I'm not a housewife, but I've enjoyed many a Harlequin. Not all them are that steamy - they have imprints that run the gamut from prim and proper all the way to "clothes off on page two". No, they are not great literature, but I find many of them enjoyable.
The difference between pictures and words is not just in the mind. The pictures require other live humans to be involved. No, I'm not leading into a rant against porn. I own a tidy little stack of porn DVDs of my own. But it is an industry that has had incidents of predatory practices, though it's not quite as widespread as some opponents would like to make one believe. I won't purchase unless I'm comfortable with the studio involved. I also won't purchase imports, accept unlabeled discs from friends, or download from internet sources.
I don't have to consider any of those things with fictional characters that only exist in writing. Also, in writing, one can explore concepts that would be impossible in reality, especially since most adult films don't have big effects budgets.
I think that the written and the visual can each accomplish different things. I have no problem with people consuming either form, provided they aren't knowingly contributing to the harm of a human being (or animal) in the process.