Why Women Devour Erotic Fiction
The Malaysian Women's Weekly|February/March 2020
Why Women Devour Erotic Fiction
Women who read erotic fiction have better sex lives than women who don’t. We look at why turning pages can also help turn you on and discover why women are so aroused by erotic literature in all its forms

Great sex needs two things. According to the experts, what we all need most for success under the covers is intimacy and a little imagination.

In the past decade, erotic fiction has taken off across the world. Women in their hundreds of thousands devoured the sexy, kinky underworld of the submissive heroine in the Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy by E.L. James. That success sent the sales of erotic novels soaring by more than 30 per cent in recent years, a result of both the impact of Fifty Shades and the anonymity offered by the proliferation of e-readers such as Kindle, and tablets.

With technological advances came an ability for women to download and read this type of novel without ever having to physically confront a salesperson. You can read it on the bus and no one has any idea what’s going on in your imagination. That access has also given women permission to explore some of their own feelings about sex and fantasy. And according to a scientific study by researcher Dr Harold Leitenberg of The Journal of Sex Research, women who read romance or erotic novels have an astounding 74 per cent more sex with their partners than those who don’t.

This, Dr Leitenberg says, is because women fantasise more frequently and have more intense and realistic fantasies when they read suggestive content. He concludes that not only were women readers having more sex, they were having better sex because they and their partners were more adventurous and playful.

“Every generation has had their erotic book,” says Nikki Gemmell, author of the worldwide erotic hit, The Bride Stripped Bare. “In the past, it might have been Fear Of Flying by Erica Jong or Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Women have always enjoyed reading these types of books. They are transporting. They help us to feel. They are powerful and they take us to another world.”

More importantly, she says, they help women to feel that what they are thinking and feeling is not necessarily wrong and that there are others who have similar feelings. “You might have read Fear Of Flying, but you would have done so in secret,” says Nikki. “You certainly wouldn’t have talked about it. You might have been ashamed or at least embarrassed to talk about it with anyone other than the most liberated of women.

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February/March 2020