Reader KL writes:

Can I get some advice? I’m a in my early-twenties and engaged to be married soon to my girlfriend. I’m beyond excited, obviously, but to be be honest I’m also insanely nervous about our first time together in bed that night. Neither of us have had intercourse before, and I’m not really sure what to do. I was just wondering about your thoughts on the best way to “start a marriage”, if that makes sense? What position is best? Should I groom and all that before hand? Am I too big or too small? What do we do for our first time? Where do most guys finish the first time? Does it really matter? Your blog seems like a safe spot to get some of these answers. Thanks for any advice or help you can give!

(Update: don’t miss the follow-up after KL and his bride’s wedding night.)

First of all, congratulations to you and your bride! Your decision to be obedient to God and abstain from intercourse before marriage will pay dividends for many years to come. Hopefully the two of you have had a candid and explicit talk about sex already to set expectations for your future together. (See: “How to talk about sex before you get married”.)

Second, let’s talk about some preparation for your wedding night. (This post will be written for the groom-to-be, since that’s who asked the question, but much of the advice is applicable for the bride as well.)

  • Grooming. Yes, you should shave your man-parts before your wedding night! If a lady were asking, we’d also recommend that she groom her lady-bits. It’s certainly not necessary, but we find that it enhances hygiene and intimacy.
  • Lube. Bring some water-based lube — you can buy it for $3 at Wal-Mart. No need for anything expensive or fancy. If you’re planning to have sex in the water you’ll want some silicone-based lube… but sex in the water is overrated.
  • Towels. Put some hand towels near the bed. Sex is messy, and lube makes it even more messy. You’ll have more fun snuggling if you don’t have to constantly get up to wipe your hands.
  • Research. Read these: How to Rub a Clitoris and How To Help Your Wife Orgasm. You may also enjoy the book “Sheet Music” by Kevin Leman — it has a chapter about making your first time great.
  • Prayer. When you’re all naked and in bed with your bride, pray together! Ask God to bless your sex life, and thank him for your marriage. God wants you to have an awesome sex life, so don’t be embarrassed to pray for it!

Third, here’s a step-by-step plan for what to do when you’re having sex for the first time. This plan isn’t written in stone — be sure to adapt to what your wife says and does.

(Update: Several commenters have shared that they didn’t have sex at all on their wedding nights (for various reasons) — so don’t put too much pressure on yourselves!)

  1. Lay down with your wife. Hold her, hug her, kiss her, and tell her how much you love her. Touch her all over her body.
  2. Lay your wife on her back, and lay yourself next to her on your side so that your dominant arm can reach between her legs (your other arm can go behind her head). Apply a pea-sized dab of lube to your wife’s vagina. Rub the lube around her vulva and up onto her clitoris, making the whole area slick. Your wife may or may not produce much natural lubrication — every woman is different, and she might be nervous.
  3. Rub her clitoris and vulva a lot, as described in the research links above. Continue holding her and kissing her. How will you know that you’ve touched enough? She’ll get flushed, breathe harder, and beg you to penetrate her. It might take a while for her to get really aroused, but there’s no rush — it’ll happen.
  4. Ideally you will be able to bring your wife to orgasm now with your hand or your mouth. (She probably won’t have an orgasm when you penetrate her, so this time is for her!) Ask your wife to look into your eyes while you touch her, and maintain eye contact. Use tiny, fast, gentle circular motions on her clitoris until she climaxes in your arms. Watch her face! Absorb the experience. This will be one of your most precious sexual memories.
  5. After she climaxes, keep her on her back and move yourself on top of her, laying between her legs. Missionary position is easy and intimate for your first time. Rub the head of your penis up and down over her vulva and between her lips. This motion should drive her crazy, and it also gets some lube on you to ease penetration. If the lube has dried, apply more lube! You may need to use your fingers to spread her lips and position your head directly against her opening.
  6. Look into her eyes and tell her how much you love her. Ask her to maintain eye contact again while you penetrate her. Wait for her to invite you in. While you’re looking into each others’ eyes, slowly slide your penis into her. Go slow and be gentle — it might hurt her a little, but if she’s lubed and warmed up it shouldn’t be too bad. If it hurts a lot, slow down and work on enhancing her arousal. Follow the cues her body gives you.
  7. Once you’re in, continue kissing her. Move slowly in and out until you have an orgasm. Unless you have some reason not to, the best place to ejaculate is inside her vagina.
  8. Has she had an orgasm yet? Ask her if she wants one. Use your hands or mouth to satisfy her. If she doesn’t want one, that’s fine also.
  9. Continue holding each other and snuggling for as long as you want.

I hope that plan is helpful! If any readers want to share a tip for newlyweds please leave a comment!

Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will only share your question if you give us permission, and we’ll never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email server like Mailinator.

Pregnancy is a special and fleeting time — although I remember while I was pregnant I felt like it would last forever! Looking back I can better appreciate how short a chapter of my life it was. During pregnancy, there are a lot of ups and downs in your sex life, and each trimester needs it’s own adjustments to keep a happy sexy time. Then after baby is born, there are even more adjustments to be made!

