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Fantasy vs. Fantasy
December 10, 2005
2:19 am
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Philmore Bowles
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I finally figured out I should bring this here. Thanks for the clue Ella.

I just had to pose the question - not directed at anyone specifically.

Are romance novels in any way the equivalent to porn? Someone else touched on this and it has me wondering . . . is there some common ground between them?

In your opinion:

Is it OK for a woman to have romantic (non-sexual) fantasies about someone other than her husband/BF? What about vice versa?

Are these fantasies morally wrong in the same way that porn is thought to be? What's the difference?

Are they OK because they aren't necessarily sexual in nature?

Is there a comparable level of escapism and fantasy there, just tailored to the specific tastes of the user?

Truly curious about this subject matter.
I don't need specific answers necessarily . . .

December 10, 2005
6:36 am
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eve
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It very much depends on the novel. A lot of the more trashy romance novels have nothing much to do with literature and a lot with getting away from reality.

December 10, 2005
8:47 am
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Rasputin
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I think that Romantic Novels are very important and play vital roles in our life.

If I were not healing from my codep, I would be reading those "trashy romantic novels." I do NOT find them cheap, or worthless in any way.

They are fillted with good values, principles and lessons that can teach the most spiritual person among us.

Some other novels which are considered work of literature showed me wrong values and principles. These are the very books and novels we should avoid buying, reading and watching.

As I mentioned before Phil, had it not been for my codep and healing, I would be reading these novels one after another.

Even when they talk about romance, they talk about it in passionate but clean and normal way. There is no explicit, graphic or improper description.

Pornography is more disgusting, forceful, stimulating methods aimed at provoking people to do something or be obsessed with it such as sex and sexuality. They make you believe that sex is everything.

In these novels there is no such thing. I think that is the difference between Romance and Pornography.

~Ras~

December 10, 2005
10:12 am
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exoticflower
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I think it really depends on how it effects your outside life. I now and again will read one because I am a single mother without a lot of time and some days can't give enough concentration or attention to poetry or a short story. These romance novels are fluff, quick mindless reads. I am not flipping through to the 'dirty parts', i'm erading the whole silly book, just passing time and quickly escaping. I think the difference is is fantasy and fantasizing. I just want to escape reality for a moment, not go to what I concider a better reality. I think for some men porn is just a fun little peek at soemthing different, mindless, not really intruiguing in any long term fashion, but for many I think it's an obsession.

I think that where some people say that it's like a drug, most of which are addictive by nature (not, alllllll, I know, just many of them), I think it is more like alcohol. Some people have alcoholism and get wrapped up. Some can take it or let it alone. For women, we can almost always let it alone, women tend to be taught solutions, and the truth is it's harder to obtain our major romantic want (prince charming), so it's not like we're really exploring better things--prince charming just isn't real, there is no way that we can think of this as ANYTHING but fantasy. We are not going to leave our partners if we have them in search of a price who owns a ship and wants to make love to us even in our peasents gowns in the floor-boards of it as he leaves his Royal life behind for our love.

that industry just isn't pooming, the likelyhood of this happening simply isn't very great at all.

A man however, who looks at porn, sites is not looking up something tender and touching and erotic and completely removed from reality. He is looking at something that IS available from many women, but perhaps not from their partner. He is looking at real actual other people doing things to and with other women that his own partner may not engage in. Along the sides are adds for ways to meet these sort of people very easily, discreatly and for free, even if married. There are phone numbers to call these women and talk it over, take it another step further. There are ads for sex toys that you can get to mimick the acts your wife or girlfriend won't do. The fantasy here becomes a hell of a lot closer to fantasy than the romance novel at the push of a button. FOr that matter, there are strip clubs, prostitution, and above all else, thelittle physical control a man has over his penis becoming erect and the discomfort felt at not aleviating this situation in some way.

