Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why Women Read Romance Novels: Warning Signs in Relationships and Marriage

A female reader tells all about why women read romance novels, especially in bed, what men can learn from this, and how men can actually benefit from this. Gentlemen, I strongly urge you to pay attention to this…

I hope you’re having a really great day today, and if you’re not, there’s no better time to start than now.

Before I understood attraction and how important it is to women to experience it because their brain structure and chemistry makes them need (often to the point of addiction) frequent (and sometimes intense) emotional indulgences, I thought romance novels were the biggest waste of time, energy, and effort on the planet next to trying to make soy products resemble real meat. A girlfriend had dared me to read one when I was in high school, betting me that I couldn’t even finish it, let alone understand it.

Well, I finished it, but she was right, I didn’t understand it. The plot was absurd, the characters ridiculous, and everything seemed to center around some guy who had just got out of prison, wore tight jeans with no underwear, and was a total bad boy hooligan. I wish I had received the following letter about 30 years ago, because things would have sure been a lot different in high school. Meet Karen:

Dear David,

I have something I would like to share with your male readers. Have you ever wondered why your wife or girlfriend reads romance novels? What do we find so great about reading about people who do not even exist in real life? Well I am here to tell you what the real truth is on this subject. We get our thrills feeling attraction for the men in these books when we are reading them.

Has your woman ever been reading in bed and then suddenly put down the book and wanted to have se’x with you? I am sure it has happened because most of us women do that. Why? Because the book we have been reading is so hot we want the same thing. I have sit in my bed and skipped boring parts of books just to get to a hot steamy se’x scene and then wanted to jump my husband while the other man was still fresh in my mind.

Now I know some of you men are saying “well why would I want to have se’x with her if she is thinking of someone else?” Think about it. You could be that man for her if you wanted to. IF you were that man why would she need the books? Is that not the question you should ask yourself? As a woman I think most men should think about that. If you are not sure what she is reading let her read to you a small section of the book and get the idea of what she is attracted to in a man. Even if you’re only pretending to listen to it all at least listen to the part that is what she finds so hot and exciting. I know not everyone is going to have the bearskin rug in front of the fire place, but you can at least learn how she wants to be touched and caressed with you hands if nothing else. Instead of being jealous of her fantasies, live them with her, and learn from them.

We read because we are missing that attraction element in our own lives, not to read about others having sex. Any man can learn new things so what are you waiting for? Why not be that man in the book instead of her reading about someone else and having sex with you while her eyes are closed and dreaming you are the lover in the book she just laid down? It IS possible and with David's book you can be that man and just watch her throw away those romance novels.

You become her romance novel and see if she does not want you before she ever picks up a book.

Thank you so much David I have not read a romance novel in over two months now. I do not have to. I gave your book to my husband and he has learned enough from it and me after reading it that I am walking on clouds or swimming in fire most of the time now. Maybe I should start writing romance novels.


Wow Karen! Thanks for writing. I’ve tried to get the men to read a romance novel or two, and the ones that have written back say it was weird but enlightening, but maybe your explanation will get through to some of them that didn’t choose to listen to me.

Guys, for the purpose of entertaining a guy, romance novels are probably about as lame as a one-legged horse and therefore as useless as teats on a boar hog (yes, I grew up on a farm). But as an educational tool, they can contain a wealth of knowledge. Like I said, they usually have nothing intriguing in the way of a plot; the storyline’s only purpose is to transition from one sex scene to the next, which it does by moving some alpha male character with a tendency to either exert or flaunt authority – in either case, “defining” authority by breaking rules or making his own – and usually some naughty, fun thing about him to get the women interested and dreaming. Then they dive into the sex scene with that image of that attractive guy having flipped all their attraction triggers, got their juices flowing, both figuratively and literally.

Truth be told, it’s the literary equivalent of the merger of soft por’n with a “B” movie, but it does the job – it gets her stoked up, and if you’re anywhere near her when it happens, she’s likely to “jump your bones” to relieve all that sexual tension that the book has built up and she might otherwise be prone to relieve herself in private, if you don’t blow it and turn her off by ignoring her or griping at her for reading her book.

