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“The Gift of Sex” Book by Clifford and Joyce Penner

Is the Book “The Gift of Sex” for Me?

Indeed, this is one of the most important questions that a young man or woman who is stepping into the life must ask him- or herself. This question can be paraphrased in the following way: “Am I ripe enough to read the book that will open the secrets of life to me? Am I ready to know these secrets?”

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Only in case if the answer is positive, and the sexual education is a subject that does not cause confusion or nervous laughter, the time has come to see the light.

The introduction helps the youth to realise that what is happening to them is not something out of the ordinary but just another stage of their physical and spiritual development.

The preface also dwells upon such important issue as the integration of the spirit and the body. It gets the youth accustomed to the idea of sex as a part of love, and not its dominating part, though the one of great importance.

Why All the Confusion?

Of course, it is rather hard to start speaking on the topic that has been considered as something to keep silence about. But the next question would be, what is the use of this top secrecy? Is there something dirty, vulgar or indecent in physical love? The answer is certainly no. Thus, the chapter explains that the topics tabooed from the very childhood are nothing but a prejudice that the adults follow blindly. Once a sacred topic that only the enlightened could speak about, now it has turned a thing to be shamed of, but this is totally wrong. Sexuality is not banned by the Christian religion and not considered to be a sin.

Still people hesitate because the standards that have been created by their ancestors are still in motion. That makes the topic of sex so difficult to speak about.

Sexuality Is a Gift from God!

Since it has been figured out that discussing sex is no crime and sin, the time has come to bust another common myth. This one concerns such quality as sexuality. the quality itself is completely inherent and impossible to forge. Many people think that this is something that church thinks to be a sin and an indecent trait of character. The abovementioned is completely wrong, for sexuality is a gift of God, and, like any gifts of His, it is a blessing and treasure.

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The human psychology suggests that people should seem attractive to each other; otherwise they would have vanished long before. People are programmed to give birth to another generation, and it is biologically determined that they choose those whom they consider the best mate. Accordingly, a specific behaviour that is called sexuality has been developed. This is the remainder of our animal past, and there is nothing to do about it.

When a youngster starts feeling the sexual appeal growing inside, this means that the time for blooming has come. Accordingly, this is simply a mark of another stage of development passed, and not a vice to eliminate.

What the Bible Says about Our Sexuality

Actually, if people think that the Holy Scripture has nothing to do with the aspects of gender and reproduction, they are deeply wrong.

There are some passages in the Bible that state a clear position on people’s sexuality and sex as it is.

First, there is a famous quote from Bible, which says: “Go forth and multiply!” So this is the prescription of God that people must follow.

There are other pieces of evidence that speak for themselves. Most people cannot see the Biblical understanding of sexuality because of the misunderstandings concerning the original fault that the fall of man followed. However, the sin was disobedience, not the very relationships Adam and Eve stepped into, this must be remembered.

There are also some clues that can lead to the Biblical understanding of sex and sexuality as not only an integral part of a person’s life, but also a chance to know the relations that are beyond the bodily contact and mean the contact of souls.

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Our Bodies

The chapter deals with the detailed explanations of how our bodies work. The difference between a man and a woman is not only biological and concerns not only the primary sexual characters; it lies deep inside the nature of both.

Still, for a normal family life, at least basic knowledge about the functioning of a man’s and a woman’s organisms is needed, and the chapter provides it fully. Giving brief and delicate notes on what the essence of manhood and womanhood is, it makes the young people aware of the issues they could not find out themselves without several not really successful and religious experiences.

Discovering and Sharing Our Bodies

The chapter that follows gives more precise information on the peculiarities of the organs working. It is necessary information that the people will not be able to cope without, like those basic rules without which people stay illiterate for all their life.

The secrets of a human’s body are sometimes even more mysterious than those of a human’s psycho. Why does this very person make one feel uncomfortable, hesitant, shy? Is it the chemistry to blame? Or is there something more than meets the eye?

