Skip to main content

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

I found this book, Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery, at my local library and was instantly drawn in. The sleek cover, edgy trim size and overall design instantly made me think of a sexy but thoroughly sociological study of women and erotica. My enthusiasm was extinguished after reading only a few sentences and realizing the book was written from a Christian perspective and the authors use the Bible to back up their opinions about the detrimental effects of erotica to women’s lives. I put the book back, but I kept thinking I should read it anyway. So after a few days contemplation, I spent my book allowance and bought a new copy for myself.

Well. Let's just say this book was not written for me. I do not hold a Christian world view. I do not believe porn or erotica are mortal sins and I don’t believe fantasizing before or during sex is unhealthy to a relationship. This could be a long, complex post about jealousy, possession, social mores, communication, and respect, but I suppose that is why I blog. My viewpoints are laid out in the posts I write. The authors lay out their own views in this book, so I shall let the book speak for itself:

“Whether you are addicted to crack cocaine or addicted to the love of a fantasy man makes no difference. They both keep you enslaved to something that has replaced God.” Page 53

“Erotica places undue emphasis on the physical and disables your ability to connect emotionally.” Page 91

“The problem is not erotica – the problem is that we want to read it.” Page 133

“Can you imagine a day ... hearing about porn producers, strip clubs and writers of erotica going out of business because no one is interested in what they offer?” Page 148

"This book is not ultimately about the Fifty Shades series or even about erotica. This book is about the spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of women. Our prayer is not just that you throw out the junk that enslaves you to the world's thinking but that you join a call for revival among God's women." Page 146

The arguments in this book against erotica are the same arguments I make for the teachings in Christianity. These authors believe bringing porn and erotica into a relationship taints the authenticity of said relationship and promotes an unrealistic view of sexuality.  I believe bringing in many of the teachings in the Bible concerning sexual purity taint the authenticity of relationships and promote an unrealistic view of sexuality. There is not much to be debated here.

However, since the thesis of this book is supposed to be erotica, I will express my personal defense for the genre.

I turned to books because the people who wrote them and the characters that lived within the pages were willing to have conversations with me that no person in my life was willing to have. Erotica gave me a safe place to explore things I would have never been able to confront without the paper cuts and a flashlight under my covers. The words awakened my body and gave me a deeper appreciation for literature. Before I read erotica, I was always trying to escape, get outside of my fragile body and fly far away. Erotica brought the story inside and I read with my skin, my heartbeat, and my fingertips as much as with my mind. And I took what I learned from erotica and applied it to all the others stories that happened across my path. And I learned far more by letting these stories in rather than trying to run away with them.

We need to look inside ourselves in order to learn who we really are and what we really want. Only when we have a firm, unflinching grasp on the truth can we balance our most passionate desires with the respect, communication and trust that make genuine relationships.

I will continue to read erotica. I will continue to write erotica. I will continue to give readers a chance to glimpse the reality within so they may take the steps toward a fully realized and balanced sexuality.



Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Mistress Manual: The Good Girl's Guide to Female Dominance

I must confess that I become quite melancholy this time of year because I dreadfully miss going "back to school." But this time around, I almost felt like I was back in school because I had this book. Mistress Lorelei Powers has such a wonderfully authoritative and insightful voice with just enough snark, charm, and wit. I truly felt as though I were her pupil completing some very important homework as I studied this text.

Though I am involved in BDSM on some levels my interests rest mostly in fetishes rather than power exchange. So I admit that I consumed this book as a reader just as much as I did a sex blogger. And the experience was delightful.

This book is the perfect length and quite reader friendly. There is a lot of information packed into this manual, but it is enjoyable to peruse a second or third time and great to have as a reference.

The first part of the book addresses many concepts and issues in female dominance. What if you are reluctant to take the dominant…

Ways Porn Has Helped My Life

Earlier this week @KelseyObsession on Twittier ( posted a poll asking if porn has helped people’s lives, hurt people’s lives, or been a neutral force. I answered that porn has helped my life... because it has!
I see the sentence “porn ruined my life” so often but I can honestly say that in many ways porn saved my life. (It’s a bit too click baity even for me to use as a headline, but it doesn’t make it any less true). On top of that, there has been another anti-porn wave on social media lately, so I thought I would go ahead and dedicate a post to the ways porn has helped my life.
First things first. When I write about porn, I usually get a lot of the same questions so I’ll just preface by answering those questions now: 1. No, I don’t work in the adult industry. Aside from one erotica story I wrote being published in an alternative porn magazine and a few erotic photoshoots that have never been published except as cropped header images for my blog posts, I’ve never be…

10 Reasons I Include Porn in My Marriage

Type “porn” and “marriage” in Google and a myriad of articles appear fretting about how porn is utterly ruining marriage. A fairly representative post can be found here. If that one's not scathing enough, read this one.  I personally used to have lots of issues with porn. But now I’m a pro-porn advocate and I believe people can make porn a healthy part of a balanced sexuality and even, yes, marriage. Below are ten reasons I intentionally include porn in mine.
1.Strengthen trust with honesty and shared vulnerability

Because we are open about the role porn (and erotica) plays for us individually and in our marriage, we can tell each other truthfully when something we see turns us on, when we want to try something we’ve seen, when we are in the mood to watch something, or any number of other things. We don’t have to worry about lying or sugar coating the truth about our desires, and that honesty means we trust each other with the information. And the truth is, hearing, “Wow, that woman…