Whenever I speak in churches on relationships and intimacy, something that I will sometimes ask is if there are any engaged couples in the audience. Usually, at least a few people raise their hands. After they do, my follow-up question is, "So, when are you getting married?" which is then followed with "So, I bet you can't wait to have sex…right?" Then I'll make some semi-obnoxious cheering sounds as they look at me like I've totally lost it.
I haven't. It's just that if there is ever a moment that I find to be totally beautiful for two people, it's their wedding day and their wedding night. To me, one is not more important than the other either. In fact, back in the day, Jews (Christians, remember Christ was Jewish so Hebrew culture is relevant) didn't even start the reception until the newly-married couple went into a back room and had sex for the first time. To them, no wedding ceremony was complete until they consummated their union (which is literally what consummate means—to complete).
Unfortunately, a lot of couples don't see the value in making sex on their wedding night a top priority. I say that because (SMH) less than half do. But to me, since sex should be a staple in marriage, there's no time like the first night of officially being husband and wife to set the foundation of a happy and healthy sex life.
If you're engaged, whether you are a virgin (if so, you have my full and total respect!) or not, here are some tips to make your wedding night more relaxed, more comfortable, and even more of a beautiful experience for you and yours.
Be Honest with Your Spouse
I've got two stories for this. Both are certifiable.
First, I went to high school with someone who was mad sexually-active. But when it came time for her to get married, she told her husband that she was a virgin, claiming that since she was a "born again virgin", her past promiscuity shouldn't matter. Listen, I haven't had sex in 12 years but I'm still not a virgin. You're a virgin one time. After that, you may be abstinent but a virgin you are not.
Second story. A husband once told me that while he was in premarital counseling with his then-fiancee, the topic of oral sex came up. He mentioned that it was extremely important for him to receive it. She claimed that fellatio was one of her favorite things to do. Eight years into their union, he got head (count it) twice. TWICE. He ended up cheating. And before you say there was no justification for that, ask yourself if there was any justification for her lying in the first place. Both are problematic to me.
Moral to the story, a part of what comes with marriage is signing up for only having sex with your spouse for the rest of your life. If there is anyone who needs to know who you really are, what you need and expect, and how you really feel about sex in general, it's them.
If you start off being dishonest in any way, you're already creating an unstable foundation as far as the intimacy in your marriage is concerned.
If You're a Virgin, Invest in this Wedding Night Guide
I personally know quite a few virgins. One will be 50 this year. The only reason why I'm mentioning this is because, contrary to popular belief, virgins are not rarer than rainbow unicorn sightings. Reportedly, 1 in 30 people are virgins on their wedding night (I personally know two couples that were and they've both been married for over 15 years) and out of those, 60 percent are women and (surprise, surprise) 40 percent are men.
When I counsel people who are virgins, I try and provide them with as much relatable content as possible. Thankfully, there are couples out in cyberspace who openly shared their own wedding night virginity stories (like this beautiful couple here); there are other resources too.
For instance, a woman I both dig and appreciate has a platform called The Blissful Wife. She has a survival guide for losing your virginity on your wedding night that includes how to decrease pain and bleeding along with just about anything else you can think of. Ministries come in all forms, y'all. Tell the Lord "thank you!"
Extend the Foreplay
Whether you did nothing with your partner before your wedding night, everything but intercourse or you were sexually active and decided to take a few months or weeks off in preparation for your wedding night, it's perfectly normal to be nervous. And nervousness can make it a bit more difficult to become sexually aroused. The answer? Take your time in the foreplay department.
Something that is so special and sacred about married sex (which is reportedly so much better than single sex, by the way) is you're sharing your mind, body, and spirit with someone who vowed to be with you for the rest of your life. This means there's no rush, so don't rush it. Women need about 20 minutes to warm up on an average day. If you need to tack on 20-30 more minutes to that, it's completely understandable. Besides, if you've got an unselfish lover on your hands, to him, it'll be all good to totally ignore the clock.
Make Your Own Lubrication
Megan Madden/Refinery29/Getty Images
If you are a virgin or you're a woman who's in menopause, natural lubrication may be a bit of an issue. Don't be embarrassed by that. It's natural. Just make sure to not go without using any or you're headed for a really uncomfortable—if not straight up painful—night. You can either purchase some lubrication at a local drugstore or, you can make some of your own. A few great recipes are here; they're all ideal, whether you opt to use condoms—or not.
