Review: Mars and Venus in the Bedroom: A Guide to Lasting Romance and Passion

Mars and Venus in the Bedroom: A Guide to Lasting Romance and Passion Mars and Venus in the Bedroom: A Guide to Lasting Romance and Passion by John Gray
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is focused on both the book and audiobook. While John Gray’s theory of male/female interactions has kept many of his books on the best-selling lists for weeks and even months, it does not mean he should apply his theory to everything. In this case, he writes a book about the interaction of the sexes during sex. Some points hit home but unfortunately, his emphasis puts him directly in the same category as most audiobooks dealing with intercourse; one will be more amused listening the audiobook, then applying the lessons taught from it.

Designated for couples in monogamous relationships, the audiobook disappoints listeners immediately in the introduction. It speaks about passion and love and then discusses how a loss of these can lead to marital affairs and this book was written to fight that. Fantastic—who isn’t for monogamous relationships where the partners do what they promised? However, this whole introduction is then spoiled by the author’s public service announcement on practicing safe sex and preventing the spread of HIV.

While the audiobook does emphasize the need to arouse both men and women, he follows this with a large presumption that women need to feel loved in order to be aroused, but men just need opportunity. In many ways, he displays man as the stereotypical sex-starved man who is always ready to get it on. For instance, he proposes:

"For thousands of years, men have adapted to their primary job as protector and provider by shedding down their sensitivities, emotions and feelings. To go out into the wild or battle, a man needed to put his feelings aside...Men gradually adapted to this requirement by becoming desensitized. In fact, this difference shows up dramatically in skin sensitivity. Women's skin is ten times more sensitive than a man's skin. For many men, other than hitting their finger with a hammer, sex is one of the only ways they can feel. It's definitely the way they can feel most intensely."

His male-bashing makes this audiobook a little disappointing along with his general premise that when men are sexually pleasured, they feel loved, while women need to feel loved before they feel the desire to have sex. On the macro-level, when couples have trouble in the bedroom, it is due to other issues such as assumptions, lack of communication, stress, and other relationship problems. So, when Gray recommends that you subtly hint to your partner about criticisms and issues with intercourse, he offers a formula for disaster and further alienation by both partners. Rather than have couples explore their own sexuality and learn about their sexual fantasies, arousals, and histories, he instructs couples to compromise to get what they want. While compromising in a relationship is essential, this method applied to its fullest is band-aid on a broken bone

Overall, the sound quality of the audiobook did well. The author reads his audiobook decently and at a good place with a clear voice. Occasionally the author reads very intensely, which was quite unnecessary and served as more as a distraction. His one flaw when reading was the pronunciation of the word “clitoris.” While all other body parts rolled off his tongue naturally, every time “clitoris” was mentioned, he read it coldly as if it was coming from a doctor giving a lecture.

There may be some tips to be learned from this audiobook, but an audiobook on bedroom affairs that only mentions communication almost as an afterthought needs serious reconsideration. And just when the author does get down to particulars about sex and exchanges between partners, he switches back to the romance factor. Amateur in nature, with no real depth on how to hold onto bedroom passion over the years, “Mars and Venus in the Bedroom” leaves much to be desired for better bedroom dynamics.

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