Saturday, November 04, 2006

Like A Porn Star

Yes, Bellas, we've all heard it before, and you've hinted the same here: Men whose wives/girlfriends read romance report more -- and more satisfying -- sex.



But I want to know the facts, and I want to hear them from his lips, as well as yours. I haven't figured out all the details, but I want some anecdotal evidence to use in a paper I'm writing. Names of contributors won't be used in the paper. Plus, this is a blog, so we're really anonymous, as close as we tend to feel.

So, how can I get him and you to give me the score? I'm not talking positions, or anything. I want to know stuff like:

How has your reading affected your emotional intimacy and, in turn, has that affected sexual expression w/in your relationship?

What kinds of connections has he made between your intimacy as a couple and your reading romance?

What kinds of connections has he made between your reading romance and his noting an increase in your well-being or self-esteem?

If reading romance has caused an increase in amount and quality of intimacy, how does it make him feel?

One couple drawn from all authenticated responses will win a $100 Gift Certificate from a bookstore TBA. Once we figure out how this is gonna work, anywayz.

24 comments:

Vivi Anna said...

Great idea for a paper Michelle. And if I had a man I'd let you use us with names and everything!! I'm not shy... :-)

rachd said...

Okay, this is like an essay. Fabulous idea though.

My husband has definitely made a connection between my romance reading and the level of intimacy we have. In fact, right after Little Bit was born, while I was home on maternity leave, I had a ton of time on my hands (Little Bit has always been an excellent napper/sleeper) and read a passel 'o novels. I think if we could have figured out a way to make the mortgage payment B would have had me quit my job then and there so I could stay home all day reading ;o).

Figure out what you want, Michelle, and I'll be more than happy to help in any way I can! =)

Jennifer Y. said...

Too bad I'm single...LOL

robynl said...

When reading a romance novel I am more explicit with my feelings and emotions and hubby senses this. Also, I get turned on much faster if I've just been reading. I feel more confident with myself and this comes through in my actions, responses to his touch, etc.
Wow, $100 GC! Look out hubby, here I come and don't have a heart attack for goodness sake, LOL. I'm warning you ahead.

Michele said...

Easy response for me.

Once I rediscovered romance books, it was like a breathe of fresh air had entered our marraige.

I always had a low drive. Never knew the reason.
It was something I even went to counseling for with only limited results.

Enter hot scenes from Linda Howard and Jaid Black and it did more for me (cheaper too!) than any amount of professional intervention.

The rest is history.
Happy history.
Reading romance strengthened my marriage and personal relationship with my husband.

I think it's funny when he now asks, "Read anything ... interesting?"

Now he encourages my "habit" as he realizes the benefits he reaps.

**gg**, well, we BOTH reap. :-)

LISA WILLIAMS said...

My hubby says since I have been reading the romances books, our sex lives have been refreshing and frequent, lol

Shuck Ying said...

I have to say the intimacy with my hubby has been more satisfying for both of us since I began to read romances. Of course, he finds the erotic romance books are an enjoyable read when we read together.

Deborah Chan said...

My hubby definitely connects my reading the romances and our level of intimacy. He believes that we have become closer than ever and share our feelings, and express ourselves better. We are more touchy together, lol.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

You see! This is what I mean, I knew it wasn't just me.

Do you think it's too nosy of me? Here's why I want to know this:

Way back in the early 80s, a woman did a "study" of romance readers and came up with some pretty soft evidence that made romance readers look kinda like pawns of a patriarchal society. Today, feminists support our reading choices and say they allow us to decide what turns us on.

Anywayz, one of the things the 80s researcher surmised was that romance readers weren't crazed for erotic imagery, themes, language, etc.

I'm kinda guessin women who were interviewed may not have trusted that she was supportive of their reading and may have clammed up about something that was embarrassing to begin with. This was the early 80s, remember; lots of women were freer sexually, but not all women, certainly not most ot the "middle American" cross section she looked at.

