Think you've got this whole wedding-night sex thing down pat, especially if you've had practice? Think again.
"The things you do to prepare for what most people consider one of the biggest nights of their lives can pay dividends of confidence, comfort, and knowledge — and this goes double for those newlyweds who haven't already had sex," says Carol Queen, Ph.D., sexologist and author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone.
So here, our experts give you five ways to prepare for wedding night sex all-but-guaranteed to make it oh-so-good.
1. Expand your knowledge base.
Asks Queen, "How much do you know about your own anatomy and that of your partner? Do you know quite a bit about bodies, arousal, various ways to experience pleasure? If you're expecting the wonders of sex to unfold for you on your wedding night, it helps a lot to have some information to help guide you." So before you get down on your big day, research basic biology and test your and your partner's hot spots to ensure you feel comfortable and confident. "Look at it this way: You probably can cook if you can't follow a recipe, but recipe books open up a whole world of kitchen possibilities," Queen says. "Sex information does the same for the bedroom. People who have little fact-based information about sex often do not have very good sex."
2. Get comfortable talking about sex.
Even if you're waiting for the wedding night, you can and should still talk about the sex you want to have. Why? Not only will it get you more comfortable with describing what you want between the sheets long before the big night, but "a bonus here is that you learn more about your partner's sexual beliefs and values — and maybe even your own," says Queen. "And when you can hold your own in a conversation [about sex], then is the time to start asking your partner about their sexual history, or asking what their ideal sexual experience would consist of, or telling them that your clitoris is pretty sensitive to touch unless there's lubricant, or any of the zillions of things that are worthwhile to discuss and share with your sexual partner."
3. Schedule a boudoir session.
Body issues be damned. By slipping on sexy lingerie and seeing yourself the way your partner sees you — that is to say, gorgeous — you'll boost your wedding night confidence." Not only do boudoir photos help to make a lovely wedding gift to your betrothed if you desire, but that process of getting all dolled up and into your sensual skin can help you discover a whole new side to yourself," explains Kat Van Kirk, certified sex therapist and author of The Married Sex Solution: A Realistic Guide to Saving Your Sex Life. "Many women report feeling empowered and confident by going through the process."
4. Think about your expectations.
Advises Queen, "Especially if this is your first time or you have extremely romantic fantasies about the wedding night, give some thought as to what you really believe and desire it'll be like." Now's the time, then, to envision what you really want from the night and what could happen to blow your mind (or seriously disappoint you). "For some couples, getting too tipsy at the reception and feeling too exhausted to do much of anything would be sometime to laugh off a couple of days into the honeymoon, and for the rest of their marriage," Queen says. "For others, it would be the hugest and most terrible fail! Knowing where on the expectation continuum you fall can help you prepare: To calibrate your day to support your energy level and degree of sobriety, to share a discussion with your partner about your hopes, to chat with already-married friends to learn some of the varying ways the big night can go."
5. Learn to be present in the moment.
It's good to be present in any moment, but this is especially true when it comes to sex. That being said, fresh off the high of your wedding ceremony, your wedding night won't be the easiest time to employ this tactic. That's why you must practice being present now. "People who have a hard time being present in the bedroom tend to have more sexual dysfunction, lower sexual satisfaction, and more issues with arousal and orgasm specifically," says Van Kirk, all issues you don't want to face on the wedding night. Van Kirk also advises that in addition to practicing your mental strength, it's smart to make sure your wedding night bed will be free from distractions.