Use Some Rose Essential Oil
Something else that is truly awesome about sex is it involves all of your senses, your sense of smell included. If you know that you're gonna be anxious and maybe even a little scared, apply some rose oil to your wrists, your temples, and your bedding. Not only will it help to calm and relax you, rose oil is also a libido-booster that can give you a heightened sense of self-esteem too!
Have Some Dark Chocolate, Honey, Red Wine and/or Kava Tea
One of the virgin couples I knew, I treated them to their suite on their wedding night. When one of their relatives went to clean everything up the next day, he asked me, "What was all of that food about?!" Whatever dude. First, you'd be amazed how many couples are too busy to eat at their wedding reception. Second, I know there are foods that can also help to calm the senses. And some of them? They double up as aphrodisiacs as well.
Dark chocolate increases blood circulation (including to the genital region) and lowers your blood pressure. Honey is soothing and increases testosterone and estrogen levels. Red wine replicates pheromones, making two people more aroused by each other's scent. If you'd prefer something non-alcoholic, kava tea is proven to relieve anxiety and even reduce inner fears.
Wear Something in His Favorite Color
Something that I thought was super precious about a husband I know (who was a virgin on his wedding night) is when he told me that his wife said, "What if you think my breasts aren't big enough?" His response was, "I've never seen breasts before, so if you're an A-cup or a D-cup, I'm gonna be hype regardless!" (Again, there really are some beautiful things about virginity.) If you're marrying someone who has either never had sex before or never had sex with you before, he's basically going to be thinking something pretty similar.
You are the prize—no matter the size.
But if you're feeling a little self-conscious, opt for wearing something on your wedding night that is in his favorite color. It's another tip that will help to calm you both because you can focus on presentation more than body image. Also, it will be a pleasant surprise for him because seeing our favorite colors automatically invoke joy, contentment, and peace of mind.
Get a Corner Room (or Rent an Airbnb)
Here's another tip for virgins or people who haven't had any in a long while. There really is no tellin' how you're gonna react or respond throughout the evening, so you need the utmost of privacy. If you and yours are planning to stay in a hotel, ask for a corner room (it's quieter down there). I'm a huge bed and breakfast fan but your wedding night is NOT the night to book one of those (sometimes the walls are quite thin).
My recommendation? Either go back at y'all's place or a rent out an Airbnb. You need to be someplace where you don't have to feel self-conscious or worry about an unsolicited audience listening in, um, inadvertently.
Get into the "Right" Positions
If all you've been used to (whether lately or always) is a tampon, a penis is gonna be…quite the (eye) opener for you. Don't worry about it too much—you are fully capable of birthing an entire child from your vagina. Trust me, a penis is something you can definitely handle.
It's all about knowing how to ease into things, starting with positions that will make sex a bit more comfortable. The tried-and-true missionary position tops the list. So does spooning, being on top (because you can control the amount of penetration that you receive), and the butterfly (which is a lot like the missionary, only your hubby is sitting up and kneeling and you may or may not have a pillow underneath your backside for support).
So long as things are taken slow and easy, having sex will be a lot more comfortable for you.
Watch Who You Talk to—But Do Talk to Someone
Back when the two virgin couples that I referred to got married, I was personally still gettin' it in pretty regularly at the time. Because of that, I wasn't the most…sensitive when it came to the advice that I gave the first wife who got married. I was telling her stuff like, "Girl, you're gonna be hanging off of chandeliers!" when the reality is, first-time sex can be awkward, uncomfortable, and even a little messy. When she came back and told me that her "freaky friends" had ill-prepared her, I wised up with the second wife and told her what my first time was like. She came back like, "THANK YOU! When I saw that big ol' thing, I literally freaked out for the first three nights!"
Moral to the story, it's OK—advisable even—to talk to someone other than your soon-to-be spouse about your feelings while inquiring what to expect. Just make sure they are a safe place who will offer some insightful tips that will calm your spirits and also get you excited about ALL that is to come!
Featured image by Getty Images.
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