Advice for a newlywed on her wedding night

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Photo courtesy of Katherine OBrien Photography
Photo courtesy of Katherine OBrien Photography

Hi, I'm getting married in five months.

I know this might not be considered so “offbeat” per se, but could you give any advice to me regarding losing my v-card on said wedding night?

I'm quite nervous about this.


-Miss Scaredy Pants

Offbeat Bride isn't normally about this kind of advice, but I suppose I can relax the rules to answer your question. My answer is simply this: Masturbate frequently so that you are able to show your new husband exactly what you enjoy. Because if you don't know what feels good, how the hell is he supposed to figure it out?

Now I'm sure there are some of you that are like, “Seriously? We're talking about jacking off on a wedding blog? Did I click the wrong wedding porn?” But I'm serious about this: I think the world would be a better place if more people took responsibility for their own pleasure. Having a sense of ownership over your pleasure is way bigger than your wedding night — it's about life.

See, when you know how to take care of your needs (physical, emotional, financial) it means you're less likely to hand over control to other people. Wedding night deflowering not going as planned? Grab your partner's hand and show him what feels good. Feeling hurt by something your father-in-law said? Time to call him up and try to find a solution. Frustrated by a situation with your boss? Time to march to her office and tell her what your career goals are. Knowing how to take care of your needs is a hugely important life skill, and playing an active hand (hardy har har!) in your nascent marital intimacy is an awesome opportunity.

Here's the thing: there are too many married couples who assign each other responsibility for their physical satisfaction. In other words, if Spouse A needs to get off, it's Spouse B's responsibility to help. Of course physical intimacy is an awesome thing to enjoy together, but there's nothing worse than the long-term dynamic of “Hi, I need to get off. What are you going to do about it?” Way to make it about obligation. Bleah.

When each partner takes responsibility for themselves (physically and otherwise) it makes the times when you come together (instant rimshot!) that much more special. You know neither of you are there out of obligation or a sense of responsibility. You're both there because you want to be.

When you're empowered to take care of your own business as an individual, you're a stronger half of a partnership. Again, this isn't just about your wedding night. It's easier to work with other people when you take responsibility for taking care of your own shit. It's easier to be friends with people when you know own boundaries. Having insight into yourself and what works for you (physically or otherwise) puts you into a great position to really get the most from every situation.

Whether that's your wedding night introduction to intercourse, or whether that's thinking about the decades to come …. knowing yourself first gives you more confidence and strength to get to know someone else intimately.

In terms of your wedding night, just because you're having intercourse for the first time doesn't mean you should be TALKING about it for the first time. Pop your “talking about it” cherry right now! Talk with your partner about what you're looking forward to on your wedding night. Talk about what's making you nervous. Talk about what you want to do. Talk about what you don't want to do. Communication is 50% of good intimacy, so GET TALKING, Miss Scaredy Pants!

Oh and PS: Get one of these. Sure it looks like a kitchen utensil, but it'll make both preparing for your wedding night and your actual wedding night more fun.

Anyone got advice for Miss Scaredy Pants? Leave a comment!

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Comments on Advice for a newlywed on her wedding night

  1. Wow. Everything you said is absolutely, wonderfully, 100% dead on. Right down to the kitchen utensil recommendation. (I had an ex refer to it as the “Clitwhacker 3000.” He was intimidated by it. It’s part of why he’s an ex.)

  2. Fantastic A+ advice. I think that your last bit — about communication — is the most important of all. Being able to talk about sex almost invariably leads to great chemistry in bed.

    It’s good to be reminded that, while many of us OBB-ers cohabitate, or have been married before, or have kids, etc., there are some people who choose to wait for sex too.

    (and I love Ariel’s developing addiction to the instant rimshot.)

  3. Having been in that position, I’ll agree with the “communication” part. But that’s about it. It is important to know who you are as an individual regardless of getting married. But it is not necessary to Biblically know yourself in order to have a good sex life.

    But definitely with the communication part.

    • I disagree. For me, my current and previous partners, and my close friends with whom I discuss such topics, the consensus is that satisfying sex is definitely something that happens after you become comfortable with your own body and sexual response. How can you get what you want if you don’t know what you want? I think it’s a common misconception that sex is a one-size-fits-all business, but that’s really not the case.

      And yes, communication is key.

      • That’s where communication comes in. Why not let your partner explore you and tell them what you like about what they are doing and what you’d prefer they don’t. Definitely communicate.

        • Sure, Giggles — but that means you’re at the whim of what your partner thinks to try out. It takes some of your power away when you can’t make suggestions based on your own experience of your body.

          To each her own, of course. I just always err on the side of encouraging women to learn about their bodies first-hand, rather than waiting for someone else to teach them.

          • Expounding on what Ariel just said, many women with their partner get the build up to orgasm and assume that is the orgasm…

    • “Biblically know myself” is totally my new favorite euphemism for masturbation. As in, “I’m going to take a nice long bath, Biblically know myself, and then take a nap.”

      • While I love your website and read it religiously (no pun intended)as a practicing Christian I find your euphemism for masturbation to be very hurtful. Aren’t OBB’s all about repecting one another’s religion whether Wiccan, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Atheist and everything in between?

        • Hey Ali,

          I don’t think any offense was meant with the comment. It’s not taking any stabs at Christianity, and not commenting on Christian morals, just using it in a metaphorical sense.

  4. Also – you don’t HAVE to have sex your wedding night. If it takes you some time to build from wherever you are in your sexual relationship currently, that’s perfectly ok! I mean if you want to, that’s fine, obviously. But depending on exactly how chaste you’ve been up to the wedding, it may be a big leap to go from there to intercourse. Talk this over with your fiance so you both are clear as to what your expectations for that night are.

    • I was going to say this, too. πŸ™‚

      Also, if you agree to having sex on your wedding night beforehand and then on the night decide you feel otherwise, don’t feel obliged to do it!

      • Ditto this! I mean, for those couples who have only kissed (or maybe not even that) before their wedding night, jumping right into intercourse skips a lot of the fun!

        • Seconded! If you haven’t done much, take a nice leisurely tour around the bases. It’ll make the eventual sex that much better.

      • I just wanted to say that I think it is pretty damn offbeat to be a virgin on your wedding night, ESPECIALLY if offbeat means being authentic in your own beliefs despite what everyone else says. Although it is counterculture as well, so I guess it is offbeat no matter how you look at it!

    • Here here! I actually plan on NOT having sex on the wedding night. Although I’m hoping the morning after will be a different story.

      I think one thing is missing from this advice post: Take you sweet time. Nothing worse than rushing into sex. Go slow, and enjoy every moment. πŸ™‚

      • EXACTLY what I was going to say.
        Enjoy every moment is definitely the best advice!

        I came from a VERY conservative background, I honestly knew nothing and never did anything before my first time. Orgasming wasn’t my concern, feeling comfortable with myself and my partner and being able to enjoy the next level of our relationship was what I wanted. The rest fell into place for us naturally.

        The first time should be all about discovering each other together. I honestly never tried anything out on my own, and I enjoyed learning about myself with my FH.

    • People say this, but I waited until our wedding night, and the idea of not having sex on that night after twenty-three and a half LONG fricking years of waiting is absolutely absurd.

      • I think it depends on what you HAVE done before you were married. I mean, if I had done everything up to sex, then having sex on my wedding night wouldn’t be a big deal… but some couples out there haven’t even kissed by the time they get married. It might be a bit nerve wracking to do kissing, sex, and everything in-between for the first time in one day.

