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Sex is a subject that is not often talked about among couples. Unfortunately, it is also an area that accounts for a large chunk of divorces. Women expect men to be mind-readers, intuitively knowing just what to do to bring them pleasure. Men assume that they should know what to do already, as if males are born as sex experts. (Not!) What often results is great expectations met with disppointment, and thwarted, hit-and-miss attempts at intimacy and sexual fulfillment.
With this book by Dr. John Gray, sex doesn't have to be a frustrating and hurtful guessing game. Gray explores areas such as sexual versus emotional fulfillment, taking responsibility for your own pleasure, how to increase desire and rekindle passion, a women's need to relax, the joy of quickies, passionate monogamy, and home-cooked sex versus gourmet sex. Both men and women are given maps into the murky terrain of the other's attitudes and expectations about sex, which will no doubt result in a sigh of relief by many. At last, someone understands! While providing accurate maps, though, Gray acknowledges that every person (especially women!) are unique, and as such, have unique desires, likes, and dislikes.
When discussing giving a man positive direction, Gray points out that some women do not realize a man's sensivitity in this area. Men want to please their women, so certain comments can feel like rejection to a man, which will bring an instant chill to intimacy. Here are 10 sexual turnoffs outlined by Gray:
1. "You're not doing it right."
2. "I don't like that."
3. "Ouch! That hurts!"
4. "Don't touch me like that."
5. "That tickles."
6. "Not like that."
7. "Not yet."
8. "Not there."
9. "I'm not ready."
10. "What are you doing?"
Gray then goes on to explain why a man shuts down, how to give positive feedback and re-direction, and 20 sexual turn on phrases.
The Chapter titled How To Drive a Women Wild With Pleasure provides men with some excellent practical advice on how a woman ticks, and how to rev up her engine. Gray advises:
"A man needs to remember that to increase a woman's pleasure, he needs to delay direct stimulation. Certain ancient temples are dedicated to the female aspect of God. According to one ritual associated with these temples, you have to circumambulate the temple three times before entering it. This same principle to loving and adoring a woman during sex."
One of the most practical parts of this book is that it contains drawings. Yes, drawings. How do you expect to know where to put what? Seriously, though, it's important to know about anatomy to understand what may bring a man or woman pleasure.
Gray understands the pressures that many couples face, and explains why many are having less sex. He also explains why men are like the sun, and women are like the moon. (A very helpful analogy!)
The "voice" of this book is very understanding and encouraging, coaxing men and women to re-discover the joy and pleasure of intimacy and sex. Rather than going without, or relegating yourself to frustration and disappointment with regards to sex, why not pick up this book (or something like it) and make the decision to enjoy your sexuality? It is my belief that we are given these bodies to enjoy, and the delight of sexual intimacy with our mate is a part of that. (I mean, if God didn't intend women to enjoy sex, then why give her a clitoris!)
Ignorance is *not* bliss when it comes to mutual sexual fulfillment. If you're frustrated or have given up on a satisfying sex life, take heart: this book gives great information, encouragement, and hope.
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on December 3, 2001
I've been married to the same person for 28 years and always thought our sex life was great, but when we read this book (yes, we both read it) we realised how much we still didn't know, hadn't tried, and hadn't communicated about. This book has enhanced an already great relationship - just think what it could do for one in trouble! This is written plainly, interestingly, and is very accurate - from both the woman's and the man's point of view. There were a couple of things that seemed corny to me, but may not seem that way to someone who is 20 years younger than me (I'm 48). Buy this book! I guarantee you will get at least one insight into sex that will help your love life, no matter how wise you think you already are!
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on February 25, 2004
I got it,
and it has lots of great advice! I would recommend that it be read with a lard chunk of salt (in some sections).
A couple of things made me LMAO and I had to share.
1. He devotes 1 1/2 pages in telling a man how to deliver oral sex to a woman. And not very well either. He mentions the G-spot, but basically says "It would create preformance anxiety in the man if he kept trying to find it---so he won't get too technical" so he leaves it at that.
Excuse me! I nearly dropped the book at this point (like, he could have devoted 10 pages to that alone).
2. HOWEVER, he devotes 5 plus pages!!! on giving oral to a guy! Going into extreme, intricate detail of every millimeter of area to be covered.
In reading this, there is no doubt about Dr. Gray's gender.
His justification? Men like it better than women (erm, excuse me?! Was I asked???)
3. He does this lingerie=mood chart that had me falling out of bed "If she is wearing black lace, it means she is in this kinda mood, if she is wearing white, it means she feels virginal, if she is in pink, it means she feels romantic."
Again, WHAT? How about I look pretty dang good in black lack, the pink doesn't scratch and the white doesn't ride up. Maybe he is color blind.
4. Oy, and don't get me started in the section about Quickies (I do agree to some point, but the reciprocal part isn't fair, balanced). Cuddles for a quickie? Where did he find these people! It came off as extremely cold blooded, with the woman lying there like a log being perfectly OK to the hubby (argh!) That alone would be a 'he needed a killin'' defense in a murder trial.
All that aside, it does have some helpful pointers. Buy the book used....and cheap.
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on April 13, 2000
This book was extremely helpful, I believe more so for men than from women. Men are often confused as to what a woman wants in a relationship, especially when it comes to sex, and as a result, the majority of men turn out be very poor lovers. This book is a godsend - it tells men exactly some of the things theyre doing wrong, what a woman really means when she says something, and says things that women have tried to say to men but are unable to articulate it well or are too embarrassed to express it. I dont necessarily agree with it 100 percent, nobody should, and it wont help heal every sexual dysfunction a person may have, but, for the average person, this book is great.
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on May 28, 2001
I have long been a fan of John Gray's paradigm of two separate, equal, but very different species--who misunderstand each other endlessly as they try to bond/coexist. I was surprised, however, at how much I learned from this book, since I have studied sexuality many times (in my Bachelors of Science in Psychology, in medical school, and again in my Family Practice residency.) I was also chagrined to see my own misinterpretations exposed and corrected. The one nugget of insight that stands out for me is: "Why do women generally not wish to guide a man during lovemaking." We men start out in life with few clues how to be a lover--and we're more interested in our own pleasure anyway. But women expect we men to know how to pleasure them; plus women need to lie back and relax in order to arouse to orgasm. If they stop to give directions, then they must arise out of this relaxation--which breaks their mood of enjoyment. Thus we men would do better to seek women's instruction between love-making episodes. If you are interested in correcting your own myths about the opposite gender--buy this book.
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on September 25, 2003
John Gray's book is an excellent resource for people who are interested in improving their physical relationships. After reading each section thoroughly, I realized for the first time that there was more to the enjoyment of intimacy than I had imagined. Chapter 3, titled 'Once A Year Is Not Enough', made me re-think my schedule. I still only get it once a year, but at least Gray has made me aware.
Another excellent piece of advice comes in Chapter 5, where Gray states controversially, 'Don't be afraid to experiment; try new things, like undressing. It may seem unnatural at first, but hey...we've all got wobbly bits.'
This is also a valuable manual for those just starting a physical relationship. Topics for the 'nookie' novice include 'How Come You've Got THREE?', 'Batteries Are A Girl's Best Friend', 'No, Susan, Fellatio Wasn't That Italian Film Director Married to Sophia Loren' and 'Bob and Carol and Bill and Monica'.
'Mars and Venus in the Bedroom' is a 'must-read' book. I can't wait for Gray's next one, 'Mars and Venus in the Boardroom'. Coroprate America is already ducking for cover.
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on December 2, 1997
Although Gray makes some interesting points, it seems that he takes three pages to make one point. I found the pulled quotations in larger print to be distracting. If you only read those quotations, however, you would probably be able to skip most of the rest.
I found his description of his life after being a monk to be offensive. He boasts about how much sex he had after nine years of celibacy, and he seems to have approached it as a research project, rather than a means of expressing love. I find it hard to take advice from someone who obviously is not "into" a monogamous relationship, as my husband and I are.
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on April 27, 2008
In the words of my husband, "This guy [John Gray] has an agenda. You've got to feel bad for his wife."

