Tag Archives: honeymoon sex

Q&A with J: How Can My Groom Turn His Sex Drive Back On?

Today’s question comes from two different readers who contacted me with similar situations. Both are newlywed wives who haven’t had the sexual intimacy they expected to have after they tied the knot. Here’s the first one:

It has been one month since we got married and we still haven’t had sex. He told me last night that he was nervous almost to the point of tears because we have always been taught not to have sex before marriage, and now it’s all of a sudden okay. He said it’s like a Wall is there that he can’t get through. What should we do? How do i help him? He feels bad because i want to and he can’t, and i feel bad because i don’t want him to feel pressured. I just don’t know what to do.

And the second:

I recently got married and waited until marriage. My now husband wasn’t a virgin before but waited with me. The sex has been less frequent and passionate than I had expected and last night he revealed to me that because he had to ”turn it off” for the last 2 years to stay strong for me that he has a hard time turning it back on. I feel really sad about it and kind of mad too. I’m trying to not take it personally but I never thought I’d have to ask for sex or even be turned down in the first month of marriage. I’m trying to be patient and pray about it. Any suggestions on what to do?

Blog post title + photo of bride & groom sitting on bed

There are differences, in that one groom has never had sex, while the other had it previously but waited with his bride until they got married. But both gentlemen are having a terrible time awakening their libido after keeping their sexual feelings in check for so long.

It’s admirable that they waited, just as we are commanded to do, but sometimes our message about premarital purity encourages people to simply repress their sexual feelings. Repression here is “a process by which unacceptable desires or impulses are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious” (Merriam-Webster). Our libidos aren’t really gone, but we stamp them down so hard, it’s difficult for them to get back up when the right time arrives. (See also When Your Groom Is Anxious about Sex).

But I don’t see where the Bible teaches repression of our sexuality. Rather, we can acknowledge our sexuality and exert self-control: “Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled” (Titus 2:6). Look at Jacob, who worked for seven years to marry Rachel. He kept his behavior in check, but he didn’t deny what he eventually desired, even saying to his father-in-law at the end of those long years: “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her” (Genesis 29:21). Can’t get much clearer than that.

Even 1 Corinthians 7:9 says to singles: “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” In other words, control your sexual desires outside of marriage, and if you can’t do that, get hitched. It’s a nod that God made us as sexual beings, a fact we cannot and should not ignore.

God made us as sexual beings, a fact we cannot and should not ignore. Click To Tweet

Teaching repression of our sexuality can result in situations like these where it’s hard to turn your libido back on, even when you’re in the right framework for sexual intimacy (marriage).

But to the question: How can you awaken his libido after it’s lain dormant for a while? How can he get past that hump of repressing his sexuality?

Give yourselves grace.

It stinks not to get to make love on your wedding night. Many couples look forward to that experience. But plenty of couples actually don’t have sex right away, due to physical issues, time constraints, or even Aunt Flo visiting at the most inopportune time. But one of the perks of sex in marriage is you have a lifetime to get to know one another physically and experience all kinds of sexual pleasure and intimacy.

Let’s imagine that you make love once a week (it should be more, but go with me here), and you’re married for forty years (more than reasonable, given the average age of marriage and life span in the U.S.). At that rate, you’ll have sex 2,080 times. Two thousand eighty times. So even if you miss out some at the beginning, you’ve got plenty of time to figure this out and still have lots and lots of sex. Point being: Relax. Give yourselves some grace and time to work things out.

Talk about the baggage.

We all bring baggage into our marriages—some toting in a toiletries bag of issues and others dragging a massive trunk behind them. But make no mistake: We’ve all absorbed bad ideas about sexual intimacy. Erroneous messages surround us, both in the secular world and, sadly, the Church. All kinds of messages soak in, and we can find them hard to shake once married.

So talk about it with each other. Be honest about your expectations and concerns, and then listen to his. Let him know that whatever he says, you won’t judge it harshly. Once you’ve admitted what’s going on, challenge each of your internal beliefs and see which ones hold up to God’s Word. For example:

  • “Sex is dirty.” No, sex can be twisted and misused, but sex itself was created by God and “everything God created is good” (1 Timothy 4:4).
  • “Enjoying sex too much is ‘indulging the flesh.'” No, that’s not what “the flesh” means. Rather, Galatians 5:19-21 says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” Those are all sins, but sex with your wife is not a sin and thus not on the list.
  • “Men are supposed to have the higher libido.” No, you can’t find that in the Bible either. Read through Song of Songs, and you’ll see that sexual feelings abound in both husband and wife. Sometimes one more than the other, but it shifts from her to him, him to her.