  5. Hey!!!!
    I am also a virgin, and waiting to have sex until my wedding night. I know how hard it is to wait so congrats on making it this far! The thing that helped me the most about not being scared anymore was feeling comfortable with my future husband. I know that he’s not going to hurt me, and because he is a virgin too its probably going to be really bad the first time we do it. So my best advice would be to mediate about all of this, get something really pretty for your big night, and have a blast! Also don’t feel like you HAVE to have sex on the first night if you are really scared. I know someone who was so scared that they didn’t even have sex on the wedding night or the honeymoon. But the first time they did it, it was very beautiful. HAVE FUN!

    • I didn’t have sex on my wedding night, not because I was scared (I wasn’t a virgin), but because I was EXHAUSTED! And after talking to lots of friends, I discovered that lots of them were too tired to have sex that night also. Who knew?

      Maybe waiting until the honeymoon isn’t such a bad idea, especially if it’s your first time. That way you’ll have more energy and will be able to take your time and have more fun. Good luck to both of you!

    • 52% of couples don’t have sex on their wedding night. I don’t think it has as much to do with experience as with how long, exhausting, and draining a wedding day is. Sex just isn’t as fun when you’re both wiped out.

    • I have always said that I was going to wait until my wedding night to have sex. Then, a couple years ago I started to rethink it and decide if that’s what I really wanted or my parents. I decided that I definitely only wanted to be with one person my whole life, but I didn’t know if I was going to wait until I was married or not. I am getting married in 4.5 months, have been engaged for six, and I lost my virginity 1.5 months ago. I debated with myself about it a lot, and my hubby-to-be supported me either way; he was far from being a virgin. (lol) It took me an enormous amount of restraint just to make it that long, so I understand how hard it is.
      My first time surprisingly didn’t really hurt, but that’s not saying somebody else’s wouldn’t. My point of all this is that communication is the most important thing. We are still having a hard time figuring out (ok I’m just going to blurt this out) how to get me off during sex WITHOUT me having to use the massager after he’s “done the deed.” It is a little frustrating to both of us, but we communicate and try different things; I do enjoy just being so close to him in such an intimate way. A way that nobody else shares with him. The first time wasn’t near as bad as I thought it would be. Good luck! πŸ™‚

      • try getting off BEFORE he enters you! I find that if there’s enough foreplay and have gotten off just leads to getting off afterwards. Woman on top position is the best for getting off.

        also do your kegels!! Everyone should do it, makes you have better organisms (also do them *gently* while your man is inside you… trust me)

        • I was going to say this, too! Without giving out too many details you may not want to know, if you get to that point before sex even begins, it can be a really incredible experience. Also, there’s always the chance that worrying over whether you’ll orgasm during sex is putting so much pressure on one or both of you during the act itself that you’re actually making it more difficult to do so. Orgasm first, and you won’t have to worry about “if” – instead you get to see “how many.”

        • YES! Always get off before penis says hello to vagina. It is so much better in every single way. Welcome to multiple orgasm land!

      • How about using the vibe while having sex? This works best in doggy or woman on top.

    • “…because he is a virgin too its probably going to be really bad the first time we do it.”

      Not necessarily! My first boyfriend and I were both virgins our first time together, and despite the fact that I had a brief attack of Scared, it turned out to be *awesome*. Really really awesome. So it could turn out quite well, too!

  6. Plus: having your partner find out that you’re completely comfortable tackling DIY sex… well, they’ll get that far-off dopey smile for days after.

    What to Expect When You’re Expecting Sex? Try not to expect anything. I compare it to cooking together for the first time in someone else’s really tiny kitchen. You’re going to be a little all over the place, looking for the right equipment, banging elbows and generally making a mess of things.
    But if you keep working at it, if you’re patient and if you’re just enjoying yourself, you’re going to make a frickin’ delicious cake.
    And to agree with Ariel (and to carry the metaphor,) getting to know your own body is like familiarizing yourself with the kitchen. You know where most of the stuff is at so there’s a little less looking around.

    • Dootsiebug, that is the BEST description of sex with a new partner I’ve ever heard, seen, or thought of – it’s perfect, especially the bumping elbows part!

        • Diddo! Great description!

          To add to that description, if you and you’re partner don’t take yourselves seriously and laugh when things don’t go as planned, it makes everything much more fun and natural.
          My FH and I are constantly cracking up whenever we try to be sexy and end up banging heads in the process!

    • This is the best analogy I’ve ever heard! It’s so true…and it’s cracking me up! Love it!

  7. Buy The Guide To Getting It On! It’s got everything you need (or could ever want) to know, and is written for people of any age or experience level. Among many other topics, there are chapters on losing your virginity, dealing with the emotions associated with sex, and building a happy, fulfilling sex life with your partner. I can’t recommend it enough!

    • I second that. When my fiancé and I started dating, he was a virgin. I suggested he buy The Guide to Getting It On so that he could read about sex and get some ideas about how he felt about it. He really enjoyed reading it and could wrap his head around sex, so he understand his emotions, and then the physicality of it all. He grew up in a very strict household and had never even had a conversation about sex. We talked about it alot before ever attempting actual intercourse, and experimenting with foreplay a lot as well. No, we didn’t wait until we were married, but I was respectful of his feelings and helped him understand himself, as well as what I liked, beforehand so that our first time together would as smooth as possible.

    • Omigod, YES. As an unofficial sex educator, I highly recommend that book. In addition to having excellent information and being totally up-front, it’s frequently hilarious. And the illustrations are comic-book pop art style, which is just cool.

    • it’s been a while since i read either of them, but i preferred the good vibrations sex guide. for me, it just had a better attitude, and wasn’t so heteronormative. that is to say, the guide to getting it on seemed to take this attitude like gay folks already know all about sex, so we straights can look to them for advice. whereas the good vibes book was aimed at all sexual orientations.

      beyond that i don’t totally remember what my issues were with the book, but i did have every intention of writing them a letter about it (i took notes! i am nerdy.). i just never wrote it.

      • Hmm I didn’t notice that tone… but that would make sense, since my sister started asking her gay best friend about things and ended up getting a bit misdirected in the process. I read it after being de-virgined and just found it really entertaining.

  8. This is my situation as well, and just TALKING with my future husband has been so helpful in calming a lot of my (and HIS) misgivings! It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but it would be so much MORE uncomfortable if you’re not talking. Totally agree with Ashley up there too! I’m looking forward to just exploring what its like to not have to worry about stopping…neither of us have any expectations other than developing a sexual relationship together at whatever pace we feel comfortable with. If we have intercourse on our wedding night, awesome. If not, awesome. You may find that your fiance is more open to a cooperative sexual experience than you thought, too…when I expressed to my future husband my worries about the physical pain associated with losing my virginity, he was very understanding and reassuring. Men aren’t just sexual monsters looking to get off (the image that seems overwhelmingly prevalent in the media)…he wants you to have a great experience too!

    Also, depending on how you feel about sexuality, if you don’t feel comfortable masturbating, I think that’s okay too. You can take time as a couple to figure out together what works and what doesn’t. Just keep talking, before, during, and after. I also think it’s okay to do a little research…if you don’t want to watch porn (which may not be realistic anyway), there are some great books out there that explain sexuality…one with a ton of great info is “And They Were Not Ashamed” by Laura M. Brotherson. It’s from a very Christian perspective, but still straightforward, and I’ve found it very helpful!

    Wow, I left a NOVEL of a comment here…all you off-beat people rock my world, though.

    • “If we have intercourse on our wedding night, awesome. If not, awesome.”

