Rescuing Sex: How to be a not so blushing bride

By Leslie Nackleslie and andy nack

Spring is in the air. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming and wedding season will soon be upon us. At various times in my life I attended a wedding almost every weekend from April through October. I have always loved weddings and I love them even more after getting married. I wake up the morning after a wedding just giddy for my newlywed friends because of the great adventure they have just begun. The next installment of our Rescuing Sex series is for the engaged and hopefully one day to be engaged ladies out there.

Brides: Stop Blushing
In the Christian world, when couples choose to reserve sex for marriage, there is a lot of talk, anticipation and excitement surrounding the wedding night and honeymoon. However, over the years I have discovered that engaged women will chat and nervously giggle with their girlfriends, mom, and sisters about their soon to be inaugurated sex life, but often are not having similar conversations with their fiancé.

Does this make sense to you? You are about to marry a man because you love him and trust him more than any other human on earth and you have not spoken with him about a vital part of your marriage relationship? Well, I am on a one woman crusade to get all of you brides to be to stop blushing and to start talking about sex with your man. ASAP.

Birth Control
In case you have not heard, sex can make babies. I mention this because I have heard so many people say that they have no idea how they got pregnant, so I wanted to clear up any misconceptions. I digress. If you and your fiancé have decided that you do not want to make a baby early in your marriage then you will need to discuss contraception; a.k.a. methods and tools that help prevent baby-making. I repeat, you need to discuss the topic of birth control together. This is a decision that affects both of you and should not be made by you alone. This topic is very probably not on your man’s radar, so it is your job to introduce the topic and help educate your fiancé about your options. If you do not understand your contraception choices, then it is time to do some research. My poor husband married a woman who had worked in a crisis pregnancy center so he got an earful when we discussed this. I even drew diagrams, because I am just that thorough.

My favorite resource for engaged couples to learn about contraception is a podcast series from Family Life ministries titled A Biblical Approach to Family Planning. Andy and I both listened to these podcasts and then made a decision together about our contraception method.

Having the Talk
Hopefully, you aren’t having that talk. By now you should both know the vocabulary and logistics of how sex works. Now it is time to start having the talk about how you feel about sex. It is healthy to start talking about your fears about sex, your questions as well as what you are looking forward to about your sexual relationship. During our engagement we both read Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat and The Act of Marriage by Tim LaHaye. These books helped us get on the same page in our understanding of sexual technique as well as practical suggestions of making things go smoothly for newly married couples. Additionally, both books have practical suggestions for ways to address common issues that couple face regarding sexual function and sexual pleasure. Both books are quite similar, so reading just one would be adequate. I personally preferred “The Act of Marriage.”

I am not suggesting that you spend long drawn out hours discussing graphic details of your sex life while you are engaged, but I am saying that if you have fears or concerns it is healthy to learn how to discuss those issues with your future husband. One such conversation happened for me after a not-so-stellar pre-wedding gynecologist appointment. Andy could tell that I was upset about something and I opened up to him about some concerns I had about our wedding night. Many women feel nervous about the first time they have sex, particularly if it is on your wedding day. Common fears include pain and bleeding during intercourse or not being able to have sex the first night. Confiding these fears in your fiancé can help you understand one another and deepen your relationship.

Learning to talk about sex with your future husband will lay groundwork for a lifetime of communication about the topic. Understanding each other in the bedroom takes talking outside of the bedroom and being able to express desires, issues and problems. Sex isn’t the magic you see in romantic comedies. It takes some work, but it pays great dividends.

Wedding Night Expectations
Ah, the wedding night. An evening filled with magical, mystical, and movie-like expectations. For couples who are waiting for marriage to have sex, wedding night expectations can be a mixed bag of joy, fear, nervous jitters and unbridled excitement. Every person has a set of expectations for their wedding night and no two are exactly alike. It is important to discuss your expectations with your fiancé. You may be hoping to chat while sipping champagne before the foreplay begins. All the while your fiancé is expecting to rip your wedding gown off of you and swing from the chandeliers. These two sets of expectations may create a memorable wedding night, but possibly not one that you want to remember.

Before your wedding, take some time to discuss your ideal wedding night and discuss how you can blend your ideas to create a comfortable, memorable, sweet evening. For example, I really wanted to shower after my wedding. I had been a bridesmaid enough times to know that an entire day spent wearing formal clothing and undergarments does not make you feel lovely and romantic! By talking candidly with my husband about planning our wedding night we both had an idea of what to expect which reduced our level of nervousness dramatically.

The Worst Year of Sex of Your Marriage
During our engagement we heard somebody say that your first year of marriage will be the worst sex you will ever have. Not because it will be awful, but because as you grow in love and intimacy your sex life should get better and better. So, as you finish up choosing your flowers, cake flavor and heavy h’ors d’oeuvres menu do not forget to plan for something much more fun than your actual wedding.

(Photo: Andy and Leslie Nack, credit- Emilee Stanley)
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