Bringing your anxiety from the subconscious to the conscious level and then challenging those beliefs can help you work through the barriers preventing you from experiencing sexual intimacy.

Focus on romance and foreplay.

In three different places, Song of Songs says, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (2:7, 3:5, 8:4). That presumes that you can arouse or awaken love when it’s time—that is, in marriage.

Focus on that word arouse, and make that your goal for now. Not orgasm, not penetration, not even erection necessarily, but arousing the sensations that eventually lead to all of those things. I firmly believe that couples don’t spend enough time exploring one another’s bodies and discovering what arouses them. But the knowledge you gain through this process will be beneficial throughout your marriage.

Get a great book with ideas on what to do, so you can try out different activities. You know, like this one, which I highly recommend:

Click to buy or find out more!

Take the pressure off, and give yourselves, and especially him, permission to enjoy touch, exploration, and romance. Let your husband know that he doesn’t have to “perform”—that this can be an opportunity to get to know one another and experience pleasurable feelings.

Use self-talk and encouragement.

When dealing with high anxiety or fear, psychologists often prescribe systematic desensitization. You can find many resources on how to apply this procedure, but it’s gradually exposing yourself to the anxiety-inducing stimuli and introducing a relaxation response at each stage. This principle works with sexual anxiety as well.

Let’s say you’re going through the foreplay mentioned above, and your husband becomes tense. You two can pause, and he can remind himself that sex is a gift from God, meant to provide intimacy in his marriage. You can encourage him as well, helping him relax. You two could even stop to pray for God’s comfort and courage to continue. When the tension has released enough—it may not release completely—you can get back into your groove.

Using desensitization techniques, he can likely progress a little farther each time, until intercourse is possible…and enjoyable. Another way to think of this is baby steps. Nothing says you must leap into intercourse on your wedding night, but marriage is the time when you get to build all kind of intimacy, including physical intimacy. Be willing to build slow, feeling good about each stage of progress.

If problems persist, see a doctor and/or a counselor. There’s nothing wrong with this taking some time, but you do want to be moving in the right direction—toward God-honoring, mutually satisfying sexual intimacy in your marriage.

Q&A with J: Will Sex in Marriage Be a Letdown?

Today’s question is from a man getting hitched very soon. He’s wondering how the whole sex-in-marriage thing is going to go:

I’m a 24-year-old man who is soon to be married and has never had sex (I know a 24-year-old virgin is quite a rarity in American society).

Anyway, I’ve been reading up on many of your articles on this website, and while I understand that in several of them that are geared towards newlyweds you typically give advice like lower expectations and that it won’t be perfect, I am afraid that I’m going to let my future wife down on our wedding night (or the first time we have sex, because I hear sometimes the wedding wears people out to the point where they don’t feel up to it that evening).

I have a few friends who waited until they were married to have sex and they all seem to say the same thing: that it wasn’t worth it to wait and that it wasn’t as big of a deal as everybody made it out to be.

I really don’t want to feel that way about it. Do you have any advice/links to articles that I could read to help alleviate these fears?

Q&A with J: Will Sex in Marriage Be a Letdown?

Wow. Sometimes in an effort to set realistic expectations, we can inadvertently sound like the bearers of doom and gloom. Perhaps at times my site has come across as Sex is great! Sex is great! But don’t expect much. What’s someone to do with that message??

So Mr. Fiancé, let me try to clarify a few thoughts about what to anticipate for your first sex on the honeymoon.

Expectations. I actually think you should have very high expectations. Healthy sexual intimacy in marriage is beautiful, bonding, and a whole lot of fun. (If I didn’t believe that, wouldn’t this website be a complete waste of time?) However, some people place all their expectations on that first time, and that’s where issues can arise.

Indeed, I’ve heard spouses conclude based solely on their wedding night that they don’t like sex because it didn’t feel all that fabulous. Well, hello! If you’re making chocolate soufflé, it may not come out perfect the first time — but it’s yummy-for-your-tummy chocolate soufflé, so try again.

