Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How Much Is Too Much?

(Warning: I'm thinking out loud today. Not sure where I stand on this issue.)

In my teens and early twenties I was obsessed with all of Johanna Lindsey's books. Ever heard of her?

You must have, because she's the best-selling author of some of the steamiest, well-written love stories ever! Her regency series about the Malory's was intoxicating, make-me-swoon perfection! Who am I kidding? Each of her books was the BEST!

My heart would flutter throughout each story. The way she crafted her characters and then wove in their flaws and struggles...tension everywhere! It was pure brilliance! Seriously, I'm wiping drool off my chin as I think about how much I enjoyed reading those novels.

And then I heard a comment from a friend that went something like this: "Those books are glorified porn for women. Smut."

So I stopped reading them because, well, the P word is a bit too much for me.

What do you think? Are romance novels "glorified porn for women?"

If you're like me than you don't need the heroes body parts labeled six different ways to get that heart-flutter feeling. Some innocent flirting, a longing glance, a kind gesture, a heartfelt confession, a sweet kiss, something completely innocent can send my pulse racing.

We call those things "romantic" but if you stripped away all the fancy, polite descriptions are we left with the P word? Do you think the heart fluttering is equivalent to porn?

Please weigh in. I'm so curious to hear what you all think about this.

(It took me forever to find a cover to one of her books that I wouldn't feel too embarrassed about posting on my blog. The picture above is as G-rated as it gets.)


  1. I never read her, but I haven't read historicals until recently. I'm guessing she's historical, but I did teeth on romance by reading Nora Roberts!

    Porn: noun
    obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, especially those having little or no artistic merit

    If you strip away the glances, soft touches, longing and all that's left are "obscene writings" then yeah, you have porn.

    There is a huge difference between romance and erotica, which I think is porn(and has it's own genre).It reminds me of the episode in Friends when Rachel has it (porn/erotica) hidden under her bed and Joey finds it. My husband always asks me if I'm writing about the "Vicker." lol

    A lot of controversy has been floating around about romance being porn. My opinion? It's not. And I'm sure I'll get flack from some who think erotica is not porn because it has "artistic merit." (in their opinion)

    Great conversation starter today, Lace!

  2. Thanks for your take on it, Jess! I remember that Friends episode. Too funny!

  3. I'm totally conservative and haven't even watched a rated R movie since I was eighteen (which was, well um over a decade ago), so my little eyes are pretty easily offended.

    There are many books I never finished because the sexual, language, or drug content were too explicit for me. Some recent ones were A Reliable Wife and Water for Elephants. This can be really hard to do because I loved those books besides a few specific parts.

    I think the written word definitely can be pornographic. I guess I prefer the "curtains blowing in the breeze" type of sex scene, where you know it is happening but you don't need the details.

  4. Great conversation, Lacie.

    There are a four questions I ask myself when I want to judge if what I am watching/reading/listening to is crossing a line that does not honor God, or my marriage.

    1. Would I be embarrassed if my hubby, or my kids, walked in while my "heart" was fluttering?

    2. Would I share it with my Christian friends with no hesitation?

    3. Do the images stay with me, or cause me to compare fantasy with my "reality?"

    4. Do I feel conviction by the Spirit when I partake in such activities?

    When I ask for it, God grants me wisdom and discernment to determine if I'm participating in something that started out looking harmless and ended up being inappropriate.

    While there are no blanket answers to this type of question, it's great to know that U-Turns are allowed! Praise the Lord!

    I've learned from experience that the Spirit will convict me, when I take the time to ask for discernment. Then, it's up to me to decide if I'm going to obey God's nudging or ignore it.

    I enjoy love stories, too. My favorite Christian Romance novel is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.


I'd love to hear your thoughts too!