Monthly Archives: October 2013

What I Wish I’d Known before the Wedding Night

On Monday, Eric and Heather Viets from Preengaged.com were here advising How Much Should You Learn about Sex before the Wedding Night? With their background in engagement and pre-engagement counseling and their godly wisdom, the Vietses were the perfect couple to address that issue.

But their post got me thinking. If I could go back and give my pre-sex self a few pointers, what would I say?

Pic from Microsoft Word Clip Art

Pic from Microsoft Word Clip Art

Now we’re going to pretend that my wedding night is the first time I have sex. Because that’s what I should have done; that’s when my godly sex life began; and that’s how I believe God sees me now, having extended to me His forgiveness and redemption. Anyway . . . here’s what I wish I’d known right before my wedding night.

Awkward and clumsy are natural in the bedroom. Listen, honey, you aren’t filming a love scene for a movie featured at the Sundance Film Festival. Don’t worry about how you look, getting it “right,” or even falling off the bed. If you fall, laugh and get back up. Your hubby will laugh with you (not at you) and help you get back up.

You’re there to grow closer to one another and have a good time. So let go and enjoy! Indeed, some of your awkward/clumsy moments will become cherished memories that demonstrate how comfortable and authentic you can be in this marriage.

Yes, it’s big, but it will fit. The first time I saw a flaccid penis, I figured, “I can see how that would work.” The first time I saw an erect penis, I thought, “OH. MY. GOD.” Seriously, I wondered what God was thinking and how something that size would ever fit in the space that once freaked at the thought of a slim tampon.

But God knew exactly what He was thinking and creating. (He always does.) Yeah, your husband’s penis is not small, but your vagina has superpowers — like Elastigirl from The Incredibles. God made it stretchy and able to adapt to his size. With lubricant and acclimation, hubby’s manhood will slide right in . . . and feel superpower good.

Pee before and after. If I was less blunt, I would have nicely said, “Eliminate your bladder before and after sexual intercourse” — just like my gynecologist said it. About ten years after I got married. *eye roll*

I could have saved myself a few urinary tract infections and the accompanying discomfort if only I’d simply taken the time to use the toilet both before and after having sex. Admittedly, it’s not always possible to get to a potty before you and the hubster start going at it, but after is pretty much a given. You can “afterglow” later, right after you empty your bladder. There’s no guarantee that you’ll never get an infection with this practice, but it does help.

He won’t think you’re a crazy nympho if you really, really participate. Making noise, making faces, making motions, making like you’re having the time of your life: Yeah, none of that will make your husband think you’re a sex-crazed freak who should be contained in a straitjacket and only let out on Wednesdays to do laundry. In fact — brace yourself — he’ll like it.

One of the biggest turn-ons for a husband is knowing that his wife is enjoying their sexual intimacy. Watching you “get into it” is, well, awesome in his book. Release your inhibitions and surrender to the experience. Your husband will seek your pleasure and revel in it. Moreover, that’s what God intended — for you both to seek one another’s good and become one flesh, even in the bedroom.

Take your time. Once you begin the actual intercourse, things may be over pretty quickly. On the wedding night. At least for him. Finally being inside you may well send him over the hump like a racing roller coaster over that first hill.

So take your time beforehand. And not only to draw out the sexual experience, but to get to know one another’s bodies and to savor all the delights of foreplay. Lovemaking is the whole kit-and-caboodle — not merely penetration, but kissing and stroking and fondling and pleasuring one another. So slow down and enjoy the entire thing.

You will be sore, just like you were after your first aerobics class. Hey, you’re using muscles you haven’t used before. What do you expect? But just like exercise, you shouldn’t respond by deciding it hurts too much that you have to stop doing it.

Be gentle, be careful, but keep up the “exercise.” Your body will get used to it, and sex will no longer hurt. Your husband can also help you acclimate by massaging your opening with his fingers, by helping to make sure you are fully lubricated before he enters, and by adjusting the angle at which he penetrates to avoid over-stretching or tearing.

