Pros: Christian perspective on sexual intimacy
Cons: a bit biased toward the male perspective
I?m going to say something that may come as a shock to all of you, but Christians have sex! I know this because I am one and I do, so do all the other married Christians I know.
The big shocker?God created sex as a special gift for married couples to enjoy.
I?ve known a lot of people, even within my church, who view sex as something ?dirty? or ?wrong? and certainly not something to be talked about.
Sex between two married people is never wrong, though I do not believe it is a right activity for people to engage in when they are not married. I know many people who would disagree with me, but I believe the Bible and it says that sex has a boundary?it is meant to remain within the confines of marriage.
My husband?s best friend and his wife had read ?Intended for Pleasure? and loaned their copy to us. A Christian doctor writes it and it is all about sex?how, when, and why!
Nuts (no pun intended) & Bolts
Dr. Ed Wheat, MD, and his wife Gaye are the co-authors of the book ?Intended for Pleasure.? Dr. Wheat writes most of the book, but his wife does author an entire chapter by herself.
Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House of Grand Rapids, MI, is the publishing house that puts out ?Intended for Pleasure.?
Chapter by Chapter
Chapter 1: Intended for Pleasure
This chapter is the introduction by the author into what he plans to do with the book. It?s basically an outline of the book.
Many Christians view sex as an activity totally separate from their walk with God, but in this chapter the author makes the link between a person?s relationship with God to their relationship with their spouse, which should involve God?s precious gift?sex.
There is actually a book of the Bible, if you know the true translations of the original texts, that is all about the intimacy of sex between a husband and wife. This book of the Bible is discussed in this chapter. For those of you curious, it?s Song of Solomon.
Chapter 2: Finding God?s Design
This chapter addresses that fact that sexual fulfillment in marriage is not solely based on physical technique, but also on the condition of the marriage in it?s entirety. Dr. Wheat gives us the information he gives to engaged couples, and his reasons for them.
The main points being:
1. Reserve funds to allow for a few weeks of uninterrupted time for a honeymoon.
2. Borrow no money.
3. Be independent of in-laws. Leave father and mother.
4. Do not get a TV set for at least one year.
5. Never go to bed with unresolved conflict.
6. Seek outside spiritual counsel if unable to resolve a conflict within one week.
7. Seek counsel if the wife is consistently unable to attain sexual release.
8. Have some Bible study together every day.
9. Husband must be 100% committed to loving his wife. Wife must be 100% committed to being submissive. (Ephesians 5)
10. The husband is to be the head of his home.
11. ?And the wife see that she reverence her husband.? (Ephesians 5:33)
You may or may not agree with the author on all these points, but he has a Biblical truth behind his reasons for each one so you may want to give each point serious consideration.
Chapter 3: What If I?m Not in Love? How Do I Fall in Love?
This chapter addresses the issue of finding sexual fulfillment when you feel like you no longer love your spouse.
It discusses the differences between the secular and Biblical meanings of the word love, and how one can renew love (Biblical version) with your spouse in a dying relationship.
Chapter 4: Understanding the Basics
One of the longest chapters in the book, this chapter deals with the basics of the human reproduction system?complete with diagrams!
First we see an explanation of the female sexual organs; including the pituitary gland, ovaries, oviducts (a.k.a. fallopian tubes), uterus, cervix, vagina, hymen, urethra, clit0ris (spelling modified to bypass the censors), labia minora, labia majora, and mons veneris.
Next the chapter details the menstrual cycle (every woman?s favorite topic--note the sarcasm), conception and pregnancy, and then birth.
After the ?girl stuff? the chapter moves on to the male reproductive organs, explaining these parts: the penis, the testicles, and the prostrate gland.
This chapter goes beyond high school sex ed with a very detailed and thorough analysis of each item, without any embarrassment or ?dirtiness.?
Chapter 5: One Flesh: The Techniques of Lovemaking
This is the chapter that goes into detail about the actual techniques of lovemaking, but it does so without making the reader feel silly or dirty.
This chapter analyzes the four stages of lovemaking?arousal, plateau, orgasm, and relaxation. It is in the section on plateau that Dr. Wheat discusses various positions that may increase pleasure.
Chapter 6: Solutions to Common Problems
This chapter, quite obviously, deals with common sexual problems in marriage and how to try to eliminate them.
One of the main sexual problems within the sexual relationship is premature ejaculation. This chapter analyzes it and gives an exercise that helps to overcome this problem.
Another section devotes itself to the topic of pubococcygeus (p.c.) muscle control in women and it?s role in increasing sexual fulfillment for men.
