Hot, Holy & Humorous

Good Girl’s Guide to Sex: A Review

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex book cover

I don’t recall how I “met” Sheila Wray Gregoire. I started blogging about marriage and sexuality in December 2010 and soon after she was on my radar. I followed her blog To Love, Honor and Vacuum and subscribed to her Marriage Daily paper. She has featured Hot, Holy & Humorous posts quite a bit, and I’m thrilled that she has recommended my articles to her readers. We have traded tweets, messages, and emails. She has been a tremendous example and support.

When Sheila announced that she was writing a book called The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I was eager to read. I was honored to receive an advance copy (which is especially cool of her because she still only knows me by “J”). I think readers deserve to know whether this book is worth their hard-earned money and the time they could be using to tackle the 16th load of laundry, plan a kitchen renovation, or master that sexual position that involves a ladder and a bean bag. So here’s my honest assessment of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.

I wholeheartedly endorse the core message of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and appreciate Sheila for speaking out so confidently and expertly on the subject of marital intimacy. Sheila Wray Gregoire’s wisdom stems from biblical study; personal experience; blogging and writing on marriage and family; speaking at marriage and women’s events, including with Family Life Canada; and three surveys she conducted in preparation for the book — two with women, one with men. She pulls together her knowledge and a godly perspective to speak specifically to wives about how “Good Girls” should approach sexuality in marriage.

Her initial proposition is that the world conveys that “bad girls” are having all the bedroom fun. God’s Word and research indicate otherwise. We Christian “Good Girls” — experiencing sex in the way God intended — have a whole lot more fun! And if you are a Good Girl who’s not . . . well then, Sheila’s got some advice for you.

“In this book we are looking at three aspects of great sex: learning how everything works physically, experiencing the deep connection that comes through making love, and creating a great friendship that fuels passion” (p. 142). Consequently, Sheila has sections for physical discovery, spiritual discovery, and relationship discovery.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex is comprehensive. Sheila explains God’s design for sexuality and what God-honoring sexuality can do for a marriage. She covers practical issues like anatomy, birth control, what’s okay and what’s not, and much more. She discusses the emotional and relational aspects of intimacy in marriage. She gives advice and concrete suggestions for dealing with problems and improving your sex life. She weaves throughout the spiritual connection that occurs in a God-focused sexual union of spouses. And because Sheila knows we wives don’t have time to read a 500-page treatise on the subject, she does it all in 272 pages (several of which are notes).

Throughout the book, Sheila shares quips from the surveys she conducted, sometimes as examples and sometimes as featured quotes called “A Good Girl Speaks.” You’ll likely relate to what someone else has reported and find encouragement. There are also pull-outs titled “A Good Girl Dare” with snippets for how to spice up your marital intimacy. I jotted down a few creative ideas myself.

I have read quite a few books from the Marriage and Sexuality section of the Christian bookstore. What I find for Christian books about sexuality is that some are rather clinical, some are rather preachy, and few of them are both biblical and practical. Sheila’s is both biblical and practical. You will walk away from reading this with increased understanding and pragmatic ideas for improving your sex life. Even as much as I read, research, and write on this subject, my husband and I had several interesting conversations about our sex life based on things I was reading in Sheila’s book.

Who is this book good for? Well, Sheila has written to us gals like an experienced and wise but super-fun girlfriend. I think this book would be particularly great for those getting married or recently married. In fact, you can’t go wrong by throwing this book with a lace teddy into the gift box for the bride’s lingerie shower. But there is also a lot here for those married longer who struggle in their sex life or simply enjoy tips for improving intimacy.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex is available now. Here are a few links to find it: paperback Kindle ebook
Barnes & Noble paperback
Barnes & Noble Nook ebook paperback ebook

Courtesy of Sheila’s publisher, Zondervan, I do have one giveaway copy of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex! Woo-hoo! I will randomly choose a commenter to receive the book. (I originally asked for an email address, but since I don’t want to publish your contact information to everyone, just make sure you use a name. I can’t award a book to “Anonymous.”) Simply answer this question in the comments: What are you looking for in a Christian book about marital sexuality?

And if you missed it, check out Sheila Gregoire’s 29 Days to Great Sex blog posts from the month of February. She has a lot of great stuff there (including a guest post from ME about how to orgasm).

