“I’m about to get married next month and I have no clue about sex. What do I do? What will it feel like? Even though I had the sex talk in school, it still all seems very mysterious to me. I’m a virgin. Plus, I’m scared it’s going to hurt. Can you spell out the basics of sex for a nervous Christian bride and give me advice for my wedding night to avoid pain? How do I flip the switch after all these years of, “No!” screaming in my head?”
Last week, I addressed how to flip the mental switch (which includes some great tips in the comments).
Today, I will answer the basics of sex and her specific questions, “What do I do? What will it feel like?”
I’ll answer, “How do I avoid pain?” and list practical first-night suggestions in the next post. Again, you may want to have your young groom read this, too.
The Basics of Sex
You have had “the talk,” but still aren’t sure.
When I had the sex talk in 6th grade, 30 girls and I sat watching a cartoon penis inflate to attention with accompanying narration, “When the male is stimulated, the penis will become erect.” I left the classroom wondering, “What’s stimulation?” because that particular fact was not spelled out.
Stimulation is what creates sexual arousal. It is basically “making out,” – kissing and caressing, then rounding into second (breast & nipple caressing) and third base (genital caressing). It’s also called foreplay. It helps your vagina lubricate and prepare for the next step. (We’ll talk about additional lubrication in the next post.)
Stimulation triggers emotional and physical changes to take place. The entire process from kissing to coitus is called the human sexual response cycle. The traditional four phases described in the human sexual response cycle are excitement (or arousal), plateau, orgasm, and resolution.
However, newest studies show that for many women sexual activity leads to sexual arousal, not the other way around. In other words, you don’t feel all hot and bothered until after you start ‘fooling around.’ Read about the female sexual response cycle at The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
At some point, you will transition from kissing and caressing to the act of marriage. Which means, quite plainly, that at some point after letting your hands and lips roam while helping each other off with clothes, you will transition to making love with penis in vagina intercourse.
How long of a time between roaming and romping? Well, that’s up to you and your groom but, a good indicator is when you start to feel ‘spicey.’ (More about that below.)
I know it all seems mysterious to you now. Will his penis really fit in there? Yes, it will. God designed sexual intimacy with brilliant simplicity. Your vagina will expand and lubricate as you become aroused. His penis will become very stiff, honest. There’s a reason that erections have descriptions like boner, stiffy, and hard.
You might consider buying, Pursuit of Passion by my friend, Julie Sibert & co.
What will I do?
First, you’re going to relax and know that God created sexual intimacy and he put a bit of intuition in most every human to accomplish it.
Second, you will get in tune with your body and out of your head. Don’t worry if you are doing it right. This isn’t about doing anything right or wrong. Your young groom will agree that everything you do is right!!! Turn your attention inward to what is happening to the sensations of your body.
If you are a dancer or like to exercise, this might be easier for you. If you’ve sat in the pedicure chair, did you ever just close your eyes and enjoy the foot massage? That’s where your attention needs to be, not on any kind of self-conscious thought in your mind. You are beautiful and sensual to your husband. (If you are reading Mr. Groom, tell her this often throughout your time of lovemaking!)
Third, know that lovemaking is for the both of you! (If you haven’t read the Song of Solomon, I suggest you do so before the wedding and be on the lookout for metaphors!)
So, while you are receiving touch from him, you are also gifting him with touch, as well. Touch, kiss, caress, and glide your hand along his body. Whatever you are inspired to do that connects you with your husband, do it!
There are areas on your body that are sensitive and sexually responsive. These areas of your body are called erogenous zones. Within the erogenous zones, there is a spectrum of least sensitive to most sensitive areas.
Generally, here is what is least sensitive to most sensitive for the average person (individuals vary).
Sides of your abdomen
Soft underside of the arms, fold of elbow
Soft underside of leg, fold of knee
Feet (why do you think pedicures feel so good?
Inner thigh toward genitals
Exterior Genital area (scrotum and labia area, see my in-depth description of the labia)
Vagina, Clitoris, or Glans of penis (see my in-depth explanation of the vagina and clitoris, to familiarize yourself with male plumbing, here is a good diagram at The Marriage Bed).
Simple techniques of foreplay
There are just a couple of techniques of foreplay that many newlyweds, especially young grooms, aren’t aware of but it is OH SO IMPORTANT!!!
The first is go slow! Patience will build arousal or steaminess. For a first-timer’s wedding night, sexual intimacy is a slow dance, not a mosh pit.
