Why Gary Thomas’ Book, Married Sex, Is Harmful for Christian Women

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Share with a woman who needs hope!

If your husband was sick, would you make yourself ill to help him? 

If he was starving himself, would you stop eating? 

If he was an alcoholic, would you start drinking to show support…or supply the liquor…or drive under the influence, so he wouldn’t feel alone? In the hopes that he’d do better?

Gary Thomas’ book, Married Sex, is filled with bad advice and horrifying claims just as ridiculous and harmful and dysfunctional as poisoning yourself to try to make a loved one healthy.

For husbands and wives, and especially people in the middle of a marriage being skewered by porn addiction, chronic infidelity, and the toxic beliefs born out of purity culture, “Married Sex” brings more harm than help. 

This podcast is an all-caps warning label to prevent survivors from believing that health (and nurturing, safe, joyful sex) can ever be found by drinking poison, even poison in the pages of a book. 

Related Resources:

Andrea Aleksandrova is a survivor and certified faith-based abuse advocate. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her two children. She raises awareness about abuse on Facebook and advocates locally for victims.

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Why Gary Thomas’ Book, Married Sex, Is Harmful for Christian Women [Transcript]

Hi. This is Natalie Hoffman of Flyingfreenow.com, and you’re listening to the Flying Free Podcast, a support resource for women of faith looking for hope and healing from hidden emotional and spiritual abuse.

NATALIE: Welcome to Episode 155 of the Flying Free Podcast! Before we get into our conversation today with Andrea about Gary Thomas’ book, “Married Sex” (it’s going to be a very interesting conversation), I wanted to remind you that this is the last week that you can register for the “Is It Me?” small groups. These are small groups that are going through a twelve-week program going through the book “Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage” and the companion workbook. The groups are going to be running on Thursday nights starting on February 10th for twelve weeks. They’ll be meeting on Zoom from 7:00–9:00 pm CST. And this is the last week you can register. Registration ends on February 2nd. The cost is $49. That covers the cost of the trained facilitator and all of the administrative costs. For your $49, you’ll obviously be able to go through the group, but you’ll also get the PDF copy of both the book and the companion workbook. And the reason why we put together these PDFs is because there are many survivors who don’t want to leave books lying around their house for their husbands to find, or they don’t want to be working through a hard copy of a workbook on the off-chance that their husband might find it. So we want you to be able to process through things and be able to do it in privacy so that you can get the most out of this program. If you want to register, all you need to do is go to flyingfreesisterhood.com/book-group. So that’s flyingfreesisterhood.com/book-group. Okay? Alright, let’s get started on our interview.

Today I have with me Andrea… oh my word. I meant to ask you before we started how to say your last name. How do you say it?

ANDREA: That’s okay. It’s Aleksandrova.

NATALIE: Aleksandrova.

ANDREA: Yes, that’s perfect.

NATALIE: Is that Russian?

ANDREA: It is.

NATALIE: It’s Russian, okay. I’m super excited to have you on here because… I’ll just tell the listeners how I know you. Maybe some of them know you as well. But I started following her on Facebook. I don’t even know how long ago. It’s been awhile.

ANDREA: Yeah, I think I started posting in 2019 or so.

NATALIE: Okay. So I think I’ve been following you since you started. And I don’t know how I heard about you, probably through the advocate grapevine or whatever, but I continued to follow you, and I don’t continue to follow everybody, but I did continue to follow you because, I know I said this before the podcast recording started, but I think you’re smart, I think you’re articulate, I love your writing, and you have a lot of really important things to say.

ANDREA: Thank you.

NATALIE: So recently, you got into it on the subject of Gary Thomas’ new book, which is called “Married Sex.”

ANDREA: Yes.

NATALIE: And you started posting Facebook posts about that book, and I found it very intriguing. I did not want to read the book, but I was very interested in what you had to say about the book, because I had seen that in the recent past, a lot of advocates were saying “Oh, Gary Thomas, he’s on our side. He really cares about victims.” And I held back, because I wasn’t so sure. There were just some little things that I noticed about him and what he wrote that made me question that. But you know, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I thought, “Let’s just sit back and see what happens here.” And then this book came out, and then that one Facebook post came out that… actually, you know what I’d like to do first before we get into it? Why don’t you tell us just a tiny little bit about yourself and why you started writing the things that you started writing on Facebook?

