Honeymoon Sexpectations (a blog for newly weds)

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Blog: Doing sex God’s way

Honeymoon Sexpectations (a blog for newly weds)

You have kept yourself pure – and finally it’s here. Your wedding night. You can let all your inhibitions go. You will have amazing, mindboggling sex. Desire unfettered by the boundaries you have placed on your intimacy will result in earth shattering simultaneous orgasms.

Maybe it lived up to your expectations. If so, well done and congratulations. Read on anyway, you will learn ways to keep the spark in your relationship alive and growing.

However, there are many couples for whom the experience of sex during the honeymoon and the first months fail dismally to live up to expectations. Some struggle on. Others give up and lead a life together devoid of true sexual intimacy.

Let’s look at common reasons for sexual problems early in marriage, and how beginning sexual intimacy based on God’s pattern for relationship lays the foundation for the best sex for life.


  1. Unrealistic expectations:

Fact: First time sex is rarely easy or particularly comfortable for either the boy or the girl whether or not they are married[1].

If you are both virgins, any knowledge they have of the genitals and sexual arousal is purely theoretical. On the wedding night both are tired, stressed and anxious. As Christians, you have refrained from sexual intimacy before marriage. Now, with the wedding ring on your finger, you expect yourself and your husband to be sexual Olympians. Sorry – won’t happen.

Someone may have told you that the first time will be very traumatic and you are likely to tear or bleed. The first sight of an erect penis does little to allay these fears. Sometimes this anxiety causes muscles around the vagina to contract, making It difficult sometimes even impossible for the penis to enter. This is commoner than is known.

The man in the spirit of male leadership thinks that he is expected to know what to do and how everything functions. This very anxiety to perform could result in him coming soon or even losing his erection.

Great sex under these circumstances is like expecting someone to swim in the Olympics on their first swimming lesson!

What to do?

Basically, take it easy and relax. Your wedding night is the beginning of an exciting sexual journey. Here are a few first night tips:

(i) Take time to get to know each other’s body:

Conduct a shared ‘show and tell’. You are now entering the ‘naked and no shame’ (Genesis 2:25) phase of your life. Take your time. It doesn’t matter if that’s all you do on the first night.

(ii) Enjoy the journey:

Be mindful of what you are feeling. Enjoy the sensuality of the moment. Sexual intimacy is more than intercourse – far more. There are the senses to be shared. Some are obvious, like touch and smell. Other sensations taste vision and sound are often forgotten. Why do we put the light off and close our eyes when making love? Why not talk? Verbalise? Laugh together?

It is okay if all you do on the first night – or the second – or third is just this enjoyment of touch. Mutuality and sexual satisfaction are a lifelong process.

(iii) Talk about your feelings and fears:

You may think that you have said all there is to say during the time of your engagement. It is a good time to start the environment of honest sharing. Be gentle with yourself and your partner. But do it. Remember you are setting patterns here that will last a lifetime.

(iv) Recognise that men and women are different in their sexual response cycle[2]. Learn to adapt – and enjoy.

  1. Fear of discomfort:

First sexual intercourse can be awkward (you don’t instinctively know what goes where). Sometimes it can be a little fearful (can this rather large erect penis actually fit into that little vaginal opening?). And yes, even messy and painful.

If a virgin and has not used a tampon or had a vaginal examination done by a doctor, she is likely to have some discomfort. She may even feel some pain and bleed a little. The bleeding is from the tearing of the hymen. The discomfort comes from this as well as from the muscles around the vagina instinctively contracting around the penis as it pushes in. This is exacerbated when the woman is not sufficiently relaxed, lubricated and ready for sex. This initial pain can lead to fear – which exacerbates the muscle contraction – leading to a condition called vaginismus. With vaginismus, you may have desire and feel sexual arousal but feel pain on intercourse.

What causes it?

The commonest cause is poor knowledge and wrong beliefs about sex and sexual behaviour. Many Christian couple have little premarital sex education. Vaginismus is treatable.

