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Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart
     

Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart

4.8 8
by Dr. Juli Slattery
 

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Christian women don’t have to choose between being sexual and spiritual. They have legitimate longings that the church has been afraid to talk about, and books like Fifty Shades of Grey exploit and distort them. We need the truth on the matter.

Whether you are single or married, sexually dead or&

Overview

Christian women don’t have to choose between being sexual and spiritual. They have legitimate longings that the church has been afraid to talk about, and books like Fifty Shades of Grey exploit and distort them. We need the truth on the matter.

Whether you are single or married, sexually dead or just looking to revive your sex life, Pulling Back the Shades will address your desire to be both sexual and spiritual. With solid biblical teaching and transparent stories, trusted authors Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery offer an unflinching look at the most personal questions women ask. The book offers practical advice for women to address five core longings:

  • to be cherished by a man
  • to be protected by a strong man
  • to rescue a man
  • to be sexually alive
  • to escape reality

God designed women with these longings and has a plan to satisfy them. It’s time for women to identify their intimate longings and God-honoring ways to fulfill them.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802489784
Publisher:
Moody Publishers
Publication date:
03/01/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
519,632
File size:
4 MB

Read an Excerpt

Pulling Back the Shades

EROTICA, INTIMACY, AND THE LONGINGS OF A WOMAN'S HEART


By Dannah Gresh, Juli Slattery, Terry Behimer

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2014 Dannah Gresh and Juli Slattery
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-1088-7



CHAPTER 1

We Know Why You Read It


We want to let you in on a little secret: it's possible to be a spiritual woman and to struggle with sexual issues.

Homeschoolers (both morns and students), Bible study teachers, missionaries, college students, single businesswomen, married stay-at-home morns, and praying grandmothers who are actively serving the Lord have sexual struggles.

Desperate longings to be touched by a man.

Online temptation.

Disappointment in a marriage bed.

Physical loneliness.

Left with no one to talk to, a woman can end up turning sexual struggles into shameful secrets.

Having sex outside of marriage.

Conducting a secret online affair.

Becoming addicted to porn.

For so long it's been unacceptable in the Christian community for a spiritual woman to openly admit to these sexual secrets. Then along came Fifty Shades of Grey—a book offering a bounty of explicit, erotic sex scenes all wrapped up in a love story. Suddenly, there is a sexual outlet for the spiritual woman that seems to be perfectly acceptable. Their Longings and fantasies finally have a place to be expressed in erotica, which promises to revive sexual passion in marriage or channel sexual desire for singles.

We want you to know you're not alone. Spiritual women do struggle with sexual shame. We've heard from so many of you, and your hearts are eager for some answers—answers that the church traditionally was not willing to provide because it was afraid to talk about the very things you need desperately for us to talk about.

So, along with a growing number of increasingly transparent Christian leaders, we intend to approach this topic quite differently. Why? Because Jesus did.

Jesus met a woman at a well who was never going to be satisfied drinking at the well of sexual expression to satisfy her emotional thirst (we'll share more about her in chapter 8). When He approached her, He broke racial, religious, and sexual traditions. Those customs were not as important to Him as rescuing the woman with Living Water.

We may break a few unwritten, man-made, but nonetheless "Christian rules" of the past in the pages of this book. No conversation will be taboo if it can rescue your heart and bring you to the Living Water.

We have already gone to great lengths to bring you hope, including the decision that Juli would actually read the Fifty Shades of Grey series. With her heart in an attitude of prayer and her psychologist's hat on, she went where neither of us really wanted to go. While doing so, she identified five unmet Longings in women, based on the roller-coaster ride of emotions she personally experienced as she read the series, coupled with her years as a counselor.

At the same time, I identified five characteristics of successful erotica, based on interviews of those who read it and the writing guidelines given to authors in the industry (known as "sexperts").

We came at these lists completely independent of each other. Take a look at how our lists matched up.

We know that women aren't just drawn into books like Fifty Shades of Grey for the entertainment value. Erotica strategically and masterfully pulls you in by exploiting what your heart secretly longs for. What unmet needs and desires make these books appealing to you?