1st Trimester

  • When you find out that you and your spouse have made a life together, it is an incredibly intimate feeling. I felt connected to EF in a way I never had before. We shared something together that is at the most primal level of humanity, and that feeling extended into our sex.
  • Shortly after you become pregnant you start to realize that you won’t have your period for a while. This was one of my favorite parts!
  • Also shortly after you become pregnant, the hormones really kick in. For me, this is when I really started to pay attention to how I felt at different times of day. I was fortunate to not feel sick all day. Each pregnancy was different, but with each one there was a time of day that worked best for sex. So that is when we had sex! If you can be flexible and communicate you should be able to maintain an enjoyable sex life even through the more unpleasant parts of pregnancy.
  • Enjoy all the positions that you like, you aren’t really limited by your size.

2nd Trimester

  • Ah, the golden trimester for sex. El Fury loved this trimester. My libido was so high, I think I wore him out! Have sex as much as you can in this trimester.
  • For most of this trimester different positions are still comfortable. We tried to enjoy the Jockey position because we knew soon we wouldn’t be able to do it that way.
  • There isn’t a whole lot to say on this trimester, except have lots of sex and enjoy it!

3rd Trimester

  • Sex gets a little challenging during these few months. This is where I felt like I would be pregnant forever. Husbands, encourage your wives as much as you can during these months. I was super crabby the last two months of pregnancy and needed all the encouragement I could get!
  • Exercise if you are able. At this point I was only able to walk, and I think my level of activity made sex more enjoyable.
  • During this trimester we were pretty much limited sex to two positions: me on top and spooning. Sex while spooning is very comfortable when you are pregnant. The last month especially this was my favorite way to have sex. If you are unfamiliar with this position, it is exactly as it sounds: having sex while the husband spoons the wife.
  • Although it can be difficult, try to enjoy sex because after baby is born most people have to wait a little while until your body is recovered.

Postpartum

  • The first time you have sex after baby is born is pretty monumental. You haven’t had sex for a while, so both of you are pretty worked up. For the wife, it is also pretty scary (at least for me it was). Go slow and spend a lot of time on foreplay. When the husband is entering the wife, go especially slow and make sure she doesn’t have any pain through the process. EF was so gentle, and it meant the world to me that I could trust him in that way.
  • This is yet another time that you have to notice what time of day you want to have sex. Then have sex at that time! This can change rapidly, so listen to your body and embrace it when you want to have sex. Those first few months after our babies were born we had sex at all hours of the day. There were times I would come in from feeding in the middle of the night and be ready to go. EF was flexible enough that he didn’t mind waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Boob sensitivity. Before having kids, my boobs weren’t really an exciting area for me. For EF they were, but I didn’t get much pleasure out of them. I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, but after having babies and breastfeeding, by boobs became much more sensitive. Now I get very turned on when EF touches me there.

I love looking back and remembering our experience of pregnancy and childbirth together. EF was the only person I wanted to have in that room with me. Going through all that together brought our relationship to a new level of intimacy. I love sharing this journey with him. There are times I feel like our kids are absolutely crazy, and I can look up and catch his eye. We give each other a knowing smile. He is the only person in the world that can understand our life together, and what we’ve been through with adding these little lives to our world: their quirkiness, and the intense love we have for them. Then, when those crazy moments have turned to quiet moments after they go to bed (or in the morning before they wake up), it’s amazing to look into those same eyes while we make love. That, I believe, is how God wanted us to experience this great gift of sex and intimacy.

Here’s a fascinating study about using light therapy to increase the libido of men with low sex drives. Don’t worry, it’s not some hippy thing!

Exposure to bright light – similar to daylight – boosts levels of the male hormone testosterone and can triple sexual satisfaction, the research found.

“Before treatment, both groups averaged a sexual satisfaction score of around two out of 10, but after treatment the group exposed to the bright light was scoring sexual satisfaction scores of around 6.3 – a more than three-fold increase on the scale we used. In contrast, the control group only showed an average score of around 2.7 after treatment.”

While average blood levels of testosterone in the “control” group remained at around 2.3 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml) before and after the study, those of the men receiving active light treatment rose from 2.1 ng/ml to 3.6 ng/ml.

“The increased levels of testosterone explain the greater reported sexual satisfaction,” said Prof Fagiolini. “In the northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November through April, and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October. You see the effect of this in reproductive rates, with the month of June showing the highest rate of conception. The use of the light box really mimics what nature does.”

The article doesn’t mention it, but testosterone is also essential for women’s libido. (Though, of course, at lower levels of the hormone than men require.)

And best of all, you don’t need a fancy “light box”! Just go outside and bare some skin to that giant ball of fire in the sky that God helpfully provided — for free! The study quoted above indicates that as little as 30 minutes per day in the sun will have an effect, so go get some exercise.

We mentioned the Jockey position in an earlier post about variations on Doggy Style, but since this is one of our favorite go-to positions I thought it would be worthwhile saying a bit more about it.