The one thing I can't stress enough, too, is that there are women who WILL do the things seen in porn sites. And men lie about porn sites. Put those too togeather. Men lying about fantasizing, woman will provide fantasy--why NOT put them togeather? Men lie about sex. It could happen with all of the right components, and some girls would be that component. As for a romance novel, well. Let's see. Women is fairly open about Romantic story tugging at her heartstrings and the sexy stuff being hot. Woman asks partner "would you leave the throne to be with me if i where a milkmaid?" Man stares vacantly at woman. Man thinks womans books are weird. He doesn't get it. SO , woman reads book, not really expecting any such thing in the real world, by and large becasue it is completely absurd and completely ficticious.

The fact is, Pornography is not ficticious, it is two people having sexual intercourse in real life. Books are written word, and when made into soft porn even, are with the act of sex being mimicked, still not real, still not grapphic, still designed to please, not to sell by giving bigger samples that leave you wanting more.

And you know, I do like porn sometimes. But other times, it just makes me feel inferior, put upon, annoyed at what is out there that a good and loving woman has to compete with in the bedroom to keep herself the sexual goddess in her mans mind. I know that in the long run, it is not fiction, it is attainable, and THAT is where the threat is found for women, I think.

December 10, 2005
12:05 pm
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exoticflower
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"The fantasy here becomes a hell of a lot closer to fantasy than the romance novel at the push of a button."

Meant to say "the fantasy here becimes a hell of a lot closer to REALITY than the romance novel ever COULD at the push of a button."

December 10, 2005
4:34 pm
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Anonymous
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You’re curious about the subject matter…then, this officially becomes research. As a respector of the hard and soft sciences, I will do what I can to help your endeavor.

Is it ok for a woman/man to romantically fanaticize about someone other than their significant others? I think the answer is yes.

One of the characteristic of a healthy relationship, is that the participants each have separate identities. While compromise is necessary, I doesn’t mean we should loose or deny ourselves for the happiness of someone else. If my vivid imagination was present during the chasing phase, and the courting phases, why shouldn’t I be allowed to bring it into the relationship? Couldn’t my fantasies ultimately ENHANCE our sexual relationship? If my guy is threatened by my use of something as personal as my imagination, he’s probably not interested in a partnership as much as he’s interested in controlling me.

In my opinion, fidelity an infidelity exists only in the physical realm.

Are those fantasies morally wrong? At this point in my life, I am very, very, very careful about categorizing behaviors as right and wrong. Well, you know, outside the obviously nefarious stuff…like murder, rape, and electing Bush.

Most of my ideas about morality stemmed from a strict authoritarian upbringing. From there, I got the impression that I was the “keeper of the values.” I thought it was my job to shame some and “fix” others. And let me just say, for the record, I was damn good at it!!! See, I knew a lot about being self-righteous; what I lacked was any insight into my behaviors and patterns. Turns out, my biggest finger pointing and name calling tirades were about projecting my unacceptable traits on to others, so I wouldn’t have to look at them in myself. I’m learning that the more I like me and love me, the less compelled I feel to point fingers of judgement at anyone… It’s a new kind of freedom for me and I'm committed to seeking more of it, because it feel soooo good.

Are the fantasies ok, because they aren’t necessarily sexual in nature? I have a vivid imagination AND a very healthy sexual appetite. I enjoy the full gamut of rich fantasy life, including sexual fantacy. In my opinion, being sexual in nature does not instantly and conclusively make anything or any person "not ok."

The only aspect of the sex industry that really concerns me is when children are involved. You see, they aren’t consenting adults. Therefore, are being exploited.

Do I read Harlequin Romance Novels? Not as much as I use to.

Do I buy porn…no, but I know where to find a stash when/if I’m interested.

Do I watch the soft kind on Showtime After Dark every now and again? ABSOLUTELY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY NOT SIR!!! Why, I have never been so insulted in all my days…Cinemax has a much better selection! '.'

December 10, 2005
5:17 pm
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exoticflower
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((((Y&R)))), very funny!

December 10, 2005
8:30 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi EF,

Very interesting essay. You are pointing out that women can feel like they have to "compete" with the women in the x-rated photos and films.

The article I linked to makes the point that there really very few women who are as sexually athletic, kinky, frenzied, dedicated to male pleasur, i.e, "crazy" as the ones in the movies--that is an act, a fantasy. So yes, the acts depicted are "availiable" to a man if he wants to go to L.A. and become a porn star.

