Calling our virgin brides! Happy wedding day! We know you've been looking forward to this and we are here for you. Losing your virginity is a strange experience, no matter the circumstances. It can be beautiful, weird, strange, and wonderful.
When you take it slowly and listen to your body, it will be awesome. There's nothing to worry about. Everyone has to have a first time, after all.
Not everyone waits, but it's totally OK if that's the choice you made. Here is what to do to make sure your wedding night sex is a tender, loving, pleasurable experience.
Do your research
Now, they say nothing beats the real thing, and that is true. The only way to get awesome at sex and to really love it is to straight up get it on. But, knowing everything there is to know without actually doing it is also important. You are not going to magically know how to do sex stuff. No one does. It's not a reflex and it doesn't come naturally.
Read everything you can find on sex from reliable sources. Read all of these articles. Learn about your anatomy. You can even practice blowjob skills on a cucumber, if you're feeling adventurous. It might feel silly, but the only way we figure out how to do something is reading about it and then doing it.
Get to know your body
Whatever your thoughts or beliefs on masturbation might be, it is very healthy. It helps you get to know your body and figure out what you like. This is important information to have in your back pocket when you embark on IRL sex.
If you're worried about that old myth that masturbation makes you want less sex, don't be. It's not true. Masturbation has actually been shown to make you want partnered sex more.
Use your fingers (or a vibrator) to touch yourself. What feels good to you? Touch other areas of your body. Take note of everything that brings you pleasure. Don't be afraid to explore. You want your first time with your partner to be wonderful. This means you need to do some field research beforehand.
Don't rush to penetration
In that same vein, you need to focus on foreplay on your wedding night. A big mistake many of us have made our first time is rushing to the вЂњbig finish.вЂќ We know it feels like you've been waiting forever, but now is not the time to get hasty. Listen to what your body is telling you. Your partner, assuming he's also lacking experience, is going to need to slow down as well.
Take time to kiss, lick, and touch each other's bodies. Try oral sex before you have penetrative sex. Get yourselves revved up. Nothing is sexy about a dry vagina, OK?
This might be scary, but it's worth it. If you rush into penetration, it will be painful. You want to be primed up and set to go.
No matter how wet you get, the nerves of the first time will probably inhibit your ability to be wet enough. The truth is, no one is ever вЂњwet enough.вЂќ Lube should now become a staple of your sex routine.
You're putting something inside of something that has never had anything in it before. You will need lube. We promise. If only we'd had this information our first time!
Place a generous amount on your partner's penis and on your vulva. It will help everything slide more smoothly.
Choose a simple, comfortable position
This is your first time having penetrative sex and it'd likely not going to be the most incredible feeling you've ever known. Vaginal orgasm happens for very few women and it takes patience and a lot of experience.
It often feels like physical pressure the first time. It might even hurt a little. Go slowly! Don't stress out. It's new terrain. We've all been there!
You will likely want to stick to one sex position. Obviously you can change it up later, but for the first time, you just want to see how everything feels. Go for a position that is comfortable for you. When in doubt, missionary or spooning are your safe bets.
Let go of unrealistic expectations
Waiting for your wedding night can set you up to fail. Not to sound completely unromantic, but when you've cooked up a fantasy in your mind, the real thing can be a let down. Your first time can be a magical experience (if you follow our tips above!). You want it to be good, your partner wants it to be good, and we want it to be good for you.
Just remember that this is real life. Going in, expecting to have multiple orgasms from penetration, and to somehow be a wanton sex goddess without any prior knowledge to draw from isn't particularly likely. It will probably be awkward and a little weird. Everyone feels strange their first time. Don't worry.
Remind yourself (and your partner) that this is the first time of many and that practice makes perfect. You two love each other. Trust us when we say, there will be plenty of time to practice.
Real brides share what being a virgin on their wedding night was really like
"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
"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
"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
Gigi Engle is a sex educator and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.