Book Review: The Fantasy Fallacy

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Erotic fantasy novels seemed to be all the rage this past year.  Racy, elicit tomes that were once reserved for a dark corner in a dusty bookstore now found themselves on best sellers lists and film versions made their way to the tops of entertainment charts.  Things that were once taboo to talk about- lusting, sexual self-fulfillment, and fantasies- were suddenly front and center at every girlfriends' get together, office lunch and even *gasp* church small groups.  As the back of this book says, "Erotica has invaded more than our minds-- it has exploded onto our bestseller lists and into our bedrooms."

Last summer has been dubbed by many the 50 Shades of Magic Mike summer.  The "Fifty Shades of Gray" novels, which are about a young woman's journey into sexual fantasy exploration, were reaching pandemonium levels of fandom and a major film company had just released the movie "Magic Mike" about a company of male strippers.  To say that both were gratuitous and graphic would be an understatement, though my commentary is only an assumption derived from the reactions of many others- I did not see or read either of these titles.  But one thing I know for sure... it was the topic of much discussion in nearly every circle of women I encountered.  From the hair salon to my Bible Study group, someone was saying something about one or the other.  To be honest, I was shocked at the number of my friends who so cavalierly admitted to reading the 50 Shades novels, or to seeing Magic Mike.  My heart broke a little each time, knowing that in most cases, my innocent friends had been desperately deceived into thinking that these exploitative variations on an otherwise sacred act were all just for fun, and that filling their minds with them would have no repercussions in the long run. 

How thankful I am for Shannon Ethridge's book, The Fantasy Fallacy.  Her response is the perfect voice of reason to respond to this latest phenomenon, and I was continually pleased with each chapter of her book.  The book delves into the deeper meaning behind sexual thoughts and desires.  Most of the time, its men who these types of books are written for.  But the hunger with which the 50 Shades books- and others like them- were met with are evidence that it is not just a man's problem.  So what is the big deal?  Fantasies can't really hurt anyone because they're not real, right?  Shannon Ethridge does a great job of laying the foundation for which the rest of the book is built upon, and that is: Sexuality is God's invention.  We know it is supposed to be great and wonderful and pure, but in a world so saturated with sin, what does a godly sexual relationship with ourselves and significant other look like?  She takes the reader through many different points & scenarios, interweaving real case studies from her years of experience and counseling.  Though her approaches to many of the subjects seem clinical at first, they are paired with a true story or examples from real people, which help bring it all together.  Shannon doesn't wholly condemn fantasy, rather, she suggests boundaries, and seeking the reasons behind some of the fantasies people may have.  I appreciate that she does not shy away from difficult topics like pornography, sexual violence and same-sex attraction.  In my opinion, each topic is met with compassionate but biblically sound advice that does not leave room for errant interpretation.  

This book is definitely not a 'light read'. It takes time to process what you're reading and much of it can be very heartbreaking.  But, it is a topic that comes up so flippantly in conversation these days.  As such, I was glad to have read this book so that when the opportunity does come up again, I can have an opinion to share that is both different from the world, but also educated.  While this may not be the book for everyone, it is a great answer to the questions so many women seem to be asking these days.  You can view this book on Amazon (along with a video from the author) HERE.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 
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