is so important here. One of the main problems with porn is that it goes far beyond simple lust. It becomes an addiction, and to get the next “high” you start looking at weirder and weirder stuff. So it began with men looking at a Playboy, and it soon digresses into some really disgusting things–things that men would never have wanted to look at otherwise. But once you make sex into something solely physical, instead of something which gives you spiritual intimacy, too, you start sending a positive feedback loop between your brain and your body when you see that stimulus, and you create a craving for more and more.

It’s the same thing with erotica. Once we go down that slope, for many women it won’t be just a novel that explores the darker side of women’s fantasies. It becomes a novel that is truly pornographic in nature, with very graphic sex scenes in it. And that’s not good.

So, look, I know women, even in the church, are saying, “this is a great book to jumpstart your libido!” Or, “I just needed some excitement in my life, and this gave it back to me!” They’re treating it like it’s harmless, and it’s part of the self-actualization trend. We think we deserve to be fully sexually fulfilled, and so we look for quick ways to get there.

There are no quick ways.

The key to sexual fulfillment is to delight in your husband.

That takes work. That takes communication and forgiveness. That takes energy when you’re exhausted. That takes going to bed earlier, getting more organized so you have more time, being stricter with kids so you have time to yourself, and learning how to shut your brain off of all the things you worry about. It takes dealing with your sexual baggage, and dealing with your husband’s sexual baggage. It takes seeing sex as something beautiful. No, it’s not easy.

But who ever said that the right things in life are the easy things? There is no greater reward than truly connecting with your husband, and you can’t use a shortcut for that, especially a shortcut that has the danger of being a dead end, or leading you off of a cliff.

When I was younger, I saw porn when I was baby-sitting. I never sought it out; it was just there. And do you know how long it took me to get it out of my head? And it wasn’t just the porn; it was the stories that accompanied the porn (the stories are often much more alluring to women). I know now that I just can’t go there, because it took so long for me to be free. I had a really hard time thinking of sex as something beautiful between me and my husband, because whenever we were having fun, an unbidden image would appear or a line from a story. I’m free now, but it was a hard road. I can’t endanger that again. So please, ladies, don’t do that to yourself.

50 Shades of Grey seems harmless, but it’s not. Intimacy is beautiful. 50 Shades of Grey is not. Don’t follow the pack!

If you’re tempted to click that link and download it to your Kindle, try the stop-look-listen thing. Stop and take a few deep breaths. Look honestly at your marriage and what you’re about to buy. And then listen to God.

Christian Marriage Advice

Other great reads on 50 Shades of Grey:

How Kindles Can Wreck Your Marriage
50 Shades of Danger
Disturbing Trends in Female Sexual Preferences
Stop Grey from Becoming the New Black and White (with lots more links!)

And if you’ve had trouble with porn in the past, and you’re looking to reclaim intimacy in your sexual life, Sheila’s book The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex has a whole section on how to make sex holy again!

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!

Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.


  1. Just a few weeks ago while shopping at our local Barnes & Noble there this book was, front and center at the store. Thank you for speaking so boldly about this issue. As a woman who greatly enjoys sex with my husband there have been times when I have compared my own lack of fantasy to that of other women who seem to have vivid fantasies. In the end I know that sex with my husband is truly intimate and we are fully together and fully present each time. That is so much better than trying to force myself into something that is just not me. I am sure if I would read these kind of books my mind would experience new things but I know that I would not be better off. As you said, “The key to sexual fulfillment is delight in your spouse.” and that is what I have now. I don’t want myself or any other woman to jeopardize that simply to avoid the many times hard work of marriage and intimacy. Blessings!

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  2. My husband rarely comments on anything I watch or read (well, apart from rolling his eyes at The Real Housewives…I know, it’s terrible) but he’s had two firm opinions in 8 1/2 yrs of marriage: 1) Please don’t watch “Desperate Housewives” and 2) You are NOT reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Which was fine with me because I had already decided not to, but the fact that some husbands are taking a stand against it (That post by Mission:Husband was great) should make wives think twice when deciding to read it. It would be awesome if more husbands would take a stand against it in the same way that women stand against porn.
    Elizabeth@Warrior Wives recently posted…When His Cruddy Old T-Shirt Bugs YouMy Profile

    • Amen!

      • Sheila, Rather late in the game of ready 50 Shades of Gray. My friends have all read and talked about this book but I always refrained but was running in to find a book to read on a flight and saw it and grabbed it. I read the book faster than any other before. Several days went by and I was dying to get the other books to read, could not keep different parts of the story from jumping into my head, was so curious to know what direction the other books took. So I was trying to find out on line the storyline when I came across your post from 2012. I read it, briefly thought about what you said and then went on to ready a brief summary of the other 2 books. However, as the evening went on I could feel the conviction and accountability and truly feel that God directed me to your post. I know now that I can not read these other books or any other books like them. The addiction and pull you mention have been so strong for me the last 5 days it is crazy. I am a loving christian mom and wife, married for 16 years and would never want my husband watching porn and so your point that reading it is no different really hit me. I look forward to reading more of your posts but wanted to just say thank you. Thank you for the wake up call. For being the little voice that made me think twice about what I was pursuing. You may have saved me and my marriage from this evil influence. Thanking God for Speaking Through You!

        • DE, thank YOU for your encouragement! It’s always so wonderful to see how God has used something I’ve written. And way to go for listening to the Holy Spirit in your life! I’ll pray for His continued strength to help you withstand the temptation.

    • That is SUCH a great point about men taking a stand against things like this! Our feminist society, I think, has men scared to speak up about these things because they’ll be painted as “controlling” and other such terms. But we can’t let our marriages live under that bondage. Our husbands need to be able to speak into our lives, and we need to be able to receive it.
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      • To me, feminism is about equality. And as Sheila says, it isn’t right to say “no porn for you”, but then read erotica…as tempting as that erotica may be.

    • Tammy Blythe says:

      I think the reason most men are against it is because they know they are not putting enough effort in the romance dept or the communication dept. If you dont know what your missing already this book just puts it foremost in your mind. The men have to commit to a relationship by honesty monogamy and romance yes romance Show your woman you apprieciate her or someone else will. First comes the book next comes the real thing and I feel the same way about a man lookn at porn thats just the start infidility is not far behind….nuff said

      • Cathy Burrows says:

        This book gives unrealistic views of which MANY men cannot deliver. You say they are not putting enough romance or communication into a relationship and that this book will open your eyes. However you have been taken in by the book and then afterwards decided they have not enough communication and romance….this happened after you have read the book and now you expect more…

      • Tony conrad says:

        Porn is mental adultery. Is reading these kind of books mental adultery for a woman?

      • This book is anything BUT romance and definitely NOT about communication, unless someone thinks being beaten during sex is communication. Sick and wrong.

        • Tony Conrad says:

          I agree. It is all a bit contractual. Really it isn’t really worth all these comments it’s only because so may women bought it which is still a bit of a mystery to me.

        • i totally agree that the whole book in its entirety is really unhealthy for the mind.it really is not worth d time.
          that millions of people are buying this book only shows that sexual depravity has eaten deep into our society
          We need God!!!!!!

    • Really…. I know my ex-wife. If I told her I didn’t want her to do something, she would scream that I was being controlling and would then do it just because I said not to.

      Men telling women not to read it would make them read it more and follow the fantasy that can never be real.

      • Danny,
        That’s unfortunate that you married a stubborn woman. If and when my husband asks me to do something that I don’t want to do, I’ll think “is this an ungodly request?” and if it isn’t (it never is), I want to honor and respect him by doing or not doing what he asks of me. Sometimes it is annoying, but usually it is my own sin and desire to do whatever I want to do that is hindering me, not because his request is unreasonable or wrong.
        In the body of Christ, we are commanded to speak the truth in love, to exhort and encourage one another and to help each other live holy lives. For a woman to neglect her husband’s opinion and directions is ignorant, selfish, and hurtful.
        Hopefully you will find a wife in whom you can have a mutually respectful relationship and not feel that by asking something of her will cause her to do the opposite.