WOMEN LONG TO ESCAPE REALITY

Many women get pulled into erotica simply because they are bored, desperate for an escape from the drudgery of normal life. There are seasons of life that can feel very routine, in which nothing new or challenging seems to happen. This often leaves women feeling lonely and depressed. They want to have a "pulse" again, dream again, and hope again. So, what's the harm in an imaginary story that takes you away from the drudgery of your life? If you can't have a real adventure, at least you can enjoy an imaginary one—one that's guaranteed to have a happy ending.

Erotica promises to take you out of your boring world and inject some adventure—even if it's only in your mind. For a brief time, you can feel alive imagining what it would be like to fall madly in love with a gorgeous man, to be so beautiful that heads always turn your way, to ride on a private jet to an ocean getaway, or to have mind-blowing orgasms at will.

The fact is: your heart was designed for adventure, intrigue, romance, and suspense. These are the things that make you feel alive. God made your body to physically respond with invigorating chemicals like adrenaline, dopamine, and cortisol when life becomes exciting and semi-unpredictable. Your longing is legitimate. We just believe there are ways to get what you are looking for without compromising God's standards.


WOMEN LONG TO BE CHERISHED BY A MAN

My dating relationship with Mike began to take a serious turn. We were standing in my parents' driveway and he was giving me a good-night kiss, holding me in his arms. He looked up to the starry Florida sky and yelled, "God, I want this one!" At that moment, a thrill ran through my body. Out of all the women in the universe, Mike wanted me!

In every romance novel, erotic or otherwise, the female character longs for that experience of being chosen and cherished by the guy. Authors haven't invented this as a major theme of romance—their stories simply reflect what every woman deeply longs for in her heart.

One woman who has a physically disabled husband put it this way:

Reading Fifty Shades of Grey gave me a sense of hope in a way. I was able to feel the love the main character Christian felt and also feel the way the girl was so taken by him. I live a very harsh reality at thirty years old. I may never feel the love of my husband again, so if reading a book is a way I can vicariously live that life, then great. I am my husband's caregiver as well as taking care of two kids, not to mention all the home stuff. These books are approximately 500 + pages each and I got through all three in the matter of four days. They kept my attention, and I honestly think there was some longing. I want that love!!!!!


Maybe you too remember being some man's "one and only" in the early years of marriage. Or maybe you're still waiting to be the one a man wants. Does your heart ache and long to be cherished?


WOMEN LONG TO BE PROTECTED BY A STRONG MAN

In a culture that constantly celebrates women's independence and freedom, do you find it strange that a book about bondage is spreading like wildfire? All of a sudden, words like "submission," "master," and "obedience" are not only acceptable but sexy. Even the most liberal women in the media are talking about the thrill of a strong man. In a conversation on The View about Fifty Shades of Grey, the fearless five—Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, and Barbara Waiters—were discussing why women loved the book so much. Barbara suggested that "when you go home, you want the guy to be in charge."

This seems to have come out of left field. But it hasn't really. The mantra that "you don't need a man" has created a culture of strong women and weak men. No longer is it considered romantic or chivalrous for a man to open a door for his date or even to ask a woman out in the first place. Men have been told, "Step aside—we can take care of ourselves!"

Now we secretly yearn for the very thing our independence has destroyed—strong, confident men. There is something wonderful and even erotic about trusting the strength of a man who can provide, protect, and lead. So, women are caught at the crossroads of wanting the strength of a man, but not wanting to be controlled. We ask our husbands or boyfriends, "Why won't you lead?" Then, when they show strength, we respond with the feedback, "You can lead but not that way!"

Think about the movies you loved as a girl: The Little Mermaid. The Princess Bride. Cinderella. The more modern version found in Ever After. Think of Buttercup awaiting rescue from her simple farm boy in The Princess Bride: "My Westley will always come for me." And so, he did. And our hearts swoon, but we'd never say we want that in real life. Why? Because that might display weakness—something that's not in vogue for the modern woman!

In Captivating, author Stasi El&edge broke down the conflict between wanting a strong man and being a woman molded by modern feminism. She wrote: "I simply loved feeling wanted and fought for. This desire is set deep in the heart of every little girl—and every woman. Yet most of us are ashamed of it. We downplay it. We pretend it is less than it is. We are women of the twenty-first century after all—strong, independent, and capable, thank you very much. Uh-huh ... and who is buying all those romance novels?"