      Right on. What a wonderful, healthy approach to sexual relationships you’ve just described.

  9. As a fellow virgin, allow me insert my two cents. I’m really not nervous about the wedding night and here’s why:

    1-FH isn’t a virgin, and actually knows what he’s doing and is comfortable taking the lead (phew! pressure off)

    2- We’ve seen each other naked, so that’s nothing new

    3-we’ve talked A LOT about preferences (anal, oral, porn, lights on/off, willingness to try positions/locations)

  10. I think when having sex for the first time another hang-up a lot of people have to overcome is the awkwardness about being naked in front of someone else. Now, this may not be an issue for you, but if it is my advice would be to become more at home with being naked when alone so it’s not as alien a situation when you’re naked with your new hubby.

    I’d echo everyone here who says you need to start talking with your hubby-to-be about sex, and the sooner the better! Just because it’s the wedding night doesn’t mean you have to have sex, and if you’d prefer to wait til later on there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re both on board with it. Plenty of couples just sleep on the wedding night anyway cos they’re so exhausted!

    Another thing- expect sex to be messy. It usually is! I was having a discussion with my girl friends a while back and we all agreed that the messiness of sex was something none of us had been prepared for!

    Have fun!

  11. Another important component of a good sex life: LAUGHTER. Too many people take sex too seriously — but sex is FUNNY! If you can laugh about a funny sound, a bonked nose, or something crazy that you say in the heat of passion, you’ll save yourself a lot of anxiety and hurt feelings.

    • I agree with this entirely! Laughing is what my relationship good and makes sex even more fun and special.

    • Amen Jill! The most rewarding sex happens when you don’t take yourself so seriously! You’ll turn into a goddess in the sack when you lose the self-consciousness and actually enjoy your partner, the moment, and yourself. Remember… love & fun! Stress and anxiety should not be invited to the party.

    • I agree! Or philosophy is if the people involved can’t laugh during sex without risking someone getting offened, then they’re doing it wrong.
      DH and I were both virgins until we got engaged and only had a quickie on the wedding night as we were too tired for anything more.

    • Agreed! My FH and I are always laughing and thinking aloud that more people should do the same. We think it makes the experience all the more enjoyable and relaxing.

  12. Another thing to remember – your first time may not be that good! It’s VERY common for the first time (or even the first few times) a person has sex to not be all that good (whether it’s their first time EVER, or their first time with this particular person). As someone who was a sexual health/HIV educator, AND sold sex toys for a couple of years, I’ve heard lots of stories from women (and men!) who waited until they were married to have sex, and were surprised that the sex wasn’t very good.

    Sex may be instinctive, but GOOD sex is a SKILL. It takes time, patience, a lot of respect, and a LOT of humor to get to the point that the sex is GOOD. The more patient you are, and the more you are willing to try with each other (in a loving, respectful, anyone-can-say-NO-at-any-time kind of way), the more fun you will have.

    Don’t expect to have an orgasm the first time. DO expect it to be uncomfortable. Lube, lube, lube. And the more time you spend naked together WITHOUT trying to do ANYTHING, the better it will be. And laugh! Have you seen the positions we put ourselves in when we have sex??? HILARIOUS!

    But believe me, when it gets good, it is SO worth it!

    • I was going to comment with this as well.
      Also, I’ve heard varying reports from other women as to whether or not it hurts the first time. It didn’t for me. I realized, if you’re “warmed up” properly, you won’t feel more than a quick, uncomfortable “pinch”, and it will be forgotton almost immediately … the key here is good foreplay.

      Which, actually, goes along with knowing your own body. Actually, it might be a fun precursor on your wedding night (or perhaps the morning after?) to have a lot of great, extended foreplay in bed. This goes double if your FH is a virgin, too.

      • As for the hurting, I’m a virgin, butmy gyno was surprised my first appointment and said “You have no hymen!” Which is good news for the wedding night (yay for no pain!), but I asked why.

        She said dancers, figure skaters, gymnasts, cheerleaders and other such flexible people often tear their own hymen at a very young age. I haven’t been in a ballet studio in 10 years, but all those years of competition really paid off!

        • Some people are also born with no hymen (or a very small hymen).

          Also, some people break theirs as inquisitive six-year-olds… *whistles innocently*

        • Very true, I broke my hymen in a bike accident. Don’t run into tree on a bicycle. Sadly, this doesn’t mean it won’t hurt if you aren’t primed. (You are putting a hard object somewhere that is not used to hard objects.)

          • very true. hymens are only a possible source of pain.

            what a bizarre body part.

      • My first few times hurt BAD and were not good (im not a very big person and FH…well. He is). And it was messy. So if you know to expect that discomfort in the beginning it helps coz you know what? The more you do it the better it gets! Just takes a bit of practice πŸ™‚

    • I strongly agree with this. My first few times were very painful (my guess is giving birht is going to suck). Lube would have been a good thing. Do not feel bad if the sex is not “good.” It will get better. Promise.

      Communication DURING sex is also important. If it hurts too much and you want him to slow down or stop, tell him.

      During sex, I would suggest making eye contact or gently stroking his skin – whatever gives the two of you comfort.

    • Nikki makes the exact point that I was planning on making. The first few times you have sex ever or the first time you have sex with someone new it can be very awkward/bad. It’s because there is a learning curve when you are introduced to another persons body in such an intimate fashion. I do suggest lube and many virgins I’ve spoken too are uncomfortable with that concept, but it’s important for your comfort. If you are to dry then things will chafe and it will hurt and be tender for a while. Do yourself a favor and be prepared. Also don’t be discouraged by a less than exhilarating performance the first/first few times on that bike. Eventually you’ll learn how to ride it! πŸ™‚
      Trust me it’s so worth working at.

    • I agree: there’s quite a learning curve to sex. Not to be crude, but it took us all a bit of time to get out of diapers, and we had a whole lot of outside help with that!
      Edited to add: And it only gets better, I’ve got ten years together with my guy, and was pleasantly surprised to find that out!

  13. Awesome advice – speaking as a virgin who knows herself and is getting married later this year… In fact the massager is just what I was looking for.

  14. Probably some other people have already touched on these things, but here are my tips:

    Don’t freak out if it isn’t amazing or you don’t have an orgasm the very first time. Especially if you are both virgins, sex can be a little awkward on that first go. Give it an hour and try again.

    Relax. Relax, relax, relax. If you’re nervous and tense, you won’t enjoy it as much. Engage in sensual massage to loosen up if you need.

    DO NOT SKIP FOREPLAY. This is very important. Foreplay is how you get your natural lube going and prepare for the final act. If you skip it on the first go-round, your body won’t be prepared for sex, and it won’t be as enjoyable. I know it sounds crass, but wait until you’re wet down there to do the deed.

    Don’t be afraid to use lube. There’s nothing wrong with a little lube, and if you drink at all during the reception, you may need some. If using lube seems too weird, ask your husband for oral sex.

    If people try to tell you horror stories about the first time, ignore them. I never understand why people do this to virgin brides. Even if your first time isn’t mind-blowingly awesome, if you follow these tips it shouldn’t be awful.

