lustful poetry

My husband is very much into the arts- music, poetry, literature…etc. and he recently brought home a book of a local artist’s poetry. i flipped through it and was a little disgusted and surprised to see a topless women on the front cover and a fully naked woman inside… a read a couple of the poems and found that most are talking about lust and sexual relations, even about demons and gods and godesses… if it were me, i would never bring that into our home, especially with our 13month old daughter with us…but my husband tells me its good poetry and that he doesnt find anything wrong with it. that he can keep this kind of ‘stuff’ in a box somewhere so that its not out in the open. what i wonder mostly is WHY he’s even searching or interested in that kind of stuff?? he seems so intrigued by that kind of ‘dark and mysterious, make you shiver’ kind of stuff… im lost in what to do and confused why he’s so quick to pick up this gross literature and never really picks up a good positive uplifting book, (ie. the Bible, devotional book) or even just a good story… if anyone has any ideas,… thank you…

Hi sorry to hear that. The first thing I would do is PRAY, and continue to pray. Maybe even the rosary, since it is your best line of defense against the devil. Saten is the one behind your husbands thoughts. Second I would go to your parish priest and ask him also to keep you and your family in his prayers. Go to mass and receive Holy Communion as often as possible. And third since its YOUR home also ,as well as your daughters I would INSIST he not bring that filth into the home, if he does just get rid of it. anyway thats what I would do. I will keep you in my prayers and I hope all who read this forum will do the same for you.

Hi :slight_smile:

There are multiple reasons why your DH might be doing what he is doing.

As an anecedote, a local priest in my area gave a homily on how while in Southern California visiting his brother that he came across a store called “the Satan store” or some such variation, which was selling occult items.
Fr. witheld, decided he just “HAD” to go in there and see what was new.
His brother, being a non catholic fundamentalist evangelical was horrified – to which Fr. xxx quipped – “I just have to keep tabs on the enemy, besides I’m a priest – who else is qualified to go in there…”


Would I go into some place like that – NO, it has no attraction for me at all.
I can’t even stand novels by Stephen King, like the “Tommy knockers”, which is quite dark sexually… But my brother in law just loves that kind of novel.
He’s a good guy, and faithful, really – he’s just odd that way…
He also worked in trauma/ER as an RN for many years…

Other friends of mine collect nude art, similar to what you are describing – and their wives actually aren’t bothered by it. (I am, but they aren’t).

Now, I won’t defend the material as “Good” – but I would encourage you to talk with your husband about “why” he thinks it is good. It sounds from the OP, that you have a cultural difference – and perhaps a bit of a pack rat husband who’s reasons for wanting things has more of a collector’s “I have it” attitude rather than any base motive. (Even the Vatican has some nude statues and art, and the devil is occasionally depicted esp. in the carvings above old church doors as a reminder of the reality of hell…)

But, all that aside – it seems that you have a worry associated with his fascination with macabe art in conjunction with your daughter. Be glad it’s a girl, for they are far less susceptible to that kind of influence! But if you are interested in talking about that part a bit more, and your concerns – I’ m sure many others have experience with that and how it affects them in the long run, etc.
(I only have boys…)

As to getting rid of the material – as the second posts recommends, I would try talking with your DH on the reasonable level first before opting for the nuke approach, as that often backfires… as Groeschel points out “one catches more flies with sugar than vinegar.” which applies even in marriage situations…

My DH enjoys art of the human form. Some of it has very sexual overtones, and some of it crosses some disturbing lines. He has never brought anything into our home that I was really bothered by, but he has shown me some stuff that just made me go “eewww.”

Mostly he likes pin-up and fantasy art. But it’s the study of the female human form that he enjoys. (He IS a guy after all!) He draws his own images, plays with form, position, and light. He really does like it for art’s own sake. When you get into this kind of art, you inevitably find fetish stuff, and most of that makes both of us uneasy, though some of the milder stuff does actually present some interesting technical artistic achievements. Some of this art can also be pretty dark, but most is not bad enough to be really disturbing.

