Pulling Back the Shades: True Confessions from Dannah & Juli

9780802410887This is a book we never expected to write about – a book we never expected you to read: Fifty Shades of Grey. How could this book series have sold over 70 million copies in its first year? And now it’s not just that series being devoured by women, but an entire lineup of copycat books rushed to the market so fast that the BBC reported erotica to be “cannibalizing” the rest of the publishing industry. Erotica is the fastest-selling genre of books selling to women.

We believe that the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey series was a transforming moment that fueled the erotica craze, normalizing its use. The series has done for women and erotica what the advent of the Internet did for men and porn.

Some consider the story of Christian and Anastasia, the hero and protagonist in the Fifty Shades series, to be one of love and healing. Others say it’s degrading and pornographic. There are plenty of opinions on both sides of the debate and no doubt you have yours. But before we dive into our opinions, we have to stop and confess a few things about our initial reactions to the movement.

***

I, Dannah, was introduced to the book by my husband, who’d been hearing about it in the media buzz. One night he couldn’t take it anymore.

“You’ve got to write about this book,” Bob said incredulously. He plopped a laptop in front of me and pushed play. A Saturday Night Live commercial spoof for amazon.com began. It was advertising a book I’d never heard of before: Fifty Shades of Grey.

A woman was reading the book in a bathtub and masturbating, when her husband and son walked in on her. She hollered and acted ashamed. Another woman was reading the book while she used her clothes washer as a vibrator, when her husband walked in on her. She hollered and acted ashamed. Another woman was reading the book and using a vibrator in bed, when her husband and kids came in with breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day. She hollered and acted ashamed.

I pushed the computer away and told my husband matter-of-factly, “Oh, honey, I’m not going to write about that. I don’t think that many spiritual women will be attracted to it.”

The next day my mom told me a friend of hers had read it.

The next week a friend of mine told me her seventy-year-old mother had her name on a very long list at the library to get it.

The conversation had begun and it seemed everywhere I turned, a friend, family member, or acquaintance was either reading the books or asking if they should. Some of them specifically mentioned that they were excited that people were finally talking about topics like spanking.

Spiritual women, all of them.

Apparently, as a sexuality expert and relationship coach to spiritual women, I did need to write about this. So I wrote a blog titled “I’m Not Reading Fifty Shades of Grey.” It sparked a fuel-fire of controversy with over fourteen hundred women choosing to pound out their opinions, long paragraph followed by long paragraph. Some defended the book and their choice to read it and criticized me for being judgmental. Others applauded me. Many wondered how I could critique it without having ever read it.

But I still haven’t.

What I have read are the stories of countless women who have read Fifty Shades of Grey or other books in the erotica genre. It turns out I was very wrong: spiritual women do read erotica.

Praying grandmas are reading it.

Vibrant young human-trafficking activists are reading it.

Pastors’ wives are reading it.

Homeschooled teenage girls are reading it.

The heads of charitable foundations are reading it.

Missionaries are reading it.

Professors of religion are reading it.

Jews, Muslims, and Christians are reading it.

I thought long and hard before I decided not to read it. While one obvious reason was that I’d already publicly stated that I wouldn’t, another was that I want to dispel the myth that you have to read it to be able to have an informed opinion and engage in the debate. I have taken the time to come at this debate from another angle by engaging in the stories of women whose lives have been impacted by erotica. Email by email, they poured their hearts out. Many of them were brave enough to tell their stories, some of which you’ll read in this book.

My friend Juli took a different approach.

***

I, Juli, am a clinical psychologist and the cofounder of a ministry that focuses on intimacy for women. The Fifty Shades phenomenon had my attention right away. Frankly, I thought it was a passing fad. I never dreamed it would catch fire as it has.

I began to write and do interviews about the book series and stated that I would not be reading them. Some women responded with comments like, “How can you know they are bad if you don’t read them? It’s really a love story!”

When I sensed the Lord prompting me and Dannah to write this book, I realized I would have to read Fifty Shades. I was very reluctant. My husband, Mike, and I have worked hard over the years to develop a fulfilling and pure sex life. I didn’t want to take the risk of reading something that might taint what we had fought to secure. So with lots of prayer cover, I began to read the books, asking God to give me His wisdom to discern truth.

