Why I'm Not Going To See Magic Mike at the Movies or Read the Book Fifty Shades of Grey

Let's talk about sex.  I know, I know, we don't want to talk about it, especially Catholics!  But it's everywhere especially now that Magic Mike has hit the theaters and the book Fifty Shades of Grey has been the book du jour for quite some time now.

The book and the movie have been described as "women's porn."  The difference between porn for women (rather than men) is that women want an emotional story to go along with their sex.  Men are visual and they could care less about a story line or character development.

I probably won't see Magic Mike because I rarely go to the movies, but I have been toying with the idea of reading Fifty Shades of Grey until just recently.

I had an email conversation with one of the bloggers here at ChicagoNow and he asked if I had read The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton.  I had started it, but never finished it.  So, with that prompting, I picked it up again.

I was immediately drawn back in.  One of the many reasons is because Thomas Merton, before his conversion, read a lot of trashy novels.  Just like I did.  In my teens and early 20's, I was the queen of trashy novels!  And I'm talking hard core, brutal porn.

One of the books is still very vivid in my memory.  Why my dad let me read it, I'll never know.  My dad read everything from Shakespeare to, well, this trashy book he let me read.  But I guess, he figured, it was better, that I read it in front of him, rather than behind his back.

I guess the attraction of these novels was the world of sex I didn't know.  At that age, I was a virgin and my parents were not talking to me about sex.  When I moved out of their house, I graduated from the trashy novels to the men's magazines my male friends kept hidden from their parents.

The guys would salivate over the pictures and us girls would read the "how-to" articles.  It was our only source of real information about our bodies and how they worked out there.  I know it's hard to imagine a world without the internet, but trust me, I grew up in it!

I have a very vivid imagination.  As an only child, I spent hours daydreaming.  I had imaginary friends and as I grew older, well my imagination could entertain me as no book could.  Even after my conversion, that imagination lead me to a deep separation from God and it took me a long time to snap out of it.

The thought of reading a book or seeing a movie that would separate me from Our Lord stops me.  That separation caused be a lot of pain and anguish and I don't want to go through it again.

Anyway, the justification for women's porn is that it will spice up your marriage or your "current relationship."  But if women indulge in this sort of thing, doesn't it make us more like men?  Is that the way we want to be equal?  Through sex?

Today is the feast day of St. Maria Goretti, who at age eleven was brutally attacked and murdered by her attempted rapist, Alessandro Serenelli.  The story hardly ends there and I hope you'll take the time to read it.  It's a powerful anecdote of forgiveness and conversion.

Sr. Helena Burns FSP writes a much better article on this subject here.



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  • It's so interesting that some people get into romance novels and some don't. I'm not in the "don't" camp for any high moral reason, just that the few pages I ever read were so terribly written, I laughed. I just don't get it at all.

  • I think you hit the nail on the head Jenna! The ones I read "back in the day" were very poorly written and I've heard that 50 Shades of Grey is like that.

    Thanks for reading and commenting and for your kind words on Twitter!

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