63 thoughts on “Good Girl’s Guide to Sex: A Review”

  1. Love Sheila, I think we could have coffee together. 🙂 I loved this book, ordered it for my Kindle and read it in about 2 days (poor hubby kept hearing how wonderful, and “I wish we had this when we got married”) I am always on the look out for books that I can give as gifts to friends who are getting married and this is one of those books. Sheila is honest and funny and after almost 2 years of marriage I found out some stuff I didn’t know. Ladies, buy a couple copies and then make time to read it. I am planning on going through it again, this time with my hubby.

    1. I get that same feel with Sheila; we could have coffee (well, if I liked coffee; I’d order something else). I agree with you that this would be a terrific gift book! Great to hear another wonderful review from a reader.

      P.S. I read the book in 2 days also. Quick read!

    1. I’m so sorry. I clicked a wrong button trying to protect your email address, and it removed your comment! (Yikes, technically challenged.) I’ll get your comment back up!

  2. hmm… well, I think our sex life is pretty good. But I’m always on the lookout for things to make it even better. I guess maybe I would be looking for a fresh perspective or something that would be great for the two of us to read together! Then I would pass it on for someone else to benefit from it. 🙂

    1. Sheila’s book is aimed at women, but I read quite a few passages to my husband and we found lots to discuss from it. So while her audience is mainly wives, I think couples could certainly go through The Good Girl’s Guide together.

      I love the idea of passing on what you’ve learned!

  3. In a book on marital sexuality I want it to address the topics fully, maybe even bluntly without skirting around the issue and not anwering your questions at all. I want something that “talks” to me like it relates to me. And sometimes I feel like these books make me feel guilty for what I am or am not doing. I just found Sheila’s blog this past month and have enjoyed her writing. I’m looking forward to reading her book.

    1. I agree fully with what you’re looking for in such books. Sadly, I have also found some marital intimacy books talk “down” to the reader or heap on the guilt for what you are or aren’t doing. Sheila’s book isn’t like that. It’s girlfriend-to-girlfriend. She speaks with authority but understanding too. I like that! Hope you get to read her book — one way or another. 😉

      By the way, given the public nature of this blog, I decided to remove your email address, but I have it.

  4. In a Christian book about marital sexuality, I’m looking for encouragement and wisdom to view sex not as the world does, but as God intended! It sounds like this is a great book and I’m looking forward to reading it! My own copy just arrived in the mail, but I’d love to win one for my soon-to-be new sister-in-law! 🙂

    1. Woo-hoo! I’m throwing confetti at that sentence: “encouragement and wisdom to view sex not as the world does, but as God intended!” Enjoy the book and congrats to your future sister-in-law!

      (I have your email address but removed it so it’s not so OUT THERE.)

  5. As a soon to be newlywed, I would love to read Sheila’s book to get a Christian woman’s perspective!

    1. Congratulations, Engaged Lady! You may be nervous about that upcoming wedding night. Sheila’s book has a whole chapter giving advice for brides on what to expect and how to prepare (including not wearing yourself so thin at the wedding that you want to collapse into the cake at the end, not make love). I hope you get to read Sheila’s book, whether it’s by a win here or getting it elsewhere.

  6. I intend to read the book, even if I have to buy it. But a free copy would be so nice! 🙂

  7. I found yours and Sheila’s blogs from “The Marriage Bed” blog and both have been so helpful in making our sex life more than what it was! In a book I look for God’s perspective on sex in a non-threatening manner. Something that I can relate to like I’m talking with the author face-to-face as a friend who isn’t going to judge me. So far I feel that way with you and Sheila! Thank you for being honest and throwing in some humor…which is always needed! If I win, I would like to give the book to my sister. She is getting married this summer and I want her to start off better than I did.

    1. Thanks to The Marriage Bed! Love the Byerlys’ ministry. Sheila does have a way of making you feel like a close friend as she offers advice.

      Congratulations to your sister on her upcoming marriage! What a great wish you have for her future.

  8. I have been an avid reader of you both and love every blog post y’all write! I so appreciate the biblical aspect of both of your sites. As for what I’m looking for in a book about sex is God’s plan and how much better it is in a marriage. Wish everyone did…. this world just makes it so dirty and that isn’t how God intended! Thanks!

    1. Ooh, “avid reader”! I love it! (Love the “y’all” too.) I agree that we need to witness regarding the biblical message about God’s plan for sex because the world does not have it right. I love that Sheila’s book is grounded in the Word.