These books are not black and white. Woven throughout their countless and graphic sexual encounters, Christian and Ana are seeking love. One might even argue that they end up healing each other in this strange, fictional world. Even though I read the books in a spirit of prayer—literally on my knees—I got pulled into the story. My body even got pulled in. There were times while reading the series that I was appalled by the graphic and twisted sexual scenes—but I was also aroused. These books are powerful and had a significant impact on me. I find it difficult to believe women who say, “I read all three books. They didn’t really affect me.” I want to say, “Then why did you read all three? Something kept your attention!”

***

On March 1st, we will be releasing, Pulling Back the Shades. You might consider this a double play on words. Not only do we want to pull back the shades of Grey for you to see God’s truth about what it and other books like it can do in your life, but we also want to pull back the shades on your own sex life. This book is not meant to be merely a reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey. Ultimately it is about YOU—your longings, your questions, and your wholeness as a spiritual and sexual woman. We hope to offer you something you deeply need.

To pre-order your copy of this book, click here.

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57 Comments

  • Awesome! Love that you’re doing this and love the transparency and candidness of you both! I know many will be enlightened and transformed by this collaboration! Never read the books nor have a desire to, but I think I will definitely read this and encourage other women to as well. Dr. Juli, thanks for taking one for the team!!!
    Blessings!

    • Kay if u have read 50 Shades could u consider reading this book Pulling Back the Shades? Julie and Dannah do a great job Biblically in this book. It is a great book!

  • Thank you Dannah and Juli for everything you do.
    I heard a lot of talk about 50 Shades of Grey where I work. “Oh you have to read it” etc. My response? “No I don’t” and “why would I want to?”
    I am however looking forward to your book for a healthy God honoring perspective.
    Thank you!

  • So glad to see this being addressed. As a long time reader of historical “romances”, I’ve watched the scenes get more & more graphic. I think 50 shades is just the next step in eroding our moral boundaries. I think that weaving the “love story” so well just makes it easier to justify reading the story.

  • My friend told me she was reading it and I blurted out: “But you’re a Christian woman.” She replied, “Well, I’m not going to tell the ladies at church.”

    I’m glad you’re writing about this. I believe the fact that the book is read in secret (most women bought the book online) shows it creates and increases shame. I believe it is also a result of shame, the kind brought on by the fall of man.

    So sad that we women are now being pulled into the porn industry that is already ruining our men. We no longer want to do relationships but escape them with a very harmful, false version of intimacy.

    Satan does indeed prowl around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. That is why I won’t touch that book. Not because I’m judging but because I know that temptation could easily take me in and I choose to flee from the devil.

    • Thanks for your comments, Laura. For the same reasons you gave, I quit reading Danielle Steele’s books a couple of decades ago . . . after reading one or two. A friend, commenting on how steadily those books were turned out, wondered where Ms. Steele’s inspiration comes from. . . . Her graphic descriptions, too, are pornographic. I imagine they pale in comparison to 50 Shades of Gray, although I have purposely not read any of those books.

    • Amen, Laurel!

      I like what u posted, about how u didn’t want to read “50 Shades…”, bcuz of the possibility that it can draw u in, and how u weren’t going to give Satan a foothold.

      Thank you for your honesty! Especially, when living in this fallen world, true honesty, is sometimes scarce, and when it is spoken, it can b so refreshing. Hence, again, thank you!

  • Glad someone is speaking out against it in the Christian community. I know so many women within my church who have read it and it honestly makes me sad that they claim nothing is wrong with it. One thing I like to point out is this: if your husband was watching porn every night for hours, and you confronted him about it, and his excudse was, “Well, honey, there’s a beautiful love story unfolding as I watch each video. Their love for each other and what she is helping him overcome is just beautiful,” yet the scenes depicted were incredibly explicit how would you feel? It’s really no excuse. Just because there’s nothing physically visual (though there’s plenty of mentalally visual things) doesn’t make it any more right or wrong.

