A Dad’s Response to Fifty Shades of Grey

How a Dad Taught His Daughters about Life, Love, and even 50 Shades of Grey!

Today I want to share with you a beautiful story of how a dad makes a difference in his daughters’ lives by deliberately teaching them how they should be treated!

I’m just back from a speaking tour in Texas (you can see some photos here on Facebook!), and I’m tired. So when my friend Rajdeep Paulus sent me this article I jumped at it. It’s awesome. And I hope these are messages we can all instill in our children. Here’s Raj:

Several years ago, about two weeks before February 14th, my husband graciously declares, “From now on, I’m in charge of Valentine’s Day.”

With four princesses and his wife to think about, this is no easy task to take on, in my opinion. To tell you the truth, hubby’s not into feeding the whole commercial industry on big holidays. But he’s a Daddy of four daughters, and he wants them to grow up knowing what it means to be treated with love and respect by a man, long before they ever start dating. Our oldest is now fourteen and the youngest is seven.

So the last several years have been filled with teddy bears, chocolate, hearts and homemade breakfast. And I haven’t had to lift a finger. This year was no different. And yet, it was very different. The packages started arriving earlier this week, and hubby filed them into our bedroom with a hands off till Saturday look in his eyes. No peeking allowed.

And when February 14th morning arrived, not a girl was stirring, but one Dad was.

The sound of rustling came from the living room. Later the bang of pots and pans graced the kitchen. It was nine o’clock, and all I really wanted was a cup of coffee. So I asked if I could help and permission granted. While hubby plugged away at something on the big screen in the living room (our computer was hooked up to the TV,) I ventured off to the grocery store for coffee beans and whipped cream—my version of chocolate and flowers.

Upon returning, the table was set in the living room with a red cloth and china. The couches were covered with blankets (no time for wrapping paper this year,) and music began to roll. After thanking God for his four princesses and his ‘queen,’ we all sat down to eat French toast and watch a slide show of family pictures on the screen. This was all sweet. But this was only the beginning.

After the pics stopped, and our tummies were filled, hubby switched the screen to a power point presentation that read, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” and then began to share his heart.

He flipped the screen, and a quote from Proverbs about the importance of sleep splashed across the screen. “Sleep,” he said, “is a very important part of our lives.”

And he went on to tell our girls how it’s important to sleep enough and not too much.

And if anyone is having trouble sleeping, to figure out why and address the problem. He also encouraged them to one day, when they’re grown up and on their own, to set their alarms and know when their mornings would start. Not to just let the days happen to them.

Next he flipped to a slide that talked about beds. And then he went on to talk to the girls about boys and dating and the importance of respecting themselves, their bodies and the sacred place that their beds play in their lives. “Your bed is where you sleep and no one sleeps with you until you’re married. [He prefaced that he’s not counting slumber parties they have with their friends.]

But your bed is a sacred place.”

He even went on to say, “When you’re in college, if you live in the dorms, don’t let people get comfortable on your bed during the day. Because when it gets late at night, they might not want to leave, and now you’ve already made it easy for them to stay. Make your college bed a no-sit zone. Be bold. Point your friends to a chair. The floor. They can sit anywhere but on your bed. Is that clear?”

And the girls all nodded. I thought this might be a bit extreme, but this mama, who has a bad habit of wanting to give her two cents, kept quiet. This was a Daddy moment. He didn’t need my help.

Then he talked about a movie that was just released. “You might have heard about this movie that everyone’s talking about right now. The one based on a book?”

Only our fourteen-year old responded, “Yes, Fifty Shades of Grey. What’s it about anyway?”

But the others shook their heads. And our seven-year old fidgeted in her chair. Not because the topic made her uncomfortable. She’s seven. She was ready to open the presents.

