Melissa Gorga insists that anyone who thinks that she is somehow promoting the practice of marital rape in her new advice book has the completely wrong idea.
"That word is so disgusting to me and that's horrible," the Real Housewives of New Jersey star told E! News about the controversy kicked up by her book, Love Italian Style, in which she talks frankly about her sex life with husband Joe and makes a case for women wanting their guys to be more aggressive in the bedroom.
But she doesn't mean aggressive to the point that they're committing a crime.
"I don't know how anyone can..." she trailed off. "My book is about mutual respect with your partner, for one another. It's about honesty, it's about loyalty, it's about making your partner first in your life. Where that word comes into play, to me, is awful and disgusting, to be honest with you."
Not that Gorga wanted her book to be a snooze, either, but she maintains that a quote from Joe that has been included in write-ups about the book—"Men, I know you think your wife isn't the type who wants to be taken. But trust me, she is"—has been taken "completely out of context."
"Listen, I knew it was going to be controversial, there was no doubt in my mind," Gorga acknowledged. "But it's about my marriage and what works for us. And it does work for us and I think there are some really great tips in there.
"I think that when you put your husband first and your partner first, whoever first, you will be first in their lives as well."
She also said that Love Italian Style promotes "teasing" and "playfulness," not whatever it is that the "ridiculous" headlines are claiming.
"It's about being aggressive and trying new things in the bedroom. That's what it's about," Gorga said. "It's not about, 'Hey honey, I have a headache tonight,' and your husband's going to take it from you.
"I mean, come on. What are we talking about here? Everyone who watched the show can see how supportive Joe is."
See the rest of our interview with Melissa tonight on E! News at 7 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.