What You Wish You Knew Before Your Honeymoon
A Latter-Day Saint’s Guide to Preparing for Sex
Your big day is quickly approaching.
Your wedding night is something you’ve been looking forward to for decades! Becoming husband and wife, getting sealed for eternity, not having to say goodbye at the end of the night, and of course…
Whether you grew up in a home that talked openly about sex, or one where everyone avoided the topic like the plague, there are some important things to consider before your honeymoon.
Alisha Worthington is a clinical social worker and sex educator. Many parents send their newly engaged children to chat with Alisha before the big day.
In this episode of the podcast, we sat down with her to discuss the most important advice she gives to Latter-Day Saints preparing for a sexual relationship in the near future.
In no particular order, here are some of the biggest takeaways!
#1 - Sex is Divine.
And I don’t mean divine as in, “this chocolate cake is sooo divine…” I mean divine as in its literal definition:
di·vine /dəˈvīn/ adj. - of, from, or like God
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we enjoy one of the most sex positive doctrines out there!
We believe sex to be a sacred, beautiful, God-given gift to not only create life, but to experience intense closeness, laughter, love, creativity, pleasure and intimacy with your spouse.
Regardless of what you have been taught your whole life, sex is NOT dirty, bad, gross, or evil.
Heavenly Father does not want you to feel guilty or ashamed on your wedding night.
Sex is GOOD.
Remember Moroni 7:12-13
“Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God … every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.”
#2 - Sex is a Skill.
Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something in order to become an expert.
Wow… That’s a lot of sex.
Despite being a gross overgeneralization, the whole idea that you have to do something A LOT to become an expert has a point.
One of the biggest lies you need to get out of your head right this very instant is the following sentence: “Don’t worry, sex comes natural.”
How many times have you heard this?!
Yes, sex is a natural instinct and our sexual desires are ingrained within our DNA.
However, the actual act of having sex can feel ANYTHING BUT natural at first.
And that’s totally okay!
Remember, sex is a skill.
What skill in any history of skills has ever come 100% naturally?
Even things as simple as walking, talking and eating are things that took you years to master.
Allow yourselves to practice the art of sex together. Give yourself and your spouse permission to not be so great at it in the beginning.
Did things not go so perfectly the first time? Please do not surrender yourselves to a lifetime of mediocre sex!!
Don’t tell yourself that women are just supposed to tolerate sex for their husband’s sake. Don’t tell yourself that sex just hurts and you guess that’s how it’s supposed to be. Don’t tell yourself that sex is just something to be endured for the rest of your life.
The stories you tell yourself will become your reality.
Read some books together, listen to some podcasts, go and talk to a sex educator - like Alisha! There are lots of tools and resources to help you as you navigate this brand new sexual relationship.
“I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little;” 2 Nephi: 28:30
#3 - Create a Dialogue Around Sex with your Partner.
I went back and counted… I’ve said the word “sex” a whopping 23 times up to this point in the article. For some people, that’s more than they’ve ever said the word in their entire lives!
Depending on your background, using sexual vocabulary can feel really uncomfortable.
I don’t want you to feel ashamed or embarrassed if that is the case.
It takes practice.
Here, let’s give it a try. I want you to read the following outloud. Ready?
Woof… That was tough! Okay, now do it again.
Say it in the mirror. Do it over and over again until it starts to feel more comfortable.
Again, this discomfort comes from a cultural and societal dialogue that talking about sexual things is taboo and wrong, or vulgar. You can talk about sex using correct anatomical terms without being disrespectful.
This conditioning can take some unlearning!
Regardless of what vocabulary you choose to use in your relationship, it’s important that you and your spouse are on the same page.
For example, one spouse might say to the other, “I’d love to be intimate with you tonight.”
The word “intimacy” to one person might mean intercourse, but intimacy to another person might just mean closeness - like going on a date, talking, or cuddling.
Start discussing these types of things.
Open the dialogue even before you are married.
It can be as simple as, “How do you like to hold hands? Is this okay? Would you like to try another way to hold hands?”
When we are afraid to talk about sex, we give it way more power over us than we should. (Think Voldemort.)
Getting comfortable with talking about sex is one of the first steps towards feeling more prepared for the wedding night.
#4 Your Sex-Life Can and Will Change Over the Course of your Marriage.
Change is a part of life. No matter what you do, you will always be confronted with some form of change over the course of your marriage.
