Melissa Gorga Defends Her Book After Backlash, "Rape" Claims

Celebrity News Sep. 30, 2013 AT 1:20PM
Melissa Gorga along with her husband Joe Gorga promote her new book Credit: Manny Carabel/Getty Images

Melissa Gorga and husband Joe will continue to love another Italian style, thank you very much. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star, 34, is ready to address the controversy surrounding her new book Love, Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage. Last week, Jezebel roundly slammed the the memoir/advice book in a post entitled "Real Housewife Melissa Gorga's New Book Advocates Marital Rape." Argued the blog: "The amount of sexism, gender essentialism, and caveman logic within its pages is so appalling that it's difficult to believe that her book is anything but a cry for help."

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"I was upset that a website accused me and Joe of horrible, disgusting things," Melissa wrote Monday, Sept. 30 on her BravoTV.com blog. "But now I see it as an opportunity to further explain my philosophy about marriage."

Of a passage in which she tells her readers that "Husbands want their wives to submit; wives want our husbands to dominate," the "On Display" singer explained of sex with Joe: "Fans of Fifty Shades of Grey can attest that there's a difference between racy and 'rapey.' When Joe and I talk about dominance and submission, it's racy. It's about a man being a man, a woman being a woman, a man taking charge and a woman letting it happen -- consensually! There are times I play hard to get, and Joe knows those signals. But when I am not in the mood, Joe doesn't force me to do ANYTHING."

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The mother of three also clarified her point that "in a marriage, sometimes you have sex because your partner wants to, even if you're not so into it: I defy anyone in a long-term relationship, man or woman, to say that they've never done it for their partner's sake once in a while," she argues. "It's called compromise and compassion for the person you love and trust most in the world."

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She explains: "There is nothing wrong with that, and nothing wrong with admitting it. I also made the point that, if you're not so into it initially, you might change your mind a few minutes later, and wind up glad you said, 'Okay, let's go.'

The Bravo star also isn't sorry to say she "needs" her husband. "You bet I need him, and he needs me," she retorts. "I'm proud of that! . . . Again, I defy any couple in a happy marriage to say they don't need their spouse. If independence is a matter of principle for women, then why get married at all? Saying 'I don't need anyone' might make some women feel happy, secure, and superior. Not me. I love being married and depending on Joe, just as he loves being married and depending on me. Our need for each other doubles our joy and halves our pain."

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Gorga also embraces the label of "throwback housewife. "I cook and clean; I'm on TV, am a recording artist, and now a published author. I treat my husband like a king; he treats me like a queen; I wrote a book about it. I'm an unapologetic traditional wifey, and that makes me happy," she says. "So does singing, writing, and meeting fans. I do find it ironic that some viewers of the show say that Joe is my puppet, and then criticize my book and say that he’s a control freak rapist."

Concludes the reality star of Jezebel's "marital rape" claims: "Accusing Joe and I of promoting marital rape diminishes the real terror and violence of a forcible act of sexual violence," she continues, providing a link to www.NOMORE.org for women suffering domestic abuse.

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