Likewise, sexual intimacy is worth developing over time. You and your wife might rock the foundations of the Earth the first time you make love, or it could simply be a tremor, but the entirety of sex in marriage does not rest on a single night. Not the first night, not the next night, not the night 17 years from now when your kids have driven you crazy all day and you barely have enough energy to connect your parts together much less rock each other’s world.

Set expectations high, but understand you may have to make some effort to get there. And sexual satisfaction should be evaluated on the sum of your experiences together.

Performance. “I am afraid that I’m going to let my future wife down…” The worst lovers are often those who think they already know everything and don’t pay attention or listen to their partner. The fact you’re already thinking in terms of how can I make this good for my wife? makes me wanna high-five your bride-to-be. She’s probably going to be just fine.

But what can you do to make this a great experience for her? In addition to this post with specific suggestions, here’s what you should know about making sex good for your wife:

  • She’s a sexual person apart from you. Meaning there are things going on her head and her body that are about who she is —  based on her own physiology, her mind, her past history, and her expectations. Her ability to respond as passionately as you, or she, might like isn’t entirely in your control. This is one reason why I believe sex in marriage should be covered in premarital counseling. Not with graphic details or flip charts, but rather getting on the same page about how you’ll approach each other in the bedroom — when things work well and when they don’t.
  • The person best able to tell you how to arouse and satisfy your wife is your wife. Likewise, you’re the best person to tell and show her how to arouse and satisfy you. You two can figure out sex together by being willing to communicate, engage, explore, and evaluate. Ask if she wants you to touch her with different strokes, pressure, etc., and help her figure out what feels good.
  • Make sure she “finishes.” That might mean climax, but it might take her some time to figure out the orgasm. It’s fairly easy for some, and not so easy for others. But what really stinks is the husband who does a little bit of foreplay, gets to the intercourse part, finishes fast, and fall asleep. I’m telling you like it is, dude — don’t do that. Prioritize her pleasure, and you’ll likely both enjoy the experience more.
  • Relax. A recent comment to another post made me realize that we ladies sometimes make it sound like sex with your wife is rocket science. You have to navigate all those emotions, expectations, and obstacles just to get busy with your woman, and even then some hubbies don’t have a clue whether she’ll enjoy the whole shebang. But you’re a man! I repeat: You. Are. A. Man. So man up, and believe you’ve got this. You are specially designed by God to be just the sexy partner your wife needs and desires.

Comparison. You also mention friends who’ve said sex wasn’t that big a deal once they started having it. Like maybe the show wasn’t quite as entertaining as the billing promised.

We live in a sex-glutted culture, and this causes too many people to believe sex is the end-all-be-all or that it should be a camera-worthy session of passion that leaves your loins burning and your mind blown. We compare our lovemaking to the last movie sex scene we saw, or the romance novel we read, or the porn video we watched. And then you do it with your spouse, and it’s like, “Huh.”

I remember being surprised by how little time it actually takes to make love. I probably got the wrong impression from AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long that a couple could actually make love for eight hours. Tantric sex not withstanding, you can take anywhere from five minutes to two hours to do the deed. Yet not once have I ever shaken my husband “all night long.”

But once you throw out the misguided comparisons, something more intangible and more beautiful can replace it. You can stop measuring exactly how much pleasure you get and focus on what pleasure you can give. You can become more open and vulnerable, worrying less about how everything’s going and releasing yourself to savor the sensations. You can begin to see how each sexual encounter weaves you two closer together as one flesh. You can appreciate the beauty of God’s design for sexual intimacy in marriage.

Forget the comparisons. All that matters in the marriage bed is you, your wife, and your Heavenly Father who gave you this intimate gift. Appreciate that.

Positivity. For all those couples who struggle at the beginning of their marriage with sexual intimacy, I can name plenty who came right out of the chute and rode successfully to the finish. Meaning you two might just be one of those couples where things click, and you’re satisfied and she’s satisfied and the heavens open and streams of sunlight beam down so you can bask in your delight.

You sure don’t want to hurt your odds by getting all worried and uptight. Look, I know you can’t get rid of the anxiety altogether, but make your sex-talk be positive messages.

Tell yourself that sexual intimacy with your wife is going to be amazing, that it’s a gift from God, and that any problems that arise can be resolved. Honestly, one reason for good sexual intimacy in my own marriage is that I talk it up in my head — everything from “What a hottie I married! ” to “This is going to feel great!” I remind myself of how awesome and unique this relationship is with my husband. And that cultivates more enjoyment and gratitude.