That means your sex-life is going to change, too.
Pregnancy, losing a job, moving houses, having kids, getting sick, losing weight, gaining weight, getting older, etc. The list goes on and on.
Honeymoon sex is going to be different than pregnancy sex.
Sex in your twenties is going to be different than sex in your seventies.
Sex when you have kids under the same roof will be totally different than sex when you don’t.
This can either be frustrating and hopeless, or it can be an exciting adventure!!
You get to choose.
If you’re going through a rough patch, do not succumb to the idea that this is how it’s going to be for the rest of your life.
Once again, turn to those resources that can help you navigate through these changes.
I want to be clear.
SEX SHOULD NEVER BE PAINFUL.
Like, ever… Not even the first time.
If you are repeatedly having pain during intercourse, please seek the help of a medical professional or sex therapist.
#5 - Some Practical Tips
Lube, Lube, LUBE
Did I say Lube? Maybe I should say it again.
Definitely bring lube with you on your honeymoon. The vagina secretes some natural lubrication, but feelings of anxiety and nervousness can lower this. The body’s own secretions may not always be enough to reduce friction and pain.
Invest in a reputable brand of lube.
That’s right. Spend a few extra bucks to make sure you know what it is your putting on and in your body.
Sorry, but KY is a no-no. It contains ingredients that damage the lining of the vaginal wall. It may be an affordable option, but it’s not worth it.
Friends don’t let friends use KY…
Season 3, Episode 5 of the Loveumentary Podcast is a great and tasteful episode that explains all the ins and outs of choosing the Lube that’s right for you.
facts about anatomy
Did you know that the inside of the vagina has about the same sensitivity as the inside of your cheek?
Take your tongue and rub it on the inside of your cheek…
Can you feel how there’s not a ton of sensation?
Hmmm… maybe it’s because a whole entire baby has to be pushed through there!! It’s no wonder God created it that way.
Less than a third of women are able to experience orgasm with vaginal stimulation alone.
The outside surroundings of the vagina will become your new best friend.
Get to know the vulva. Get to know the clitoris.
Your wife will thank you.
wedding night expectations
You don’t have to have intercourse on your first night.
I know, I know, but you’ve waited so long!!
Making it an option to take intercourse off the table for the first night can do wonders for reducing anxiety and nerves.
Sex is so much more than just intercourse!
Take a shower together. Get used to seeing each other naked. Explore each other’s bodies a little bit. Give each other a massage.
If it happens, great! If it doesn’t, great!
Take your time. You’ve literally got an eternity for this.
Along those lines, a message for the guys:
For the love of all that is holy, DON’T RUSH PENETRATION.
If her vagina is tense and not well lubricated, it can seriously hurt and even cause tearing. That would not be a great way to start out your honeymoon…
Just take it slow, apply plenty of lube, have some fun and wait until she’s ready. This way it can be comfortable and pleasurable for BOTH OF YOU.
Are you feeling ready yet?
Or maybe your feeling a little uncomfortable (That’s okay, too… discomfort is a sign of growth).
Reading this article and listening to this podcast episode is a small way to get you started in preparing for your honeymoon.
It’s normal to be excited, and it’s normal to be nervous.
Our goal in sharing these things with you is to give you as much information as we can to set you up for a successful experience.
Know of any recently engaged couples that could benefit from this information? Please share it!
Yes? No? Maybe?
We’ve put together an awesome worksheet to help you start having conversations about sex! Just give us your name and email address and we’ll give you access asap.
About Our Guest
Alisha Worthington, CSW, Sex Educator
Alisha Worthington has an MSW from USC and a BSW from BYU, and is Co-Author of Real Intimacy, a Couples’ Guide to Real, Genuine Intimacy. Alisha has also sought extensive education regarding sexual health and is a certified 4-D Practitioner and Gottman Trained Educator.
Alisha has been featured on podcasts, blogs, news outlets, and radio and her articles have been read over 1,000,000 times. Alisha has led workshops and presentations on topics such as, Reclaiming Desire, Mother-Daughter Maturation and Sexual Health, Talking to Your Kids About Sex, and The Godly Design of Intimacy.
Alisha has been married 22 years to her husband Bret and describes him as what Thor would be like if he took on the great challenge of having children and raising them. Alisha and Bret are the parents of seven fantastic kids ranging from in age from 7 to 20. As a result, Alisha’s favorite quote is, “Be still, and know that I am God.”