Over 70 million women. That's who.


WOMEN LONG TO RESCUE A MAN

We are all familiar with relationships where the good girl believed she could tame the bad boy. Some women are consumed by the desire to rescue the man they love. In a strange way, they are more attracted to a troubled man who needs help than to a normal, uncomplicated "nice guy." They tolerate rude and even abusive behavior with the hope that "someday my love will change him."

The Fifty Shades series and many other erotica story lines play on this longing, making it a primary part of the plot. Christian, the main character in the novels, has everything. He's handsome, young, rich, talented, and successful. If the description of him stopped there, frankly he wouldn't be that interesting. The charm of his two-dimensional appeal would wear off like a Hollywood heartthrob on the cover of a magazine. But Christian becomes more appealing and intriguing because he's also very messed up. He has dark, mysterious wounds from his childhood that no psychologist can heal. He is deathly afraid of true intimacy, so he substitutes it with kinky sex. In short, he needs a woman to save him from himself. His internal imperfection adds the irresistible element to his outward perfection. He must be saved. Ana's heart is broken, thinking of Christian as a traumatized, abused little boy who has never known true love. Although she is at times concerned about her safety, how could she leave him alone? Ana goes beyond wanting to help him—she becomes his savior.

All of us have a deep, imbedded desire to make a profound difference in the life of a man. The desire to help the man you love is a worthy aspiration. In fact, it's biblical. God created you to be a completer or "helper" for the man you marry. How wonderful that God also gave you the innate longing to do just that. Like every healthy desire, this one also can be twisted and skewed, which is what led Kim into an abusive relationship:

My senior year in college, a mutual friend introduced me to Dan. Dan was several years older than me, a committed Christian, and headed toward seminary to become a worship pastor. The attraction was immediate, and I thought I had found a man I could marry. But as our dating relationship progressed, Dan became controlling, jealous, and paranoid about my past relationships. He constantly questioned me about what I was thinking or why I was late, and often accused me of being unfaithful to him. The arguments and accusations escalated to screaming in my face, calling me names, and eventually grabbing me.

Looking back, I wonder why I didn't just call it quits. I'm a strong-willed person, the last you would expect to find in an abusive relationship. But Dan had a troubled past: an abusive father and a history of drug abuse. I wanted to prove that I was trustworthy and that my unconditional love was strong enough to endure. I'm not a quitter. I wanted to see the best in him and believed that with God's help he could change. Sadly, he did not.


There is nothing romantic about enabling an abusive man. It is yet another example of a beautiful longing twisted by evil. Yet the Fifty Shades series tiptoes right up to the line of proclaiming that a woman's love can save a man from his demons.


WOMEN LONG TO BE SEXUALLY ALIVE

And then there's the sex. Let's put it out there ... many, if not most, women long to have the kind of sex promised in the movies and on the cover of Cosmo. Maybe you aren't married yet but your sexual appetite is alive and well—and frustrated. Or perhaps you are married and have a husband whose sexual desire isn't quite as strong as yours. It could be that your sexuality represents deep wounds of childhood abuse. Being with a man feels very unsafe but you still long to be touched and loved.

No matter the sexual hardship you're facing, women are drawn to the promise of sexual fulfillment and the ability to fully surrender to it. You long to experience the deep pleasure and release that you've heard is supposed to be part of sex. But your normal, everyday life doesn't provide that. Enter erotica. No man needed, no risks of heartbreak involved, you don't even have to put on makeup ... just start reading and you can have your body and mind awakened any time you want.

Sexually charged books seem a lot less harmful than having a bunch of "hookups," cheating on your husband, or looking at pornographic images on the Internet. Maybe you consider them to be an acceptable outlet for you as a single woman. Or maybe, as many women claim, books like the Fifty Shades books can wake up your libido, helping you to become the lover you want to be to your husband.

We want to be very clear: your sexual desire is not wrong. God created you to be sexual. Your body and your mind are wired to long for sexual pleasure and intimacy. Unfortunately, many religious messages separate being a sexual woman from being a spiritual woman. Instead of encouraging you to seek God's plan for your sexuality, you're left with only worldly outlets to fulfill your longings.