Second, is the target method (this is not original to me, but I can’t remember where I first read it). You move from the least sensitive body parts to the most sensitive body parts.
Think of a dart board with two concentric rings and an inner bull’s eye. The outermost ring is the feet, fingers, scalp, inner elbow, inner knee, lips, sides of abdomen. The next ring is the neck, ear, breast, with nipple falling almost into the bull’s eye. The bull’s eye encompasses all of the genital area. The bull’s eye is the last area to explore before sliding into the lovemaking.
You slowly tickle, massage, touch, and kiss the least sensitive areas working toward to the most sensitive. You can touch his body and you can touch your body. Yes, touch him, all of him, explore. This is your new playground. 😊 You can kiss his body and he can kiss yours. Nearly, everything you can imagine between one husband and one wife is allowed in the wedding chamber.
For a great how-to manual see the book, Hot, Holy & Humorous, by my friend, J. Parker.
As a virgin bride, you may be unaware that there are many different ways to position your bodies for sexual intercourse. The most basic position is called, “The Missionary Position,” where the woman lies beneath the man while both laying down.
To see the numerous ways sex can be managed visit the non-titillating website, Christian Friendly Sex Positions.
For your first time, keep it simple, sweetheart! I would suggest either the traditional “Missionary” or “The Cowgirl,” which has the man laying on the bed with the woman on top straddling him. The reason I suggest “The Cowgirl” is because you can have complete control over the first-time penetration and this can minimize both your fear and pain.
What will it feel like?
If you have had a make-out session or two, I think you may have an idea of what sexual arousal feels like. There is a tension that grows until you notice a warmth and/or tightening in your genital area. It’s like you need something down there, but aren’t sure what. This is what I call feeling “spicey.”
When you start to feel this yearning, continue what you are doing. Do not transition to penetration until you can hardly stand the anticipation. It is this phase that helps prepare your vagina for the next step.
What if you don’t feel “spicey?”
If you don’t feel super turned-on, here are some reasons why.
- Hormonal birth control and other medications can dampen your sexual response.
- Your mind knows it is OK, but you have conditioned yourself with fear where sex is concerned because you didn’t want to cross the line while dating. Give yourself some grace. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help convict you about the truth of marital sexual intimacy. See Make the Mental Leap from No to Yes About Sex.
Now, remember when I said that you’ll have a desire for something down there, but you won’t know what? The yearning you feel, of course, is for your husband. It is, also, for a release of sexual energy. This release of sexual energy is the climax of the lovemaking experience, also known as orgasm.
Your nether regions react to arousal by swelling. This swelling creates the luscious sensation of yearning. Your nerves fire up in a good way, too. Your brain also releases neurochemicals to help the process move along. All of this is the natural progression toward orgasm.
Although sex is a pretty simple process, orgasm is a tiny bit less simple. I have written a whole series on orgasm which you can check out.
I just want you to have realistic expectations. If orgasm does not happen your first night, remember you have your entire life to achieve it.
I would suggest that you and he have a conversation about sexual expectations and concerns a few days before the wedding, if you haven’t already. Have this conversation over the phone or in a semi-public place because you don’t want to awaken love before its time. Things to discuss during this conversation:
What do you each expect? Good, weird, awkward, amazing….
What are your concerns? How can your spouse help alleviate them?
Wedding night conversation
Some people talk a lot during sex, others not so much. Some people moan and groan, others are quiet. You may talk more during one session, than another. There is no right or wrong.
However, one simple way to increase both of your satisfaction is to say, “Yes!” when things are feeling good and you would like him to continue what he is doing.
Talking isn’t the only way to communicate. You can use body language, too. As you both explore the others body, you are allowed to move each other’s hands here or there. Not ready to be touched there? Simply move his hand, gently, to a more neutral place until you are ready for more intense sensations.
Pray about it
It’s OK to pray about sexual intimacy with your husband. Ask God to unveil your heart toward the beauty of sexual expression. Ask God to help you remove the protection you’ve had around your heart regarding sex and to let your husband in. Ask God to help you both overflow with the gentle, patient, and loving fruit of the Spirit in the bedroom.
I want you to know, sweet young bride, that everything is going to be OK. Give yourself grace when something unexpected happens (and laugh!). Also, give yourself permission to enjoy your husband’s touch! Whatever happens, you and your beloved will share a special, secret memory for the rest of your lives.
Friends, what have I forgotten? What would you tell our young bride when it comes to, “What will I do? What will it feel like?”