December 10, 2005
8:35 pm
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Worried_Dad
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I think the main "fantasy" that porn appeals to for men is that of being with a woman/women who have as high a sex drive and are as sexually adventurous (i.e., kinky) as he is.

Unfortunately, our society is still recovering from puratinism, and most people do not think of sex as something that they really ought think about much, to learn to enjoy, or be good at. "I love you, isn't that enough?"

December 10, 2005
9:04 pm
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Worried_Dad
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That being said, I have been careful to avoid hooking up with anyone until I could find a woman who was sexually compatible with me. Having experienced the best and the worst of it, I decided to hold out for the best.

Be careful what you wish for.

Now it goes without saying that I am attracted to my fiancee. When I met her I thought she was kind of cute. Now I think she is the most beautiful woman in the world.

My fiancee has a higher sex drive than I do--and that's saying something. She has an energy and enthusiasm that really, a porn actress would have trouble competing with. There isn't much stuff in (non violent) porn that she hasn't tried, enjoyed, and isn't willing to do. She is a bit kinkier than I am and quite vocal in expressing her desires.

What's not to like, right?

It's not that I am uncomfortable with doing anything she wants, and I am able and happy to satisfy her during lovemaking....

But women have an innately higher sexual capacity than men. I have just turned 44 years old, for pete's sake. I don't mind doing it every day...I just don't always want to. Sometimes, I just want to cuddle.

And you know what? Being with a high energy woman like that can really play on a guy's insecurities.
For the first time in my life, I occasionally find that my worrying about my performance, is actually affecting my...performance....The head bone's connected to the....leg bone. And darned if I don't find myself thinking of those energizer bunny guys in the movies who just keep on going and going and going....

So now I find myself in the slightly unusual and enviable position of being a man who worries a little that I am not kinky enough, or high-sex-drive enough for my woman. I find little niggles in my mind during the day "Gee, I'm kind of tired, if I go home and just want to eat, watch a movie and cuddle, instead of do the jungle ape thing, will she think that I don't love her or that I'm not attracted to her or that I'm having an affair?"

I'm not worried about her leaving me over all of this--my love is very clear that to her I am the veritble cat's pajamas, sex-wise. But still, I never thought I would have to worry about this stuff. And probably I don't really have to and ought not to.

December 10, 2005
9:29 pm
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exoticflower
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WD, it's true not all women are like that, but I think that with several out there it is a lot easier for us to feel the need to submit to things that we normally wouldn't feel comfortable with if we know our partner has had such an image shoved down his throat and knows that it IS a physical possibility. I think that while women are not so physically crazed for sex, we are conditioned to be emotionally crazed for a mans aproval and to be his favorite one, (freud may care to explain that one, I'm just going to completley side step it myself). We are crazed, often times with sexual insecurity. We are crazed by jelousy at times. I think by and large that as much as a woman should accept a mans urges and needs, a man should accept that he needs to regualrly validate his woman and help her to trust him even though he actively watches other woman having sex the sort of sex that she may not be comfortable having. FOr some women it is not athletic, there are a lot of famous shots in porn, so to speak, that some woman find degrading and embarassing. Myself, I have to admit that i am sexually expressive and fairly comfortable with myself in the area of sexuality, but I have friends and we talk, and they tell me what they don't like, but they do for their man. Because their man looks it up a lot or likes magizines that feature it, and because they want their man to feel happy and satisfied by them. Clearly, both the man and the woman are failing to communicate here, but only the woman is losing out, the man is having his porn and living it too.

December 10, 2005
9:32 pm
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exoticflower
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WD, from the other side there and really understanding your fiance, I can assure you that I have always found it very complimentary when ia guy says that he is intimidated by my zest for the good stuff and is just plain tuckered out and wants some more gentle intimacy...and I can respect it.

I gotta say, I think you could have worse problems. Ride the big exhausting wave, WD, so many would kill to be in your slippers!

December 10, 2005
9:51 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi ef,

I really appreciate your ability to simulatneously argue from both sides of the tracks. I feel that you are intellectually honest.

