My first experience with erotica was probably around age 6. My mom had one of those books with a peep hole cover featuring a shirtless Fabio-esque man and a busty, scantly clad woman, and I loved playing peek-a-boo with it. It never occurred to me that I was holding something inappropriate until my mom ripped it away from me, embarrassed. "You're too young for this," she told me as she tucked it under her arm and walked away... presumably to read it.
When I got older, I realized what kind of books my mom was reading, and all I could say was, "Ewwwwww." All my mom could say was, "Women like sex, too."
When it comes to women and sex, you might be surprised to find out that a woman's most powerful sexual organ is her brain. A nibble on the ear might get her heart racing, a passionate kiss might heat things up, but the real way to quicken a woman's pulse is through her mind. For ladies, massages and making out can be great turn-ons, but nothing compares to the power the brain has over her sexual desire. Dirty talk, sharing fantasies, and intimate conversations work far better than a bottle of lube.
If the brain is most responsible for sexual desire, then what happens when you read erotica? With page after page of tearing off clothes, biting lips, and passionate love making, can erotica affect your sex life? I tried reading only erotica for a week to find out. But there are a few things you should know first.
I live with my boyfriend of almost five years. So, that means I'm in a long-term monogamous relationship, and I've read plenty of "How To Keep Your Sex Life Alive" articles, although none of them recommend reading as a way to keep things interesting. Although my boyfriend and I are still in lust with one another (despite what popular movie clichés would have you believe about long-term relationships), it's easy to fall into a routine. I was curious: Would reading erotica for a week change things at all? Here's what happened:
Dressing sexy for bed became the norm
If I don't pass out on the couch watching Netflix, fully clothed, my normal bedtime attire consists of sweats and a ratty T-shirt. Like a lot of women, I have a drawer full of lingerie, but I usually reserve it for special occasions. Reading erotica every night before bed, however, inspired me to sex things up a little bit. In so many of the books (and I read about four over the course of a week), the women are just as sexy as the men. Their bras are lacy, their panties are sexy — that is if their wearing any — and they never end the night with a cuddle and matching college sweat pants. I didn't wear fishnets and crotchless panties to bed every night, but I did lose the ripped shirt in favor of a silky nightie or my personal favorite, the Birthday Suit. Reading erotica made me feel sexy, and that inspired me to dress sexy, too.
I started looking for new sex-ourtunities
OK, I have to admit that I have always been a bit of an exhibitionist, but when my only reading material is erotica — the kind where lovers have quickies on horseback — it made me look at in-the-moment locations in a whole new light. My days of bathroom hookups are (thankfully) behind me, but while my man and I were out for drinks, I couldn't help but think how easy it would be to slip outside in the empty courtyard. The hike we'd been on a million times before seemed to have secret meadows I'd never noticed before. Did I act on any of them? Sadly, no, but I did think about it, and when you spend an entire day or night fantasizing about something, bedtime that night can become oh-so-much fun.
I was generally more aroused
Maybe I didn't jump my boyfriend's bones wherever we were, but I did find myself more turned-on in general. I'm the kind of person whose reading and television selection has a pretty big effect on my temperament. Like reading only Murakami makes me feel completely detached from everyone, reading only erotica made me excited and frisky. I wasn't sex-crazed and unable to focus on anything but getting laid, but I was aroused more easily and more frequently than usual. I have to admit, it felt pretty damn good, like that "honeymoon" phase of your relationship when you can't stop picturing your partner naked.
I was less self-conscious in the bedroom
If you've ever read erotica, then you know how ridiculous some of the dialogue is. There's real dirty talk, and then there's erotica dirty talk, which is really graphic and sometime laugh-out-loud funny. But we're not into erotica for the dialogue, are we? Next to the outrageous things that lovers whisper in each other's ears in the sexy novels I was reading, nothing I could do in bed would come remotely close on the awkward scale. I didn't worry about my dirty talk being too dirty or my moves being too over the top, because I had read much worse. It was liberating.
I acted more aggressively, emotionally and physically
A lot of erotica I read featured a lot of angst, a lot of fighting, and a lot of hot, rough sex. There were lovers' quarrels, passionate fights, and even more passionate make up sex. Being immersed in that kind of persistent action and aggression made me act a little aggressive too. Like all couples, my boyfriend and I fight, but I seemed to pick more than usual over the last week. They were short and quick, and usually ended up with — you guessed it, sex. Thought I didn't enjoy the arguing, I did enjoy everything that followed.
I talked about sex... a lot
With my friends, with my boyfriend, with my sisters, sex was on the brain. I talked to everyone about my own sex life, their sex lives, sex scenes in movies, sex scenes in books. In fact, I wonder just how many times I said the word sex last week. Sure, I have plenty of girlfriends who I swap stories with, and I am not shy about telling my boyfriend what, where, and how I want it, but I felt more inclined to bring it when it was my required reading. Can you blame me?
So, does reading erotica really change your sex life?
Change is probably too strong of a word. Reading erotica was definitely fun, and it made me think about sex and desire a lot, but it didn't cause any real changes in my behavior. I was a little more turned on then usual and I wore different pajamas (or no pajamas) to bed, but I didn't adapt new sexual preferences, try new positions, or act our any scenes from the book. The best part of reading erotica was how liberating it felt. It was refreshing, as a woman, to immerse myself in a world of sex that was tailored for me, not my partner. And if anything, I finally understand why my mom had some of these tucked away in her library. She was right: Women like sex, too.
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