And here are a few more posts for those getting married soon or newlyweds:

What Should a Groom Know about His Wedding Night?
Preparing for the Wedding Night
Wedding Night Sex
What I Wish I’d Known before the Wedding Night

Congratulations and may your wedding night, honeymoon, and many years of marriage be filled with all kinds of intimacy and delight!

Views on Sex from a Recently Married Virgin

Actually, it might be more accurate for the title of this post to be Views on Sex from a Recently Virgin Married. Because Lauren Hanna, who wrote Let’s Talk about Sex, Shall We?, has returned to share her transition from single-and-engaged virgin to happily-married wife. Here’s her update, along with a few comments from me.

Blog title + bride & groom

My husband and I were both virgins when we got married in November of this year. Not only were we virgins, we were 28- and 25-year-old virgins with both of our primary love languages being physical touch. We were excited to have sex. I mean . . . who wouldn’t be?! We had heard all of these wonderful things about it, and although we had no clue whatsoever what it would really be like, we were darn eager to try.

After withholding ourselves for so long, certain expectations inevitably grew — some were right on, others were better, some weren’t met at all . . . and it was all good.

1. Sex Is Simple

The first expectation that was blown out of the water was that sex is some mysterious, complicated thing. It’s not. It’s simple. Ha! Both my husband and I were absolutely amazed at how simple it really is, but at the same time it is so profound. I don’t quite know what we were expecting exactly with that one, but I love that God didn’t make it hard. Sure it can be a bit awkward sometimes, and we’re still learning the ropes (it’s barely been a month of doing this), but at its essence sex is simple.

J: It is simple for most couples to get the hang of it. Those who struggle should check with their doctor and/or a counselor to see what might be getting in the way of successful intercourse.

2. Sex Is Unifying

The other thing that really amazed us is how it really does unify you. Although sex is simple, it is profound. Something about making love puts you in complete unity with each other. It’s being vulnerable and intimate and passionate all at the same time. Honestly, I think that’s one of my favorite things about it. I totally get why the Bible tells us to wait until marriage, not that there isn’t redemption and amazingness if you didn’t wait. However, I can’t imagine being that vulnerable with someone and then having them break your heart. That would be awful! I found myself gaining even more compassion for those that have been through that, because in its context sex is absolutely beautiful, strengthening, and powerful.

J: Yes, it is awful to have your heart broken by someone you gave your whole body to. Unfortunately, I know that feeling. Which is why many of us who were sexually active prior to marriage strongly encourage singles to wait: wait for the real thing. Redemption is always available, but I pray that as many as possible can avoid the bad memories and the scars. Then once in marriage, unify away!

3. Just Relax

One expectation that was right on was me tensing up the first time. Both of us were pretty nervous and excited, and well, it’s true . . . be relaxed. I had heard that could happen, and sure enough it did. But then I remembered all the advice I had been given of “just relax,” and the moment that I did that there was no pain. Hallelujah! I was then able to focus on enjoying my husband and starting this new part of our relationship.

J: I love Lauren’s testimony on this — that you really can practice relaxing and learn to enjoy what’s happening with your body and your intimacy.

4. Goodbye, Body Issues

Before entering marriage, I was a tad critical on my body. Somehow along the way (blame it on whatever magazine, doll, TV show, etc. you want), I managed to immediately start looking at my flaws when I looked at myself. I was pretty nervous that my husband would see them all too. I just wanted to be perfect for him, you know? After being married for this month, I don’t really do that anymore. I have never been complimented on my body more in my entire life! He really does think I’m beautiful . . . even the parts that I deemed to be flaws. I’m starting to see myself in a different light now. I don’t see flaws now, I just see parts of my body that make me . . . me — they give me character.

J: Some of us are still critical about our bodies, but it can be so reassuring to have one’s husband delight in your beauty. When my husband’s gaze grazes over me with pleasure in his eyes, I do feel more like God’s handiwork. And we wives need to believe it when our husbands say we’re beautiful.

5. It Can Be Pretty Funny

We’re just learning right now. Still discovering ourselves and each other. Since we have no prior experience, things can sometimes be awkward and/or comical. We’ve laughed . . . a lot. If something doesn’t work according to plan, no biggie; we just try again and have a good laugh in the process. Actually, to be honest I think it’s pretty cool that we can feel comfortable enough to be able to laugh.

