Category — Love & Sex
Book Review by Gina Parris
Sex, Lies and Religion – by Randy Elrod
It is not often that I open a book by a minister and immediately find a description of his euphoric sex-on-the-beach encounter with his wife as a sacred experience. That is when I realized two things about this book:
- 1. Not everyone will like this material.
- 2. I will probably love it.
Randy Elrod presents a thoroughly researched paradigm shift in the way spiritual people approach sex. He is talking to Christians in this book (the brave soul,) but I think it calls to those who have cast away their Christian faith as well.
Sex, Lies and Religion is in its own words, “controversially redemptive” in its purpose. Controversial because not all people can reconcile paragraphs that deal with the very practical i.e. “how to use a vibrator to make erections last longer,” with the spiritual concept of intercourse symbolizing intimacy with our passionate Redeemer.
As Elrod delves into how to masturbate without going blind OR becoming a pervert, many a Sunday School Teacher may blush in horror (While students from 12 to 120 may cheer out loud.) When he deals with the lies about fantasy (ergoing the football kind) he offers compassionate clues into the yearnings of humanity.
Whether tackling lies about nudity, gender equality, self-pleasure, sexual fantasy or “yada,yada, yada,” he continually offers truth to set the reader free from condemnation. Elrod writes with the pen of an artist, philosopher and poet, painting pictures that glisten with supernatural love, acceptance and eroticism. He scoffs at the religious notion that the body is evil and unspiritual. He embraces the idea that ALL we do can be spiritual and draw us closer to God.
If I have any concerns with this book it would be that it is sometimes so deep and idealistic that its beauty may be lost on the average guy who likes to drink beer and play poker on his non-church days. The song of songs after all, calls not just to poets and philosphers but to all who have ever yearned to give and receive true love. It is in the presence of such overwhelming goodness, that vices and “unholiness” lose their appeal.
I love the book Sex, Lies, and Religion. Not just because it dares to go where no minister has gone before, but because it vibrates (no pun intended) with life that is abundant, love that is undefiled, and redemption that is complete.
Please comment below: Did you grow up with condemnation surrounding sex in your household/church/school? What might “redemption” look like in your most intimate relationship?
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I’m in your corner,
March 17, 2010 16 Comments
Whether you find yourself in a sexless marriage or a sexless weekend, you can find hope. If you are the partner with lower sex drive than this series is for you.
It’s Not Really About the Sex
Ironically great SEX is not really about the sex itself but about the elements that create a meaningful experience. I often say great sex involves three keys:
- You are feeling good about your self
- You are in touch with your senses
- You are feeling positive towards your mate
Let’s focus on step 1 – Feeling good about your self. OKAY, let’s feel GREAT!
Chances are if your sex life is suffering then the thought of being intimate does not make you feel great about your self. Our self esteem is closely tied to our sexual success. In fact a certain Dartmouth University study of 16,000 people reported that the quality of one’s sex life had more to do with that person’s level of overall happiness than any other factor.
So, that could be a vicious cycle: Lousy Sex life leads to unhappiness which leads to feeling bad about yourself which leads to a lousy sex life, which leads to unhappiness…
Instead step 1 of freedom from the downward spiral is to create a way to feel great about yourself now.
A. Acknowledge your distressing emotions
So often instead of acknowledging and honoring our feelings we simply want to get away from them. Instead honor your feelings and spend some time giving the room to “breathe.” After all, our emotions are just energy.
B. Offer acceptance and/or forgiveness
As you acknowledge your unhappiness, it is helpful to accept yourself unconditionally and forgive yourself and anyone else who has contributed to your feelings.
C. Create an empowering choice
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one has the ability to make you feel inferior without your consent.” Once you acknowledge your emotions and offer acceptance and forgiveness you are free to choose how you WANT to feel. For our purposes we will choose to be confident and sexy.
You can do all this with a couple of deep breaths and sentences.
Simply say something like:
“Even though I am angry and frustrated, I deeply accept myself and my emotions, and I forgive my husband for being so insensitive – since he didn’t do it on purpose, and I choose to feel confident and sexy.”