  15. I agree 100% I had always planned to wait for my wedding night, but I decided that my now-fiance is the one I wanted to experience my first time with.
    I had masturbated on my own for some time, so I had an idea of what I liked, and Ariel is right in saying that you can’t expect someone to know what pleases you if you don’t.
    I was afraid that my first time would be terribly painful or bloody since I have heard so many horror stories from girls through the years, but it didn’t hurt at all. I know that’s because my fiance understood the importance of foreplay (so many of the guys who starred in said horror stories were like “Ooh! Vagina!” and just went for it without a thought to their partner’s comfort or pleasure) and he took his time with me.
    Just realize that your first time will be beautiful and wonderful because of the connection you’ll feel, but it likely won’t be all fireworks. It takes practice, and patience, but believe me: it’s worth it!
    My fiance and I have been having sex for four months now and it gets better and better.
    Again, Ariel nailed it with the sex communication bit. If you aren’t already talking with your fiance about it, do. You can’t expect yourself to be comfortable with physical intimacy if talking about it makes you uncomfortable.
    Best Wishes πŸ™‚

  16. Same here πŸ™‚
    My FH and I have been together for 3+ years, had amazing and meaningful sex, and I’ve got nothing but amazingness to show for it.

    On another note I’ve always wondered what happens if you are STI-free, but your FH has something. Then what? Do you just get the infection or use condoms for the rest of your life?

    • Depends on what your partner has. If it’s a “permanent” STI (herpes, HPV, HIV [I haven’t been in the sex ed business in a while, but I believe the rest of them are curable]), talk with your health care provider about what you can do to prevent becoming infected. There are lots of medications on the market that can reduce the chances of infection, and many couples go forever with one partner infected, and the other one stays clear of it.

      • Re: the “permanent” infections: Fortunately, our immune system can often handle HPV, and most infections are temporary.

        • Certain strains of HPV continue to stay in your system. Some cause cervical cancer. Also consider if you have HPV and have a naturally more damp vaginal area (also seen during pregnancy) it can cause warts.

  17. Wow, a LOT of great advice!! My only addition would be to do things that make you comfortable. Maybe take a bubble bath together, watch movie, CHILL & RELAX!! Light some candles and cuddle. Your both bound to be tired/keyed up after the reception:) Maybe take a walk, depending on your weddings
    time of day. You have a connection with your fiance or you wouldn’t be marrying him. So rely on that to open communication:) He loves you, so trust your bond, communicate, and have a relaxing first night. The rest will follow:)

    • Definitely ditto on the bubble bath suggestion. My future husband and I both had sex for the first time with each other, and while we’d done everything but have sex until then, it was still very nervewracking the first time we went for the gusto! It helped that we took our time, stopping if it was uncomfortable to take a break, and that we joked and laughed through it. Just remember that this is the love of your life who you’re sharing this with, and as long as you feel safe and loved and able to communicate with that person, it will be a wonderful end to your wedding night!

    • But I would add that, well, don’t be surprised if you get so comfortable that you both just fall asleep and don’t do it! As someone said above–you don’t have to have sex on your wedding night! You’ll both likely be exhausted. That can be exhilarating for some, but statistically, a third of all couples don’t manage to have sex on their wedding night for one reason or another.
      There’s a lot of pressure to perform on the wedding night, and it’s just hogwash that’s only going to make it that much harder to really enjoy–or even be physically able to do!
      A word of caution: taking a bath together is great, and candles can be fine, but sprinkling rose petals, playing romantic music, filling the room with candles–it can actually increase the pressure for you and your partner! You’ve got this whole magical fairytale scene laid out and it sets a tone of expectation of the perfect night.

      A bonus: bathwater is a natural lubricant!

  18. I would like to give an amen, +1, “me too” to the non-sexual parts, though the sexual parts are just as important.

  19. I agree that you should definitely have some kind of lube available, just in case! And take it slow. You love each other, so that is the biggest plus πŸ™‚

  20. I echo everyone’s sentiments.

    In my opinion, the sexiest most important sex organ is the brain! Communicate before during and after sex! Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials, relax and have fun. πŸ™‚

  21. As a girl who waited a REALLY REALLY long time I deffinately would say don’t have great expectations and don’t try to plan it. I really thinking making sure you have lube around or planning a bubble bath will only stress you out. Try to enjoy yourself and like everyone else said don’t feel pressure to do it on your wedding night. Who know’s you might be tired:) Good luck, but I know you won’t need it!

  22. While all the above comments, and of course Ariel’s advice are great, I think a really important question to ask is why Scaredy Pants is still a virgin- before you get upset I don’t mean she SHOULDN’T be but rather her (and possibly her partners) reasons for waiting may determine the appropriate response. I think that we are assuming that 1) Scaredy cat is in constant communication with her partner, what if this is an arranged marriage? 2) There are no religious or cultural values that would make self love a fairly taboo move the first night (these do exist). I think if scaredy cat is abstaining for religious reasons then she should seek some guidance from her community on what is to be expected and tips from older relatives. For example, a Hindu friend of mine did not have sex for the first two months of her marriage, nor was it expected the first night. Her and her husband spend time leafing through the kama sutra which actually includes instructions on how a newly married couple should wait and learn about each others bodies before going “all the way”. If this is a Mormon marriage there are special undergarments for the wife to wear that limit how much of her body her husband may see/touch (this is not all Mormons) the same goes for some orthodox Jewish couples. I just feel that assumptions that the dominant cultural values may not be the most appropriate in this case and leave scaredy cat feeling even more scared due to answers that do not appropriately address her situation

    • As a practicing Mormon, my husband has seen my entire body. There is nothing in the Mormon church that says that after they are married, the husband and wife cannot see each other’s entire body. In fact, sexual relations between husband and wife are very important and encouraged.

    • Why wouldn’t Scaredy Pants have mentioned such restrictions in her question?

  23. Warning: I am going to use grown-up language in my response.

    The thing I wish most that I had known when I lost my virginity was the mechanics. I had masturbated before, and I had watched porn, but I really had no idea how actual sex worked. Porn is not generally helpful (at least, I don’t think so) – the stuff you find for free online shows the human fantasy of sexual intercourse, and not what actually happens.

    Statistically, most women have trouble reaching orgasm (however, keep in mind that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics). I have a feeling this is due to the fact that a lot of women don’t masturbate and because of that, they don’t know themselves well enough to climax. Some women can’t even climax when masturbating – and I think this is because of our society’s view on women’s sexuality. I think a lot of women feel so much bad energy about their own sexuality and because of this the are unable to feel pleasure (because it’s not just physical, it’s emotional, too).

    Anyways, I digress. What I wish someone had explained to me was how to climax during sex. A lot of women have trouble climaxing with their g-spot (a sensitive area inside the vagina). When I lost my virginity, I assumed that a), the penis would automatically find the g-spot and it would be great, or b), the angle of sexual intercourse would make it so the penis rubbed against the clitoris and I would be able to climax that way. What I do (so do other women) is stimulate my clitoris while penetration is happening. I usually climax from the clitoral stimulation, and the penetration is pleasurable and helps in the sensation.

    I did not know that stimulating my clitoris myself during intercourse was normal for *a long time* after I started having sex. For a while I thought that there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t climax from vaginal penetration alone, and I didn’t think it was normal that I had to touch myself during intercourse in order to climax. I thought that maybe there was something wrong with me. But it’s perfectly fine if you do that – a lot of women do. It’s hard to say what’s normal for everybody (it’s such a relative term), but I really wish I had known before I lost my virginity that this was a “normal” thing to do.

    Some other things I wish I had known? Use lube. Get a nice one, and check the ingredients, because a lot of lubricants have sugar in them, and that is bad for the vaginal area. Gives you yeast infections and other fun such things. And go to the bathroom both before and after having sex – it helps flush out stuff that might cause irritation.

    Of course, this is all assuming that you are heterosexual and entering into a heterosexual marriage.