      • My EX girlfriend bought the movie, and no doubt read the book. We’ve had relationship problems, and this really didn’t help. She still claims to love me and frequently attempts to contact me. I would’ve been willing to try and work things out, but her attraction to this crap seemed really disrespectful to our relationship. I would’ve married that gal, but I can’t be with someone who places trashy novels and movies above us. And she acts as if I’m controlling just because I don’t want the one I loved fixated and lusting after some B.S. Porn novels. I never went on about women and made her feel bad about herself. She was plenty beautiful enough to me. She don’t seem so beautiful to me now. I hate to say this but, I’m kind of ashamed of her because of this, and similar situations. Seems kind a slutty. Where have the good girls gone, that made there man feel like something?

        • Tony Conrad says:

          It must be like a boyfriend going on about pornography. How could you envision married intimacy with that background?

  3. Sheila, thank you for speaking out about this! It’s chilling how, as Christians who should be guarding against it, we have become so callous about allowing sin in our lives. A number of years ago, God had to tear down many lies I was using in an attempt to excuse my sin of addiction to pornography.

  4. Sheila, My husband and I have been traveling and doing ministry in Europe since April, and the first time I heard about 50 Shades of Grey was at an outdoor restaurant when a British woman told me that her friend had recommended the book, but when she downloaded it on her kindle she was shocked how erotic it was. And I’m pretty sure this woman was not a Christian.

    When I was a young bride (40 years ago), I got hooked on the John Jakes series of historical novels and finally realized I was reading them for the bedroom scenes, not the history, so I stopped mid-series…a hard decision for me because they were such a popular series with everyone.

    It’s not so hard to explain our reasons for avoiding things that are wrong except when they are popular…then, we are faced with so many explanations why it doesn’t hurt to read these things. I imagine the John Jakes series is pretty tame in comparison to 50 Shades of Grey, but that’s proof that porno changes our hearts and minds.

    Thanks for sharing this and other posts about this subject.
    Gail recently posted…Loving Jesus No Strings AttachedMy Profile

  5. Megan G. says:

    I vividly remember sex scenes from books I read 15+ years ago. I don’t think of them often, and they don’t get in the way of my sex life with my husband, but if something reminds me of one of the scenes for whatever reason, it’s crazy the detail I still have locked in the back of my brain. I just read your babysitting post, too – very scary stuff. Maybe my daughter will never babysit! Thanks for your honesty in talking about these issues that we all generally avoid.

  6. Thank you so much for announcing what this book is truly about. I was not aware of its contents but had it on my to read list because I’ve seen how popular and highly recommended it is. I’m so thankful for the warning. I do not wish to purchase and support such filth.

    • Ha! So it is good that I mentioned the title, then. I was still feeling a little ambivalent about it, but I’m glad it was the right choice.

  7. No one around here had even heard of it, but I’m so thankful to sites like this where I can stay informed…I have a teenage daughter who LOVES to read, and though she is discerning once she starts a book, I would never want her to get these types on images in her head…Thanks Sheila!!!

    • Lori, that’s the scary part about this book being so popular. People can read it not expecting what it is, and then you end up with those images in your head that are so hard to get out!

    • It’s clear what the book is about, it states it clearly on the back cover Adult Erotica, BDSM, etc. Who goes and just buys a book without knowing what they’re getting into? I stumbled upon this website and I have to say good for you ladies, it’s nice to see people with problems taking care of themselves. As an mature adult woman without guilt or addiction issues who believes in God, I was able to read the book and not be traumatized nor has it destroyed my marriage or influenced my sex life. The book isn’t the problem, it’s what is inside you already. I feel for you poor ladies and will pray for you.

      • By your logic, then, it’s not porn that’s the problem; it’s what inside men’s minds. Or it’s not listening to violent rap music with horrific swearing in it; it’s what in our hearts already.

        Does not what we read and listen to factor into the equation?

        The Bible clearly says to think about that which is pure. An erotic BDSM book with pedophilia overtones is not pure.

        • I’m so glad you mentioned pedophilia with this book. I mentioned this on another site and you ought to see the fangirls flocking to defend it. I must be ‘ridiculous’, They go out of their way to explain why it’s not pedophilia and I must be some kind of crazy church goer who hates erotica. I think I was also accused of not knowing what real sex was and that I need to get laid. All this because I hated this book. How a person would come to this asinine conclusion from one review is beyond me. I mean, they say that E.L. James stated Ana’s age and that she drinks and has a job, so therefore, it can’t be pedophilia. Or, like some others had said that it was just a fun read; it shouldn’t be taken seriously. But, it has to be taken seriously when women are actually wishing for a man just like Grey in real life. If they are blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, then it’s no longer a ‘fun read’. It’s only ‘a book’ when I mention the pedophile. But, when they are drooling over Grey, wishing their men were like him, it’s more than just a book that helps her marriage. I think that if they need a book like this, their marriage has been having problems long before this terrible book came out. I think it’s disturbing that they can’t see what’s right in their face.

          • Tony Conrad says:

            Sad that some do not listen to valid comments. I mean this girl gives up her virginity and then signs a contract that this chap can beat her whenever he wants. How does reading that help marriage? There are better ways of doing it if all they want is a bit of kink in their marriage. Better to directly ask Hubby I think.

          • Tony. What’s worse, is now they are getting ready to film the movie. But, problems have come up. Charlie has all of a sudden backed out. I’m thinking it’s not meant to be. I really think they need to just trash the idea of making this into a movie. It’s just soft core porn and anyone associated with it will be mocked and never have the acting career they wanted. It’s ridiculous. Some girls have gotten down right evil if you dare talk negatively about Fifty Shades. It’s not worthy of being on the pedestal fans have put it on.
            I just finished watching ‘The Bible’ for the 10th time. I saw the Special Features. I love it when all the pieces fall into place. Now, that mini series was meant to be.

  8. I think that as women we like to think that “its only porn if it is visual.” However I do not believe that is true. As women we tend to be more verbal…and thus for us, though we certainly do enjoy a picture of a finely developed man…literature can be much more pornographic. I haven’t read “50 Shades of Grey,” but from what I’ve heard of it, I’m going to guess it is what I would consider porn. I also consider Harlequinn Romance novels (which saddly I read quite a lot of as a teen!) to be porn as well. They are not healthy for our marriages at all, and even if they didn’t get between us in the sense that Sheila describes–that we are focussing on a fantasy with our husband instead of on him–they do get between us because we begin to expect our husbands to live up to the standard of “perfection” that these books describe.
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    • Romance novels can definitely be dangerous, too. We just need to be careful that we’re not setting ourselves up for disappointment, or wrecking our intimacy with our husbands.

    • Tony Conrad says:

      I think that you are absolutely correct here. There is so much said about porn that is visual which rightly can seriously affect our relationship with Jesus.

      I partly received the lie that I don’t touch porn so I am pure. Reading things is not so bad. I have discovered that it can have exactly the same affect or even worse as the thoughts go deeper somehow and will come back when you are in bed or whenever you have a break. Some have even tried to make a disinction between porn and erotica. I’m more cultured I don’t look at porn I read erotica. Lets not deceive oursleves they have the same affect in the long run. Our energies should go into improving relationship with our spouses including the sexual.

    • Tony Conrad says:

      Mmmm I wouldn’t say it was perfection.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts..this is a book I keep hearing about but being a writer I’ve heard it’s not written very well..lol..

