What would you think if you found your wife reading the new erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey?
I’d love to take a poll.
Some men would probably be disappointed. “Why is Beth reading mommy porn?”
Perhaps, in a world where 87% of men admit to looking at porn each year, many husbands might actually be excited. “Maybe she does actually want sex!”
If only those men knew the difference between sex and affection. If they did… their wives would be a lot more fulfilled, and in turn, those men would probably get a lot more sex. (Funny how that works.)
I don’t think I let the cat out of the bag when I hinted that a man’s sex drive usually is a little greater than his wife’s. But being fair, how hard are these men trying to romance their women and meet their needs? And if they are… why are literally millions of women turning to harlequinesque novels like Fifty Shades of Grey to get their romantic fill? Is it because these women want sex? Or is there something a little deeper that many husbands are missing.
USA Today’s Deidre Donahue just wrote an article providing a little more insight as to why she thinks Fifty Shades of Grey is selling like gangbusters. Donahue gets straight to it. “Gentlemen,” she writes. “Don’t get your hopes up that women of America have developed an insatiable appetite for pornography and multiple partners… James is actually writing romance, the most popular category in book publishing.” (Donahue goes on to share 10 reasons she thinks why Fifty Shades of Grey has shackled readers.)
Listen up men, because Ms. Donahue just gave you a glimpse into a woman’s desire for “affection.”
Perhaps the problem is that most men don’t know the difference between affection and sex. Willard F. Harley, Jr., in his insightful book, His Needs Her Needs, affirms that men’s number one “need” is sexual fulfillment. Women’s, however, is affection. Affection is the expression of love nonsexually (hugs, greeting cards, holding hands…), communicating protection, comfort and approval. Unfortunately, many men don’t which is which. For a man, a hug leads to… well… other things. Harley notes the difference between the two. “We often confuse sex and affection. Affection is an act of love that is nonsexual… However, acts that can show affection, such as hugging and kissing, that are done with a sexual motive are actually sex, not affection.”
Enter Fifty Shades of Grey stage left. In an affection vacuum, women are gobbling up books where they can live vicariously through female characters drowning in affection. And what eventually happens when a woman’s need for affection is met?
And these books offer plenty of that as well.
Men just need to understand that these women aren’t looking for a roll in the sack (those women populate MTV reality shows). They want love. James’ taboo little novel is about a 27-year-old CEO who takes time to notice the object of his affection, braiding her hair, showering her with complements. Does it help that this guy is rich, powerful and handsome? Absolutely. (How many married guys let themselves go after they’ve said “I do”?)
Sadly, men often are reaping what they sow in their marriage.
Men, I challenge you to ask yourself candidly. How much time are you spending meeting your wife’s need for affection? Or more specifically:
- When is the last time you planned a surprise date for your wife where you made her feel like the most special person in the room?
- When did you buy her a new outfit from her favorite clothing store? (Have you ever gone in her favorite clothing store with her? Would you even know what to get her?)
- When is the last time you wrote her a card telling her why you appreciate her?
- How about flowers?
- How about holding her hand and whispering how beautiful she looks?
Your wife doesn’t need Fifty Shades of Grey. She needs affection. She needs you!
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