If you have a hard time reconciling sexual thoughts and desires with your religious beliefs, you may have Good Girl Syndrome. How do we overcome the Natural Man but give in to the desires and appetites we were given by our Heavenly Parents? How do those two things work together for our good?
In The Book of Mormon, in Mosiah 3:19 we read “The natural man is an enemy to God and should be put off.”
In Alma 41:11 it says “Natural or carnal men are without God in the world.”
In D&C 67:12 it says “Neither can any natural man abide in the presence of God.”
We are taught that The Natural Man (or woman) is a person who chooses to be influenced by the passions, desires, appetites, and senses of the flesh rather than by the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
So how do we reconcile that we are sexual beings created by our Heavenly Parents yet we are supposed to not be influenced by those passions and desires.
This is the conflict I hear from many of you. How can I embrace my sexuality, enjoy my sex life, cultivate those desires within my self and still be worthy in the eyes of my Heavenly Parents.
How can I be a righteous, good, virtuous, worthy Daughter of God and give in to those appetites and desires. It just doesn’t work.
And oh my friends, this is where you get it wrong.
Our natural, God-given sexual appetites and desires, when directed towards our spouse in a way that produces goodness in our marriage is exactly what our Heavenly Parents want for us. They gave us those desires and drives and appetites for a reason. To create a bond between husband and wife beyond what they could otherwise create.
Those desires and appetites when used outside of a loving marriage are not what our Heavenly Parents wanted or intended for us. When those desires and appetites are use for someone who is not our spouse, that is where we become in a fallen state. But to direct those energies to create goodness and love and bond together a husband and wife, that is exactly what they are for.
You might have heard the term Good Girl Syndrome. If you haven’t heard that term, let me explain it to you. Good Girl Syndrome (or it can be Good Boy Syndrome too) encompasses unproductive thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, feelings and behaviors that inhibit one’s responsiveness and enjoyment of the sexual relationship in marriage.
Good Girl Syndrome often looks like married women who have feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment or discomfort about sex. Misinformation, distorted information, negative information and lack of positive education about sex and the body not only bring on those negative emotions but also inhibit the sexual response. (https://latterdaysaintmag.com/article-1-9972/)
So not only are women feeling shame and guilt around sex in marriage, but they often also struggle with arousal and desire because of it.
Women with Good Girl Syndrome often don’t want to talk about sex because they don’t think they have a problem. It’s their spouse with the problem and their spouse needs to learn more self-control. Their spouse needs to quit giving in to The Natural Man and get their desires and appetites under control.
Here are some pretty common realities for women who have Good Girl Syndrome. You may not relate to all of these all the time, but see how many feel true to you at least sometimes.
- Sex is not pleasurable for them
- They seldom allow themselves to get aroused.
- When they occasionally do get aroused and have an orgasm, the mental negativity that goes on in their head outweighs the pleasure they experience.
- Sex does not feel like an emotional bonding experience for them.
- Sex has nothing to do with love in their mind. It does not feel like an expression of love from their husband and they do not view it as a way to express love to their husband.
- They view sex simply as a physical activity, a distasteful one at that, that they occasionally have to endure because their husband wants it.
- Sex feels like another chore and is just one more thing they have to do for someone else.
- Sex is not a need for them so they do not understand why it would be a need for men.
Any of those ring true for you?
Do you have Good Girl Syndrome?
Here are some self-evaluation questions to see if you really do have Good Girl Syndrome. You can rate yourself on a scale of 0 to 10. 0 means not true for you and 10 means very true for you. Add up all the numbers and see where you fit in. (You can find these questions in the show notes on my website as well)
- Do you have an underlying belief that sex is bad, wrong, dirty or sinful?
- Do you have inhibitions, shame, guilt, or awkwardness associated with sexual relations within marriage?
- Are you uncomfortable, embarrassed, or unable to discuss sexual matters?
- Are you uncomfortable or have a distastes with sexual parts of the body and body functioning?
- Do you have a lack of understanding of the divine purpose of sex – such that God intended sex for pleasure as well as procreation?
- Are sexual expressions of love for your spouse a low priority?