    The website has a lot of good, honest information. If you go to the website, there should be some kind of warning page that pops up, asking you if you’re 18 or not. If you click on the “I’m under 18” button, there are additional links providing information that would be good for someone who has questions or is unsure what they’re doing.

    Hope I didn’t skeeve anyone out with my language, but like I said – I’m just trying to say something I really wish I had known before I had sex for the first time. And of course, everything that everyone else has said about communication is absolutely correct. Communication is key.

    • Usual porn is mostly crap, but homemade porn and erotica is great. It’s made by people that are doing things that THEY like and can be informative and give great ideas.

    • Yes!

      I had been having sex (in a succession of 5 long-term relationships) for 9 years, and I never had an orgasm that entire time because neither my partners nor I had ever tried clitoral stimulation. I finally tearfully and ashamedly confessed my lack of orgasm “ability” to my two dearest friends, and they told me to get a “kitchen appliance” and explained to me basically what an orgasm feels like. (I was worried I wouldn’t be able to recognize it if it did finally happen.) I, too, went through some time of agonizing that I wasn’t “normal” because I don’t orgasm with vaginal penetration only. But I found out I’m not even remotely abnormal because of that, and I can definitely say: That “kitchen appliance” is one of the best things that ever happened to me—and to my now-fiance!

      I agree: that’s something I REALLY wish someone had told me before I started having sex!

    • I would want to point out, though, that some women DO climax just through penetration. Really, everyone is different, and if what you’re doing doesn’t feel great, try something else, and if it feels good, keep doing it!
      I also second the point about the bathroom trip. Pee afterwards to prevent a urinary tract infection (that’s what my doctor told me!) and to squirt out any splooge if you didn’t use a condom. Hah, kinda gross, but sex is a little gross, and funny, and emotional and… lots of things.

      • Thirding the bathroom trip here! I really wish someone had told me about urinary tract infections before I started having sex at 17. I managed to get four before someone told me the whole peeing-after-sex trick, and I haven’t had one since.

        • YES YES YES. I am particularly prone to UTI’s anyway, and I used to get a LOT of them from sex. Peeing afterward helps, but if you still get one, go buy some cranberry pills. Not juice, pills. And take about 7 of them, with a lot of water. They’re available at any pharmacy and many grocery stores, and they are INVALUABLE. I’d had two operations for UTI’s and a ton of them that were just treated with antibiotics before a kindly doctor told me about cranberry pills, and I haven’t had any problems since that last more than a couple of hours.

          • fyi – A close friend with chronic UTIs – I mean REALLY chronic – was totally cured through a few months of acupuncture (after trying diet modifications, cranberry, etc.).

          • Is there an actual brand name on these cranberry pills? I just had a UTI (didn’t even know it), and the first antibiotic made me sick so the doc put me on a diff. antibiotic that was one dose, and it made me sick too. Funny thing is… I can’t even tell that I don’t have a UTI anymore anyways, and again, I didn’t know I had one to begin with. A question about sex… does anybody else ever feel like they have to pee the ENTIRE time they’re having sex? The doggy position is the only one so far that doesn’t give me the urge to go pee the entire time during sex. I always pee right before and right after sex. I think my bladder/kidney infection as a kid really screwed me up.

          • Cranberry pills don’t have a particular brand. A lot of different companies make them. You should be able to find them in a drugstore or grocery store, etc, next to the vitamins.

            If you feel like you have to urinate during sex, it could be your body wants to ejaculate. Women can ejaculate as well; the sensation is similar to the sensation of having to urinate, so a lot of women get confused and hold it back. If you feel you are urinating too frequently, tho, maybe that is something to mention to your doctor.

  24. I hadn’t had sex before I got married. The most surprising thing to me? How natural being naked with my new husband is. If you already have a good relationship with FH, it’ll just seem like the next natural progression of your relationship.

  25. Lube. Lots of lube (Eros is a fantastic brand). And condoms.

    Also, anytime someone climaxes, it’s sex – there doesn’t have to be any penetration involved. That can – and possibly should – come after several to dozens to hundreds of non-penetrating sessions.

  26. I think there has been a lot of good advice here, and I’m just going to add my perspective, which I feel strongly about. While I didn’t wait, I think that your waiting means that your sexual experience is going to be very specially tied to your husband and to the event of your marriage. That is very cool. Like lots of people said already, this doesn’t mean you need to have sex the very evening after the ceremony.

    The point I want to make is that there are a lot of intermediate steps that you can and SHOULD do before the actual step of penetration (whether you take those steps before or after the ceremony). These include smaller steps like becoming comfortable with full body touching, which can be quite intense. Face to face and body to body with someone. Being familiar with the look and feel of one-another’s bodies and private parts and being naked together, or alone. And in both sexual and non-sexual context. Being able to talk and laugh about likes and dislikes in touching.

    All these things are foreplay – kind of – but don’t have to necessarily lead to sex, in fact, they shouldn’t right away. Oral sex can be almost more intimate than penetration, so don’t skip that step. By the time you get to penetration, it should feel like the natural next step – you’ve explored so far, this is just something else to try, and then it’ll be fulfilling. Maybe not perfect, but natural and good.

  27. I think that you have nothing ot be worried about. As opposed to the many horror stories you hear about the first time you have sex, I had a great time. Looking back now, I realize that it was, all in all, pretty lame, but at the time I was so happy to be with that person and I really wanted to do it. If the love is there, it’s going to be great, and will only get better with time:)

  28. How I envy all of you…Sorry, it’s just so hard to read stories of people having nice sex, and I don’t mean this in a bad way. I suffer from vaginismus, that means I only have painful intercourse. For some women who suffer from vaginismus it’s impossible to have vaginal intercourse at all.
    The worst part is feeling demeaned as a woman because you are not like everybody else, because you cannot give your partner what others can, because vaginal sex is either painful or, on some rare occasions, a feeling of nothingless. My partner is really supportive and helps me dealing with the negative feelings connected to not feeling good enough, but it’s still hard. I would love once in my life to experience sex as most of the people do. I don’t know how much you know about vaginismus, so in case you are interested you should check this website out.

    There have been many women who have been waiting for their first night just to find out they couldn’t have what everybody assumed they were going to have. Sometimes it’s really difficult to remember to be true to yourself, and not to fall into the trap of “being like everybody else” and “what’s normal”. This post doesn’t sum up my all experiences (I am so happy with my partner and sex is great even with vaginismus), it’s just that sometimes it’s difficult to remember sex is not the only thing that matters, especially in such a sex-loaded society like ours.
    So, if there is somebody reading with my same problem, remember this and feel great about yourself.

    • I’m in your boat, Contessa. Vaginismus and vulvodynia. Physical therapy and sex therapy have done wonders, but it’s still a long road to being able to have intercourse. Like you I am blessed with an understanding and supportive partner. Per someone else’s comment, being intimate doesn’t have to include penetration so cultivate what you can of the physical and trusting relationship you do have and remember that you’re not alone!

      • I definitely can relate. Long story short, I had a very rare vaginal blockage that required me to have surgery. Before surgery, things were EXTREMELY painful. I never learned about my body through masturbated because I physically couldn’t. My first OBGYN visit was absolute torture, and my first sexual experience was more than disappointing. I am very fortunate that my problem was correctable for the most part, but my body still has some issues that my FH and I have to work around.

        Like you said, Contessa, don’t fall into the trap of doing what is “normal” for everyone else. And communication is really important!

  29. The hitachi magic wand is the most amazing piece of anything ever made. I survived 2.5 years of long distance relationship-ing because of it. Can’t recommend it highly enough!