And don’t think for a second that because you don’t hear moaning noises coming from the bathroom after she lays her book down that she can’t or won’t relieve herself in private, either, Buster. Women absolutely thrive on anticipation, and may wait days or even weeks to finally scratch that itch, savoring the “slow burn” as they call it for days on end. And when she does finally relieve that tension, she may not do it alone. She may enlist a friend, maybe even one of YOUR friends, to bring all that fantasizing to a thundering climax. So you can see how it’s imperative that YOU be the object and cause of her attraction, because as surely as the sun will rise in the East tomorrow morning, SOMEBODY is going to be the object and cause of her attraction! You’ve been warned…

That’s the short-term, up-close view; what about the long-term and wide-angle view? First, if she’s reading romance novels, it’s to get something that you should be providing for her and you’re not. You may not like the sound of that, but it’s reality. If she’s bored enough to be reading a romance novel, it’s your failure to create attraction that has left this deficit that she is filling with the book, and denying it will not change it. Deal with it, and deal with it quickly, because if the books stop working she may indeed resort to a real live man, one who doesn’t answer to your name, and there’s no amount of love in the universe that can make up for an attraction deficit.

It’s nice to think that love conquers all and is the answer to everything, but in real life, it doesn’t, it isn’t, and if you don’t think so, snoop around a little and get a fix on how many sexual affairs are conducted by men and women who love their partners and will never leave them, but are having affairs because they are so pathetically and desperately bored. You will find that it is most of them. Why?

Attraction and love are two entirely separate emotions and are not in any way dependent on each other or related, and both have to be present in a long-term committed relationship if the relationship is to last, unless you are so open-minded that an “open relationship” might be for you. For women, a day without attraction is literally like a day without sunshine – dull, gloomy, boring, and depressing. If your wife is reading romance novels, you need to brighten things up, fast.

Reading a romance novel might help you get a feel for attraction, but there are much easier ways. To get a glimpse of it, just ask your wife to read to you her favorite passage from her favorite romance novel. Watch her pupils dilate and her breathing intensify as she does. You’ll get the picture, especially if she pounces on you when she finishes. However, there is a much better way, a way that involves reading a book written for men, pointing out everything for you and explaining it in detail with examples of how things work and how to improve your attitude and personality so that attractive behavior occurs naturally, for the long haul, not as part of an act that you nervously fear having her see through at an inopportune time.

It’s called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s an instantly downloadable e-book in Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF file). It’s 118 letter-size pages of proven information on evaluating your relationship, communicating with a woman effectively (yes, you really can do that!), and how attraction works, how to create it, and how to kill it. Go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and download your copy, and do a little reading of your own before you find that your partner’s no longer content with reading.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham


Anonymous said...

As an avid reader of romance novels i have to disagree a little. I'm in a happy marriage and I read romance novels so that I can be someone else for a little bit and fantasize about a man that I would never seriously want to be in a relationship with. why, because this way its so uncomplicated. I mean, its really fun to imagine some strong mascular guy throw you up against a wall and take you right there, but in reality, I don't know that I would enjoy being so manhandles by my husband. The thrill is being able to fantasize and control the fantasy without the possibility of th unpredictability of real life

David Cunningham said...

Interesting...why would you fantasize about an affair or any other relationship with another man if you weren't bored with the one you're with now? Why not fantasize about your husband manhandling you? Do you plug your husband into the romance novels you read as you think about them later? If you're not comfortable posting the answer publicly, feel free to e-mail me at tips@makingherhappy.com. I'm not trying to debate; I'm trying to identify whether there is an anomally here that other men may learn from or if there is a contradiction in what you say and what your actions logically indicate, so please be open and honest. It could be a learning opportunity for both of us.

Debra Glass said...

