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.
Olympian Lolo Jones: "I've Never Had Sex" - Read More
I Saved My Virginity For My Husband And Ended Up With Bad Sex - Read More
Anthony & Sopha Rush Reveal The Toughest Lessons They Learned During Their First Year Of Marriage - Read More
- 4 Sex Positions To Add To Your Must-Hit List - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Sex And Menopause. 10 Things You Should Know. - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Sex Life - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 10 Best Intimate Sex Positions - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Non-Penetrative Sex Positions To Try - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- What Happy Married Couples Do At Night - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Advice for your wedding night (from 100 years ago) ›
- Sex Tips For Wedding Nights | Psychology Today ›
- Sex Tips for Virgins - Sex Tips for Virgins on Their Wedding Night ›
- Prep for the Wedding Night | Focus on the Family ›
- 10 Things Every Bride Should Know Before Her Wedding Night ›
- Top 10 Wedding Night Tips | To Love, Honor and Vacuum ›
- Tips for Ensuring Hot Wedding-Night Sex - Glamour ›
- Sex Tips for Virgins on Their Wedding Night ›
- 20 Sexy Wedding-Night Secrets BridalGuide ›
- Top 10 Tips for Amazing Wedding Night Sex ›
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images