  30. While I personally agree with the advice given, you just gotta do what is most comfortable to you. If you’re not comfortable getting to know yourself in that way, then don’t. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll enjoy it if you’re really uncomfortable about it anyways. But it wouldn’t hurt to try, just so you can show your husband what feels good and what doesn’t.
    And yes, communication is important. If you’re not honest with your husband about how you feel about this, it could lead to negative feelings because you may not get what you could out of the wonderful experience of making love.

  31. I’m sexually active yet feel the same way as this person. How weird is that? Very and I’m well aware of that.

    For reasons unknown to me, sex makes me uncomfortable. As far as I know I’ve never had an orgasm. Even when masturbating I get bored before I ever reach the point of climax. Some weird mental block. So while I totally understand where the advice is coming from in this posting, unfortunately it doesn’t always work for everyone.

    • I’d fully recommend talking to a (sexually open, pro-sex) counselor. You say that there’s some kind of weird mental block, and you could be exactly right. It’s more common than you’d think that there are some women who, for one reason or another, just can’t connect their brain to sexual physical stimulation. There are many causes and a lot of really accessible solutions.
      There are also dozens of communities out there who can offer pro tips on finding your orgasm!

    • Also, people who take antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications often have trouble climaxing, even if they are sexually excited. That may not be your issue, but it could be the issue for other people in your position.

  32. I engaged and a virgin although I don’t know that I am going to wait for the wedding night. I don’t feel obligated to wait as my waiting has not been driven by religious concerns, but rather by having a personal feeling that the physical and emotional aspects of a relationship should be linked. That feeling allows for sex before marriage, but not without commitment. At this point I am not particularly worried about going all the way, but that is because we have gone *very* slowly, just a little bit more at a time. I agree with the commenters who said that what you do is going to depend on your personal beliefs and values, but my suggestion would be to go slow. I think you should go as far as your values allow and you are comfortable with before the wedding. Get comfortable with looking at and touching each and seeing each other’s bodies before you even consider having intercourse. Make out. Engage in heavy petting. Get comfortable giving each other pleasure with your clothes still on (more or less, with less and less over time). My FH and I spent months where hands never went inside clothes (but we still had a lot of fun) then shirts only, etc. If your values and comfort level limit you to, for instance, fairly chaste kisses (or none at all) before the wedding I think you should seriously consider and talk with your FH about not doing the deed on your wedding night and even taking a month or more to work up to it a little at time where you just do a little more every night and never do anything you aren’t both comfortable with. Get to know each others bodies. Tell one another what feels good. In the meantime, read about sex, talk about sex with your FH, think about sex and decide what you guys want.

  33. As one who was also a virgin on their wedding night marrying a virgin, I understand this soon-to-be bride’s fears. I would add to the advice Ariel gave to also check into the kind of birth control you’re using. Birth control messes with hormones, and weird stuff can happen when hormones are messed with. Some can seriously decrease sex drive, which is very unfortunate. Also, I second the lube comment. Lots. Although, be careful of the kind you choose, because sometimes you can be very…umm… sensitive and certain kinds are painful. Sex is all trial and error anyway, so, like Ariel said, try different things and see what you like!

    • Good point on the birth control. And while we’re on that subject, I’d like to remind any virgins who want to put off motherhood for a while that St. John’s Wort and antibiotics can render your hormonal birth control ineffective! I know two lovely children who came to their parents this way.

      • Excellent point on the St. John’s Wort. I’d been taking St. John’s Wort and been on birth control since I got married almost a year ago and just learned about the possible canceling out effect a couple of weeks ago. Yikes!

      • Also, oil based lube breaks down the latex in condoms. If you’re using a condom for birth control, make sure the lube you’re using isn’t going to ruin the condom.

  34. I just got married on Easter Weekend. I am 27 and had never had sex, my husband had been around the block a few times. I was TERRIFIED!!! I don’t think there is a trick to not being nervous and I certainly don’t think there’s a trick to making it good the first time. The important thing is communication between you two and to remember to have fun. You will say “wrong hole, wrong hole!” at least three times in the first week. For me, it’s been two weeks and things are just getting comfortable, but man, it feels good to be making love to my true love!

    • Some people abstain for a week or two, even a month or two, before the wedding night, to get that virgin feeling. πŸ˜‰

      • We are planning to do this, sometimes not getting it makes you want it that much more and with two kids it is easy (for is at least) to forget desire and passion.

  35. Dear Miss Scaredy Pants,

    I hope your wedding night AND marriage provide you with all sorts of fun. If you are at all unsure about how to take on all this advice I suggest this to you. Store the link to Ariel’s advice and the set of comments it comes with somewhere on your computer so you can keep coming back to it. I say that because I plan to do the same thing for my kids. This is one awesome example of how the community at OBB support each other and the advice/wisdom here is priceless. Losing your virginity happens in an instant but discovering your sexuality takes a while longer. Enjoy the adventure and learn how to say ‘no” (and “YEEEEES!”). A happy marriage to you, Miss Scaredy Pants!

  36. congratulations to you honey! It took em a long time to enjoy sex, because i hadnt done ANYTHNIG ELSE before i lost my virginity. it was a good 2 years after i first had sex that i found a guy that explored foreplay and things like that. being able to have an adult conversation with your partner about your fears, likes, dislikes, etc. is gonig to help a lot on you wedding night…or wedding day or two after.

    obviously you’ve made a commitment to wait, and you’ve made a lifetime commitment to your partner when you became engaged. You already are on a comfort level knowing that he is going to take care of you in life, as you will take care of him. So in tuen, you should know that he will take care of you in the bedroom. Not from a “dirty” standpoint, but he will most likely cherish that moment and be as tender as possible, and he will 100% be there for you.

    That is so admirable. Good luck honey!

  37. I would also suggest getting a “normal” size vib/dildo to “practice” before the wedding night. It’ll make it a lot easier for you!

    I lost my v-card at 22 to my soon to be fiancee and it took some time, patience, and practice for us to actually be able to have full-blow sex. (We were both virgins)

    Don’t be surprised if your first night isn’t *exactly* how you’ve imagined it. Sex gets better as time goes by as you learn what turns both you on, grow with each other, etc.

    I also recommend Anne Hooper’s Kama Sutra for 21th century lovers! It does have pics of naked people in it, but tastefully done and artlike. God advice in it!

    /also have a drink or two!!
    //Lube is your friend!!

    • Seconded on the practicing! And the lube (preferably not with glycerine, if you have any sort of tendency to yeast infections).

      I was not a virgin and it still took a good bit of time to get used to my then-boyfriend-now-husband in terms of size. We’ve been having sex for over 3 years now and lube is still occasionally needed when the stars don’t align properly.

      And since nobody else has mentioned it, pee afterwards! Helps to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

      • Also advice on what Rachel H. (C.) said:
        Do NOT pee before! That causes UTIs. Use the bathroom afterwards!
        If you must use the bathroom before, take a shower or wash that area to clean the bacteria off your skin.

  38. Warning, warning, I am outspoken, words like penis, vagina, and such will be used. I also spent some time working as a sex consultant for a toy store.