I'm a romance writer and reader. I don't write or read them because I am bored in my relationship anymore than you would watch a porn movie or look at a Penthouse because you are bored. While men are visually stimulated sexually, a woman's sex organ is between her ears. What turns a woman on is the whole packagage - the attraction, the anticipation (Great point on that btw) and then the fruition. Romance novels are no longer the bodice rippers of the 70s and 80s. Now, a romance heroine is strong and in charge of her life and her own sexuality. The hero is a man whose character growth makes him worthy of her.
My husband loves the fact that I write and read romance. It is a turn on to read about two people in a committed relationship who are very into each other.
Check out some of the erotic romance selections at www.ellorascave.com and read them with your significant other.

David Cunningham said...

Hi Debra!

Glad to see another author contributing. I'll check out your website and pass it along to my newsletter mailing list and my MySpace people as well.

I want you and the and the anonymous poster before you, as well as everyone else to notice something: you are both in happy relationships. I have never implied or said that the only reason a woman reads a romance novel is boredom. I have said repeatedly that if a man notices that he's in enough trouble in his relationship that he's looking for the kind of help that I give and he notices that his wife is reading a lot of romance novels, he can expect there to be a boredom issue and instead of thinking that his wife is ignoring him, he should accept the very real possibility that she spends so much time with her romance novels because she feels he is ignoring her. (This is not the only newsletter I have posted concerning romance novels by a long shot.)

I have also repeatedly told them exactly what you said, that they live vicariously through the characters in the novels for the emotional rush, and will often get turned on while reading their novel, and if the man sees signs of such excitement, instead of making fun of his wife's excitement over a book or feeling threatened by it, he should move with it and into it to help her escalate all the way into an exciting sexual encounter with him.

I personally am a huge fan of romance novels, not as a reader, but as an admirer of a tool, especially as they have evolved since the cheesy days when they were basically cheesy soft porn, portraying women as weak and fully licensed to be totally dramatic and irresponsible. I encourage my male readers to read at least two romance novels recommended by his wife or girlfriend so that he can get a better feel for what works on that area between her ears and see firsthand that the feminist movement has sold him a bill of goods with all that crap about deferring all decisions to her and crying with her at a chick flick to become "more in tune with his feminine side," pronounced "less of a man." And according to both those men and their women, it's a hugely successful exercise. So thank you for contributing, albeit indirectly to some degree, to better relationships, a better understanding of women by men, and in the end, a better sex life for many couples.

Best wishes for success!
David Cunningham

Anonymous said...

Here is question for you ladies who suggest asking our wives to read part of romantic novel to us or be ready to seize the moment when she finished reading the juicy part.

About a few months ago, my wife started to read fanfiction constantly, that means any free time she had she would be reading it, I asked her if the stories were just some love stories or had very hot and juicy parts in it and she told me that they didn't. I found a title of one of them and read part of it and it was like soft prn.
So, now when I ask her to share those stories with me she says they are private to her and not to ask her about the details of those stories. If she is reading them privately in another room and I cant go there, how could I know when the moment had arrived to seize it? Also, why is she so addicted to them and reading them until she is about to fall asleep.

Please advise.

Anonymous said...

I disagree as well.

I love love stories. Most girls do. Plain and simple. You know when you're just beginning a relationship and people ask "How did you meet? How did you fall in love?" Girls are usually the ones who ask. A romance novel is just a 300pg answer to such a question. Fictional or not it doesn't matter. We like those stories.

I read romance novels and many other genres. Despite what anyone says romance novels are just chick flicks in print. There is as much sex in most romance novels as there is in Jerry Maguire, Titanic, Match Point, etc. The only difference is that it's spelled out in print. If you don't spend a lot of time reading novels of course you'd find those sections shocking and maybe even arousing. Just as you would find the written description of a murder, slavery, war, or the end of the world shocking and maybe even revolting. Your imagination makes things what they are when you read.

And if you're worried this is a warning sign that you're (otherwise innocent, lovely and loyal) wife will cheat. Consider this: nobody reads a Steven King novel because they want to be possessed by a demon and set their house on fire. Nobody plays video games like Call of Duty because they want to buy an AK47 and going on a rampage through the city. It's just the thrill of a story.

So no worries gents. If it becomes a concern, the best thing to do is talk it over with your spouse.

David Cunningham said...