Of course, “sore” isn’t the same as “excruciating.” So if it hurts like a hot poker, press pause on the intercourse and call your doctor. (You can check out my post about painful sex here.)

So those are some practical tips I’d give myself before the wedding night? What would you tell your pre-wed, pre-sex self to prepare her for sexual intimacy?

How Much Should You Learn about Sex before the Wedding Night?

Bride & Groom Embracing

Photo: Microsoft Word Clip Art

Eric & Heather Viets of Preengaged.com provide premarital and pre-engagement counseling and have a fabulous blog that speaks to couples in every stage of the relationship — dating, engaged, and married. So when I considered my blog readers who aren’t yet hitched, but want to prepare themselves for sexual intimacy in marriage, Eric and Heather immediately came to mind. I appreciate them joining us today to answer “How much should you learn about sex before the wedding night?”

What immediately comes to your mind when you hear or read the word ‘SEX’? Do you immediately turn red or giggle? Do you feel ashamed? Do you feel indifferent? Do you get excited? Chances are you experience a few different (and perhaps even conflicting) feelings.

There is such power to the word ‘sex’ and other words pertaining to it. A friend of mine was once in a literature class and the teacher walked to the chalkboard on the first day of class and wrote a crude name for sex. Then, he turned around and explained the origin of the word and after lecturing for a few minutes, he said, “Now that I have your attention . . .” and proceeded to talk about literature. He knew that talking about sex, especially in a taboo way, would get his class’s attention!

Blooming and Confusion

We hear a lot of different ideas about sex and we’re taught a lot of subtle lessons. “Don’t think about sex! It will only tempt you!” or “Think about sex a lot and prepare for it, but don’t do it!” Growing up, I thought about sex a lot; of course, I didn’t broadcast that fact to others. It seemed like something I shouldn’t be thinking about, but my body was changing and the topic popped in my head often. Was that wrong? Should we not think about sex until we’re married? If we should think about sex, how much and in what context?

Personally, I think trying to keep someone over the age of twelve from thinking about sex is a lost cause. We humans are going to think about it. And since we are going to think about sex before marriage, we need to prepare for it; yet, we do need to be careful about how much we dwell on sex before we marry our special someone.

Preparing for an Upcoming Sexual Relationship in Marriage

Here are a few guidelines I recommend in mentally preparing for your upcoming sexual marriage relationship:

1. Prayer is powerful. When you actively think about sex, do so prayerfully. Ask God to guide you as you learn. Ask Him to keep your mind pure and to help you flee from sexual temptation and youthful lusts. Thinking about sex with no boundaries is a sure recipe for failure. The more we mentally dwell on the topic of sex, the more our bodies physiologically prepare for sex and desire sex. Married couples, if they are honest when asked, will also tell you that the more they find themselves thinking about sex, the more they want it!

2. Study about sex in the daylight. Nighttime brings temptations that daytime does not bring. There is something about the darkness and quiet that makes our minds wander places which are not righteous. For example, you may find yourself lying in bed having sexual fantasies if you study the mechanics of sexual interaction in the quiet of your dimly lit bedroom. Such fantasies can lead to bodily reactions and masturbation which often leads to shame and guilt. Such shame and guilt can make the vicious cycle repeat; so, for the sake of your purity, we recommend only studying the topic of sex in the light of day . . . preceded and followed by prayer.

3. Never turn to pornography or erotica to learn about sex. The sex industry would like us to believe that the sexual experiences featured in porn and erotica are normal, but it is far from normal. It highlights the sexual act as one of primarily receiving (or even downright taking) pleasure instead of displaying the tender, giving experience to each other which God intended sex to be in marriage. To study the logistics and mechanics of the sexual relationship (i.e., what physiologically happens from beginning to end of a sexual encounter), consult Christian books written to help singles prepare for marriage with textbook type drawings which portray the act of sex in a non-erotic way. One book we strongly recommend is Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman. But, caution! Before marriage, read the first four chapters only. And then, take the book with you on your honeymoon. ~smile~

4. Prepare for your wedding night. Please don’t focus all your attention on the wedding and then find yourself in a nice hotel suite with your new mate expecting everything to fall into place naturally. Sex is an activity which takes practice to achieve more skill. Therefore, if one were to grade the first time, we would surmise it would often get a “C-” for most couples.  This is okay as the couple is just starting to learn each other, each other’s bodies, and each other’s desires. Sex often gets better the more you do it. Don’t believe the Hollywood lie that your first time has to be magical. Such an expectation will likely let you down.