    I was recently at Barnes & Noble purchasing books for my teens when a total stranger wanted to know if I had read these books…with my teen beside me, I told her that I was truly not interested since I’m happily married and in love. You would have giggled at the look of shock I received…yep…so sad that women are turning to these books in droves..I just don’t get it.
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  10. My husband of ten years has not really voiced an opinion on any activity I choose, books, tv, movies , etc…until this week. We were shopping at our local Costco and decided to quickly browse the books that were there. 50 Shades was right next to the aisle. He looked over at me and asked if I had read it. I answered “no” . His response was “good, I don’t want you to”. You see, one of his buddies from his hometown said that he had picked the book up and read it after seeing his wife so engrossed in it. He then proceeded to tell my hubby( and their other buddies) exactly how much this book had messed with his head. Mind you he is a well educated man, they are a loving dedicated family so did not see anything wrong with reading … needless to say, for him to comment to his friend’s that a “woman’s ” book bothered him that badly,there must have been a reason! My hubby doesn’t ask much of me , so if not reading a book can do that much to honor his feelings and our marriage, I will not read it! Thanks for the great blog post!

    • That’s awesome that your hubby’s buddy actually talked to your husband about it. More men need to be honest like that!

  11. I’m very open to people’s opinions. My family is Catholic, we have many, many diverse opinions. However, I’m a bit concerned with how you present your opinion here. I’ve read these books. I did so because the hype finally got to me. I haven’t read erotica novels before and probably won’t again – not for any reason aside from they bore me. This book actually had quite a lot of passion, not just erotica and fantasies. Sure, there were parts that were extreme, but then that’s fiction for you. There were also parts that were so emotional, so profoundly lovely it actually brought tears once or twice. I find it disheartening that such a bold statement such as: “Erotica causes you to dissociate during sex (fantasize in your mind) so that you’re not really present with your husband.” would be made. Surely, you understand this isn’t always the case. Surely you understand a marriage that may be failing sexually could benefit from arousal. In my thoughts, sex and/or intimacy in marriage is crucial. It’s a connection that is dire for a marriage to survive. If someone simply doesn’t like erotica, porn, or fantasy then don’t read-watch-or play, but don’t cast such hard judgements and tell women their marriage will undoubtedly be in trouble should they want to seek it out. It’s truly up to the two people involved and absolutely NO one else.

    • I’m sorry to see that you mention Catholicism. Catholicism is not open to individual interpretation. I don’t want to get into doctrine or judge your (or anyone else’s) faith, but I would ask if this is a book you would want your parish priest to know you were reading? Would you be comfortable sharing it with him or receiving the Eucharist after reading it? The Church requires that we look after one another and help each other on this journey toward heaven. Sheila is offering us a warning based on her experience and strong Christian faith. This is exactly what St. Paul would have done.

      Also, just because there were parts that were good; we can not justify the parts that weren’t just because “that’s fiction for you.” And by the way, I’m Catholic and there’s no way that my parish priest would justify reading or suggesting this series. I just don’t want another reason for people to assume that Catholics aren’t Christians. The Christ I know and follow – as a Catholic – would not approve of this; and He provided for an awful lot of leeway in the bedroom.

      • Amen, Heather… very well put.

        Often our biggest traps are the ones that take the good, and twist it into something that looks good, but that has a distortion at the heart.

        Thank you, Shelia, for this helpful reminder!
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      • Well said, Heather.

      • Hey Heather, I’m also Catholic Christian girl and I’ve been fighting with this things that Sheila shares. I wan’t to thank you for standing up and talking out loud that there is nothing respectable in looking for arrousal this way. I’m single and I just want to say that i found my little sister reading this (15), if we come to make those statements I could just say that I’m single and i deserve fantasies and sexual arrousal. And that’s where sin comes to the topic, we are being selfish. This book is really getting to little ones, they will (engrandecer, in spanish) take the “good parts” and justify this reading just like they do with a lot of other things, and we cannot stay quiet and say it isn’t harmful. It brings to life a god-like man that thinks that can threat his girl however he wants just because of his dark past. He really Punishes her. What kind of arrousal do you need?
        There is no judgement. Christ doesn’t punishes you, but he will not consent something just because you are minimizing the real harm it takes place.

        We really need a Church, Ministries campaign against this harmful books. There are a lot though of “teen books” Hush Hush, Loosing it, etc.

  12. I believe it was a comment on your most recent post about this subject that said something to the effect of “Would you walk into the throne room of Holy God and read this book aloud to him?” Ouch! What a shocker! I sure wouldn’t! I was already avoiding those books but that really made my position crystal clear.

    I’ve also heard a lot of women defending their reasons for reading the books as “The plot is so great” and “It’s a great love story”, but honestly, if your husband used those reasons to watch pornographic films or said he read Playboy “for the articles”, would that hold water? No. Absolutely not. This double standard is just not okay. My husband and I have very strong feelings on these subjects and I know for a fact he would NOT be okay with me reading those books any more than I would be okay with him engaging in porn. And I respect that, because he respects me.
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  13. Anonymous Too says:

    I’d heard of these books months ago, and my husband and I had talked about the complete double standard some women are holding to with this. My husband rarely gets upset, but it bothers him when men are accused of being selfish creeps while women get a pass for reading what amounts to the same kind of smut. Women who think these books are a “love story” are lying to themselves. There is no true love there.

    And, as a sidenote, the author of the 50 shades books plagiarized a different series of books to make her millions and get a movie deal. It’s horrible on more than one count.

  14. I read the book. I am a christian. It did nothing for me and my libido. (However, my husband and I have a very active sex life so I didn’t need anything to ‘start it”) I can’t say I enjoyed the book, HOWEVER, much to your readers naysaying, it did have a story line to it much like any other ‘romance book’ that is out there. There was deep emotion in the book aside from the raw, bold sex.
    I’m still unsure how I feel about it. I have been asked and have truthfully said that I didn’t ‘love’ the book, that the hype was overrated and I would’t recommend it. BUT. I’m not mad, disgusted or upset that I read it.
    Thank you for posting your view. Thoughts to ponder.

  15. Isn’t it sad that the Creator of the Universe – who we claim to have a personal relationship with and who wants to give us the desires of our hearts – is pushed aside for books written by a mere man?

    If you want more spice in your marriage – ask. If you want to connect with your spouse like never before – ask. If you want an amazing sex life – ask. God wants to give you all these things and more. Porn is a very poor substitute.

    Thank you for sharing this insight with us Sheila. You are spot on and any woman who is convicted not to read these books should be commended and encouraged to stay strong.

    Ladies, you have chosen eternity over erotica. Good choice I’d say.
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    • Do you know what’s more appalling than ’50 Shades’? The fact that a hotel owner in the UK replaced the Bible in the room with copies of ’50 Shades of Grey’. I read 10 pages of it. If the rest of the book is like the pure horror of those first 10 pages, then the sex scenes were probably a snooze fest. A lot of reviewers have admitted to even skipping the sex scenes altogether. It’s sad that some women need this kind of trite to get them going. Instead of wishing they had a Christian Grey in their lives, they need to communicate their feelings to their husbands. I don’t get the popularity of such repetitive drivel. The only positive thing I could see in this book is that it would make an excellent sleep aid.

  16. Thank you so much for this post. There are so many women in my area that are reading this and I personally THOUGHT about reading it. Even downloaded the “sample” from Barnes and Noble- which by the way is nothing at all- ends before anything happens. But let me tell you I was strongly convicted! I just knew it was wrong and did not purchase the book. I am so thankful that I have a heavenly Father that makes in known to me what is right and what is wrong. I may not always listen but so glad that I did this time. And you know what, I’ve had friends that read it and actually told me “you shouldn’t read this, it’s not the type of book that you would like”. That in itself made me feel good- that my beliefs stood out enough that they knew it was not something I’d enjoy! I pray that God will continue to have the Holy Spirit convict me, that I will listen and that my actions and attitudes will continue to be known to others!!
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  17. I just want to say that I whole-heartedly agree with this article. This book has been recommended by several people and I just try to explain it’s not something that interests me. My sex life is fantastic exactly the way it is! One lady told me that my husband would thank me later for reading the book (if ya know what I mean) and I just simply responded with, “Oh, he already thanks me. ;-)”

    Anyway – excellent post!
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  18. Sarah Springfield says:

    I read another post on this by someone who posted a comment on your other article and many, many of the indignant responses were from women who thought that the story was beautiful and a “love” story, not just erotica and justified it that way.

