Romance Novels: Are They the Antidote to a Dreary Sex Life?

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Women who read romance novels make love with their partners 74% more often than women who don't, according to "Psychology Today." This begs the question: Are romance novels the key to having more frequent and satisfying sexual encounters? Should women read romance novels to stimulate sexual appetite or reignite diminished sexual drive – and should men encourage their girlfriends or wives to read romance novels in order to get more action in the bedroom?

Women who read romance novels make love with their partners 74% more often than women who don’t, according to "Psychology Today." Furthermore, when women fantasize frequently (as they do when they read romance novels), they have sex more often, have more fun in bed, and engage in a wider variety of erotic activities, according to a report in "Psychological Bulletin."

Maria Veloso, author of “Midwinter Turns to Spring,” the first-ever novel with its own music soundtrack, states, “Contrary to popular belief, the ability of romance novels to fuel a woman’s sexual desire doesn’t lie in the stereotypical bodice-ripping, sexually explicit scenes so inherent in romance novels – but rather in the realm of emotions. In most cases, a woman’s libido is directly linked to emotions that revolve around romance and love. These emotions are a connected set of processes that involve physiological changes, such as heart rate, blood pressure and hormones circulating throughout the body—and these comprise the cornerstones of a woman’s sexual drive. Therefore, when a woman’s emotions are stirred by a romance novel, that’s a recipe for an emotional aphrodisiac. It’s like giving a woman emotional foreplay.”

While Veloso’s novel, “Midwinter Turns to Spring,” is not necessarily representative of the mass-marketed forms of the popular romance genre, her work is definitely romantic -- and the emotional intensity is further magnified by the romantic songs on the novel’s companion music soundtrack.

“Women are turned on by words and music more than they are by visuals. Whereas men are stimulated by provocative images, women are more likely to be seduced by poetry and romantic prose. A woman is aroused when a man takes time to stimulate her emotionally, but oftentimes, a man’s haste for physical gratification leaves a woman feeling emotionally impoverished – and this may be one reason why women often feign headaches to avoid sex. A romance novel, particularly one which includes music that tugs at the heartstrings, may provide the emotional stimulation a woman needs to have an increased appetite for sex.”

Far beyond their contribution to the sex life of men and women, romance novels of substance are considered by many as the cheapest form of therapy. Just as popular movies are now being used in psychotherapy, so can novels, especially if the novels have 2 important components: a love story that has the capacity to heal and reawaken hope and optimism; and music that is romantic as well as therapeutic. “Midwinter Turns to Spring” is the first novel to embody this unique hybrid of fiction that has the promising potential for nourishing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms through multi-media therapy.

Who knows? There may come a time when a doctor’s orders may simply be “Read a good romance novel and call me in the morning.” The 51 million romance readers in America may just have the right prescription.

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