Tag Archives: wedding night sex

Q&A with J: When Your Groom Is Anxious about Sex

Today’s question comes from a lovely woman on the brink of new marriage. With just weeks until the vows, here’s what she wrote:

hi, im getting married in [a few] weeks, my husband to be has usually been a little reluctant to talk about sex which we always said was good to keep us from going too far before married. we did some sessions of premarital counseling a while ago and our pastor suggested looking at the site the marriage bed shortly before our wedding. I have read quite a bit on their site as well as yours which has helped me be less scared about sex, but now that he has read some things on their site he says he is super weird about the idea of sex. I asked if there was anything in particular that scared him and he said “putting my hands and face where they don’t belong.” I told him that I will never make him do anything he isn’t comfortable with but just the idea of sex is still scaring him. he is a very very logic driven person so has a hard time understanding why anyone would want to do any of the things he read about (even just normal sex). …

I don’t want him to be scared of sex and both of us have a really good understanding that sex is a good thing from God and its not dirty, it just is best within marriage. do you have any suggestions on ways I could make him less scared? I have told him its ok if we don’t have sex right away, we can spend time just becoming comfortable with each other and I will wait until he feels ready. I want to know how to love him best.

Blog post title + midsection of groom looking at his watch

I love that last line: “I want to know how to love him best.” Isn’t that a great way to approach your spouse, no matter how long you’ve been married?

But I wanted to tackle this question because it gets at a few issues that people often don’t consider.

Men also absorb the purity message.

Last year, Sheila Gregoire wrote 10 Things That Scare Me About the “Purity” Culture. One of those ten was “The Purity Culture can make women afraid of sex.” Now Sheila was writing specifically to women, but her point is valid for both genders: Well-intentioned Christians can preach sex as such a huge no-no that they create fear about engaging in the act even when married.

Here are clues that suggest this young man has been exposed to, and absorbed, some purity culture messages:

1. He’s highly uncomfortable talking about sex, but then they decide that’s a good thing so that they won’t go too far.

Except that talking about sex generally and talking about sex specifically are very different. As Christians, we need to be able to comfortably talk about our sexuality, our temptations and challenges, our longings for the future, etc. Silence isn’t always golden. Indeed, teens that have parents and mentors willing to discuss sexuality honestly and in the context of values tend to wait longer to have sex. 

When and how should much should you talk about sex before marriage? Check out this guest post from Eric and Heather Viets of Preengaged.comHow Much Should You Learn about Sex before the Wedding Night? Also, Lauren Hanna also guested here with Let’s Talk About Sex, Shall We?

2. He’s worried about “putting my hands and face where they don’t belong.”

Who said they don’t belong there? I’ll deal with this issue more thoroughly below, but suffice it to say that I wonder if he’s absorbed the sense that godly sex involves a pretty narrow repertoire. It’s a message you get in some Christian circles, but it’s not what God’s Word says.

3. The questioner insists that they don’t believe sex is dirty, just best within marriage. That might be a completely innocent comment, or it could be that this young man is still trying to convince himself.

You know how we do that — tell ourselves something over and over so that we’ll eventually believe it. But if the belief is embedded deep, it can be harder to genuinely feel something is true, even when you know logically it is.

Men are simply not immune to the messages many Christian singles received about sex — that it’s dangerous territory. As being such an off-limits activity or even discussion before marriage, it’s hard to flip the switch after the vows.

What can you do? Here’s my go-to on this one: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). To me that means that we get what we want when we want what God designed for us to have (see Aligning Your Sexual Desires with God’s Plan). You, as a couple, must learn to delight in God’s design for sex. That can take some time, but it’s worth the study, communication, prayer, and perhaps even counseling you may need.

Sex IS weird.

Let’s just be honest: The act of sex is a strange thing. You get naked, put yourselves in all kinds of positions you wouldn’t get into otherwise, and you match up body parts in unusual ways. I’ve often wondered what God was thinking when He created this act. Wasn’t there an easier alternative?

