Erotica’s Impact on Ladies and a Call to Return Home to God’s Design for God-Given Pleasure: A Review of Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery

Were you ever asked to do something that you wondered “Why me?” That’s what happened to me with the request to review Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart. Apparently, the publisher wanted some male opinions. I hope that you will give me a chance and read my review, either because of, or in spite of, the fact that I am male.

Dannah Gresh and Juli Slattery state that Fifty Shades of Grey has sold over 70 million copies in its first year! Erotica is the fastest selling genre of books marketed to women. The authors of Pulling Back the Shades are convinced that Fifty Shades has done for women what internet porn did for men – normalized its use. In fact, 1 in 5 American adults who have read Fifty Shades are self-professed Christians. 9% of practicing Christians have read it.

Their warning to women is that what may appear to be a romantic fantasy may in the end lead to more dissatisfaction in real life. To the authors, in erotica like Fifty Shades, right and wrong gets confused in a universe of grey that becomes impossible to untangle. I believe that they correctly conclude that one’s very legitimate, God-given longings are played with in order to suck the reader into a tempting vortex that is a counterfeit of God’s plan for women.

Pulling Back the Shades should not be seen as just another polemic against Fifty Shades. The book offers women questions, and thus answers, to help them decide whether or not fantasy, or any other fiction, deceives in some very dangerous ways. God’s standards, as revealed in God’s Word, are reviewed in order to give a clear understanding of right and wrong from God’s perspective. They present the alternative of building an exciting sex life in the context of godly principles of mutual love and respect. Slattery and Gresh also demonstrate the positive descriptions of sex that are found in the Bible, sometimes explicitly.

As a man, I think that this book has helped me to see some things from a woman’s perspective. One is how critically important it is for us men to communicate to our wives how beautiful they are, especially in the bedroom. Our words, or their absence, are incredibly powerful. Let’s not allow erotica to do for our wives what God intended for us to do to heighten their pleasure to the glory of God and the health of our marital unions.

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