“Well,” and hubby was honest, “I haven’t read the book, and I have no plans to see the movie, but I’ve read enough posts on line that describe the content, and it’s the exact opposite message I’m trying to give you. And the main thing I want you to leave today with is the importance of respecting yourself and demanding respect from others, especially a boyfriend or a future spouse, because if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t expect other people to respect you.”

I couldn’t resist any longer. My two cents spilled. And I shared very briefly about how I took a self-defense class in college and the number one hardest thing we had to learn was to say, “No,” and to say it loudly. “When you tell a guy no, he has to really push past his internal moral voice to keep doing what he’s doing.

And if he doesn’t respect you enough to stop, he:

1. Doesn’t love you enough to respect you
2. Isn’t healthy enough himself to know the importance of respect in a relationship, or
3. You might need some time apart from each other to work on yourselves.”

And then we made the girls practice saying, “No.” Screaming, “No!” And they each did.

Then hubby told us all to stand in front of the couches, designating a spot for each girl in his life. It was time to open the gifts. On three, we pulled off the blankets to reveal his Valentine’s presents to us this year:

New pillows and new sheets. The girls loved them. As did I.

And after we dropped our daughters off with famliy to go out for our dinner date in New York City, we pulled out of the Midtown Tunnel and turned down a street to face the red lit Empire State Building, pulsing like a beating heart. All the while, I couldn’t help but thank God for this man of mine.

We know the girls will grow up. We can’t stop time. We know they’ll make their own choices. We have no plans or desire to control them. But I’m just wowed by this man, a husband and a father, who thinks about how best to equip them for the years ahead.

For the one area he has the loudest voice in, because until they do start dating. Until they get married. He is the man in their lives.

I hope the girls never forget this Valentine’s Day. I know I never will.

swimmingthroughcloudsRajdeep Paulus, Award-Winning author of Swimming Through Clouds and Seeing Through Stones, is mommy to four princesses, wife of Sunshine, a coffee-addict and a chocoholic. As of this June 2013, she’s a Tough Mudder. To find out more, visit her blog In Search of Waterfalls, or connect with her via Facebook  TwitterPinterest, or Instagram . Here’s an article about her books on the home page of Amazon!

51njxNzwd3L._SL160_Check out Raj’s other blog posts on To Love, Honor and Vacuum (she’s great!):

Top 10 Things Teens Ask About Sex
Top 10 Reasons for Morning Sex
Honeymoon Blues to “O”ver the Rainbow (about reaching the big “O”!)
Ten Hardest Things to Share After Saying “I Do”

 

The Appeal of 50 Shades of Grey–and Why We Should Fight

Why 50 Shades of Grey Appeals--and what our response should be

Fifty Shades of Grey is coming to theaters everywhere next Valentine’s Day. It’s become the highest advanced ticket sales for any R-rated movie ever. Groups of women are going to see it together.

What should our response be?

It’s sold as a series that can reignite women’s sex drives, boost their libidos, and even enhance their marriages. But is that true?

Today all over the online world bloggers are uniting to talk about this movie and why it’s a bad idea. I’ve written several posts on the book before, including:

I want to take a bit of a different approach in today’s post and talk about why the movie appeals–and then what we should do about that.

Why Are Women Drawn to 50 Shades of Grey?

Honestly, I’ve read a lot of Christian commentary on 50 Shades of Grey, and the response is often something like: “it’s wrong, period!” People see the whips and the chains and the awful language and we’re horrified.

I agree that reading erotica is wrong and that it will harm your marriage. And this particular series glamourizes what is essentially a violent, abusive relationship (with shades of pedophilia in there, too).

Nevertheless, many women are drawn into the sexual fantasy about it.

But here’s the complicating factor: a lot of sin in our lives isn’t caused by sinful hearts as much as it is caused by brokenness–by deep places of hurt within ourselves. Remember when Jesus warned people not to be a stumbling block to one of his little ones and cause them to sin? He wasn’t denying that the little ones were sinning; but he was saying that the cause of that sin was not some evil on the part of the little ones, but some way that they had been hurt or harmed by someone else.