  9. I’d just love to know more about what I don’t know. A fresh perspective is always helpful. Thanks!

    1. I don’t know how many books I’ve read about marriage and sexuality at this point (20-30?). I have to admit to wondering each time I read another if an author could have anything left to offer to the subject. Thankfully, Sheila’s was a fresh perspective. I enjoyed it!

  10. I want practical how to’s with out seeing other naked people. Plus how to make relationships work. Really that’s the hard part. Would love this book!

    1. Hey, mamaofangels: I specifically said to the publisher: NO DIAGRAMS! I hope that was the right call, but seeing all kinds of diagrams in some books I read before I was married freaked me right out! I wanted it to be more of a discussion than a doctor’s visit, you know?

    2. Absolutely no naked people! I agree. Every now and again, I’ve been at a regular bookstore, wandered over to the sexuality section, and browsed to see what they offer. It takes about two seconds for me to slam a book shut, put it back on the shelf, and grab bleach for my brain.

      Plus, so many secular books about intimacy leave out the relational part entirely — which is the point of the intimacy to begin with! Best wishes, mamaofangels!

  11. Im getting married this year(YAY!!) and I’ve been kinda wondering about this subject. What was the right way to approach and think about sex? The world warps what sex is supposed to be so badly, while some in the christian community think its something evil… but this book helped me so much! Ive heard from other places that men are pigs because they want sex all the time, even read in one book that it was the woman’s duty to please him and expect nothing in return! Those view are so wrong. This book totally helped me, men and women are created differently, yes, but we work together so perfectly. God knew what he was doing;) Thank you so much Sheila! And thank you J, your blog helps me so much… even before I’m married. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rio. All I have to say to your comment is a hearty Amen. God did indeed know what He was doing! 🙂

  12. I would love a Godly perspective on what is and what is not “okay” when it comes to sex. There is so much controversy over this topic and so many people, authors, therapists, and so called “experts” on the subject, etc… give contradicting views. This is something my husband I talk about (sometimes argue about), quite often.

    1. It is hard to know what’s okay and not okay. But rest assured that most fervent Christians who advocate for healthy sex in marriage agree on the major points — for instance, no third parties (includes porn), no harmful or degrading acts, sexual energy focused on your partner. It’s sad that you and your husband argue about this. I don’t know what your particular situation is, Shawnna. You have my prayers. Hang in there and kudos to you for seeking out the Godly perspective.

  13. I’ve never read a sex book before, so not sure what to expect. But I’d like to see something honest, real and easy to read-as in not like a textbook or all technical. And I think its a plus that its written by a Christian female and probably has some Biblical references. Would love to see tips/advice about sex, but also about emotions/feelings as well.

    Thanks for the chance, would love to win a copy!

    1. Well, if you’ve never read a sex book before, this would be a great place to start. It was frank, but not overwhelming. I like the real-world applications Sheila made for the biblical principles she covered. Your name is in the hat, Melinda!

  14. I agree with some of the other commentors, I would really like to see a good book that doesn’t heap on the guilt. I’ve read a couple that had really, some good advice in there, but by the time I would get done with the book, I would feel like such a wretched person because of all the things I wasn’t doing that I ‘should’ be, rather than feeling like I’d gained some good insight and new ideas, which is what I would really like 😀

  15. “What are you looking for in a Christian book about marital sexuality?”
    Something I can share with an engaged girl to help her get a good start, something I can give a couple with years behind them yet marital troubles, and something I can learn from myself! Sounds like this is the book! 😀

  16. A book about Christian Marital sexuality, should be honest, frank, and truthful about all aspects of sex. Based on what I’ve read. This book covers it. There is no reason to be embarrassed by the topic, so why shy away from details and information to be used within the sanctity of marriage?

  17. I’m looking for something honest and humorous, written in a way that’s easy to connect to. Even though I feel like I have a good sex life now, I’m open to learning and growing in that area. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  18. I’m looking for something from a Godly female perspective that is open and honest and tells it like it is and is encouraging, insightful and helpful. We do marriage ministry at our church and are always looking for good books and helpful information we can recommend to others.

