The Consequences of Chick-Lit

In response to The Private Man’s magnificent Emotional Pornography.


A man's imagination will always trump reality.

A man’s imagination will always trump reality.

Private Man said, “I prefer mine written as words because my imagination is far superior to any porn producer.”

What an incredible sentence! He managed to find the words to convey something I’ve thought, but wasn’t able to bullseye. He nailed it. As a reader, nothing is more rewarding than to be given an ‘aha’ moment like this.

My dating profiles straight up say that I prefer email over texting; if the woman can’t engage in verbal banter via email, then we aren’t going to work long term. Now I know why: My imagination has to be stimulated.


My takeaway from the piece is that the unrealistic, desensitizing effects of emotional porn can be just as harmful to relationships as visual pornography. This is another huge ‘aha’ moment for me, as I’ve had similar thoughts percolating for some time.

After NaNoWriMo last year, I spent some time on . This is a site where writers critique each other’s works. The site, like the industry, is heavily weighted towards the romance genre. This was my first experience reading romance and, having traded notes with the authors, I’ve learned emotional pornography is a bigger plague than I’d ever imagined. It was disturbing.

The most troubling aspect is the culture of victimization because, in romance novels, the heroine is always a victim of circumstance. For example, in one popular manuscript I read the main character cancelled her dinner plans with her husband to go by a bar, where she happened to meet a troop of firemen. (Like real porn, in emotional porn the plot can be bad.) The next day she stops by the firehouse to return an item the fireman had left at the bar. Guess what happens when the husband finds out his wife cancelled plans with him to hang out with a hunky fireman? He gets pissed.

What a shocker.

My critique stated that I had a hard time empathizing with the main character because she’s suffering from a self-inflicted wound and is not a victim of circumstance. How could she expect the husband to not be upset? Was he really supposed to say nothing? Stevie Wonder could see the conflict coming a mile away, yet the main character did nothing to control the situation.

Suffice it to say, this comment was not well received by the author or my fellow critiquers. In romance novels, apparently, relationships between cause and effect are to be ignored.

  • Woman dresses provocatively >>> Man notices.
  • Woman goes to bar alone >>> Men flirt.
  • Woman does not mention husband >>> Men assumes she’s available.
  • Woman visits man’s workplace >>> Man assumes she’s interested.
  • ‘Just friends’ relationship with attractive man >>> Man and woman have sex.

The plot of the rest of the book was equally as silly. And yes–this example is from a real romance novel that’s sold thousands of copies.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the escapism of fiction. I can see where a woman reader would enjoy thinking about a group of hunky fireman admiring her beauty. Later, she’s pressed against a freshly waxed red truck as her blouse is ripped open.

Nothing’s wrong with thinking about that!

But the example I mention is a romance novelnot erotica (emotional porn, not porn.) The idea is that the reader is supposed to emotionally connect with the main character and empathize with her. Frankly, it disturbs me that so many people can empathize with a woman who creates her own drama. And yes, like real porn, emotional porn leads to dysfunctional expectations.

It seems the original principles of feminism have been corrupted so that modern women believe they’re entitled to victim’s empathy. Whether they’re truly a victim of circumstance, or a victim of their own doing, is of no concern to them; they’ve been indoctrinated to believe it’s always a man’s fault.

9 thoughts on “The Consequences of Chick-Lit

  1. Romance fiction is absolutely emotional porn and perhaps even more destructive than male-oriented video porn. It took me a while to see it, but I recognized this even in my Blue Pill days and weened my now-ex off of her habit. Perhaps too late. Now, I won’t date any woman who shows the slightest interest in romance novels. It is water and fertilizer to the seeds of her natural hypergamy in her psyche and creates unrealistic expectations. This goes far beyond mere sexual fantasizing.

    It seems the original principles of feminism have been corrupted so that modern women believe they’re entitled to victim’s empathy….it’s always a man’s fault.

    Don’t get me started on feminism. It was corrupted long ago, perhaps from the beginning. Of course feminism teaches women to be victims who bear no responsibility; that is one of the primary foundations of feminism and couldn’t exist without it.

    Note how feminism and feminists have long been completely silent about the objectification of women and desire that is represented by romance fiction. They excuse it as “women’s empowerment” when in reality, they know it is destructive for healthy male-female relations. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    • You are on fire, LostSailor! Where are your blog posts so I can take in some knowledge?