Brokenness is as much a cause of sin as our own sinful nature. Brokenness is dangerous.

And just like many men (and women) are tempted towards porn because they feel lonely and it gives them a sense of control, so there is something inside of many women which draws them towards this kind of erotica.

Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's HeartDannah Gresh and Juli Slattery do a great job in the book Pulling Back the Shades to explain why 50 Shades of Grey is so alluring to so many. But I want to take it even farther today. They talk about how women are looking for more excitement in their sex life; how they’re sick of being bored (among other things), and that’s all true. But that would apply to any kind of erotica or any kind of sex toys, etc. The simple fact is that there is something unique about this particular brand of erotica–this particular story of bondage and sado-masochism that has captivated millions. What is it? That’s what I want to figure out today, because I think when we understand the root we’ll understand the response.

Root #1: Feeling Alone

The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual ThoughtsIn her book The Fantasy Fallacy, Shannon Ethridge looks at how we all have sexual fantasies, and those fantasies are not all bad. Some, however, cross a line. But where do those fantasies come from? Our sexual self is very rooted in our identities, our fears, and our deepest longings. And those are shaped especially by our brokenness. So it’s hardly surprising that our sexual fantasies often say much about the state of our hearts.

When you look at the root of the fantasy appeal of 50 Shades of Grey, you can see a lot of brokenness.

Let’s start with this: The book centers on a naive 21-year-old who is alone in the world and just beginning her adult life.

Do you remember those years?

I do, and they weren’t pretty. They were the loneliest and scariest of my life. I didn’t know what I’d be doing. I didn’t know who I’d marry (or if I’d marry). I didn’t know if I’d be alone my whole life.

I have two daughters aged 17 and 20, and so I’m surrounded by them and by their friends. And this is a hard, horrible time for many of them. It’s just really unsettling. I wouldn’t want to go back at all.

And so, in the midst of feeling naive and unprepared for life, she meets this strong, confident billionaire (yes, billionaire. Good, realistic plotting isn’t exactly what this series is known for). She gets someone who will take care of her (even in a warped way). And that can be really intoxicating.

 Root #2: Feeling Like You Don’t Have To Be In Control

A lot of women are control freaks. It’s not necessarily because we want to be in control, though. It’s because there are so many things we’re desperately worried about, and because we’re multitaskers, we think about them all the time. We can’t get away from them. And because we worry so much, we feel like everything rests on our shoulders. If we don’t do all the right things, everything will fall apart.

That’s a heavy responsibility.

We feel responsible for making the right decisions about our kids. We feel responsible for our marriages, for our parents, for our friends. We feel responsible for keeping ministries going at church. We have so much on our shoulders.

Doesn’t being free of the burden of control sound intoxicating?

A while back I had some health scares and I had to go through a number of tests. I posted a Facebook update that I had had an MRI–and despite all the banging (MRIs are really loud) I almost fell asleep. It was one of the most relaxing times I’d had in ages! I got to lie there, and there was absolutely nothing I was allowed to do except be still. It was heaven. And all kinds of women echoed similar things.

So perhaps it’s no wonder that the whole idea of bondage and someone else being in control and making all the decisions appeals in a deep way to women. Many of us are wounded because we are carrying around burdens and cares that cannot and should not be our own.

Root #3: Dealing with Shame

Many of us are just plain ashamed of our sexuality. We equate being aggressive in bed or even enjoying ourselves with being slutty or being “bad”. It’s hard for us to initiate sex, or to tell our husbands what we want in bed.

Having a man that takes the choice out of it, then, is freeing. If he’s doing something TO you, and you can’t resist, then you’re free to enjoy yourself without having to admit that you’re somehow bad.

So those are many of the roots. They aren’t the only ones, but they’re the obvious ones. Do you see yourself in any of them? If you can understand why you may be drawn to these things, then it’s easier to fight against it. You don’t need to beat yourself up; you need to deal with the underlying brokenness.

