This may be the hardest blog post I’ve ever written. Single women have been writing to me this week with one question: “How can I satisfy my sexual desire if I’m destined to remain single my whole life?” In part, this question is coming from women who’ve recently read Pulling Back The Shades, a candid look at erotica, intimacy, and the longings of a woman’s heart, which I co-authored with Dr Juli Slattery. But the truth is the question has been coming my way for a long time and I’ve managed to dodge it. My motivation to answer is impaled on the horns of a dilemma: do I, a married woman, pass you on to some one else with more “experience” for the answer OR do I tell you the truth which is undoubtedly not what you really want to hear in which case you may happily use my married status to disqualify the advice? Today I’m mustering up the courage to go for the latter.
As my new book releases this week, I’ve cringed a few times at the comments that get posted. I know we’re not supposed to use porn or erotica, but sometimes in our criticism of it we forget that our Christian sisters are struggling. Our condemnation, if not carefully worded, can fuel shame or create distance rather than bringing struggling women closer to Jesus. That’s why every word we wrote had to be just right! Few times have I felt more dependent on God than when Dr Juli Slattery and I decided to write a response to the “mommy porn” craze that’s overtaken the Church. Yep, I do mean the Church—there’s no statistical difference in the percentage of Christian vs overall women who’ve read the Fifty Shades of Grey series. We knew the problem was big, but we didn’t know where to begin.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MELANIE, TISH, DOREEN, CLAIRE, VICKI, TARA, ANGIE, VALERIE, ANNA, AND ERIN WHO WON THIS RANDOM DRAWING. THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL!
Can spiritual women also be sexually satisfied? It’s a sad question to have to ask, but the incomplete manner in which the Church has answered sexual questions does mandate that we discuss it.
If you’re one of my more modest followers, please don’t be disappointed but this article isn’t for you. However, if you’re a spiritual woman trying desperately to make sense of sexual desires and often finding answers outside of the Church, read on! I don’t want you to find yourself falling for counterfeits in the quest. A lot of women have.
As of last week, the sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey series has sold over 100,000,000 and the series has had a seat on the New York Times Best-seller list for 100 weeks straight. Let me be honest: the book has revived the sexual appetites of many women. But is that good?
I’d like to suggest that it’s not so great and that the best way to a vibrant sex life might just to become an “official church lady!”
For so long it’s been unacceptable in the Christian community for a spiritual woman to talk openly about issues of sexual pleasure and need. There are all these unwritten “Christian” rules that govern how openly we talk about sex. Then along came Fifty Shades of Grey—a book offering a bounty of explicit, erotic sex scenes all wrapped up in a love story. The book and its follow-ups provided a place for women to explore their longings and fantasies and promised to revive sexual passion in marriage or channel sexual desire for singles.
When the book was first released I naively thought not that many Christian women would read it. I was wrong. Over 100 million women have read it according to new counts just this week, making it the fastest selling book of all time other than the Bible. (Only God has outsold E.L. James!) And there is no difference between the percentage of Christians who have read Fifty Shades of Grey and the percentage of all Americans who have read the book that introduced us to the term “mommy porn.“
If you are one of the Christian women who devoured the book, Dr. Juli Slattery and I want you to know you’re not alone. And, along with a growing number of increasingly transparent Christian leaders, we intend to approach this topic quite differently. Why? Because Jesus did.
I am excited to announce that we’re heading into the studios to tape an all-new video curriculum for my best-selling book: And the Bride Wore White. And I have a few spots left in the studio audience. After nearly fifteen years, reviewers continue to rave about it. But the greatest proof of its effect is in the lives of hundreds of thousands of young women who’ve embraced the book’s message and chosen to live lives of purity. We estimate that nearly 15,000 churches and small groups have used it as a Bible study or small group resource. It’s certainly been through a few different looks.
January 2000 • Original Cover Design
Model Nicole Flowers (A girl in the youth group I was helping to lead.)
2004 • Celebration Edition (To celebrate 100,000 in sales)
Model Shannon (A girl in the youth group I was helping to lead.)
2012 • Twelfth Anniversary Cover
Model Lexi Gresh (My precious daughter.)
To celebrate the fifteen year mark (January 1, 2015), we are releasing an all-new video curriculum and on-line leader’s guide. These will be made available for FREE just like my new Get Lost video series released last year.
But here’s the deal: it’s not free to me. I am committed to doing everything I can to keep the cost as low as possible while also bringing you good quality. (See the videos in the Get Lost link above.) While many ministries spend up $50-100,000 on video taping, our cost is going to come in at right about $10,000.
Would you prayerfully consider helping me raise this amount? Thanks to the women’s ministry of First Baptist Church (Magnolia, Arkansas) who heard about this project and held a silent auction to raise money, we already have $1500 in the bank! And I’m going to offer some little incentive packages for you to join this great group of women. (It’s kind of like our own Kickstarter campaign.) I sure hope you can join us!
- MOTHER/DAUGHTER PAK – Donate $40 and get a mother/daughter And The Bride Wore White study pak. (Includes a DVD of the videos, two autographed copies of And the Bride Wore White, and a spiral bound leader’s guide.)
- SMALL GROUP PAK – Donate $100 and get a small group And the Bride Wore White study pak. (Includes a DVD of the videos ten autographed copies of And the Bride Wore White, and a spiral bound leader’s guide.)
- DINNNER WITH DANNAH PAK – (Ok, this one’s wierd but I’d like to ask you to dinner if you give big!) Donate $1500 and get the small group pak plus two tickets to sit in the studio audience in State College, PA when we video tape on March 18th including dinner with Dannah after the taping. (Travel and accommodation not included. There are only two of these packages available.)
All materials will be shipped in August just in time for Fall Bible study. (The videos will not be released to the public until January 1, 2015 in conjunction with the 15th anniversary of the book.)
This offer is good only through to March 14th, so please consider giving here.