ForeWord Reviews

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Boulders and Butterflies

Clarion Review

In this relationship book, designed to help heterosexual couples connect on a deeper level, author Jerry Dalfors paints erotic scenes of a man and a woman in a rocky sacred space, surrounded by butterflies. From these emotionally charged scenes comes the title of the book, Boulders and Butterflies, which strives to “put the physical experience (of sex) back together with the spiritual component.” The author writes for women who crave “the sensual, spiritual experience” and for men who want to give that experience to their partners.

Dalfors maintains that four “Sensual Channel Blockers” prevent mates from achieving spiritually sensual unions. This phrase, so important that it deserves its own copyright, should be clearly explained in the text, but sadly, the concept remains fuzzy. Dalfors delves into important issues, including the need for communication, gender differences, male performance anxiety, and the need for personal space. Between these discussions, he slips in long erotic scenes.

Unfortunately, any value the book might have had is lost due to poor formatting. On the micro level, “it’s” is frequently written as “its,” sentences consist of many phrases connected by commas, and paragraph breaks are few and far between. The author deposits quotations from famous people liberally throughout the book. They crown the top of every page and wedge themselves between blocks of text. However, Dalfors rarely links these sayings directly to his arguments, and a single quotation tops every page of each section. It takes concentration to unearth the gems buried in Boulders and Butterflies.

The author, a biopharmaceutical manufacturer, outdoorsman, and church leader, mentions his own experiences frequently. It soon becomes apparent that his description of a “man’s man” and the man in the erotic passages are thinly veiled versions of Dalfors himself. He also includes a love letter he sent to his wife and inserts his own personal quotations into chapters. Though the author claims to have done much research for the book, he relies heavily on his personal experiences.

Boulders and Butterflies struggles to adequately integrate the author’s erotic fantasies with the rest of the text. Purportedly, these scenes function as illustrations of a couple on their sensual, spiritual journey. Although Dalfors says spiritual sensuality is not merely about physical sex, the couple in the scenes makes love constantly, flip-flopping between the sensual and the carnal. It is difficult to fathom how the specificity of these fantasies could be instructive. Readers wanting advice for a more perfect marital union should look elsewhere.

Jill Allen