PODCAST: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Sex

by | Feb 18, 2021 | Podcasts | 6 comments

Low Libido and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Orgasm Course

What if women’s low libido is partly a self-fulfilling prophecy?

What happens when women are told: “If your husband is typical, he has a need you don’t have?”, as Love & Respect put it. Over and over again, in our evangelical resources, we’re told that women need affection while men need sex, and women don’t actually need that much.

If you hear that your whole life, and you’re a woman, well, should it be a surprise if we grow up believing that sex is not for us?

Today on the podcast we’re exploring self-fulfilling prophecies! And we share some brand new stats from The Great Sex Rescue, AND from our men’s survey which haven’t even been published yet. So you get a sneak peek behind the curtain!

Listen in!

Or, as always, you can watch it on YouTube!

Timeline of the Podcast

0:55 “Men want sex, and women don’t!”
6:32 We’re creating a self-fulfilling prophecy!
8:40 Research: Do husbands prioritize their wives’ sexual pleasure?
15:00 Your pleasure isn’t selfish!
18:00 Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin shares the Orthodox Jewish way of seeing this topic differently
29:20 History presents women as sexual creatures too
30:20 Twitter thread on Ravi Zacharais
32:20 No, you’re NOT one misstep from sex-trafficing
37:38 The importance of cognitive dissonance with the Holy Spirit
41:25 RQ: “We didn’t even touch before our wedding day, and I’m having struggles seeing sex positively!”
49:00 Positive stories/book reviews

Main Segment: What does teaching that women don’t need or want sex do to marriages?

Rebecca and I read a TON of quotes from different books, and then look at the data on how this is affecting our expectations and our libido.

Guest: Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin gives the Jewish view of female libido

I invited Shlomo Slatkin, who runs The Marriage Restoration Project, to share the Jewish view of female libido, to show that even those who use the same Bible that we do do not automatically believe that her libido will be low, or that she won’t want sex.

Comment: Twitter Thread and men expecting to sin?

Last weekend I had a Twitter thread go viral, and in it I was exploring how the way that Christians talk about sex contributes to the evangelical sex scandals and abuse scandals that are hitting the news. The evangelical conversation about sex is one that dehumanizes women and demeans men by implying that all men can’t help it. Or, as Every Heart Restored put it, “Men don’t naturally have that Christian view of sex.”

Rebecca and I discussed how, when we make it sound normal that men will sin, then we create a situation where men don’t see sexual sin as strange.

We used the example of this tweet by Owen Strachan, who speaks a lot about Christian manhood and womanhood:

The sin-levelling here is amazing. Yes, everyone sins. Yes, everyone falls short. But not everyone abuses and rapes. Jesus even distinguishes between different types of sin. If you hear about someone raping someone, and then you say, “that could be me,” then quite frankly–I don’t want to be anywhere near you. You have just told me that you are not a safe person.

Seriously, Christians need to stop saying stuff like this. It enables predatory behaviour.

Reader Question: My Background Makes it Hard to Enjoy Sex

Finally, we used this reader question to show a whole bunch of different self-fulfilling prophecies going on here and affecting sex. And, no, you’re not failing if you don’t reach orgasm simultaneously:

My husband and I just discovered your podcast and blog. We can’t get enough of your material…so thank you for your help! 

I was molested as a young child by another female which brought about a lot of issues with sexuality and gender confusion. God has done a tremendous healing work in my heart and mind and I am much closer to the beautiful woman he has created me to be…there is still more work to be done in embracing my womanhood, sexuality, and body.

My husband and I met in an (very fundamentalist denomination), which we left almost a year ago. We did the iconic courtship where we were barely ever alone and we touched for the first time on our wedding rehearsal night when we held hands. Oh, if we could go back and do some things differently! So in a 24 hour period we went from not touching at all to having sex. And the resource we used for educating ourselves was the book, The Act of Marriage…Face Palm! With my history and that book…I have been wrecked pretty much our entire marriage.

I have felt like sex has been a duty and primarily for him to get his rocks off….which I know in my head is not the truth…for my sweet husband it is how he feels the closest to me and wants to express his deep love for me. But because I don’t feel much during sex and I can’t orgasm simultaneously, I have felt broken…like there is something wrong with me. 

I have a super hard time just letting go and being fully present…I have trust and control issues 🙂 But mostly I feel pretty numb except for clitoris stimulation…. and it takes sooo much time to reach orgasm which really isn’t practical because I have  kids and I am tired enough as it is 😉 And another thing I am insecure about is the female ejaculation thing. Do you know much about this? It has happened for me numerous times, it’s messy ( which adds to the impracticality and inability to relax problems), and I don’t understand it…My husband doesn’t seem to mind and kind of seems impressed…but it grosses me out and I am always afraid it’s going to happen…and if I feel it coming I shut it down instinctually. Sorry, this might be too much information.

I really want us to have all that God has for us in our marriage because I want to be one of those super cute old couples 🙂 But it seems like there is so much to overcome. Any light you can shed on these things will be greatly appreciated!

We ended with a bunch of happy stories, and some wonderful emails that have come in about how the blog and podcast have helped people! I know it’s been heavy for a couple of weeks, but the feedback I’ve been getting is amazing.