  • I am very glad you are writing about this book as well. My 12 year old daughter was invited to see the movie Endless Love with some friends. My son overheard her asking and said, “Mom, I don’t think that is appropriate for her. All the senior girls at school talk about that movie like they do Fifty Shades of Grey.” I said, they’ve read that? He responded back that most of them had. I went to the Plugged In web site and read the review and decided that she would not be seeing the movie. I agree with Tanya when she says they are weaving a love story into to make it seem okay. I am trying to teach my daughter to guard her heart and cherish her purity as a gift. I find that I stand often alone, which is fine with me, in not allowing her to see and/or read these “stories”. I am very concerned for this generation of girls. They are bombarded from every direction and if we moms don’t begin to see these things for what they really are, our girls are headed for heartbreak and devastation. As for the book, I haven’t read it and have no intention of reading it in the future.

    • AGREE! We do often stand alone with our morals for our girls. Thankfully we are not truly alone and stand with God by our side!

  • I am so glad you are doing this! I have not read, nor care to read this book. My dear friend and now professor of women’s studies at Cedarville alerted me to it as we were preparing to speak to young women about sexual purity, and I’m so thankful. As an encourager in a Freedom in Christ ministry at our church I get to see God open women’s eyes and set them free from things like sexual bondage. So many times they don’t even realize how bound up they are. That’s the enemy’s plan…lure you in and keep you there. From the little I do know about this book and the things you shared, it affirms something I have been becoming keenly aware of…the good gift of sex that was given to us by the Lord has been perverted by the world and Christian women are buying into it and tainting their marriage beds. After all the healing God has done in my life I will continue to strive with His help to keep mine pure! I look forward to reading your new book :))

  • Dannah,
    Thanks for tackling this. I’ve heard of the book but have no plans to read it. For people to say you have to read it to know if it’s wrong is as silly as saying you have to get drunk to know if it’s a bad idea, or have a heart attack to know whether it will kill you!!! C’mon people! I’m so very grateful for people such as Dannah and Juli to help those of us struggling to raise godly girls (I have three) in a twisted world. God’s blessings an protection on you both!

  • Okay, I’ll be the first to have the guts to say I’ve read the books. I saw that SNL skit too and thought it was hilarious. Seemed like for awhile, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a woman reading a copy. I was actually on vacation sitting by a crowded hotel pool and counted 5 other ladies reading the series. I am not trying to sway anyone’s opinion on this matter. My husband and I make it a priority to keep monogamy hot. Reading a book like this, well honestly, makes me want to jump my husband. I have always assumed that was the point of erotica. I also assumed that having a marriage license made that sort of behavior fine. Would I want my daughter reading those books? Of course not! But, as a 45 year old woman I can read it and just be thankful God gave a wonderful husband and a fabulous, healthy sex life without all the drama in the book.

    • Hi Kay:

      It sounds like you have read the books and not felt drawn away from your husband, but some women do. Ashley Madison dot com, an extramarital affair dating site, discovered a 50% boost in members when the book was first released. They claimed that 62% of their new members signed up to try out the bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism that they read about in the book. Dr Juli Slattery and myself have counseled women who were torn away from their marriages as a result of the book.
      And frankly, I’m not sure how you got past the “f” words and religiously abusive symbolism in the sex scenes. (I didn’t read it but Juli did.)
      I wish you well in your marriage and revere you for your courage to admit your opinion.

  • I read the books and like many who read them, I couldn’t put them down. At the same time I was ashamed to be seen with them because I knew they were not a reflection of the moral character that I profess to have. Anything that draws you away from God is not good in any way, shape or form. What I wasn’t doing when I read those books was reading my bible because I was too engrossed in filth. I think it is opening the door to a lot of other sin and I don’t see what positive could come out of it. I am thankful or your new book because I believe people are seeking information that is embarrassing to ask about. I wish you both much success with your book!

    • Wow! Deb, I appreciate your honesty. Thanks for writing this today. Praying this book is a blessing to you. I’m going to have my team email you so they can send you a free copy!

    • Sadly I can’t find an email in your private information on this post. If you call my office and tell them I said so, you’ll get a free book! Code name: Jen from website! (OK, that’s not private.) Love, Dannah!

  • I am not a reader, but I am very intrigued about your new book and I am excited for the release! I live in a conservative, wealthy community and literally EVERYONE in my neighborhood has read the books (they were passed from house to house in brown paper bags).

    I have not read them, though I can’t admit that more than once I tried to convince myself it would be ok to. I had some inner conflicts as I listened to gals in my bunko group pour over the book in detail and how amazing it had been for their sex lives with their husbands. I DID want to read it. But something inside me kept telling me it wasn’t right and I listened to that small voice and didn’t give in. There is such a conflicting message in the Christian community about what is ok and what’s not ok. I’m eager to read your take…

    • Good call, Julie. That was God’s Spirit speaking to you. Hope you enjoy our take on things and that our book can revive things for you and connect the sexual and spiritual!