J: Yep. For instance, I’ve written here, here, and here with humor about the marital bedroom.

6. Orgasms Are Awesome

I’d heard about them, but good heavens they are glorious! Seriously.

J: Glorious. That about encapsulates it. If you’re still struggling with the Big O, check out this post or this one.

7. Intimacy

I love how making love is so intimate. I get to know things about him that no one else will ever discover, and vice versa. That’s pretty exciting to me — to give all of yourself over to someone else. It’s a gift. We get to express our love for each other, every single time in ways that are exclusively for us. I think it’s pretty special actually, and our relationship has gotten so much better because of it. I really do love that.

J; Such a beautiful, intimate experience when it expresses and fosters covenant love in marriage! Lauren gets an “Amen” from me.

All in all we’ve had a really good experience so far. It’s definitely been a lot of growing and learning, but it’s a lot of fun. I’m really thankful that over the years I had heard so many stories and gotten a lot of advice from blogs like this and from women I know and trust. I think it’s helped me out a lot during this transition. I probably would have felt way more nervous and overwhelmed had I not had that. I’m excited to see what happens from here!

Thanks so much to Lauren Hanna for sharing her story with us! I pray for many more years of marital bliss for her and her husband.

Lauren HannaLauren Hanna is a 25-year-old composer based out of LA. She took up blog writing about five years ago when people started asking her to send them daily encouragements. One thing led to another, and now she is the writer of a successful blog called The Encouragement Express. She loves God with all her heart and loves seeing people become who He made them to be.

Wedding Night Sex

We’re back to Monday — the day I have designated to answer readers’ questions. I intended to answer a different question (sorry if it was yours) until Gray left this comment on my Q&A for J at HHH post:

I came across this on twitter and is just in time! I am getting married in 12 days and me and my fiance are both virgins and have only “pop kissed.” I am really not nervous at all and am so excited for Gods gift of intimacy to us! I was just wondering if you could give me some tips or things I should know going into this so I can make it the best possible experience for my future wife and I. I am a blank slate 🙂 Thank you so much!

This one is time-sensitive! At this point, Gray is less than a week away from tying the knot. Congratulations to the groom and lovely bride.

Just Married bride & groom in car

Photo Credit: Microsoft Word Clip Art

So here are my tips for first-timers:

Lower your expectations. I kind of hate to start with that; however, I wrote a post about having High Standards and Low Expectations in marriage. Our standard is not just good marriages, but great marriages; not just good sex, but great sex. However, we don’t expect every single moment to give us the body shivers. Sometimes we put so much pressure on the wedding or the first time to set the stage for the whole marriage. The wedding and honeymoon are the kick-off (American football reference). It’s an important beginning, but there’s a whole game left to play.

So treat this moment for what it is: The beginning of physical intimacy with your wife. It may be amazing, or it may be the preview to amazing. Either way, enjoy it.

Talk to your bride about preconceptions. I had a Christian friend in college who told me that he didn’t want to consummate his marriage on the first night; rather, he wanted to hold his new bride all night long. My response was something like, “Pfft, you’re kidding! This poor girl been physically ready for the last 10 years, and you’re going to put her off another night? What are you?! A sadist??!” (I was expressive back then too.) Now he may have found his hold-me-all-night girl, but that is not at all what I wanted for my wedding night.

Have a quick chat with your bride about what you each want. You can chat ahead of time — though not in the same room (too tempting) — or wait until after the wedding but before the festivities. Does she want to don a pretty nightgown, order room service, and slow dance in the room before making love? Does he plan to walk through the hotel room door, strip down, and get busy? Both approaches are perfectly fine in marriage, but you can imagine how this is going to cause trouble if hubby and wife show up with different scripts for how this momentous night should go. Check for any mismatch in your expectations for the night and clear the air.

Go slow. No, slower. Take your time. This wedding night is your first chance to explore one another’s bodies, find out what feels good, and revel in the beauty and intimacy you will share this time and many others for years to come. Why rush?

Spend time with her whole body. Have you heard that song Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer? Whatever you think of that song, I love the way he describes lovemaking. The singer doesn’t focus on breasts, booty, etc., as many of today’s pop artists do. No, he talks about his lovely woman’s skin, lips, hair, and shape. He’s into all of her.

