Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review: The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Well, let's see how many pageviews I can get on this one...Yep, you read that right.  I'm reviewing a sex book.  I thought if I started out with this one, it might attract attention to the other reviews I plan on doing.  Don't worry, it isn't too scandalous.  And it is a Christian book.  

Here we go: The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire.

When I got married, I was a virgin.  And as a virgin, I had a lot of questions.  I basically knew nothing apart from the basic biology and the random sexual topics that came up among my college friends.  I was shy about it to the point where my college roommates joked that I wasn't going to be allowed to get married until I could say "penis" out loud.  Sex was always discussed in the context of, "Don't do it."  However, I did really appreciate that my mom gave me a copy of Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus' book Intimate Issues.  That book discussed the perspective that a Christian woman should have on sex within marriage and it was definitely a significant influence on that aspect of my marriage.

Sheila Gregoire has taken the same topic and written a great book that covers a wide range of women in a wide range of circumstances.  If you are preparing for marriage - virgin or non-virgin - this book is for you.  If you are a newlywed wife, this book is for you.  And if you've been married for a while and sex has gotten ordinary and mundane, this book is also for you.  

One thing that bothers me about how Christian women frequently discuss sex is that they tend to talk in euphemisms.  I remember Dave and I attending one marriage conference where the men and women were split up for the "sex session".  At the beginning of the session, the female speaker declared that we were going to be open! honest! direct! no beating around the bush about sex!  And then for the rest of the session, she proceeded to refer to sex as "special physical time with your husband".  I get that we live in an over-sexualized society and that we should be discreet, however, there is a point at which total and direct honesty about it is necessary and helpful.  I'm not gonna lie, this book is very straightforward.  After challenging the unbiblical mindsets that many women have towards sex, Sheila presents the godly ways in which we should approach sex.  And then she moves on to the nuts and bolts.  Whoa. I do think my eyebrows went up a few times as I thought, Wow, we're going "there"!!   It would have answered every single question I had before I got married.  Every single one.  What exactly happens during sex?  Does it hurt? What positions do people use?  What does it feel like?  What happens afterwards?  What are the options for birth control?  Why does he want sex all the time?  

What I most appreciate about this book is the challenge that Sheila throws out to all married women.  She challenges us to not allow ourselves to be selfish, to demand that sex only happen on our own terms, only when we feel like it.  She encourages us to see our husbands as having different needs that are not wrong, just different, and to see meeting his sexual needs as an act of service.  She tells us to enjoy sex, initiate it and desire it.  She discusses building a friendship out of which intimacy naturally grows, maintaining sex as a priority even after kids are born, and taking care of ourselves both so that we feel more sensual and so we are attractive to our spouses as well.

When I first started reading this book, I thought I was just reading it so that I could review it on this blog.  I kind of skimmed the first part of it which was directed more to engaged women/newlyweds thinking that I wouldn't gain anything from it.  I was so wrong.  I needed to read this book.  To be honest, the sexual aspect of our marriage has been the most difficult aspect to maintain after the birth of our third child in November.  Dave and I have had several conversations where we've discussed how that area needs to be focused on more.  But I've honestly been a little blase about it.  I haven't taken it very seriously.  I haven't tried all that hard.  And I've ignored Dave's needs fairly often, just sort of laughing it off.  I needed a kick in the pants.  I needed to be reminded that sex in marriage is something that God created for our enjoyment and for our protection.  I needed to remember that sex is good.  I needed to remember how to make it a priority.  So this one will be staying on my bookshelf!!

Go get this one!  Pass it on to anyone you know who is either getting married or who needs to be challenged in this area.  Happy reading!  And happy...well, I won't go there.  Just have fun!

P.S. You can also check out Sheila's blog: To Love, Honor and Vacuum.  It's one of my favorites!

Sharing with: The Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, Time-Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies


  1. This is great!  I too loved her book, I started reading at the beginning and while I wanted to skip the part for people getting married, Sheila sucked me in and I had to read it cover to cover.  I left it out one day while my mom was babysitting and she looked at it (unknown to me, and then posted on Sheila's facebook page) AWKWARD! but, we did talk about how it is a good book and that I'll be getting it for the people we know getting married so she can't!

  2. That's really funny! Could have been worse though...could have been your mother in law and you could have had lots of stuff underlined. :) That would be REALLY awkward!

  3. I enjoyed this post very much! I must agree with all the points made. After the initial "Can't get enough of each other" stage we women can get pretty selfish when it comes to meeting our husbands needs.

    When I learned more about my role as a Godly wife I found that it is just as easy to change your mood to 'interested' as it is to stick to your conviction of 'not interested'. It's all about changing your mind! (Something us women are pretty good at)

    I know the common excuses after the kids come along...Too Tired, No time, Don't feel like it...but come on ladies lets all admit it, we are made able to do much more than we ever feel like we can!

    My favourite quote of advice to give to a soon-to-be-bride is a marriage saver!

    "Ladies to meet your role as a wife you need to aim to be - A chef in the kitchen, A maid in the house, A lady in the street, and A whore in the bedroom." (Please excuse any offence)

    Obviously this is not meant to be in anyway derogatory. It simply sums up the ways we meet our husbands needs and therefore letting him know you are invested in making sure he feels like the man of the house! You won't be sorry, but you may be if you find he is getting his needs met somewhere else. ...Just saying!

  4. That's funny....reminds me of that quote from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Something about being a "tiger in the bedroom."

  5. Great review! I just ordered the book and I'm excited to read it!

  6. Thanks! You'll really enjoy the book!

  7. I think women have created a false idea of his needs/her needs. I keep reading "we need to think about his needs" and I don't think we realize that we need it too. Women think that just because we aren't "in the mood", that we don't need it as often as our husbands. Personally I am very rarely in the "mood" for anything thats good for me that I need. But if we truly take the time to pay attention to our hearts, minds and feelings we realize that underneath the tiredness and stress of life, we need our husbands physical love as much as they need ours, even when we don't recognize thats what the problem is. At leaste for me I realized that maybe I am so tired and crabby and I feel so ugly and sluggish because I am not getting enough lovin. When we are lovin each other on a regular basis I suddenly have more energy, and I feel prettier because my husband thinks I'm hot (apparently). Its sort of like going for a run, before I think "I don't want to, I don't feel like it, I am tired, my head hurts" but I work on my attitude and give it a try because I know I need it. Then when I get back I'm like "WOW! Glad I did that!" We don't have to have the martyr attitude of "I will be a Godly wife and meet his needs even though I am tired....sigh" we should have the recognition that we need them too, even if we don't know we do. Go get your husband and enjoy him!!! He will love you for it :)