If you expect to have the hottest sex of your life on your honeymoon, join the club. "Couples often have high expectations for sex on their honeymoon," says Madeleine Castellanos, M.D., sex expert and author of Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive. "If they've waited until marriage to take this important step, they may have the impression that it will be all magic and no struggle. And even if they already have an active sex life, they may have the expectation that the quality of their sex will somehow be different during the honeymoon."
So you can imagine what a panic-inducing bummer it could be if you don't have sex at all on this all-important vacation. But, "couples should keep in mind that honeymoon sex doesn't always live up to these expectations, and it's really an attitude of connectedness, focus, and relaxation into arousal that brings heightened pleasure," Castellanos says.
And if your sexual reality falls short of your honeymoon fantasies, it doesn't mean your sex life is doomed. Here are a few reasons you might have not had sex during your honeymoon that are nothing to sweat — and a few more than might be cause for concern.
You were exhausted.
You put hours and hours into planning your big day and the vacation days that followed. "And many couples find that they are just too tired to have lots, if any, sex during their honeymoon," says Castellanos. "This is usually the case for couples traveling long distances for a honeymoon, where they find themselves too jetlagged or on different time tables to really make sex come together smoothly. Others pack in tours and want to use the most of their time really exploring a destination, leaving them pretty sore and exhausted." Catch up on some much-needed Zs and your sex life should catch back up, too.
You got sick.
It's an unpleasant reality that celebrating your newlywed bliss can mean partying too hard, leading to hangovers or a whittled-down immune system. "Certainly, too much drinking can make sex difficult if not impossible at times, and a honeymoon is no exception," Castellanos says. "And even if you're not a heavy partier, traveling to different places with different climates and eating different cuisine increases the chances of getting physically sick, which can put quite a damper on honeymoon sex as well." It probably goes without saying that as your immune system returns to normal, so too should your sex life.
You got your period.
You thought you timed your pill packs perfectly. But somehow the universe managed to break through even your best laid period plans, "and your menstrual period comes right in time for the honeymoon," describes Castellanos. "This is not always an issue for couples, but if they prefer not to have sex during her period, or if she has cramps, it just might mess up their plans for their ideal honeymoon sex." Chalk up your lack of honeymoon sex to bad luck, and make up for lost time (and experiences) when Aunt Flo leaves town.
You were too anxious.
"For men and women, anxiety is the biggest culprit when it comes to difficulty having sex," Castellanos says. "Anxiety can significantly impact arousal, erection, avoidance, and even pain. And anxiety impacts not just the ability to have sex, but also the amount of sensation that a person feels during sex." Unfortunately, feeling anxiety about your sex life can follow you home after the honeymoon, and might be cause for concern. "If you find that anxiety is really messing with your sex life, don't wait to address this with a qualified sex therapist," says Castellanos. "The earlier you deal with it, the easier it is to resolve."
You were angry.
Travel can be tough. (Think: Long lines, turbulent flights, and trying to navigate when you don't speak the native language.) If you fought on your honeymoon and went to bed angry, sans sex, that could be a red flag, Castellanos warns. "Many people want to avoid the conflict of having a discussion or disagreement," she says. "If left unresolved, anger has a way of turning into resentment, which has long-term negative consequences for your sex life and your relationship overall."