Let’s see, how shall I begin?
I am so proud of you, that you’ve decided to maintain your virginity until you are married.
While it is true that millions (billions, more likely) of young brides have eventually “figured all this out” on their own, it really is a disservice to you not to share the simple, practical things we “older brides” have learned.
If you choose to read-on, know that plain-speaking commences immediately.
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Beginning with your first pelvic exam and/or pap smear:
Request a small speculum (some places call this a pediatric speculum). As a virgin (even if you are a tampon-user) your vaginal opening will be smaller than the “average” woman coming in for an exam, and the speculum used by default could be large enough to brake your hymen, painfully.
I know at least one woman who still asks for the small speculum years later, as she’s never delivered (given birth) vaginally.
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About the hymen:
- It is possible to gently stretch it over the course of your engagement so that first intercourse is not the horribly painful thing stereotype paints it to be.
- Not every virgin bleeds. (This is more important to some).
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The main resource I recomend to explain the hows and wherefores of the pure wedding night is The First Years of Forever.
This has suggestions for preparing the hymen, and what positions put the least strain on it.
If you’re too busy to read one more book, check ebay for the two-tape set that proceeded the book, Before the Wedding Night. It can be tricky to track down, but I *highly* recomend it.
If you can’t find the tape set, you might consider rearranging your schedule and making time to read– or else find some plain-speaking wife to give you the details I’m not.
Try to see it as the investment it is in your marriage.
Both resources are a combination pre-marital counseling session and practical (but not weird) preparation for the wedding night itself.
My advice for couples using these resources:
- Save tape #2 and the sexual parts of the book until the week of your wedding.
- *Don’t* go through them as a couple.
Desire will inevitably increase as you imagine/prepare-for your wedding night, and to avoid disappointing yourself you should take common-sense steps to minimize opportunities to “cheat.”
You’ve made it this far (Engaged!) you can make it to your wedding night!
This, by the way, is why my mother always emphasizes the value/importance of short engagements.
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You should be prepared for your wedding night.
Contrary to the images in movies or television, not everyone finds sex to be easy or “natural” (or, often, pleasurable) the first time.
What you need to stay aware of is that the more you learn– the more fully you anticipate what is going to happen– the more you feel the desires growing in you.
This is good and natural. But the earlier you begin the harder it will be to continue to wait.
Song of Songs (a book in the Bible) several times says, “Do not arouse or awaken love until the time is right.”
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If you choose not to read the book, here are three basic things you ought to know if you want a comfortable honeymoon:
- Have a good lubricant on-hand: KY jelly/liquid, Astroglide. (I love that these are right across from the baby food in my local store.)
- Have some hand towels or wash cloths in reach if you’re not using condoms. One of these under the woman’s hips will prevent a wet spot on the bed, and extras make for easy clean-up. If you didn’t know already: Sex is messy.
- The wife needs to urinate after every act of intercourse.
This last (unromantic) direction is to prevent a bladder infection from bacteria in the urethra. Sometimes called honeymoon cystitis (that’s how common it is), it will make intercourse painful, sap your energy, and give you a fever.
No one wants to test “in sickness” on their honeymoon.
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- Use lots when you’re first starting. It might add to the “mess” until you know what you’re doing, but it’s worth it to minimize discomfort for the woman.
- Some people are alergic to some types of lubricant.
If you have any pain, itchiness or discomfort in your skin, don’t assume it’s just because you’re new to this whole sex thing. Switch lubricants immediately and see if that resolves the problem. (Give the skin a chance to heal, too.)
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The most important thing is to clarify expectations.
Your wedding night will be something memorable, but don’t expect it to indicate you what your sex life will be your whole married life.
There is a (once) popular song with the line,
It still seems like the first time
My husband said, “You’ve got to be kidding me. Who’d want that?”
Our wedding night is a very happy memory, but there’s no way (especially knowing what we know now) that we’d want it to stay the same.
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By having healthy expectations (reading a book like I mentioned above will help with that) a lot of potential frustration can be dissolved before it starts.
The wedding night is important, sort of like the wedding itself.
But the real glory of sex (as the real glory of the relationship) is found in the marriage. Not in the wedding night.