  • I’m so excited about this book! Thank you for writing and putting it out there! I have heard endless conversations about the Fifty Shades series, but have no desire to read them. As Juli said, I felt it would taint what my husband and I have worked so hard for. Not only am I hearing from adult women (in secular and religious circles alike) about this book, but I am also hearing from girls as young as 13 who have already read the series. Women are a fast growing victim of the sex industry, and it breaks my heart. I would love to have an open bible study (hint) or event to help make women more aware of the dangers, but also on the blessing of what God intended as a beautiful expression of love.

  • I am a 20 something single and while I haven’t read Fifty Shades, I have stumbled across Christian fiction that get graphic with some romance scenes and other such romantic books. God convicted me and I threw them away. I thought that this book would be for married women but I am glad to see that it addresses all women. Whether or not someone has read Fifty Shades I thinks that this book will be useful to women who struggle with this! Can’t wait to read this

  • Thank you for tackling this topic! The preview I could find online of the book helps me a lot.

    To be honest, I am a Christian, I am the sort who would probably have been tempted to read erotica if only erotica was safer and more respectful. I read, for example (not in 50 Shades of Grey but in descriptions of it) that Christian was jealous of a man speaking to her even before they dated (irrational jealousy: huge red flag), he wanted her to sign a contract of all the ridiculous expectations he has of her, when she broke up with him because she disliked these expectations he hid in her apartment and raped her and left her crying, he ties her up and hits her (she is not a masochist). She complains that he treats her like a child (disrespects her) too.
    I find a trend of non-consent, violence and disrespect so common – and so disturbing – in the bits of erotica I have seen online that it discouraged me from trying erotic books: I cannot know, before reading such a story, that the particular one will be non-violent and pleasant.
    It used to cause me a lot of fear: I lived in a world where people love violence, where they feel no compassion for an abused woman (Anastasia is hit and raped and disrespected) but will deify abusers. From what I saw of your book, I see at least 2 explanations of why someone would like a sexually violent story (as opposed to just a sexual one), without loving violence and without being glad when they hear a woman is beaten, raped and disrespected.
    Women want a fantasy with a happy ending. Now I see that women just want a world where even rape and hitting could turn out good in the end. Women want to rescue a man, and want to believe that abusers can and do change.
    Understanding that, I slept better the past two nights. I look better at myself in small things. It immediately did something to my happiness level.

    But there is something I cannot figure out. You mention that women want to be protected. In 50 SoG, nobody steps in to protect Anastasia from the rapist woman beater, how does this book speak to the need to be protected, as you believe it does?
    You also speak of Christian’s dominance being desirable because women want to be protected and provided for and led. I cannot see what leading/ dominance has to do with protection/provision? Pimps dominate without protecting, bodyguards protect without dominating or leading. God calls all believers (male and female) to help, provide, protect and rescue others where He empowers us to do so; but He also say that in His kingdom, all should submit (Eph 5:21) and none should dominate. (Mat_20:25-26; Mar_10:42-43)
    How does leading and dominating relate to protecting and providing, when protecting and providing is something women do too in their desire to save a man?

    • Retha, I have not read the books because I discovered years ago that erotica did not help my marriage but hurt it in the long run. I fully agree with Juli and Dannah’s 5 points. As for Christian being dominant but not protecting Ana, it is a distortion of how God intended things to be. In fact, the entire SoG series is one long twisted distortion of the relationships that God wanted husbands and wives to have with each other. Same with a pimp – not protecting women but exploiting them for sex and money in a hideous twisting of how God intended things to be. I have been married for 24 years. My husband is not very dominant, but I am a strong personality. My husband is a kind, caring, considerate provider, I had to learn to appreciate that and give him permission to be the leader (sometimes push a little) – even when he holds back because he doesn’t want to offend, I can see that he gets confidence from being the head of the household. His love language is words of affirmation. But I think that many women are attracted to the Shades book for the rescue possibility. I had read a synopsis of the 1st book & I instantly got the feeling that Christian and Ana were in love right away, but Christian is a captive of the BDSM lifestyle – of course we ladies want to see Ana fix him!! Many women are with men they want to “fix”, but they also want protection, the whole bit … It is just that old enemy of God trying to distort and ruin the beauty that God created (sex). When I finally, years ago, confessed the sin of lust in prayer, and asked the Holy Spirit to help me avoid it, he came in and did just that. Now when I see lust coming, I instinctively run in the other direction!