ANDREA: Yeah, sure. So I actually am a survivor. I have a lifetime of lived experience of being abused, specifically psychological abuse. I am currently in the process of divorcing my ex, who was addicted to pornography. And I think we actually met probably because I did the Give Her Wings abuse certification, and I think that may have been when we started connecting because I got into that whole community from there.

NATALIE: Okay.

ANDREA: So I did the certification through Give Her Wings Academy, and then just kind of started organically posting after that. There wasn’t really a whole lot of intentionality behind that, other than that I do have a lot of things to say. And that just kind of took off organically to the place where it is now. And I also do have a degree in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Biblical Languages, which is basically a fancy way of saying that I can read ancient Greek and ancient Hebrew.

NATALIE: Respect. Total respect.

ANDREA: Thanks! I actually, coming from that Bible education background, I have a lot of passion for interacting with the church and helping the church respond better to abuse survivors. That’s also part of my story, as I have been walking through a divorce, is experiencing a lot of church abuse through that. It’s spiritual abuse, years of that, just horribly botched responses from pastors and church leaders. And so that is kind of a passion of mine, is tackling this whole problem of the church and why we have so many women in the church who are being abused. And I guess the teachings that are just so commonplace like this book that we don’t even notice that they’re there but are really causing problems and women are being abused because of them. So I’m very passionate about that.

NATALIE: Right. Yes. So before we go any further, can you tell any listeners/readers who are thinking “Well, where can I find this woman? How can I follow her on Facebook?” You want to spell your name?

ANDREA: Yeah, so my handle on Facebook is actually Andrea Aleksandrova Advocate. That’s my Facebook link. Because my name is taken. Can’t be simple.

NATALIE: Your name is already taken?

ANDREA: It is, yes.

NATALIE: Unbelievable.

ANDREA: That last name is actually like “Smith” in Russia.

NATALIE: Oh, hilarious!

ANDREA: So it’s actually a hard handle to use.

NATALIE: That is so funny. Well, I like triple A. I think that’s appropriate.

ANDREA: That’s funny, yes!

NATALIE: I like what you said about how books like Gary’s, we just kind of take them for granted. They say things that they really shouldn’t be saying, but we just buy into them because it’s just part of the poison that we’ve been swimming in as Christian women for so long. For those of you who are listening/reading, what I did is I reached out to Andrea and I said “Hey, I love what you’re writing about this book. Is there any chance you want to put it together in a long-form blog post and then I could stick it on my blog so that more people who maybe aren’t seeing you on Facebook could read this?” And she agreed, and so we did that. So if you want to go read that, you can. It’s on the Flying Free Now blog and it’s called “How the Book ‘Married Sex’ by Gary Thomas Objectifies Women and Perpetuates Abuse.” So I will put a link to that in the show notes so you can just directly link there. Anyway, she agreed to do that, we put it up on the blog, and I just thought “You know, I’d love to have Andrea on the podcast so that we can kind of talk through this as well.”

One of the things that you brought up is you brought up Sheila Wray Gregoire’s book “The Great Sex Rescue,” which I love because it kind of exposes all these Christian-wife books, you know, the typical Christian-wife book, and how the messages in these books are actually perpetuating the objectification of women, pain in sex, all those kinds of things. You want to talk a little bit about that?

ANDREA: Yeah. And that’s kind of interesting, because I actually finished “The Great Sex Rescue” not too long before I started “Married Sex,” and so I was reading it coming off of reading “The Great Sex Rescue.” And you know, the differences are just stark, and I think one of the main things that jumps out at me is, especially in all the aftermath where, and we’ll get into this, where Gary Thomas is saying “Well, this book is not meant for unhealthy marriages,” Sheila Wray Gregoire understands that her readers, she’s going to have readers who are being abused. She’s going to have men who are addicted to porn and women who are addicted to porn reading it. And you can actually, as the wife in those situations, you can read her book and she has a million caveats stuck in. You know, “If this is you, call the abuse hotline.” And they’re just throughout the book, these little safety mechanisms for you to know, “Oh, well, this isn’t normal. I need to be thinking twice here about this. This is not normal behavior if my husband is waking me up, I wake up and he’s having sex with me in the middle of the night. That’s not normal.” So that was one of the things that I guess in this aftermath that’s really stuck out to me. And of course, you know, Sheila would say that this obligation sex message is actually the most damaging for women, and that’s what Gary’s (and I should add Debra Fileta, because she is the co-author) that’s what this whole book really teaches. It is just yet another book that tells women that they need to have lots of sex with their husbands, which is sad on so many different levels.

