Grandma's Sex Handbook
Jeannine Chartier Hanscom
For author Anne Wright (writing under a pseudonym), sharing sex advice among the women in her family has become a tradition, a coming-of-age ritual passed down from grandmother to granddaughter for at least eight generations. Grandma’s Sex Handbook is a compilation of that very candid and explicit advice about sex, meant to be passed along to an engaged and presumably inexperienced woman prior to her wedding night.
“Grandma’s sex advice is based on helping Christian women who really want to treat their husbands as well as they can physically and emotionally, and maximize the joy in their own lives based on relationships that are strong and healthy,” the author writes.
The “Grandma” of the title is actually a conglomeration of several women in Wright’s family. The book encourages women to accept and embrace their sexuality as God’s natural design. As Wright puts it, “There is a sinful nature that Godly people should resist, but a normal sex drive is not part of a sinful nature, it is part of God’s design…God gave us sex, and he gave us libidos that periodically demand sexual satisfaction.”
Grandma’s Sex Handbook is well organized and extremely thorough, written in a conversational tone that puts readers at ease. The author makes it clear that the intended audience consists primarily of married or soon to be married Christian women. While recognizing that not every reader will feel immediately comfortable with the subject matter, as “It’s common knowledge: most Christians struggle with sex,” Wright nevertheless forges ahead with a forthright and honest exploration of nearly every aspect of sexuality between couples. She includes several personal stories, Bible references with subsequent exposition to support conclusions, and advice for couples with physical limitations due to partial paralysis or health concerns. However, the author does not shy away from candid discussion of pregnancy, STDs, the acceptability of sex toys and fantasy within a marriage, and more unusual sexual practices. A comprehensive index, a “Glossary of Sexual Terms,” and a “Sex Fantasy Cookbook” with more than 100 fantasy scenarios is also included.
Wright’s statement in the foreword that the book is of an “explicit nature” is not an overstatement. Readers should be aware that in addition to the frank language, the book includes several graphic photos and very detailed drawings as well as sections that deal with what the author terms “Wild Sex,” all of which more conservative readers may find distasteful.
Grandma’s Sex Handbook is written with a simplicity that illuminates rather than condescends, yet the extremely explicit nature is such that it may miss its target audience of young Christian women. For those readers who remain undaunted by the very direct, “anything goes” approach to discussing sexuality, however, the book could prove helpful and enlightening.