Rule #33- Dirty Magazines and Erotic Fiction


A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. At this point of the post, I would like to state for the record that I have nothing against erotica (when written well). Photographed, graphic, written, and filmed porn are all wonderful things, when taken in proportion.

I’m not claiming that all women don’t want to be tied up in some rich businessman’s flat, force fed good food and expensive wine, while having S&M sex with them. I’m merely suggesting that this specific genre often stretches the truth just a little bit. 

Reading the book got me thinking about how mainstream erotica has become. The fact that an erotic novel is now at the top every international bestsellers list is the best testimony to this. And as much as I didn’t enjoy the book (because of pure literary snobbery), it’s interesting how the taboo on these kinds of novels is slowly dissipating. 

I feel that even though most of us won’t freely admit it, we have all enjoyed some sort of erotica/pornography at some point. 

It is also fascinating that a little thing like a dirty magazine, or a web-browser page left open, can cause such a lot of havoc in a relationship.

Rules for Erotica:

1. Even if porn isn’t your thing, it doesn’t make it the worst habit in the world. Just because you found your boyfriend’s copy of Lesbian Spank Inferno in the DVD player, doesn’t make him a dirty bastard and a cause for a week long argument.

People like other naked people, this is just a fact, and as long as they aren’t real people (unless that’s the arrangement that the two of you have), there is not harm for your relationship in it. 

2. The more sex you have (good sex that is) the more you want to be having; meaning, that your partner is just going to be more riled up, and if you aren’t around, will need some other kind of outlet. This is a good thing, and you should NOT make a big deal out of it! 

So what if she gets through a really large amount of rechargeable batteries?

3. Porn, magazines, and erotic fiction are not real life. I’m sure we all know this, but when we get too immersed in something we tend to forget it.

(as long as you don’t expect your girlfriend to be able to do the upside-down-wheelbarrow-monkey-picks-an-apple position because you saw it “and it looked doable”, there is no reason watching porn should cause any unnecessary friction in the relationship).

4. Fantasy worlds and escapism are wonderful things! Try and share them with your respective other.

(Who knows, you may even enjoy it…)


  1. Oh man. Lesbian Spank Inferno. Major points to you for using that reference. =D

    As someone who has been in a relationship where the other person thinks that porn = real life, I sometimes really feel like I should get rule #3 of this post emblazoned on a friggin’ T-shirt. I mean, I’m all for trying new things, honest…but for fuck’s sake, I’m not THAT flexible. Stop trying to force me to be.

      1. Everyone who doesn’t get that reference should immediately be strapped to a chair (kinky?) and forced to watch that episode of Coupling. You know. For science. :D

  2. All so true! It’s healthy in small doses even if some people view it as “taboo.” The US is so uptight when it comes to this stuff…so it’s good to see people easing up a little bit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, I really enjoy this blog!


  3. Hi, thanks for liking a post on my blog. I really appreciate it. That said, wow! I love your post! Wonderfully written and so very true! If anything, shouldn’t one be worried if their partner isn’t enjoying any form of erotica at all? After all, isn’t that just the basic human desire?

  4. Absolutely agree. The trick is to remember that erotica/porn is not real! Every woman on the tube in London is reading this book at the moment. Nobody cares. It’s actually all quite liberating. (I’m going to have to borrow my wife’s copy…)

  5. It’s amazing how things can change from being unacceptable to being the norm. I like the points you make in this; about it being ok for your other half to watch porn. I’ve been raised to think of it as being a really bad thing, so when i ended up in a male dominated environment on my computing course it was quite a shock for me how it was such a casual topic to talk about watching it. I did find it difficult at first, but I also felt that it would be wrong of me to bring up my distatse for it. It doesn’t bother me anymore as I’ve come to realise it doesn’t really mean anything compared to the emotional bond a couple can share (for me this emotional bond is more important than the physical.) I think it’s important for young sensitive girls to know this.

  6. Lesbian spank inferno? Can he lend me the dvd when he’s done? :p

    I honestly overestimated America’s kink factor. I thought light S&M was mainstream. But I think it’s safe to say that if all these women are going nuts for this book, very few of them have actually done it. If nothing else, I hope it inspires women to start voicing their sexual desires to their partners.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. I feel like people pick up the book just because it’s popular at the moment, and not because they want to vicariously live someone else’s sex life (although that really wouldn’t surprise me either). You are SO right though about woman not communicating what they want to their partners, and then generally winding up frustrated over it.

  7. i have read a lot of erotica for many many years and i finally gave 50 shades a couple chapters. but while i was intrigued, I did not continue because the writing seemed juvenile. somehow this book has made what should’ve never been taboo for women a little more acceptable. good for them. but I won’t be finishing it.