As you breathe in and out, you can rub your chest while repeating this sentence with more and more accuracy.
As you do this habitually, you will learn to quickly move from distressed to delicious any time you want.
If you would like to discover more in depth ways to feel great about yourself and enjoy really great sex when you’re NOT in the mood than download your Free audio and ebook from The Romance Rescue. You’ll find it just may have the sexless marriage solution for you!
Tell me, what are some ways that you feel good about your self when you need to change your state?
I love to hear what’s working for you!
February 24, 2010 4 Comments
This passage is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, The Romance Rescue – How to Have Really Great Sex When You’re NOT in the Mood. You can get a downloadable version of it in a few days. Please comment below. (And be nice – this is very personal!!)“Sometimes our greatest failure becomes the catalyst for our greatest strength, even if it takes years to turn it around.” –Gina Parris
“Help me, Doc”
It was one of my least favorite places to visit. The sanitary paper crunched beneath my seat as I sat dressed in a paper-towel gown. Still, I needed a solution. Full of embarrassment, I finally spoke up to my gynecologist. “I think I need testosterone supplements. Please?” I begged.
“Why do you think you have low testosterone?” she asked.
I thought back to the past several months. Maybe it was years. I could blame it on having four children, but the truth was, I had this problem on and off whether we had zero, one, two or four kids running around.
“Because,” I sulked, “If you ever saw my gorgeous husband and knew how little desire I have, you’d KNOW there was something wrong with me -and I’m definitely not attracted to women.”
“Well, let’s test it.” She said matter-of-factly. No sex-ed to go along with this question. Shortly, she shared her results. “Gina, your testosterone levels are fine. You should have no problem with your sex-drive. You’re probably just tired with the twin babies.”
How depressing. So there was no magic cream to rub on my skin, to make me hot and bothered? Dread was starting to creep in, of more failure, more stress, more disappointment. What was wrong with me?
I knew that I was capable of having sex – I had three pregnancies and four kids to prove it. In fact, I seemed to remember really loving it some of those times too. But years went by after that day in the doc’s office – with no change. Sex happened sometimes once or twice a month and my guilt over the infrequency was always with me. I would look at my stunning husband and wonder what would happen if certain women knew. He would be great prey for a “stalker” – the type of woman that makes her kill of the unmet needs of another’s man. The idea filled me with grief.
One day in total frustration my husband Paul, came up to where I was sitting, with his hands on his hips and a scowl on his face, he nearly exploded.
“Okay, this is it,” he said. “From now on, we’re just going to have sex every day, whether we want to or not.”
I nearly gagged. Making love to an angry man was not my idea of romance and I knew I would be frozen with dread anyway. What a flop. The months that followed often brought more stress, and more tears.
That had been some time ago. Tonight I was not even thinking about sex. I was just finally stumbling to bed, exhausted.
As I entered the room, the candles were lit and Paul was patiently waiting for me.
I nearly keeled over with panic. My heart sank, even as it beat faster.
As I staggered into the shower, I thought about of our years together – the great times, the children, my frustration with not making him happier. With water pouring down on me, I suddenly thought of this crazy mindset technique I had seen on a video. It had something to do with using your fingertips to tap on acupuncture targets on your face and torso while thinking of your distressing emotion. It looked like the dumbest thing I’d ever seen in my life.
In desperation however, I gave it a try. I tapped on my eyebrows while saying to myself, “I AM NOT IN THE MOOD FOR SEX!” I tapped under my eye while saying the same thing. I tapped under my nose and under my mouth saying, “I’LL NEVER GET AROUSED.” I tapped on my chest saying ‘NOT IN THE MOOD.” I repeated it a few more times thinking, “I’M NOT IN THE MOOD!”
As I tapped the targets again, I began to feel aware of my body. I realized that my skin felt good with the hot water on it, and my body looked almost sexy too. Hmmm. Strange. Finally I tapped again on those targets and thought to myself, “I choose to relax and be sexy.”
