In our fortnightly column “Great Sexpectations” the Woman Alive panel answer your questions on sex, faith and intimacy. Drop us a confidential email on firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us anything. Here, we tackle; what you should do if you’re disappointed with your sex life after waiting till marriage.
Oh reader - firstly, let me commend you on asking a question that many others would be afraid to say out loud. I know a lot of women worry about this in the lead up to their wedding. And there will be many who feel it post-nuptials, but don’t want to betray their partner by vocalising it. Of course, it’s not something to shout from the roof tops, but to anonymously seek advice is a great way to honour both of you while getting the support you need.
There are many reasons someone isn’t enjoying sex. Let’s tackle a few of the key ones. Firstly, and the biggest of all are expectations. Have you watched porn? Or even seen sex scenes in movies where a woman orgasms at the graze of a thigh? It may be dawning on you that physical pleasure, particularly a woman’s, isn’t as straight forward than Hollywood would have you believe. That’s ok. It’s not a bad thing. All good things are worth putting in the work for, and that’s what you and your partner can do. So - job number one is to forget what you thought your sex life would be like.
If you and your husband managed to maintain a faithful abstinence in your dating and engagement - you may have some prosperity gospel idea that you are to be rewarded with amazing sex
Next, if you and your husband managed to maintain a faithful abstinence in your dating and engagement - you may have some prosperity gospel idea that you are to be rewarded with amazing sex. That’s not how it works. Many Christians have also spent so long feeling that sex is sinful and lustful and to be avoided at all costs, that they find it hard to transition to a healthy and fruitful sex life. If that’s how you, or your husband feel - then you will naturally feel inhibited. This is definitely something to be open about and discuss as a couple. You could also seek out the advice of an older married couple you trust, to see how they navigated their early years in the bedroom. It’s important we respectfully discuss these things!
Next let’s talk about size. I know, I know - it sounds like we’re really getting graphic now. Couples who waited won’t know what the other looks like with no clothes on before the wedding night. And there’s a lot to process when you finally get between the sheets. If you feel disappointed by any part of their body - then that may be an expectations thing again. It’s something to prayerfully challenge in yourself. Real bodies aren’t perfect and toned and bulging - and thank goodness. What a horrific standard to have to hold yourself to! If we’re talking about the size of his penis, then know that - as much as this sounds like a cliché - size really doesn’t matter. Sex is so much more than length and girth. It’s a Godly connection between two deeply connected people and you can work to find the best positions to maximise the physical pleasure, while you enjoy the emotional intimacy of the moment.
If you and your partner decided to take up salsa dancing, you wouldn’t expect to be winning competitions on your first try.
Finally - technique. Does it all feel rushed? Awkward? Clumsy? I’m not surprised. If you and your partner decided to take up salsa dancing, you wouldn’t expect to be winning competitions on your first try. Like anything when you’re new, it takes time. You will both need caring and honest feedback from your partner and a lot of practice. Yes, practice! The incredible thing is that you don’t need to have it down straight away, you’ve got a whole lifetime to explore and enjoy each other’s bodies. That’s the best homework ever! Don’t see the first months of sex as an indication of how things will be, see them as the jump off point for a very fun couple’s project. Be encouraged - every married couple will tell you that sex only got better when as they became more comfortable and more experienced, and that will be the same for you too.
Our Great Sexpectations column is written by a number of different contributors who make up the Woman Alive panel.