I am not exactly complaining yet. IF I ever do, take me out and shoot me full of sodium pentothal and brainwash me back to sanity, please. Wash my mouth out with soap if I ever get so crotchety that I am bitching "kinky sex...all the time! Is that all you ever think about? My satisfaction...is that ALL you ever think about!? What ever happened to backrubs!?"

December 10, 2005
9:53 pm
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Anonymous
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LOL @ EF,

That is so true.

December 10, 2005
9:54 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Although come to think of it, maybe I just want a little more repricocity in the backrub department. Perhaps a massage class for couples is called for.

I mean really, am I the only person here who gets sore shoulders? I think I would be a much better lover without this knot in my left shoulder. It really hurts. I mean, I could spend $60.00 to have a professional fix it, but I think that preventative maintanence by my beloved would be more effective and cheaper...a stitch in time saves nine...a massage in time saves nine. And I am a really good massage therapist, for an amateur, right up there in semi-pro level...I just havent learned how to fix lower backs, but that is, after all, advanced material.

December 10, 2005
10:38 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Oh My God!!!

I am so screwed.

I am a get all-your ducks in a row kind of guy. It helps, when you are a scientist.

I screened my fiancee for sexual preferences, we went through the 238 item Massachusetts Erotic Satisfaction Inventory, covered everything starting from from basic sexual desire level, and moving up through the subjects piercings and tattoos, to anal sex, dildoes, fetish gear and bondage, threesomes, porn acceptance....every conceivable thing was covered. We even passed Dan Savage's Savage Love Inventory.

We exchanged records from our respective physicians and psychiatrists, including total body fat composition, VD tests, MMPI profiles, Rorschach tests, Stanford-Binet and Mensa IQ tests... Dr, Phil's Marital Compatibility Questionaire....everything.

I even confessed my admiration and love of ....Futurama.

We compared our political beliefs, too. Both of us come from and aspire to be poor-as-dirt social liberals. That's compatibility, right?

I did everything I could possibly do to make sure that I was getting involved with a person who was compatible with me. And I have complete trust that she was absolutely honest and forthcoming with me.

And yet here we are.

She just can't or won't spend five minutes in the act of placing her thumbs at the anterior, superior border of my trapezius major and applying alternating, sliding pressure from the origin to insertion of that muscle. And when I ask her to consider using her thumbs to apply pressure to to the relevant pressure points as described in the jin-shin-do or accupuncture manuals, she gives me a blank look. Does that mean she doesn't really love me?

Since MEN have STRONGER thumbs and are usualy better trained at pressure point massage techniques, does this mean that I am really gay and would be better off with a male, Japanese partner?

Or, does it just mean that my fiancee is not a professional massage therapist....?

Maybe the wedding should be off. Maybe I should marry a big strong, burly, accupuncturist who is trained in Shiatsu, and who also like...i dunno, sex, in some form...

Please help.

December 10, 2005
11:02 pm
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Anonymous
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In my opinion Dad, may I call you Dad?...

Dad, I respect your rigorous use of the scientific methods for finding the right girl. I mean, science has contributed heavily to humanity.

But, perhaps the science you neglected is the one you needed the most in this case...CHEMISTRY!

You guys might not have enough good ole fashioned chemistry.

Not the study of transforming matter, but the study of relationship between two people.

Just a thought.

OH! By the way, Futurama is so excellent!!!

That and Family Guy! Can't believe I'm telling you this.

December 10, 2005
11:14 pm
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exoticflower
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WD, you did meet this girl on the internet, correct? WHo knows what kind of a creep she might really be if you have not done any extensive background screening first? I'm afraid that your negligence and dating irresponsability left you here, there is no one to blame but yourself--for the love of god, just don't let her crack your back, or you may be beyond the help you can find here.

Of course, the two of you could heal togeather...have you concidered couples massage therapy? I believe there is some excelent literature on the matter too--but concidering the benefits of this relationship, you may want to look into medication, at least to treat your own condition. I believe "Doans" backache reliefe medicine has a fairly low occourance of side effects, sexual or otherwise.

Of course, if you could scale back on the nookie, I bet your back would feel better, and as that heals, perhaps, too, could your sense of betrayal?