  8. not read the book yet but you’ve made some interesting points. i was always surrounded by people who are all “i know he watches it, but it insults me, like i’m not doing enough”, but i think it probably helps spice things up a little ;) if you run out of ideas or your eye is starting to wander, is it really a bad thing if you explore a little erotica? i think people feel a little embarrassed about it sometimes as well (myself included!) but maybe we just need to loosen up a bit! :D

  9. I completely agree with how “the norm” changes as time passes, in so many areas. When my parents were younger, people didn’t even talk about who they might vote for in an election much less buy a hoodie emblazened with their logo! In some ways, I like that people seem to be relaxing some taboos. Have you read Sex At Dawn? They give all kinds of interesting info about people watching others have sex and the like…

    1. I don’t read that much erotica but I find the idea of writing to get a reaction from an audience, in that sense it’s not different from horror. I’ve still got a list of books I need to check out starting with Fanny Hill. Thanks for the recommendation though, I’m always looking for new reading material (‘;

      1. (smile) I didn’t do a very good job of describing Sex At Dawn – it isn’t erotica, it’s a sociology/history book. The full title is: Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality -Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. & Cacilda Jethá, M.D. It is a great book that describes the sociobiological side of sex. :)

  10. I agree with you when you said, “I feel that even though most of us won’t freely admit it, we have all enjoyed some sort of erotica/pornography at some point.” So many people deny themselves of what they truly love. So many people look down on porn. When you look at the stats, porn is one of the world’s most lucrative businesses. I’m sure a lot of the people who condemn porn are the ones who also watch it secretly.

  11. I agree with all your points. Very valid and honest. It’s all part of the current culture, and as one who experienced the “swinging” 60’s (which wasn’t all it’s made out to be), it all comes down to your own personal preferences.On my blog I’ve penned my own version of EL James’ novel – calling it ’50 Shades of Black’, which looks at sex from a different, more fun, point of view.

  12. I think the key is understanding that porn is fiction. I haven’t seen any for years and years so maybe things have changed. But, what I have seen has made it seem like a woman gets satisfied from a lot of “pounding” in different positions. That can be harmful for inexperienced men and women if they think that’s how it happens and there is something wrong with them if it doesn’t work that way for them! I have sure as hell had boyfriends who attacked sex like porn, and it was sooooo not the least bit fun.

  13. I’m impressed a literary snob got through the book! I read the first chapter and couldn’t get past the obscene abuse (of the English language). I’m all for erotic fiction, but there are some things I just can’t stomach. :)

    1. lol, I plowed through it, I’m now on the second book (it’s taking me months, because every few pages I get too agitated to continue and put it down), but I’m like that with books, when I start one I need to finish it (:

  14. Hello! I so totally agree with this post. I actually wrote a post last week about Fifty Shades of Grey and how it certainly does stretch the truth when it comes to dating and relationships! Thanks for liking my post on the post-wedding blues. Your site rocks! Keep up the great work!

  15. thanks for visiting my site. i couldn’t agree more with what you said! i’ve always found it extremely ridiculous with a partner’s jealousy just because of porn mag and sites!

  16. Awesome post. I love the layers! Great writing also. Speaking from a guy’s perspective- When my wife and I were together and used porn as a sex aid, I was always thinking about fantasies with her while watching. So ladies, don’t feel like your man is hot for the TV lady, he might be thinking about how to say things to you he is fantasizing about. A couple of problems with porn besides the aforementioned, most porn stars are on drugs and they are all someone’s kids.

  17. Loved your post and great choice of pictures. Oh to be that bendy!

    I, however am enjoying Fifty Shades of Grey because I am happy that EL James’ lack of editing skills did not get in the way of a genuine, likeable character coming to life on the pages. She made the most of her talents and got her story out to the world. We should applaud her for that. No more gatekeepers!

  18. When I read “Lesbian Spank Inferno” I roared with laughter! :D Haven’t seen ‘Coupling’ in ages. Must get it on DVD.

    As an aside, I used to work for a Swedish TV broadcaster. It’s safe to say I have seen a ridiculous amount of porn! And y’know what, after a while, it gets thoroughly boring. You end up playing Spot The Real Orgasm (NB: few and far between) just to give yourself something to do. And 99% percent of it is so unreal you wonder how anyone can take it seriously?

    Plus, they don’t seem to be having any fun. It’s all grim faces and pained grimacing as they bull away at each other, with barely a giggle or chortle in sight. Not my idea of a good time.

    Most porn represents a very narrow view of sex, and anyone who takes it seriously is in for a very disappointing time in the bedroom.

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