No, this isn’t another tricky title. This is a serious topic that I was involved in yesterday. I am extremely thankful that it never got hostile, names weren’t being called, no cheap shots were taken and no left in tears. All good! But afterwards, I was left thinking and pondering and pondering and thinking. So I decided to take it to my (happily growing and I love that!!) blog and see what I can learn.
Is reading a book akin to adultery or cheating? Does it lead to affairs? Does it make the relationship you are in, no matter how perfect, seem lacking? At what point does it become too distracting in your relationship?
I have read books from many many different genres. I like reading and getting lost in a book. I also think that’s why I like writing. But I can tell you that I have never read a book that has made me want to act out what is going on in the pages of my book. Reading thriller novels do not make me want to become either a psycho killer or a detective. Reading Sci-Fi doesn’t make me wish my husband was an astronaut. Reading history doesn’t make me cry hysterically that I don’t live in some past era and blame my husband for it. (Although, I do wish I was some princess and do expect to be treated as such, whether I have that crown or not!)
Same goes for reading whatever genre you would like to put 50 Shades of Gray or the much better written Crossfire series. I call it Mommy Porn. Others call it unreadable! (Not for the content but for the writing skills or lack thereof! Ha!) Some call it romance. Erotica. Whatever. I have read them all, and not one time did I complain that we don’t have a red room in our house. Not once did I look at Michael and wish his jeans were worn so they hung “just so”.
I guess I never even considered reading these books as adulterous or morally wrong. Because to me, it’s a book!! It is not about real life, it’s about fantasy and not something I need to hurry and go act out or cheat on my husband to be able to fulfill some need. I can distinguish between my life and what’s going on in a book. It’s a story.
But therein lies the problem. **I** don’t find it morally wrong. Doesn’t mean everyone is open to reading stories heavy on sex, light on substance, and not feel like they are somehow betraying their spouse in their mind. I also have no problem looking at actors or models or some random dude walking down the street and not thinking, “Wow! That dude is hot!” I comment. I look. I mean, put a picture of Ian Somerhalder in front of me and the room temperature goes up a few degrees. Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall when he comes riding up over that hill on his horse? Or almost kisses Suzanna? Hello?? Epic!! But I don’t feel that makes me love my husband any less. I don’t look at him and think, “If only you looked like 30 year old Brad, I would love you more.” C’mon.
But the other side of this discussion was that adultery can be committed in the mind by coveting anyone other than your spouse. All I can say to that is, he without sin cast that first stone. Reading does nothing to make me go to the nearest bar and pick up some stranger and head to a hotel. It’s a book. Writing about sex, romance, affairs, and lust have been around for how long? Since ink went to paper? Now, admittedly, there is a big difference between Shakespeare and todays romance type novels, and Lord help me Shakespeare and EL James should never be mentioned in the same sentence (well, except for this one, but I’m making a point!).
So what do you think? Does the reading of a book lead to adultery? Does it make it morally wrong to read a book that includes sex/romance/lust because it will make you want those things that are on the pages? If it does, are any books that have romance/sex in them permitted to you?