Preparing for the Wedding Night

Q&AWelcome (back?) to my Q&A series on Mondays. I am tackling readers’ questions one at a time, as posed on my Q&A with J at HHH post. Here’s today’s question:

Can you do a post specifically for women who are going to get married in the near future? All the things they need to know, all the things they will WANT to know, or how to be prepared for the wedding night. How to talk about expectations and preferences (meaning anything from candles to music or shaved to un-shaved). I could go on and on. I know sex for the first is supposed to be awkward and never “movie moment” perfect but I want everything to be the absolute best it can be. That awkwardness and stumbling around is what makes the first time together special and perfect. I just want to not do anything bad. I want me and my fiance to be on the same page. I think it could be the best for us. Can you help?

Before I get started, let me say that waiting until the wedding night can be done. Is it incredibly difficult these days? Yes, it is. You may have more detractors than encouragers. You will both need to commit to purity. You will need to develop a strategy for staying out of tempting situations. I was so encouraged last week to read comedian and political commentator Steven Crowder’s recent article about Waiting Till the Wedding Night.

bride & groom embracing

Congratulations!Photo credit: Microsoft Word Clip Art

But make no mistake: While God desires us to wait until the vows have been exchanged to become physically intimate, He blesses marital sexuality with enthusiasm. “Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love” (Song of Songs 5:1b). How wonderful to have your first sip on your wedding night!

What do you need to know and do in preparation?

Discuss your expectations. I strongly encourage you to find a public place that still permits some privacy for this conversation. Discussions of future sex can arouse immediate feelings that you don’t want to give space to become temptation. Perhaps a back table in a restaurant, a picnic bench or quilt spread out under a tree in a public park (in view of the playground?), the dining table of your parents’ house (that’ll keep you honest). Just find some location where your conversation can remain private, but you can also be seen or interrupted at any time.

Also, this is NOT a conversation of “On our wedding night, I’m going to ___.” You’re not teasing one another in hopes that this will increase anticipation of your first time together. You likely have enough anticipation to deal with already.

I also recommend that this discussion happen close to the wedding. It can happen the day before, the week of, or somewhere around there. You don’t want too much time to pass between when you discuss your wedding night expectations and getting to realize those desires.

What might the conversation include?

  • When will you start the wedding night festivities? Discuss the day’s schedule and consider whether you will want to eat dinner together, head straight to the hotel, or even sleep off a little exhaustion first before you devote yourselves to bedroom time.
  • What kind of environment do you want to create? Is a bed enough? Would you like music or candlelight to ease you into the evening?
  • Have you chosen a form of birth control? How will you handle that?
  • What of kind of reading have you each done on the subject of sex? Do you need to do some more? Sheila Gregoire’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex even has a section for brides on the wedding night. You may each want to do a little preparation in terms of understanding gender differences and basic anatomy.
  • What will the honeymoon look like? Does one of you expect to be sightseeing a lot, while the other expects to spend the majority of the time in bed? Try to carve out time for physical, emotional, recreational, and spiritual bonding.
  • What are your fears or hopes? These are often based on sexual history or knowledge you had before. If you have a bad history of some kind, you may wish to share that and the fears that come with it. If you had good role modeling, perhaps you want to express what you hope your intimate life will be once married.

As to your question about shaving, some husbands have preferences, but I’d be willing to bet my car that your guy will be happy with however you show up. If you are used to shaving or waxing, go right ahead. If it would be your first time, you may want to gather some information about that procedure to make sure you won’t be dealing with discomfort in that area on your wedding night or honeymoon (since some women are particularly sensitive and could have a skin reaction). I discuss this a bit in my post on Trimming the Hedges.

Contraception. If you plan to use birth control, consider what method you want to use. RESEARCH the various forms because things change and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all in this category. Some contraceptives can even interfere with your sex drive or simply aren’t comfortable for you. Remember also that no form of birth control is 100% effective; you may wish to use two methods (e.g., diaphragm and spermicide). Discuss your options and preferences with your husband-to-be and with your doctor. After you get married, if you try something for a while and are not happy with it, switch to something else; there’s no need to keep using a method that doesn’t work for you.

Getting your body ready. In order to physically engage in sex, the wife needs to be well-lubricated and have sufficient blood flow to her private areas to swell the inner vaginal lips to three times or more their usual size.

Purchase a good lubricant. You may or may not use it your first time, but for sexual penetration, you will need to be lubricated like a Slip-n-Slide. So be willing to add lubricant if needed. Popular brands are KY and Astroglide, but others can be found as well. And some couples swear by natural coconut oil.

As for the elasticity part, a woman can prepare her vagina for entry by stretching it out a little pre-marriage. Insert a finger and move it around for a while; in a few days, move to two; a few days more, to three. This can help with penetration feeling more comfortable on the wedding night.

