Holy Sex!

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Front Cover of Holy Sex

Holy Sex!

A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving

Common wisdom puts sex and the church at odds, but don't be fooled! This witty, frank, and refreshingly orthodox book draws from core Catholic teachings to show people of all faiths the way to thrilling, satisfying, and intimate sexual connection.

Hailed by Christians across the spectrum from Christopher West and Janet E. Smith to John L. Allen, Jr., Holy Sex! unveils Christianity's best kept secret and provides the tools for couples to make their marriage last a lifetime.

Topics include:

Why Catholics have more and better sex
What the Church really teaches about sex
The Infallible Lover's Guide to Pleasure
Find your Holy Sex Quotient
Natural Family Planning
Q&A on Overcoming Common Problems
and dozens of questionnaires, quizzes, and valuable lessons from real-life stories

CONTENTS
PART ONE
CHRISTIANITY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET

An Introduction to Holy Sex
Surprising Insights from Tradition
What’s in This Book?
Holy Sex: Can You Handle It?

1. Sex, Lies, and the Real Thing
Two False Ideas Attributed to the Church
The Mediterranean Approach
Getting Yer Irish Up
Real Sex Exposed

2. Fool’s Gold: Holy Sex or Eroticism
Holy Sex! Don’t Settle for Substitutes!
When God’s Love Goes Bad

3. What Are Infallible Lovers Made of ?
How to Become an Infallible Lover: A Recipe
What about Chastity?
Baker’s Quiz
The Eight Steps to Infallible Loving
A Conclusion

4. Climbing Higher: The Sexuality Continuum
The Five Stages of Sexual Advancement (From Aunt McGillicuddy’s Antique Urn School to Holy Sex)
Lovemaking as an Experience of God
Lovemaking as a Path to Personal Growth
In a Nutshell

PART TWO
THE FIVE GREAT POWERS OF HOLY SEX

Test Your Holy Sex Quotient (HSQ)
5. Sex Makes Us Holy
What Does Holy Mean?
Sensual and Spiritual

6. Sex Is Sacramental
A Marriage Made for Heaven
Taking Sex for Granted

7. Sex Is a Sign of God’s Love
Naughty, Naughty
Toppling the Barriers of Intimacy
Hi Ho, Hi Ho—Working at Your Relationship

8. Sex Unites
The Chemistry of Sex
Love Unwrapped
A Union of Spirits
Healthy and Defensive Attachment

9. Sex Creates
Is Every Sperm Sacred?
Being Open to the Fullness of Life
Bet You Didn’t Know

PART THREE
THE SCHOOL OF LOVE

10. Questions about Natural Family Planning (NFP)

11. The Infallible Lover’s Guide to Pleasure
The Four Pleasure Principles
Putting It All Together: A Case Study
Problem-Solving with the Four Pleasure Principles

12. The Anatomy of Infallible Loving: Setting the Stage
Social Intercourse
Foreplay

13. The Anatomy of Infallible Loving: The Good Stuff
Transitioning to Intercourse
The Mind-Blowing Spirituality of Intercourse
Learning from the Woman’s Body
Reviewing Your Sexual Repertoire:
Positions and More
Afterglow

PART FOUR
OVERCOMING COMMON PROBLEMS

14. Is There Sex after Kids? 
15. When NFP Is Too Hard 
16. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling 
17. Common Sexual Problems for Women 
18. Common Sexual Problems for Men 
19. Overcoming Infertility
20. Infidelity 
21. Masturbation and Pornography 
22. When to Seek Help (and from Whom) 
23. Holy Sex Is Your Inheritance

QUIZZES
Baker’s Quiz
Test Your Holy Sex Quotient (HSQ) 
Maximizing the Senses of Taste and Smell in Foreplay 
Maximizing the Visual Sense in Foreplay
Maximizing the Auditory Sense in Foreplay 
Maximizing the Sense of Touch in Foreplay 
How Engaged Are You?

EXERCISES
Develop a Marital Mission Statement 
Make Sure Marriage and Family Is Your Priority 
The Lovelist 
Learning to Harmonize 
Sexual Addiction: Do You Have a Problem?

