So you got engaged. You’re going to get married. You have to plan a wedding. You have to invite guests, buy decorations, pick out a ring. You’ve started premarital counseling. You’re thinking about your honeymoon.
And then it hits you.
You’re going to start having sex. Someone is going to see your naked body. AND TOUCH IT!
Take a breath. It’s okay to be nervous. Wedding night anxiety is real. Why? Well if you’ve never had sex, it’s going to be brand new. New things are scary. And even if you have had sex outside of marriage, this is going to be different. Not to mention if you’ve been in church for a significant amount of time sex probably carries a lot of weight to it. You’ve been told to never even think about it. And now, that’s all you can do.
So let’s talk about some ways you and your future spouse can prepare.
First, let’s set some expectations:
Will it be beautiful and emotional and memorable? In a sense, yes. Big moments in life are. Some people even cry happy tears their first time. But if you’ve ever watched a child being born you can understand that something can be beautiful and super weird at the same time.
No matter how beautiful you make it, sex is awkward at first, to say the least. You’re literally placing an appendage into a tight hole. That can cause difficulties, and it takes some practice. Then while your bodies are connected you have to move and gyrate in a rhythm that feels pleasurable. Suffice it to say, it’s going to take time to figure out what works for each of you, and together.
I also want to say, there is no pressure to have sex on the wedding night. Do the majority of couples? Probably, but plenty of couples just go home and go to sleep. Maybe you just need a night to get comfortable with being naked and unashamed. Maybe you just want to fool around and see where it leads. That’s totally okay. Whatever pace makes you feel comfortable is the correct pace for you and your marriage.
But now that we’ve set some general expectations, let’s talk about the preparation leading up to that night:
1. Take time to review anatomy
This may seem trivial, but guys, make sure you know where things go. You would be surprised at how often that causes issues. Women, make sure you know your own anatomy as well. I have talked to married couples who didn’t know where the G spot or clitoris was. I repeat, MARRIED COUPLES. Knowing where things go, what the erogenous zones are, and the typical procedure involved with sex will help everyone involved.
2. Talk to married people
For some of you this will be very awkward. Some of you may already know about married friends’ sex lives. But as any married couple will tell you, you will need advice in your marriage, and sex is no different. Starting those conversations before you’re married will make the honeymoon go much more smoothly, and future conversations as well. Certain types of sex can be weird and tricky the first few times. You will want advice. Maybe even ask for some recommendations of positions to try.
(Also check out christianfriendlysexpositions.com for some ideas.)
3. Talk to your spouse
As I said before, whatever pace works for you is the best pace. But when you get married, that pace is set by two people. Talk about if you want to have sex. Talk through what the lead up will look like. Are you just going to get home and rip off your clothes? Are you going to go back, take a shower, get a glass of water, and then set the mood? Whatever works for the two of you.
Make sure you’ve started discussing boundaries. What is off the table? Do you want to try as much as possible? Do you want to just try missionary for now until you’re comfortable? There’s no pressure either way, it’s what you feel comfortable with.
I sincerely hope you’re praying for your marriage leading up to your wedding day. The physical side of marriage should be included. Pray that this new area of your relationships would draw you closer and reveal more of God.
Now, let’s talk through some logistics that hopefully someone else will tell you. But like I’ve said, you would be surprised at things even married couples don’t know.
1. Discuss Contraception
There are several different methods with different levels of effectiveness. Obviously, talking with an OB is always a great place to start. (And women, if you’ve never gone to the OBGYN, you need to make an appointment ASAP. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve known christian women who were told you only went to the OB if you’re having sex.) Depending on what you decide on, make sure both parties know what they need to do.
2. Get yourself some lube
Do all couples need lube every time? No, actually. But when it’s the first time (or even first time with a new partner), start with lube. Ask friends or google some good options. Apply liberally until you know whether you need it or not. And just to clarify, whether the woman produces enough natural lubrication has nothing to do with whether she is aroused or excited about sex. Some women produce more than enough, some women barely produce any. Foreplay will of course help with getting things moving, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need lube.
3. Be ready to clean up
Speaking of lubrication and fluids, sex is a bit messy. You’re going to want something to clean up with. Some couples have specially designated towels or something like baby wipes handy. But make sure you have something next to the bed to clean up with right after (and maybe even during at times). If not, the walk from the bed to the bathroom could involve lots of drops of unwanted fluid on the floor or elsewhere.
4. Let women take the lead
Men, it’s probably going to feel nice regardless of what happens. But especially if it’s the first time for a woman, the sensation will be very new and different. I recommend her being on top and guiding it in the first few times, just helps everything go smoothly and much less painful. And in reality, if proper preparations are taken, there shouldn’t be pain. So if there is lots of pain, talk to friends and probably a doctor.
With all of that being said, sex is a wonderful new adventure for married couples. It takes practice. It takes trial and error. It takes work. But doing your best to prepare before that first time will make all of that experimentation much easier and more enjoyable.
Christian Sex Talk (@christians3xtalk) is run by a married couple that wants to open up the conversation around sex as Christians, asking any and all questions but always coming back to the Bible.