Chapter 7: For the Preorgasmic Wife: Fulfillment Ahead
I must tell you, I skimmed this chapter rather quickly as it doesn?t apply to me (like you really needed to know that about me).
This chapter deals with some of the reasons why a woman may not have had orgasm in the past and how she may come to have them in the future. This is one chapter that the husband should read with the wife if this is a problem in their marriage.
Chapter 8: For the Impotent Husband: Fulfillment Again
This is another chapter that I skimmed quickly, not being male nor having a husband with this issue.
This chapter discusses some of the various causes of impotency?alcohol, fatigue, obesity, nicotine, drugs, depression, negative feelings, dismay over decreased vigor, improper view of sex within marriage and poor learning experiences?and how they contribute to the problem. Within each explanation of a possible cause is a way to alleviate that issue.
Chapter 9: The Power of Sexual Intimacy
This chapter of the book discusses how powerful sexual intimacy truly is, and how the lack of true sexual intimacy in unmarried encounters can cause emotional baggage for those who engage in it.
I was able to identify with a lot of what was in this passage as I felt this emotional baggage before I married my husband. Even though my husband is the only man I?ve ever been with, we were together before marriage and there was something missing in my heart at that time. Now that I am married and the intimacy is there, I feel not guilt or any other ?baggage.?
This chapter also discusses some things that can cause a lack of true intimacy in a marriage; including criticism, pent up anger and resentment, failure to communicate, lack of trust, anxiety over physical appearance, over-analysis of self during lovemaking, de-emphasizing the value of sex, predictable sex, lack of sensitivity, absence of nonsexual physical touching, too much television. It also discusses different ways to increase intimacy during lovemaking.
Chapter 10: The ?Perfect? Wife
This chapter is the one penned by Dr. Wheat?s wife Gaye.
The quotations around the word perfect are used to indicate that she doesn?t mean wives have to be ?perfect? but to be the perfect wife for the man they married.
She talks about submission not means servitude, but willingly submitting to our husbands as the church submits to the will of God.
It also talks about how important it is in the area of sexually pleasing our husbands to make sure that we are sexually pleased ourselves. Men needs a women?s sexual fulfillment to feel fully fulfilled, so to ignore our own needs is to deny our husbands pleasure.
Chapter 11: Planning and Achieving Parenthood
This section is quite self-explanatory, it deals with the planning and achieving of pregnancy.
It talks first of preventing pregnancy for those couples who are not yet ready to bear children, and then of achieving pregnancy for those couples having difficulty.
Chapter 12: Sex During Pregnancy
This chapter discusses the various changes that take place in a woman?s body during pregnancy and how the couple can continue to enjoy physical intimacy throughout the pregnancy. He makes it clear that if your doctor recommends you abstain that you should do so.
Chapter 13: Sex After 60?70?80?
This chapter talks about the physical changes to our bodies as we age and that aging doesn?t have to mean the end of our sexual relationships with our spouses. This would be very beneficial to older couples.
Chapter 14: Answers to Your Questions
This chapter provides the answers to questions related to all different aspects of the married sexual relationship.
Chapter 15: All Love. All Liking. All delight.
This chapter is a bit of a recap of the general meaning of sex.
The secular world focuses on sex as a physical act done for pleasure, but the act of lovemaking is a spiritual event that is relationship building?not that it isn?t supposed to be fun, because it is meant to be.
Chapter 16: Your Marriage: A Private Little Kingdom
This chapter discusses the importance and sanctity of marriage, and how it needs to be protected and valued.
At the end of this book, Dr. Wheat includes a list of suggested reading and a topical index for reference.
I was a bit surprised when my husband brought this book home after a visit with his best friend. I had been fairly content with this aspect of our marriage, and I thought he was too. I didn?t realize how much we had to learn or how much this book could help.
This book has been valuable to my husband and I in increasing the enjoyment of each other and also in strengthening our marriage through and improved level of intimacy.
I did find that this book was quite clearly written from a man?s perspective. I was a bit put off by the fact that there was a chapter on being a better wife without a counter chapter on being a better husband. There was nothing I disagreed with in the ?wife? chapter, but I would have liked a counterpart to it.
This book is written in an intelligent and mature way, and should not be offensive to any Christian couple that reads it. I found some sections to be very explicit, but it was all done in the most tasteful manner possible.
Dr. Wheat is a very intelligent and knowledgeable man, and he gets his facts and thoughts across quite clearly. His wife, Gaye, is also very easily understood in her writings.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to all Christian couples who are either married or have set their wedding date.
This book has information that would be helpful for couples on their wedding night, or the night of their 50th anniversary!