Reviews and endorsements

"This practical sex guide incorporates, but goes well beyond, marital sacramental theology, and as such will be welcomed by those who want to adhere to Catholic teaching yet still enjoy the passion of sexual union. Psychotherapist Popcak spends most of the book elaborating on the Catholic view of sex, citing various church documents and the writings of Pope John Paul II. He explains why sex is holy, how it differs from eroticism and why it is intended solely for one man and one woman who are married to each other and open to having children. In covering what he calls the good stuff, Popcak says restrictions are few. These center on the One Rule (a man must always climax inside the woman) and Four Pleasure Principles that deal with maintaining continuity between a couple's daily life together and their sexual relationship and respecting the dignity of each partner. As long as these guidelines are followed, Popcak says, couples are free to be creative sexually. He includes information on natural family planning (a Catholic Church–approved method of spacing births) and advice for sexual problems. Although Popcak writes in a warm, conversational style, he tends to overuse certain catch words and phrases, diminishing some of their impact. Nonetheless, his essential message makes this worthwhile reading."
Publishers Weekly

,

"Missionary—is that truly the start and end to the sexuality of Catholic bed rooms? Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving claims not, discussing what many Catholics never discuss—the acts in the bedroom. Showing that having fun in the bedroom does not mean that one must be a sinful deviant, its lessons are sure to brighten the lives of any Catholic couple, be they newlywed or decades old. Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving deserves a place in both human sexuality and Catholic studies collection as it offers something for any follower of either—highly recommended.
—James A. Cox
, editor-in-chief, Midwest Book Review

,

"Contrary to what some people think, the Catholic Church is very much in favor of married couples having a pleasurable sex life. In this well-written and engaging book, frequent Catholic Digest contributor Greg Popcak offers advice that is both faithful to Church teaching and helpful for married couples."
DAN CONNORS, editor-in-chief, Catholic Digest

"Some books are worth reading because they make an important point, others for the sheer delight of the writing. Greg Popcak's Holy Sex! is both. Wherever one stands on the fine points of Catholic teaching about sex, Popcak reveals its deeply sensual core, debunking popular stereotypes of Catholicism as somehow anti-erotic. Think of this book as Thomas Aquinas meets Dr. Ruth, and enjoy!"
—John L. Allen Jr., senior correspondent for National Catholic Reporter

,

"Looking at contemporary popular culture, one finds that sex is overrated and undervalued. Greg Popcak helps to set things straight on both counts. He explains with intelligence and humor what some have learned only through painful experience, and many have still not learned—namely, that the joy of sex is not to be found in 'liberation' from moral principles, but in its unique power to unite a man and woman as faithful partners in the love-building and life-giving union that marriage is."
Robert P. George, professor, Princeton University

,

"Dynamic, faithful, funny, and informative, [Popcak] demonstrates how the Truth will set you free. Combining practical wisdom with the wisdom of the ages, Popcak leads men and women to the love they long for."
Christopher West, fellow, Theology of the Body Institute

,

"It is no surprise to see Dr. Popcak treat marital sex as a truly joyful thing. And why not? He clearly points out, God designed man and woman to communicate his love in their spiritual and physical union. If married couples could actually experience their love-making as an expression of God's creative, joyous, and renewing love, wow!"
Most Rev. R. Daniel Conlon, bishop of Steubenville

,

"I can safely guarantee that all who read this book will find something new and helpful, will laugh a lot, and may even be shocked at what Dr. Popcak reveals to be compatible with Catholic teaching. Clearly, Dr. Popcak is a chaste, faithful, learned Catholic man with mountains of experience working with couples. I am confident that spouses who follow his advice will become holier and better partners. Those who are holier are certainly better lovers and thanks to Holy Sex! We now know the many ways this is true. Great book!"
Janet E. Smith, Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

,

"In the last four decades, too many Americans have been led astray by self-styled experts promising sexual liberation and happiness, only to end up with broken hearts and broken bodies. By combining theological insight and psychological wisdom, Dr. Gregory Popcak offers a different path to men and women looking for a way to find happiness and virtue in their sexual lives . . . [Holy Sex! is a] powerful guide for navigating the joys and sorrows of sex."
W. Bradford Wilcox, assistant professor of Sociology, University of Virginia