He likes fashion for the same reasons. He watches Project Runway with me and critiques the clothes. He watches coverage of fashion week and will look at magazines. Really interesting outfits that celebrate the female form without being vulgar are something we both enjoy seeing.

I don’t think there is anything wrong, per se, with liking art that has sexual overtones or explores the darker side of human nature. Art is one of the ways people express, explore, celebrate, or lament the human condition. It’s like literature. I adore Anne Rice’s work, much of which is anti-Catholic and aggressively atheist. I can enjoy the beauty and truth that IS there, while ignoring or dismissing the parts that don’t serve me or offend me.

Anything you think would really be bad for your child, should of course be out of the house. Discuss it with your husband. My DH does most of his looking and seeking for art on the Internet, so there is no hard copy lying around the house. Offer that as a compromise. DH and I both have art files on the computer, and if we felt it necessary, could password protect them so that kids cannot get into them.

I got stuck on art and did not address the poetry. Perhaps you could surprise him one night, and breathily read out some of the “good parts” to him while wearing something “inspirational,” if YKWIM. That might lead to a really fun night.

Just because artistic or literary works deal with sex, even in a way we might not like, does NOT automatically make them “filth” as a PP called it.

Wanted to add… don’t be too concerned about him liking dark or mysterious lit or poetry. For some, that can be a harmless way of indulging, and keeping under control, certain facets of their personality. Ever see the movie “Quills” with Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, and Goeffrey Rush? The Marquis de Sade is in an insane asylum, but continues to write. The washer women take guilty pleasure in reading the stories, and even smuggle them out to be published. The priest who runs the asylum is horrified and wants the Marquis to stop writing. Kate Winslet’s character, a chaste, hardworking girl, tells him that the only reason some people can be good with bad all around them is because they vicariously experience a little of the bad, and so stave off temptation. Probably not a very Catholic idea, but something to consider.

Perhaps you could sit down and read the Song of Songs together?

Good idea. We had a reading from the Song of Songs at our wedding. Holy… and HOT! We thought it was very appropriate, as we could relate to the strong desire and love in that book.

This is all very true. Art is art; it’s an expression of the artist, and I’m sure we’ve all experienced thoughts of strong sexual nature, and the poet decided to write about it. I’m sure your husband’s not going to read that stuff to your child, but the fact that reads it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Heck, most literature has sexual overtones, and I don’t think the Catholic Church has a problem with the writings of, say, Ernest Hemingway.

Thank you all for your replies… it has made me ponder looking at it with a different light. One thing i am worried about mostly, is the kind of influence this kind of poetry/art has on him. a little while ago i wrote in this website about my husband’s problem with pornography. its been a few months since i’ve found anything he’s looked at on the computer… and he hasnt told me he’s fallen into that in a while, but i just wonder what something that can be labelled “art” can do to a somewhat fragile mind? At least in that regards. and if it can lead downhill again? i guess i just want him to be careful with what he plays around with. but again, its not for me to decide what he does/reads/looks at. As for praying, i havent stopped praying for my husband since i met him… i just hope he is being cautious, looking out for his own mind and soul.

Well, you can’t say totally that the art won’t lead him back to pornography or anything; I mean, Robert Browning read a lot of Percy Bysshe Shelley (who was a known atheist), tried out atheism, and realized atheism wasn’t his thing. However, it sounds like your husband realizes that pornography is wrong. He’ll do what he does with that poetry, but he controls what he does. Art can inspire thoughts and feelings in people, but that’s all. How he acts because of that art is all him.

I don’t know how to address the pornography thing. My comments are meant about normal guys. If your husband looked once or twice, then stopped, I wouldn’t worry. If he is an addict who can’t stop, then you have major problems.

Seems like every thread about a husband comes around to porn on this board… it’s getting really depressing.

Yeah, no kidding…

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