But thousands of years before Mayer penned his lyrics, the Lover in the Song of Songs described his Beloved’s “wonderland.” Three different times, the husband goes into detail about the beauty of his wife’s body, including this passage:

Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hands.
Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine.
Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies.
Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus.
Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.
Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses.
How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights!
Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit.

Take time to find pleasure in all of your wife’s gorgeous form on this first night.

Plus, women take longer to become aroused than men. Most likely, as soon as your bride drops the nightgown, Groom Jr. will salute and be ready to charge. But he isn’t in charge; you are. So quiet him down and slow the pace so your wife can catch up. Expect to spend up to a half hour or more getting her ready for intercourse. Bluntly speaking, she needs to be dripping wet and her inner vaginal lips must be swollen to two times or more their normal size for penetration to feel comfortable. She will need foreplay — lots of it.

Try to make it last. Virgin men seem to me a lot like the soda bottle that has been shaken up for a long time. You have been aroused over and over without the opportunity to fully express that build-up. Now, here’s your chance! So what happens with a shaken-up Coke bottle when you remove the lid? Yep, that’s right. It bursts out, and a few seconds later the fizz is down and the hullabaloo is over. Now before you swear at me for insulting manhood: I love men. I love men so much that I compared your breed to Coca-Cola (which, if you knew my soda-consuming habits, you would recognize as a high compliment!). You see, I don’t think any Coca-Cola should go to waste.

Yet, the first time you might enter your wife and two seconds later, you’re done. Can that happen? It can. It does. You can try to hold off by coming close to ejaculation, pausing for a few minutes, and then resuming stimulation or thrusting. But if you “come” quickly, be assured that your ability to last will increase with age and sexual experience. Plus, your Coke bottle will fill back up and you can go at it again later in the night, in the morning, or on your honeymoon.

If early release continues to be an issue, One Flesh Marriage posted on premature ejaculation with tips for increasing how long a husband can last before climax. That excellent post is HERE.

Help a girl out after. It ain’t over until your bride says it’s over. Approach the before, during, and after as a we thing. When you’re done, you may still need to attend to the following.

  • Does she want you to keep stimulating her? If so, continue to stroke her until she feels satisfied.
  • Would she like you to hold her? This is a biggie for a lot of wives. For the act to have deeper meaning, a woman often wishes to be embraced afterward for a few seconds, a few minutes, or longer. This may also be a good time to talk, as many spouses become emotionally vulnerable after they have been physically vulnerable.
  • Help her clean up, if she wants. Sex is messy. There are fluids. Get a washcloth or towel for herself or the bed. You could even plant it near the bed beforehand.
  • Encourage your bride to empty her bladder. Her private areas are more susceptible to infection with sexual activity. Indeed, enough newlywed women have gotten urinary tract infections that it is sometimes referred to as “honeymoonitis.” Using the bathroom after sex can help a woman rid her body of bacteria that can cause infection.
  • Reassure your bride of something great about the experience. In the Song of Songs, the lovers continue to talk after their encounter about how wonderful it was, how handsome or beautiful their spouse is, and how much they love one another. Take a tip from the Bible: Pay a genuine compliment.

Rinse and Repeat. Ha! Seriously, though, you get to do this over and over and over and over . . . Ain’t God generous? I love the findings that Sheila Wray Gregoire reported in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex that the best sex is had by couples who have been married for many years. With time, effort, and know-how, we get better at it.

After __ years of marriage, my hubby knows my body far better than he did in the first year or two. I also know what I can do to contribute to his pleasure and my own. We’ve explored and experimented, learned and laughed, grown and groaned. (I needed another g-word to keep up the alliteration.) We have a sex life that doesn’t include a few encounters, but thousands. That makes for a very special bond.

Have fun. Whenever I send my kids somewhere, I load them down with rules like be respectful, mind your manners, etc. and then add one last “rule”: Have fun.

That’s true for your wedding night and honeymoon as well. I didn’t include the anatomy lesson you might have expected because you two can figure that out as you go. Don’t overthink it. Don’t worry if the first time doesn’t cause the earth to open and the angels to sing above you. Of course, it may. But have fun. And keep having fun.

May you have many years of happiness, personal growth, and mind-blowing sex.

Note: The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex would be a great read for your bride, and Sheila specifically addresses newlywed wives.