Amazing News About Great Sex Rescue–The Tide is Turning!

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Making Sex Feel Good, Theology of Marriage and Sex | 20 comments

Great Sex Rescue in Christianity Today

You guys! Guess what happened!

Christianity Today actually covered The Great Sex Rescue–and it was phenomenal!

A few weeks ago, just after we recorded the podcast about how the authors we critique have been either ignoring us or doubling down and saying awful things, we got word that a reporter from Christianity Today wanted to do an interview. Christianity Today is basically the flagship magazine/website of the evangelical church. It’s widely read, and it’s the main place where people learn what’s important in evangelicalism today.

I’ve spoken before about how I feel as if the evangelical “highers up” have ignored our research, and likely won’t engage with it.

But I think the tide is turning! I doubt the authors we critique will ever come around now, but other people are noticing.

The slant of the article wasn’t about our findings themselves as much as it was about the success we’ve had changing the conversation. It was just so encouraging (and thank you Ericka Andersen for writing it!).

Just a few quotes:

In her research and in response to the book, women recounted negative sexual experiences ranging from dissatisfaction and pain to abuse and trauma. Courtney Wright said reading The Great Sex Rescue opened her eyes to abuse in her former marriage of nine years, where she was coerced into sex, strangled, and treated “like a servant.”

“I’ve rediscovered my strength and courage to speak up,” Wright told CT.

***

Some Christian leaders, however, think her pointed concerns are worth response and amplification. Sean McDowell is a theologically conservative speaker and author of a new book on sexuality for teens, Chasing Love. McDowell has advocated for Gregoire’s work, even inviting her to speak in one of his classes at Biola University.

“I think they should certainly engage her ideas because I think she’s raising some fair questions and these are consequential issues,” said McDowell of those whom Gregoire criticizes.

McDowell said he was drawn to her work because it challenged him to think about marital sex in a new way, and he respects how Gregoire always points readers back to Scripture.

“So much of the teaching we’ve had on sexuality is male-centric,” McDowell said. “I think we’ve adopted that within the church uncritically.”

****

When I put a call out for self-identified “theologically conservative” women who have benefitted from Gregoire’s work, my inbox was immediately flooded with hundreds of messages from women eager to share their stories. Complementarians and egalitarians alike have applauded Gregoire’s primary message that Christian couples have been misguided on the purpose and pleasures of sexual intimacy for both husband and wife.

“I think Sheila’s work validates what so many women feel and have felt for so many years but have been unable to articulate,” wrote one reader, Talia Bastien Reha. She said she appreciated how Gregoire’s work “points to the heart of Jesus.”

Ericka Andersen

"What Happens When You Ask Thousands of Evangelical Women about Sex?", Christianity Today

Seriously, please read the whole thing!

More great news about this article

And here’s something else awesome–the sales started really picking up for the book yesterday, and so Amazon has put it on sale again! It’s now 30% off on Amazon, but I have no idea how long it will stay that way. It’s really dependent on sales. So now’s a great time to stock up on gifts for your sister, your friend who’s getting married, your women’s ministry leader, even your pastor!

I also told Rebecca that we don’t celebrate enough because we’re always so busy, so last night we actually went out to dinner at a real restaurant. This is a big deal for us–it was Alex’s first time at a restaurant (my 3-year-old grandson) and Vivian’s first time too. We went to The Lone Star (do they have those in the U.S.?), and you can watch them make tortillas, and Alex was mesmerized. 

Rebecca and Sheila celebrating The Great Sex Rescue

A few supplemental things from the Christianity Today article

Just a few things that were mentioned that I want to provide more context on. One pastor said that he purchases our Honeymoon Course for every couple who is about to get married! That’s awesome. And you can find our Honeymoon Course here–all of our courses, our Boost Your Libido Course, Orgasm Course, and talking to your kids about sex & puberty course can be found under “courses” in the menu!

And Ericka tried to be balanced in the article and linked to the statements by Focus on the Family about me and by Shaunti Feldhahn about me. I just want to link to my statements in return (links to their statements can be found within my statements; they never link to the things they critique about me, however).

My statement in response to Focus on the Family

My statement in response to Shaunti Feldhahn

And Ericka actually turned her interview with Rebecca and me into a podcast!

You can listen in to our interview together on her podcast!

Rebecca and Sheila celebrating The Great Sex Rescue

You have no idea how relieved we feel. 

Just to see the evangelical establishment take us seriously has been so comforting. I feel like I let out a huge deep breath I’d been holding on to for a year and a half. I think change is coming! This is so amazing.

I’m so grateful to all the pastors and counselors and normal, everyday readers who were willing to be interviewed for this piece. I’m thankful to Sean McDowell who was so generous with his words. I’m thankful to those who have been engaging in this conversation, even if they don’t agree with everything we  write. No one has to agree with everything! But the fact that we’re even able to talk about the harm that’s been done is amazing. Now more people may be willing to walk with us as we talk about how we can improve! 

What do you think? Do you feel like the tide is turning? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. 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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20 Comments

  1. Rachel

    Super excited for you guys! Keep talking and keep being a strong voice. The church desperately needs you and your research!

