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A Celebration of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God's Gift of Sexual Intimacy Paperback – November 21, 2002
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The material here truly is priceless and invaluable, with all the suggested activities and such, it will help the most for those couples that are together very apprehensive, shy, boxed-in or out of tune with each other, to open up and realize many things, if not all, are blessed to participate in the bedroom. This is an essential guide, as I hate to say, for those couples that are clueless about sex and/or have been raised to believe sex is not meant for mutual satisfaction or recreation at all.
I would still recommend this book to any couple having trouble with the aforementioned issues.
Dr. Rosenau challenges these stereotypically "Christian" pleasure-phobic attitudes. As he writes, "I am determined that Christians reclaim God's wonderful gift of sexuality." His book is indeed a "celebration of sex." Our sexualities are a gift from God for us to enjoy and celebrate, not to deny and be ashamed of. And as long as we follow God's biblical guidelines for sexual intimacy, our marriages will be tremendously rewarded.
Naturally, the book explains the science of arousal, the menstrual cycle, birth control and so forth. It also goes into detail about enhancing intimacy by breaking down barriers of inhibitions and encourages couples to be playful and to be open to new experiences, and how sexual fantasy about one's spouse can be used to promote intimacy. He even says it is okay to be selfish at times, and how it does not contradict obedience. Entire chapters are devoted each to sexual communication, sensuous massage, mutual pleasuring, and what "making love" means to males and females.
Dr. Rosenau also covers overcoming barriers of sexual hangups. He covers the seldom heard-of topic of vaginismus, for which I am eternally grateful for. My wife and I were both virgins when we were married, and we learned the value of abstinence in a way I would not wish on anyone. Before our wedding, my wife had a rough examination from a gynecologist. She was hurt, and as a result her subconscious associated vaginal penetration with pain. Vaginismus is when psychological stress causes the muscles around the vagina to lock so tightly that it prevents penetration. At first we couldn't understand what was wrong with us, until I did some research on the net and learned that this problem had a name, and that we weren't alone. However, the only book I found on vaginismus on Amazon was out of print and unavailable. I considered her visiting a psychologist, but we just couldn't afford that. And since at the time my wife's English was not as good as it now is, the thought of finding a Christian sex psychologist in her home country was daunting. Thank God I found this book! An entire chapter covers women and painful intercourse, and through our commitment of marriage and plenty of prayer, we were comfortable and patient in overcoming this problem. We followed the steps of desensitizing and overcoming the instinctive reaction of tightening muscles. The only thing I would suggest in addition to his final steps in this is that instead of using the penis, use a cheap "personal massager" available at any Spencer gift shop to reduce stress on both partners.
So in the end, Dr. Rosenau's book was a Godsend to our marriage. Mutual masturbation was our only source of sexual intimacy for most of our first year of marriage. And while other Christian sex authors may frown upon this, Dr. Rosenau even devotes an entire chapter to this. Before our first year anniversary, we were able to experience intercourse normally and our marriage has only gotten better.
There are only a few things I disagreed with this book, such as his suggestion of petroleum jelly as a lubricant, since it is known to cause infections. Also, it is my understanding that no spermicides should ever be recommended for use, since its active ingredient, nonoxynol-9 was introduced in the United States as a floor cleaner! But in all, this book helped transform my marriage tremendously and I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is an excellent read no matter how long you've been married, and especially for those not yet married.