Sunday, February 25, 2007

Real Sex.

I recently read a book called Real Sex written by Lauren F. Winner. Stephanie and Megan recommended this book to me, and I attended a conference this weekend where Ms. Winner was speaking so I wanted to read at least one of her books prior to meeting/learning from her.

Let me say that this is easily THE MOST refreshing “Christian book” I have read in a LONG time. Granted, I haven’t, until now, had a lot of time for reading other than what I do in the bible due to school, so forgive me for my limited view of things. However, I don’t think my opinion would be different in any other circumstance.

I would like to challenge, without saying too much more, all of my Christian friends to pick this book up. Male or female- pick it up. Give it a whirl. It’s a quick read, divided nicely in to manageable chapters and subsections, and it is an important book.

It is officially titled Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity. Why do I hear the screeching halt of your interest even from here? I know- Chastity? Seriously? Like- chastity belt and the father has the key, lame, annoying, impossible, pointless, antiquated chastity? Yeah—that.

Whether you are “single” or married, this book, I believe, is an important read. It is NOT about “staying pure” before marriage. It does deal with that issue, but the real issue is how Christians look at sex. This obviously deals with marriage since the biblical context for sex IS marriage… but this is not going to be a droning diatribe on staying pure until marriage, or why you need a husband to really be complete. If you’re single and reading this blog—you need to read this book. If you are dating—you need to read this book. If you are engaged—you need to read this book. If you are married, YES—you need to read this book.

This book is the first I’ve read in a while by a contemporary Christian author whose vocabulary and intellect shine through in a God-honoring and Claire-challenging way. Not that I’m some genius, but after reading Plato and Dostoyevsky, ol’ JP and friends feel pretty lame. I often feel patronized when I read Christian literature, and frankly sometimes I feel like I’m dumbing down my brain in order to absorb the minimally challenging teachings. It is a tremendous joy to feel challenged and curious about this woman’s ideas, and to feel interested and not obligated about the subject. After all people- what are we MORE interested in culturally than sex?

A few tidbits addressed in the book that might pique your interest:

-Should sex be communal? What does THAT mean?

-Do we have the RIGHT to have pre-marital sex?

-What lies does society tell us about sex?

-What lies does the Church tell us about sex?

-How do pornography and masturbation influence healthy sex lives?

-What IS ‘good sex?’

-How does birth control change our view of sex?

-Why isn’t “True Love Waits” an effective idea?

-What is the point of practicing chastity anyway? When I’m single? Married?

I know for lots of you ladies you’re about up to your ears in dating and “woman” books. Let me just say that I understand you, and I don’t think we should always be thinking solely about our identities as women- but also as a larger group. I DO think it is healthy to think about how we are sexual beings, and what that means as a Christian- how do we deal with that? This isn’t a book for women- it’s for people. It happens to be written by a very wise and well-educated woman. I implore you to consider reading this—an entertaining, challenging, and potentially very provocative read, if nothing else.

Also, I’d love to hear from you if you do decide to read it, or if you are interested but want to know more before you look at the book. OR… if you want to borrow the book (it is currently reserved but you can get in line!).

Not sure what else to say, but consider it, eh? Oh- and I think every youth worker, pastor, college leader, and other categoried person should read it to. So really, no one is excluded, I’m not just talking about twenty-somethings. READ IT!


Matthew said...

So....You liked this book just a lil heh? I am glad that we have been able to talk about this book and this subject. Its still so crazy to think that God has given us such an amazing gift in the form of being able to have God honoring sex within a marriage. And oh boy am I excited to be married to you! (not to weird anyone out or anything)

Ashley said...

yeah matt i think you went into a litle too much info with that comment. lol I am excited to get this book and see what it is all about !

Whitney C. said...

I got the book last night. I think this book would be great for parents to read, too. It's not a subject most parents look forward to talking about, and I think this book could give a lot of guidance.

Whitney said...

Gross Matt. Gross... (I can say that because I'm your sister) gross...