It seems every week I run across some blog post or article listing a bunch of B.S. reasons why romance novels are "bad" for women. They say romance novels ruin marriages by giving us unhealthy expectations in our spouses, they ruin our sex lives because we will expect mind-blowing pleasure every time, they cause unplanned pregnancy because unprotected sex is rampant in the novels. Oh, and apparently they're addicting because they do the same things to our brains as porn does for men.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of the witch-hunt. Nobody says those who read thrillers will become murderers, or fantasy fans start thinking they can do magic. After reading vintage Anne Rice I didn't start biting people...or develop bisexual tendencies.
But I can't say romance novels haven't changed me. They have indeed affected me in many ways.
For starters, romance novels have improved my marriage because
A.) They've taught me that communication issues are one of the biggest threats to a relationship. Every romance novel has at least one big misunderstanding. I do my best to keep the communication open with my husband to avoid this.
B.) They keep the feeling of falling in love fresh. That's one of the main joys of those novels and every time I look at my husband, I remember why I fell in love with him, both physically and emotionally.
C.) They remind me of the power of forgiveness. I'm one to hold a grudge, but these novels constantly display the benefit of letting go of resentment.
D.) They improve my sex life rather than harming it. I'm not going to get into personal details here, but I will say the love scenes keep me from taking intimacy for granted and remind me to never be ashamed of passion.
E.) The novels that do involve unprotected sex (since contrary to the witch-hunt article, condom use is becoming frequent in the genre) taught me that it only takes once to get pregnant, so before I had my tubal ligation, I remembered to take the pill every day.
F.) And yes, romance novels are addicting, but not in the way porn is for men. They are addicting in the way any good story is. For me, they're addicting because I live to see a happily ever somewhere.
G.) Finally, romance novels have inspired me to write my own stories and create my brands of happily ever after.
How do romance novels affect you?