Whether you are single or married, sexually dead or frustrated, we will address your desire to be a sexual and spiritual woman in this book. You don't have to turn off your desire to know God in order to turn on your desire to be sexual.


A SECRET LONGING

There is no shame in these longings.

In fact, we cannot ignore them, keeping them tucked away in the darkest corners of our hearts. Satan has power in secrets and in darkness, but his power dissipates when we bring our desires and struggles into the light to talk about them and yield them to God.

My single friend Rita makes no bones about the fact that she'd like someone to cuddle, have dinner with, laugh with, and to carry the burden of financial decisions. At fifty years old, she talks openly about hoping to have sex one day. And yet, she's really happy. I asked her one day how she could want a husband so much and yet be one of the most joyful and content women that I know. She says the key is being fully aware of her Longings and to do the hard work of finding safe places to talk about them and examine them in the light of what Jesus says.

Sadly, many women don't feel safe to admit that they are lonely, bored, or sexually frustrated. Thinking that "Christian women should have this under control," they bury these longings, and that's where the danger arises. Things like erotica, porn, and affairs call to us when we ignore our longings. That's what happened to Susie.

Susie is a spiritual woman. She and her husband are both church and community leaders and have chosen to homeschool their children. About the time Fifty Shades of Grey was released, she was experiencing a frustration with the reality of waking up to the hard work of schooling every day. She was bored with her life and began to seek excitement through sexual temptation. Due to her leadership positions, she didn't feel she could tell anyone what she was struggling with, and instead found a solution in reading erotica. She wrote this to us:

I cannot tell you how much I love my children. I have always wanted to be a wife and mother—more than any career life could offer. But I began to feel like my life was boring and mundane. I was struggling and thought I needed something exciting. To be blunt, my husband doesn't have a sexual appetite that matches mine. Don't get me wrong—I am very satisfied by my husband when we do have sex—but he doesn't need touch and could go a week probably without even thinking of kissing me. I get sad and lonely.

I read Fifty Shades three times.... this opened the window of curiosity to many other books like these. I spent hours in the evenings reading those books. As soon as I could, I would escape to my reading spot. I told myself that I needed an escape from reality.

I became unsatisfied with everything in life. I became more unsatisfied in our marriage. I was not satisfied by [my husband] sexually during that time period. It was horrible. He couldn't satisfy me—and it was my fault.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh, Juli Slattery, Terry Behimer. Copyright © 2014 Dannah Gresh and Juli Slattery. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Dannah and Juli pull back the shades to shine some light on how erotic literature exploits the deep spiritual and sexual longings of a woman's heart. With the Bible as a mooring, they help us address these longings in healthy and holy ways. If you've read erotica, have been tempted to read it, or are even mildly curious about it, you MUST read this book! 

-Mary Kassian, author, Girls Gone Wise

Dannah and Juli have created a beautiful guide book for real intimacy that satisfies our deepest longings. They debunk the lies we naively trade for the Truth. Open the pages of this book to discover the satisfaction you deeply long for.  

-Jill Savage, Founder and CEO of Hearts at Home, author of nine books including No More Perfect Moms

Sexual pleasure is not about self-gratification, and it is more than mutual gratification. Single or married, we are called to be spiritually, relationally, and sexually mature, for the glory of God! Whether man or woman, our sinful natures can easily lead us into the false intimacy of BDSM. Pulling Back the Shades exposes the myths of Fifty Shades of Grey. This book will lead many who have fallen into the darkness, back into a passion for God's glory with both a strong mature spiritual and sexual desire.

-Harry W. Schaumburg, Founder of Stone Gate Resources, author of False Intimacy and Undefiled

Do you long to be a spiritually satisfied woman? Do you long to be a sexually satisfied woman? Pulling Back the Shades will take you to new places in spiritual and sexual freedom (and it's not to a Red Room of Pain!).

-Linda Dillow, speaker and bestselling author of Calm My Anxious Heart and What's It Like to Be Married to Me?

