I’ve had a very strange week of defending myself from attacks I didn’t know were coming.
I shared a little bit about this in yesterday’s podcast at the end (my little devotional, or whatever you want to call it), but this was a very emotionally draining week.
To explain, let me share this reel from Instagram, where Keith opened the advance reader copies of our new book The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex!
(On Fridays, I like to share round-ups from social media, so here goes with the story!)
It will be here on March 15, along with the new and completely revised Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex!
By the way, when you preorder…
You help us tremendously! Amazon places its orders based on preorder numbers. It helps us move up the rankings, which means other people see the book. Amazon puts it on sale the more people pre-order, anywhere from 10-40% off (the more the better). And bookstores often buy books based on Amazon rankings, and magazines decide which books to review based on rankings. So pre-ordering helps!
Plus when you pre-order, you’re guaranteed the lowest price. And you get the chance to join our launch team (more on that in late January!)
Anyway, about that controversy…
I’ve been talking on podcasts about how our survey found that not every man lusts. In fact, only about half really struggle with porn and lust. We found that 49% of married men use porn right now, with most of them using it in intermittent binges or rarely.
I had thought that was good news and bad news. Bad news that it was that high (half is still really high!), but good news in that it’s not 70-80% like we often hear.
But some members of the abuse community are very upset at us, telling us we’re going to hurt that community if we advertise numbers that low. (Many in the abuse community have also been rallying to our side and have been very encouraging). We believe that our study aligns with peer reviewed research like Samuel Perry’s, and we’re fairly confident in the numbers. Most studies that say 70-80% are not peer reviewed, or they’re not of married Christian men, or they look at lifetime porn use, or they look at exposure to porn versus seeking out porn. Those will all yield different results.
Nevertheless, we spent much of the week trying to deal with a lot of anger from some people, and I’ve been sent some DMs and emails that are quite harsh (and some that are just warning us not to publish), and it’s been demoralizing.
it feels like people will latch on to our research when it supports what they believe, but then they start saying on social media that we don’t know what we’re doing and we don’t know how to do research when it doesn’t support what they say. That’s been hard for Joanna and Rebecca especially. We’re really trying to do this well.
So that’s what’s been happening. I do believe that in The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex we give an accurate, nuanced view of porn use. it’s always wrong. It has disastrous consequences (we proved this definitively). It makes you a selfish lover. It means you’re more likely to feel sexually entitled. It puts marital satisfaction in the drain. But at the same time, it has a dose response effect. The more you use it, the younger you were when you started, and the longer you use it for, the worse the effects are. We did find many men used it for a time and quit, and were able to move on with their lives. That is good news.
I know our numbers won’t make everyone happy, and we’re always happy to answer questions about them. But that was what we found. I hope we can continue to talk about this in a healthy way. It’s a vital conversation because porn is so destructive. But we can’t go against what our survey found.
And now for something funny…the bloopers.
I don’t know why, but I just think this is so funny.
Here’s a blooper reel that Katie made from last week’s podcast. (Again, we filmed this on Rebecca’s due date last month).
(If anyone’s wondering, the reason my tab said “oral sex” was because I was listening to Gary Thomas and Deb Fileta’s podcast on oral sex. After listening, I wrote this post on why we actually need a lopsided discussion on oral sex).
Are pastors telling on themselves?
Here’s my latest graphic that went huge!
As I said on Instagram:
Yes, many people struggle with lust. But not ALL.
And saying “all” normalizes it. Excuses it. Makes it sound like it’s really not that big a deal.
God made men this way. So the objectification of women and masculinity become one and the same.
But they’re not. The Bible says that we can expect those who have the Holy Spirit to put lust to death.
This should be the expectation.
And we women are seriously sick of not feeling safe in church.
Pastors and authors, when you tell us that “all men lust”, you’re saying YOU DO. That makes us feel very uncomfortable around you.
Women would just simply like to feel safe in church–instead of feeling that everyone, INCLUDING THE PASTOR, is undressing us in his mind.
We have the right to feel safe. And if male pastors and authors keep putting the burden for men defeating lust on women changing, I think you’ll find women fleeing church even faster than we already are.
Because even if we didn’t fight for better for ourselves…we will fight for it for our daughters.
(For more on how the “all men struggle with lust” message affects women and couples, please see The Great Sex Rescue, with the results of our survey of 20,000 women! HINT: It’s not pretty.)
That opened up a bunch more conversations on Facebook, including one about men saying you were being a stumbling block if you breastfed in public. And it led to the last thing I want to share!
I shared all over social media that results of my quick poll that more women have felt sexually harassed at church than at work.
I talked about this in Tuesday’s post, and there was much discussion everywhere.
But someone shared this one anecdote that I just have to leave here, because it’s so great.
Can you imagine a world where we all just said, “no more”? Wow!
I’m having my family Christmas this Sunday, and then on Tuesday is my 30th anniversary.
I’ve got my posts planned for next week, but it’s hopefully going to be a lovely family week, when I can rest from some of the controversy online.
Just wanted to say that I appreciate all of you so much! And may you all find rest and relaxation this Christmas season too.
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of Bare Marriage
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