    I don’t really understand that reasoning because it just seems like something ugly wrapped up in a beautiful package. Of course there has to be something else in there besides pure unadulterated smut otherwise it wouldn’t have become so mainstream. Women wouldn’t be able to justify it like they are currently doing.

    Just because there are parts of it that are good or seemingly “lovely” that bring tears to your eyes doesn’t lessen in any way the damage that the other, less lovely parts are doing to the rest of you. In fact, I would say it makes them even more dangerous because you’ve opened yourself up to it all the more with your justification.

    • Sarah, your last paragraph sums up my feelings exactly. If you want to read a beautiful love story, read Pride and Prejudice, or anything by Francine Rivers, or some Karen Kingsbury. Just because it may have a lovely story line does not make it lovely.

  19. I have yet to read it and I’m not sure I will. I tend to not read this sort of thing anyway.

    My reason for commenting was something you said that jumped out at me: ” If, instead, you allow “erotica” to get you aroused, and then you use that arousal to make love to your husband, you’re likely not focusing on him. You’re focusing on the story, and he’s really just secondary.”

    My husband used to do this. He would sneak and look at porn, get himself all worked up, then come to me for relief. Once I realized what was going on it hurt me deeply. The very few people who knew about it at the time brushed it off, however. Because, you know, at least he was coming to me and not someone else. And “men do that”. They may be okay with that but I expect better. He never apologized (or got rid of the porn; I found it hidden on disks and in hidden files on his computer). Later on when we had marriage problems he tried to say that he turned to pro due to lack of sex in our marriage. He twisted his porn use into being a fault of mine. He had been into porn before we got married, though.

    Anyway. Subjects like porn and erotica are definitely sensitive subjects for me! I am glad you addressed this book, too.

    • Tammy Blythe says:

      This is so true I would love have already left him I dont put up with a man with a mind frame like that and then twisting it to make you look like you did it How juveille is that. I had one that twisted things so much s I got to where I didnt even ask about things anymore….sa la ‘ve

  20. So very well said Shelia. Thank you for calling this what it is.
    We need to be so careful to protect our most intimate relationship. One of our book chapters is The Dangers of Pornography and another Breaking Free from Pornography. We need to identify it for what it is and turn from it. To God be the glory for your willingness to do this.

  21. katie did says:

    I am avoiding this series like the plague. I just wish hubby didn’t purchase Game of Thrones to watch.

  22. That it is necessary to discourage Christian women from reading erotica is a disturbing thought in itself. But if someone had to do it, I’m glad you did.

    Good post, Sheila.
    Elspeth@breathinggrace recently posted…Diagnosis: HumanMy Profile

  23. Great post Sheila. I am constently being asked to read these books and how wonderful they are but in my spirit and just seemed like “trashy” stuff that I didn’t want to read about. Thank you for your boldness in writing about and “saving” marriages that may be affected by this!

  24. Deep down this is exactly why I will not buy these books! My husband doesn’t watch porn. Reading it is no different! I have not read your post about the Kindle yet, but I have one, and it is very tempting to purchase books I wouldn’t really want anyone to see me reading. There are SO many temptations out there, and we have to be alert at all times. Great post.

  25. Honestly I am currently reading the series and it does have a very interesting story to it. It’s not all about the erotica, but i like reading those parts also. My husband and I are so completely in love and he cares less what I read and I could care less if he watched porn (which he doesn’t by choice) I’m confident enough in my marriage that neuter one of us “needs” any help in the love making catigory. My husband leaves for two weeks at a time and works off and reading a book, imagining my husband do (some) of those things tonne keeps us happy while he is gone then so what. Yes us, me reading the book benefits him also ;-)…it’s not as bad as people are saying.

  26. Sheila

    Before I even got to your page today, I found this other blog post from someone else. http://www.truewoman.com/?id=2095#.T9dMmRkvcvF.twitter I had never heard of Fifty Shades of Grey before today. But after following your blog for the past few months and reading this article and yours, you better believe i won’t be picking it up!

    Thanks for all your wonderful thoughts and guidance. My marriage is already better for it and I’ve only been reading for about three weeks!

  27. Bravo Sheila for speaking out about this. This book is the topic of alot of conversations. I was at a clients house and she had the book on the counter. Out of curiosity I opened it to a random page and wish I hadn’t read that paragraph….

  28. Just posted some of my story on uninvited erotica and the way it impacted me and my marriage. Sited you as a resource. Thanks.

    Megan@DoNotDisturb recently posted…The Pain of Past Sexual Thoughts: Sexual Encounters of the MindMy Profile

  29. Thank you for addressing this again. Women are becoming so accepting of this, and I just want to scream at them about how pornography and erotica can ruin a marriage, and it almost ruined mine.
    Maggie recently posted…I just can’t get it together!My Profile

  30. I understand the lure of erotica but to “recharge your libido” or enhance your love making or focus your mind, I found the solution. Yoga. Why? First of all, it made me more aware of my body and helped me focus my mind. I learned to be happy with my body and it became stronger. When you feel good about your body, you feel sexy. This makes you less self conscious. I also was more in tune with how my body felt which applies directly to sex. Forget kegel exercises, yoga even replaces these. It also increases your stamina. All this and add a husband who loves you and if you’re really lucky like me, also started doing yoga…well, you won’t need the erotica. He also won’t need the porn. Instead you’ll have a very loving, and intimate relationship that will strengthen your marriage.

    • GREAT point, Doris! Thanks for commenting. I was writing a follow-up post for this one, and I’ll add your point to it!

      • Yoga does make you more in touch with your body. I do zumba, which actually doesn’t make you focus on each part of your body, etc…but it makes me feel energized and sexy. It’s given me more better stamina and made me feel great about myself(all those endorphins); therefore, I think that exercise in general helps. BUT, I do agree that yoga would be best for people to get in touch with their bodies and minds.

        • Tony Conrad says:

          You have to be aware of the eastern religion source of it though just to be aware of the dangers.

          I joke with my wife that they are still praising God when we pass a Zumba session after swimming.

  31. Thanks for posting about this! I’ve been so frusterated by books before… I want a spoiler report and a place where I can read reviews of books and know the rating and why. I rarely read a new book and am not a fan of Christian fiction even. ANY bedroom scene is uncomfortable for me.

  32. TracyDK says:

    I don’t know much about these books. I know several women who are “dying” to read them, and I figured if it is that good, I’ll want to read them too. However, I’m not keen on this sort of romance. I used to read them when I was much younger. (I’m crowding 40 now.) And this was before I had any TRUE romance in my life. And I’ll be honest, having been INexperienced, it distorted what I figured romance to be. I thought that the drama and the being swept off my feet and the sighs and wrist to forehead was the way REAL romance and love went. Let me tell you, my first FEW romances soured because of my expectations. When I found a romance that WAS those things….it was too stressful. That ended sour, of course. Then I found what I thought was the “love” of my life. Not. I was a doormat. I stayed with him for 8 years. The only thing I will say is that I’m more grateful to him than I am bitter. I grew more as a person. I learned more about myself than I did with anyone else. Also, he had the strength to walk away when I did not. And if he hadn’t…I wouldn’t have found the wonderful love that I have. And trust me, he’s swept me off my feet. There’s no drama, no wrists to forehead, and no dramatic sighs. And really…if this is what these books are about. I would rather not read them and this isn’t because of the sex scenes. I don’t get turned on by reading sex scenes. (maybe it is due to my prior experience reading this sort of romance novel?) I don’t know. Either way, thank you Sheila for exposing the books for what they are. I’d have been foolish enough to buy them, then be mad as a wet hen when I started reading it.

  33. There is a really big part of me that wants to read this book. A lot. Part of me for exactly the wrong reason…because I think it looks steamy(so wrong) and another part curiosity about the fuss. But I know I shouldn’t and I know all the reasons I shouldn’t. I already knew that from your other post, but thank you for another reminder. This book is very tempting for a lot of people, even people you wouldn’t imagine (I saw on FB that my 2nd grade teacher read it! Of course she comment that it was very disturbing, but still).