Sharing the bodies should not be associated with another vulgar understanding of this motion. The kind of sharing that is being discussed is more like a part of sharing people’s souls. Since we are bodily creatures, the bodily contact is inevitable. Again, this could be a handshake, or touching on someone’s fingers unintended as you ask a person to pass you something… Al these things cannot be enumerated, but they are a part of the bodily contact that is necessary to make way for the spiritual one.

How Our Bodies Work

The more the book digs, the better it explains what is happening to a person’s body as he or she grows up. The multiple changes that take place can be explained by the organism getting ready to give birth to another generation.

It has also been dealt with in details what exactly a chemistry of love is. The body reactions to the person whom one falls in love with are nothing to be afraid of, since such is the human’s nature. The only thing that a man can do is to find out about the processes that are going on in his brain and body, since what is going on in the brain at this time is an absolute mystery.

Our Bodies’ Sexual Response

However long one might search for a true love, he or she will finally meet the person that is dear and beloved, and who shares this sweet feeling. Then it comes to speak about the electrical current that floats between the two, making them shiver.

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Again, there is nothing to be ashamed of. The key thing here is to concentrate on the fact of the merging of the spiritual and physical communication, trying to combine the simple pleasure of socializing with the spiritually rich delight of the souls intertwined.

However, sexual response does not necessarily belong to the sphere of the solely primary physical instincts. This might be the shiver that handshakes with the person you feel affection to send right through your spine, or the irises getting bigger as you speak to the one that attracts you. This is an issue where physiology is so tightly connected with psychology that a touch on a hand can result in an outburst of feelings.

Getting Interested

The way to get interested in the other person is to feel his or her mood and try to understand and know the inner world of his or hers. This is an integral part of the relationships between a man and a woman, and without it, it would be impossible to reach the bliss of the communication with someone completely different. The shapes that the process of getting interested may take are unpredictable. It is also impossible top say where and when one will catch a love fewer. So, one can come across his true love anywhere.

What is basically getting interested involves? It depends on the stage of the relationships development. A couple of glances before the first “hello-how-do-you-do”, a compliment on the hairstyle and a first kiss are all the elements of taking interest in each other, and the evidence of something grand and new coming into each youth’s life.

Having Fun

Passing the stage of embarrassment and the first awkward words, the couple is starting to get closer each day. To understand the importance of the process that is going on, it should be said that a single wrong step can spoil everything. That is why the basis for the relationships at this stage is sincerity and openness. However, the youth does not think anymore about such trifles. The hard moments have happily passed, and now they are enjoying being together without any fear or embarrassment. It is a sheer pleasure for them to spend time in each other’s presence, and they are ready to share their lives and make it a whole indivisible lot of fun.

They are indulging into the wonders of common pastime. The fun that the couple is having is close to that one Adam and Eve had before they have known the sin. The two young people are innocent and happy, what else can be desired?


As the two young people have stepped into another stage of the relationship development, they will have to pass a certain stage that indicates the beginning of the adult relationships, that is, the life of a husband and a wife. They are standing at the very beginning, and they will have a lot of things to learn, with the new discoveries ahead, but what they are to do at this very given stage is to start the new stage of relations. Unlike it is in the Muslim world, where people are, according to Strubble’s definition, “decades behind on the issues of sexuality” (Out 2002, p.119), the Christian religion is rather progressive in these terms.

Meshing Your Worlds

This chapter deals with the most intimate sphere of the relationship between a man and a woman. Indeed, what else could be so secret and so desired as sharing each other’s worlds? This is the peak of the bodily enjoyment that can be the apotheosis of the spiritual communication as well, in case both partners want it. The fascinating delight that both can feel if they are striving for bringing the joy to the partner is indescribable.

However, there are some stepping stones that the newlywed might encounter on their way to the spiritual unification, but these can be easily avoided in case both the husband and wife ate trying to lay all their love on their soulmate.

The Christians are worried now by the fact that more and more people marry rather late. “The tendency in the contemporary Western society for single people to delay marriage until well into adulthood only agitates sexuality problems in the church” (Robertson 2006, p.28).


