National Association of Marriage Enhancement

When Sex Gets Scary

Yes, sex can be scary! It may not be the same fear you get from a rollercoaster or when you are home alone in the dark, but sex can illicit fear for a lot people. It is not a trembling, screaming fear, but it may take the form of timidity towards intimacy or an avoidance of sex. Has this been you? Is this your spouse? You may want to consider if fear is keeping you from the sexual intimacy that God desires for you.


The Bible says of Adam and Eve in the garden, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25 – NKJV) This was before sin and its consequence of shame came into the earth. If you are uncomfortable being naked and exposed in front of your spouse, is there a deeper issue of shame in your life? Let us briefly confront some of the potential issues together & some practical tips for what to do:

-Do you feel ashamed of your body type? Do you not feel “sexy?” Remember the Lord has made you fearfully and wonderfully well! (Ps 139:14) Pray for God to reveal your value and gain the confidence He desires for you.

-Is there an area of sin shaming you and dividing your intimacy? Repent in Jesus name! If there are issues of pornography, masturbation, lying, or past sins (or any other secret sins), they will develop a psychological wall between you and your partner. Don’t let sin come at the expense of a healthy sexual relationship.

-Has there been sexual abuse that still needs healing? Sexual abuse often instills fears, hesitations and shaming feelings that repress the marital sex from further intimacy. If you have been abused, you are not to blame; God and your loving spouse want to help you. Please if you need help, contact NAME. We also suggest the workbook Vessels of Honor (include link) that helps couples get through this trauma.

-Are you ashamed because you have felt like you have been a disappointment sexually? Often times paralyzing fears of disappointments develop because of lack of communication and avoidance of pertinent discussions of expectations. Open up. Ask how you can better serve your spouse. Let your spouse know how he/she can help you feel more comfortable. Your spouse cannot read your mind! Also, it is important to realize that sex will never be perfect every single time. It is scientifically proven that women orgasm less than men. Do not put too much pressure and anticipation for every time you have intercourse. Have sex more often and enjoy the journey of better learning each other.