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Review: Why Naked Women Look So Good

Ladies, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: your husband isn’t going to read that marriage improvement book you’re giving him for Father’s Day.  He’s going to find the chapter on sex, read it carefully, and – if you’re lucky – skim the rest.  Author Bill Perkins obviously understands this, and he has successfully written a book about marriage that will keep your husband interested from cover to cover.  How?  The theme of the entire book, Why Naked Women Look So Good, is female nudity.

I’m sure the concept seems threatening to some women, but it shouldn’t be.  The book isn’t salacious or explicit, nor does it hold itself out to be the next, best, holy-how-to manual on firing up your sex life.  Which begs the question: if it’s not about that, why the focus on nudity?  Perkins’ book explores the naked female body as a powerful analogy for a woman’s soul, but it doesn’t objectify women in any way (light-hearted stick figures are as graphic as it gets).  For example, Perkins says that when a woman undresses before her husband, her naked body is an expression of her vulnerability, one of the greatest gifts she can give him.  She knows she is imperfect, inside and out – she has been told that all of her life – but she needs him to disregard those imperfections, behold the best in her, and love, love, love.

In another example, Perkins thoughtfully addresses why pornography is so destructive to wives.  He reminds us that when a husband uses pornography, he effectively brings another woman into the sacred space that is meant only for him and his wife.  His wife’s gift of naked vulnerability is cheapened; it loses its power to draw the husband into exclusive intimacy – now she must compete with a naked, Photoshopped woman for her husband’s imagination.  And as a result, the marriage bed becomes a place of fear and shame, rather than a place where the woman can trust her husband when she is in her most vulnerable state.

Another thing I appreciated about Perkins’ book was a passage where he compares male and female sexuality to the challenge of driving up a hill using a stick shift.  He says, “Many men try to shift from first gear to fifth before their wife has built up enough sexual energy to reach the summit.”  As one who actually learned to drive a stick shift in a Honda Civic during my first year of marriage, I can tell you, this analogy makes a lot of sense.  It also offers more hope than the tired old analogy that “men are like microwaves, women are like crock pots,” which gives the false impression that men and women are hopelessly incompatible in bed.

And that’s what Perkins’ book offers men: hope – hope that they’re not the dimwits the world says they are, hope that there are measureable steps they can take to be better husbands.

There’s a lie out there that men compartmentalize their marriages into a box for sex and another box for everything else.  And many men easily believe the lie – why?  Partly because some wives foolishly say things like, “All you want is sex,” to men who don’t know how to simply reply, “No, all I want is you.”  By seamlessly weaving together the themes of nudity, sexuality, friendship, nudity, emotional intimacy, nudity, and trust, Perkins debunks that lie and helps men see that sexual and emotional intimacy are inseparable.

And the book isn’t written in the abstract.  Perkins offers memorable anecdotes from his marriage, and he ends each chapter with manageable suggestions for men who want to improve their own marriages.

Some women might skim this book and say it’s too short (about 100 pages) and scoff at the fact that it doesn’t explore the vast, nuanced depths of the marriage relationship.  Quite frankly, that’s probably one of the reasons most men will want to read it – not to mention the fact that the whole thing is about a woman’s naked body.

Skip the marriage improvement book you were going to get your husband for Father’s Day and get him thinking about nudity.  You’ll both be glad you did.

Why Naked Women Look So Good: Understanding and Meeting a Woman’s Deepest Needs is available at Amazon.