I’m getting married in December. My fiance and I are excited about the honeymoon, but seeing as we’re inexperienced, we’re nervous about it all. I was wondering if anyone knows of any good resources that would help us prepare for the honeymoon? Something along the lines of a “how-to” guide would be very helpful, but I want to make sure it’s in line with church teachings. Thanks!
congratulations on your approaching wedding ! I can understand how you are both anxious to do your best in order to begin your conjugal life in the best possible way.
Although I have no reading advice for you, I remember how a book I had read shortly before my own wedding advised to “read a well-informed book on sexuality shortly before the wedding, and read it again, together, after the wedding”. I reread that sentence recently, and I realised that was great advice, which could have helped my DH and me greatly.
Indeed you’re right : the first steps in this area of life are sooo NOT natural.:rolleyes: It is SO not like what we get to see in films, where everything happens naturally, and I was SO relieved when, after a few months marriage, talking with a newly-married friend anabled me to realise that we were no exceptions, and that our beginners’ difficulties were perfectly normal.:o
So here are some thoughts
- I** married knowing that we would need “some time” in order to adjust one to another **in this field, and to become fully able to enjoy it. After 14 months of marriage, all I can tell is that my conception of ‘sometime’ as gone from “2 weeks maybe” to “more than 14 months anyway”:shrug:
- => Be patient. it really takes time, that’s normal. But if you take your time, each step on this long way will be an opportunity to deepen your love and acceptation for each other.
- => TALK. TALK. And talk. That’s the most difficult thing (that’s why the advice of reading a book together is great, because it helps initiating the talks), but from the beginning, you must learn to ask and tell each other what is agreeable to you, what is not, what you would like him/her to do, and what effects it has. Communication is the thing, because feeling a bit disappointed / frustrated with the beginnings is normal, but feeling disappointed / frustrated AND having the impression that the other doesn’t care is difficult to bear. Frequent talking about this will enable you to express your feelings freely, and even if you still are far from perfection, you will have the satisfaction of seeing both of you working together at it.
A last thing, more in the “how-to” lines : you (the wife) need time. TIME. and time. You need muuuch more time / preparation that you even think you may need. That’s normal. Whenever you feel like it doesn’t work, put even more time in the preparation.
I wish you very much joy !
Good advice, Gwen.
Nessie…I so could have co-written your post. :o I’m getting married in 3 weeks (:eek:) and I’m definitely getting nervous. Especially about the honeymoon, but also about all my family who will be coming down (which is more people than I had originally planned), and about the fact that I can’t seem to lose the 15 lbs I gained this past year in time for my wedding. I’m gonna be a wife. It’s a happy thought, but even now it’s still hard to get used to.
Keep the advice coming, please. This is an awkward topic to ask about (so I’m glad someone else asked. :D)
congratulations and many prayers
people have figured this out without a video or guide for thousands of years you will be fine
Popcak’s “Holy Sex!” and West’s “Good News About Sex And Marriage”.
May the good Lord bless you and your future husband as well as your marriage.
My two cents is this, how to books are great but God’s blessings and guidence are AWESOME!!! It must be beautiful to give each other God’s gift of purity. Wow! I say this because before I became a practicing Catholic, we did things and started the relationship in an ungodly way however, we have repented and try to do good by teaching couples the Godly way of doing things.
As far as experience, that comes with time. You will enjoy and grow with each other through God. It will be a beautiful experience and then some:) The GREAT thing about God is that whenever we include HIM, it is all good.
Don’t get stuck reading those magazines that swear that if you do it their way, things would be better. No! Only through God can things grow into beautiful fruitful things.
Hey ladies - if you think it is bad for us - imagine how it must be for the men. IMHO they have the worse end of the performance anxiety.
Don’t be afraid to talk. If something isn’t working for you, say so. If something is working for you, say so! Other than that, you’ll figure it out. Don’t worry! Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT need any ‘experience’ prior to marriage. If it’s been a few weeks and something isn’t working for either one of you, then go ahead and seek advice from a close friend or a doctor. But most likely, you’ll be fine! There’s really no need for any ‘how-to’ beyond basic biology of what goes where.
Congratulations, and all the best to you and your future husband!
you don’t need to read a book or anything of the such to have an enjoyable sex life. Just communicate and figure it out together. I believe that is the way God intended it.
I totally agree with this.
Also, no one has mentioned it, but you should discuss with your future husband about what your expectations are for the wedding night itself. If you have the ‘traditional’ dinner + dancing reception and don’t make it to the honeymoon suite until almost midnight, after an emotional wedding day and perhaps a little bit of drinking, you both are going to be exhausted. And that first time takes TIME, as others have pointed out. If you have an early morning plane to catch, it might be best to wait to consummate…
As far as actual resources…I’m not sure I would suggest looking at them before or after the wedding. I think everyone is different, and it can ease some people’s anxiety to read a little about what to expect beforehand. If you google “The Marriage Bed” you can find a resource created by an evangelical Christian couple that actually does include a very good “what to expect” for both bride and groom. The downside here is that their site is NOT in keeping with Catholic teaching–they are totally OK with contraception and actually seem to recommend it, and are also OK with oral sex. If you really don’t know how sex works and it’s making you anxious, I would probably recommend reading the guide for the bride.
One other note…along with time being important for the wife, a good lubricant can be as well. I would recommend Astroglide (which you can buy discreetly at Wal Mart if you use the self checkout line! ) or coconut oil (which is solid at room temperature but much less awkward to buy!). It really can make a difference for the honeymoon…
Approach the wedding night and honeymoon with an open mind–and, I think most importantly of all, a sense of humor. God’s design can be surprising!