You may be surprised that this is a gracious, sensitive, encouraging, and direct (but not embarrassing) book. Dannah and Juli have tackled a tough topic but do so in a compassionate manner, examining the consequences of a trend that may seem new but was just as much of a challenge to first-century Christians as it is today. The temptation is timeless, but so is the solution. Single women, teens, wives, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters . . . this one's for you.

-Carolyn McCulley, author of The Measure of Success, Radical Womanhood, Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?

Our culture is changing and the blurry lines of what is "right" and "wrong" are confusing to many. It is time for Christian women to take a stand for what is true, right, and holy. Dannah and Juli challenge us
all to lead lives that are above reproach without a hint of sexual immorality. This book is a call to influence, with biblical guidelines, our culture by living lives as wise, godly, and pure women.

-Beth Luebe, The Collegiate Navigators

Meet the Author

DR. JULI SLATTERY is a widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker and broadcast media professional, with a weekly radio program called "Java with Juli". Dr. Slattery is the co-founder of "Authentic Intimacy", an international non-profit designed to minister to women on topics around intimacy and sexuality. Her books include Pulling Back the Shades, Passion Pursuit, Beyond the Masquerade, Finding the Hero in Your Husband, and No More Headaches. She currently sits on the board of trustees for Moody Bible Institute. Juli and her husband, Mike, have been married for 20 years, and are raising their three boys in Colorado Springs where Juli can be found playing in the mountains and trying to manage her addiction to soy lattes.

DANNAH GRESH is a bestselling author and co-founder of Pure Freedom. Dannah's books include And the Bride Wore White , What Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex, and Lies Young Women Believe (co-authored with Nancy Leigh DeMoss), in addition to the Secret Keeper series. She is also a frequent guest for national radio, TV and print mediums. Dannah lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bob, and their three children.
DANNAH GRESH is a bestselling author and co-founder of Pure Freedom. She has sold over 750,000 copies of her books, including And the Bride Wore White , What Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex, and Lies Young Women Believe (co-authored with Nancy Leigh DeMoss), in addition to the Secret Keeper series and Pursuing the Pearl. She is also a frequent guest for national radio, TV and print mediums. Dannah lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bob, and their three children.

