1. The lie of “Not enough ain’t good enough”
You learned that there is something wrong or bad about you if you don’t have enough money or enough sex. You learn this from a very young age.
With sex, you’re taught to have lots of sex, to be uber-sexual and to say “Yes”, yet you are also taught that “Good girls keep their legs closed” and so on.
With money, you are taught that you need to make a lot of it and there are all these rules for how much debt you should or shouldn’t have, how to spend your money, how to save it and who it makes you when you have it.
We definitely learn that not enough in both sex and money is not good enough.
2. You got shamed.
The second reason you stay in shame about sex and money is that you got shamed! I haven’t met a person yet who didn’t get shamed about some aspect of their sexuality while they were growing up. You might have gotten caught masturbating or touching yourself (like I did) or you got caught having sex and whomever caught you let you know how very bad that made you. Many of us got shamed about our bodies.
And many of us get shamed about money: you didn’t have the right clothes or shoes, the right car, you didn’t make enough money. When I was growing up, all I heard was how my mother–and by implication, women–had no sense about money. I took in huge messages about that. Many of us do.
3. You learn that you just can’t have what you want.
Then you feel bad into eternity for wanting more. Your desire itself is shamed. You are told you shouldn’t even have desire to begin with. It’s such a trap and it’s cruel…because humans have desire: to grow, to connect, to feel joy, to experience life. There is nothing wrong with those desires. In order to do those things you need to be open sexually and in many cases, you need money. But you learn that you want too much and you shouldn’t want so much.
4. You are told you don’t do it right.
Many of us are in shame about sex or money because we learn we don’t do it right. You are supposed to do sex well, yet no one teaches you how. You are supposed to have those mind-blowing orgasms, but you never learned how to have them. Those things are really hard to admit because we are supposed to get it right so we stay quiet and in shame once again.
And where do we actually learn skills around money? Where is our financial education? How are we supposed to know how to earn, how to create more, how to invest, and how to save if we never get any education about it? We will do money the way our parents and families did money, and if we grew up in working or middle-class families, that’s probably going to mean we will have a lack thread going and we feel shame about it–but no one ever taught us differently!
5. You’re too good.
We even learn that if we are too good at money or sex that we should feel shame about it. If you make too much, don’t talk about it. If you are successful or active sexually, you’re labeled a whore, slut, a player. The message is “Be good at sex and money, but not too good.”
Sex and money are the two things we are judged about more than just about anything. They touch nearly every aspect of our lives in some way and they are linked to how we show up in relationship.