Thank you, and the others, so much for sharing this advice. My wedding is less than 3 weeks away now and I’m a nervous wreck, to be honest.
I googled “the marriage bed” and found an entire forum devoted to this topic. It looks pretty interesting so far, as long as you (as you said) remember that you’re Catholic and this board isn’t necessarily Catholic.
I prayed a 54-day Rosary novena and the 9-day Divine Mercy novena in the days leading up to our wedding. The wedding was the last day of each novena, and my DH prayed them with me before we consummated the marriage. It was very meaningful for me, as my DH is not Catholic and has never prayed either prayer with me before or after.
Also, don’t forget to bring a map to the local church if you will be honeymooning on a Sunday. Mass was never so beautiful as it was the day after we married.
Beyond that? Relax, and remember that you love each other.
“The Good News About Sex and Marriage” by Christopher West is a great book, as someone else mentioned in this thread. I haven’t read the other book they recommended, but I recognize the author and he’s supposed to be pretty great as well.
I’ve looked at that ‘marriage bed’ forum and think its about equal parts weeds and wheat. Don’t underestimate the invasive power of weeds.
Unless you’ve got some extreme anxiety issue, there is no need to do extensive learning or preparation. Humans have been figuring this out for THOUSANDS of years before writing was invented!
The more you obssess about it beforehand, the more pressure and anxiety you’ll have. Do as recommended above: Buy a jar of Astroglide shortly before the honeymoon and don’t be surprised that it takes a while before you feel like experts. Learning on the fly is the fun part - enjoy!
And ditto the comment about the wedding night after a typical reception- she’ll be exhausted, He’ll need to learn to put her first.
I think that site is overrun with weeds myself.
Really, Catholic people should seek out Catholic resources rather than wade through mud to find a pearl. That site may have some technical truths, but the way they see sex is totally skewed.
I don’t think you have to do anything but take you time and be open and honest with each other on your honeymoon. Set aside unrealistic or movie like expectations. Realize that a good sexual relationship can take considerable time to cultivate. The sacrament of marriage isn’t a magic spell that Poof makes you great at sex even though you’ve never had it. You have your whole lives together, you love each other, relax and give it some time.
Holy Sex, if you’re going to read anything, would be the book to read in my opinion.
God Bless you on your wedding day and congratulations!
I actually think these “resources” can do more harm than good. I would look into resources such as “Love and Responsibility” from JPII to understand the beauty of the marital act itself, to understand the correct approach. The Catholic viewpoint of sex, the actual reason God has given us this part of the marriage sacrament, is very different to the secular viewpoint and entertaining our curiosity with information the wrong approach will only cause more harm than good in this area, while feeding our mind with wholesome information about the Truth, will only enhance your future relationship. In other words, IMHO, if you focus on understanding the gift of the marital embrace I think you will be just fine. It will help you see what a beautiful thing it can be, and will help you move away from the negative, skewed wordly view. Part of the beauty of this is learning and growing together in this area.
Remember that sex is procreative. Reproduction is one of the characteristics of mammals. Don’t do anything that would kill children - like swallowing semen or ejaculating on the body or in the anus. Make sure they go in the womb. A great way to remember this is to remember that your marriage is a a symbol of the marriage between Christ and His Church. Just as you are a child of Mother Church, so are your children of you. Marriage will help you better understand God and the Church, so be sure to reflect upon the sacrament of matrimony - a good resource on that is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
I understand everyone’s dislike for the marriage bed site–that is exactly why I was ambivalent about posting it in the first place. I am unaware of any Catholic resource that is as “technical” (I haven’t gotten the chance to read Popcak’s Holy Sex! yet), nor any secular resource that is still somewhat sensitive to the marital act.
In the end I decided to refer to The Marriage Bed because I myself in my nervous curiosity in the weeks leading up to my wedding needed something concrete to refer to. Personally, I would not recommend spending much time on their forum–there is a LOT of error there–and I was trying to direct the OP to the “Sex for the Clueless Bride/Groom” articles. If you disregard the first paragraph re: birth control, the rest of the information is just fine. I personally found it helpful.
Somewhat after our marriage I came across this website, apparently by a Polish priest. It draws heavily from the theology of the body, but also goes into “technical specifics”. I’ve read much of it, and besides awkward phrasing in the English translation, I can’t find anything that is heretical, though there is also no sign of an imprimatur.
Relax and talk to your future husband about your anxieties and expectations. I’m sure he’s just as nervous as you are!
I agree with the people who are telling you to relax and just go with the flow and let things come naturally.
The only thing I could think to tell you is something you probably already know: some women find losing their virginity very painful, and many others experience bleeding when the hymen rips. The bleeding and pain can happen for the first few times.
On a completely different note, I had and so far have not experienced any bleeding, nor any significant pain. It was uncomfortable the first time we tried, but we quickly figured out how to fix it, any everything was hunky dory. >.> So maybe you’ll be lucky, like me. And before anyone mentions it, I don’t believe my hymen was ripped during any other point in my life, at least not that I can remember. I know some sporty women have that happen, but I am definitely not sporty. >.>
Just chiming in to second this 100%. One of my major anxieties before the wedding was worrying about pain. Pain wasn’t an issue…so brides-to-be, don’t freak out about pain!
ETA: Pumpkin, I didn’t realize you were married already. I must be losing track of time or something…congrats!!