  19. What I was looking for in a Christan book on sex is exactly what this book is 🙂 She talks to you like she’s an older friend or big sister. It’s biblical and practical (and I haven’t finished it yet;) ) I’d love a copy to share with a friend, cause she can’t have mine 😀

  20. I’m looking forward to reading about the spiritual aspects of intimacy that Sheila mentioned are in her book. My husband (of 6 years) and I both brought a lot of baggage into marriage (don’t we all?) and are currently trying to unpack it and make our intimacy look like what God wants it to look like.

  21. I’m looking for a book that addresses all aspects of intimacy in a marriage. The spiritual, the emotional, the mental, and the physical. I’m looking for something that has real solutions to help heal heartache and other things interfering with true intimacy. Something that will help a married couple to connect, sexually and spiritually, to truly experience the fullness of what intimacy in a marriage is supposed to be. Tips and ideas to make sex more fulfilling and enriching, humorous things that we can laugh about together. I love Sheila’s blog – it has truly been a blessing – and I would love to have the chance to read her book!

  22. I’d love to hear about how much More enjoyable sex is within the confines of a Christian marriage! Ere are so many untruths out there aboutnhow sex is “freeing” for a single girl, but nobody talks about the mental, spiritual, and emotional damage you get from sleeping around outside of marriage! Way to go Sheila for being open and honest, and being a good writer! She’s so encouraging and informative.

  23. I’ve been reading the 29 Days of Great Sex and excited about her book. In a Christian book about marital sexuality I’m looking for the best way to be an example to my children of what a great wife and lover is. I want the relationship between my husband and I to be rock solid and secure and its not always easy with hectic schedules to save time for each other and preserve closeness and intimacy in a relationship. My parents always smooched in front of my brother and I and now I understand how not gross that was. 🙂
    And I love what ruthanne above said. Agreed.

  24. Would love to win a copy for my wife. We like Christian marriage books that don’t hold back, are honest and Biblically based, which is Sheila all the way!

  25. I recently found Sheila’s blog and have enjoyed reading it. After 15 years of marriage she had some great points in her 29 days of great sex articles and would love to follow up with the book to add a little spice back. Thanks for the chance to win.

  26. I look forward to reading about how to increase emotional intimacy, while still connected with the physical side.

  27. I cant wait to read a book on how to have fun with your spouse in bed!! It would be nice to have a positive outlook after so many negative ones!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  28. To be perfectly honest, I think my husband gets a little bored in the bedroom. While I’m content to gaze into his eyes lovingly the whole time, I think he’d like a little more… variety? I’m hoping this book will help me help him have fun. …and maybe even have some more fun myself! God’s way!

  29. J, my wife was abused as a child and adult, and it has really caused a lot of problems for us. I am looking for something to help her see that GOD created sexual intimacy as something good and beautiful for us to share. I hope this book will be something the LORD can use to help her. Thanks.


  30. I also found both yours and Sheila’s blogs through The Generous Wife and have really enjoyed the infusion of more fresh biblical ideas to bless my marriage. Though I have been married over 20 years, I am always open to ideas to help keep things fresh, alive and growing In the way God intended. Thanks to all you Christian bloggers for all you do for Christian marriage!

    Diane J

  31. My sex life is pretty blah right now. I want my husband to understand how I deeply desire to be romanced. I want to strongly desire him. Hoping this book will help.


  32. I’d like some ideas to make bedroom time more fun and help me out of my married-almost-6-years-have-2-kids mindset. Maybe even something to get me out of my comfort zone a little more to bless my hubby!

  33. Would love to win a copy of this book! I feel like my husband and I have a great sex life, and I think he thinks the same thing :), but at times I have a hard time breaking through some of those barriers that were put in my head growing up about what is “wrong” to do. I’d like more books tackling that issue… Getting past those things that ARE wrong, but only OUTside of the marriage bedroom. Thanks!

  34. I have been married for less than 2 years and I would just like to read a Christian book that is helpful and that I can relate to. This sounds like just the book that I need to read! “The Good Girl Dare” part caught my attention and I think I would benefit from doing some of those!

  35. I’m looking for a book that will provide information on what’s Biblically Ok and what’s not. Also I’d love other couple’s advice for what’s worked for them, tips, etc. 🙂

  36. I would love to read this! I am very passionate about sex in relation to how it is portrayed in our culture. I am afraid there is too much talk about sex and not enough at the same time. We are bombarded by sexual content & images, but rarely get correct information in regards to God’s design for marriage. I have been burdened with a passion to learn all I can about biblical intimacy and this book sounds like something I need to get my hands on!

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