Dealing with the Ugly Fruit

Remember, the root just shows us what our heart issues are. But when we let that root take hold and we let that grow, we can bear some awfully ugly fruit.

And that’s what happens with erotica like this. We may have reasons to be drawn to it, but when we read a lot of erotica, or watch it in movies, it clouds our fantasies. It starts to pair our sexual response with a fantasy rather than a person (our husbands), and just like porn does, it makes it harder to stay present with our husbands. We’re not making love with them; we’re using them while fantasies are going through our heads.

And those fantasies are hard to remove. Soon you need them even to get aroused. Not a good thing. And that’s when we cross the line from brokenness into sin.

Then there are those who will eventually start to act this stuff out. There’s a reason demand for bondage gear is growing. But when you start living this out in real life, you cement a relationship which is the farthest thing from truly intimate you can find. You create a violent, degrading relationship instead of a healthy meeting of two equals.

What Should Our Response to 50 Shades of Grey Be?

If you’re drawn to 50 Shades of Grey:

Recognize the reasons. Try to identify the roots of the appeal of the fantasy. Is it that you don’t want to be alone? Don’t want to feel in control all the time? Want to enjoy sex without feeling shame? If you can identify the root, then you can help heal any brokenness that’s there. You can run to God to work out your insecurities. You can work with your husband on how to feel more comfortable with your sexuality. You can start wrestling with God about how to trust Him in faith and not having to be so in control.

That’s a tall order, I know, because for many of us these roots run deep. Many porn addicts suffer from a similar thing. Their roots are often things like never being properly affirmed (in porn the women are always there and ready and eager), or never feeling like  you’re powerful enough. Sometimes a big part of defeating the temptation of these things is seeing the root.

If you’re talking with someone who is thinking of seeing the 50 Shades movie:

Explain the chemical process of how we start to pair sexual arousal with fantasy, and then we can’t get aroused in a relationship anymore. Tell her it’s a very similar physiological response as men with porn. And here’s what else happens: once we start using erotica, we tend to want more–and different. So we read weirder and weirder stuff that we would never have been drawn to before. It changes you in ways you don’t want.

Emphasize this rather than just “it’s sinful”. The “it’s sinful” doesn’t always help. Yes, it is, but sin has repercussions. If you explain the repercussions, it’s easier for people to see the danger.

The Pull for Porn & Erotica for Women Is Going to Escalate

Porn is a problem for men today in a way it never was before the internet. It was always a temptation, but it was never this widespread.

This is going to escalate for women now, too. We’re the next target. And it’s an easy progression from erotica to full blown porn.

So let’s start realizing that not all porn users are male, and that females struggle too. And let’s protect ourselves (and our daughters). Talk openly with your friends so that we make talking about this mainstream. Get filters on your computer. And fight against it!

Sex Can Be Fun–and Healthy!

So let’s spread the word that we don’t need bondage, whips and chains to have fun in bed! What we need is greater openness, less shame, and more intimacy.

31 Days to Great SexAnd that’s why on this Fight Back Against 50 Shades of Grey weekend I’m going to put 31 Days to Great Sex on for just $2.99 from my store (in .pdf) and on Kindle at Amazon.

I want to give you EVERY REASON to pick up this book. Seriously, it’s only 3 dollars! And it’s got 31 challenges you and your husband can do together to help you talk about sex again, explore more, flirt more, be more affectionate, and spice things up. And I have several days where we deal with all the junk that’s holding us back, too.

Already have it? Pick up a copy for a friend, or a sister, or a relative that is thinking of going to see the movie. Show them there’s another way!

31 Days 50 Shades Sale

On Vulnerability, Sex, and Women’s Erotica

How Women's Erotica Distorts True Intimacy
Up in my neck of the woods, in Ontario, our license plates switched over a couple of years ago to the format four letters and three numbers. And every time a particular community office in the Ministry of Transportation needs more license plates, they get sent 1000 at a time–a complete run of a certain four letter pattern. So about 10 years ago Belleville, where I live, got AFVL. Drive around town and you’ll see all kinds of AFVL license plates.