  34. Christen says:

    Thank you for posting this in response to the surge of women interested in this book. I heard about it, not in detail-just a book that was recommended, at my son’s tee ball end of season party. I later read elsewhere that it was “mommy porn” and knew that it was probably not going to be something I would likely read. I do know women in my life that would nonchalantly accept a book like this and just like you wrote, chock up dismissing it as wrong because they are just “reading stories”. Thank you for encouraging women to protect their marriages from the outside influences that seek to disrupt our marriages and lead us astray. Books like these come every once in a while and the enemy is crafty! He can lure innocent unknowing women into reading a book they see as a bestseller at the book store or on Kindle, and low and behold, they have opened Pandora’s box and a plethora of images flood outward. Thank you for bringing the title to light for what it is and for giving us an outlet in the other book, “The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex”. I think we all long to enhance our sexual relationship with our husbands, and to also educate our children on the importance and beauty of what the Lord has blessed a husband and wife with in a marriage, offering them sound loving counsel when they have questions about sex. I am subscribing to your great blog today! Thank you Time Warp Wife for for your Friday Five to reveal great bloggers I haven’t yet found (To love honor and vacuum).

    • Christen, so glad you found me! And thank you Darlene, too, for pointing you all to me! That’s wonderful. I hope you keep coming back!

  35. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for posting this. I had never heard of the book you mentioned, but I opened your comment, ” We think this is somehow different, because we’re just “reading stories”, we’re not watching two people do something. We’re not objectifying anyone.” That statement opened my eyes to something I had never thought of before. I avoid these types of books like the plague, the Holy Spirit pricks my conscience, when I read an intimate scene in any type book that is too descriptive. Now I know why. Thank you.

  36. Thank you SO much for speaking out on this! I shared this on Facebook because I am so glad I am not the only one seeing a MAJOR problem with these books! Even taking the Christian aspect out of it, there is something disturbingly wrong about any woman supporting books that embrace the dehumanization and degredation of a woman! It’s disgusting and if they had been a victim of sexual abuse they would not be supporting that exact behavior in print. I loved the comments stating that if you can’t read it in front of your priest/pastor or have it read in church, or in front of Jesus then you shouldn’t be reading it! We make too many excuses for garbage when we should be filling our minds with what is good and healthy. That is not love, period. It is not a lovely story, it is disturbing and sick. There is NO excuse to read these books. Just because you justify it does not make it any less wrong or any less of a sin.
    Allie recently posted…Homemade Lace and Trace ActivityMy Profile

  37. Crafty Mama says:

    Ugh, no way, the devil has put something ELSE out there? That makes me so angry!! I hate it when he puts these things out there to tempt women and makes them seem “harmless”, and then women — Christian women! — get totally lost in them and wonder how they could possibly be bad, while their sex lives are destroyed. As someone who has dealt with sexual addiction and pornography addiction, I TOTALLY understand how these things, even erotica, destroy sexual intimacy. It’s like trying to climb out of a 20-foot well in the dark with nothing but a fork. Erotica provides instant gratification, but the permanent damage will set you back years. And I do not exaggerate.

    Arrggh, I hate the devil!!

  38. Sheila, thanks for your blog. My wife and I often sit, read and discuss your blog. Anyway, was listening to a “snip” on Steve Saint’s (son of Nate Saint) injury and thought the discussion following was directly applies to this discussion (I think they are referring to this book but do not mention it). Amanda R. above referred to Dannah Gresh’s article at http://www.truewoman.com/?id=2095 but here is an interview with her: http://www.moodyradio.org/brd_ProgramDetail.aspx?id=66132

    The opening starts at about minute 13 and the actual interview starts at about minute 19.

    Thanks for your blog!

  39. Thank you for posting this. Thanks to you I didn’t download and get sucked into that trap of reading garbage!!! Love your blog!Keep inspiring us to be better wives and Christine women!

  40. I’m going to be very honest with you…..I actually started reading Fifty Shades of Grey. All my friends and co-workers were raving about this book. I started reading, and I admit, I felt guilty. I didn’t enjoy what I was reading and I thought it was poorly written to boot! The first day I had it, I read 13 chapters. I didn’t know why I was reading it, so I stopped. I noticed I didn’t sleep well that night or the next, but I didn’t think anything of it. About 4 days later, which was yesterday, I read some post on facebook that made me pick it back up and I read a good portion more. When I went to bed, I noticed a horrible stomach ache, my mind raced, anxiety like mad, and I slept like garbage. I know it was God telling me not to read anymore of this book! I have since removed it from my home and I have prayed for forgiveness. I was well aware this was not a book I should be reading, but my curiosity got the best of me. I am so glad God spoke to me early this morning and I got rid of the filth. I thank you for your post, it really makes a lot of sense.

    • Julie, I’m glad you listened to your spirit! That’s great. And please, don’t feel guilty about this! Just laugh about it with your husband–isn’t it great how God can make your sleep HORRIBLE to show you what to do? And isn’t it great that God wants more for you?

  41. My Best Man and his Wife had been going through the most awful sexual desert in their marriage and found that this book re-invigorated their sex life. She read it and they both benefited night after night, after going up to 18 months without making love. I had previously recommended Relate because i thought they would divorce and i am really pleased that this book helped them to become closer together. I’ll report back to you if the impact is lasting!

    Speaking from my own experience, i was delighted to find that this had the same effect on my wife of 15 years. As a man this book feels overwhelmingly positive because it provides women, who otherwise wouldn’t consider it, with a harmless escape from the humdrum reality of kids, work, washing and shopping.

    E. L. James keep up the good work!

  42. I think it also depends on the age of the person reading it. I have a young teen friend who is a Christian and her reaction to the book when she tried to read it was anger and “He’s a complete ass and God help any man who would treat me like that” !! …..which I thought was a good reaction.

    However speaking to a mature 50-something woman who had read it, she had a completely different take on it. She saw that there was something redemptive in the story: the main character had been abused as a child and also aged 15 when he was seduced by a “Mrs Robinson”-type woman. He had scars on his chest and he would not allow his chest to be touched, but through the patient endurance and love of the woman who was totally in love with him, she tries to understand his sexual deviancy, and puts up with it in an effort to connect with him.

    I connect with that, for my lovely Christian husband also developed a sexual deviancy (not as bad as BDSM, but certainly masochism turns him on sexually due to something which caused his first erection when a child). My hsuband confuses pain with love. As does the character in 50 shades. So some of it is true to life.

    The reason – according to my mature friend – older women are turned on is that it brings back memories of being totally in love with your man. When the brain is in love, it wants sex (particularly for women who need that emotional connection) and so a book like this might help someone’s sex life, but I can think of other and better and more edifying ways!!

  43. So Sheila:
    Have you actually READ 50 Shades of Grey?
    By no means are the books great prose or literature but it is an enjoyable story.
    I found it funny, entertaining and it piqued my interest to read Tess of the D’Ubervilles again.
    I’m just glad people are reading more these days.
    And I liked that it exposed me to different music that I wouldn’t be curious about.

    You don’t get to have an opinion if you haven’t read the book.
    Calypso recently posted…Book Review: Fifty Shades DarkerMy Profile

    • Here’s the thing, Calypso: erotica is erotica, and it isn’t right. But this isn’t just erotica. It’s downright creepy. The book says that the woman is 21, but in all descriptions she sounds like a child. She wears pigtails. She does cartwheels. She does not sound like an adult. So many people have actually claimed it’s pedophilia in disguise. If you do have a copy, take a look and honestly ask yourself, “how old is this girl supposed to be?” And if you’re a mom, ask yourself, “how would I feel if it were my DAUGHTER in this situation?” Because it sounds like a primer for pedophilia. Here’s a great link on it:

      • Tony Conrad says:

        I agree but I’m not so sure that erotica is not right. Not in the context of a married couple in their own bedroom.