First, what is the Jockey position? The basics are simple: the wife lays down on her stomach and the husband lays on top of her and enters her from behind. Beyond that, there are innumerable ways to experiment with the position.

  • Entry. If we’re starting with Jockey we’ll often use lube — the position is tight and has a lot of friction. Often we’ll move into Jockey after starting with something else, and then lube isn’t required. For easiest entry, the husband can kneel while wife lifts her hips, then they can lower themselves into a lying position after he’s inside.
  • Legs. There are two ways you can position your legs: her legs closed and his outside, or her legs open and his inside. The wife will probably have to spread her legs at least a little to facilitate entry, but after that we generally prefer for her legs to be closed and her knees and feet together. Then the husband can surround the wife’s legs with his, which creates a very intimate whole-body embrace as well as a very tight penetration.
  • Arms. There are at least three positions that you can use for the wife’s arms, and the husband’s arms will follow. (1) The wife can lay her arms straight down the length of her body and lay her face on the mattress (probably no head pillow in this position). (2) The wife can bend her arms at the elbows, tuck her elbows into her sides, and put her hands under her shoulders. (3) The wife can put her arms above her head in a diamond-like shape. With positions (1) and (2) the husband can wrap his arms around the wife and completely envelop her body. With option (3), the husband can tuck his arms under his wife’s, lay on her back, and hold her hands above their heads.
  • Pillow. Putting a pillow under the wife’s hips will elevate her lady bits, making entry easier and increasing the depth of penetration. The pillow also gives the wife something to push against, helping her to move a little in what is otherwise a fairly passive position for her. The wife can push up with her hips, wiggle from side to side, and squeeze her pelvic muscles — and moan with pleasure!
  • Kissing. Jockey is a great position for him to smother her with kisses! The husband can easily kiss the wife’s face, ears, shoulders, neck, and back, and Sexy Corte really enjoys it when I kiss down between her shoulder blades.
  • Spanking. As with all rear entry positions, Jockey is great for giving the wife a little spank on her butt! (Until the husband lays down, of course.)

Great things about Jockey:

  • Intimacy. This position really lets the husband surround the wife from every direction. You can hold hands, hug, and kiss. It’s a great position for warming up on a cold night. You can snuggle in this position for as long as you want, and even fall asleep after sex without getting up.
  • Tightness. Like other variations on Doggy Style, Jockey is a pretty tight position — especially if the wife keeps her legs together.
  • Comfort. Jockey is a pretty relaxed position that doesn’t require too much energy — perfect for early mornings or late nights.

Potential downsides:

  • Her orgasm. Jockey is a difficult position for a wife to reach orgasm. The position does allow the husband to stimulate the wife’s anterior vaginal wall and g-spot with downward thrusts, but there is very little clitoral stimulation. When Sexy Corte wants an orgasm we always make sure to do it before going to Jockey.
  • Depth. The geometry of Jockey leads to shallow penetration — less depth than Missionary, and much less than basic Doggy Style. Depth can be improved by putting a pillow under the wife’s hips.
  • Too hot! With so much skin-to-skin contact, Jockey may not be the best position for the hottest days of summer! Throw off those sheets and turn on a fan before you start.

What do you think about the Jockey position? Got any tips to share? Leave a comment!

The results from this study on co-sleeping aren’t surprising in the least!

While some parents find co-sleeping helps to make nights with a baby more manageable, others find the constant caregiving and interrupted sleep to be exhausting.

Beth Day and her husband, of Seattle, slept in the same room with their son and found he started waking more and more frequently around 12 months. As soon as they moved him to his own room, he started sleeping through the night.

“Once I got my personal space back, my relationship with my kid and my husband improved immensely. I don’t think I realized how I had such a feeling of invaded personal space until it wasn’t any more,” Ms. Day said. Getting better sleep helped, too. With the fragmented nights of co-sleeping, “I was really irritable with my son and my husband, and didn’t have the energy to really play or interact” with her baby, she said.

Your master bedroom should be reserved for marital intimacy, which includes sex but so much more!

One of the most common questions about co-sleeping is how it impacts a couple’s sex life. Parents say that when a baby is sleeping in the same room, maintaining intimacy can require creativity.

“We don’t have sex in our bed anymore, but there are other places to have sex,” said Leah Nilson of Vancouver, British Columbia. She and her husband have co-slept with their 2-year-old son from birth. “It has not negatively impacted our relationship in the slightest. Parenting in general has, but bed-sharing is one of the more pleasant aspects of parenting.”

Yes, there are lots of places to have sex besides your bed, but be honest — if you remove your bed from the equation, the frequency of sex is going to go way down.

When you have a new baby it’s easy to become completely focused on that wonderful new life. Babies are awesome! But your marriage relationship should always be your top priority, and it’s hard to prioritize it when you have an infant sleeping in your bed.

Despite how much you love your baby, you need to give yourself and your spouse permission to have your own space. You need to put the kids to bed and make time for yourselves. Keeping Mom and Dad healthy is the best thing for baby, and protecting your marriage will pay dividends for years.