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.

Help?

-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. 🙂

      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. 🙂

      • 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! 🙂

      • 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!

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