The Sweet Christian Bride

Featured Resource: Sheet Music

Sheet Music:

Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

By Dr. Kevin Leman

Summary: Sheet Music is a must-read for all married couples and (in part) for all engaged couples.  The entirety of the book is written with the understanding that “Your Creator specifically designed you to enjoy fulfilling, pleasurable sex, complete with orgasms” (203).  Sheet Music explores the contexts for sex that each person brings to the marriage; the techniques, “rules,” and vocabulary for learning how to have sex (and more importantly, learning how your spouse needs and desires to have sex); and admonitions and advice for how to grow and maintain a healthy sex life in marriage.

CAUTION: This book will inspire you to seek your spouse’s sexual pleasure;  ideas will start flowing and excitement will start rising.  Hence why Dr. Leman directly says (and I echo) that if you are engaged, DO NOT READ THE ENTIRE BOOK.  He puts it well: “Couples rarely suffer from a lack of information as much as they suffer from a lack of innocence in the marital bed.  You can make up for a lack of information after you’re married; the lack of innocence will mark your relationship for life”(20).  Temptation that comes from reading sex books before you are having sex is not worth the risk.  Leman instructs in the Note to the Reader and on page 20 how engaged couples should use the book, so if you are a bride, start your reading with the Note to the Reader and exercise discipline in only reading what he suggests until you are actually married.

Value: What I love about this book is that Dr. Leman is not some older couple in the church who gushes out TMI about their sex life because they are in their golden years and can’t contain bubbling about their better-than-ever sex as if we newlyweds actually wanted to hear any of that.  He, first of all, is qualified to talk about this.  He is a psychologist who has counseled hundreds of couples over the course of his life time; both from an experiential stand point and an educational stand point, he knows how to counsel on this topic.  Leman also understands that a husband needs to hear some constructive feedback from another man, and wives need to hear criticism from someone other than her husband.  He gives researched insights into common sexual issues.  And he’s funny.  He writes in a very direct way, so be prepared to get an ear full.

I also appreciate that he speaks profoundly of sex in marriage as the ONLY way that God intended it, but he addresses both those of us who are virgins and those of us who have previously been sexually active.  He gives science lessons; he instructs on different variations to sex positions, as well as to sexual environment and foreplay; and he also weighs heavily the emotional issues underlying an inhibited sex life and the emotional necessities that support a verdant one.  Admittedly, he writes the book for “healthy” couples, but he does address exceptional issues, as well as offers further resources for those couples.  All of Sheet Music points to the thesis that sex in marriage is part of the marriage commitment, is purposeful in keeping a thriving marriage, and is open for endless opportunities to please one another.

Highlights:

  • “For Men Only” and “For Women Only” are chapters dedicated to telling each spouse what we won’t hear from the other.  Essential information.  If a spouse harps on a certain thing, the other can’t just toss that out as annoying repetition.  There is truth behind it that, most likely, other men and women are also experiencing.  Sometimes hearing these difficult details are much easier when they are from a third-party, and an expert, no less.
  • Basic biology lessons.  Let’s face it, if we were sheltered from sex talk and sexual behavior, we might not have the first clue as to what goes where.  Even if we do, even if we are already married and sexually active, it helps to have a basic refresher on how a man and a woman reach orgasm, how a man can delay orgasm, and other such scientific issues.  If we aren’t totally knowledgeable about the biology of sex, we will usually assume our spouse’s biology is like our own (“Why is always aroused in the morning?  He should be more on my schedule,” or “If I can turn off my arousal switch until a more appropriate time, then why can’t he?” etc.).
  • The Art of Sex.  Leman says, “Sex is about the quality of your entire love life, not the intricate alignment of your bodies”(81).  He offers portraits of various positions, sensory details, emotional woos, and scenarios, all of which can inspire a brush stroke in our own unique portrait.  In other words, he offers an unapologetic (though tasteful) how-to guide for some basics of cultivating a thriving sex life.
  • Couple questions.  Leman asserts on page 32, “Good lovers learn to know their lover better than they know themselves.”  Thus, a significant determining factor in whether you will have good sex is whether you know what turns your spouse on and whether you will pursue that?  Spouses who nurture each other’s sexual needs and desires will naturally experience more fulfillment of their own.  Leman asks some specific questions, both for the individual regarding his or her sexual baggage, and for the couple regarding what the other’s sexual preferences are.  
  • FAQs.  Let’s face it.  Aren’t there questions you’ve always wanted the answers to but never wanted to ask?

Rating: Definitely 5 stars.  Any author who gets me crazy for my husband with intelligent, insightful, and tasteful advice about the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of sex gets my vote.  I recommend that an engaged couple reads the chapters that Leman recommends (and only those) a couple weeks prior to the wedding and then takes the book with them on their honeymoon.  They will have no shortage of encouragement and guidance with this book.  And for a married couple, either read the book together so you are both aware of what the other is learning, or read the book individually and sneak in some take-away’s every now and again to see if your spouse heats up at your intentional love-making.