One of the key ideas of the physical and spiritual unification is the one of altruism, which presupposes that each of the two cares about his or her beloved first, trying to give everything they want to share. The idea is that love can be complete only when the two give themselves away completely, without demanding the immediate response. Otherwise, there will be no unification of the souls and the couple will not be able to go on with their common life. Pleasuring is something that has to be shared and that is understood as the ultimate way to reach the top of the spiritual contact together with the soulmate. This is the territory where there is no place for egoism or thinking about yourself, because it is the partner who will.

Special Treats That Add Pleasure

In the given chapter the author is telling how the two people ho have already known the pleasure of being together can make the experience even more delightful. Indulging into knowing each other, the two beloved get to know about the art of making the relationship deeply emotional. And as they are bound to find out, this can be achieved if they remember the ideas of two people living a happy family life. the primary aspects of relationships between a husband and a wife, they presume the respect to each other, in every sphere of the couple’s life. This can be the respect for the tastes of the partner, even if they do not coincide with yours, but fully oppose them; this is also the wish to make a person whom you live with happy.

There is one more component of the couple living happily together, which is the self-development of each of them. Staying on a certain stage of development is not quite good, however sweet this stage might seem, for this might cause the relations to cool down and the family might get broken.


One more tricky aspect of the relationships between a husband and a wife is that it needs to be encouraged to go on. Like any source it will sooner or later become not so plentiful, and Getting themselves ready for that, the couple must remember that without their reaction the partner will not be able to reach the top of the spiritual integration, and both a husband and wife have to learn the right way to answer the partner and to try to find the right way of pleasing him or her. This is one of the most important aspects of living together. Without a proper feedback, the love will finally weather, and there will be nothing to do about it but to cry over its remaining and recollect the time when things were far better.

Such is a human’s nature that it needs encouragement. When someone does not want to help the partner to improve the situation and find the way to love that fits the both, the marriage is doomed to collapse.

By Invitation Only

It is always hard to invite someone into the sanctuary of your own world, and the chapter shows how important it is to appreciate the partner’s freedom and choice. The notorious problem of a wife saying that she has a headache to avoid the contact she is not willing to have is another delicate problem, which needs to be talked over, so that the husband and wife would not spoil their life with the arguments that could be easily avoided.

Letting Go

The time has come to speak of the deepest bottoms of the sweetheart’s souls. They are going to face one of the most delightful experiences in their lives, and the boundaries that they might have can be dictated only by their own imagination. This is certainly one of the most dramatic moments in the couple’s life.

Affirmation Time

When the affirmation time comes, the couple starts to take a certain part of the responsibility over the family life and the relationships. This stage means that the young couple is ready to start their journey off, and living together will be just as pleasant as the life in heaven.

Cleaning Up

Speaking of the cleaning up part, it is necessary to say that sometimes it takes a lot of time to solve the important questions that concern the family life and its peculiarities. That is what the cleaning-up faze needed, and the author emphasizes its importance in the relationships between a husband and a wife.

Why Sexual Problems?

The origin of sexual problems can be caused by different factors, among them the psychological, the physiological and even the environmental ones. It must be well understood that the problems that have risen are to be solved together, the couple together discussing the situation. Although there could be rather embarrassing points to discuss, the spouses are learning to live together not only the happy moments, but also be of help to the spouse as he or she is in trouble. This is where a lot of tactfulness and understanding is needed.

Differing Sexual Needs

It must be taken into account that a man and a woman have different sexual needs, and the situation when those needs coincide at least partially is very rare. Nevertheless, the sexual needs of both must be taken into account if the couple wants to reach their happily ever after.

Never Enough Time

The lack of time is another problem that the partners might face, but this can be easily solved by their desire to please each other, without making the other spouse to bring you pleasure immediately. In other words, this is where the altruism becomes of the greatest importance again.

You Want to Do That?

However compatible the two people might be, there are always some taboos that the other soulmate does not have. As a result, there can be conflicts caused by persuading the beloved to do what he or she is not used to or fears or hates to doing. The answer to the problem is very simple: the two people just have to talk it over.