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Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
247mama More than 1 year ago
I want to say first that Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery covered so much more than just the 50 Shades books. It addresses erotica (mommy porn), intimacy with your spouse, dealing with past indiscretions, longings of a woman's heart, and more. As I read I thought of so many different women and different reasons or parts of the book that would speak to them. Let me tackle the first subject and really the main subject of the book: erotica. Gresh and Dr. Slattery do an amazing job of laying out all the reasons why this stuff is so bad for you. I haven't read the 50 Shades series, I didn't watch Magic Mike, but I certainly felt the temptation to. So many friends were reading and watching and I wanted to tell myself it was all harmless but really I know it isn't. Even Christian romances can begin to affect your thoughts, moods, and expectations. These books and movies are all fantasy. They just couldn't happen in real life and while you may go in to them knowing that before long you begin to wonder why isn't your sex life that exciting or why isn't your husband as romantic as the men in the books. Even why isn't my life so put together and perfect like all these characters. It is a dangerous path to tread for sure.  The ladies do an amazing job of bringing together the things that God created a woman's heart to desire. They point out that the erotica industry knows these things and make sure that books play to those deepest desires. I can't give you all the information here but be assured that 50 shades plays right into those longings of your heart. That's why so many women read them and kept reading them. You can see in PBTS some stories of women that have read stories like these and the issues they had afterwards. All in all, this is an uncomfortable subject. The church has done a very poor job of addressing intimacy. The basic response from the church has been don't do it before marriage (without many reasons why) and don't talk about it after marriage. Obviously I am super uncomfortable talking about intimacy but I think it needs to be addressed. I think our young people deserve to know that indiscretions before marriage not only can lead to pregnancy or STDs but can leave you with a lifetime of issues. Pornography isn't harmless, it is harmful. It leads to unrealistic expectations. It can change your desires and like those indiscretions those memories are almost impossible to erase and will affect your intimacy with your spouse. I encourage you to read this book. It is geared to females but men could learn a lot from it too. It isn't just for the married ladies either! Single ladies some of your desires and needs are addressed here. Is this book perfect? No. Does it point you to God's plan for intimacy in scripture? Yes. I think this book is opening a new chapter for Christians and I hope you'll read it. I received a free copy of this book as a member of the launch team.
AnnetteOC More than 1 year ago
In 2011, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey made quite a stir. It’s not as if “mommy porn” and deviant sexual practices are anything new. It’s that much of the public would rather keep them out of sight and pretend they don’t exist. However, James’ book pushed this somewhat underground form of erotica out into mainstream, forcing us to take notice. With the publication of two sequels and the long-awaited movie release scheduled for 2015, the timing seemed right for a Christian voice in this growing discussion about women’s sexuality. Moody Publishers – experienced, well-known, and well-respected – took the challenge, and Pure Freedom’s Dannah Gresh and Authentic Intimacy’s Juli Slattery came out with Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart (2014). I purchased the book with great anticipation and finished reading it a bit disappointed. What Christians want to believe is that, under God, things really are “black and white” (meaning that there is a clear “right” and a clear “wrong”) and not in “shades of grey” (situational ethics). Few want to go as far as Bill Gothard, applying it to your choice in carpet color, but a decided majority will try to apply it to sexual activity – pornography, erotica, oral sex, French kissing, or what have you. It would be nice to get some detailed feedback on exactly how God expects us to behave in the bedroom, but we have general principles, not specifics. I appreciated Gresh and Slattery’s efforts to try to clear up some of the “fuzziness.” It’s necessary so that Christian women can feel guilt-free about their God-given sexuality. While a few times they resort to the “slippery-slope” fallacy, the authors are generally honest about how much personal preference and other factors come into play, which would cause many readers to rest easy. They even admit to disagreeing with each other about some practices (e.g., masturbation). But they are adamantly against erotica like Fifty Shades, and seek out to build a case that matches their guilty verdict. They hit a brick wall a number of times, but I’d like to point out some obvious problems. Much of their argument lays on the assumption that there’s a problem with reading about (or observing, in the case of pornography) other people’s sexual activities. This is backed up scripturally with a discussion about keeping sex between a married man and woman, anything else being adultery, fornication, etc. The problem is that the book then sends mixed messages about the appropriateness of erotic literature. Okay, we’ll assume it’s damaging to read, and get excited over, descriptions of others having sex. So why tell us about all of the “steamy scenes” found in the Song of Solomon? (Worse yet, why then is that book even in the Bible?) And why share your own experiences? I really don’t want to read about the authors’ sexual escapades with their respective husbands, no matter how sanitized they are. At least fiction isn’t exploiting the real experiences of real people for the reader’s own pleasure! There’s also a problem area revolving around “submission.” The authors go to great lengths to lend support to this cause. However, they’re so wrapped up in defending it, that they never clearly define how their view differs from the so-called “counterfeits” found in books like Fifty Shades. And more importantly, they never explain how this biblical concept would translate into bedroom activity, if at all. The implication is that, if you have a “manly” man who takes charge in the relationship, you won’t need erotica for sexual fulfillment. I’m still trying to follow that logic. To sum it up, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend Pulling Back the Shades. The awkward tag-team approach and lack of solid content, betray it as a rush-to-publication project. The authors come across as naïve – Oh, my! Christian women are reading erotica??!!! – and devoid of empathy - We never read this stuff, so we can’t relate to your problem! Gresh flat out refused to read Fifty Shades, and Slattery only under duress. While some readers might admire the authors’ concerns to protect their own purity and marital relationships, I thought they came across as condescending, caring more about maintaining spotless reputations than actually being of help to their readers. I would’ve preferred to hear from someone drawing from her personal struggles than someone who feels it necessary to remind me that she’s unstained by erotica. While I’m grateful that Gresh and Slattery took the time to address these important issues, I can’t help but think that the book assignment could’ve been passed on to better hands.