On the wedding night, request that your husband be patient in helping you to ready your body for intercourse. You may need him to spend extra time stroking your body and helping you feel comfortable; kissing and fondling your sensitive areas; and proceeding slowly with entry. Yes, this is a challenge for a guy, but most husbands are willing to make the effort so that the experience is good for both him and his wife.

One more suggestion: Before the wedding, you may want to observe and touch your own private parts to gauge where your sensitivities are. I’m not suggesting masturbation, but exploring for the purpose of understanding what will lead to pleasure with your husband later. A man’s parts are easy to see and gain access to; a woman’s are not, so a little more information may need to be gathered in the privacy of her home.

During the lovemaking. It’s easier said than done, but let go and focus on yourself, your mate, and your experience. Confidently unveil your body, knowing that your husband will love what he sees and touches and kisses there. Take your time to discover one another and the sensations you can give each other.

If something feels awkward, remember: Sex is awkward. No one gets into this position to do anything but sex! Play into it and let yourselves smile and enjoy the moment. Making love with your spouse can be passionate and grin-inducing at the same time.

Give him feedback if something feels good or doesn’t. You can speak up or just making happy moaning sounds or move his hands as you wish. Help your husband figure out how and where you like to be touched. Show him, if you’re comfortable doing so.

Let your husband know he turns you on. Turning you on will turn him on. So if you’re feeling good, give him whatever kind of thumbs-up you want. This can be a big grin, an exclamation of pleasure, a compliment, etc. But tell hubby then and/or after what you enjoyed about sexual intimacy with him.

Afterward. Some couples like to bask in the afterglow for a while. You may wish to remain entangled in one another’s arms or talk for a while. Others are wiped out and ready to sleep. These are all fine, except when one of you wants to snuggle and talk and the other dozes off. So compromise a little here and figure out what works for you.

Whatever you do, get thee to a bathroom after intercourse! Use the toilet as soon as you can. Clearing out your bladder can prevent urinary tract infections that can plague women post-coitus. No other cleaning is necessary, but you can use a warm washcloth to wipe off any fluids. If mess is a concern, keep a washcloth by your bed to clean up before you leave the bed. Note that you will likely leak a little seminal fluid, and it may come out during the night or in the morning. If you have morning sex and plan to go out during the day, you may wish to place a pantyliner in your undies to catch anything. It won’t be much, but I wanted you to be aware.

Also don’t be surprised if you’re hungry after sex; some women report feeling ravenous, particularly craving sweets. You can ignore the feeling or sate your hunger with a little treat.

Long-term plans. Remember once again that the first night is not the whole kit-and-caboodle.  You have plenty of years to devote yourselves to lovemaking and deal with the challenges and joys of sexual intimacy. Remember that sex is a great deal like your courtship: Take time to get to know each other, be willing to adjust to one another’s preferences, and think of your partner’s satisfaction above your own. If you want some inspiration, turn to the Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon). The passages there show how a godly couple revels in the beautiful gift of intimacy given to us by our Heavenly Father.

You might want to point your guy to my post for the groom on Wedding Night Sex. I also wrote a couple of guest posts for Preengaged.com, a website I recommend for couples who are dating or engaged. The first one dealt with why you should wait until the wedding night and the second with preparing for the wedding night. If you want to read that full article, click over to Preengaged for Sex within Marriage.

Congratulations and best wishes not merely for a great wedding night, but a blessed and beautiful marriage!

Note: The Christian Marriage Bloggers Association (CMBA) is hosting a half-marathon blogging challenge which begins today. Around the web you’ll see lots of great posts about marriage for the next 13 days. After much consideration, I have decided to pass on this particular opportunity myself, but I will highlight a few posts to keep you aware of what’s out there.

Are You Afraid of Sexual Pleasure?: Intimacy in Marriage addresses orgasm and why some wives may resist surrendering to it.

#1 Celebrate: October Anniversaries: Generous Wife kicks off the marathon & offers to pray for marriages celebrating October anniversaries. Check out her links too!

Intimacy Challenge for Wives – Day 1: Journey to Surrender is hosting a 13-day Intimacy Challenge for Wives (and one for Husbands). Each day, you’ll have something to think about and a practical tip for increasing intimacy.

20 thoughts on “Preparing for the Wedding Night

  1. Greg

    “I was so encouraged last week to read comedian and political commentator Steven Crowder’s recent article about Waiting Till the Wedding Night.”

    Great article! Thanks for sharing this! I hope Tim Tebow has had a chance to be encouraged by it too, especially knowing all the flak and insults he’s taken simply for having the guts and sticking to God’s good design. The secular media doesn’t like people raining on their parade (to them I say, “Too bad, so sad. Deal.”) Truth hurts.

