My husband, Doug, and I are privileged to be able to do marital and pre-marital counseling through our church.
Here are some of our thoughts for the about-to-be-married virgin couple about having healthy, realistic attitudes about honeymoon sex:
1. GO SLOW.
For her: Your body takes time to relax and open up. Let yourself warm up and relax. The more you relax, the better it will feel.
For him: One author says (about sex), “men are microwaves, women are crock pots” and that tends to be true. It will make it remarkably better for her (and consequently, for you) if you take your time and let her body warm up. You WANT her to be “into” it. Don’t rush.
2. Consider slowly undressing and showering together, first.
Or, some brides may prefer to shower separately, collect themselves, and then come out to the room to be together intimately. Either is fine. But showering after your (likely) long wedding day will enable both of you to feel fresh and ready for the up-close time of exploring and getting to know each other’s bodies.
3. Your first time will not be your best time.
See this less as a movie-like-sexual-peak, and more like the first time you ride your bike: it may be a little awkward, but it’s better to go slow and get the hang of it a little at a time. And if, like a bike ride, you finish and realize you made a fool of yourself, well, just know that it gets better from here.
Virgin sex is full of the magic of discovery, but talent and sexual delight will improve with time, open communication, and experience.
4. Consider that you might not even have sex.
Exhaustion after a LOOOOOOOOONG day, fast male ejaculation, pain, nervousness… any of these factors could come into play. You have a lifetime together, so don’t feel like you have to rush it all, right now.
5. It’s messier than you think.
Between sperm and lubrication, things can get quite wet. Have two hand towels/washcloths at the ready. You may even want to put a towel underneath the two of you so that you don’t have partially-wet sheets to sleep on.
6. To the bride: Get up and pee afterward.
There’s a fairly common risk of getting a UTI that can often be prevented by urinating immediately after sex. Read about “honeymoon cystitis,” if you don’t believe me.
7. Don’t compare.
Not to other people, not to a movie, not to your expectations/hopes/dreams. Definitely not to porn.
Don’t compare. Let it be what it is. Celebrate the spouse you have, and do not entertain even the slightest thought of someone/something else.
8. Realize, it could HURT.
For her: It shouldn’t hurt to the point that you’re crying, but it will likely be physically uncomfortable (in addition to whatever nervousness you are feeling).
For him: go slow, and be sure to watch for indications of pain so that you can be gentler, try something different, or stop altogether if things get too painful.
[Sidenote: there are medical situations where the bride is unable to have sex without extreme pain. Do not force it. There could be reasons to seek medical help and this DOES NOT mean sex will never be possible.]
9. Bring lubrication, and plan to use it for intercourse.
Sex itself may hurt bad enough, but dryness, movement, and sensitive skin do not go together.
10. For the bride in particular, be aware it may not even feel good at first.
You could be left wondering why people like to do this at all. Don’t be discouraged. God will use this perhaps-initially-painful act to bond you together as “one flesh” with your husband and give you repeated, intimate shared times together.
Hang in there; it gets better. Way better.
11. Communicate OPENLY.
Talking about it can feel weird and embarrassing, but this will be a serious part of your marriage for the rest of your life; it’s worth it to PUSH THROUGH THE AWKWARDNESS and talk about what you’re experiencing and feeling.
To her: TALK. Let him know what feels good. Don’t be afraid to say for him to go a little slower, a little softer, to touch you in a little different place, that you need a little more time to warm up or get used to something, etc. Also, don’t take it personally if he says “ow.” Ask questions, like if you’re not sure how something is feeling for him.
To him: Don’t take it personally if she says, “ow!” Better for her to say it, and you to know it, now, so that you can go a little slower or do things a little bit differently and be better as you move toward learning how to please each other sexually. Listen to your bride. Take this opportunity to show servant-like love and be in tune with her. Ask if you’re not sure how something is feeling to her (“Is this OK?,” “Did that hurt?,” “How does this feel?”).
12. About relaxing
To the bride: BREATHE & RELAX! Tightening, holding your breath, and stress only makes things worse.