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I believe this is a much needed book. I am sure there are many Christian women, married and single, who are being deceived by erotica such as Fifty Shades of Gray. The devil is tricking married women into thinking it will help their married and single women into thinking this is an outlet to keep them pure. These are lies. God even convicted me to stop reading Nicholas Sparks, which isn't erotica but does have sexual content that made me feel and think things that were not holy. I know there are even women who won't read Christian romance because it makes them think about things they shouldn't. But honestly, I believe erotica is a no brainer. That is not from God at all. Here's how I would look at it: If I knew Jesus was standing over my shoulder looking at what I was reading (which He is, nothing is hidden from Him) would I be embarrassed? This book addresses many issues. These authors did a wonderful job of tackling some very tough topics but in a loving way. Not only do they address these issues but they give you idea for ways to move on and get help. And for those of us who don't struggle with this type of thing they give us ideas how we can help these women who are desperate for love. I was not bored one moment in this book. Dannah and Juli have written a highly informative and engaging book. I highly recommend this one. A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was written from the perspective that “spirituality and sexuality were never meant to be mutually exclusive” (PBTS, back cover). For years, the topic of Biblical sexuality has been so under-discussed in the church, it’s almost become taboo. The fact is we were created as sexual beings. “Your body and your mind are wired to long for sexual pleasure and intimacy. Unfortunately, many religious messages separate being a sexual woman from being a spiritual woman…You don’t have to turn off your desire to know God in order to turn on your desire to be sexual” (PBTS, p. 25). Over the nine easy-to- read chapters of the book, Gresh and Slattery explore the effect “mommy porn” (erotica) has on women, what boundaries we should set when it comes to sex, disturbing sexual practices (common themes in the Fifty Shades trilogy), sexual satisfaction, and spiritual satisfaction. There is no shaming of the reader who may have read the series or other books in the genre, only a deeper understanding of why we’re drawn to them, a sharing of Biblical truth and encouragement to live differently. Each chapter is written candidly and thoughtfully, and sensitive topics are discussed with grace and compassion. While it seems much of the content is intended for married women, the authors recognize that single women also struggle with some of the same temptations and issues. Single readers are well-included in the book, but might be frustrated by the lack of practical advice to help them pursue purity and contentment. With the evidence given that some girls have been exposed to erotica at ages as young as nine years old, it’s obvious this is a topic that needs to be discussed in our families. However, I would caution parents to read this book prior to letting a student under college age read it. Pulling Back the Shades is wonderfully summed up in this excerpt: “We’re supposed to be making different choices and living a different kind of life than the rest of the world. While you certainly can and should celebrate your sexuality, there is also discretion required of the Christian woman who seeks to have her sex life be what God designed it to be: a picture of His passionate love for His people! God’s Word clearly calls us to live our lives as He designed them to be lived in all areas, including sex. This demands that we choose a different path than the world’s way. He calls us to holiness.” (PBTS p. 134)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Pulling Back the Shades, Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slatery expose and explain the desires that drive women’s attraction to erotica. Although the book appears to be a response to the popular secular book Fifty Shades of Grey, Pulling Back the Shades goes much deeper than a simple rebuttal. Gresh and Dr. Slatery explore the innate desires that, left unmet, can leave women vulnerable to erotica, affairs, and sexual temptations. Pulling Back the Shades allows readers to examine their own lives and consider whether they are vulnerable to the enticement of erotica. Gresh and Dr. Slatery also emphasize how erotica leaves spiritual needs and desires unfulfilled. They explain the spiritual battle behind erotica, which is an important, though often avoided topic. The last two chapters of Pulling Back the Shades focus on this very subject and include a call to action based on the story of Nehemiah. Pulling Back the Shades is written in an easy-to-read format, but is incredibly thought-provoking. Gresh and Dr. Slatery used care to provide just enough information and detail to emphasize the seriousness of their concerns, without becoming graphic. I am thoroughly impressed with the content of Pulling Back the Shades and recommend the book to anyone looking for a Biblical response to a sex-centered culture. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Saltysarah More than 1 year ago
I think this book did an amazing job of addressing the real questions people have about erotica and unhealthy visions about sex. I would recommend it to anyone who is tempted to read 50 shades, to read truth instead. Not fantasy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EYE OPENING BOOK!! This book doesn't just talk about the 50 shades series - but it goes into soooo much more than that. This book address the longings of a woman's heart and just how normal she is!! This is a MUST read book! This book points you to where you can find the fulfillment that you are longing for. Erotic is just a smokescreen and this book openly and non judgmentally discusses that topic. Very well written, and easy to get into.