After reading this book together, both my husband and I were very disappointed. My husband was really insulted that Gray made men out to be sex machines who require an orgasm in order to love and feel. I was upset that women were characterized as essentially sexless, needing our male counterparts to coax us into having intercourse. Even more annoying though, Gray devalues female orgasms almost completely, and at no time is it appropriate for a woman to decline sex. Of course women should make the attempt to pleasure their men (most will want to), but Gray has the idea that women should give it to their lovers anytime, anywhere. Seriously, I can picture Gray explaining that a woman in labor can just give her husband/boyfriend a quickie if he's feeling frisky and she's just not in the mood given that she's giving birth and all. On the other hand, according to Gray, it's hard for a man to say no to sex, so if he does, a woman should take care of things herself.

Gray's views on a loving sexual relationship were too one-sided and extreme for my husband and I. We really don't think Gray should be giving bedroom advice, nor does he seem qualified to be. (FYI: Google Gray's educational background. It's a joke. The school he received his PhD from no longer exists. Too bad I didn't realize this until we had already bought and read the book).
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on May 25, 2006
I stumbled across this book by accident at my library and decided what the heck, all those millions reading Gray's franchise can't be wrong. Plus, I've seen Gray on Larry King once, and he seemed like a nice and reasonable enough guy. This book, though, promising in its intro to be "sexy", touched more of my comical than my sensual nerves. Now, I am not above accepting bedroom advice where it's warranted (for instance, it is thanks to Dr. Gray that I finally made sense of that night years ago when my husband slept on the couch after a huge fight caused by my criticizing a movie we'd just went to see). But Gray's generalizations, dumbing down of most issues and sharing his own sex life with his wife Bonnie were mostly unhelpful, and I suspect that the passages I found funny were involuntarily so.

Although I'm the first to admit that women love compliments, Gray's suggestions, as displayed in several top 10-lists of things to say (and, occasionally, what not to say) were a tidbit too repetitive (ever wonder how many combinations you can play with the phrase "your breasts are wonderful"? Read the book!). Almost as enlightening was the hot tip on how, while getting to the undressing part, the man should pull the woman's panties "up her crack" (a.k.a. give her a plain old wedgie--no joke). And, don't miss the one where the Mongolian woman pulls a flag at full mast when she's in the mood and at half when she's not (or maybe it was different colors, I couldn't read clearly through my tears--no offense to the Mongolian people!).

More annoying were the recurring (and very stereotypical) assumptions that a woman always needs 10 or more times more cajoling into sex than a man (in various ways, be it foreplay, flowers or the favored seduction line hit lists), that a man always comes (and too quickly, of course), and that you need constantly innovative acrobatics in the bedroom, or your (otherwise mutually comfortable and sure-fire, I wonder?) approach will become a "turn-off".

Bottom line (no pun intended): if you want some light and basic (!) guidance, the book is not too terrible, but if it is "advanced bedroom skills" (Gray said that!) that you're after, you're better off digging out that old Erica Jong or even any pulp.
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on April 29, 2001
No, it won't change your sex life overnight or turn you into "the best in bed", but it would shed light to the difference of how men and women view sex. It certainly will deepen your understanding for your partner and may help you becoming closer because of that extra knowledge nobody told you about.
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