Anywayz, I'm not out to disprove her -- I'm not a researcher or expert in gener studies -- I just want to share what we discuss anecdotally about how romance reading has empowered us in various ways, emotionally, intellectually (in the way we're able to meet in places like this one to talk about romance in a literate way, as if romance "really matters" ) in our intimate relationshps.

In a way, it's a kind of a fun way to poke at those folks who think our genre is insignificant, fluffy, facile, etc.

I think anthing that fosters emotional intimacy is powerful, but one has to be very strong to be open to it.

We are romance readers, hear us roar.

rachd said...

Gotcha! Here's how it was/is for me. Reading romances as a teenager not only clued me into how a meaningful relationship could be taken to another level, but also gave me some insight into things that might be a turn-on for me. I didn't have a boyfriend when I first began reading romances but I filed a lot of info away for later use. They also introduced me to positions other than missionary. Yes, I knew they were out there, but the logistics were baffling--I could barely figure out how the male *ahem* appendage was supposed to do its thing, let alone how we were going to be able to make it all work. So I guess romances were a sex manual of sorts with a fantastic love story thrown in for good measure.

Now, I'll read 'em, get turned on, and be rarin' and ready to go ;o). This is just fine with the hubby and he will often ask, "So, what have you been reading lately?"

In fact, when I go back to work each Fall, my romance reading fall off MAJORLY and I find our relationship is not nearly as intimate as it is when I'm not working. Sure, some could write it off as stress from work, but I know it is also because I don't read as much when I go back to work.

Hope this helps!

ellie said...

Reading romance novels has definitely influenced our marriage. We communicate much more openly and are attuned to each other's wants and desires. We are also more sensitive to each other's moods and feelings. This has taken place due to my enjoyment of romance novels and it is evident in our entire relationship.

pearl said...

Romance reading is a mood enhancer which does have a positive effect upon my marriage. It allows me the freedom to explore this other world which improves my outlook and then promises me real joy in my intimate and everyday relations with my husband. From reading the novels I have developed into a more caring, compassionate and warmer individual. This has lead to a more meaningful life.

joelle said...

Romance reading provides me with a built in motivator. I read the books because they are enjoyable and stimulating. What is noticeable is the change that has taken place in my marriage. Becoming more amiable, better companions as well as the wonderful benefit of strengthening our love, which was there but not as strong and regular.

Stacy~ said...

I'm with Jennifer - too bad I'm single *g*

Anyway, I agree with everyone here. Reading romances definitely is sexy and I noticed by reading all kinds of different stories, it's opened up my mind to fantasies I never really considered before but find I enjoy. They also make me feel more confident and more assertive in that way. So men who scoff about women reading romances do not know what they are missing! LOL

Tam said...

This maybe a different answer than some of the other posts because I am the husband answering for my wife. Our relationship has always been a very close one and the intimacy between us is very sexual. Since my wife has started to reading romance novels I have notice and a lot of new techniques she uses that she did not use before which has really turn me on. In fact so much so that I help look and buy more books. I do not actually read any of the books but she is always showing or reading me some of the passages. I encourage her to read more!!! The books help keep our sex life ever changing.
R.G.

Patty H said...

Coming out of Lurkdom to comment on a great topic...
Some sexpert(maybe Dr. Ruth?)said a woman's most important sex organ is her brain. So you read romance to exercise it. I'm generalizing: men are visually turned on, women are emotionally turned on. When I read romance it is like foreplay. I read, but my imagination fills in to create a fantasy that is custom made for me. I linger over the words that turn me on, skim over the stuff that doesn't do much for me. I can set the pace of the foreplay(reading!) depending on how I feel. When I close the book and give hubby a kiss goodnight, lucky him, my engine is warmed up.
Reading romance also reminds me that love is more important than the day to day difficulties we face.
Reading romance is something I do for me, which in turn makes me a better wife and mother.

Jess said...

