Q. I have always read romance fiction and now I am an adult I love reading erotic stories. After a super stressful week, it helps me let it all go. Recently my boyfriend read some of one of my books and said it was weird. Am I weird?
A. If you've always enjoyed reading romance novels or sexy stories you are not alone. You also probably already know that just sitting quietly turning pages in your favourite sexy story is a great distraction from stress and huge turn on. You are not weird but knowing what happens in your brain when you read erotica will reassure you of that and will make you completely rethink the phrase "mind over matter."
Though your boyfriend may turn his nose at your sexy stories, studies have shown that reading erotica can have some serious mental health benefits. Your boyfriend can count his lucky stars when he gets man flu because a New York University study in 2013 found that people read romantic fiction have higher empathy levels. So, you will be more empathetic when he complains about his man flu
Reading sexy books or material that is arousing can help you shift your stress or anxiety into positive emotions.
It makes sense for you to find stress relief when you read erotica. Reading sexy books or material that is arousing can help you shift your stress or anxiety into positive emotions. The feelings of excitement you get when reading erotica can switch things up and get you out of the stressed and anxious mindset, which is what gives you the stress relief. It switches the racing heart that stress causes to a racing heart because of arousal, not to mention it changes the train of thought your brain is on.
Those of you out there saying “No way is my brain going to get into a sexy story when it is stressing overwork.” Stick with me on this one the connection between arousal and anxiety has some serious psychological backing.
A subconscious phenomenon called the "Misattribution of Arousal" dictates that symptoms of anxiety or stress can feel similar to the stirrings of arousal, including similar chemical reactions. So, you channel your stress into reading your favorite sexy stories is scientifically proven to be a good thing, one that should make your boyfriend a very happy man. Reading erotica isn’t a cure for anxiety, depression or any other mental health issue it is an option you can talk to your mental health professional, a part of a toolbox shall we say.
A whopping majority of people that read romance novels identify as women, 85% to be precise.
So why are women so drawn to reading erotica?
Women tend to desire an emotional investment or context to experience arousal, according to Emily Nagoski, PhD. The detailed, written descriptions, erotica has the potential to provide the reader with a more emotional connection. It can help you imagine or fantasies about your own sexual and intimate encounters in a hotter sexier way. You can read more about the science of arousal in Emily’s book Come as you are available in our book store.
Reading a sexy book is no substitute for professional mental health care. If reaching for that erotic novel helps you to better process your stress or improves your sex life then even as a grown-up reading is a very good thing for you.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide and overview of the subject matter. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions. Seek advice specific to your situation from your medical professional or mental health professional. Safe - Sane - Consensual