Kristin was right. Reading this book was like having someone explain to me, in an honest, unafraid way, what all of the beautiful teachings on marriage that I loved so much and had read so much about really looked like in the day to day. Popcak spends the first part of this book breaking down what Holy Sex is, in his view, and in light of the Theology of the Body, and how it opens up a couple to receive as many graces from their sacrament as possible. He also makes the super interesting point that sex isn't a single, separate part of a husband and wife's relationship, but a microcosm of their relationship as a whole. For instance, if they have difficulty communicating in the bedroom, he points out, it's likely that the problem isn't the couple's sexual relationship, but a deeper communication issue within their marriage.
The second part of this book gets real about living out NFP and expressing sexual love in the fullest, purest way, in a voice that's sensitive without sparing technical details. I've heard criticisms of Popcak here and there, saying that he's too frank and not reverent enough, but I'd actually argue that this kind of honest talk, by someone faithful and well-formed, is just what the doctor ordered. We're all aware of how saturated the culture is in sexuality, and in my opinion, the frankness of the culture should be met in an appropriate, corresponding way, not a way that tiptoes. The Church has such beauty and richness in its teaching on sexuality, one that certainly isn't prudish and doesn't tiptoe, and I think wisdom like Popcak's is a needed response to what the world has to offer. Additionally, it's not uncommon for engaged Catholic couples to be unfamiliar with some of these more delicate matters, and the way I figure, if there's a more noble and more holistic view, like this one, that offers insight into these things, then it's one less thing these couples need to turn to things like Cosmo for.
I have to admit, there were times where I rolled my eyes at this book, thinking that Popcak's corny jokes and acronyms are like listening to your out of touch uncle, but on the whole, I can't recommend it enough. One of its biggest strengths, aside from its honesty and the reverence with which the Church's teaching is presented, I think, is the fact that it can bring peace to scrupulous hearts (I wrote more about scrupulosity in sexual matters here) through Q+A chapters and discussions of specific acts, allowing newlyweds to enter into marriage with complete joy and peace, not with fear. St. Augustine said, "peace is a tranquility that comes from right order." Amen.
Have any of you read this? Tell me your take!