Publishing a novel that combines Christianity and sexually explicit descriptions in a novel is unusual enough to require some explanation. While Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure may have been the first work of Christian fiction to be attacked for including sexual themes (in addition to being attacked for other themes), it was not sexually explicit. Nevertheless, it was considered outrageous by many, and was so fiercely condemned that Hardy decided not to write any more novels.
Why then, publish a novel mixing Christianity and sexuality? Because novels are an excellent way to educate people, and not many people spend their evenings contemplating the Greek influence on St. Augustine’s treatises on marriage. People like stories, and though many are intended for entertainment only, there’s no reason that stories can’t be informative and sometimes thought-provoking, in addition to being entertaining. Due to the dual-nature of the content, Intimate Press novels have two purposes: If read by non-Christians who are interested only because of the sexual aspects of the stories, they may learn more about Christianity than they otherwise would; When read by Christians, they may gain ideas that can help them improve their own or their spouse’s sexual satisfaction, or they may learn ways to cope with serious sexual problems.
As counter-intuitive as it might seem, we believe sexually explicit Christian novels will be worthwhile if there are some people who can benefit from them without harming anyone else. Intimate Press, therefore, strives to provide stories that have the potential to benefit at least some people, without harming anyone else.
In 1923, the reverend Herbert Gray wrote in the introduction to his explicit Men, Women, and God, “In the following pages, I propose to write simply and plainly about the social, personal, and bodily relations of men and women, and about the ways in which their common life may attain to happiness, harmony, and efficiency… I do it all on the basis of one assumption, namely, that a God of love in designing our human nature cannot have put into it anything which is incapable of a pure and happy exercise; and in particular that in making the sex interest so central, permanent, and powerful in human beings He must have had some great and beautiful purpose… And yet even as I write the word ‘sexual’ I cannot but remember that the mere word will for many good people produce a sensation of distaste. Partly because they have a sincere passion for purity, and partly because this whole subject has been defiled for them by the excesses and indecencies of mankind, they doubt whether it can be right or useful to think about it at all. They regard the facts of sex with a mixture of fear, perplexity, and shame, and take themselves to task if still some curiosity about them lingers in their minds. Therefore before I go any further I would like to ask such people to realize that they are denying my initial assumption. They have not yet come to believe that there is any divine and holy purpose enshrined in the sexual side of life, although God is responsible for its place in our humanity; and I would beg them forthwith to think this matter out.”
Likewise, the reverend Oscar Lowry wrote in A Virtuous Woman, published by Zondervan in 1938, that “some earnest Christians may feel that it is presumptuous and altogether out of place for a minister of the gospel to be dealing with sex life in the plain manner in which it is handled in the following pages.” But he then asks “why should a minister of the gospel seek to be more nice than God, or modest than Jesus Christ and the Apostles who used the plainest possible language when dealing with the various phases of sex life.” He concludes that in order to declare the whole counsel of God (Acts 20), the declarations must include the topic of sex, and thus he was compelled to pen his rather explicit book.
Perhaps the most common objection to a sexually explicit novel from a Christian perspective would be based on the issue of lust. We believe this issue is resolved in Grandma’s Sex Handbook, which presents a strong case that sexual fantasy is not the same thing as lust. Until we published that book, it seemed almost universally thought that any sexual thoughts other than those for a person’s spouse constituted the sin of lust, and therefore all literature that prompted fantasy sexual thoughts were harmful. Now recognizing the distinction between fantasy and lust, however, we believe it is acceptable for a Christian work of fiction to explicitly describe physical interactions between a loving husband and wife. For Christians, any sexual arousal that may be prompted by such fantasy will be fulfilled within their marriage, and happily so.
We believe that God gave us both imagination and sexual desire, and that the two can be perfectly compatible and help us grow into maturity in Christ. Most people enjoy good stories that are well-told, because they are entertaining, thought-provoking, and more. While many people may simply want to enjoy stories, people also usually learn something from them, and Intimate Press stories purposefully strive to provide satisfaction on all counts. We hope you enjoy this story, and that it entertains you, causes you to think, and helps you grow in your Christian faith and in your marriage.
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