    Reply
  2. Em

    I’m so happy for you guys! And I’m proud to have been a supporter since I found you seven years ago! Love you and your team so much!!!!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Congrats, I’m just so over the moon excited for y’all!!! I think I’ve been following you since two websites or more ago. I’m so thankful that God brought me to the freedom that you have been teaching and that I’ve had the opportunity to grow with you. Love y’all and I hope you have years now of fruitful labor.

      Reply
  3. Joy

    I’m so glad to see this, and I’m glad that it has made you all so happy and relieved! I am forever changed by this work–no going back. Between this book and your blog I know what negative messages are now, and I’m not going to accept them. In following you for so many years it has always been apparent how much you care about people–helping them, telling the truth, and seeing them grow/flourish. It’s good to see that message about you getting out there.

    Reply
  4. Laura

    “No one has to agree with everything! But the fact that we’re even able to talk about the harm that’s been done is amazing.”

    This right here is important. We do not have to agree on everything. I think that’s what causes division in churches and among believers is theological disagreements. For me, I need to get to a place where I feel comfortable talking to other believers about the harm I’ve experienced from some evangelical teachings. In the past, if I expressed this hurt, their response to me would be, “Well, you just need to pray about it and get your heart right with God.” Basically, they were implying that I was the issue, not the church or its harmful teachings. It’s like the people who give harmful messages doubling down. That’s how I felt. People are more concerned about their theological beliefs and ignore the hurt those beliefs caused.

    I think it’s awesome that a conservative like Sean McDowell acknowledges this and has an open mind.

    I live in Southeast NM and I have never heard of Lone Star restaurants. We have a lot of Mexican food restaurants and none of them make tortillas in front of us. That sounds awesome!

    Reply
    • exwifeofasexaddict

      I’m curious what McDowell disagrees with, though. Most of the book is based on research, and you can’t just disagree with research.

      Reply
      • Maria B.

        Was it McDowell who disagreed? Because I just read the article and didn’t see him disagreeing with any of Sheila’s work. Craig Flack, on the other hand, was said to have disagreed with some areas of the book.

        “Though Flack doesn’t agree with “every area in the book,” he said he’s changed the way he counsels couples to incorporate directly addressing the wife’s pleasure, real intimacy, and “how it brings mutual sexual joy.” “

        Reply
  5. Phil

    Awe Sheila. I am so happy for you and your team. Thats truly great. I started a dialogue with my Pastor recently. It was paused due to scheduling but I intend to finish it! He may not end up agreeing. Thats ok. I am not quitting the church over it. I dont think it will be all peaches and cream but if I can plant seeds and get him thinking…he is progressive enough he will see. As matter of fact he believes your type of work is necessary. He just doesnt want to go that far righ publicly anyway…which it does t have to be…Well anyway I digressed. Congratulations. I have known this day would come. It aint over yet either Sheila. More will be revealed. I believe. Its real Sheila.

    Reply
  6. April

    Congrats Sheila and your team! I’m so glad this was published and it is well done and being recognized. Thankful for all your hard work. I’m not married yet but this has helped me see what true intimacy in sex is about and I’m grateful for your blogs, and podcasts.

    Reply
  7. Stefanie

    Congratulations to the whole team!

    Reply
  8. Mara R

    This is huge and I’m so happy for you all.

    And I’m sure your naysayers are not happy about this.
    But as you’ve said, repeatedly. This is NOT a popularity contest. It’s about taking care of the sheep. It’s about making sure the the ewes are cared for just as much as the rams.

    Reply
  9. A2bbethany

    Good timing! I’m through the most important episodes of mars hill that they did. It was so interesting that my husband actually asked me what it was called so he could listen.
    Also blog glitch: Ive told it to save my name and email, but so far it hasn’t. And I only ever use my phone and the same browser.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I”ll tell Connor about the glitch!

      Reply
  10. Scary Ary

    What a blessing to you and your team, Shelia! Praise God!

    I’m so thankful to hear that the conversation may change, and I’m so thankful that more and more people are showing that they’re willing to listen.

    My dad was a professor who taught psychology at a Christian college, and one of his courses was on human sexuality. His views were identical to yours and your teams, and he would have most likely used The Great Sex Rescue as a textbook. When he passed away a few years ago, one of the things I mourned (along with everything else) was how many students would miss out on his message. Now after seeing this article, after reading GSR, after finding and following your blog, that’s not a part of my grief anymore.
    I’m sad my dad isn’t here to teach anymore. But I’m so, so grateful that you are.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, wow! Thank you so much. I’m so glad you had that kind of a father–and that he chose to teach others. That’s wonderful.

      Reply
  11. Sarah O

    Many, many, MANY congratulations Sheila, Rebecca and Joanna!

    That was a hard fought win and you deserve a victory feast, for sure!

    It has been an amazing experience to watch you all over the past seven years, you have provided incredible mentorship and discipleship throguh your work and I hope you continue to see a bountiful harvest. Every one of my sisters has a copy TGSR. <3

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you, Sarah! (So glad you’re able to comment again too!)

      Reply
    • Phil

      Phil waves at Sarah 😬👋

      Reply
  12. Sarah

    Yay! So excited for you!

    Reply
  13. Cassia Dee

    This made me want to cry! I watched your podcast talking about how the authors you called out responded, and it broke my heart and brought me to more prayer. This is such wonderful news! I will continue praying.

    Reply

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