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How Fifty Shades of Grey can help your relationship

By now, unless you’ve been living off the grid in a secluded cabin somewhere, you’ve likely read (or at least heard of) Fifty Shades of Grey, the E.L. James erotic fiction phenomenon.

Couple reading 50 Shades of Grey

The fact that the book has pushed erotic fiction into the mainstream got us thinking about how this and other books like it can help your relationship.

We asked Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., (aka “Dr. Romance”) psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage (Adams Media), for her insight into how books like the ultra-popular Fifty Shades of Grey can help your relationship and rev up your sex life. “I often recommend erotic literature or videos for my clients who need a bit of a boost, sexually,” she says.

It gets you in the mood

While you may have been ready to hop in the sack at the drop of a hat at the beginning of your relationship, sex can take a backseat as the years pass. Reading something a little sexy can help bring back the spark. “In long-term relationships, it’s often not easy to transition from work, household chores and parenting to sex,” explains Tessina. “Reading passages from erotic literature aloud can help get the mood started.”

It takes the pressure off

Couples can sometimes feel a bit shy about requesting sex, but finding a way to bring up what you want in a way that feels natural can help make things easier. One way to do that: by picking up your copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. “Having a ritual such as reading together can make it easier to segue into sex,” advises Tessina. “Saying something like, ‘Let’s snuggle and read together’ or ‘Should I read to you tonight?’ are often easier to say and better received than ‘I want sex.’”

It can spice things up

Stuck in a rut? Erotic literature can often give you some new things to try to spice up your routine. While you may not want to actually bring out the whips, just teasing each other (If you’re not good, I’ll spank you) can do the trick, says Tessina. “Role playing is also a way to add some fun and spice to your routine and to escape for a while from your everyday life,” she adds. “You can find scenes and characters in books that give you material.”

It can spark discussion

The key to a healthy sex life is being able to talk about it and having examples to cite (e.g. from a book) about the direction you’d like your sex life to take can help tremendously. “Honest talks about sex are a great lubricant and can help you revive a flagging relationship,” says Tessina. “If you read a story and can say to your partner ‘I wish you felt that way about me’ or ‘This is my sex fantasy,’ you can create needed changes in a dull routine,” she explains.

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