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Christian women don't have to choose between being sexual and spiritual They have legitimate longings that the Church has been afraid to talk about and books like  Fifty Shades of Grey exploit Whether you are single or married sexually dead or just looking to revive your sex life  Pulling Back the Shades will address your desire to be both sexual AND spiritual With solid Biblical teaching and transparent stories trusted authors Dannah Gresh  and Dr Juli Slattery offer an unflinching look at the most personal uestions women ask The book offers practical advice for women to address five core longingsto be cherished by a manto be protected by a strong manto rescue a manto be sexually aliveto escape realityGod designed women with these longings and has a plan to satisfy them It's time for women to identify their intimate longings and God honoring ways to fulfill them

10 thoughts on “Pulling Back the Shades

  1. says:

    I admit I did not read the Fifty Shades Series I do not struggle with the pull of erotica In most ways this book really does not even apply to me The exception is that I'm a biblical counseling student and this book is an excellent resource for future reference Of all people why would I be reviewing this book? Put simply I believe in it's cause This book is not just for married women It is written to all women We all have longings and this book addresses what some of us do with those longings and the dangers of those actions This book also addresses the lies that our culture has led us to believe This book is not ultimately about the Fifty Shades series or even about erotica This book is about the spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of women Pulling Back the Shades p 146Those two sentences there hit the nail on the head for me as I read through Pulling Back the Shades In preparation for writing this response Juli with much covering of prayer read Fifty Shades and this is what she had to say about itAs mentioned earlier I read all three of the books in the Fifty Shades series The explicit scenes bothered me but what haunted me even was the seemingly intentional agenda to drag God and His holiness into the sewer Most people who read these books seem to be so mesmerized by the sexuality that they appear to walk right past what I perceive as an even greater danger and offense spiritual darkness p 46Although the book itself is a uick read it is very deep and well addresses from a biblical standpoint sexuality and spirituality you don't have to choose between them You were made for both I found even with such a sensitive topic the book was easy to read written in a friends talk over coffee manner I believe that there is a greater attack on marriage and intimacy today than ever before This truly is a spiritual battle and Pulling Back the Shades is waging war on the Enemy who is doing all he can to break down and distort the image that is a portrayal of the Bride and Christ This book is for those who struggle and for those who want to understand the struggle and for those who want to help those who struggle Rise up women It is time to take back the true image of marriage intimacy and purity that our generation has been robbed of Finally brothers and sisters whatever is true whatever is noble whatever is right whatever is pure whatever is lovely whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things Philippians 48 NIV

  2. says:

    The authors indicate that this book is for single and married women alike As I am single I decided to read it and really wanted to like it The book is informative and I felt the authors adeuately made a case for why women shouldn't read erotica view porn etc However I felt the book was lacking in a practical conclusion As a Christian I'm already fully aware of things I shouldn't be doing what I want are practical biblical examples of what I should do Throughout the book the authors state that women can be sexy and spiritual They express their frustration with Christian singles being told that they have to repress their sexuality and state that this mindset often follows a person into marriage negatively affecting their sex life I understand all of that and agree to an extentHowever the practical content consists of one very short appendix titled What Do I Do with My Struggle? One suggestion for singles is If the longing for physical touch is a trigger schedule a regular massage This is the closest they get to addressing the sexual longings of single women And frankly as a single woman myself I don't believe getting a massage regularly is going to somehow help me overcome temptations to sin sexually The other suggestions have nothing to do with sex and include hosting dinner parties and learning new things like tennis or oil painting Really? I got the distinct impression that married women can be sexy and spiritual but single women can only be spiritual as all the outlets that truly involved being sexy were for married women So then how could a single truly avoid sexual temptation without repressing their sexuality at least to an extent? Ultimately God created sex for the confines of marriage and so if a person isn't married that leaves sex out of the euationI did give it two stars because as I indicated earlier I thought their argument on why not to read erotica was well statedEdit 101614 This article offers a great Christian perspective on sex and singleness wwwthegospelcoalitionorgarticlese Edit 21016 Singled Out Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today's Church is a much better book for singles and does a better job of explaining how it's possible to embrace your sexuality without committing sexual acts I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads

  3. says:

