Newlywed Sex

My husband and I are Catholic, born and raised and have been married for about a year and change. Yeah sure we have our arguments but he’s my best friend and I’m very happy I’m married to him :slight_smile: We were both virgins when we got married (no sex before marriage).

Cutting to the chase, I feel like my view of sex is completely flawed and I think it was the way I was raised to view sex that did it. When I was younger (pre-marriage), sexuality was deemed as “bad” and every feeling you had about the opposite sex was considered something to be suppressed. *. I can’t come to terms with now, simply because I’m married, I’m allowed to unleash all of these desires and wants and they’re all the sudden OK? Even when I’m being intimate with my husband I still feel that little voice inside that’s says what I’m doing is dirty. Why the heck is that voice there? I’m married! I always thought newlyweds are supposed to have sex all the time. My husband and I don’t have sex probably with the frequency that “normal” newlyweds do, I’m guessing partly because we both have this mentality about sex. I haven’t really talked to him about this, but whenever I say something like, “I dont’ think we have sex enough” he just kind of shrugs and says, “We don’t HAVE to do it all the time!” which makes me think he has the same thoughts. I want to talk to him about it and am wondering if anyone can help me out with a solution. I don’t just want to come at him with a nagging problem and offer no solutions :slight_smile:

When we do have sex it’s great, but getting to the bed room is always the toughie. I usually just end up doing when I’ve been doing my whole life; listening to that little voice, suppressing my desires, and suggesting a movie on the couch instead. This stinks. Help/Advice?*

Newlyweds do not have sex all the time. Do not get your ideas about how often people have sex from TV. In real life, people have jobs, are tired, etc, and don’t have magically clean houses when they come home at the end of the day with scented candles and mood lighting. They have dirty dishes and laundry to do.

There is nothing wrong with you or your sex life. Your husband is right, there isn’t some magical number, and if you are both satisfied with the frequency, it’s not a problem.

Perhaps you need to talk to a Catholic counselor about your hang ups and insecurities.

What you are describing is not rare.

Of course our feelings are something to be acknowledged, and only our behavior
(including thoughts) are right or wrong. Emotions are often unintentional. With anything there could be anxiety produced due to thinking that you will be disapproved of (or that there may be some loss to you or others you love) and this can cause us difficulties.

Anxiety can be reduced through thinking and also relaxization exercises when the anxiety occurs.

God bless you both on your desire to please God and each other. And congratulations on your wedding.

“Normal” is what’s normal for you. So don’t feel that you are somehow not normal in regrads to frequency.

You are right in that it is difficult to “turn off” the little voice that has been your companion and help for so many years. The shift in thinking is something that takes time.

Do you feel somehow unsatisifed with the frequency?
Or are you just concerned about being “normal”?
Do you feel that your husband doesn’t initiate enough?
Or is everything okie-dokie except for that nagging little left over voice?

Regardless of the answers to the above, I’d suggest just talking to your hubbie about this. Nothing heavy or serious, but just mentioning about how that silly little voice keeps popping up and how you wish it would go away now that you are so happily married…
You may find he is having the same “little voice” issue…


The real challenge is: How far can you go without doing wrong?

Nearly everyone, especially everyone who has recently married, needs to relax about something. Remember those “life stressor” tests that gauge how much stress you have in your life? Getting married is right up there with losing a family member. Don’t be surprised that you have found something stressed about it. Do not be afraid. You and your husband are not being watched by a frowning angel with a clipboard. You are golfing par for the course, and the angels are all on your side of the field.

Newlyweds do not have sex “all of the time,” at least not all of them do. If the frequency with which you have sex contents both you and your husband, then don’t worry about it. One of the things that may have made it easier for you and your husband to remain virgins in our sex-saturated culture is that you may both naturally have a sex drive that is a little lower than average. It also may take awhile after marriage to get comfortable with sex. That is OK, too.

The question of whether your views towards sex is another thing. If it bothers you and perhaps prevents you from giving yourself to your husband, then this is something to look at. It is not something to freak out about. I would remind you, though, that you can’t stop yourself from thinking about elephants by telling yourself “Don’t Think About Elephants.” You stop thinking about something you don’t want to dwell on (or do) by giving yourself a positive command to think about what you do want to think about. To stop thinking about elephants, tell yourself “Think About Predators.” To stop thinking negative thoughts about sex, go look for some positive thoughts.

We live in a culture that is obsessed with so many details of life. Do I have sex often enough? Is it “good sex”? Are my thoughts about it “healthy enough”? How about what I eat? Is it nutritious enough? Are the meals I cook too boring? Do I spend too much on groceries? Is it OK to eat out? If so, where? How often? What should I order, what parts of the menu should I avoid? And so on and so on. No wonder half of us are on Valium or Prozac.

Read Song of Songs. Write love letters to your husband, even if you don’t show them to him. Open yourself up to a holy and contented passion, and willingness to enjoy the pleasures of marriage. You might think of these as filling your canteen for the difficulties of marriage. When you start feeling sex is dirty, start giving thanks, not so much for “sex” as an abstract thing, but for what a wonderful man your husband is. Give yourself positive thoughts, not about sex, but about your husband, and what a gift from God he is. Think how much you love him, how wonderfully God made him, what you think the most attractive thing about him, and so on. Think about how you will be pleased to be a parent with him. (Funny, but this does put sex in its holy and good context.) This is what you want in your “canteen” for the future hard times of marriage.

If you fill yourself with thoughts of how you love your husband and that “fulfilling the marriage debt” with generosity is part of how you express gratitude for that, and think about the positive aspects of sex, do not worry if you remain a bit nervous or mentally uncomfortable during sex, at least at first. Do NOT chalk that up to “I think sex is dirty”, but rather, “I’m new at this, of course I’m a bit anxious” or just “Do not be afraid; I am with you, I am pleased with you.” Positive thoughts.

I don’t think you and your husband are ever going to turn into the sex-obsessed type. You might, but I doubt it. That is very OK. The truth is, to be more or less matched in terms of desire is an advantage over the average. Just decide to give thanks for what you are, what he is, and what you have. Don’t worry about having anything else, and you’ll do fine.

I love the advice of EasterJoy. I wish someone had helped me in this way when I was newly married. I too came to my marriage with many negative attitudes about sex (that it was sinful, dirty, etc.) I have now been married almost 12 years and it has really never improved for me. I did finally work up the courage to talk to my priest about this and he told me to read pages 272-276 (or so) of “Love and Responsibility” by Pope John Paul II (actually, he wrote it when he was still Karol Wojtyla). It talks about frigidity and resentment that happens after years of anxiety and discontent with the sexual relationship. It described me perfectly! Somehow just reading it there really helped me to relax and although I still have some of the same feelings, it has improved a lot. In our case it was never the frequency that was the issue – I have never declined when my husband initiated – but the fact that I couldn’t relax and enjoy it because of all the internal talk about the sinfulness that was so drilled into me as a child and teen. I read all the Christopher West books a few years ago and they made me feel worse! Like I was the only one who felt this way. I was so reassured when my priest tole me that what I was feeling was normal, and recommended I read that passage in Love and Responsibility. I now have hope that things will improve in my situation.

I hope that you never have to go through what I have!

You guys are awesome. It has made me feel so much better than I’m not alone in this issue. I will take all the suggestions and use them for some self reflection and prayer.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit