Welcome (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.
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.