Monday, February 1, 2010

Marriage and intimacy

Please note: this post has beeen updated and a newer version can be found here.

We are finding that because we talk to a lot of couples, we are often talking with them about the intimate parts of their marriage. We wanted to read a bit more on the topic and prepare a list to recommend. So, I was the one who stood in the 'relationships' (codeword: sex) section in Koorong browsing what was on offer, and who has since been doing some serious speed reading!

After reading a few, here are the ones we now recommend (obviously this list is only recommended reading for marrieds, or those who are engaged and close to the wedding day!):

One Flesh: a practical guide to honeymoon sex and beyond, Amelia & Greg Clarke

Actually, this one we have already been recommending for some time. This Christian book is written by a couple in Sydney, and the wife is a doctor specialising in sexual health. It’s a helpful introductory book to sex and some of the issues surrounding it. This has previously been our recommended ‘first book to read’ for couples who are marrying and thinking about their sexual relationship. It’s good to read prior to marriage (although only in the month or so before the wedding) and again a few months later.

Sheet Music
, Dr Kevin Leman

This very good book is now our recommended ‘first book to read’. It is Christian, honest, fun and practical. It is as good as A Celebration of Sex (see below), but the emphasis is slightly more on how sex works, especially in the beginning and some good ideas for continuing in sexual intimacy and dealing with common issues which couples face. This would be a great book to read after marriage (and parts of it prior to marriage). Especially worth reading if a couple wants a few ideas on how to improve the intimate side of things. This is a great book which will give help throughout marriage.

A Celebration of Sex, Dr Douglas E. Rosenau

Subtitled: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy, this is a detailed and helpful book written by a Christian sex therapist. He leads couples through many areas encouraging them to grow in: playfulness, love, knowledge, honesty, forgiveness, creative romance and discipline. With the basic premise that: an intimate marriage + mature lovers = a fulfilling sex life, he works through all topics with a Christian mind set.

The book covers numerous topics including the basic aspects of many parts of a sexual marriage; massage; mutual touch; common problems or struggles for men and women; sex through pregnancy, children, in the older years and with illness or disability; and the impact of medications. This book could certainly become the reference for the entirety of an intimate marriage.

The Way to Love your Wife, Clifford & Joyce Penner

Subtitled: Creating Greater Love and Passion in the Bedroom, this book written for men talks about how to make sex meaningful for their wife; how to build desire and intimacy and how to let the wife ‘lead’ in the bedroom. It has some practical chapters on what the various issues could be which create problems for intimacy, as well as suggestions for making sex more fun and enjoyable for both. There are a couple of helpful chapters which deal with the risk of affairs and how to avoid them, and also the risks posed by the internet and pornography, and sexual addiction. Again, this is written from a Christian perspective, although not as overtly as A Celebration of Sex (above).

Creating an Intimate Marriage, Jim Burns

Subtitled: Rekindle Romance Through Affection, Warmth and Encouragement, Jim Burns has provided a helpful book for couples which is honest, open and full of examples. He deals with the ways to have a marriage of affection, warmth and encouragement, by looking at intimacy, communication, fun & friendship, forgiveness & our attitude. Each chapter finishes with some questions to ask yourself and some to look at together. This is a helpful one to look at the whole marriage and how it’s going, which may also help to address some intimacy issues. I am going to review this book in a little more detail next week.

365 Nights. Charla Muller with Betsy Thorpe
This book, written as a diary, gives a different insight into the life of one married couple. It the story of how one woman offered her husband (as his 40th birthday present) sex every day for a year, and what resulted from the offer. It is a thought-provoking and insightful look at marriage, parenting, the role of women and a number of other topics. It issues a challenge (especially to women) not to settle for or allow their marriages to become 'un-intimate'. This is a funny and honest book that is enjoyable to read. I have reviewed it previously here.

So, if you are married - get reading! There will definitely be positive benefits for your marriage.

And please, come back tomorrow because I want to ask readers a question about this topic...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just stumbled across another blog where three christian women address the issues of intimacy in marriage in a little more depth. I thought you may be interested to have a look at it also in conjunction with these books you looked at.

I haven't read everything there yet, but what I have seen seemed God focused and helpful, (for women after marriage, not before).