NATALIE: Yeah. Well, I feel like it’s laying the blame and the responsibility solely on the woman’s shoulders. So she’s responsible for the man’s emotional and sexual well-being, and then “Also, make sure that you’re responsible for your own emotional and sexual well-being so that you’re in tip-top shape to, again, take on that responsibility for your husbands.”

ANDREA: Absolutely. And I don’t know, do you want to get into the nuts and bolts yet, or do you want the lead up to why I even read this book in the first place?

NATALIE: Yeah! I’d love to know why you read the book in the first place.

ANDREA: So I didn’t mean to. I mean, I’m not married right now, so I’m not going to voluntarily pick up a book on married sex, but I decided to because of the blog post that Gary did back in September which was entitled “My Wife Can’t Cure Me, but She Can Help Me,” which was kind of the first red flag, I think. And I loved what you said earlier, and I kind of want to talk about that too, about how you kind of held back. Gary Thomas has kind of been in the abuse community, right, as a safe person, primarily because of his blog post “Enough is Enough” and then his book “When to Walk Away.” I think those kind of ushered him in as, like, this safe person. And I believe he’s had Leslie Vernick talk a lot and those kinds of things.

But something that has really stood out to me about all of this is just that I think we get so desperate as victims, even advocates, in the faith community for anyone who will give us a positive response of any sort, that the second we hear someone write a blog post like “Enough is Enough,” we’re automatically just like “Jump all in!” like, “Oh my goodness, this person gets it. They’re amazing.” I think we really just need to take a step back and be a little more cautious, because you know, this book that Gary wrote, I think this has been his view all along. It’s just that we didn’t pay attention.

NATALIE: I totally agree.

ANDREA: Yeah. Because there was a blog post that just came to my attention not too long ago that he wrote in 2016 that’s called “What Your Husband May Never Tell You,” which basically is all about how men struggle with lust and think about sex all the time, putting the responsibility on wives to just be gracious with that and understanding. So that was back in 2016. It’s just a continuation of what he’s always believed, but I think that everyone was just so excited that there’s this pastor, right, who is saying “Hey, it’s okay to walk away from these toxic relationships” and that sort of thing. But if I were to just say a caution: if there’s a pastor in your life who says something that sounds really great, just wait and watch and don’t jump all in. Give it time to get the full picture before we fully embrace someone as safe.

NATALIE: Yeah. Well, I’ve seen this before. This is a thing that people do. It happened with the church that ultimately excommunicated me. They have a history of abuse from the leadership and a power and control dynamic, and they decided (I mean, this is kind of my interpretation of it), “Let’s ride this wave. There’s this thing, this “Me Too” movement, and let’s get on the anti-abuse bandwagon,” and they came out with this domestic abuse program or whatever it was where they were going to help victims. And they wrote a manual, and they wrote an article online that got a lot of attention, and the pastor got up and did this big sermon that got a lot of online attention too. This is John Piper’s church, so it was a big deal. And all it was a smokescreen for what was actually going on behind the scenes. It was fraudulent, is what it was. It was just a fake thing put out there really as a lure. Like, “Here’s a little worm. Come on, little fishies. Take the bait.” And of course, people took the bait and bought into it. It’s not real. It’s fake.

ANDREA: Right. And I don’t think most churches are out there saying “I’m for abuse.” They want to put that front up that says “I’m against abuse,” but at the same time, they’re not willing to understand what it is, how it functions, and how they’re perpetuating it. They just want to have this space of “I’m against this,” but not do any of the hard work to actually fix their own problems. And I think, too, victims are, we’re so hungry for a church to give us the support that we want. So the second we see that, right, we’re like “Oh my goodness, somebody finally gets it.” I think that’s exactly what happened with Gary Thomas.

NATALIE: Yeah. Okay, let’s talk a little bit about that Facebook post that he put up where abuse victims were like, speaking out and going “Wait a minute here.”

ANDREA: Yeah, so he basically wrote a post “My Wife Can’t Cure Me But She Can Help Me” which basically said “No, if your husband is addicted to pornography, no (to the wife), you can’t actually cure him, but you can actually help him out with his addiction by giving him lots of sex” is basically what it said. You know, victims, survivors, advocates, immediately he had a backlash, because everybody was saying “Well, that’s not safe. What about her? There’s no safety in there for her. There’s no guarantee he’s not looking at porn. Is he raping her?” There was no consideration for her safety built in. So he had an immediate backlash, which he handled very poorly by constantly shutting off comments, blocking people, and then basically implying and indirectly saying that survivors were a bunch of crazy, angry people.

