AUTHOR’S NOTE: It’s normal to be a little nervous and have some apprehensions going into the honeymoon and intimate dimension of marriage, but these can be alleviated through preparation, knowledge, and good communication with your sweetheart and others. This article is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of the new book From Honeymoon to Happily Ever After: 23 Keys to Prepare for a Sextraordinary Marriage.


Give yourself the gift of sexual wholeness by participating in Laura’s new “Sexual Wholeness Workshop for Women” on Saturday, September 19, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Getting married to the person of your dreams is a very exciting time in your life. Being vulnerable and intimate with someone at such a personal level is something that you may have never experienced before and because of that, it may raise some feelings of anxiety. It is totally understandable if you are feeling a little nervous as you prepare for the honeymoon and intimate relationship in marriage.

Some worries and fears about the sexual relationship run deeper than just being intimidated by the unknown, though, and can stem from feelings of guilt, shame, or fear. These can be alleviated as you intentionally prepare for, gain more knowledge of, and communicate about sexual intimacy with your sweetheart and other trusted individuals.

Sex Starts in the Mind

Since sex starts in the mind before it translates to the body, you’ll want to have a healthy and positive view of sexuality. It will help you have a more enjoyable initial experience as well as a positive, long-lasting intimate relationship with one another. If one’s mind is full of fears and concerns, those fears will interfere with being relaxed and enjoying this special time together.

Heavenly Father does not want us to be fearful about sexual intimacy. Sharing ourselves sexually with our spouse is divinely ordained and intended to be a beautiful experience. He created sex not only to bring His spirit children into the world but also as a way for a husband and wife to share something transcendently intimate and exquisite. It will deepen your love, devotion, and bond with one another. Sexual intimacy was designed to bring joy, not fear.

The “Good Girl” or “Good Boy” Syndrome

An important concept to consider is the “Good Girl” or “Good Boy” Syndrome, which refers to the deeply internalized feelings and attitudes that emphasize only the negatives associated with sexuality.[1] This is the result of negative conditioning that comes from well-meaning parents, church teachers, relatives, friends, and society.

Its effects are seen more commonly in women, but men, too, can experience these same inhibiting thoughts. That’s especially true for those who come from backgrounds where sex may not have been addressed as often or as affirmingly as needed. If it was addressed, it is spoken of from an unhealthy point of view where fear and/or shame are present.

In a presentation I gave to a group of college students, one of the comments a student shared illustrated the struggle that many young adults face with regards to this internalized negative conditioning:

When Laura talked about this “Good Girl” issue that a lot of people struggle with, I realized that was something I also struggle with. I could see my discomfort with just sitting in the class talking about it. It probably took at least the first hour for me to relax enough to not feel so awkward and weird. It makes sense that it could be difficult for me and my fiancé to be able to talk about it (or do it) if I can barely handle hearing anything about it.

Steps to Alleviate Anxiety about Sex

Unfortunately, we too often fail to focus on the goodness of sexuality and its divine purposes in marriage. Negative thoughts and feelings you may have developed about sex can be addressed by: 1) identifying the negative conditioning (often just through writing), 2) countering and replacing those thoughts and beliefs with more positive and affirming concepts, and 3) getting better educated about sex from good, positive sources.

While some uneasiness is understandable given the newness of the honeymoon experience, your concerns can be alleviated through preparation, awareness, information, and good communication. Knowledge is power, and there are many resources and people available to help you gain greater confidence in the intimate dimension of your life prior to beginning your exciting journey into the exciting adventure of marriage.

Make it a priority to overcome any negative or inhibiting thoughts about sex so that you can have the best, most relaxing, connecting, and enjoyable experience possible with your new spouse.


[Excerpted from Chapter 3 of Laura M. Brotherson’s new book — From Honeymoon to Happily Ever After: 23 Keys to Prepare for a Sextraordinary Marriage.]

Stay tuned for additional articles in this series…

Other articles in this series include:

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BIO — Laura M. Brotherson, LMFT, CST, CFLE

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist, Laura M. Brotherson is the founder of “The Marital Intimacy Institute“ with a mission to help couples create “sextraordinary marriages.” She counsels with couples, individuals and families in private practice (and online) and is passionate about helping couples navigate the intricacies of intimacy–specializing in healthy sexuality, sex therapy, and sex addiction. Laura is the author of the best-selling books, And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, Knowing HER Intimately: 12 Keys for Creating a Sextraordinary Marriage, and now her latest book — From Honeymoon to Happily Ever After: 23 Keys to Prepare for a Sextraordinary Marriage.

As a Certified Family Life Educator, Laura is also actively engaged in providing marriage education through “Couples’ Cruises,” articles, newsletters, radio and television broadcasts, “The Marital Intimacy Show” podcasts, and presenting at conferences and workshops. Laura is a regular contributor to the KSL Television “Studio 5” morning show. She is passionate about helping couples navigate the intricacies of intimacy to help build strong marriages and families. Laura and her husband, Kevin, are the parents of three grown children and are the founders of StrengtheningMarriage.comyour trusted resource for education, products and services to strengthen marriages … intimately!

Connect with Laura:

Instagram: @StrengtheningMarriage

[1] Brotherson, Laura M., And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual

Fulfillment. Boise, ID: Inspire Book, 2004, 2.