    Dannah and Juli have put together a book that addresses 'mommy porn' head on It's not surprising that they have spoken out against this genre But what is surprising is the way in which they go about it Instead of shaming women by telling them they are terrible for reading these types of books they go to the root of why we as women are interested in these booksThey have broken our needs as a fulfilled woman into five different areas and then speak to each area Through the use of a dialogue style filled with personal stories they 'pull back the shades' and reveal the deeper threat to ourselves and our marriagesThe beautiful thing about this book is that it is filled with hope We don't have to decide if we want to be spiritual or sexual In fact we were created to be both Ever read Song of Solomon? If you want to experience a rejuvenation in your intimate life pick this book up It will provide you with tools to use to revamp how you think about sexual intimacyI received a copy of this book to facilitate my review

  4. says:

    As a sex blogger and erotica writer this book obviously wasn’t written for me But as a sex blogger and erotica writer I wanted to read this newly released book on the topic of women and erotica even if it was written from a viewpoint I do not share I ultimately gave this book one star because there are manipulative tactics used throughout the text that I feel were unnecessary I also deeply disagree with nearly all the conclusions of this workThe arguments in this book against erotica are the same arguments I make for the teachings in Christianity These authors believe bringing porn and erotica into a relationship taints the authenticity of said relationship and promotes an unrealistic view of sexuality I believe bringing in many of the teachings in the Bible concerning sexual purity or strict rules taints the authenticity of relationships and promote an unrealistic view of sexuality

  5. says:

    In 2011 EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey made uite a stir It’s not as if “mommy porn” and deviant sexual practices are anything new It’s that much of the public would rather keep them out of sight and pretend they don’t exist However James’ book pushed this somewhat underground form of erotica out into mainstream forcing us to take notice With the publication of two seuels and the long awaited movie release scheduled for 2015 the timing seemed right for a Christian voice in this growing discussion about women’s sexuality Moody Publishers – experienced well known and well respected – took the challenge and Pure Freedom’s Dannah Gresh and Authentic Intimacy’s Juli Slattery came out with Pulling Back the Shades Erotica Intimacy and the Longings of a Woman's Heart 2014 I purchased the book with great anticipation and finished reading it a bit disappointedWhat Christians want to believe is that under God things really are “black and white” meaning that there is a clear “right” and a clear “wrong” and not in “shades of grey” situational ethics Few want to go as far as Bill Gothard applying it to your choice in carpet color but a decided majority will try to apply it to sexual activity – pornography erotica oral sex French kissing or what have you It would be nice to get some detailed feedback on exactly how God expects us to behave in the bedroom but we have general principles not specificsI appreciated Gresh and Slattery’s efforts to try to clear up some of the “fuzziness” It’s necessary so that Christian women can feel guilt free about their God given sexuality While a few times they resort to the “slippery slope” fallacy the authors are generally honest about how much personal preference and other factors come into play which would cause many readers to rest easy They even admit to disagreeing with each other about some practices eg masturbation But they are adamantly against erotica like Fifty Shades and seek out to build a case that matches their guilty verdict They hit a brick wall a number of times but I’d like to point out some obvious problemsMuch of their argument lays on the assumption that there’s a problem with reading about or observing in the case of pornography other people’s sexual activities This is backed up scripturally with a discussion about keeping sex between a married man and woman anything else being adultery fornication etc The problem is that the book then sends mixed messages about the appropriateness of erotic literature Okay we’ll assume it’s damaging to read and get excited over descriptions of others having sex So why tell us about all of the “steamy scenes” found in the Song of Solomon? Worse yet why then is that book even in the Bible? And why share your own experiences? I really don’t want to read about the authors’ sexual escapades with their respective husbands no matter how sanitized they are At least fiction isn’t exploiting the real experiences of real people for the reader’s own pleasureThere’s also a problem area revolving around “submission” The authors go to great lengths to lend support to this cause However they’re so wrapped up in defending it that they never clearly define how their view differs from the so called “counterfeits” found in books like Fifty Shades And importantly they never explain how this biblical concept would translate into bedroom activity if at all The implication is that if you have a “manly” man who takes charge in the relationship you won’t need erotica for sexual fulfillment I’m still trying to follow that logicTo sum it up I’d be hard pressed to recommend Pulling Back the Shades The awkward tag team approach and lack of solid content betray it as a rush to publication project The authors come across as naïve – Oh my Christian women are reading erotica?? – and devoid of empathy We never read this stuff so we can’t relate to your problem Gresh flat out refused to read Fifty Shades and Slattery only under duress While some readers might admire the authors’ concerns to protect their own purity and marital relationships I thought they came across as condescending caring about maintaining spotless reputations than actually being of help to their readers I would’ve preferred to hear from someone drawing from her personal struggles than someone who feels it necessary to remind me that she’s unstained by erotica While I’m grateful that Gresh and Slattery took the time to address these important issues I can’t help but think that the book assignment could’ve been passed on to better hands

