Google "romance novels" and "sex life" and you're sure to come across a number of anti-romance novel articles that claim reading romance is as detrimental to one's sex life as masturbating or watching porn (hard disagree on the whole statement). So, maybe romance novels don't always provide us with the most realistic examples of how relationships are supposed to look or, hell, how our partners are supposed to look, or how orgasms come about (unfortunately for most of us penetrative sex isn't enough on its own!). But those claims aren't taking into account one very important fact: that romance readers are capable of separating fantasy from reality!
I'm not out here reading romance and then expecting every man who comes into my life to be an ex-SEAL with abs for days. I, also, don't expect an orgasm to magically appear just because a hot guy stuck his dick in me. You won't find my head in the clouds.
But what is reality is that reading romance can benefit your sex life in numerous ways. I asked my followers to tell me how reading romance has benefited their sex lives and the responses were illuminating. I'm about to delve into all the ways that reading romance can improve your relationship with your partner, spice up your sex life, and bring you to more fullfilling solo play.
There are those who think romance novels are simply stories of men ravishing women and bestowing orgasm upon orgasm them by sheer will alone. But the reality is that many romance novels--especially those written in the last few years--tackle issues deeper than mere physical attraction. They touch on difficult issues such as heroines who have difficulty achieving orgasm with a partner, heroes who are unable to express their true sexual interests to their heroines, and long-term partners whose sex lives have become rather stagnant. And not only do these novels tackle these issues, but they show the hero and heroines communicating with one another and resolving to work through the issues. Together. Many romance readers say that reading romance helped them be more open with their partners about their needs in the bedroom.
Trying New Things
There are so many ways to spice things up in the bedroom. We can Google new sex positions and fancy techniques all we want, but looking at pictures on websites or watching actors in porn might not be the best way to know what we're truly interested in trying in our own bedrooms. Reading romance, however, gives readers the opportunity to test things out in their minds and see the acts happening between loving couples (as opposed to strangers acting our roles in pornography). Romance novels can help narrow down the ocean of ideas into a smaller pool of things that interest us, such as: tying each other up, using toys, or role-playing. There's also dirty-talking, which can be hard to take seriously until you read it, enjoy it, and utilize it in the bedroom with a partner.
One reader admitted that she's learned all her bedroom tricks from reading romance. More and more books have begun to include sex toys as a part of the hero and heroine's joint pleasure, too. It's not just in BDSM novels either. Regular, every day contemporary and historical romances have started bringing toys--including vibrators, butt plugs, and dildos--into the bedroom. Our romance authors aren't satisfied with the one-size-fits-all sex experience of the past. They know that not all women are able to orgasm from the regular penis-in-vagina performances and they want their readers to know they're not alone! So, if you've been struggling with finding your peak during sex, pick up a romance novel with sex toys and get some ideas!
According to a study by Harold Leitenberg of The Journal of Sex Research, women who read romance or erotic novels have an astounding 74% more sex with their partners than those who don't. This, Leitenberg says, is because women fantasize more frequently and have more intense and realistic fantasies when they read suggestive content. He concludes that not only were female readers having more sex, they were having better sex because they and their partners were more adventurous and playful. The more you know...
Help Desk Support
Some readers admitted that they didn't even realize that there was anything missing from their sex life until they started reading romance novels. One woman admitted that in the ten years she'd been with her partner she'd never once had an orgasm during sex. She had just resigned herself to the idea that it wasn't in the cards for her. But after reading a romance novel featuring a heroine who was experiencing the same thing helped her realize that she wasn't alone and that there were different things that her body might need during sex to help her reach that peak. Another reader said that she'd always struggled to give oral sex, but after learning some tricks of the trade from some of her favorite heroines she realized that there were techniques she could use to help make giving oral sex more enjoyable for herself.
Maybe you don't have a partner currently (or don't want one at all). No worries! Romance novels can still benefit you. One reader wrote that reading romance helped her solo sex life tremendously. Whether you're masturbating to the romance novel or learning how to masturbate from the romance novel, it's all good. Romance novels are frequently incorporating more self-play, normalizing heroes masturbating to their heroines and visa versa. Modern romance heroes aren't threatened when their heroines use sex toys or watch porn, either.
Maybe your libido is doing a really good mimic of The Little Engine That Couldn't right now, but watching porn isn't your forte. Research shows that women are much more turned on by what is said, what they read, and what they hear in terms of them turning on that desire button between their ears. So, try finding that romance novel that makes you buzz and try some self-exploration. You might be surprised by what you discover about yourself.
Many female readers shared that reading romance has ultimately helped their self-confidence, encouraging them to see themselves as objects of desire, as sexual people, and as partner in their own pleasure. Nothing makes you feel sexier than feeling confident about yourself and for a lot of readers that confidence comes from reading about characters like them. Modern romances give us amazing examples of plus-sized characters, men who aren't all ripped abs and muscle (though we do love them), characters with mental health struggles, characters with physical disabilities, characters with different sexual identities, and characters who are attracted to their own gender, multiple genders, or no specific gender at all. When a reader finds a book that features a character that they identify with it can do wonders for their self-esteem and self-love. And once those fall into place... the bedroom becomes a very happy place, indeed.
The naysayers should think twice about considering romance novels a detriment to the sex lives of readers because this post only begins touch on the many, many benefits. And hey, even if you aren't into sex, you have to admit that the entertainment value they add to one's life is a wonderful benefit in itself.