,

"Popcak does a great service by practically developing the last chapter of Karol Wojtyla's (John Paul II) Love and Responsibility . . . an invaluable resource for all married and engaged couples."
Pia de Solenni, feminist theologian, winner: Pontifical Prize of the Academies

,

“Though this may shock much of the churchgoing world, ‘purity’ and ‘prude’ are not synonymous terms. This witty, well-researched book provides some much needed insight concerning God’s design for married sexuality. As an Evangelical reader I was particularly interested in Popcak’s intelligent, thought-provoking challenge to the carte-blanche acceptance of birth control by the church at large. Couples—be they Catholic, Evangelical, or otherwise—would do well to consider Popcak’s challenge to rethink the sexual status quo.”
Ed Gungor, lead pastor of the People’s Church in Tulsa, author of There’s More to the Secret and The Vow

,

“In this invigorating, informative, eye-opening book, Dr. Greg Popcak reveals the pristine beauty of God’s original plan for sex. For those who think that shallow eroticism or joyless, mechanical intercourse are the only two options for one’s sex life, Dr. Popcak invites you to think again. With upbeat prose and practical examples, Dr. Popcak takes up Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body and lays out a whole new way of thinking about sex—God’s way.”
Father Thomas D. Williams, L.C., author, dean of theology at Regina Apostolorum University (Rome), and vatican analyst for CBS News

,

Holy Sex! is the book that all Catholic young adults have been waiting for. Popcak uses both scientific references and Catholic tradition to put forth a sexual theology that is both relevant and faithful to tradition.”
Mike Hayes, author of Googling God and managing editor of BustedHalo.com

,

“Few people can successfully mix humor with a thought-provoking look at the depth of the Catholic faith on love and marriage. But Greg Popcak has managed to do just that in his exceptional book Holy Sex! This should be on the bookshelf of every engaged and married couple—after they’ve read it of course!”
Andy Alderson, executive director of the Couple to Couple League

"This practical sex guide incorporates, but goes well beyond, marital sacramental theology, and as such will be welcomed by those who want to adhere to Catholic teaching yet still enjoy the passion of sexual union. Psychotherapist Popcak spends most of the book elaborating on the Catholic view of sex, citing various church documents and the writings of Pope John Paul II. He explains why sex is holy, how it differs from eroticism and why it is intended solely for one man and one woman who are married to each other and open to having children. In covering what he calls the good stuff, Popcak says restrictions are few. These center on the One Rule (a man must always climax inside the woman) and Four Pleasure Principles that deal with maintaining continuity between a couple's daily life together and their sexual relationship and respecting the dignity of each partner. As long as these guidelines are followed, Popcak says, couples are free to be creative sexually. He includes information on natural family planning (a Catholic Church–approved method of spacing births) and advice for sexual problems. Although Popcak writes in a warm, conversational style, he tends to overuse certain catch words and phrases, diminishing some of their impact. Nonetheless, his essential message makes this worthwhile reading."
Publishers Weekly

,

"Missionary—is that truly the start and end to the sexuality of Catholic bed rooms? Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving claims not, discussing what many Catholics never discuss—the acts in the bedroom. Showing that having fun in the bedroom does not mean that one must be a sinful deviant, its lessons are sure to brighten the lives of any Catholic couple, be they newlywed or decades old. Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving deserves a place in both human sexuality and Catholic studies collection as it offers something for any follower of either—highly recommended.
—James A. Cox
, editor-in-chief, Midwest Book Review

,

"Contrary to what some people think, the Catholic Church is very much in favor of married couples having a pleasurable sex life. In this well-written and engaging book, frequent Catholic Digest contributor Greg Popcak offers advice that is both faithful to Church teaching and helpful for married couples."
DAN CONNORS, editor-in-chief, Catholic Digest


"Some books are worth reading because they make an important point, others for the sheer delight of the writing. Greg Popcak's Holy Sex! is both. Wherever one stands on the fine points of Catholic teaching about sex, Popcak reveals its deeply sensual core, debunking popular stereotypes of Catholicism as somehow anti-erotic. Think of this book as Thomas Aquinas meets Dr. Ruth, and enjoy!"
—John L. Allen Jr., senior correspondent for National Catholic Reporter