  6. says:

    I started this book review purely altruistically—to write a review that might help others who really need to read the book I mean after all I have my own set of temptations and struggles but erotica isn’t one of them And my marriage of 11 years isn’t perfect by any means but I’ve also read most of the relationship books recommended by Focus on the Family What new life changing information could this book have to offer?Through the second chapter my expectations were confirmed But by the time I got to chapter 7 “The Spiritually Satisfied Woman” I was convicted challenged inspired and refreshed Dr Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh collaborate seamlessly in their new book Pulling Back the Shades Instead of blending their voices they alternate often switching authors in the middle of a chapter Different fonts designate who is speaking Neither woman dominates the book; both write from their expertise Even though they admit they differ on a few issues and come from vastly different backgrounds Dr Slattery and Gresh present a powerful united front on a sensitive subject that provokes many disagreements among believers if we even have the courage to discuss itThe first half of the book is devoted to explaining erotica This includes the chemical effect that it has on the brain the addictive nature the conflicts about it within the church a discussion of the ‘grey’ areas and a staunch stance against it based on the Word of God Dr Slattery and Gresh write graphically borrowing short segments from the book Fifty Shades of Grey to make their points The authors’ opinion is uncompromising To sum it up in a simple statement without re writing the book God’s ideal for sex is unabashed exciting varied exuisite intimacy within the bonds of marriage I mentioned that my heart began to resonate with the book beginning in chapter 7 This is where Dr Slattery and Gresh delve into the incredible and uniue intimacy that God wants to have with each of us Here they debunk the myth that God promises every woman a “happily ever after” fulfilling intimate relationship with a man—even after marriage “I bet you’ve never heard a sermon on what God does not promise This is unfortunate because it is uite dangerous to place your trust in things you falsely assume God has promised Jesus said that He came that you may have life and have it abundantly His promises are great and He is trustworthy in fulfilling each one But His ways are not our ways and He has not promised some of the things you may have assumed or hoped He has”I am in one of those marriage that doesn’t uite live up to all my expectations It is easy to cry out “God this isn’t what you intended for marriage It’s not fair” This leads to dissatisfaction and bitterness in the one relationship that should most closely mirror my relationship with Jesus But waitif I have this relationship with Jesus can I live without the “perfect” marriage?The authors mention a uote by Dr Larry Crabb “God is all I need but I don’t know Him well enough for Him to be all I have”This brought a twinge of conviction and a huge sigh of relief I do not need to fret over whether my husband ever changes and becomes affectionate intimate interested in sex I must know God well enough that He is not only all I need but all I have The book closes with numerous Scripture references and gentle guidance to help readers begin deepening their intimate relationship with Jesus It even includes discussion uestions practical resources other books and websites as well as enumerated suggestions for practical application This book is applicable to all women in all relationships—even those who are single—and even those who don’t think they have a problem with erotica The book covers all aspects of a woman’s relational needs and explains where fulfillment is found

  7. says:

    I begin this review with the preface that I have not read the Fifty Shades of Grey books I prefer my fiction clean; without gutter language and explicit bedroom scenes Therefore Pulling Back the Shades is a book I never thought I would be reading The reason I agreed to review a non fiction book addressing such a controversial issue was my deep respect both personally and professionally for Dr Juli Slattery Despite this it was not without a small amount of unease that I delved in to see how these two well respected Godly women would approach the topic of erotica and intimacy from a Biblical perspective From the very first pages I was put at ease and I knew this book would indeed be the ‘game changer’ both authors desired it to beThroughout Pulling Back the Shades the authors share with authenticity and sincerity their burden for women particularly Christian women pulled into the lure of erotica and the deception that it is harmless Infused with stories from real women Gresh and Slattery reveal the very real damage to women’s lives and marriages caused by dabbling in erotica They describe the inbuilt longings of women and how erotica feeds into them so completely They openly discuss the deception and spiritual battle involved and the way Satan uses erotica to “kill and destroy” people of faithThe book begins by acknowledging and describing the emotional and sexual needs of women and how the Fifty Shades style of erotica appears to fulfil those needs What I found refreshing in the early chapters of this book is that these authors do not shy away from God’s Truth and dare to risk ‘political incorrectness’ to name that which God defines as sin Gresh and Slattery do not leave the reader in that confronting perhaps condemning place but move forward to share a Godly Biblically centred view on women’s sexuality and practical suggestions for being both spiritually and sexually satisfiedWhat comes through the pages of this book very clearly is the burden and deep concern these two authors carry for the hearts of women who are being deceived and destroyed by the world of erotica deemed harmless perhaps even helpful by health care professionals across our nations These two women who dare to speak God’s truth in love bring words that not only identify damaging sin but words of healing and restoration If you are someone who wonders why the Fifty Shades books should be left in the bookstore or if you experience difficulty with intimacy as a result of erotica I would urge you to entrust yourself into the loving wise care of these two authors Their advice will give you hope that restoration is possible and remind you of the God whose knows you intimately and who wants you to appreciate the woman He created you to be Even if these are things you're not uestioning or struggling with even if you enjoy a positive intimate marriage Pulling Back the Shades will offer you insight and wisdom into the beauty of married intimacyWith thanks to Moody Publishers for providing my review copy My review is completely independent and not coerced in any way