  44. Very interesting! Thank you for your informative post!
    Martha recently posted…A Secret LifeMy Profile

  45. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is going to caues an outrage of problems. Its has recently been sold to the big screen, I believe someone named Ari for over 5 million dollars. Most people after viewing a movie think about it, may copy the lines, moves, and unfortunately the youth of tomorrow will take this movie to be REAL!!
    Well its not, and should never be seen or made. I strongly suggest striking this movie which may now be in the production mode. It can do no good to encourage our sons and daughters to watch S and M behavior. Leave these thoughts alone as they cause harm and not good. Isn’t it better to focus on what makes people stronger and the real issues and true life stories at hand?


    This comment is in no way aimed at the publisher as they were simply doing their job!

    • To JILL
      NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up TAKING RESPONSIBILITY !!!! —- “…because they were simply doing their job…” oh my god how can you say that. We heard that a lot in 1939, you know, and later as a justification what happened in Germany WWII. The company that produced the substance which was fed into the infamous bathrooms “simply did their job??” THINK TWICE. Exactly a PUBLISHER has Responsibility. So yes, AIM this conmment at the publisher. Don’t be politically ‘correct’ that is just disgusting.

  46. Finally someone to call the book what it is, the book is making women believe it is ok to fantasize about another man and their husband should accept.

    I want to be the only man she is fantasizes about. I do not need another man to get my woman aroused and let me take it from there.
    Michael Belk @romance tips for men recently posted…Can males and females be platonic friends? The nervous energy has to die.My Profile

  47. Thanks for your post about fifty shade of grey. Interesting thoughts and thank you for sharing!
    Vantage Point Counseling recently posted…A Secret LifeMy Profile

  48. Hello, I was wondering if anyone out there could enlighten me on how to turn sex into lovemaking, seeing it as beautiful instead of physical like she speaks of above? I was molested at a young age and although I was raised up in church I’ve never seen sex as something cherished or only shared with someone special. I see it as something that has to be given…I have at times been promiscuous. I am now married and sexually frustrated because I know there should be more to it than just physical pleasure and I want to share intimacy with my husband on a much closer level.

  49. I’m so happy to see this post written and the truth is in fullness about this book. I have had a hard time trying to defend the case of NOT owning this book, but like you said many times, some women just don’t see this book to be an issue. Women are taken to this lustful fantasy world with thought and words rather than images (most), and this blog post hit the truth right on the head. Praise The Lord that you had the courage to write this.

  50. What a great article. I tried to read the book. I only got through it because I skipped some parts. I did slam this book. But, I get so tired of defending my 1 star rating. I think this book is porn that spotlights abuse. People, even Christian women defend this book. I mentioned that it felt somewhat pedophiliac to me. You ought to see the lovers of this book flock to its defense. Obviously, I wasn’t allowed to bash their precious Christian Grey. I was called names, said I was ridiculous, a crazy church goer and that I needed to have some sex. Because I hated this book, one poster said I was ignorant in sex. I can’t understand why anyone would think that based on one review. While calling me names, they said everyone is entitled to their opinions in the same breath. I think they meant that I was entitled to my opinion as long as it agrees with them. It’s sad that they take my review so personally. I never once bashed anyone who loved the book.
    I, too, think this book can cause trouble in marriages because some of these women want a Grey of their own. They want their husbands to be like him or they want Grey to be real. So, they want a man to abuse them and tell them what to do at all times? I think they should feel blessed that they don’t have someone like him. It’s fiction and it’s best to leave Grey in the book. E. L. James has complete control over him because he’s just a character. In real life, my guess he would be a controlling neurotic who loves to demean women. I just wish they would be mature enough to accept the fact that I hated the book and had every right to explain why. It’s fine that some said that 50 grabbed them from the 1st page. Not only was it abuse, it was poorly written.

    • Tony Conrad says:

      I can never understand why women desire to be controlled. To me it seems like what they have is countries like Saudi Arabia. My wife certainly does not desire that I control her thank goodness. We may play a little in the bedroom but it is nothing to do with ordinary life.

      • I”m still confused as to why it has taken off. Even without the abuse and BDSM, E.L. James is a very poor writer. I can’t call her an author. I’ll reserve that for those that deserve it. But, she’s laughing all the way to the bank. This shows me that there are a lot of sheep in this world. And I’m not talking God’s sheep, which I don’t mind being. I’m looking for quality t.v. and movies. But, it’s sorely lacking. Apart from a few t.v. shows and ‘The Bible’, t.v. has gone down the toilet. And this book needs to follow.

        • Tony conrad says:

          I don’t understand it either although I thought you would more as a woman. I do understand the bdsm pull partly but in those numbers? I thought this was a minority interest .None of it makes sense really.

          More and more we have to realise that we cannot act as sheep for every new sensation and follow the worlds leading as there will be more things like this to come which will test some of us. I think you do a sterling job in making a stand against this tripe.

          Yes many will make a lot of money doing the wrong thing. Look at Playboy almost respectable now. Sexual ethics have been declining since the sixties and we in a flood of it which seems to be increasing. Droves of our young men are hooked on porn which is now available in private at the flick of a button wherever you are. Women have their version of it through reading. How much do you let in before it begins to affect ones relationship with Christ? I think the time has come to raise the banner of purity or go down in the flood. Sex was invented by the purest mind in the universe but we need to learn to use it aright. I believe personally that the dragon is opening his mouth to release the flood to drown the woman. We need to think through what we think and what we partake of.

          • So true. As a woman, I still can’t tell you why this book is popular. Like I said, the writing is less than juvenile. I’ve written better short stories as a young teenager. But women have admitted to reading it for the sex scenes. When I read this from women I think, “Wow, they almost sound like men do about sex.” Except men are visual. But, it doesn’t mean reading it is okay. But, then again, they also say it’s a love story if you dig deep enough. We shouldn’t have to dig our way through horrible writing and abuse to try to find the ‘love’ in this story. It should be kind of obvious, I think.
            Would a wife want to walk in on her husband enjoying porn? I asked this to some readers and lovers of ‘Fifty Shades’. Most said they didn’t care if their husbands watched porn. I wonder if that’s because they want to be able to get away with reading it. I wonder how long it would take them to take back their words if their husbands start obsessing over it and end up thinking about the porn star while with their wives. I doubt husbands want their wives to think of Grey when they’re together.
            I admit that I tried to read the first book. I ended up skimming for the most part. Now, I’m even ashamed of that even though I hated the book. Would God be up in Heaven reading away at the book? Absolutely not!!
            I know He has mercy but He will put a stop to it eventually. Now, I haven’t been the best Christian in the world but I try to do the right thing. Sometimes I fall. Sometimes I soar.
            I know they say that it doesn’t affect them. But, it does and they are blind to it. When you have to read this book over and over and can’t get the characters out of you head, then it has deeply affected them in a negative way. Maybe not consciously. But, on a level they can’t understand. Some of these women claim to be Christians. This book is definitely the devil’s way of dragging you away from God. Because the book is all they think about. I’ve wish I could un-read the parts I did manage to read.
            Matthew 6:24: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
            So, I guess you can either love this book or love God. But, there’s no way you can love both.

          • Tony Conrad says:

            You put it on that level then? Either the book or God not both? I think this is true in porn. I agree that these wives will regret it one day allowing their husbands to view porn. It is fatal to a marriage and affects bedroom intimacy in a big way. After a while the men will have difficulty in performing. I think in a way men are best speaking to men regarding porn, although wives should confront, and women are best speaking to women about these kinds of writings as you are doing to your credit. I mean christians in both cases. I suspect you read it to be able to comment on it, which you are doing so well but obviously you have to be careful that you are not tainted.