But if you think we‘re weird, go look at the animal kingdom. I’m fascinated at all the ways reproduction happens among creatures, like the female praying mantis that sometimes eats the head of her mate after copulation or the argonaut octopus that has a detachable penis. You can really get lost in articles about the strange mating rituals out there. I don’t know why God made it that way for some species, but it sure makes me grateful He chose our way of doing things for the creatures made in His image.

It might make your fiancé feel better to just accept that sex IS weird. But just because something is strange doesn’t mean it isn’t also natural and enjoyable. There’s a lot of strange stuff in nature that’s pretty cool. (See Travel & Leisure’s World’s Strangest Natural Wonders.)

So yeah, sex is weird, but give it a fair shot … because it’s also quite wonderful.

Where do your hands and face “belong”?

I grew up on the rural side of Corpus Christi, Texas, where my high school let out for the local livestock show and rodeo because too many students were involved to continue holding class. Those of us not involved still attended to check things out and cheer on friends.

After one livestock show ended, a friend shared how she’d been walking past the hog stalls where two hogs lay head to toe. A romantically involved couple just ahead said something like, “Hey, those pigs look just like us!” (referring to the 69 position). My friend was way creeped out and ranted for a while about oral sex, wondering why anything would do such a thing … right up until a married woman nearby calmly responded, “You’d be surprised what you’d do.” You could have heard a pen drop … or maybe me snicker — one or the other.

Anyway, it’s not unusual for sexual acts to seem really strange as well and even off-putting before you do them. Hey, I remember wondering when I was young why people would touch tongues together and how that could be enjoyable. Turns out, French kissing is quite enjoyable, but I didn’t know until I tried.

Of course not every sexual act is a good idea. So how do you know where your hands and face really belong — from a Christian viewpoint? Here’s the upshot:

  • God clearly wanted penis-in-vagina intercourse to be part of sexual intimacy in marriage. Just think of the number of times something like “he knew her, and she became pregnant” occurs in the Bible.
  • The vast majority of our bodies is hygienically clean enough for hands and mouths. One exception is the anus, but our skin and genitalia are pretty much fair game. It’s a wide, wide playground God gave us to work with.
  • If oral sex is among the concerns, I — and quite a few others — believe it’s specifically referenced in Song of Songs: “In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (2:3) and “Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (4:16). Check out Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design for more in-depth treatment of oral sex and other sexual activities.

Essentially, your hands and your mouth belong on your spouse’s body where God says it’s okay, where your spouse says it’s okay, and where you want to go. God gave us a lot of freedom in the marriage bed.

God gave us a lot of freedom in the marriage bed. Click To Tweet

How do you deal with your mate’s genuine anxiety in the bedroom?

Actually, I think you’re on the right track. You need to nudge, but not pressure; communicate, but not nag; request, but not demand. The beauty of sex in marriage is that you get a lifetime to figure this whole thing out.

Unfortunately, some people think their first few experiences of sex together represent the destiny of their married sex life. And they don’t.

Just because of how life works, you’ll have seasons when things are better and when things are more challenging. But you also have the opportunity to grow together in intimacy in all areas, including the physical.

However, you need to be intentional in pursuing a good sex life together.

You need to be intentional in pursuing a good sex life together. Click To Tweet

In addition to what you’re already doing, I’d suggest that you read a few books together, which you can probably do now since you’re so close to the wedding. For couples, here are a few recommendations:

While I wrote it for wives, it could also be very beneficial for you two to go through my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage. Each devotion is brief, steeped in a biblical perspective, and includes questions that can help you communicate better and find out where you need to grow.

Take it slow, but don’t stop progressing. And many blessings for your upcoming nuptials!

Q&A with J: “Will My Larger Penis Hurt My Bride?”