- Do you have an inability to relax and let go within the sexual experience?
- Are you lacking in genuine enjoyment of sexual relations and participate out of duty?
- Do you have a lack of sexual understanding and know-how?
- Do you have an inhibited sexual response due to any of the previous questions?
So how did you do? How did you score? Were you honest with yourself? If you found yourself higher on the scale with most questions, most likely you have Good Girl Syndrome.
Getting Over Good Girl Syndrome
So how do you get over Good Girl Syndrome? Sometimes its enough to just have the awareness that that is what is going on. You realize that you are letting underlying thoughts and beliefs get in the way of the life you truly want to have. Sometimes it’s that easy. To just decide things are going to be different and let them go.
Other times it is not so easy. It takes a lot of work to overcome the programming that has been running in your brain for a long time. This is where coaching comes into play. I help you figure out what those underlying thoughts and beliefs are. Bring them to your awareness where we can examine them and you can intentionally decide if its a belief you want to keep on believing. Then we have to work on what you want to choose to believe instead.
This is a huge adjustment for most people, which is why it is so critical to work with someone who can help you. You have been repressing and suppressing such a vital part of yourself for so long, you may not understand how to NOT do that. How to go from turning it off to letting it just run free. And once you are letting things go, all the thoughts and feelings that come with that.
You have to take the time to relearn the pleasure of touch and affection. You have to educate yourself sexually…which can be scary. I have a lot of clients who have very little knowledge of their body, sex, toys, positions, techniques, yet they don’t want to just start googling because they are afraid of what will come up. That is where you can have a guide, like me, who can teach and guide and point you in the right direction of appropriate resources.
Another vital part of getting over Good Girl Syndrome is to start having open and honest communication about sex with your spouse. This can be very scary and uncomfortable at first. You are opening up and exposing your whole self to someone and hoping that they choose and accept you. You don’t know how your spouse is going to react. They could get upset. They could get defensive. But it is so important that you communicate. But this is how you develop true intimacy. And with some help and guidance is totally possible in your marriage.
I wanted to share with you about my clients. Names have been changed, and they gave permission for me to share. Jake and his wife, Beth, are both clients of mine. They came to me to get some help with their sex life. Beth was the higher desire partner but Jake wasn’t low desire, just lower than she was. Typically they would have sex two to three times a week. This doesn’t sound dysfunctional at all right? But there was more to it. Even though the sex was good, Jake had trouble opening up. He wasn’t comfortable talking about sex or his feelings. When Beth would try to talk to him about intimate things, he would shut things down pretty quickly. Beth tried to be loving and kind and patient, but it was still hard for her. So even though their sex life was good, they wanted things to be better. With some help, Jake figured out that he had a version of Good Boy Syndrome. Because he was taught to suppress and repress his sexual self for so long (which he did a great job at) it was really hard for him to let that go once he was married. Although he didn’t even realize that was what he was doing until he learned more about it. But with some coaching and definitely some work on his end, he decided to let that all go.
This is what he said. “I just always felt uncomfortable with sexual things, so I would suppress everything about it. I know it sounds crazy and I didn’t even fully realize I was doing it. But now I almost feel like a different person. Being able to open up and be more comfortable about sex felt really renewing. The best part was how close and connected I felt to my wife. It really felt like a celestial relationship. The physical connection is definitely enjoyable, but I love the emotional connection I feel. Our relationship is so much better. I love being close to her and miss her when I’m not with her. I feel much more at peace with myself because I’m not subconsciously suppressing a natural drive and feeling. I feel more patient and loving with the kids. I even feel better spiritually. It’s been so great.”
And this is what Beth had to say. “Seeing Jake transform over the last few weeks has been amazing. We’ve always had a good marriage and a good sex life, but this is a whole new level. I feel so connected to him emotionally and physically. It is the marriage that I have always wanted.”
I’m so proud of Jake and Beth and the work they have been doing. If you are interested in getting amazing results in your sex life and marriage I would love for you to come work with me. And while it was awesome having Jake and Beth as a couple, it is totally possible to get amazing results with just one of you coming to see me.
You can sign up for your free session by filling out the form on the homepage.