NATALIE: Of course!

ANDREA: Right, which did not go over well. And then shortly after that, another survivor, Ellen Breem, actually found out… because in that article he had cited a couple, Jay and Christina, who Ellen Breem found online were, we think, Jay and Christina Dee of the website “Uncovering Intimacy.” I’ve never seen as horrible of a “Christian” website as this one. He advocates for adult mersing. It’s basically a BDSM website from a “Christian” perspective. But even the BDSM thing, I want to walk around that carefully because I know that there are some survivors who (I don’t agree with it), but there are some survivors who feel that that is empowering. Not my perspective. But even the survivors who were okay with BDSM thought that this website was terrible, because it was basically built on a patriarchal power differential of this man in control. Anyway, so that came out, and shortly after that, Gary Thomas took his blog post down and issued an apology, which was not really an apology. It basically was “I’m sorry you all misunderstood me, and survivors are crazy, angry people.”

NATALIE: Yeah. You know what, hold on right there, because I want to interject something because it’s applicable to what you just said. I’ve recommended this in my membership group, but I want to recommend it to all of you who are listening. If you want to hear a great podcast series, “The Place We Find Ourselves” is the name of the podcast. Paul Young is the guy who hosts it. There’s a five-part series on “Engaging with Someone Who Has Harmed You.” It’s a great series because he points out the Biblical strategies of… he talks about three different kinds of people. There’s your garden-variety sinner, there’s the wicked, and there’s the evil. And the thing that differentiates the garden-variety sinner and the wicked is when they are confronted with something that they have done that’s been hurtful, the garden-variety sinner will think about it and will come back and be really sad and sorry. They’ll be sad and sorry for the other person, that they hurt that other person. In other words, they’ll have empathy and they’ll feel bad and they’ll have a sense of shame and a sense of guilt over what they did. 

Whereas the wicked… this is the Biblical terms and he goes into the whole thing, so I recommend listening to it. It’s a five-part series. The wicked will always deny or shift the blame back to the other person who’s exposing them. And he goes into greater detail, but that’s what we see as survivors when we try to get help. First, we try to go to the person who’s doing the harming and that’s what we get, and then we go to other authority figures or other people who maybe have influence or could help us, and we find out that they’re in cahoots with the one who harmed us and then they do the same thing. And pretty soon, we are back out in the streets with no recourse, because we’re the crazy lunatics who dared to stand up and try to expose a “good, good man.”

ANDREA: Yes. All of that. Is it a video series or a podcast?

NATALIE: It’s a podcast. The name of the podcast is “The Place We Find Ourselves,” and the series is called “Engaging with Someone Who Has Harmed You,” so it’s episodes 93– 98. It’s a good series, and it’s totally Biblical. He’s a counselor. He uses a lot of verses to show these different aspects of a wicked person. We just really cringe or recoil from the idea of saying that another Christian is behaving wickedly, because “wicked”… it sounds so wicked, right?

ANDREA: Right!

NATALIE: And he points out “This is what the Bible says.” Wicked people scapegoat. They take their sin and they put it on (you know, this is like, Bible times), they put it on a goat and they sent the goat away. This is what wicked people do. They take their sin, they put it on you, they put it on the victim, and send the victim away.

ANDREA: Right. And, you know, so things with Gary Thomas’ apology, is he did not unblock any of the survivors that he had blocked. He left them all blocked. He didn’t take back the harsh words that he said. That all just stayed. And he never even acknowledged that this Jay and Christina Dee were the people that he actually wrote about. He still has not come out and said “Oh yeah, that’s them.”

NATALIE: That would be embarrassing.

ANDREA: Right, right. So that’s just this great big question mark that we assume that that is who he was writing about. Yeah, and so I was not intending to read it, and then all of that happened and I was like “Okay, I’m going to go ahead and read this book,” and so I did. I would not actually recommend that people read it. It’s actually very traumatic to read, so I don’t want people to just pick it up and say “Hey, this will be fun,” because it will probably be traumatizing. It was for me to read, so.