  2. Sara with an H

    Great post as usual, J! My husband and I waited until our wedding night to have sex. Thankfully, God had kept both of us pure for each other. While it was an amazing experience, it was indeed quite awkward, but a memory we both hold dear and still giggle about from time to time.

    That being said, I have a couple of suggestions from my own personal experience:

    1. A little bleeding afterwards for her is totally normal. Don’t worry. It goes away pretty quickly.
    2. If you decide to use a condom for contraception, I don’t suggest a warming condom. It will make her feel like she is bleeding all over the place…especially if he forgets to mention the fact that its a warming one. I STILL tease my husband about that, and its been 7 years 🙂
    3. Don’t be surprised if she’s a little sore the next day and feel free to take a day off, so to speak, to allow her to heal up a little. It’ll help make the next time even better.
    4. If you’re the inquisitive type (like me!), don’t feel like you have to jump right in the second you’re both naked. We sat totally naked and talked about our bodies, asking questions, and generally being silly. I think it helped us to relax a little bit more before we actually began anything. It’s something we still giggle about even today!

    Either way, take your time and enjoy yourselves! Don’t be surprised if you don’t get it right the first time. It takes practice!

  3. noregretsliving

    We waited til we got married. In fact, our first kiss together was at the altar. And we were in our 30s!

    My advice: don’t feel pressure to have sex that very night. If it takes a day, that’s okay! I’ve heard a couple that felt so pressured that they had to even though they had just had a really long day. Had they waited just a morning, I’m guessing they would’ve had a better experience. Since this isn’t meant to be the best sex of your life, but the START of that part of your relationship, give yourself some grace and time!

    Also, for the lady: Be aggressive! Or assertive at least. Chances are, you’ll feel like you’re being really, super, uber aggressive, but what’s really forward to you might not be to him.

    Blessings!

  4. Jessica

    Great information!!! The more knowledge before you’re wedding night the better…

    My question is similar, but a little different. My husband and I just had our first baby 3 weeks ago. I desperately miss being intimate with my husband but know its best to wait until the doctor clears me (I had a 3rd degree tear…ouch!:)) Do you have any tips for the first time after a baby? I’ve heard it can be painful and things may not work the same…just wanting it to be a special time again and would love suggestions on how to help that happen…

    1. noregretsliving

      I have a 5 1/2 month old – I didn’t tear, but did have an episotomy (spelling?). Just get cleared first, then my advice is:
      -Go slow!
      -Use lube!
      -Don’t be afraid to stop and finish things other ways. It is a process.

      It didn’t take us super long to get back to where we were, but just set the expectation that it might not be feasible the first couple times and you get an A for effort!

    2. Mrs. VK

      I would also add to be honest about how much you miss your husband. I think it helps him to know that you are still thinking about making love even though you are not cleared yet by the doctor and really it is best to wait until you are cleared because you will heal better etc. Still give him as much attention as you can and do things together (touch him cuddle him! cuddle him and talk to him or whatever suits your personal style of loving so he knows you haven’t forgotten him) (it could be interrupted time but I think normally a husband wants you do be a good mother too ~ it seems to me!)

      I am a mom of several children ~ just so you know!

    3. tammy

      This may be a little late, since it has been a couple of weeks since your post…but, I finally figured out after baby #3 that it was less painful for me the first few times after the birth, if I was the one on top. That way I was in full control of depth, angle, speed-everything. Sooo much better that way. Now that I have found Coconut Oil for lubrication, I would also suggest that too, if needed.

  5. iwasthere

    Iwasthere
    May i suggest to jessica that your thoughts toward your husband at this time are critical to your future as a couple and he will feel honored to have you think of him. You will need time to heal but before that you can create major good sexual tension by letting him know about you missing those sexual times. This is huge for a husband that is going through major withdrawal and sexual pressure. I would just fall into long kisses and hugging sessions and then let them get out of hand possibly finishing with oral or hands to satisfy both without irritating your tear. The time then that you can have full blown intercourse is a special celebration and I am encouraged that you see it as that and want to make the most of it. You know what he enjoys but likely he wants to love you and feel connected, and see you enjoying his hands on your responsive nakedness. We have been through this often. So know about how abstinence can fuel desire in a husband and make him feel frustrated and left out. Your thoughts and actions will connect his heart to yours. There is no time to soon for hugging and kissing and major make out sessions. Orgasms (more than one) can happen easily if you encourage him to do you, your way. Tell him what you want. Experiment try new things. Feed his love for you with your passion for Him. Its a good and vicious circle that will make you a better lover and parent also. Sexual fulfillment is so much more than intercourse even though that can hardly be beat. Use lots of lube then and be very wet (which you likely will be anyway) when you finally insert him into you. When two lovers truly love its amazing and wonderful. It helps balance hormones too to love and be loved. Blessings as you pursue him with your heart and body. Everyone will win even if it hurts a little. Restraint is the secret of all great art and makes fulfillment mind- blowingly pleasurable. I was there.