  • Dannah,

    I have not read the books, and since I am an English teacher (certified anyway, I chose to be a stay at home mom for my Autistic son), I have been asked to at least give a literary critique of the series. I refused; I told them that I could not critique something that I found offensive. I have been bombarded with “You’re a Christian. You are not supposed to judge.” To which I have responded, “What then, dare I ask, is a critique if not a judgment in the literary quality of the book?” I have not read your book yet; however, I am looking forward to reading it. It would be nice to have some biblical ammunition to support my stance.

    Thank You,

    Crystal Coleman

  • So grateful that this is being addressed! I’m barely 20 and have watched my friends through highschool read this book and distort their view of sex and intimacy before they’re ready to experience it period! I’ve personally seen the horrific and painful affects not just of erotica as a genre of literature but of the BDSM and S&M lifestyle. This is tearing Christian families apart and is wreaking havoc on God’s perfect design for sex, not just in “society” or “culture” but in our churches and in our churches leadership. My heart breaks as the epidemic continues and I S&M so encouraged to see women taking a stand against it and saying “no” to what this book is and does.

  • It makes me sad that “Christian” women need a book to point out all that is wrong with 50SoG. Get back into THE Book and intimate relationship with THE Author and you will discern rightly. Sadly, most Christians don’t even read their bibles anymore.

  • At age 62 and having roamed about wildly in my rowdy youth at the height of the sexual revolution, I am deeply saddened by the prevalence of this book. No, I have not read 50 Shades and no, I have no intention of reading it.
    I know first hand the dangers of even mild sexual roaming. It can take over your mind-emotions-head-heart and easily nudge you away from God. I almost drove myself crazy in the year 2000 on my computer, in the “cybering” world (that is having sex online via chat rooms and private I M’s. The BDSM scene is absolute darkness and there is NO place for righteous women in it. This is reality, not a prude speaking this, I was in it and it is awful soul-killing stuff that I am still recovering from, with God’s help). I think our wonderful Heavenly Father, who DESIGNED sex, would know how to help married men and women help each other in the sexuality department, without resorting to this. Song of Songs ( wonderful book in the Bible)?? I lost count of how many men ( and a few women) I had sex with in my youth and there is NOTHING REMOTELY LIBERATING about breaking taboos and endless hookups. Perhaps it would be wise if we “sat down on the couch” with God and really poured out our hearts to Him and do this BEFORE we get married to the man of our dreams. Ladies, we need to get absolutely clear about what is hiding in our psyches, sharing it all with God first. He knows what is there anyway, but it would certainly help to be 100% clear with God first and then allow Him to find the right life mate for you. I am single, never married, hardly chaste in my youth, but know the pull of the desire for intimacy. Let God heal those wounds first and let God guide your sexuality ONLY in the covenant of heterosexual marriage. That is His design and He does not make mistakes, no matter how we try to wander and twist His ways….

  • When I first came across the website and read the topic I was really excited. As a single Christian female in my 30’s this is an area that I personally have struggled with and really feel like the topic needs to be talked about. So I was really excited to get the book and with a married friend begin reading. We have been looking for and praying for something to help us lead a discussion with the single women in our church. I was shocked when I started reading. After just a few short pages my desire to read the actual 50 Shades had grown at an exponential rate. Instead of gaining a Biblical understanding of how to combat the feelings and emotions I was carrying I was left wanting to know more about this book that it seemed was the ultimate sin to read. I am astonished that the actual book was quoted as much as it was and honestly, felt like it got a little more glory than it deserved. I understand the intent and truly appreciate the fact that someone was willing to tackle the subject, but do not in any way feel like this was the right means to go about it. The married friend who was reading the book with me agreed and she now has my copy. I think this is a subject that needs to be discussed among single Christian women, but we are prayerfully considering other options. I know that the heart and the intent was pure, but from a single women that struggled in the area in the past, this book was way more destructive than helpful. Sorry to be so blunt but as a sister in Christ I feel like it is important for you to know how your words affected others. My hope is that the subject will continue come up and that women will find away to break free from this bondage of sin.
    ~AP