The dreadful panicky feeling was gone, though I can’t say I was feeling like a sex-goddess or anything. I didn’t know what would happen, but I dried off and headed to bed. The whole thing had taken about 10 minutes.
In the next moments everything was different! It was like I stepped into a whole different body. I was completely relaxed, and yet totally exhilarated. I was happily aware of every passionate kiss, every loving touch. My body went crazy with pleasure. For the first time in months, I looked closely in Paul’s eyes. We were together, so intimately connected. He was very happy. Everything he did felt incredible. It was the best sex I could remember having in a long, long time.
The next night I didn’t need to tap on any acupuncture targets. I just went to bed with my beautiful husband. Same result – responsive, passionate, gratifying sex. The next night we did it again, and it got better and better.
What WAS That?
It has now been several years since that “breakthrough night.” From that night on, our love life was rekindled and stoked. Our marriage is stronger than ever, and we are celebrating 20 years together.
Occasionally I still tap some reassuring ideas about my “sexiness,” but I have never worried about failure again. I can enjoy my husband every time.
In those early success days, my mind was racing with curiosity. What in the world was this tapping all about? I poured over the videos that I had previously viewed for only moments before parking the set on the shelves.
This book will simply touch on the technique and focus on the issues beneath the issues. I went on to tweak the method into a performance tool for athletes and other professionals in high-anxiety situations. My private story however, remained a secret, until now. After all, it is very personal.
I am sharing this with you now only because I can’t bear to think of couples suffering needless stress like we did for so many years. I wished I had learned much sooner. When I was suffering so much shame, I felt like I had no one to talk to about it- certainly no one with an answer!
The exciting secret is that we can actually change our body’s response to stress, so it acts in the way we want. We don’t have to be at the mercy of our moods.
It’s not JUST about great technique…
There is no shortage of sexual- technique books out there. You can scan the internet or bookstore shelves for all kinds of resources that teach you the cleverest new way to get maximum pleasure from sex.
I am a fan of freshness and skill – and I truly want you to check out my resource section, but I know that “not being in the mood,” is not a matter of technique. It is emotional. In order to succeed and thrive in our most intimate places, it is necessary to rewire ourselves to be responsive, arouse-able and orgasmic!
Will your results be as fast as mine? I can’t say for sure. I do believe that if you do the exercises, follow along with the videos and audios then you will absolutely have the ability to enjoy yourself like never before.
Perhaps your issues go deeper. For you, there is healing and happiness available for each area of your life and history. I care about you and your marriage. We are all different and precious and loved by our maker.
You can feel good now, and feel good in the months to come, on a deeper and deeper level. Your loving romance will just be an expression of the love inside of you.
If this story sounds interesting to you and you want to learn more, than PLEASE join me on my free call tomorrow, February 11th at 8pm Central time. We’re calling it, “How To Have Really Great Sex Tonight – Even If You’re NOT IN THE MOOD.”
This link will open in a new window, so please open it up and leave me your thoughts. I SOOOO believe in you. Oh yeah, can you help me out and share this post with your friends Thanks!
I’m told it sounds weird to say, “I’m in your corner” when I’m talking about Sex, but you know what I mean!
Here’s the link to the call again:
February 10, 2010 19 Comments
“When you get to my age, you’ll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That’s the ultimate test of how you’ve lived your life.” -Warren Buffet
Photo credit: sssh221 from morguefile.com
This blog is a collection of thoughts from me, Gina Parris – Peak Performance coach. I love to talk about success and life and business and how all of the above can take lessons from the world of sport.
Except for the sport of Love. It doesn’t really fit here, does it? I have wrestled back and forth about this for over a year. I have not blogged at all about romance – as it is way to ‘MUSHY’ for many of my readers. It has little to do with making money (on the surface), and after all, “romance” is not my main niche.
So, I have to come clean. Love is what I care most about in this whole world. No, not just sex, but the love that has come as a RESULT of a lot of effort and time towards those closest to me. Sometimes I do it terribly. Sometimes it was my last priority.
In the month of February, it seems plausible to fit Romance, Love, and all its derivatives into all aspects of life as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, a day dreaded by many people.