    There are a few questions I would have. I am not by any means a virgin… that being said, what does Scardy Pants consider being a virgin? Many people don’t consider oral sex to be sex, but it is… not saying that makes you not a virgin just means I wouldn’t think it is something you have done in the purest sense of the word virgin. Just like marriage these things are “meant” to come in steps. (dating, engagement, marriage, anniversaries) (kissing, touching, oral, intercourse, and on)

    Some women feel comfort in knowing their partner is not a virgin. One thing that I worry might be misleading is assuming since he is not a virgin he knows what he is doing. I don’t want to worry or offend you, what I am trying to say is every woman is different. Some women need external stimulation, some need internal, some need both to reach climax. If that isn’t your goal, it’s ok too, some just like the closeness and the climax is a bonus. Some women fake orgasms as to not upset their partner (I don’t recommend this, whats the point?) and the partner never knows the difference. What if his previous partner/s weren’t virgins? So just because he isn’t a virgin doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing. Good sex isn’t just pelvic thrusting!

    If he is a virgin, don’t fret. Doesn’t mean it will be bad. Doesn’t mean it won’t last long, that is common but not the rule.

    Communication is the utmost important part of sex. Especially during sex! I’m not saying to over-embellish thoughts or feelings. But if something feels good and he decides to move/switch something and it doesn’t feel as good, say something!

    LUBE LUBE LUBE!!!!! Not flavored (too much sugar!) Not oil based (can break the tissue of your vagina!) Not warming (can be over-stimulating!) Water based works but slowly sinks into your “skin” and leaves a sticky residue, I recommend and will until they make something better Silicone Lubricant. Eros and System JO are my personal favorites. A little goes a long way and, fun fact, it’s water proof! Also mean after sex shower, bonus! P.S. don’t slip πŸ™‚

    Personally I believe masturbation is key. I understand the stigma but as some people including me previously said, sometimes you have to take your orgasm into your own hand (or whatever device you choose) even when having sex with your partner.

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding. Congrats on holding out so long! Take a deep breathe, and take your time.

  39. I think Ariel’s advice is great. However, I might sound like a buzzkill right now, but I hope that you received comprehensive sex ed throughout your formal education, and through your family. I say this because the information in this type of sexuality education is absolutely relevant to both those who wait, and those who explore their sexuality beforehand. Understanding contraception, STIs, your cycle, etc., is relevant to everyone.

    If you received abstinence only sex ed, its time to take intiative, along with your fella, and hit the books!

  40. Great advice. I strongly agree with doing whatever helps relax you and your new hubby. If you drink, I recommend one or two- don’t get wasted, just enough to loosen the nerves a bit. Or have him give you a massage. Or give him one. Or both!

    And it may sound strange, but don’t worry too much how it goes the first time- there will be plenty of time to work on it. The first time with my fiance was really stressful. I’d been ‘around’ a bit, more so than him. Honestly, it was really awkward, not really enjoyable, and I almost cried because it wasn’t some romantic, climatic moment. However, the second time was amazing- maybe because we were more relaxed with the situation. He proved to be a fantastic lover.

    And in general, keep things interesting. Not that you need to go crazy, especially the first time, but try to add new things (positions, toys, idea..) into the bedroom (or kitchen, shower, living room). Sex can get monotonous always doing the same position at the same time. Ask what each other would like to try. What are you ok trying and what are you not ok trying?

  41. I just wanted to say, good for you that you waited, and just relax, everything will come together and flow just fine. Oh and remember this ….. Just laugh, when you think something is funny laugh, dont be embarresed either, be free and let yourself go wild!

  42. I just want to throw out there that I had a lot of sex other than penis-in-vagina sex, first, for years, and after the first couple of times I had penis-in-vagina sex I was shocked that everybody made SUCH a big deal about it. There was no big moment, and I’m actually not even sure when the first time my partner and I did it was.

    And before I had this conventional definition of sex/virginity, people gave me a really hard time about it! That I hadn’t had ‘real’ sex yet, but that was completely ridiculous. I couldn’t let myself fully believe it until I had tried everything (so far) that I wanted to and felt confident about my experiences, but no one act was not worth hyping up as some unbelievable (or beautiful, or painful) experience.

    The thrill and beauty of it comes from a lot of different elements of being with someone, not from ANY one physical act.

    I love all the advice here, and to see that this community is so full of pro-sex alternative folks too! Communication (including dirty talk!) and exploration of both yourself and your partner are the best ideas.

  43. Honey, I think this is more about you being afraid and less about you being worried that it wont be good. The first time is usually.. uncomfortable, if not always painful. Its okay to be nervous, I am sure that your partner will find it endearing. If I were you I would just try to relax and let it happen. Dont worry so much about the outcome as much as trying to be as comfortable as possible while its happening. It will get easier and better as you go.

  44. I both disagree and agree. If you want to have intercourse with your husband, and become intimate for the first time. Then the advice is at best misleading. Masturbation is not intercourse, and to think that it is really ruins your wedding night and may ruin the rest of your married nights together. Masturbating is not about others its about you, and you alone. To associate one with the other you turn what should be bonding and unity into separation and power games. In fact you are setting up a situation where the closer you want to get to your husband the further you are from him. I suppose I am offbeat in that I don’t believe in masturbation or birth control. I’m one of those crazy NFP girls.
    Now if its sex (which originates from the word secare or cut /divide. By the way sex only came to be used as a word for intercourse by D.H. Lawrence) that you are after. Then this action plan is perfect.
    Good luck and like other posters have already said having open communication is best!!!

    • From personal experience, I can agree. I posted earlier about a physical problem I had (that required surgery to fix) that made masturbation extremely painful, so I never learned to do it. Even now, years after the problem has been fixed, it does nothing for me and I really don’t get the hype about it.
      Learning about my body and what I liked *with* my FH is what made sex a wonderful experience for me.

  45. This is a wonderfully timed post. I’m relieved to find out I’m not the only person who’s waiting for marriage. Also that I’m not the only one who’s a little worried about it.

  46. Talk talk talk talk and TALK! Communication is seriously going to be the biggest help (the magic wand doesn’t hurt either. If you feel intimidated by it, that’s ok too.) Sit down one night and talk about it all, everything. The awkward bits, the fun bits, the stuff you like and the stuff you don’t. Talk about things you’d like to do and stuff that scares you. But when you talk about it, don’t treat it like it’s something bad or like you’re sending it off to die somewhere. Be up front and factual, even if you blush like the dickens. (I did the first time I talked about it!)

    After that? It’s just a lot of trial and error. Your first time may be all hearts and roses and rainbows, but it might not. If it’s not? That’s totally OK too. Eventually with practice, research and just a lot of experiments, it will get to that point. Don’t worry so much about putting all of the importance to “wedding night” as chances might be that you’ll be exhausted from all the other emotional stuff going on during that day. Don’t rush it, don’t dive in if you don’t feel up to it. Do what feels right to you.

  47. I know I’m waaaay late to this party, but I just finished reading the original post and all of the comments, and I feel like I need to add something…

    There are a lot of comments that say something along the lines of “well done!” or “good for you!”, congratulating MSP for hanging on to her virginity. This is somewhat upsetting to me, because it seems very indicative of the (literally) holier-than-thou attitude that often arises in discussions of marriage, sex, and virginity.

    In order to provide a counterpoint, I just want to say this: it is not a celebratory accomplishment to abstain from sex until after marriage. Nor is it a cause for celebration to have sex at 15, 18, 27, or 34. Sex is simply a human experience that we ALL engage with on a variety of levels throughout our lives beginning in early childhood. There seems to be a cultural need to place vaginal penetration on some sort of pedestal, in much the same way that a woman’s “maidenhead” has long been considered a form of cultural currency.

    So while I think it’s a-okay if you happen to have penetrative vaginal sex for the first time on your wedding night, I DON’T think it’s anything “special” and I absolutely don’t think it is something to applaud or aspire to. In my opinion, the unspoken implication is that sex between two non-virgins is somehow less meaningful, and such an implication has no place in the forward-thinking sex-positive culture that I aspire to help cultivate.