Today’s question comes from a fiancé getting married soon after the holidays. The husband-to-be has a couple of concerns about making the first sexual experience positive for his bride. Well, and positive for himself, I’m sure. Here’s what he wrote:

I am engaged to my beautiful future bride. We are both virgins and have no experience with the opposite sex.

My problem is I’m afraid I might hurt her when we make love for the first time and that is by far the last thing I would want to do. I’m afraid of this for two reasons one I am larger than the average male down there. . . I don’t think I’m a monster but I worry I may hurt her if I’m not careful. That brings me to number two which is my inexperience. How do I know if I’m pushing the limits without going over? We are both excited about joining in that union I just don’t want the first time to be a bad experience for her, or me.

Q&A with J: "Will My Larger Penis Hurt My Bride?"

I’ve written on this subject a couple of times before: Penis Size: From the Wife’s Point of View and Is My Penis Big Enough?

But frankly, most men are more concerned with being big enough rather than too big. In this guy’s original email, he provided specific measurements, and yeah, he’s definitely on the large end of the scale. So I understand and admire his concern for his virgin bride.

Here are a few things husbands with an XL penis might want to think about:

Vaginas are amazingly elastic. The walls of a woman’s vagina are comprised of folds of muscular tissue that can stretch several inches beyond their normal set point. Even though a single finger or two fingers seem to fill a wife’s vagina, God’s beautiful design allows her body to accept her husband’s penis and even deliver a child through this canal.

Having gone through the childbirth experience, I can tell you that no penis is as big as a child’s head. So rest assured that — unless your wife has physiological challenges like defects or vaginismus — her secret space can accommodate your size.

Arousal helps her vagina relax enough to stretch. Your bride’s vagina isn’t like silly putty — more like a rubber band. Silly putty, you can just pull and stretch and that’s that. Rubber bands require some exertion to stretch to the right size. Your “exertion” is called foreplay, my friend.

When a wife becomes aroused, two important things happen (besides her feeling really good): Her vaginal walls secrete lubrication, and her genitalia swell with increased blood supply. The lubrication makes her vagina slick so that the friction of intercourse feels pleasurable rather than painful, and the swelling relaxes her vagina so it can stretch further.

Dude, it’s your job to help these two things happen. Thankfully, God made this part a whole lot of fun . . . for both of you. Take your time turning your wife on, expecting that it may be 30 minutes or more before she is fully aroused enough to have intercourse. As soon as she begins to lubricate, you can use your fingers to spread that lubrication around her genitalia, which will make foreplay there feel even better. But she won’t be ready for penetration until her vulva swell to 2-3 times their normal size.

Remember, though, that foreplay for a woman isn’t merely stroking her girly parts. Sure, that feels good, but the whole kit-and-caboodle contributes to our excitement about lovemaking. A slow massage or caressing her arms and legs or a fabulous make-out session can arouse your wife enough to get things going down there. Slow down and enjoy the journey, knowing that it will make your destination that much sweeter when she is eager and excited to make love.

Lubrication is key. I mentioned lubrication above, but some wives don’t produce as much as they need or get there quickly enough. I remember being reluctant to add lubrication early in my marriage, because it felt like something was defective if we needed it. But that’s just not so. Sometimes our bodies respond quickly, and other times they don’t. And it can be nothing more than what time of the month she’s in, because hormones affect that.

Your bride should have a personal lubricant available in case you need to add some additional moisture. There are many brands, so let me break down the basics for you. They mostly come in water-based or silicone, with those having a different feel and lasting different time periods. I suggest you buy both to find out what you like. Popular store brands are K-Y, Wet, and Astroglide, but you can also find quality products online like Good Clean Love and my personal favorite, Sliquid. Another option altogether is coconut oil, which you can find in the health section of your store, and many couples swear by it.

Simply make sure you have something on hand, just in case. Even if you don’t need it that first night, you might want it later during the honeymoon or in your many, many opportunities to make love afterward.

Communicate with your bride. Whether it’s your large penis penetrating her or how you’re touching your bride, you should cultivate communication in the marriage bed by asking how things feel.