NATALIE: Especially with your background and what you’ve experienced. I mean, honestly, I think that was super brave of you to throw yourself in those poisoned waters and swim around in there for a while so you could actually talk from a place of knowing what is actually in there about what’s in there and let the rest of us know. I really appreciate that.

ANDREA: Yeah, thanks. I mean, it was both traumatic and then at the very end, it’s also been healing because I was able to read this book (it was awful in all the ways) and then also come out with this understanding that this is not right. And just unpacking a little bit more that these lies that we’ve been taught that are really just a part of the very fabric of how the church teaches about men’s and women’s roles and husbands and wives and complementarian theology, that Gary’s book, it’s just the natural and practical outcome of all this theology that’s behind it. So for me, it was also healing to be able to read it in all its awfulness, to see the fruit of what that all brings and to be able to see it. Like, this is bad fruit. So that’s been healing in that this is not only bad fruit, but it needs to be thrown away and it’s good to throw that away.

NATALIE: I love that. So then you started writing bits and pieces on Facebook.

ANDREA: Yeah, so, I don’t know how you want to do this. I have it done out chapter by chapter here, and I talk a lot about Gary. And I struggled with how to incorporate Debra into this, because Debra’s parts of the book were astronomically better than Gary’s. The way that she writes does not feel objectifying. The way that she talks about men and women is much more mutual. It’s not this hierarchical understanding that comes out in Gary’s writing.

NATALIE: You know what, though? I really think that this is an important point to bring out though, because in churches we see this too. We see destructive leadership in churches, male leadership in particular, and then we see good women who care about women, who are maybe even in women’s ministries, and they care about what’s happening to women. They care about women who are being abused, and yet they are a cog in this abuse wheel.

ANDREA: Right, and that’s what I was going to say is, while her content is better, at the same time, she was fine with all of Gary’s content that was in the book. She, after all the aftermath, has done nothing but support it, be fine with it. So at the end of the day, to me, she gets lumped in with Gary because she’s supporting it. And she’s fine with it.

NATALIE: Yep, I totally agree. It’s kind of like the people that just take this neutral stance. “Oh, I’m just going to be neutral.” Nope, that’s not neutral. That’s not neutral at all. You can’t do that. There is not neutral when it comes to abuse or racism or any of those kinds of things.

ANDREA: Right, and while she doesn’t say the awful words, she’s fully supporting them. So that’s kind of where I’ve landed. So, you know, in all of my reviews I’ve kind of woven in “Well, this part about Debra’s is better and fine and all of that.” I was trying to be fair.

One of the biggest things that just stood out to me about this book is when Gary talks about women, the level of objectification that comes out is pretty extreme. It’s graphic.

NATALIE: Yeah, I noticed that in some of your quotes. It was embarrassing.

ANDREA: Yeah, it’s embarrassingly graphic. And again, so Debra has some parts, and I am going to use her as an example, where she talks in detail about sexual techniques and that stuff. And it’s graphic, but it’s not like…

NATALIE: Crass?

ANDREA: Crass, yeah. It’s fine. But Gary’s stuff… I’m going to read some. So I guess fair warning for people listening/reading. Here’s a quote. He’s fixated constantly in this book on naked bodies, wives being naked and husbands getting instantly turned on by seeing their wife’s naked bodies. So that’s where he has, “God clearly wants a wife’s body, specifically her breasts, to enthrall her husband. This gives wives an influence over their husbands that can reset any power balances that can occur because of other issues. Many young women have learned how one quick flash of their breasts can change the climate in the room for their husbands like nothing else ever will.” That was one of those quotes that I read and I was like, “Oh my gosh, he did not just say that.” This idea that the woman’s body has this power over the man… that, (and I’m totally on a bunny trail from what I was saying before but) that quote is dangerous, absolutely dangerous for a woman who is being abused. So dangerous. And I can’t believe that a pastor would actually have that perspective.

NATALIE: Well, it’s because he’s not listening. He’s big on talking about his own opinions and he’s not actually listening to abuse survivors. If he was, if he was listening with understanding and compassion and empathy, he wouldn’t be saying things like that.

ANDREA: Right. This idea that if there’s a power imbalance in the relationship, all she has to do is show him her naked body and he’s going to swoon? That’s not fixing the power imbalance.

NATALIE: No.

ANDREA: That’s part of the power imbalance. So some other quotes he says: “At certain times, her nipples were like super-powered high-octane sexual excitement boosters. Twenty-four hours later, if my hands reached within ten inches of those nipples, it was like splashing cold water in her face.