    Also…Hitachi Magic Wand FTMFW!!! Mine’s 5 years and going strong. :o)

    • I disagree. There could have been many reasons for not giving up her virginity, and if she had reasons (even religious ones) I think it’s commendable that she stuck to her beliefs and didn’t compromise.

      I think it’s a celebratory accomplishment to adhere to one’s beliefs and actually live out what they say they will. Especially when they know sex is very enjoyable. It makes it that much harder to resist. I’ve seen many girls adamantly claim they weren’t going to have sex before marriage and end up pregnant at 16.
      For someone to actually live what they talk, it’s commendable.

      It’s not the actual abstinence that everyone is commending, it’s their respect for people who don’t compromise on their beliefs.

  48. My advise is to go shopping! Find yourself some awesome, sexy lingerie that you can wear that night. But be sure to put it on a few times just for yourself first. Get comfortable in it, check yourself out in the mirror and realize your alluring sexual potential πŸ˜‰ Then have some fun with your new kitchen appliances!

  49. I’m going to dissent a tiny bit and say that I think masturbation is helpful, but only to a point. I was well-practiced at it long before I attempted vaginal intercourse, and the first try at that was so painful and miserable it put me off sex altogether for, I kid you not, years. There’s a big leap, physically, between clitoral stimulation and actual penetration.

    There’s a website called Scarleteen (with which I am in no way affiliated, FTR) that will answer pretty much anything. OK, yeah; we’re mostly not teens, but information is always good.

  50. As someone who was a virgin bride there’s a lot of good advice here. I did masturbate beforehand and I think that did help – mostly just with knowing what sensations to expect and how to help myself get “there” but I totally understand not being comfortable with it – morally or otherwise – and I wouldn’t say it was necessary. Here are some of the best bits of advice I ever got:
    1. Laugh! Sex is funny and slightly gross. Don’t take it too seriously when you bonk heads, get a hair in your mouth, get stuck in odd positions, etc. just relax and laugh about it.
    2. yes, pee before and after, before makes you so much more comfortable and after halps prevent UTIs. this connects to…
    3. If you start feeling sore or raw after a day or two of wild bunny sex (as often happens when one or both partners are virgins and a little TOOO excited about this wonderful new world that has opened to them) take a day off – it may seem hard after all the years of waiting to wait again when you’ve finally been set loose but 1 day of abstaining is easier than a week or so because of a painful infection.
    4. 2 resources (definitely if you are a Christian but probably useful to any virgin bride (and/or groom) – Sheet Music, cant remember the authors but very good, Intended for Pleasure is also a good old standby, has some great forums where you can ask your questions
    5. I know that everyone says “You don’t have to have sex on your wedding night” and if you are just to pooped to move yeah I guess you don’t – but just realize that as much as you’ve been thinking and planning and dreaming about the wedding day – your fiance/husband (especially if he is also a virgin) has been thinking about the wedding night. Certainly a good man will not complain if you just can’t – but really think about how he is likely to feel if your very first night as man and wife you are already starting with the “not tonight honey, I’m to tired” stuff. The thinking about each other’s needs and feelings stuff has to go both ways and I think that as post-feminist movement women we sometimes forget that we need to be as sensitive to his needs for sex as he should be to our needs. Not to generalize too deeply but think as the average woman if your husband were to regularly say to you “Sorry honey I don’t want to hear about your day and your feelings, I’m just not wired to need that as much as you do and I’m too tired tonight” You’d call him a jerk and a misogynist pig. But when we regularly say not tonight to the average man – it’s pretty much the same thing.
    6. Get used to thinking of sex as a good and right thing and yourself as a sexual being. If you come from a very conservative background you (or at least I did) tend to pick up the idea (whether if was explicitly taught to you or it was just in the background) that anything even remotely sexual=evil, period. And yeah I do personally believe (and live that belief) that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong. But you have to get yourself out of that sex is evil mindset to really enjoy intimacy with your husband. It’s hard sometimes to do that, especially after those last few months of iron will-power it takes to wait that home stretch and I know I would find myself tensing up sometimes early on right in the middle of thing ready to go “No we have to stop!” but really concentrate on getting that idea out of your head and replace it with the thought that intimacy with your husband is a very good thing and such freedom (Echoes of Eden – I think that’s a song)
    7. Communicate beforehand, yes, but be careful. When you are waiting (impatiently) for your wedding night, too explicit of conversations on this subject tend to make waiting even harder. Try to save the most explicit stuff for no more than the week beforehand and before that try to keep the conversations to semi-public places (in the car on your way to a public occasion, during the day in a park) or over the phone.
    8. Sorry of this gets a bit too much but I think it would be helpful. What we did on our (mutually virgin) wedding night to prepare was to (separately) take showers in order to relax and de-stress from the day and to clear and redirect and prepare our minds for this thing we’d been waiting for so impatiently. We then gave each other long massages with a good massage oil – it helped to do more relaxing and de-stressing, getting used to being naked with each other, having leisure to explore each other’s bodies, not to mention that it helped to extend foreplay the way a virgin female really needs. Do not be afraid of lube – lube is your friend. Avoid condoms that first time if possible. The most important thing to remember at that first penetration is to relax (I can truly state that mine was only momentarily uncomfortable and definitely not painful). Don’t expect too much that first time – highly unlikely that you will orgasm, let’s be honest here – but also ignore everyone who says it is going to be awful. Just concentrate on enjoying the experience, and treasuring every awkward moment for the wonderful discovery that it is. And burn the sight of your husband’s face the first time he experiences this in your memory – I know it will never leave mine – wow!
    Sorry this got so long. Best of luck!

    • *like* I would like to say this though… I have told my FH a couple of times no because I didn’t feel good, was too tired, was at my parents house, etc. He’s fine with it. In general, people need to learn to hear and accept the word “no” and others need to learn to say it a little more often. I have been rejected by him a couple of times too because he fell asleep. We both get over it because life moves on. It is okay to say “no”, just don’t do it all the time. I’ve only been sexually active for a couple of months, and I’m sure we will reject each other a several times throughout our years of marriage. Every time I told him “no” he said “That’s okay, I’ll just take care of it myself.” A significant other should respect the other for saying “no” to something rather than forcing them into something.

      • Exactly – I’m certainly not saying you have to say yes every time – we have an 8 month old baby – I’ve had to say “no, sorry honey – I got two 2 hours stretches of sleep last night – I’ll be lucky if I get the same tonight, sex is so low on my to-do list right now I think it’s fallen off” and the similar way more than I’d like in the last year and a half or so. Just be wary of turning into a habitual refuser who makes sex something he has to wheedle cajole and earn from you all while you say things like “he needs to be sensitive to my needs” that right there – any time either partner can only think about how the other should meed their needs and rarely if ever thinking about doing the same in return is marriage poison. And – not to paint with too broad a brush – for the average man (yes I know their are exceptions and times when the reverse is true), their primary need in order to feel that their wife cares about them is sex. Just really think about why you are saying no before you say it and decide if this is an occasion when you really truly can’t face it or if it just doesn’t sound like your first choice of activities but it’s something you could do for your husband anyway to show him how much you care. Sorry, it’s just a little pet-peeve/campaign of mine – in the post feminist era I feel like we’ve often swung too far the other way on relationship stuff and expect men to bend to our every whim and like it without giving anything back – both halves of a couple should be doing everything in their power to meet the other’s needs – if both halves of all couples really put that in to practice I think the divorce rate would drop dramatically.

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