Romance Novels May Have Similar Effect on Women as Porn, Suggest Experts

Posted by on 01 15 12 in Romance Addiction | Comments Off on Romance Novels May Have Similar Effect on Women as Porn, Suggest Experts

Last year, more than 50 percent of all the books sold in the fiction category were romantic in theme, indicating a strong pull of the love stories to help readers release stress during difficult times. However, recent articles and posts, including from Utah’s KSL.com are quoting experts in pointing out that the books may not be mere light reading. Instead, the books may be compared to pornography, responsible for new cases of sexually-based addiction and sexual compulsion, and linked to serious levels of dissatisfaction between women and their partners.

Some therapists suggest that the romance books create similar changes in thought patterns and sexual ideas as pornographic materials may create for men. Dr. Juli Slattery, author and psychologist, said in recent posts that romance novels have the unique ability to create changes at the emotional level when women read them, similar in intensity to the sense of release or pleasure a man may receive from viewing pornographic materials.

While men may receive a brain signal for pleasure when they use pornography, then later have a new craving for the activity, women may also have chemical changes occurring that can be addictive. Many women have told therapists that they feel unsatisfied in their marriages, which could be closely connected to their use of romance novels, says Slattery. The romances depicted in the novels may create an expectation for the women that their partners may never be able to meet.

Women are encouraged to avoid these negative outcomes and a possible addiction to the books by switching to other types of reading and by seeking professional counseling to help overcome challenges, either as an individual or together with their partner.