Well, Ontario has worked through all of the As and we’re now on Bs. And Kingston, close to our little town, got sent the BDSM license plates. I’m not sure why someone higher up allowed them through. Surely somebody must have said, “Ummm, perhaps that’s not the best combination.” But there you go. And right next door to my aunt is a family with a huge mini van and a ton of kids and a license plate that begins with BDSM.

(For those of you who may not know why this is so bad, BDSM are the acronyms for a particular sexual practice that involves bondage and inflicting pain. And I’m not getting any more detailed than that.)

Anyway, the thought of all these minivans driving around advertising this got me thinking last week: BDSM has really become mainstream. It used to be a fetish, whispered about in “bad” circles. Certainly no one talked about it in polite company. It was taboo. It was twisted. It was warped.

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

Why? What’s the allure?

Now I do think a part of the allure to that series is that deep inside people like “traditional” roles. We women like having a man who is a MAN, who leads, and men like having a woman who submits. And hence the current BDSM acts this out in the extreme, because we’re not getting it in relationship. That’s been written about at length, and I won’t add to that commentary here, because I have something slightly different to add to the conversation, and it’s this:

Deep inside, we know that sex is supposed to be a deeply intimate experience.

It is not supposed to only be physical; there’s supposed to be an emotional and spiritual element to it as well. We’re supposed to truly “know” each other when we make love. In fact, it’s part of “knowing” each other. Trust and vulnerability, then, become part of a healthy, intimate sexual relationship. In order for it to work well, we have to be able to trust our spouse, and to be vulnerable enough to tell him what we actually want. We have to be able to open up. And that’s all part of what makes sex great.

There’s that one person that you are totally vulnerable with. You bare your soul with them in a way that you don’t with anyone else. It’s completely private, and completely exclusive, and completely vulnerable.

We’re hard wired for that.

But what happens if sex becomes only about the physical, and not about the other connections? If sex is taken outside of the marriage context, then there’s no more real spiritual intimacy because there’s no commitment. And that means that at heart there can’t be true vulnerability. You don’t know if you’re connected to this person for life, so you don’t have real trust.

That doesn’t mean that people who aren’t married never really enjoy sex; obviously people can have a truly pleasurable time physically. But there will always be something missing.

And what is that something? It’s that trust and vulnerability connection.

Where does BDSM come into all of this? The whole theme of BDSM is that you become truly vulnerable to someone else. You take on a uniquely vulnerable position with one other person–something you don’t do with others. There’s a level of trust there. The difference is that it’s focused almost entirely on the physical. And as you become physically vulnerable, it takes on an emotional and spiritual bond, too–even if that bond is warped.

So why is BDSM so attractive to so many?

I think it’s because people are searching for that vulnerability and trust connection.

And when they can’t find it in their sexual relationship (because it really is only available in a committed marriage), then they take on a pseudo-vulnerability and a pseudo-trust by confining sex to the physical, and not emotional or spiritual, realm. It’s trying to experience that immense closeness that we all know sex is supposed to give us without actually committing to someone for life.

I’m not saying that married people never engage in this, by the way; I’m just saying that the reason that it has become so attractive to so many is because it attempts to fill a very real sexual need and drive that God gave us in a whole other way. It’s as if everybody knows there’s something missing with run of the mill sex outside of marriage, so they’re trying to search for that missing something without actually doing it the way that God said to in the first place: keep sex inside of a committed, marriage relationship.

It’s pseudo-vulnerability and pseudo-trust.

And it’s transforming the whole way that sexual relationships are now seen in the wider culture.

I just find it sad that it’s all become so mainstream, because going down that road will never really fill and satisfy. Pseudo-vulnerability cannot replace true emotional and spiritual vulnerability. That you can only get from marriage, and unlike BDSM, that truly is a beautiful relationship.