Now you don’t want to interrogate her, so don’t throw a barrage of questions at her constantly. But check in now and then, asking for feedback. Watch her reactions. Encourage her to speak up if something feels uncomfortable. Let her know that her pleasure matters to you.

That first time, as you enter her body, go slow and ask how she’s doing. Look, I know this will require an incredible amount of self-control on your part. Because at that point, everything in your body is going to be screaming, NOW! But I also believe that loving husbands are capable of such tenderness in this regard, and it will benefit you to check in with her at that point and see how she’s doing. Give her a chance to adjust her position, spread her vaginal lips open more, breathe out slowly to relax, and whatever else she needs to do to feel ready.

That said, some wives at this point don’t need all that. So if she simply responds, “I’m great. Go for it!” Then listen to your wise wife.

Basically, either way, listen to your wife. You can help her learn from the get-go to respond to her sexual sensations and feelings, and women who value their own pleasure in the marriage bed tend to be more enthusiastic partners in the long run.

Understand that she will be sore afterward. The next day and beyond, her vagina will likely feel sore. It’s not because you hurt her, but because she’s using muscles that didn’t get used before. It’s like she went to the gym and signed up for the Advanced Aerobics class. Think of it like Sex Boot Camp. (I’m going to get flak for saying that one, aren’t I?)

Be kind if she complains about soreness later. And understand she may need a little recuperation time. I’m talking a day or two maybe, because it really is like stretching new muscles, and the best way to make that not hurt long-term is to keep using the muscles. Most newlywed couples can engage in sex almost daily, or even multiple times in a day. Whether they do so is less dependent on their bodies and more dependent on attitudes, schedules, etc.

Intense pain is not okay. One last caveat: If your bride does experience extreme pain, that’s not normal. Some women do have physiological issues that prevent their bodies from cooperating with sexual intercourse. If she cannot engage that first night because it hurts too much, don’t push it. Be sexual in other ways. And when you can, take her to see her gynecologist to find out what’s going on and get answers to make her feel better.

Honestly, I think you’re going to have a marvelous wedding night! That first night together can be a beautiful time of exploring one another’s bodies and experiencing deeper intimacy than you’ve ever had before. Congratulations! Wishing you many blessed years of wedding bliss.

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.

What Should a Groom Know about His Wedding Night?

Several weeks ago, Eric and Heather Viets of Preengaged guest posted about how much singles should know about sex before their wedding night, and I followed up with what I wish I’d known before my own wedding night. My post was geared toward the bride, but one male reader suggested I give pointers for the groom.

To make sure I communicate well to the men out there, I’m going to give my advice in sports-speak. Don’t worry, dude. If you’re not a sports guy, you’ll still get it. But if you’re into sports, or have seen so much as a little league game, perhaps the analogies will help.

Football field: Team Honeymoon

(photo: Microsoft Word Clip Art)

Choose your team. You can cross this one off. As soon as you got down on one knee (you did do that, didn’t you?), and asked her to marry you, you’d made your first, middle, and last draft pick. That woman you’re ready to say “I do” to is The One — the lady you’ve chosen to walk beside in this journey of life. And she’ll look fabulous in the uniform (wedding dress and later…well, you know).

Planning the plays. Closer to the wedding, discuss your expectations and plan for the wedding night — also known as the kickoff for your marriage. There’s not one single way to execute an opening play.

Here’s an example. When I was in college, I had a close friend who was a true romantic. This guy oozed poetry and sensitivity, while still being entirely masculine. (Yes, girls crushed all over him.) He once said, “On my wedding night, I’m not going to worry about consummating. I just want to hold her close to me all night long.” To which I replied, “What?!!! This poor girl’s been waiting 20-something years for sex, and you’re going to make her wait another night?”

