I’m going to let you know right now that I’m going to be very honest in this blog post. Sex in marriage is something that isn’t really spoken about in the church, except to say that it’s finally okay to do it when you get married.
And that when you’re a virgin, you’re giving the greatest gift possible to your spouse-yourself.
That when you finally come to the moment where you give yourselves away to each other, it’ll be beautiful because you won’t have to worry about being compared to anyone else in your spouse’s mind. You won’t be plagued by memories you’d rather leave hidden in the back of your mind.
Some of that was true.
When the moment came for us to have sex, we stood in front of each other naked and there was no embarrassment for either of us. I was okay with showing my husband the only thing I had kept from him until now-my body.
But that first time-well, there weren’t any fireworks like they say in the romance novels. There was a lot of explaining, and fumbling, and awkwardness. Even though my husband wasn’t a virgin, this was his first time having sex with me. And being that I was a virgin, I was so afraid of the pain that I stiffened up and couldn’t relax long enough for him to be able to, you know, do it. This went on for a long time. My poor husband was so patient with me. You can listen to his story about our wedding night here.
When we finally did have sex, we were so excited that we did it often (ya’ll know how it is, it’s like Pringles!!). But it was still a learning process. If we were in a position that wasn’t giving one of us pleasure, we would adjust, find another position, and try again. I’d say it took a good 6 months for us both to really know what we were doing when it came to pleasuring each other. But once we learned, the sex was awesome.
But it took time.
And because everyone is different sexually, it may take longer for you and your spouse.
But don’t believe in the hype. Every couple’s journey is unique. And there isn’t any shame in that. Because:
1. It takes time to know how to please your spouse in the marriage bed-and what pleases you.
It takes lots of practice, and openness to exploration. The mission position is the most common one, but it’s not the only one. And you can’t just go right into the penetration part. Half the fun is what comes before that-building the anticipation by stimulating each other in just the right way. If you want to be a great lover to your spouse, you’ll take your time discovering what that is. Being a great lover also means communicating with your spouse about exactly what you like and don’t like, what feels good to you and what doesn’t. It’s not as straightforward as people like to make it seem, but the more you practice and explore, the better the sex becomes over time. Be patient with yourself and your spouse.
2. You or your spouse may have baggage that affects your sex life.
Whether or not you and your spouse abstained from sexual contact with each other before marriage, there are a lot of people right in your circle of friends who have dealt with some form of sexual abuse, whether it was rape, molestation, or some other incident. Here are some stats:
- 20% of women and 5-10% of men recall a sexual abuse incident
- There’s an average of 288,000 victims of rape and sexual assault each year in the US alone
- 42.7% of Internet users view pornography
- 8-24 million Americans are sex addicts
- Think this only applies to non-believers? A ChristiaNet poll found that 50% of all Christian men are addicted to pornography, and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography.
- 54% of pastors admitted to viewing Internet porn in the last year.
If one partner has an issue it becomes an issue for both of you. And the fact that your partner may struggle with one of these issues doesn’t mean they don’t love you, or aren’t sincere in their love for God. It does mean that you both should seek help to make sure that they don’t end up isolating you from each other and ruining your intimacy.
3. You won’t always feel like having sex.
This probably mainly applies to women, as far as I can tell from people I talk to about it. So remember how I told you that once we had sex, my husband and I were doing it a lot? And enjoying it? Well, after a couple of years, we both were in school or working full time. Being a teacher, I almost always had stuff to do at home before the next workday. That equaled me being very tired at night-and looking forward to getting some sleep. My husband would reach over to squeeze my hip or boob and I'd be groaning in my heart because I just wanted to sleep. Sometimes I would get irritated at him because I felt like he was being inconsiderate. It only got more challenging when we had our daughter-my sex drive was nonexistent because I was sleep-deprived, breastfeeding, and constantly worrying about this new life we were responsible for. I'm saying all of that to say that you won't always look forward to having sex. I had to sometimes mentally psych myself up for it, and concentrate on the things I appreciate about my husband in order to put my feelings aside and allow the moment to be special instead of a chore.
4. You may need to seek help to work through issues in your sex life-and there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
I've only touched on some of the issues that might cause you not to anticipate having sex sometimes. Great sex is a very big component of intimacy in a marriage. But the reality is that like everything else in life, sometimes people have an issue that causes this to be a challenging area for them. I encourage you and your spouse to seek professional help to help you achieve this aspect of intimacy if you find that it's becoming a recurring problem. One or both partners may need to get individual counseling, couples therapy, or sex therapy. And that's okay. Because at the end of the day, the success of your marriage depends on you. If you want to have a great marriage, you'll put your money where your mouth is and make whatever sacrifices are necessary (money, time, etc) to invest in making that a reality.
Until next time!
Click here to read about Myth #2: Disagreements Won't Be That Serious When You're Christian
Check out my husband's side of the story here!