Thursday, May 26, 2011

Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage (Fourth Edition), by Ed Wheat, MD


Extremely helpful. I liked this book more than Sheet Music, but I suspect that my preference is just a matter of personal taste. Wheat is a physician, so he includes a lot of medical information that Leman, as a psychologist, is simply not qualified to give. Parts of this book read like a textbook, which I liked--the matter-of-fact tone made the whole thing less awkward. More like hearing a doctor or science teacher talk about sex (as opposed to hearing your pastor or psychologist talk about it). However, unlike most medical texts on sex, Wheat comes from an explicitly Christian and biblical worldview, and saturates his practical scientific explanations and recommendations in biblical truth, which is incredibly comforting for those looking for a scientifically reliable resource that has not been (as) tainted by the secular view of sex.

However, this is not a list of does and don'ts--Wheat encourages readers to honor their spouses, and he explains various aspects of sex and reproduction, but by and large he does not condone or condemn specific activities or practices. This is most notable in the section on birth control. Wheat is staunchly pro-life and opposes all clearly abortifacient methods (such as the morning after pill). However, he does not address the morality of birth control in and of itself (that is, whether it is morally acceptable to try to divorce sex from procreation). But he is very clear that he does not intend to tell couples what to do. His goal is to inform them about the various methods and let them make their own decisions. So if you're looking for a book to tell you what to do/not do, this is not the book for you. But if you want a moderately detailed medical guide chocked full of practical advice, this is an excellent resource.

Wheat includes an especially helpful section on what to expect on the honeymoon, and also spends a fair amount of time walking the reader through practical solutions to common problems married couples face. And all his advice is under-girded by the biblical principles of selfless service and honest communication.

The final chapter of the book does present the gospel, but I would have loved to see the gospel message permeate the rest of the text a bit more thoroughly. Still, for a Christian take on sex in marriage, I doubt you'll find better than this.

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