          • When it comes to a book like this? Yes, either God or the book. Do you think He is accepting of this kind of genre? Does He look at us reading it and is happy?
            Matthew 5:28, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
            This book has caused women–even Christian women–to think about a man other than their husbands. Now, some are buying the book to picture Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey. (Even though he was smart enough to back out.)
            To some women, this is a book to be obsessed over. Some have stated just that. So, they are putting the book first. God comes first. He will not take second place to anyone or anything. He should be the one we obsess over. I think anything can be a sin if you put it before God.
            I’m not tainted. I did skim most of the book, skipping most of the sex scenes. Like I said, I feel ashamed for that. I had renewed my faith some months after. I feel guilty for even opening the book. It was disgusting, Christian or not. I’ve forgotten most of it. I hope one day, the whole thing will be deleted from me. I remember Ana brushing her hair and doing an interview. That’s about it. I read my Bible every day to keep my inner thoughts cleansed. I pray every day to ask that I not read any smut like that ever again. I take communion whenever I feel the need to. I watch ‘The Bible’ on a regular basis. Watching it helps me to keep a very vivid picture in my mind of just what Jesus went through for us. The Crucifixion scene never fails to get to me no matter how many times I’ve seen it. Believe me, we have no right to complain about anything going on in our lives. Though, it’s hard sometimes. 😉

          • Tony Conrad says:

            I can’t reply below your post ES as there wasn’t a reply button on it.

            I haven’t read the book to be honest, I was tempted but didn’t, but I have heard a lot about it. It is all a fantasy which is what porn really is as well. I take your word that God is not accepting of this genre. I know that in my heart even if I cannot put words to it. Some things we can justify in our heads but in our spirit we know that it is wrong. We have to go with that to come into the liberty and understanding that God wants us to have. Going with the flow is like the blind leading the blind and we know what can happen to them.

            The furore will die down and is already beginning to and most will then realise what it really is and some will regret it. But this stuff will come in different guises. I find it best to keep sexual things between my wife and I and not to allow this kind of input into our lives.

  51. Thanks for writing this article! THAANKKK YOOOUU SOOOOO MUUCHHHH!!!!!

  52. Tony Conrad says:

    There was so much furore about the books that made one think they were missing something important. We had the same with the Harry Potter books which I am sure must have had an effect on justifying the occult a little more. The goal posts have been moved a little more in the enemies plans and millions are falling for it. There have been bigger and bigger floods of porn as well that are imprisoning millions (although they do not realise it).

  53. Jack Pearce says:

    What a wonderful article. Thank you very much. It has a lot of wisdom, and is correct on all points. I cannot believe how many people are reading these books.

  54. Ive read the first two books and I am on my 3rd book now. I think there great books that brings excitement n passion to the reader, but I in no way expect my husband or myself to be like the characters ,cause I know its not reality ,they are just good books with good story line !

  55. I completely agree with you! I wrote a post about why I won’t read it too! http://embracingbeauty.com/2012/05/30/why-im-not-reading-fifty-shades-of-grey/
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  56. Thank you for tackling this with honesty, information and care. Awesome as always. It earned a share on our Declutter Now! Facebook page. :) Blessings….

  57. May I also remind the single readers that it’s not OK to look at or read pornography! You’re single and lusting after men is never OK unless it is your husband.

  58. My husband and I were wanting to read this together. I don’t see us fantasizing about other people but using it as fantasy forplay. What are your thoughts? I agree 100% it should not be read alone.

  59. I’m dealing with this very issue with my wife. After 8 months of trying for a baby, some problems have put a damper in our sex lives. Then I bought this book for her for Christmas. We spend little time togetheras it is, because of work. Now this book has taken up that little time. Once the book gets put away, she is turned on. I ccan’t help but be turned off by the fact that she only wants sex because of the book. And when we have sex….its never aggressive enough, never rough enough, which causes fights in itself. I’m sure most of my problem is that I’m turned off by it….almost disgusted by it. I want nothing more than to burn this book. And I would if I knew she wouldn’t just go buy another one.Its just my luck that there is two more, and her friends are telling her about other book series that are similar.

    • I’m so sorry, and thank you for your comment. What you say is really quite common, and I wish more women would hear it. Thanks for writing here, because perhaps it will help other women see what they’re doing to their marriages.

      • Tony Conrad says:

        One should never have to do things that turn them off. There is a difference between a need and something that is being stirred up by media outside the marriage. We all have to be careful of that and separate what is us and what is coming from someone else.

  60. I was in a 10 year marriage. My wife had started reading the while saga and was telling me all about it. Yes it did spice up our sex life. But to make a long story short, I did’nt satisfy her need for texts and emails which he co-worker fullfilled so she just left without no worries for family and our 3-5 year old sons…VERY BAD BOOK for some women who cant come back to reality when she closes that book.

  61. I was in 10 years of marriage and my wife had read the whole saga, she had told me about it and it was all cool. Yes it did spice up our sex life and I felt that she did love me. But it all comes down to that i had just become an object to fullfill her need just as she ran off with a co-worker that fullfilled her need of texts and e-mails. So yes she left behind 10 years and two boys 3-5 year old kids to fullfill her “need” of being loved…in the end there is some women who can come back to reality while others (like the mother of my children) who thinks life is a fairy tale.

  62. Thank you. VERY true, all of it. Amazing, how 50ies it sounds – love your husband — yet with modern words, it is just true. Porn can be and actually is BAD for you — yes, and you say precisely WHY it could be. I love your text for the REASONS you give and the insight in to the basics of psychology of sex and its deviations. I am 100% certain that probably 20-30% of people have never really given much time to the thought that it is the achievement and enjoyment of INTIMACY between humans what really is the point and what we really all seek, not technique, not fitness, not athletics or physical beauty. With today’s divorce rates, tendency to atheism, dominance of the media who tell us how to talk, behave, think and judge, it is enormous to listen to your voice which says old fashioned things but with very modern, astute and sensitive wording and a heart for it. Many may say “come on…” which will not change the course and curse of this road at all.

  63. You nailed it right on the head for me and my situation with my wife’s addiction / obsession with Romance Novels and the Paranormal stories she reads day in and day out. Once she became obsessed I was 100% replaced by her Book Boyfriends. If she was out of books to read, she would go on Facebook and Role Play, read others stories from the books she liked 18 hours a day. Even though I knew and seen what was going on and I would show her it didn’t matter. She was obsessed and still is. She has realized the problems it caused with the family but she won’t let it go completely. Sex has been non-existant (even mentioning it) for almost 4 years now. Its hard on me, its hard not to cheat. I have needs and this is not what I expected to ruin my marriage. Shes mentally cheating on me and our vows and replaced me 100%. I don’t know how long I can keep going this way. Your letter makes me happy that there is someone out there that sees the damage I been going through. Thank you!

  64. So, the movie comes out on Valentines Day & I have already had friends post about how they hope their husbands won’t mind spending Valentines Day alone…sad.

    • This is so troubling to me. We have sunk so far as a society.
      I am very worried about the movies our kids can get access to. Although we try to monitor what they do, and let them know how we feel, it is impossible to monitor every step they take. I am talking about my teenage son.
      why is this considered entertainment?

  65. I started reading the first book- a few of my girlfriends were reading it and said it was a quick read and I’d be hooked. I didn’t get very far before I stopped. The poor writing in itself should be enough to turn any book lover off. I also couldn’t help but think of my young nieces who are reaching their teenage years. Should they get ahold of books like these, it could really give them the wrong idea about sex and love. I feel the same way about the Twilight series (which I did read, regretfully). It’s not a good example for anyone- married or single. My husband did appreciate that I stopped reading the book- he said more than anything, it made him feel awkward. Thanks for your post– I was beginning to feel alone on this subject matter.

    • Great point–if you wouldn’t want your nieces to see you reading it, then why would you read it? If we all used that litmus test I think our consciences would kick in faster.

      • Using that logic, nobody should have sex, drink wine, drive, get a job, or anything else that children aren’t ready to do. Just saying.

        And as much as I despise the twilight series,
        It’s not the same as erotic fiction.
        It’s like saying that the lion king is the same as the avengers.

