Romance Novels Can Wreak Havoc on Your Sex Life: Here’s How


Romance novels can wreak havoc on our sex life. But probably not in the way that you think. 

Romance novels serve their purpose for sure. They can make for quite a pleasant afternoon by the pool or for a night in your favorite pair of sweats with a pint of ice cream. They can also get you in the mood, which is especially helpful for women in long-term relationships as they often see their sex drive decline as compared to women who are dating.

But romance novels can create problems too. Setting unrealistic expectations is one; another is the introduction of the inappropriate metaphor, or softer language, into how you express your sexual needs to your partner.

Talking about sex is hard. (Pun intended) We never learn how to ask for what we want in bed. The first time we hear the language of sex and desire is either during the act itself or, for many of us, through romance novels like one of the Danielle Steel books or 50 Shades of Gray.

The language we read in romance novels is not a DIY guide for how to talk about sex with our partner that some women use it for. Expressions like “swollen staff,” “pulsing core,” “petal-soft folds of womanhood” should not be used to tell your guy what you want him to do in bed.

Sure, I picked the funniest examples, but the usage of soft and unclear language is a serious issue that is very detrimental to sexual satisfaction. I see it often in my practice, especially in women who had a conservative upbringing and women over 50 who didn’t grow up with the sexual openness seen in the younger generations raised on the internet.

Embrace Real Language When Discussing Sex

We must embrace real language if we want to teach our partner how we like to be touched. Penis. Clitoris. Vagina. We are all grown-ups here, and we need to use these grown-up words.

Telling him, “I’d like you to rub my clitoris in a circular motion,” would make many women blush. However, it’s clear language like this that gets the job done. It may make you more comfortable to use softer language, but that may only confuse your partner and detract from the seriousness of the conversation.

Men are not mind readers in bed (and neither are women). So if you are using romance novel lingo or softer language that he has no clue about, your partner will simply continue to miss the spot when you have sex. You don’t have to make it sound clinical, but your instructions should be crystal clear. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for talking about Thor’s hammer and how it can be used on your Valhalla, but that place is not in a serious conversation where you want to show your partner how your body works.  So enjoy romance novels for what they are but don’t let them wreak havoc on your sex life.

If you are not sure how to communicate your sexual needs to your partner, you can look into individual coaching or one of our classes. Remember that you can enjoy fulfilling sex and strong and frequent orgasms at any age if you give yourself permission to learn more about your body and to ask for what gives you pleasure.