This practical sex guide incorporates, but goes well beyond, marital sacramental theology, and as such will be welcomed by those who want to adhere to Catholic teaching yet still enjoy the passion of sexual union. Psychotherapist Popcak spends most of the book elaborating on the Catholic view of sex, citing various church documents and the writings of Pope John Paul II. He explains why sex is holy, how it differs from eroticism and why it is intended solely for one man and one woman who are married to each other and open to having children. In covering what he calls the good stuff, Popcak says restrictions are few. These center on the One Rule (a man must always climax inside the woman) and Four Pleasure Principles that deal with maintaining continuity between a couple's daily life together and their sexual relationship and respecting the dignity of each partner. As long as these guidelines are followed, Popcak says, couples are free to be creative sexually. He includes information on natural family planning (a Catholic Church–approved method of spacing births) and advice for sexual problems. Although Popcak writes in a warm, conversational style, he tends to overuse certain catch words and phrases, diminishing some of their impact. Nonetheless, his essential message makes this worthwhile reading. (Apr.)
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What People Are Saying about HOLY SEX!
"Some books are worth reading because they make an important point, others for the sheer delight of the writing. Greg Popcak's Holy Sex! is both. Wherever one stands on the fine points of Catholic teaching about sex, Popcak reveals its deeply sensual core, debunking popular stereotypes of Catholicism as somehow anti-erotic. Think of this book as Thomas Aquinas meets Dr. Ruth, and enjoy!"
- John L. Allen Jr., Senior Correspondent for National Catholic Reporter "Looking at contemporary popular culture, one finds that sex is overrated and undervalued. Greg Popcak helps to set things straight on both counts. He explains with intelligence and humor what some have learned only through painful experience, and many have still not learned--namely, that the joy of sex is not to be found in `liberation' from moral principles, but in its unique power to unite a man and woman as faithful partners in the love-building and life-giving union that marriage is."
- Robert P. George, Professor, Princeton University
"Dynamic, faithful, funny, and informative, [Popcak] demonstrates how the Truth will set you free. Combining practical wisdom with the wisdom of the ages, Popcak leads men and women to the love they long for."
- Christopher West, Fellow, Theology of the Body Institute
"It is no surprise to see Dr. Popcak treat marital sex as a truly joyful thing. And why not? He clearly points out, God designed man and woman to communicate his love in their spiritual and physical union. If married couples could actually experience their love-making as an expression of God's creative, joyous, and renewing love, wow!"
- Most Rev. R. Daniel Conlon, Bishop of Steubenville
"Clearly, Dr. Popcak is a chaste, faithful, learned Catholic man with mountains of experience working with couples. I am confident that spouses who follow his advice will become holier and better partners. Those who are holier are certainly better lovers and thanks to Holy Sex! we now know the many ways this is true."
- Janet E. Smith, Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics Sacred Heart Major Seminary
"In the last four decades, too many Americans have been led astray by self-styled experts promising sexual liberation and happiness, only to end up with broken hearts and broken bodies. By combining theological insight and psychological wisdom, Dr. Gregory Popcak offers a different path to men and women looking for a way to find happiness and virtue in their sexual lives... [Holy Sex! is a] powerful guide for navigating the joys and sorrows of sex."
- W. Bradford Wilcox, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia
"Popcak does a great service by practically developing the last chapter of Karol Wojtyla's (John Paul II) Love and Responsibility. Marriage is work... an invaluable resource for all married and engaged couples."
- Pia de Solenni, Feminist Theologian, Winner: Pontifical Prize of the Academies
"Greg Popcak is a wise and funny guy. He combines the ancient wisdom of the Faith with the best that contemporary science and compassionate human understanding have to offer in warm, generous, and practical insights that have already been invaluable to thousands."
- Mark P. Shea, Senior Content Editor, CatholicExchange.com