Ladies, be careful. Your romance novels may be driving you insane.
That's the argument Mormon life coach Kimberly Sayer-Giles made Monday on KSL.com. She wrote,
Men are very visual, and viewing pornography produces a euphoric drug in the body. This drug is the reason pornography becomes addictive. When the natural high wears off, a man will crash and feel depressed (as happens with any drug) and crave another hit.
Women are more stimulated by romance than sex, so when they read romantic stories (and they don't have to be explicit to work) they can experience the same addicting chemical release as men do.
Sayer-Giles also quotes Shandi Feldahnn, author of books like The Male Factor (which promises insights into "why certain types of trendy attire may actually sabotage a woman's career"). She says, "some marriage therapists caution that women can become as dangerously unbalanced by these books' entrancing but distorted messages as men can be by the distorted messages of pornography." If this sounds familiar, it's because it's basically the plot of Madame Bovary. It's unclear whether that classic is too racy for impressionable ladies — Sayer-Giles suggests that those who find themselves unhinged by romance should "just choose a different type of book. There are many interesting choices that do not include arousing scenes. Try some books on creating healthy relationships or self-improvement."
Unsurprisingly, romance aficionados think this is bullshit. The Guardian quotes urban fantasy novelist Amanda Bonilla: "I can safely say that I don't foam at the mouth or experience the DTs when I'm not reading a steamy sex scene." Other fans of the genre fought back with humor by establishing the Twitter hashtag #romancekills, which includes tweets like, "Maria Shriver's marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger dissolved because Arnold was reading too many romance novels" and "Fleas carrying black death were imported into Europe in romance novels."
Strangely, AXE body spray jumped on this bandwagon, tweeting, "#RomanceKills, AXE Excites." The tweet also linked to the video ad at left. Writes one Facebook commenter, "Angels do not have a choice to wear halo's or not.. Ad is cute but not correct historically or factually." Clearly AXE sould be Sayer-Giles's next target — their unrealistic portrayals of angels will make dudebros dangerously unbalanced.
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