The Mainstreaming of Porn

'speed reading' photo (c) 2006, Pedro Figueiredo - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

When I was young, it was hard to come across porn by accident. It was all sold in special stores, or on high shelves in magazine racks. Novels weren’t really raunchy in the same way. It wasn’t as if porn could just jump out at you, by accident.

But today I’ve had a rather distressing experience. I went into Shoppers’ Drug Mart, a big drug store chain up here in Canada. The vast majority of what they sell is beauty products and medicines. But they do have a magazine aisle, and the “top 20″ book section. And there, in a large display, was 50 Shades of Grey. Then my daughter and I went to our grocery store, which sells–you guessed it–groceries. But even they have a new “top 20″ book section, and there was 50 Shades of Grey, too.

The books are at eye level, or lying on a table. Anyone can pick them up. They’re mixed in with Hunger Games and the latest mystery thriller. They look so, well, NORMAL.

I’ve already written on what I think of the trilogy. I completely believe that 50 Shades of Grey is bad for marriage. It’s a dangerous trend. But what makes me even more sad is that it’s now completely mainstream. “Pick up your milk and eggs, and grab a copy on the way out!” Browse for some beach reading on the go, and grab a copy along with the latest bestsellers.

It’s just sad, that’s all.

Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Still 30% off at Amazon!

On another note (but a related one), my sales for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sexspiked last week for some reason. I don’t know why exactly, but I’ve been detecting a trend. Most books sell by word of mouth (that’s what happened to 50 Shades of Grey!). And as people read it and like it, they tell friends about it. And I’ve been getting emails from people telling me they’ve recommended it to friends, so perhaps word of mouth is building!

I know that we in the church aren’t always completely comfortable talking about sex. But honestly, if you want a great, fun sex life, pick up The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex! And if you’ve already read it, please tell someone about it. Let’s get a trend going of GOOD books to spice up your marriage, not books that will kill intimacy. So if you hear women talking about 50 Shades of Grey, tell them about this instead! And ask your local library to order it, too.

Read some reviews here. Pick up the Kindle edition here. Or buy the paperback!

How to Spice Things Up without Fifty Shades of Grey

Spicing Things Up without 50 Shades of Grey
Yesterday I wrote about why reading 50 Shades of Grey can be harmful to your marriage: basically, it causes you to fantasize, so that it’s harder to stay “present” with your spouse.

But in reading some of the comments here and on Facebook, I think that the book is filling a need (albeit in a harmful way). Women are saying:

Sex is boring! I’m not excited by my husband. I’ve lost my libido. And I need to find a way to get in touch with the sexual side of myself again.

Ladies, I totally understand. And I want to help you do that in a PURE way!

You see, as I said in a whole section in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, “pure” and “hot” should really go together. Why? Because pure sex is when we feel deeply and intimately connected. And when you feel deeply and intimately connected, you’re going to lose control. You’re going to be vulnerable. Your walls will come down. You’re going to feel like you want to be “taken”. Those are all “hot” things!

And you can have hot without needing erotica. In fact, the more you read erotica, the less able you’ll be to experience real “pure and hot” intimacy because you’ll be living more and more in a fantasy life. Just like some people need a drink or two before they can be comfortable in public, many people need to look at porn or read erotica before they can become aroused. And that’s not good.

So how can we find that route to arousal again without erotica, if our sex lives have become boring? Here are a few thoughts:

1. Dream About It

Fantasy in and of itself isn’t bad. Fantasy about weird things or about other people can be dangerous, but fantasies about what you’d like to do with your husband, or what you’ve done in the past, are quite fine. In fact, I think we’re supposed to think about these things! So during the day, let yourself think about sex. Get in the right frame of mind. If you want to feel sexy, you don’t need to pick up a book to do it. Just start thinking of some scenarios you’d like to do with your husband, too.

