Honeymoons seem to be both the most precious but underwhelming experience of married life.
From my own experience, and countless stories I’ve heard, there’s something deeply sacred about beginning a marriage, but the actual honeymoon experience can be somewhat disheartening.
Sharing space and sex with another human often isn’t what young couples expect, and it’s just not as simple as the movies or porn make it look. Orgasms may be few and far between, maybe the bedsheets get messier than anticipated, issues of lower and higher sex drive arise, or perhaps your partner’s body looks surprisingly different to anything you’ve seen online.
There’s a whole host of reasons couples struggle on their honeymoon.
The first weeks of marital intimacy can be pretty underwhelming. And that’s perfectly fine.
If any of this feels familiar to you, or you’re on some tropical island with your bae right now googling ‘honeymoon sex is hard help’, continue reading for three simple pieces of advice that can help you have the best honeymoon experience you can.
If the honeymoon is over, you can still use these to encourage and heal your growing intimacy.
Remember, You’re New at This
One of the most comforting things my new husband said to me one night was, “Hey, we’re new at this!”
It was the dose of perspective my disheartened soul needed. Somehow, I expected to be a pro at sex immediately. I anticipated we’d be having hot, steamy relations just like in the movies, and just how all the church leaders told us we would (if we waited).
Instead, it was a little awkward, and honestly just exhausting! The pressure we had put on ourselves and each other was unhealthy. Being reminded we had only experienced sex for the very first time four days ago was a reality check for us both.
You wouldn’t expect to be a pro skater the first time you stepped on a board, right? So why do we expect perfection on the honeymoon?
It’s okay to be new. It’s okay to fumble and ask questions. Relax into that reality and take the pressure off. It will make your honeymoon and sexploration much more enjoyable. And trust me, with practice, it gets so much better!
Slow. Slow. Slow. Everything is better slow. I can speak for the women on this one. Guys, please don’t crash tackle your bride, remove her clothes and proceed to jack hammer her like you’re on some naked construction site. Life isn’t porn, and doing this will reduce your wife’s enjoyment by one thousand percent. Take everything slow and steady, and when you feel you’re going slow enough, slow down some more. Take in every touch and moment. There’s no need to rush. Ladies, take your time with him, too.
There will be times of rushed and exciting sex in life, but a lot of the time, slow sex is good sex.
Do Something Else
Much to many newly married couples dismay, you can’t just have sex for two weeks straight. Someone’s going to get a UTI or some serious chafing.
Make sure you allow space for sex, but also book in fun activities and adventures. Take some books, DVDs, and board games with you. This will greatly decrease boredom and disappointment. By planning ahead, you won’t find yourselves sitting on the lounge wondering what to do now your bits are worn out from hourly sex. It will also give you a break from any stress you may be feeling in the bedroom. Doing something else for a while gives you the chance to relax, have fun, and come back to bed with a fresh mindset.
Depending on your family dynamics and personality, you may need some space, too. Introverts recharge both mentally and physically by being alone. Due to the nature of marriage, many introverts can ‘recharge’ and reflect in the presence of their spouse. They don’t require total solitude. They may need some time where they’re not required to engage, however. Discuss your partner’s individual needs, and figure out what that looks like for them. It may simply look like watching a movie while they read a book or go for a walk.
You’re not going to just have sex on the honeymoon, and that’s okay. Don’t fret if you just want to relax and read a book.
Invite God into your sex life. Sounds weird, but it’s worth it. God invented sex. He created the nerve endings, wobbly bits, and sensitive areas that we so enjoy! Get into the habit of praying over your marriage and sex life early on. It may feel redundant but he can do powerful things. He can heal, bring empathy, insight and wisdom to you both.
There are some cases where either partner may experience sexual dysfunction caused by trauma, pornography, negative attitudes to sex, health, or unknown causes. These can cause pain and distress, and put a stop to further sex. If unanticipated, issues like these can be very distressing for a young couple. The statements above are aimed at couples who are facing issues of expectation and lack of experience, but they can help a couple in this situation, too. However, further support is needed.
Ensure you seek medical or therapeutic treatment for these issues, and communicate with your spouse. It may not be possible to have sex on the honeymoon. There is support and healing for you both, though. Please don’t keep this a secret.
If you are concerned about the potential of these issues, or experience sexual anxiety, book a check-up with your doctor before getting married, talk to mentors, and start investigating resources to prepare you for a life of marital intimacy.
No matter your honeymoon experience, these three pieces of advice have the power to provide perspective, hope, and healing as you venture into this new world of marriage and sex.