      I am not book learned in manosphere, only experience. I must learn more of this hypergamy you speak of. (not joking)

      • Alas, I’m not a blogger, just a humble commenter. Others have covered these topics much better than I.

        I’m also in the same boat as you, having re-entered the world of singledom and dating in middle age, though I suspect I’m a little older than you.

        Hypergamy is defined in the dictionary as the practice of marriage into a higher social group or caste. The Red Pill take on female hypergamy (generally doesn’t affect men) is that it is the conscious or even unconscious desire in women to move on up to a better man/mate. It’s behind the “you can do better” and “you deserve better” mantras women hear from their girlfriends as well as the little whispering voices in their heads. It continues to operate not matter what a woman’s relationship or marital status. It’s what’s behind women initiating divorce in record numbers: she becomes “unhappy” and the little hypergamous whispers in her head start to get louder.

        You can see where romance fiction would sadly feed those whispers…

      • Ah yes @LostSailor! That was another of my comments about the above book. The heroine plots to leave her husband for the fireman—she doesn’t pack a bag and leave, she waits until she has the next best thing in the bag before ditching the hubby.

        And the ‘Then There’s Me’ woman was shameless about her hypergamy.

        To combat it, I think I should take future dates to Applebees. That way I can weed out those who are overboard with it. I’m not joking either.

      • Well, as someone who is an excellent cook and who respects food, I can’t justifiably under any circumstances advocate setting foot inside an Applebee’s. I think I’d rather eat glass. Take ’em to a bar to watch football; that ought to do it!

        But the thing is, women simply aren’t aware of their hypergamous nature and they’ll vociferously deny it if it’s point out. The other side of the issue is that they see nothing wrong with their hypergamous actions. They “deserve” to trade up and will rationalize any objections; the Feminine Imperative at work. And since all women are hypergamous to one degree or another, weeding them out doesn’t really work, or at least not like that.

        You’d have to get into her relationship history to see if she’s prone to be ruled by hypergamy. But taking a date to a bar to watch football will certainly help weed out the overly-entitled ones.

        I don’t know if you’ve read any of Rolo Tomassi’s blog ( but he’s done some great pieces on the Feminine Imperative.

      • Man, you really are on fire. Somebody needs to write a Dummies Guide to Manosphere that touches on the high points for those of us with limited attention. re: Rational Male–I’m sure I’d learn a lot from that site. But, here are the problems:

        1) I get the guys whose names start with ‘R’ mixed up in the manosphere circles.
        2) While I do believe in the ‘Red Pill’, manosphere, including the concept of hypergamy, I’m turned off by the PUA crowd who beat their chest proclaiming they are alphas.

        I think it is more a question of style than what they are saying that tuns me off. And maybe it isn’t even so much the author themselves as much as those who blindly follow the author (thereby proving they aren’t alphas.)

        One of the R guys is trashy. Now that I look I suppose Roosh is the one that over the top for me.

        About hypergamy, thanks for giving me another much needed ‘aha’ moment. I’m searching for a woman who is honest about her hypergamy. I might as well hunt unicorns. I need to accept that as a fact of life.

      • Yeah, I know a lot of this “Red Pill” stuff get’s mixed up with PUA, which I don’t subscribe to either. Rollo is one of the “good” Rs but his stuff on psychology and behavior of women is first-rate.

        Women can’t be honest about hypergamy because they are pretty much unaware of it. But it can certainly be managed once in a relationship. It really is just a fact of life.

        The hard part is dating, especially online dating, which only feeds into a woman’s natural tendency to think that there’s always “something better” out there. When I first dove into the dating pool after divorce nearly 6 years ago, I had a lot of WTF moments when I’d hit it off with someone who would later just fade away. Once I have the AHA! moment of the Red Pill and realized what was really going on, it became much easier. I don’t do fancy dates until I know there’s something there and I don’t sweat it when they flake…

      • Ding ding ding! Same here. The convenience of online dating does not mix well with hypergamy. But as long we pay attention to actions and not just words, (i.e. don’t fall for the Jedi Mind trick they seem to think all men are supposed to fall for) we can keep from being blindsided and/or wasting our time. I’m with you, LostSailor!

  2. “A man’s imagination will always trump reality.”

    or, as more and more men are starting to say: 3DPD

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