I Don’t Love Him Anymore

However sad it might sound, love is something that does not last forever. And as time passes, one of the lovebirds inevitably notices that the love has gone. This can end in the breach of the family.

It must be well, understood that as love gets older, it fades away, and then comes the respect towards the spouse. The thing that the couple has to know is that someday they will have to change their love into respect to each other.

Birth Control Gets in the Way

Touching upon the issue of the birth control, one can say that there is only one thing that can be done. No, it does not mean that a husband and a wife should forget about the private life. It is all about calculating the days when it is quite safe to come together in bliss of two souls united. It is that simple.

I’m not Interested

The day when one of the couple will say “I am tired of you” will never happen, says Pennel, if the tow people develop gradually together, in the way that they will choose as the most appropriate one.

Not Enough When You Need It: Erectile Dysfunction

Speaking on this uneasy issue, there can be given one piece of a reasonable advice. The sooner the husband talks to his wife and the doctor, the easier the disease will be cured.

Too Soon, Too Fast: Premature Ejaculation

Dwelling upon this subject, Pennel warns that the young wives should be more tolerant to their impatient and young husbands. What Sampson has called “uncontrolled male sexuality” (Third Way 2000, p.25) is a subject that can be handled.

Less Arousal or no Release: Some Women’s Frustration

As Pennel notices, most of the women’s problems are deeply psychological, and that makes them both easier and harder to get rid of. On the one hand, frustration is not something that demands operation, but, on the other hand, it is hard to operate such a delicate issue as human’s soul. Again, a help of a qualified psychologist will be the best answer to all problems.

Pain Reduces Pleasure

The pain that a woman is supposed to experience during her first time is unavoidable, but it is also depends much on the overall mood. If a man acts accordingly, a woman might forget about the fears and not even notice the notorious pain that she has been afraid of.

Pornography and the Internet

This is, perhaps, one of the hardest issues to touch upon. The harm of pornography is undeniable, and the only way is to avoid it. It destructs the perception of love as a sacrifice and turns it into a humiliation of a spouse. Although it has been argued for long that pornography serves as the social valve, there is no way it can be justified. As Henry Soles (Jet 1977, p. 22) put it, “Most clergymen are trained to handle the issues of sex today. And I prefer that to issuing a book which can become another piece of pornography.”

Inviting God into the Bedroom

As the spouses reach the peace and harmony in every sphere of their relationships, starting from the spiritual one and ending with the bodily contact, it can be said that they have God within – within their room, their family and themselves. This is the achievement that some couples have been going to for years. As Mahadevan (Outlook 2008) has said, “And I know Him as a dear friend to whom I pray and talk to every day – about my career, my dreams, successes, failures, finances and even my sexuality” (p. 29).

Build Sexual Passion and Intimacy

Since passion is nothing close to a sin, it can be built within the world of God they live in. With such a treatment of each other they will find a heaven on the earth.

A Plan for Change

As the relationships are cooling down, there could be some changes that might help the fire burn again. These can be any, as far as the imagination of the spouses goes. However, they must take the preferences of each other into consideration, of course.

Going for Help

In this section the author explains that however hard the luck might press on the husband and wife, they should take the pushes of fate together as they have vowed once.

Questions and Answers

In this section the most popular questions of the newlywed are answered in detail.

Final Word

In his final word, the author expresses hope that these little pieces of advice will help the people treading into a new wonderful world of a love and family life to avoid the conflicts that might emerge further on.


Mahadevan, A. (2008) I, the Convert. Outlook. 48 (43). 29.

Robertson, C. K. (2006) Religion and Sexuality: Passionate Debates. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.

Sampson, P. (2000) The Body in Question. Third Way. 22 (10). 23-26.

Strubbe, B. (2002) Cruising the Casbah. Out. 11 (3). 115-119.

West, Malcolm R. (1977) Religious Sex Manuals. Jet, 52 (23), 22.

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