  66. I haven’t read this books, nor has my 14 year old, thankfully. I discouraged her from reading the twilight series in 4th and 5th grade, when her peers were being encouraged to read them and taken to the opening night at the movies when the films were released. We live in a very small community in East Texas and I know of at least 30+ women and 10 teens (some as young as 12) that have read this series. Not to mention the ones that recommended their significant other to read it. I spoke against reading this on Facebook after seeing women that profess the faith high recommend it to their friends only to be scorned as a goody two shoes that doesn’t understand. I was exposed to Playboy Channel and Penthouse magazines before I was of school age, sexually abused by a family friend as a young child, put into sexually dominating situations with an older family member, and emotional abused by a stepmother that called me a whore if I wore nail polish or lip gloss. I can a test to how messed up one’s marriage bed can become when you have factors that are outside of your relationship with your husband brought to the table. I wish that I could say that I have only ever been with my husband intimately. Even though I saved my “maidenhead” for him, I gave away parts of myself in another relationship. All of this culminated into me thinking myself unworthy to have a pure relationship with my then boyfriend, now husband, and giving myself to him before marriage to keep him. I struggled with guilt and shame in my marriage for years just over not waiting until we were married, much less the other stuff. This is one less thing that I need.
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    • That’s so sad that girls that young are reading it, when they’re so impressionable and just starting to get sexual feelings! That makes me so sad.

      I’m so sad that you’ve gone through all of this, too, but isn’t it wonderful how a good marriage can be part of the healing that God does in your life–even if it does take several years? Many blessings to you!

  67. I think it’s trash!!!!! And women in church is reading it all over the world, but they say it’s okay we’re reading it. Or they’ll lie about it in church. Lol… I myself I really don’t like it!!!!!

  68. Yes! Well said Sheila!!!!

  69. As a man in ministry happily married to my wife, this is one of the best articles I’ve read if not the best. I’m all for spice in the bedroom between a married couple. Do what you want provided you’re both comfortable and there’s no lasting damage, but a woman needs to learn to delight in her husband. If he’s not enough to jump start her, then there’s a problem. Maybe he could do better. Yeah. He could make himself more presentable in areas of hygiene and such and he would want to know those, but that doesn’t undo an obligation of a wife. She is still to be a loving wife. Of course, he could not be doing his part, but that doesn’t mean a wife doesn’t do hers, and the husband is to be condemned if he’s not doing his part as well.

    The best way to spice up your love life is by love. If you do it right, it will result in great love, pleasure, and intimacy.

  70. i haven’t read this book, but i can understand why some may look there. i would love to delight in my husband, but his libido has flat-lined, and he has no desire for me. we went to the doctor, and he takes some testosterone, but no real change :/.
    we love each other, that is not the problem, he just flat out doesn’t want to……so now what?? i go crazy out of my mind while he goes blissfully along?? if no fantasizing, which seems safer to me than other people/porn, then what??

    • Tony Conrad says:

      Refer him to 1 Cor 7?

      He doesn’t have power over his body. You do and vice versa. Don’t defraud one another in case you are tempted?

  71. I have a different story to tell. I didn’t read the books on my own for the same reason I don’t look at pornography. I consider it cheating. I wasn’t even really interested. However, we were renting a movie and thought we would try it and it turned out to be a great experience to share together.

    Also, it gave me a sort of unrelated epiphany, I realized after talking with my husband after the movie that I was being too controlling and that it emasculated him. I stopped at some point respecting him as a man. (Not that i want to be controlled, but I didn’t allow him decisions without needing to question all of them) That change clicked in me and we ended a cycle of being annoyed at each other. It has brought us so much closer.

    I’m just saying that sharing an experience like this I don’t see as bad or shameful or ungodly. We aren’t trying to emulate anything or obsessing about it though like it sounded like some women were… It was just neat to share and to open dialogue between us.

    • Tony Conrad says:

      I agree that control can produce emasculation in a man Val. There is something Jezebelic about it. It seems to me you have found some sort of subjectiveness for want of a better word. Control of a wife is not right either I believe. I personally resist control in myself and in my wife.

      I’m not sure what movie you watched or what you did although you say you got an answer from discussion about it.

  72. What I find disturbing is the Christians that condone the reading of this disgusting book.
    Question for the Christians: If Jesus visited you, would you read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ to Him? If He truly lives in your heart, then you are reading it to Him or taking Him with you to the movie.
    Do you think He approves of the book or movie? Be honest. Would you take Him to see this movie?

    • Tony Conrad says:

      There is something wrong somewhere if Christians actually condone reading this book. Would I want to be reading that book when Jesus comes back? Whilst I favour keeping the marriage bed healthy and hot we don’t need this kind of stuff from the world. That in reality is killing the passion of marriage in the long run surely?

      • Tony Conrad. Yes, there are people claiming to be Christian that see no harm in reading this sorry excuse of a book.
        Before I rededicated my life to Jesus, I admit, I read some of it.
        It is one of the most poorly written books ever. So, that’s why I’m baffled as to why this trash is a best seller. She can’t write. Plus, she was inaccurate. This book is clearly about abuse. And E.L. James glorifies it.
        And Christians should NOT read it if they are true Christians. I’m embarrassed to have even touched it. Everyone should be embarrassed by this abomination.
        People say that it’s just a book. If it was just a book, then why are there women actively looking for a real Christian Grey? Sad.
        Married women don’t want their husbands watching porn, then they shouldn’t be reading it.

        • Tony Conrad says:

          Good paralell Stacy. It is encouraging that you see through it. Every now and again a filthy book breaks through. There will be more where the world will sing it’s praises but the majority are not always right these days. Things have changed.

          • Tony Conrad. Thanks. I wish others could see through this.
            Yes. Things have changed but not for the better. People are flushing their morals down the toilet.
            That’s what happens in the last days: evil is seen as good and good is seen as evil.

  73. I didn’t actually read the book but I am encouraged that what we do in the bedroom is not so way out. It’s difficult not to read condemnation for these things sometimes during christian discussions. Not that I agree with reading erotica like this. Not Mommy porn. Women’s porn really as has been pointed out.

  74. Tony Conrad says:

    One sees a lot of control within sex these days. It is a clever person that can sift out control. I see that in this dom and sub thing that goes on. I know that control is wrong but why do some need to be controlled? We all resist someone who tries to control us but why is this turned on it’s head with some in regard to sex? Lots of questions but few answers.

    It is said that all things are permissible within the marriage bed but I would say that any control which comes out of the bedroom into your marriage is dangerous. It should be about intimacy as mentioned above.

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  1. […] came from reading Sheila Wray Gregoire’s recent article she wrote on how the trending book series 50 Shades Of Grey is harmful to marriage.  I have heard quite a bit about this series and I have received questions from other wives asking […]

  2. […] erotica such as this into my bedroom.  For further reading check out To Love Honor and Vacuum who today posted about this subject and included several links to other blogger’s thoughts. Share […]

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  8. […] focus on creating intimacy, not just sexual fulfillment!  For more on this in more detail, click here and here.  I’ll stop listing reasons here, as I’m going to give you one more link […]

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  15. […] lovers, too. And so on this blog I’ve spoken out quite a bit against porn (and against the female version of porn as […]

  16. […] my blog! It turns out that the reason they asked me was because of this post I wrote a while back: Why 50 Shades of Grey is Bad for Your Marriage). And one of the other guests had read it but thought it was gross, and so she wasn’t exactly […]

  17. […] Yet it is also the primary plotline of most women’s erotica today, including the 50 Shades of Grey series, which I have written about at length. […]

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  19. […] new guys, but we’re still looking to “throw off those shackles”. Why else would 50 Shades of Grey, a mommy porn book that depicts a bondage relationship as something that is loving and erotic, […]

  20. […] the powers of social media marketing, think about this:  Have you ever heard of Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey?  While I am definitely not, in any way, recommending these books or movies, I can tell you that […]

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  22. […] Delivered by FeedBurner Have a SONNY day, beautiful readers!  Check out the Alabaster Jar and all the great link-ups for Marital Oneness Monday!Check out Sheila Gregoire at tolovehonorandvacuum’s Wifey Wednesday, 50 Shades of Grey is Bad for your Marriage. […]

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