And I want to share with you one of the reviews that has come in for The Great Sex Rescue (you can read it early, too, if you preorder and send in your receipt! When you join the launch team, you get early access):

I have never heard sex in the context of a Christian marriage spoken about like this before. In pre-marriage counseling and couples small groups, I heard that sex is most important to your husband; it is your duty to be there for him. I felt like my pleasure was an after thought; that if I didn’t climax, it was okay because he needed that from me. I was afraid to refuse sex, for fear that he would cheat or view porn. All of this pressure really killed my libido. The Great Sex Rescue brings such a wave of needed validation: that my pleasure is just as important as his. Also hearing that my potential lack of attention is never an excuse for infidelity. The authors do a fantastic job affirming that sex is about mutually connecting with your spouse physically, emotionally, and spiritually; it is not a one way street for the husband’s pleasure. TGSR is a wonderful resource for husbands and wives to read separately or together. I love the periodic check ins that encourage the reader to pause and reflect on what they’ve just read. 10/10 for offering hope, healing, and encouragment to those who read it. Seriously, if the typical evangelical approach to sex and marriage doesn’t sit well with you, grab this book. You won’t regret it.

Goodreads Review

The Great Sex Rescue

"A groundbreaking look into what true, sacred biblical sexuality is intended to be. A must-read." - Rachael Denhollander

What if you're NOT the problem with your sex life?

What if the messages that you've been taught have messed things up--and what if there's a way to escape these toxic teachings?

It's time for a Great Sex Rescue.

Great Sex Rescue
Low Libido as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

What do you think? Have we got self-fulfilling prophecies wrecking sex for couples? Which ones have affected you? Let’s talk in the comments!

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


Recent Posts

Want to support our work? You can donate to support our work here:

Good Fruit Faith is an initiative of the Bosko nonprofit. Bosko will provide tax receipts for U.S. donations as the law allows.

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts


We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!


  1. Active Mom

    I loved your Twitter exchange. Although I had a difficult time with people who accused you of cherry picking parts. I wanted to scream! That’s the problem. If at any point the author tries to make rape ok the entire book should be tossed.. Period! Thank you for loving us all enough to continue to bang the drums. When I read about the latest two church scandals (lenzt and Ravi) my first thought was compassion for the spouses. Knowing that someone in authority was probably questioning them for their role in causing the sexual sin. I hope the church starts to wake up. The viewpoint from a Rabbis perspective is very interesting.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Exactly, Active Mom! And in what universe is saying even “if your husband is typical, he has a need you don’t have” okay? That’s not even scientifically accurate! Like even if it’s not about rape, it’s not okay to say things that aren’t accurate.

  2. Katydid

    I have a libido and a decent one at that. Because of these teachings I was convinced that I had a hormone imbalance and had my levels checked numerous times. (They’re in normal range.)
    Imagine feeling almost….deformed….because it was pounded into your head that being a woman means being low or no libido. What’s worse is at the time there were no healthy resources to understand and address this and form a healthy sexuality. I flailed about thinking I was sick, messed up, maybe even sinful.
    Only whores and sluts have high libidos.
    So, what did that make me, even though I made it to my wedding night a virgin?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Katydid, that’s so sad. And that’s such an important perspective!
      I actually think (and this is just my theory) that your libido is the normal one. I think most women have had our libidos artificially lowered by what we’ve been told about sex; by sexual abuse in our pasts (that’s not my story, just to be clear, but I know it’s so many women’s stories); even by how tired we are at home with so much mental load. Like, what would our libidos be like if, from the time we were children, we heard about sex in a different way, we lived in a culture that didn’t objectify us and make us feel gross, and we shared the load at home?
      Maybe we’d have women with normal and high libidos!

      • edl

        Sheila, we want to live in the culture you described! If not in my lifetime (age 65) then hopefully for our children and grandchildren.
        Keep spreading the word and fighting the good fight! It is so needed.
        We appreciate you and your Team.

  3. Anonymous

    I’ve been listening to your podcasts for a week… And I’m so thankful I found this..
    But I have a question that no book seems to address…
    My husband and I had premarital sex, big huge mistake…
    But premarital sex was something I enjoyed, I felt desired, loved and wanted… Now I miss all of that kissing and touching we used to have, and I cling to that past pleasure that I don’t have anymore…
    I haven’t had an orgasm in Years!
    We just have sex 3 times a month, and I’m not content with that…
    My husband would never say no, but he won’t pursue me because he’s tired…
    He tells me that I can ask him for sex whenever I want, but he doesn’t understand how painful it is to not feel wanted or loved anymore!
    We have a baby and he takes much of our time and attention…
    We don’t have anymore date nights, or time to talk except for the time we go to sleep at night, and he is so tired he won’t talk to me.
    All the books seem to say men are desperately in need of sex, but that’s not my husband’s case, but mine.
    We won’t kiss, hug or cuddle unless we have sex, and that’s 3 times a month and it’s not as pleasurable as I wish.
    He’s an excellent husband and dad, but our sexual life is just not working…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *