Sex on the wedding night is special, but sex on the wedding night when it's your first time is — ahem — a once in a lifetime experience.
"We met in high school and got married at 21 and 22 respectively — very young, but we knew. Don and I were each other's 'first' so it was more than a bit awkward. And we were both so nervous — wanting desperately to please the other and not realty knowing how. So sex was quick, and I had a brief, 'Is that all there is?' feeling. But, lovemaking the next morning was slow, amazing, and all I dreamt it would be. We were so connected, and five years later it's just gotten better." — Michelle
"Our religious beliefs were such that we felt sex before marriage was a sin. My husband and I had never even seen each other naked before our wedding night — after dating for four years. We were both 26. It was extremely romantic. There were candles and flowers and satin sheets — and we took our time 'unwrapping' each other and gloried in finally joining together fully in every way possible. I wouldn't change a thing." — Beth
"I didn't know I was supposed to pee after sex so we wound up going to the ER on our honeymoon for my UTI!" — Sheila
"He was so nervous about pleasing me that he couldn't get hard. I of course didn't have a clue what to do. We both ended up apologizing to each other. That was fun — not. He woke up with a morning erection, and we took advantage of it!!" — Paula
"My parents booked us an expensive hotel for our honeymoon night. My new husband carried me over the threshold of our room, and I felt like the most special, loved woman ever. We toasted each other with champagne, and I actually said the words, 'My darling husband, please take me now.'" — Anne
"My husband-to-be was sexually experienced and respected that I wanted to wait until our wedding night. But, he suggested that a way to make things less uncomfortable was to talk beforehand about our expectations and desires. I was even able to express a fantasy I had, which he made into an exquisite reality on our wedding night. But it wasn't the mechanics that made it wonderful. It was that I was pledging forever to the person I trusted most in the world." — Sara
"We agreed to wait until we were married to have sex, but to prepare, we read sex manuals together and once even watched a porn video. It's the first time I've admitted that out loud but I think it helped us feel less awkward on the actual night." — Tina
"It hurt. A lot more than I expected it to. So we didn't actually have intercourse on our wedding — but did other things that were a lot of fun. Gradually I felt more comfortable and relaxed, and two days after we got married, Sam penetrated me for the first time, and it felt wonderful. And I felt so grateful to be with a man who put my comfort and happiness above all else. Oh, and yes, I learned about lube!" — Nancy
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.