    • I have to say, you are the first woman to write with this concern after the book being out for a full year and gaining wide acclaim. But, there’s no harm in your being blunt. I appreciate the concern. I’ve been VERY public about the fact that I don’t think young readers should read this book, and it is better to have mothers read it and share content with their daughters. I have been blunt, too… about the fact that singles should use caution/possibly not read it if they haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey. Neither Juli or I wanted to write this book. We felt our hand was forced by the extremely high volume of Christian women who are reading Fifty Shades of Grey and defending it. The challenge we faced in writing it was to clearly create an understanding of how evil, dark, demonic, violent, and unholy Fifty Shades of Grey is and that it should be something women should not read. At the same time, we have a very theologically strong vetting team which has deemed the content biblical and whole. From one of the leading Southern Baptist theologians to a team of seminary trained conservatives, we took this one through a long list of counselors and believe that it is a good word for this time in our sad state of hyper-sexuality. I’m sorry the book wasn’t helpful for you and I hope you find something that does abate the obvious growing curiosity in erotica. I can assure you that you do not want to go there. Maybe the best course of action for you might be private Christian counseling where the content could be customized for you. Many blessings.

      • Oh and now I just read your reply about this NOT being a book for teens to read. I think I’ll buy it for myself and let The Lord lead me if some content could be usable for our purity talk.

    • I would agree with this even in other Christian books… Morning well.
      My son learned about,and then experimented with masturbating After reading Every Man’s Battle, only then did r being his battle… Some things are best left alone.

  • Thank you for writing the book.
    I have never read 50 shades.
    We need to be so busy living in the Light that we are not even I’ve bit interested in the dark.
    For some things, ignorance is bliss.

  • I just heard your talk on SOS radio and I’m so excited to read this book! As a new believer I am always looking for more information about everything so this is awesome! My question is this, I have an almost 15 year old step daughter whom myself and her mother are going to be doing a purity chat over a long weekend coming up next weekend…she’s already admitted to reading 50 Shades and said she didn’t understand some of it (thank goodness!!) but I’m wondering if your book would be a good one for her to read, or for me to read and pull information and topics from? I know the world she is in is highly sexualized so I’m struggling if this would be good for her or too much?

  • 1 Corinthians 6:13 (NKJV) 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
    1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV) –18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
    1 Corinthians 10:8 (NIV)–8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.
    1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NASB) –For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;

    • It was interesting to happen upon the radio broadcast of “Focus on the Family” about this subject. In 2012 I was participating in a Bible study and I heard some of the women {Pastor’s wife} included ranting about how great 50 shades of gray was and they were excited about the book that was about to go on sale. I found this to be a bit problematic because it was about an affair “so to speak”.

      Needless to say it made me wonder about the things we watch on TV as well as material we read. It is important that we not get drawn into items of the sort because what seems to be innocent can lead to not-so-innocent behavior. We must remember that we are representing Jesus Christ.
      Thanks Dannah & Juli for daring to be bold and confront this issue.

  • Thank You so much for your boldness in tackling this topic. Today is the first I’ve ever heard of your book. I work with a lot of youth (high school and college age kids -mostly girls) and “Fifty Shades” has made the rounds at work. As a Christian, I honestly wasn’t sure what the big attraction was about. When the girls explained it to me I was pretty shocked. I too, thought it was a passing fad, but now the movie is here and some of these employees are going to the movies to seek this out. I have not read the book and don’t plan on it. I understand the logic of not reading for fear of letting evil seep into your thought patterns. I’m confident enough to know my weaknesses. But your book sounds like a wonderful book to break any thought patterns that have been brought up by “Fifty Shades”. I will definitely check it out and recommend it to girls at work. Thank you again for letting the Lord lead you to write this. Your boldness and bravery is appreciated.

  • i looked at it this way if Christ came to my house what would He say if He saw it on my shelf. i’ve been a slave to sexual activity since touched as a child. i decided to serve Jesus may 17 2014.He showed me how imprisoned i was. Good for you both for going through with this. i didnt read that book though i had it on my bookshelf. i read anne rices which was the same lines.