Myself, I'm a Aquateen Hunger Force gal. And I don't give backrubs, though I do share that information promptly when concidering new partners.

Thanks for the compliment, btw.

December 11, 2005
12:07 am
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Worried_Dad
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Hi ef,

Of course, I have only myself to blame.

Fortunately, in LOVE, all things are possible. Even backrubs.

December 11, 2005
1:11 am
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Y&R,

Did you know that the phrase "Y%R" has powerful emotional connotations for me. Imagine that my last wife was named "Y&R" and that wuld come close.

Anyway, "Family Guy" is one of my faves--it has many lame or even sucky episodes...but the episodes featuring the evil baby....brilliant.

Imagine, a baby that is born clutching a map of Europe with locations marked "bomb here!!"

Imagine a baby capable of building a mind control ray, which he would like to use for establishing world domination, but that he must instead use to keep his Dad froim being audited for tax evasion...

For one such as me, that counts as literature...

December 12, 2005
1:17 pm
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Juanita
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A word of caution about fantasy - be it an "innocent" romance novel, or porno.

Fantasy that creates a pleasure response in us will eventually make us realize what it is we are missing out on in life.

Whether that is reading a romance novel where the man loves the woman so much, he's willing to pick wild flowers for her and rub her aching feet, or whether that is the woman who can do a back bend for her man upside down and still appear to achieve complete sexual satisfaction.

My spouse didn't have (or didn't voice) certain 'requests' of me until watching porn - the desire to video, go in the Out Door, to watch his 'beloved wife' be made love to by another man or MEN - to he himself want to 'explore' other women. His expression of these desires, combined with other communication issues, has caused much heartache.

HIGH cautions against envisioning your partner as someone else.... ESPECIALLY if you find your relationship is lacking in some other way. That will lead to comparison, and believe me, your partner will become the loser by sheer fact that our fantasy person KNOWS every inch of our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies in which to harmoniously stimulate each and every one of those facets to produce the utmost, explosive, satisfying reaction a person could have. Your real partner's performances which used to be fine will dim in comparison. What you were perhaps happy with before will now be in question.

I know of what I speak. I married my HS sweetheart - we have never been with anyone else (that I know of).... I didn't know what a orgasm was until several years later. I thought what he experienced was it. Now, thanks to toys & imagination - I know what an orgasm is. Having to 'trick' my brain during sex with my spouse is virtual cheating.

People are best off not to fantasize and accept reality as it is.

fantasy leads to dreams,
some of which are best off not to be "touched" (pardon the pun)

Fantasy helped get me into this mess, and reality is not very satisfying.

December 12, 2005
10:35 pm
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Dad,

"Y&R" can do that for you? How interesting. Personally, I have no attachments what so ever to the screen name. I prefer my given name...But, I can see how that would be TMI (too much information) in a place like this.

OK. I have a gift for you...Why, because you deserve it.

-I want you to recline in your seat, relax.

-Interlock your fingers behind your head.

-Pull deep breaths.

-Anticipate.

-We're gonna play what if...

Dad, what if I actually AM your past wife?

How Twilightzone like!!!

December 12, 2005
11:02 pm
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addicts wife
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Hmmm, I was so interiged.. although I cannot seem to spelkl it at the thread title... but then I read FUTURAMA... Aquateen hunger FOrce, and oooooh, Family guy....
I Totally adore Futurama... I was Soo ogunna Be Leela for halloween, but didnt give myself enough time to make an acceptable cyclops eye... Purple hair was No problem... and j was to be Fry... sweet, dorky lovable fry.
Ahhh, and Meatwad... And frylock...
Uh oh... Maybe I have a FRY fetish????

Im going to take a warm bath cuz my bones and Muscles are ACHEY!!! ((dang new England chills!!)), Ponder ALL the posts, and get back to this thread... I dig it.

Oh, and Futurama is starting... Gotta go!!!

December 12, 2005
11:10 pm
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Do you think Frye & Lila will ever become a couple?

December 13, 2005
1:36 am
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Philmore Bowles
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Meatwad make the money see, Meatwad get's the hunnies G . . . Drivin'n in my car, rollin' like a star, Ice on my fingas and my toes, and I'm a Taurus.

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