5. Consider getting outside counsel. “You mean, talk to someone else about sex?  That’s crazy talk!” In our premarital counseling program, we have an entire two-hour session on preparing for the wedding night and the sexual relationship in marriage.  We cover a lot of ground including both the male and female sexual response cycles and all of our couples have found this session very beneficial. It is important to discuss together who you will go to for counsel regarding this sensitive topic should issues arise; and, if those issues do arise, seek out a Christian professional who treats the topic biblically and with gentleness.

6. For the ladies . . .  Ladies, prepare for your wedding night by packing something to wear that makes you feel beautiful. For your first time, it is wise to use lubricants while your body adjusts to having sex. Also, think about how you will feel most comfortable undressing in front of your husband for the first time. If she’s nervous and wants to reveal herself much more slowly, some couples start by the woman getting into a bubble bath before the man comes in and joins her. There is nothing wrong with easing into it! It is much better than rushing it and feeling frustrated and let down.

7. For the guys . . .  Gentlemen, plan something for your wedding night. I’ve heard of a man washing his new wife’s feet as a symbol of his commitment to love and serve her (see John 13). Some men bring a gift and a thoughtful card. Think of a way to transition from the hectic wedding day into a calm, unforgettable wedding night. Remember that even though you may be raring to go, your new bride may be nervous. So, plan to move into your first sexual experience slowly and lovingly. Think of several ways to make her feel special and beautiful on your wedding night (gifts, verbal compliments, poems, previously written letters, etc.). This is the first of many sexual experiences and you’ll want her to associate sex with positive feelings! ~smile~

8. Don’t discuss sex in detail with your sweetie until about one month before the wedding. When you do talk about it, do so in the daylight and in a public place. You’ll obviously want to use your indoor voice. ~smile~ You can talk about your expectations and fears, but again, do so prayerfully. Those last few weeks before the wedding can be some of the most tempting times because you will begin to feel married as you make countless decisions together. It’s during those times you will want to beef up your accountability and take extra precautions.

It’s Time to Think about Sex

In college, a dorm-mate of mine happily shared her notes with me from class one afternoon. Her female professor (my understanding is that this class was comprised solely of ladies) had talked to her class about the stages human bodies go through during a sexual experience. That may be the only lesson those girls remember from her class as I’m sure they were all ears! It’s a favorite topic across the board. Her professor told the class that young people are told not to think about sex, but she had a different belief. She thought singles should think about, understand, and prepare for a sexual relationship… and I agree with her!

If you endeavor to keep your heart and mind pure as you prepare to love one man or one woman forever, you can study the sexual relationship in a godly context. We want you to go into your wedding night filled with wonder at the mystery of God’s plan for sex and marriage, but we don’t want you to be fearful. The more you understand about sex and the way God intended it to be, the less fearful you should be. Knowledge is power! ~smile~

What questions or concerns do you have about your future sexual marriage relationship?

Eric and Heather Viets write at PreEngaged.com, a resource blog which aids Christian singles and couples to prepare well for marriage and spouse selection.

Playing Dress-Up in the Bedroom?

We’re one week away from Halloween. While Christians have an array of opinions about this holiday, you can’t avoid seeing the costumes that crop up in stores, in media sources, and on your neighborhood street.

And has anyone else noticed a trend to make every costume include a Sexy version? Like Sexy Nurse, Sexy Cop, Sexy Witch, Sexy Pirate. Think it stops there? Oh no. I’ve even seen costumes for Sexy Ladybug, Sexy Court Jester, and Sexy Spongebob. (Really? Sexy Spongebob?)