I'm at a complete loss as to what you're disagreeing with. You're saying the same thing that I said in this article and that I say to men every day. I do not contend that a woman who reads romance novels is bored. I say that if a man notices that his wife is spending more time with her romance novels than she is spending WITH HIM she is bored. Women don't marry men to make sure they have plenty of laundry and cooking to handle while they are reading romance novels. They marry men to BE married, and ACT married, and ENJOY being married. So if a woman is spending more time with a romance novel than her husband, the romance novel is more interesting, ergo, he's boring her to death.

Anonymous said...

You no I feel you, my wife loves her romance novels and she reads them alot,everyday all day. I notice when I walk in the room she abruptly takes it off the screen. I always ask her why do you feel that it has to be secretive?IT'S A BOOK! She denies it. I think there's something wrong with that, at least I don't feel right about it. Why should anyone feel they have to hide anything if there's no harm in it? That's why yes it effects the intimacy factor between us because I feel it's not me that turned her on it's the character in the book. I would feel more secure if she wasn't "hiding" it from me because hiding it shows me it's alot more then just reading the story, she's in the moment, she wishes she was that girl on the other side and she is that other girl for that moment. Sometimes I don't want to touch her at times and have to force myself to get turned on because of it. What makes it worst she has her eye's closed during sex which doesn't help. I put my face to her neck on purpose, and yes the lids open up. So yes you see how my life sucks lol.

David Cunningham said...

If your wife is trying to hide her romance novels from you, you're in trouble. You two need to be talking more because she's basically having an affair with her romance novels, and you're the one making it happen. If she just enjoyed them, she'd talk with you about them, but she's defending them because she enjoys them more than she enjoys you, and if you don't get your butt in gear and straighten up, she may well graduate from books to men. I'd suggest you at least post your situation, in detail including history, at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and get some help in getting this figured out and corrected before you get blind-sided with an affair or divorce papers.

Unknown said...

look to me its not the story although that has to be good-its mainly the sex. to be reading about a man who actually knows how to touch a woman and make her come apart-that is whats its about to me. also about a man who appreciates a woman putting her mouth on him or getting off on his light spanking of her behind-yeah. I read about it cause I haven't been able to find a man in the flesh who is like that-I guess I don't believe he's really out there-he is the made up perfection of the ideal-from women's minds. lets face it-if there was a real man out there that was even half as good as I read about in Emma Holly, Kresley Cole, or Jaquelyn Frank I would sell my soul to be mated to him! We read them cause its as close to real perfection as we will ever get. What real life guy can ever match up to or be as good as those we read about? Sad but true. Even if they were willing to listen, learn and try-real men can't compete.

David Cunningham said...

Wow, debd, that's a pretty negative attitude. My wife tells me I'm better than anything she ever read in a romance novel. Sounds like maybe you need to work on your selection process a bit and hold out for the better men.

Anonymous said...

Mine is a different spin on this situation. My wife of 22 yrs has moved from her straight m/f romance novels, which she only read once in a while and never hid from me, over to reading lesbian romance novels. These she is secretive about. She reads them everyday for hours and is buying new ones via Amazon just about daily. I've read posts that say 90% of the women who read these types of books are in fact straight...but I'm skeptical. She doesn't know that I know about them and I'm worried about confronting her. How should I approach her about this? The only reason I know about them is because I saw them in her Kindle library. She has since locked her library using parental controls.

David Cunningham said...

"Confront her" is the wrong mindset. "Explore with her" is what you're looking for. Catch her in a good mood, preferably early in the day (evening and night discussions have much more potential to blow up because of hormones and brain chemistry) and tell her that you noticed some lesbian romance novels on her Kindle a while back, didn't think anything of it, but now have noticed that her Kindle is locked, and want her to know that whatever she's feeling, she can talk with you about it, and that you're her partner, not her father or jailer, and that as her partner, your commitment is to help her enjoy life, explore the unknown, and grow, not judge or embarrass. And for the love of Pete, mean it when you say it, because that's the attitude behind love and commitment, not feelings of challenge, competition, and insecurity. If you bring it out in the open, it can be handled, no matter the outcome; you can't handle anything that you can't see and hear. If communication fails, everything else becomes patently impossible.