,

"Looking at contemporary popular culture, one finds that sex is overrated and undervalued. Greg Popcak helps to set things straight on both counts. He explains with intelligence and humor what some have learned only through painful experience, and many have still not learned—namely, that the joy of sex is not to be found in 'liberation' from moral principles, but in its unique power to unite a man and woman as faithful partners in the love-building and life-giving union that marriage is."
Robert P. George, professor, Princeton University

,

"Dynamic, faithful, funny, and informative, [Popcak] demonstrates how the Truth will set you free. Combining practical wisdom with the wisdom of the ages, Popcak leads men and women to the love they long for."
Christopher West, fellow, Theology of the Body Institute

,

"It is no surprise to see Dr. Popcak treat marital sex as a truly joyful thing. And why not? He clearly points out, God designed man and woman to communicate his love in their spiritual and physical union. If married couples could actually experience their love-making as an expression of God's creative, joyous, and renewing love, wow!"
Most Rev. R. Daniel Conlon, bishop of Steubenville

,

"I can safely guarantee that all who read this book will find something new and helpful, will laugh a lot, and may even be shocked at what Dr. Popcak reveals to be compatible with Catholic teaching. Clearly, Dr. Popcak is a chaste, faithful, learned Catholic man with mountains of experience working with couples. I am confident that spouses who follow his advice will become holier and better partners. Those who are holier are certainly better lovers and thanks to Holy Sex! We now know the many ways this is true. Great book!"
Janet E. Smith, Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

,

"In the last four decades, too many Americans have been led astray by self-styled experts promising sexual liberation and happiness, only to end up with broken hearts and broken bodies. By combining theological insight and psychological wisdom, Dr. Gregory Popcak offers a different path to men and women looking for a way to find happiness and virtue in their sexual lives . . . [Holy Sex! is a] powerful guide for navigating the joys and sorrows of sex."
W. Bradford Wilcox, assistant professor of Sociology, University of Virginia

,

"Popcak does a great service by practically developing the last chapter of Karol Wojtyla's (John Paul II) Love and Responsibility . . . an invaluable resource for all married and engaged couples."
Pia de Solenni, feminist theologian, winner: Pontifical Prize of the Academies

,

“Though this may shock much of the churchgoing world, ‘purity’ and ‘prude’ are not synonymous terms. This witty, well-researched book provides some much needed insight concerning God’s design for married sexuality. As an Evangelical reader I was particularly interested in Popcak’s intelligent, thought-provoking challenge to the carte-blanche acceptance of birth control by the church at large. Couples—be they Catholic, Evangelical, or otherwise—would do well to consider Popcak’s challenge to rethink the sexual status quo.”
Ed Gungor, lead pastor of the People’s Church in Tulsa, author of There’s More to the Secret and The Vow

,

“In this invigorating, informative, eye-opening book, Dr. Greg Popcak reveals the pristine beauty of God’s original plan for sex. For those who think that shallow eroticism or joyless, mechanical intercourse are the only two options for one’s sex life, Dr. Popcak invites you to think again. With upbeat prose and practical examples, Dr. Popcak takes up Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body and lays out a whole new way of thinking about sex—God’s way.”
Father Thomas D. Williams, L.C., author, dean of theology at Regina Apostolorum University (Rome), and vatican analyst for CBS News

,

Holy Sex! is the book that all Catholic young adults have been waiting for. Popcak uses both scientific references and Catholic tradition to put forth a sexual theology that is both relevant and faithful to tradition.”
Mike Hayes, author of Googling God and managing editor of BustedHalo.com

,

“Few people can successfully mix humor with a thought-provoking look at the depth of the Catholic faith on love and marriage. But Greg Popcak has managed to do just that in his exceptional book Holy Sex! This should be on the bookshelf of every engaged and married couple—after they’ve read it of course!”
Andy Alderson, executive director of the Couple to Couple League

9780824524715
Paperback / 352 pages
CROSSROAD, 2008

Dimensions: 6 x 9