Paul H. Byerly
The article is targeted at men with very little to absolutely no sexual experience or instruction, and is intended to be read shortly before the wedding night. For drawings of the genitals and information about the sex organs, see our male and female basic plumbing articles.
I appreciate the desire to have as much information as possible before the wedding night, and I will attempt to cover most issues. That said, there are things you don’t understand now which will be very self evident after you marry and have sex, and there are questions you don’t even know to ask yet.
One issue which will affect things is how much sexual information and experience your bride has. She might never have had an orgasm, and depending on where she is from, she might not even know God created her to have one. Even if she knows better, it’s possible that she has some cultural or religious bias against a woman enjoying sex. Beyond this, sex is somewhat different for a woman. Men’s bodies seem to know what to do even when our minds don’t, but women don’t find the same to be true. So the woman has to learn not only facts, but she also has to learn emotionally, culturally, and physically. The truth is it’s going to take more time for her to fully enjoy sex than it will for you.
The most important thing for you to do is to make it clear to her that you know God intends sex to be physically, mentally and emotionally enjoyable for both of you. Tell her you are committed to whatever time, learning and practice is needed to experience what God wants both of you to have. Also let her know that it is because you love her that you want to give her sexual pleasure; do not let her think she has to enjoy sex just to make you happy.
There is also a need for the two of you to be able to talk freely about sex, about what you feel, what you want, and what feels good. This is usually more difficult for women than men, particularly if her upbringing has given her negative ideas about sex. In particular she needs to be able to tell you how to modify the way you are touching her to increase her pleasure. She must feel free to say “touch a bit higher” or “not so hard” or “a little faster.” It will take time for both of you to feel comfortable doing this; encourage her gently, give her some time, and help by asking yes or no questions.
We feel that life begins at the point that the egg and the sperm join. We feel that preventing such joining is not wrong, but destroying the fertilized egg is taking a human life. We have also learned that some hormonal methods of birth control can allow joining, but then keep the fertilized egg from developing normally. For this reason we feel not all hormonal methods of birth control are not acceptable for Christians. This leaves condoms, diaphragms or cervical cap, and spermicide. None is perfect, and all have their drawbacks. If you will be using condoms, practice putting them on several times before the wedding – you want to be able to do it easily when the time comes. For more information, see our birth control article.
There are a couple of things you will want to have for first-time sex. Sex is messy, so have a small towel or washcloth near the bed. You should also have a lubricant available. Any of the brands of “personal lubricants” available in the store will do the job. Too much lubricant is better than too little, especially for your bride, so if in doubt use the lubricant. You can put a small amount on your hand and apply it to her vulva during foreplay, and apply a more generous amount to the head of your penis just before intercourse.
No matter how much you know, it won’t be perfect, but you most likely will remember it fondly. Sex is like anything else, it takes practice to get good at it, and lots of practice to get great at it. The more you do it, the better it will get for both of you, in many ways. What I’m saying is don’t put too much on the first time; just enjoy it for what it is, a wonderful beginning to a life of sexual pleasure.
Please also understand that for women physical sexual pleasure is a learned response. She may enjoy the emotional closeness from the very first, depending on what she is expecting, but she will need time to develop the ability to fully enjoy sex physically. Orgasm during intercourse will not happen the first time, in fact, for many women it can take several months. Orgasm from manual or oral stimulation will happen sooner, maybe on the first night, but don’t push her for that. Mixed emotions or fear of pain the first time may make orgasm impossible, and pushing her to do something she can’t do will only make it worse.
I know that as a man you are eager to see her naked, and I know you want to see and explore her body fully. That’s natural, but it’s also natural for the woman to be a bit shyer. I would suggest very dim lighting the first few times, a couple of candles would work well, or leave the bathroom light on and the bathroom door slightly open. Let her get into bed wearing lingerie so she does not feel too exposed. Begin touching her through the lingerie, and then slip your hand under it. Finally gently remove it.
Kiss her first and often during foreplay and intercourse – kissing, on the lips, is more important and more arousing to women then to men. Move slowly to her breasts, and explore them with your hands. Try to tell by her face, her movements, and any sounds she makes, what she likes and what she does not. When you move to her sex organs don’t just grab! Move your hand down her body, and brush her pubic hair as you move down one leg. Then slowly move your hand back up to her vulva. Her sex organs are much more sensitive than yours, so be gentle. The clitoris is the key to her pleasure, but many women find direct stimulation of the clitoris too intense. Rubbing above the clitoris, or putting a finger on either side are better approaches. You can also use the palm of your hand to cover her sex organs and gently push and rub the entire area. During foreplay I suggest you gently probe her vagina with a single finger so you will know just where it is (pictures don’t do it, it won’t be what you expect) and the angle of the vagina. While oral stimulation is fine, and a good way to bring a woman to orgasm, many women feel self-conscious about being kissed there. They are afraid their sex organs are ugly or smell bad, or they may think that oral stimulation is wrong. Get to know her a bit before you move in that direction, and make sure she’s just out of the shower the first time … more for her peace of mind than for you.
First intercourse brings some degree of apprehension for most women. A very few women have a great deal of pain, and a very few have no discomfort at all; most experience only short mild pain. One important thing is to be sure there is plenty of lubrication. Her apprehension can cause her to not lubricate well; apply an artificial lubricant to your penis just before penetration if she is not very wet. The best position for first intercourse is probably the man on top, also called the missionary position. It will help if she can take your penis in her hand and guide it in, but this doesn’t always happen. When you enter with your penis, don’t just slide all the way in at once. Gently move in an inch or two, and then slide back out a bit without leaving completely. Then slide in a bit farther than the first time, and back out a bit. Use a series of in-and-out motions to gradually enter her fully.
If you feel resistance before you are halfway in, you are probably hitting the hymen. A quick firm thrust will break the hymen as painlessly as possible. You may not feel the hymen, and she may or may not bleed, but she can be uncomfortable even if there is no resistance or bleeding.
Don’t expect intercourse to last very long the first time! Being inside your wife is an incredible experience in more ways than you can imagine, and a man’s first few times are inevitably very short. Actually this works out well; the woman tends to be tender the first few times, and if you went very long she could experience pain. As you learn to last longer, her body will be able to go longer. Don’t worry that the first time is short, just enjoy it, and let her know how much you enjoyed it.
You will gradually learn what she finds most enjoyable. Some women go wild for having their ears nibbled, others don’t care, and some dislike it. This is true of a wide variety of things, so just experiment and learn. Most women enjoy breast and nipple stimulation (and this is the place to first use your mouth as you move towards oral sex), but how firm or how she likes it will be a personal thing you will have to learn. Kissing, hugging, and other above-the-waist touching are an important part of getting a woman aroused; don’t just go straight for her genitals. You will gradually learn what she likes and how to proceed to arouse her and bring her to orgasm.
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