Then take some control and bring them to pass! Tell him about them, or better still, just initiate them yourself at night. When you become more energetic and take the initiative in bed, you’re more likely to feel sexy. And for many women it’s also more likely to be pleasurable, because you angle things so they work for you.

Now, if you try these things and he isn’t receptive because his sex drive is much lower than yours, then please read this series. But let me also say that in your case, in particular, these kinds of books can be very dangerous, because you already have reason to be dissatisfied. Don’t make it worse!

2. Have Sex More Frequently

Want to turn up the libido? You may just need to make love more often. Libido is a “use it or lose it” phenomenon. If you want to get in touch with sexy, try making love every night for a week. But don’t do it the same way every night. Have a rule that no two times can be in the same position, or done the same way.

And if you take this challenge, you’ll find another habit change is probably coming, too: you’ll start going to bed at a decent time, so that you can actually have some fun. When we start going to bed on time more regularly, that, in and of itself, can make you feel sexier!

Spice Things Up without Fifty Shades of Grey!

3. Reawaken Your Body

Speaking of “use it or lose it”, yesterday commenter Doris said this:

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.

I know that some people steer clear of yoga because of the eastern mysticism associated with it, but honestly, I haven’t had any of that in the classes I’ve taken at the Y. Just be on the lookout for it. Yoga is mostly learning how to stretch, relax, and pay attention to your breathing, if that’s all you do, it doesn’t go against Christianity at all (and if your teacher brings it around to eastern mysticism and meditation, find a new teacher!).

And Doris is right! When we start doing yoga (or any exercise that stretches you and helps you pay attention to breathing), you’ll start to feel sexy, too!

4. Give Up Some Control

Part of the allure of 50 Shades of Grey is the BDSM nature of it (bondage, sadomasochism, etc.) For many women this touches a cord, because the idea of being completely helpless and at someone’s disposal can be attractive (often it’s more attractive in fantasy than in real life, but still). I think sex is supposed to be mutual, and so the idea that someone is hurt so that someone can get pleasure, or that only one person gets pleasure and the other always gives it, isn’t biblical to my mind. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving up some control. You could say to your husband, “for tonight, I’m yours.” And let him decide what you do (within limits, of course. Read here for more).

And I’ve written before about how letting him touch you, without you moving, can help you figure out how you actually like to be touched. It can be quite arousing.

I’m not one who believes that sex has to always be done the same way, or that each episode has to be one in which we’re having sex simply to say “I love you”. It’s wonderful to express tenderness and love while we’re making love, but let’s face it: sex is supposed to mirror our relationship with God. And that is not always tender. He loves us fiercely. He loves us possessively. And I believe He created sexuality to be the same way.

So sometimes you may want things to be a little more about being “taken”, and a little less about making love while you kiss gently. That’s okay. All of those things are part of a great marriage. So if this is something you want, tell your husband!

31 Days to Great Sex5. Play Some Games

Finally, I’ve written a post as part of my 29 Days to Great Sex series about how to spice things up! Lots of ideas there, including things to do with dice, how to create “his” and “hers” nights, and more! And I’ve turned that series into a book called 31 Days to Great Sex, with even more ideas.

A lot of women are using 50 Shades of Grey to help them get aroused. May I suggest instead that you simply use your husband? That’s what he’s there for! So fantasize about him. Tell him what you’re thinking. Flirt with him. Play some games. Get more active. When you turn to erotica, you take the easy way out. You become aroused from a story, not from actually making an effort in your relationship. Our society gravitates towards quick fixes and short cuts, but in the end it’s not fulfilling. Try to make that effort and make sex stupendous between you. That, in the end, is much hotter!

My book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, has “Good Girl Dares” throughout it that will help you jumpstart your libido WITH your husband, rather than WITHOUT him!

Have you ever had trouble with erotica? Or do you understand the lure for many women? Tell us your story about how to get over these ruts in your marriage!