To the groom: WAIT FOR HER TO RELAX! HELP her relax! Pushing things to go faster only makes things worse. (this brings us to the next point…)
13. If either of you get a little stressed or overwhelmed, consider slowing things up.
This can happen with a sexual massage, foot rub, back rub, or a shower. Any of these can give you time and space to explore, take things in, catch your breath, and give you more mental “room” to figure things out and enjoy your first time together.
14. Set your expectations low in terms of female orgasmic response.
To the bride: Female orgasms are notoriously persnickety. Many women are not ever able to have orgasms during sexual intercourse and require other foreplay/sexual interaction in order to have an orgasm. That is FULLY OK. You are not deficient, and not being able to have an orgasm your first time, or your first *year,* does not mean you will never be able to experience an orgasm.
There are things you can do, over time, to learn or experiment in this area. But for now, know that it probably won’t happen your first time, and may not happen at all during your first sexual encounters. That is OK.
To the groom: Even if it doesn’t happen this first time, make it your ambition to sexually satisfy your bride FIRST — BEFORE– you “finish”, every time. That may mean having an orgasm, or not, but it will certainly mean waiting for her to communicate that she’s ready for you to finish. Let this become the norm for your sexual encounters. Don’t make it all about you; make it your ambition to delight her, and thus, you will both be delighted.
15. Be prepared to submit your desire of “frequency” to your spouse.
Set your expectations low in terms of always getting your way. Whether you want sex more often than your spouse, or less often, marriage is a lifelong commitment to loving and caring for your spouse. Plan to adjust your desires to theirs.
To the bride: it’s worth it to play and enjoy sex with your spouse. Be open to having sex more often than you might think to on your own. Alternatively, if he wants it less than you, find other ways to “play” during your honeymoon. Flirt while you go for a hike. Be silly together while you play card games or enjoy dinner. Be determined to love your new husband by making it your desire to connect with and please him.
To the groom: The female body takes time to get used to stretching in this way. If she wants it less often than you, remember it may be because of discomfort or pain, and doesn’t mean it’ll always be like it is this first week. Conversely, if she wants it more than you, do not take this as an affront to your manhood. Make it your ambition to please your bride in terms of frequency, whether she wants it more or less than you.
16. BE CLEAN AND FRESH.
To the bride: Shave, shower, find something pretty to wear that helps you feel confident and sexy… do whatever will make you comfortable to be fully seen and touched, so that you can be “naked and unashamed” in front of your groom.
(Note: Wear something you can get into and out of fairly easily. It doesn’t need to be an engineering marvel, just something pretty and sexy that helps you feel confident.)
To the groom: Shower, shave, & be clean for your bride. Clip your fingernails and make sure they are filed so that there are no sharp edges. You do not want to scratch or hurt your bride in her sensitive areas.
17. BE LIGHT-HEARTED.
Yes, sex can be passionate, intense, amazing… it can also feel giggly and make for some silly situations. When you’re naked and exposed, it’s easy to feel embarrassed or humiliated. Instead, opt to laugh it off. Have fun together. Make memories.
Enjoy these early days and don’t let a few weird or not-movie-worthy moments take the fun out of all this exploration and delight. It won’t always be so awkward.
18. Reach out for help as needed.
It’s OK to ask questions of someone you trust. In addition to your doctor, you may have questions like, “is this OK…? ” or “is this normal…?” Choose someone trustworthy and ask questions as they come up.
19. For the rest of your honeymoon:
Realize, she may have some ongoing soreness from sex. Realize, one of you may want it more often than the other. Let this honeymoon be a time when you each seek to please the other rather than yourself. Seek to see this from the perspective of your spouse, and remember that you have a LIFETIME together… it doesn’t all have to be crammed into these days.
20. Remember: your sex life will grow with your marriage.
You will get “better” at it. It will feel more natural, over time. Keep it simple & enjoy the newness now; it will get better from here!
Here’s the book we recommend & give to newlywed couples that we counsel. It is helpful, biblical, and gives enough information to help give you a great start to the sexual aspect of your marriage.
Best wishes to you!
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD ADD? Share it in the comments!