I just finished this book a few days ago, and I have to honestly admit - nearly the whole time I read it I found myself actually saying out lous "Ah - so that's why....!" Enlightenment is an understatement. Shannon "goes there" on so many critical topics, with a refreshing voice of support and nonjudgmental-ism. The narrative feels like you are having a conversation with her, which I appreciate. Her vulnerability about her own personal struggles add authenticity to the truth that comes across from her education in counseling and years of helping others in these areas.
So here's my candid summary of what I read:
- Absolutely for a Christian audience. The book presumes the reader has placed their lives under the authority of the Bible and Judeo-Christian beliefs. (this is only a con because it limits the books audience and yet the "meat" of her message can ABSOLUTELY cross faith lines.)
- Those who are theologically nit-picky may stumble on a few ways she words things as she sets herself up in the beginning of the book. (Which would be a cryin' shame as the main topics in the book are SPOT on, eye-opening, and liberating. It would be a shame if someone was so hung up on using "reformed Christian" terms versus "armenian Christian" terms that they missed the whole point of the book.)
- While not a direct response to the whole "50 Shades" popularity, the book itself is VERY timely for people who call themselves Christians who may have read the series. It doesn't simply say "you should read/like those trashy books" in some judgemental "church lady" way, but rather maturely explains the science behind the human brain's creation of fantasy and how that is beneficial or detrimental to our well-being depending on the content of those fantasies. Very clear headed, open-minded, and truth filled.
- True to Shannon Ethridge's form, she also speaks from a "celebrate healthy sex lives!!" perspective, which for the Christian world is refreshing and - sad to say - rare. Her addressing negative/detrimental fantasy tendencies comes from a motive to see people have incredible sex lives, not to stifle any of the hot burnin' love
- She is just so darn RATIONAL when it comes to things like S & M, pornography, incest and things of that nature. Making no excuses for the bluntness with which she shares, she peels back initial "shock" feelings to expose what's going on in people's hearts.
Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this book to the following types of people: CHRISTIAN men and women (married or single)and secular audiences with a strong knowledge of the Christian views on such topics as abstinence 'til marriage, homosexuality, etc.
This is probably a book I will by several copies of (like I wanted to do with her other book "The Sexually Confident Wife") and give out to my Christian friends. God KNOWS we need more conversations about these topics in the church.
Disclaimer: I received a free book in order to write this review and have shared my honest opinion.
Shannon is not afraid of speaking on the taboo subjects. This is the latest in her books that speaks to the hearts of so many hurting people, who really have no where else to go. This isn't a safe subject that gets talked about in church or sunday school. She offers amazing insights and resources for the hurting, and those affected by this area of society today. I am so thankful for her and for all the books she has written!
Wow! This book is desperately needed! I grew up in a strong Christian family and sex was never discussed. Of course, neither were fantasies. They weren't discussed in the home; nor were they discussed in church. No wonder we have fantasies and then feel bad about them! If it's not discussed it MUST be taboo; and if it's taboo to discuss, it MUST be bad. Shannon Ethridge begs to differ.
I love that Shannon Ethridge is not judgmental. She takes a look at many fantasies and brings them into the light. The fantasies themselves are not evil; and when exposed to the light, darkness has no hold on them or people who have them. Shannon's research indicates that the fantasies we entertain are not always rooted in the sexual acts themselves and we don't have to act on them. We can control our fantasies instead of allowing our fantasies to control us.
This book touched me personally. There was much within its pages that resonated with my life; either in my history or that of people I love. It is my hope that more people will put aside the Shade-y books, and pick up some truth and support in Shannon Ethridge's Fantasy Fallacy. These are topics that need to be discussed; and this book is a great start.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. The opinion provided here is completely my own.
The moment I opened this book, I knew it was inspired by the Holy Spirt. I was so excited to see what this fresh word would be. I anticipated learning a lot. What I did not anticipate was the healing the Lord would do in me. Ethridge talks about fantasy in a way that makes the reader at ease. She reaches deep into the dark places of the human heart, where few dare to go, and encourages us gently to go there and face them. To stop ignoring what scares us, and learn to look objectively at them. And with God's help, learn the deeper reason, the deeper pain that we silently and unknowingly run from. She explains the freedom that comes from bringing the darkness to light. She does this with out condemning pleasurable sex and even some fantasy inside marriage. She speaks it like it is and sheds light on God's most fulfilling plan for sex. She paints a beautiful picture of God's love and compassion for us, that brought me to tears. This is a must read!
There are many people - in the Body of Christ, especially - who have been made to feel that the subject of sexual fantasies is wholly evil, and never to even be discussed, and it's been to our collective detriment. We SUFFER from the lack of honest, compassionate discussion about this issue from a Biblical perspective. Shannon Ethridge (Who also authored "The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind Body Heart Spirit") has written a book that is not meant to arouse or to Bible-thump or to argue about "Right vs. Wrong" (Plenty of all THAT elsewhere!). It's meant to give us the tools to "connect [our] own dots and make sense of our sexual thoughts" (p. 118) and bring healing at nearly the deepest, most profound level one can get.
"The Fantasy Fallacy" dives right into the darkness, and brings the light of truth with it as a guide. It has amazed me, and has resonated in my SOUL like no other book on this subject (and I've read just about every one from a Christian perspective that I could find).
Written in Ethridge's engaging, self-deprecatingly honest and compassionate style. Well cited and thoroughly researched without becoming so clinical as to disengage the reader. This is a FAST read, but by no means unsatisfying. And for those concerned, I was pleased to read the entire book, even the one that covers BDSM fantasies, without feeling I was -burdened- with information that was unnecessary. Ethridge does an AMAZING job of walking the extremely fine line of being explicit enough to HELP, without being SO explicit as to HARM that is presented by this primal and complex subject.