NATALIE: Yeah. It’s unreal. It’s unreal.

ANDREA: I don’t know who in their right mind talks about women’s…. and that’s the thing. It comes out time and time again, the language that he uses about women, even when he’s like, implying… he had this whole section about “positive body image,” trying to encourage wives to be comfortable naked with their husbands. Well, the way he words the whole thing is so objectifying.

NATALIE: It’s pornographic.

ANDREA: It’s pornographic.

NATALIE: He’s using pornographic words to talk about sex. And I’m sorry, but if you read any of Sheila Wray Gregoire’s stuff, that’s her main thing. Her main shtick is sex, and none of it is like that.

ANDREA: Absolutely, yes. So, reading “The Great Sex Rescue,” she gives all the necessary details, and it does not read like this at all. Because it doesn’t have to. Okay, here are some more. This is one of his quotes where he’s trying to be empowering to women and to encourage them to embrace their bodies as they are. This is how he does that: “My wife hates her body, but she knows I love it. Thankfully, she’s not afraid to be naked around me. I love her breasts. Even after breastfeeding two kids, her breasts are just amazing to me. I could stare at them for hours. I also love her short little legs. She’s not tall, and she thinks her legs are fat, but every time she wears a dress or shorts, it turns me on.”

NATALIE: I’m glad I’m not his wife.

ANDREA: Right? And that’s supposed to be empowering.

NATALIE: Yeah. Everyone who reads that is now picturing his wife naked.

ANDREA: Well, right, and what if we flipped this around? Who says to anyone, “I love your penis. I could stare at it for two hours”?

NATALIE: Totally! Good point.

ANDREA: That is so weird.

NATALIE: Yes! It is very weird. Oh my gosh. It’s so true.

ANDREA: This should not even be a thing. And that’s the thing is, this book was vetted by this whole long list of Christian marriage leaders.

NATALIE: Right, well, other ones who have probably written books that are similar or have the same kind of mentality.

ANDREA: Probably. So you’ve got Dave and Ann Wilson of Vertical Marriage, Ryan and Selena Frederick, Fierce Marriage (these are the people that actually endorsed the book on Zondervan’s website), Levi and Jennie Lusko, and Kyle Idleman. And they’re all just gushing about how amazing this book is, and I’m over here thinking “Okay, either you didn’t read it, which I doubt…” This is so common and this is what’s just scary is this book is indicative of where Christian culture as a whole actually is.

NATALIE: Yeah. That’s the sad part.

ANDREA: And it’s okay to treat women like this. And that’s why we have this abuse bubble that’s popping with hundreds and thousands of women now that are fleeing from their husband’s churches because of this stuff. And it makes me mad.

NATALIE: Well, I’m glad you’re mad, because when you’re mad, that’s really the impetus that gets us to stand up and say “Enough is enough.” We need to expose this and talk about it, and it needs to be called out for what it is. I love that women are getting out. I love that they are. Because we can’t actually find what God created for us if we’re still swimming in the poison.

ANDREA: Right. And you know, I think what frustrates me about all of this long list of Christian marriage leaders is that I know, just in my city, Dave and Ann Wilson, the church that I no longer attend but still know people who go there, they just did a study by them. These people have huge online platforms. They’re going to be in every marriage conference in every church across the whole nation, and this stuff is going to be presented as normal, acceptable. And so all the women that are in these situations that are being abused, are married to porn addicts (probably don’t even know it), are basically going to be hearing from the pulpit that this… because this book is written, to me, it’s written from the mentality of a porn addict. That’s what it is written as. And so that is going to be normalized from the pulpit for all of those women.

NATALIE: It’s the typical “The emperor has no clothes.” You know, we’re pointing it out, we’re going “Look, the emperor has no clothes!” And everyone’s like “Really? I’m pretty sure I see clothes on him.” I think that’s what’s happening. The good news is that, like you said, I do think that the bubble is bursting. And I noticed over on Amazon that it’s got, like… have you looked at the reviews?

ANDREA: I have, yeah. And that’s even interesting, because it’s split half and half. So half the reviews are five stars and half the reviews are one stars. It’s really interesting. I feel like a pretty accurate indicator of, I guess, evangelical Christianity right now? It’s very polarized, just interesting.