  6. Anonymous

    Great advice! Another tip that I wa given before we got married was to use a hand towel underneath you so that post sex the liquids get on the towel versus the sheets. We still use this advice and it makes clean up so much easier. We even joke about our “sex towels”, but they are pretty handy.

  7. Anonymous

    Im getting married next week and it will be my first time… J and Sheila’s writing have been such a *HUGE* blessing to me! Im sooo glad I came across your blogs. It really helped me understand what real biblical intimacy is about and not afraid to talk about it. You guys really *really* helped me through dealing with the fact he isn’t a virgin but that I need to forgive as God forgave me, and how our intimacy will be completely different inside marriage. Thank you for the advice and I will continue to read you blog… encouragement every time.

    1. J

      Hope I’m not too late to say CONGRATULATIONS! Blessings for a beautiful wedding night, but even more importantly, for a lifetime of covenant love.

  8. Anonymous

    J, I’ve been married to my fantastic husband for about two weeks (which I realize is short, so it’s normal for us not to have everything figured out yet), but I’m really not sure what I’m supposed to do during sex. We’ve already gotten to where it mostly doesn’t hurt for me, but I feel like I just lay there. I tried kind of flexing my stomach muscles to try to help out, and I asked if he could tell and he said he couldn’t. I couldn’t really tell either. Lol. I want to take an active role in sex, and I feel like it’s possible, I just have no idea what to do! Any advice?

    1. J

      Congratulations! Yes, your “hoo-ha” is a bit sore at first, but your body does acclimate to using those muscles. Here are a few ideas for what to do during sex. Use any or all of them.

      * Continue to touch him. Stroke his shoulders, torso, derriere, whatever you can reach.
      * Kiss his body wherever your lips can land a tender touch.
      * Grab him. Yes, grab hold of his hips, derriere, or thighs to let him know you are enjoying it and want more of what he’s doing.
      * Massage his testicles, if you can reach them. Be gentle, of course. But some husbands report loving hanging their “balls” touched during intercourse.
      * Touch yourself. Admittedly, if this is your first rodeo, you may not be ready to take that bull by the horns. However, stimulating your own clitoris while your husband is thrusting can honestly bring a great deal of pleasure and possibly orgasm. Moreover, a lot of husbands like seeing their wives get into their own pleasure.
      * Move your pelvis. Shifting your pelvis into a different angle can provide different sensations, and creating a bit of a rhythm may be nice. However, if he’s got the rhythm already going, don’t get off his beat.
      * Squeeze your vaginal muscles. Basically, you’re doing a Kegel exercise on him. Don’t know what a Kegel is? Look it up. It’s simple, but the experts will do a better job of explaining how.
      * Talk or make noise. Express your love, delight, and desire in whatever way you are comfortable with. You can simply say “I love you” or, if you feel so moved, scream, “Baby, you rock my world!”

      Does that help? Don’t try to fit them all into one session. Your guy might get a little confused. :S Blessings for a beautiful marriage and a lifetime of lovemaking!

  9. Anonymous

    Well if I wasn’t anxious before, I definitely am now. My fiancé is so discouraged because while he’s looking forward to our wedding night, I keep reading blogs like this and am just petrified. I get that it’s not going to be perfect and that we’ll get better at it over time but can someone please give me something to look forward to?!

    1. J

      Sex in marriage is fabulous!

      How’s that?

      Seriously, though, relax. You know this man, you enjoyed discovering all kinds of things about him during courtship, and now you get to discover each other physically, fully, intimately. Remember that you love each other and committed for life, and then take your time to enjoy each other. At the end of the day, it isn’t all you’ve read that will make the difference; it’s how you approach each other with a desire to please, experience, and revel in one another.

      Something to look forward to? Exploration, closeness, a lifetime to learn how to pleasure one another, orgasm, simultaneous orgasm, the just-ours feeling of sex together, imagining God smiling at the thought of your marriage bed honoring Him.

      Congrats! Blessings to you and your fiance.

  10. Anonymous

    I am to be married next week. I met my man first when I was 18, not a Christian and slept with him on the first night, we were together for 5. meeting up 18 years on I’m a full on follower and he is not, but he has respected me enough to wait till next week, God has obviouslyhelped. II am nervous and I know what I’m doing, so goodness knows how you guys are feeling. I’m worried it wont be good and I won’t be enough and he won’t please me. reading this blog I have been reminded and asked to share that God will bless us for following his word and trust in him. He wants us to have pleasure, give pleasure, trust in each other and in Him. thanks for the reminder of song of songs, will make it my bedtime reading this next week. god bless you all

    1. J

      Congratulations your upcoming nuptials! Blessings for a beautiful wedding night and many years of bliss. I am saying a prayer for your marriage and for your husband to follow God more intently.

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