Oh Maiden, How to Prepare for your Wedding Night
Growing up, sex before marriage was taboo in our culture. This, according to me, was the norm in South Africa up until the early 2000’s.
Then, with the help of mainstream media, the Gen X’rs and Millennials challenged the norms and now, the reverse is taboo: Not having sex before marriage.
It might come as a shock to most people (even some Christians), but there are still those of us who choose to abstain from sex until we are married.
But, because it has become taboo, we avoid talking about sex (or our lack thereof). As a result, our fears and concerns for our first night of intimacy with our spouse also remains in the dark.
Fortunately, my husband and I know extremely wise, and unabashed people who pointed us in the right direction. What I’m sharing here is what we found extremely helpful in preparation for our wedding night and honeymoon.
Preparing physically for your Wedding Night
This piece of advice doesn’t involve grooming tips to make every nook and cranny look appealing in the morning light. You’ll figure this part out for yourself quite easily.
What I mean with physically is simple:
Make an appointment to see a gynaecologist
If you’ve never visited one before, this is likely the most uncomfortable thing you will do before your wedding night.
Fortunately, if you’ve never had sex before, your examination will likely involve a sonar of your uterus. Unless of course you require your doctor to look at something that is worrying you.
I’d suggest getting a referral from a friend or a relative, because there are good gynaecologists, and then there those that aren’t.
Openly discuss contraceptive methods with your husband to be
Each of the contraceptive methods have their pros and cons. Each of them comes with varying degrees of risk. You need to speak openly with your partner about which one will work for both of you.
If you’re unsure where to start, ask your gynaecologist, friends and family about the options that are available and why they’ve chosen a specific one. I don’t recommend reading up on this on Google, rather speak to people you trust and know you.
Preparing Emotionally for your Wedding Night
Whether we like to admit it or not, there’s a lot of weight placed on the wedding night. There is the weight of expectations, our emotional baggage and the physical aspects that make sex work.
Thanks to the copious amount of content on the topic of sex, every one of us has a preconceived idea about how it should play out. The trouble is none of our expectations match each other or reality.
For example: Your husband-to-be has been thinking about a certain position he wants to try on the first night. At the same time, you’re planning a relaxing bath with him before moving on to a completely different position.
Worse than the mismatch between his and your expectations though is the expectation of performance. Sex sequences in shows and movies give the impression that the norm for sex is being able to keep at it all day long. The fact of the matter is, only people who’ve practiced having sex can go all day long. Like any other physical activity, it takes practice to get good at it.
Add to the expectation, there is also a heap of emotional baggage that comes with the most intimate of actions. A specific touch might turn you into the frost queen, or a word to him might bring his engine to a halt. These things are closely related to the way we’re been raised and what is considered the cultural norms for your family.
Difficulties aside, here’s a book to help you prepare
Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Kevin Leman.
It’s a very blunt conversation about sex in the context of Christian marriage but speaks about sex with the reverence that it deserves.
The first four chapters deal with the wedding night and gives very good handles on how to prepare for the challenges you’ll face, and how to enjoy each other in sex. (Which is ultimately the point).
We were advised by our friends to read up to the 5th chapter, and Leman advises the same at the beginning of the book. Everything after chapter 4 can be read after you’ve said, “I do”.
The book isn’t available in South African bookstores, but you should be able to order it through Exclusive Books. If you don’t mind an eBook (or Audiobook) you can find it on Scribd. With the $8.99 subscription package you can add several devices, so you and your fiancé can get access to it.