  8. says:

    They broke the rules The subject matterraunchy The writingreal blunt and taboo at least within the church Dannah Gresh a best selling author and the founder of Pure Freedom an organization defending abstinence and Dr Juli Slattery a widely known clinical psychologist author speaker and broadcast media professional boldly go where few have ventured specifically within the Christian realm of women’s issues In a rebuttal to the Fifty Shades of Grey series Gresh and Slattery address erotica amongst churchgoing women in your face and without apologiesErotica always a man’s problem right? Not any longer Gresh and Slattery “pull back the shades” on the real problem “spiritual women struggle with sexual issues” and shame The lie BDSM promises sexual fulfillment and revival The truth Women long for intimacy passion and adventure Struggling? You are not alone Christian women secretly yearn for a strong confident man to provide protect and lead them This is where erotica comes in luring you into an unreal reality that whisks you into a world “far far away” It promises a pulse racing adventure yet abandons you in the end leaving you empty and devoid Whether single or married Pulling Back the Shades is here to rescue your heart and bring you to the Living Water of true reality Searching for your lost pulse? Gresh and Slattery have the answers that lead to authentic intimacy that is heart pumping and pulse racing with a happy ending no imagination needed

  9. says:

    In an effort to inform and help women Pulling Back the Shades reveals the dangers of how erotica pulls women into discontentment and unrealistic relationships My own reading preference I have not read the books I have read some of the reviews and that was enough for me When I was younger I read what was considered then a little daring However I do not intentionally read too many romances just because it does mess with my mind and ultimately my relationship with my husband Is this book for all women? I would hope that all women would embrace this book however some do not see or feel that this is hurtful to them or their partners Whatever you may think about the dangers I think the issues were dealt with care love and clarity What it comes down to is what is important to you If this is not important to you this book will be of no use to you and an affront to you as well If you are a Christian your relationship with the Lord should be important and what you think about sex is also important Sex is a holy expression and if you think 50 Shades of Grey is harmless think on these things The name of the character the use of the word holy in the book and that sex is used as a way to control and manipulate in an abusive way In Erotica moral and spiritual laws can be harmful and there is no happy ever after What makes women attracted to erotica? Is erotica a lie that women believe? The book discusses the 5 longings that women embrace and ultimately look for in their relationships How erotica in a deceitful way fills those longs for women The strength of this book is the spiritual side of sex and how when partners realize and embrace the spiritual how fulfilling sex can be Just look at the Song of Solomon as an example The English language does not do it justice unfortunately The bible has its own erotica Sex is a God given gift to give us intimacy pleasure and joy I think this book reveals why

  10. says:

    disclaimer I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey or watched the movies I have heard enough about it from others to not want to read it or watch it it doesn't mean I haven't struggled with sexual sin which I have Although the series was basically the catalyst for the writing of this book This book is about the spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of women Dannah sums it up perfectly at the end of the book Pulling Back the Shades took me back to the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers in many ways because both books are fighting to show you the truth about sexual sin Juli states that Evil's primary attack on sexuality is to simplify it to separate the physical act of sex from human love and divine design I couldn't have said it any better and this fact is shown in the storyline of Redeeming Love I recommend this book to all Christian women whether they deal with erotica or not because this book does apply to all women God made each one of us as sexual beings and at one point or another we are going to struggle with something sexually whether as single or married women Your sexuality was never meant to be separate from your deepest spiritual and relational longings but to be an expression of them