  • the problem is we are so bombarded with hip hop rap and even country music lyrics, tv, commercials, movies, books. even cartoons try to tell the world how useless you are if you aren’t having sex. id rather home school if i had time and never have cable. but too much has a scene inappropriate for teenagers. sexual exploration is too promoted and the bible is too ignored.

  • Dannah, at Bible study this morning it was brought up that this weekend will be the release of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. As we began to think about this evil that is invading and swallowing up the lives of so many wives and families, I thought of your book! We asked God to give your book the ability to counteract the fifty shades of grey phenomenon. Thank you for taking a stand!!! I would be honored to promote your book with my purity magazine!! I included the link to it so you could check it out. I’m very passionate about a God-invasion counter-attack against the 50 shades of grey–I hope to be a part of it!! Please check out my magazine link and pray for God’s direction for promoting your work! Please let me know what you decide…God bless!!!

  • I am so glad that you have written about this lurid subject. I feel that Satan is so clever and tries in so many disguised ways to get our attention. I made a very conscience decision to not read this a while back. I am sad that so many people think nothing of it. This earthly place that we are visiting continues to spiral downward…

  • I would definitely like to read your book.Christian women have been very sexually suppressed in their overall sexual expression for far too long. God meant it for extreme pleasures and He is the God of Creativity and Completeness. When we are born, we are born first and foremost as males and females. That is, first and foremost as sexual beings. Then as Believers, we are taught to ignore and stifle it all in the name of being good. Bravo! Ladies, on this book. Because I am on a personal need to know biblical council on this horribly misrepresented area of everyone of our female lives!! Help! 🙂 ….and your book is right on time, I believe! Thanks a big bunch!!

    • I need to add also, I am firmly opposed to the things that are currently being promoted and encouraged in the medias onslaught to destroy Godly ways in us. I will read your book, and promise to promote it also, if it answers my inner questions about the right and wrong of it amongst Gods’ own!

  • Either Dannah Gresh or Juli Slattery said on Focus On The Family that women who have read 50 Shades of Grey often get interested in lesbian acts. Why is that? Men watch porn and don’t usually get interested in homosexual acts.

    • I don’t know that we said “often” but we did say that some of the women we interviewed who read the book told us that they had progressed to lesbian erotica and then felt and interest in exploring that with a real woman.

      One of the recognized forms of Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism is to force a woman to have sex with someone else so you can watch. This may be with another man or it can be two women together. So, some forms of erotica write about this.

      But the main thing is that those who use both erotica or porn are often experiencing addiction at some level. Addictions to external substances such as alcohol or drugs depend on EXTERNAL substances. So the user just needs MORE. Addictions that are arousal addictions…where the chemicals are created inside the brain…cannot be sustained without a PROGRESSION in forms of porn or erotica. It takes DIFFERENT erotica and porn to sustain the high.

      That may help explain it but let me go further.

      If a man who loves power is encouraged by a woman to exert it over her, there is no end to that temptation. You are putting a man in an erotic situation where you are basically using control as a man. He has a whip in his hand and a rope or handcuffs. It’s going to escalate. Period. It’s going to escalate.

      There is a wound in a woman that desires pain…(we write about these as longings in Pulling Back the Shades)…and this woundedness may make her do anything for the strength of leadership in a love relationship.

      God’s design for leadership and companionship of women is a strong, protective man who uses his power to do nothing short of laying his life down for a woman. Satan always works in counterfeits. The counterfeit of that is a man who uses strength in dominance and power to almost have a woman lay HER life down for his. Twisted. Reversed.

      Counterfeit leads to destruction. God’s plan for a strong man increases the security and peace of a woman. The counterfeit decreases the sense a woman can have that in a man who is safe and can bring peace. So, it can lead to the desire to experience a relationship without a man.

      This is not true of all women who read erotica. Nor is it true of all men who use porn. But it is possible and testified of by many.

  • Dear Dannah and Juli,
    I plan to facilitate a book study with some of the young girls in our church ages between early twenties to early thirties. Which of the two books, “Pulling Off The Shades” or “Lies Women Believe” would you suggest? Thank you!

    • Lies Young Women Believe is for teens aged 13-19. Pulling Back the Shades is for adult women and might be better for those in their twenties and thirties. If you want to do a book for them about lies, try Lies Women Believe. (Not YOUNG women.)

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