What if the male has pain?

In some uncircumcised boys, the foreskin may be tight and get pushed back in first intercourse. If this happens, it may hurt and the foreskin might tear and bleed. Or else the frenulum may be split and hurt during the friction of intercourse.

What should you do?

Be prepared. Be patient. You have the rest of your couple life to enjoy good sex. Don’t scare your genitals and confuse your brain with a bad start.

Take the time to arouse each other sexually before sexual intercourse. Make sure you are relaxed, the vagina moist and ready. Make sure his penis foreskin is pliant and retractable. Work this into your lovemaking. Get a good lubricant. Or use saliva.

It truly doesn’t matter if you don’t consummate your marriage with sexual intercourse on your wedding night – or even on your honeymoon.

And if you continue to have pain or difficulty, please speak to someone. Maybe first an older couple in church and then your general practitioner or sex therapist.

  1. False assumption: sexual intimacy always ends in intercourse.

Before marriage you set the boundaries of permitted sexual activity to be honouring of your partner and yourself. So you refrained from anything that was sexually arousing, keeping well away from sexual intercourse.

Now you are married. Finally sexual intercourse is permissible! And that then becomes the goal.

All the other things you both enjoyed, the gentle touching. Activities like kisses and cuddles which you really enjoyed for the buzz they gave you, now become just the appetizer for the main course. And the main course better be good. So, instead of being fun, sexual activity becomes a performance, every encounter a gourmet meal, with the anxiety that goes with it and the disappointment when you feel it is less than an award winner.

What should you do?

Enjoy all aspects of lovemaking. Remind each other of what you enjoyed before marriage. Discuss the boundaries you set to sexual intimacy. Now lovingly and gently cross each of these boundaries together.

Remember your bodies belong to each other (1 Corinthians 7:2-6). . Enjoy the process – the journey. Stop on the way and enjoy each one – sometimes it will lead it intercourse – sometimes not.

  1. False assumption: Prior sexual experiences have no effect on what happens on the honeymoon

You and your spouse are two very different people. The intimacy patterns you picked up at home and school will affect your expectations and behaviour. As will your prior sexual experiences. Porn use and masturbation may have been your way of sexual release. Or you may have sex with someone else. Even sexually abused. Sometimes it is that you and your fiancé have pushed the boundaries of sexual intimacy.

Every one of these situations and many others will affect how you seek out and respond to your partner sexually. You may have flashbacks to these experiences. Or the memory could make you feel ashamed, guilty, dirty and unworthy. These are formidable pleasure blockers to sexual enjoyment.

What should you do?

Firstly, you will need to accept Gods promises of release and redemption from the past.

In1 Corinthians (6:11), Paul, having listed the sins of the Corinthians, says:

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

You need to as a couple discuss the issue. This may not be easy, and may not even be possible in your honeymoon. Don’t hurry it. Talk about it and let it rest. Enjoy your time. Practice the sensuality and mindfulness activities we discussed. These will build new patterns of love, sex and sensuality between the two of you within the safe place of your marriage.

Sometimes you may need some help. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. It may be an older couple, your pastor or counsellor. Don’t leave it too long.

Honeymoon to God’s glory

Your honeymoon and the early romantic love phase of marriage is the launching pad for growth in godliness. So hang in there if things get rough, and rejoice when all goes well.

Remember, God wants the best for you. As the psalmist says:

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. (Psalm 84:11–12)

Your marriage will be a spice garden of sanctification. To the world, your relationship as man and wife will be an example of Christ and his Church (Ephesians 5).  But – that’s for the next article!

[1] Susan Sprecher, Anita Barbee and Pepper Schwartz (1995) “Was It Good for You, Too?” Gender Differences in First Sexual Intercourse Experiences. The Journal of Sex Research , Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 3-15

[2] ‘The Best Sex for Life’ Chapter 4. Male and female sexual response. Different and complementary. https://www.cepstore.com.au/best-sex-for-life