Mask

Picture from Microsoft Word Clip Art

While I’d discourage wives from donning Sexy [fill-in-the-blank] costumes out in public for your Halloween event or harvest festival, there is something to be said for playing dress-up in the bedroom. Why would a spouse dress up for a sexual encounter?

Role Play. Plenty of married couples engage in role play as one aspect of their lovemaking. Spouses act out scenarios ranging from average activities “gone wild” (nurse giving sponge bath, realtor showing a house) to events already charged with sexual energy (dancer performing strip tease, naked photo shoot) to scenarios from the world of fantasy (fairy tale/prince & princess, superhero rescuing citizen). The role play could include costume pieces or the whole nine yards of tights, cape, and boots — that example being for the superhero idea, not the realtor. Casting yourself in a different role from time to time can add a playful dimension to your lovemaking. It’s also a way to live out a little fantasy with your spouse.

Aesthetics. Aesthetics is just a big word to say that something is appealing to the eye. Whether you actually play out any role, your husband might love to view your body dolled up as a sexy sailor or cowgirl. There’s a bit of intrigue to costuming, and different outfits can draw attention to different parts of your body. Put more basically, your figure might totally rock a sexy gladiator costume (or whatever else you can find) and catch the tongue-tied attention of your hubby.

Feeling Adventurous. Another reason to introduce a costume into your bedroom is that it might bring out the bolder side of you. When you dress up, you feel a little more adventurous, a little more daring . . . and that can carry over into how you approach sex with your spouse. Showing your playful or seductive side with a costume can excite your own interest in sexual activity and/or give you a boost of sexual confidence when you see the happy expression on his face.

A few things to remember about role play in the bedroom:

Be you. If you dress in costume or play a role, you should still be you with your spouse during sex. Sexual intimacy is about two unique people connecting physically and relationally. If you fantasize that you’re making love to the swashbuckler on your steamy romance novel cover, and not your husband, you’ve brought a third party (even in imagination) into your bedroom. Instead, spouses should keep their own identity. Be you-in-costume and interact as yourself.

Make it a treat. If you need to constantly wear a costume or role play in the bedroom for one or both of you to become aroused, that could signal a problem. Sexual intimacy in marriage can include a variety of experiences, but you should be able to sexually engage as a couple without a prop department. How often you don a costume is up to you as a couple, but it can certainly be a treat that you engage in when looking for extra spice in the bedroom.

You’re enough. If your husband wants you to dress up, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t satisfied with you as you are. In a recent news story, Hugh Jackman — People‘s magazine 2008 “Sexiest Man Alive” — said that he has worn his Wolverine costume to the bedroom. While I think the claws could get a little dangerous in that scenario, I found it interesting that his wife of 17 years got a kick out of that. It’s obviously not that her husband isn’t attractive enough on his own! Putting on a costume doesn’t mean that your husband wants someone else. He chose you. Assuming it’s not a regular or persistent request (as mentioned above), consider it a playful and provocative experience to dress up for him.

What do you think about wearing a costume in the bedroom? Any other insights you wish to add?

31 Days to a Better Marriage: My Guest Post

31 Days Promotional PhotoI am happily participating in The Alabaster Jar’s 31 Days to a Better Marriage. My post appears today and specifically addresses medium or high-drive wives. I suspect that it would be a good read for many, however, to help us understand God’s blessing of sexual intimacy in marriage.

Here’s a snippet of the post, with a link to the rest of the story…

Can Sex-Driven Wives Be Godly Wives?

I’m tempted to answer my own question, “You bet,” and leave it at that.

Yet I know the struggle that many Christian wives feel. I’ve felt it too. That sense that if you really enjoy sex with your husband…

If you desire, delve, and delight in sex…

If you even invite, initiate, and indulge in sex…

If you—heaven forbid!—mention aloud to other Christian wives how much you enjoy sex, then…

Maybe you’re not quite up to snuff on the disciple-o-meter. After all, how could you be so obsessed with the physical side of life when God is clearly only interested in the spiritual?

Read more.