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Today The Great Sex Rescue Turns One!

Exactly a year ago today it hit the shelves (and hit Amazon!), and it’s been quite the ride.

Based on our study of 20,000 women, The Great Sex Rescue was written to turn the Christian world on its head. We identified four big teachings in evangelicalism that harmed sex and marriage for women (we found others, but the book focused on these four):

  • A woman is obligated to have sex when her husband wants it
  • A woman should have frequent sex with her husband to keep him from watching porn
  • All men struggle with lust; it’s every man’s battle
  • Boys will push girls’ sexual boundaries

Then we found where these messages have been pushed–in what books, and by which authors and speakers–and were able to show how they got so widespread.

And we had so much data on the effect on women’s orgasm rates, marital satisfaction, arousal levels, libidos, and even rates of sexual pain (since evangelical women suffer from sexual pain at twice the rate of the general population).

Joanna, one of my co-authors, called it a public health intervention.

When this much measurable harm is being done, and we have a solution, then we’re actually doing far more than teaching couples how to have great sex. We’re actually addressing public health issues.

What Has Encouraged Me Since The Great Sex Rescue Launched?

1. The stories I get from you all everyday. They’re amazing.

I can’t open Instagram without at least five messages everyday from people who have read the book and found it so encouraging. The most common words I hear are “validating” and “freeing.”

I’ve always said The Great Sex Rescue is so similar to the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes. We’ve been told lies by the powers that be for so long about sex. And yet few have spoken up because it looks like everyone else agrees, and we’re the odd ones out.

Well, Rebecca, Joanna and I gave everyone permission to say, “The Emperor Has No Clothes!”

Thank you for your stories! They mean the world to me.

2. It sold as well in January and February of this year as it did in March and April of last year–which is pretty amazing!

The book has sold really, really well, and we’ve had a mini-resurgence lately! In January, during a sale, we even got up to #19 on Kindle, so high that there was only one Harry Potter book above us for a time.

3. Counselors and Pastors are Using it

I hear from women everyday who say that either their counselor recommended the book. People send me YouTube videos where their pastor mentioned the book in a sermon.
I’ve Zoomed in to some graduate classrooms in counseling programs to talk to the students, and I’ll be speaking at some Christian Universities next year to their counseling students. We’ve heard from seminaries that have even changed their textbooks and curriculum after reading The Great Sex Rescue!

4. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists are Noticing it!

One of the reasons we wanted so many respondents for our women’s survey was that we wanted to dig down deep into the data on vaginismus, so we needed a big enough population group that we’d find enough women who had suffered from it. And we did.

We presented at the American Physical Therapy Convention last month, and we’re working with a physiotherapy department (we even have grad students helping us!) to get our work published in peer review.

5. Our Dataset is Now on the Archives of Religious Data (ARDA)

The American portion of our dataset is live, so reporters can use our frequency numbers in stories and academics can use our data in their own papers. That’s really neat to be contributing to further knowledge.

What Has Surprised Me Since The Great Sex Rescue was Published?

1. So many men are reading The Great Sex Rescue!

We pictured this book as a book for women. But so many of the reviews on Amazon are from men! Just yesterday I had two Instagram messages from guys:

The great sex rescue was an amazing book. I read it twice, took notes, and trying to live it out. This posting was for me. I have deconstructed so much of what I was taught and believed. It will take time but I hope in time my wife can forgive me and find joy in sex the way God intended. Your work stopped an unhealthy cycle years long and now there can be healing and joy. I know you meet resistance. Please don’t give up your fight. You reached me. And now my boys will learn what we should all know about this area. I am so happy. Thank you. I continue to follow your work to keep focused on the truth.

Another man said that his ex-wife had introduced him to the book. He explained why his marriage failed (I’m not going to include that part of the letter), but the generic gist of it is this:

I’m glad because I’ve learned so many amazing things. Empathy is soaring. I have been radically impacted by these teachings and believe this book to be a turning point. Thank you so so much.

I’m mad because I came to the realization that I never gave my ex a fighting chance. Sex was a point of contention and obligation was the weapon of choice.

I wish to God I had this book 20 years ago. I feel like I have some apologizing to do in my near future

I’m so glad we’re helping men too!

There’s been a news embargo on the book

I guess I was naive, but I truly thought that with a survey of 20,000, the Christian news media would cover it. But we did our darndest, and there’s been hardly a peep. And the big names have not responded publicly. We’ve had lawsuit threats; we’ve been blacklisted from conferences; we’ve had people go behind our backs to complain to organizations that we’re affiliated with. But nobody has talked about our book publicly.

It’s interesting, because our sales figures are similar (not quite as high, but similiar) to The Making of Biblical Womanhood and Jesus and John Wayne, which are both talked about everywhere. But our book isn’t being talked about, except by word of mouth. We’re selling well, but it’s only because individuals are noticing.

That’s why we need you. YOU are the key.

What Can You Do to Help?

I feel like our book is like that 1980s Faberge shampoo commercial:

This book has sold so well only because of word of mouth. Other people have told other people. They’ve tagged me and my page on social media. They’ve put links to the book in comments on Focus on the Family’s Facebook Page; on other people’s posts when they’re talking about problems; on posts when people are looking for suggestions.

They’ve asked their women’s group to go through our free 8 week video study; they’ve gone to their church and asked them to remove harmful books from the church library. They’ve spoken up.

We want our book to be obsolete in ten years–even five years! We want no one to ever need this book again, because it will have done its job–gotten rid of the toxic messages about sex in the evangelical world.

We’re not there yet.

But as the most recent review on Amazon said:

This book will help bring about a new sexual reformation, if we allow it. And we need it.

We need that sexual reformation!

So here’s what I’m asking you to do:

Here’s the big ask–TODAY, buy The Great Sex Rescue for someone!

1. Buy it for you if you haven’t read it already!

You may think you’ve heard it all being on this blog and listening to the Bare Marriage podcast, but believe me–there is a punch to the book that you wouldn’t believe. It’s so validating. It’s so freeing. You need to read it for yourself.

AND this one is so important to keep that word of mouth going–

2. Buy it for someone else!

Buy it for your pastor, your counselor, or someone else who frequently recommends marriage materials for Christians. Or buy it for the woman you know who knows everybody. We all know someone like that–someone who is the focal point in the community, that everybody has on their Facebook friends. Buy it for her!

That sexual reformation has already begun. The spark has been lit. Now let’s fan the flame!

It’s up to all of us, together. The church leaders and media leaders don’t want to disrupt the status quo, because there’s too much money and power involved. But the strength has always been in numbers. So spread it around, and let’s free others from the terrible teachings that have held them back!

And thank  you for making this year an amazing ride for all of us. We appreciate you. We’re excited to see what the next year brings!

What if you're NOT the problem with your sex life?

What if the messages that you've been taught have messed things up--and what if there's a way to escape these toxic teachings?

It's time for a Great Sex Rescue.

How has The Great Sex Rescue affected you this year? Is it making a dent in your community? Let me know!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find BIBLICAL, HEALTHY, EVIDENCE-BASED help for their marriage. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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