Perhaps this is a flip-flop of the gender stereotypes, but it illustrates well that expectations for the wedding night matter. A little before the wedding, talk about your marriage day schedule, figuring out when you’ll likely arrive at your hotel room and what you want to do when you’re finally alone. Some couples sleep for a while after an exhausting day, so they have fresh energy for their first sexual encounter. Some couples want time to dine, talk, and cuddle before moving on to more. Some couples want the clothing to start flying as soon as they hit the hotel room threshold.

Also be willing to do what she needs to feel comfortable with your first experience. You may be busting at the seams to get goin’, but start out right by considering your wife’s needs ahead of your own (Philippians 2:1-3). You’ve waited this long; you can hold on a bit longer to help your bride feel ready.

Coaching. Every team has a coach. Your ultimate coach is the One who gave you this sexual gift to begin with — aka God. So let His Word coach you about your attitude toward your wife and your marital intimacy. Take a look at the scriptures specifically about marriage (see Genesis 2; Ephesians 5; 1 Corinthians 7; and Song of Solomon), but also any scripture about how we should treat our brother or sister in Christ (like Philippians 2:5, Romans 12:10, 1 Corinthians 13:7; John 13, 34).  I’ve even written about the Gospel’s effect on the marital bedroom.

In addition, God has several assistants on His team — for instance, sexual intimacy authors like me and married mentors at your church and medical experts to address specific issues. Be willing to consult accordingly.

Specific plays. So you want to know what to actually do when you get there, right? As I said, there’s no step 1, step 2, step 3 manual, and couples vary in what they like and what provides them the most mutual pleasure. But here are a few general tips:

Take it slow. I addressed this more specifically in One Sex Tip I Give to Husbands Over and Over, but basically, most guys heat up more quickly than most women. Take that into account. You don’t need to get to the bedroom and hit a homer right off the bat. More baseball games are won by going from base to base to base until you cross home plate. Same with sex. Be willing to take your time and enjoy each step of the sexual encounter.

Know her body. When you play on a team, you have to know something about your fellow teammates — their strengths, their weaknesses, how you best work together. Likewise, know something about the female body and your wife’s body in particular. Familiarize yourself with female anatomy (see Her Plumbing from The Marriage Bed). Then on your wedding night, explore your wife’s body and figure out where and how your wife likes to be touched and aroused. Knowing her better means you’ll be able to work in tandem better, scoring big for the team.

Make small adjustments. Many times in sports, a play would have been successful if the ball had gone just a little to the right or the defensive player had been just a few feet to the left. When starting out your sex life, remember this concept. You don’t have to try everything in the first week. Just explore by stages. Shift your sexual position a little this way, apply a bit less or a bit more pressure, make small adjustments that increase her pleasure…and thus yours. Your repertoire will slowly expand.

Make sure you both score. If one team member has a horrible game, it affects the whole team. So pay attention to her pleasure, as well as your own. I’m not talking specifically about orgasm (many wives don’t achieve this at first), but help her “score” with pleasure. Attend to her enjoyment, and do what you can to make this a positive experience for her. If she does orgasm, great, but if she doesn’t, having a positive, pleasurable experience will likely help her reach that peak in the future.

Remember she’s her own player. Let your wife know that your marriage bed will be a secure place for her to figure out her sexuality. Not enjoying it right off the bat, or struggling with positions, or having difficulty climaxing, are not uncommon for newlywed wives. Don’t take it personally; she’s still figuring things out too. Assure her that you’ve got a lifetime to build a beautiful sex life together and that you’re committed to helping you both enjoy the physical sensations and deep intimacy that come with healthy sexuality in marriage.

Let her know what the game means to you. Finally, communicate lovingly about your desire and sexual satisfaction. Don’t get penalized for “excessive celebration.” You know the kind: When the winning player acts like he did it alone and he’s the best thing since Superman. If you really want to be her hero, remind your wife that sex means so much because it physically expresses and nurtures your deep intimate love for her.

I’d love to hear from the married couples out there: What tips would you give a groom on his wedding night? Husbands, especially: What do you wish you’d known on your wedding night?