So I’m taking this moment to tell you that Peak Performance for me this year is starting from the inside out. I mean INSIDE: Inside those private thoughts and relationships that deserve to be private and PLEASURABLE. How can we keep the flames hot in a busy, busy world? In a few more days I will let you know about a program called The Romance Rescue. (Yeah, its about sex.)
Why on earth would I go there? Because I know what its like to work hard in the marketplace only to come to bed and find anguish, hurt, and frustration.
I know what it’s like to look like a success on the outside, and wonder if I’ve created the end of the relationship that means the most to me. In a few weeks I’ll celebrate 20 years of marriage. Looking at how far we have come makes me willing to embarrass myself, to be misunderstood, to giggle too much, or to cry in public in hopes that someone else can turn their pain into pleasure, like we have. It’s a remarkably personal story.
I don’t know if I’ll blog weekly about love or not. I have people telling me “Don’t do it!” And people telling me to “go for it.” If I do, it will probably be just on Wednesdays. Why Wednesdays? I have no idea, except that those who can’t relate can avoid me on that day!
What I do know is that in the end I agree with my hero Warren Buffet. At my age, (God knows I’m no teenager) you end up measuring your success by whether or not those you love the most love you back.
It’s a good month for the game of love. I’m choosing to play hard – and win it, for the long haul. If you want to join me, you will be completely safe in my space.
Until next time – keep doing the small stuff – with big love!
In your corner,
P.S. If you can’t stand it and you want a sneak peak at what I’m cooking up, you can check out www.TheRomanceRescue.com and get a free audio. I have more free goodies coming over there.
Please comment and try to be nice. I’m really stretching myself here! Just kidding. I can take it….sort of. I’d love to hear your thoughts on love and success.
February 3, 2010 20 Comments
For the past 19+ years, I have been married to the most attractive man I have ever met. That is a great feeling. What surprises people who know us, is that even in a marriage as wonderful as ours, the “great feelings” come and go!
I was amused last week to realize that both Mr. Parris and I have been equally influenced all these years, by the following story. It’s a story I’ve told dozens of times, but I don’t remember us ever talking about it. If there is a secret to our success, it lies in this tale:
One day there was a wife who was wickedly angry at her husband. She was hurting bitterly from years of unmet needs, and disappointment in her husband’s behavior. She dreamed of ways to get back at him, to make him hurt in return.
Somebody told her about a very old wise man, who sat atop the nearby mountain. Surely he would have a clever and sinister idea for her.
At the suggestion, the woman climbed the mountain and found the wise man.
“Sir,” she told him. “All I want to do is to cause heartache for my husband. I don’t think he even has feelings, but if he does, I want to hurt them!”
“Aaaaah, of course,” he responded with great empathy. “I will tell you what to do. For the next 2 months, I want you to just pretend that you actually love him. This is just for a short time, and there is no emotion necessary. Just ask yourself often, ‘what actions would I take if I loved him?’ and then do those things. Then, come back and see me, and I’ll tell you what to do to hurt him fiercely.”
“Okay,” said the bitter wife. “I guess since it is just for a short time, and no emotion is necessary, I can act like I would if I loved him. Oh, boy!”
In the following weeks, she enacted the plan wholeheartedly. She faithfully acted like she was in love with her husband, and then she returned to the sage on the mount, for the rest of the plan.
“So you followed my advice? Good!” said the wise old man. Ready? Here is what you do next. You climb back down that mountain and you just LEAVE your husband. That’s it. He will be so shocked after your kind actions, that you will break his heart!”
“leave!” gasped the woman. “I can’t leave now!”
“But why not?” he asked.
“Because…” she began, stunned at her own discovery. “…because now, I love him!”
“Aaaaah, yes.” smiled the sage. “I suppose you do!” and he said no more.
“Love is not a feeling – love is an action, an activity…true love implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom.” – M Scott Peck
So, what do you say? Do you have a secret to your successful relationships – or a lesson learned from love gone bad? Please comment below.
In your corner,
Coming Soon – The Romance Rescue
January 28, 2010 32 Comments