Hi there! I am late to the party (as usual) so I hope I am not too late to offer my own insights.

I don't think my husband has ever actively thought that my reading romance novels has affected our sex life. This is probably because I started reading romances as a teen and have continuously done so, so there was never an "off" period in which he would compare, kwim? He has also never read a romance novel so he has no idea just how explicit some of the sex scenes are (ahem).

I do think reading romances has helped my sex life indirectly. My mother did a good job answering my sister's (Rachd!) and my questions about sex as we grew up but parents never go into the particulars. I can honestly say I learned a lot from romance novels. I was never weirded out by oral sex and I assumed that a woman climaxing was a very normal and expected part of sexual intercourse. I think I was probably also very comfortable with the idea that my body was capable of feeling pleasure from sex so I never felt shy or uncomfortable with my husband (then boyfriend) when we first began having sex because it seemed a natural part of a romantic relationship to me- thanks to romance novels.

I will freely admit that I skim sex scenes in romance novels a lot of the time. There are only so many "fresh" ways an author can write how to insert tab A into slot B and I am much more interested in the romantic relationship that the actual consummation of the relationship. However, there have been a few books in which I have been compelled to read the sex and it has put me in a sexy mood and I have initiated because of it. (Good lord, the things a glass of wine will enable you to admit on the internet... I dare not read this in the a.m.!).

I will also say that I think I was always more open to trying new things in bed with my husband because I have read so much unusual sex in romance novels (Robin Schone anyone? *wink* - anything seems "normal" compared to some of what she writes, lol).

I met my husband when I was 18 and I was pretty inexperienced at the time. I think I was initially a better sex partner than I would have been because I had an education of sorts from romance novels. But more than the sex they showed me that a sexual relationship is so much more rewarding if you are in love with your partner and that sex is a healthy, positive, joyful act when you are having it with someone you love.

Anonymous said...

Hey Michelle, so who won your Saturday post to this topic.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, everybody. I didn't do a great job of making it clear that I need to come up with a way to get info from you and your husband/partner, then a winner would be drawn from those folks. But I'll come up with a drawing for today since everyone was nice enough to write in. I'll announce it Friday.

Billie L said...

I myself believe that my romance reading has helped our relationship. I used to get so stressed and frustrated after dealing with my children all day and then my hubby would come home and I would feel like he was just adding to it all. I'm sure you can just imagine how my sex life was going at that point. My mom got me into reading romances. My reading time is like a mini-vacation for me. I can use my reading time as a chance to unwind and throw myself into the characters. Now they get some spice in their lives. After my reading time I feel refreshed and ready to go. Generally that is the time we head off to the bedroom.

Hubby should be on here later to post his opnion on this but he seems to be a little hesitant.

P.S. He seems to smile a lot more now too.

Tam said...

You heard from my husband earlier, he posted on me.

My husband can always tell when I am reading a good book. Lets just say he smiles a whole lot more. He's always smiled anyway when he came home. He has made connections to the books, I can tell when we go shopping he ask me if I want to go look at the books. :)
I don't know if you would call it an increase in the amount and quality of intimacy than it is different techniques I've read about and used, he seems to enjoy very much.
As far as my reading is affecting my emotional intimacy, I do get turned on to a lot of what I am reading & my husband is always enjoying the after effects.
I know the more I read the more I get spoiled. ;)

Tam said...

Also I do have a good cry & laugh with the romance stories I am reading. At those times my husband can't understand what is going on. I just tell him he needs to read the book but of course that is not his cup of tea.

Anonymous said...

So whick lucky couple won?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Bellas,

The winner of a six-pack of steamy romance is posted in the Nov 14 blog, "Avast, Ye Lusty Wenches," in Encore tre!

Please note there my apology for the confusion w/in this blog. I was asking for your help figuring out how we could get the guys to talk and participate in my blog interviews. My wording was confusing, and you were so kind in your openess in sharing.

Again, my apologies.

Michelle