NATALIE: That’s true. Well, I just want to thank you for being willing to read the book and then not just read it, but to interact with it and think about it and carefully write out your own critique about it. That’s a hard thing to do. I used to do more of that kind of thing, and I don’t because it’s hard. It’s really hard to go “Oh gosh, do I really have to get back into the muck like that? I don’t want to do it. It’s so draining.” And it drains you emotionally, it drains you spiritually. It’s because it’s a spiritual battle, I think. So I really appreciate your willingness to do that.

ANDREA: And I think for me the biggest part here was especially (because I’m reading this as the wife of porn addict) knowing what I would have thought ten years ago, five years ago, reading this book. And you know, for any woman who’s married to a porn addict, what she’s going to basically take away is “Oh my goodness, I need to have more sex with my husband. I need to get naked a lot.” He even has a whole section where he encourages women to shoot nude photos for their husbands and text them these nude photos.

NATALIE: He’s encouraging Christian wives to be little porn stars for their husbands.

ANDREA: Absolutely, and in that section he even says “Oh, and if your husband is struggling with porn, this is going to help him not look at it.”

NATALIE: Not true.

ANDREA: Not true, and so for all of those women who are, because so often, you don’t even know your husband is looking at porn, right? So they’re going to go and they’re going to try all these things, right? Which is actually going to put them in more danger, harm them more, they’re going to be abused more through it. And you know, at the tail end of all of this, Gary and Debra have come out and said “Well, you know, this book was never meant for unhealthy marriages.” And that’s hogwash. That is complete hogwash that they would say that.

NATALIE: If you had a healthy marriage and were having amazing sex, would you be interested in that book?

ANDREA: Exactly. You pick up a book like this because you’re having problems in your sex life. So from the get-go, anybody who is going to write a book on sex is going to know you’re going to have people who are having issues. That’s going to be your audience. And he directly talks multiple times throughout the book to porn addicts. So he actually has written the book to porn addicts. So you can’t tell me that this book is for healthy marriages if you’re including as part of your audience porn addicts.

NATALIE: Right. Fascinating. Well, I appreciate your being willing to not only write the article but also to come on here and talk with the listeners.

ANDREA: Yeah, thanks for having me.

NATALIE: Yeah. And again, you can find Andrea on Facebook and now Twitter, I heard.

ANDREA: We’ll see. Yes, I am on Twitter. What’s my Twitter handle? I think it’s different on Twitter.

NATALIE: You can send it to me and I will put that in the show notes, too, so they can find you on Twitter.

ANDREA: Oh, that one’s easier. That one’s @AndreaAAdvocate.

NATALIE: Okay. So still the triple A, but AndreaA. Like, Andrea, two A’s, vocate.

ANDREA: Correct.

NATALIE: Awesome. Alright. I am not on Twitter anymore. Well actually, I think I am, but I don’t ever go over there. But if you are listening and you’re a Twitter lover, now you can find Andrea over there too. Although, Andrea and I were talking before this episode and we were like, “I don’t like Twitter because you have to say profound things in just a couple of sentences.”

ANDREA: It’s very pithy.

NATALIE: Yeah, and I feel like I need more than just a couple of sentences, and Andrea is thinking that too.

ANDREA: I’m not sure about Twitter yet. We’ll see.

NATALIE: Yeah. I think it’s a skill, though, that I think you’re up for it, Andrea.

ANDREA: Yeah, it depends on how many fights I want to get in, I think.

NATALIE: Well, that’s just the other thing, right? If you ever get tired of the Facebook fighting… I’m just so exhausted from it. I’m just like “Ugh, I’m over it.”

ANDREA: Yeah, I’ve tried to just keep Facebook focused on survivors, really. But obviously I’m not afraid to jump into the fray, so.

NATALIE: Yeah, and when you do, I love the things that you say.

ANDREA: Well, thank you.

NATALIE: I just have so much respect for you.

ANDREA: Thanks. I appreciate it. It’s mutual.

NATALIE: Well, our time is up. Listeners, thank you so much for coming and listening to this episode, and until next time, fly free. 

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    This episode set off fireworks in my head.
    How demeaning is it to men for him to depict them as so easily gob-smacked by the sight of a woman’s breasts?!? Thomas is revealing how his own view of women has been shaped by the pornographization of women in the larger culture. It’s embarrassing!
    For a stark contrast, just read the Song of Solomon. Both the male and female are respected in the description of their love-making, and respectful toward each other in their dialogue.

    Reply

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