Resources for intimacy in marriage

This page is the most updated one for resources on intimacy in marriage (updated late 2014).

Sheet Music, Dr Kevin Leman (Tyndale, 2008)
Christian, honest, fun and practical. It is as good as A Celebration of Sex (see below), but the emphasis is slightly more on how sex works, especially in the beginning and some good ideas for continuing in sexual intimacy and dealing with common issues which couples face. Especially worth reading if a couple wants a few ideas on how to improve the intimate side of things. 

A Celebration of Sex, Dr Douglas E. Rosenau (Thomas Nelson, 2002)
Subtitled: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy, this is a detailed and helpful book written by a Christian sex therapist. He leads couples through many areas encouraging them to grow in: playfulness, love, knowledge, honesty, forgiveness, creative romance and discipline. With the basic premise that:
       an intimate marriage + mature lovers = a fulfilling sex life
he works through all topics with a Christian mind set.
It covers numerous topics including the basic aspects of many parts of sex; massage; mutual touch; common problems or struggles for men and women; sex through pregnancy, children, in the older years and with illness or disability; and the impact of medications. This book could certainly become the reference for the entirety of an intimate marriage.

The Best Sex for Life, Dr Patricia Weerakoon (Growing Faith, 2013)
Open, straight to the point, up to date, and has no qualms dealing with many of the sex issues that face those who are married. It is firmly grounded in the truths of the gospel and how God’s view of sex should shape our lives. Her overarching idea is that marriage is a public, outward looking commitment that is enhanced and strengthened by a healthy, honest and strong sex life. Couples that are struggling should take particular note of the practical exercises in the appendices, which include a nine-week program to work towards a more intimate life and an exercise to encourage better communication in this area.A more detailed review can be read here.

The Way to Love your Wife, Clifford & Joyce Penner (Tyndale, 2007)
Subtitled: Creating Greater Love and Passion in the Bedroom, this book written for men talks about how to make sex meaningful for their wife; how to build desire and intimacy and how to let the wife ‘lead’ in the bedroom. It has some practical chapters on what the various issues could be which create problems for intimacy, as well as suggestions for making sex more fun and enjoyable for both. There are a couple of helpful chapters which deal with the risk of affairs and how to avoid them, and also the risks posed by the internet and pornography, and sexual addiction. Again, this is written from a Christian perspective, although not as overtly as A Celebration of Sex (above).

Creating an Intimate Marriage, Jim Burns (Bethany House, 2006)
Subtitled: Rekindle Romance Through Affection, Warmth and Encouragement, Jim Burns has provided a helpful book for couples which is honest, open and full of examples. He deals with the ways to have a marriage of affection, warmth and encouragement, by looking at intimacy, communication, fun & friendship, forgiveness & our attitude. Each chapter finishes with some questions to ask yourself and some to look at together. This is a helpful one to look at the whole marriage and how it’s going, which may also help to address some intimacy issues. Detailed review here.

365 Nights, Charla Muller with Betsy Thorpe (Murdoch Books, 2008)
This funny and honest book, written as a diary, tells the story of how one woman offered her husband (as his 40th birthday present) sex every day for a year, and what resulted from the offer. It is a thought-provoking and insightful look at marriage, parenting, the role of women and a number of other topics. It issues a challenge (especially to women) not to settle for or allow their marriages to become ‘un-intimate’. Detailed review here.

Hope Springs (2012)
A movie staring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a couple who after 31 years of marriage settled into a functional life sleeping in separate bedrooms. Honest and confronting, both heartbreakingly sad and very funny. Might be a good conversation starter. Review here.

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