A Virgin Bride's Guide to the Wedding Night

Virginity is differently evaluated in different cultures. In some it merely refers to a state of never having sexual intercourse while in others it may be inseparable from notions of purity and honor. Cultures which subscribe to the latter usually prohibit sex before marriage. so if you are a virgin and getting married soon, here a few things you might want to keep in mind.

Various nuances of being a ‘virgin’

A virgin is usually defined as someone who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. Among girls, the absence of an intact hymen – the thin membrane partially or wholly covering the vaginal orifice – is conventionally taken as the evidence of having had sex and therefore loss of virginity. This is because in most cases of first-time sexual intercourse, the hymen gets torn. In traditional cultures, thus a virgin bride is expected to bleed a little on her wedding night, which is conventionally the first time the newlyweds have sex. However a girl can rupture her hymen without having engaged in sex at all. Strenuous physical activities like cycling, swimming or horse-riding as well as certain practices like masturbation with a foreign object can lead to a ruptured hymen. Conversely a girl can engage in oral or other forms of non-vaginal sex without having any impact on the hymen. All this means that technically losing your virginity may or may not be related to a broken hymen. however if you belong to a culture which lays great emphasis on wedding night bleeding, you may want to check up with a doctor regarding your hymen. Hymenoplasty is a kind of cosmetic procedure which surgically restores the hymen in a woman’s body. The new hymen can be a membrane without blood supply like a gelatin capsule or a vaginal flap with blood supply and hence capable of bleeding after the next episode of vaginal sexual intercourse.

Know yourself

Once you have got the confusing implications about virginity out of the way, it is time to take care of the practical details about preparing for your wedding night. And the best place would be to start with your own body. If you haven’t explored yourself very much, take the time to connect with the sexual side of your own body. Relax and lie down in a place where you are assured of privacy and discover your own sexual self. Even though sexual self-exploration is looked down upon in traditional cultures, consider it as a way of preparing for your wedding night. Find out which parts of your body are most responsive to erotic touch and which actions please you the most. Do you know where your clitoris is and your G-spot? The better you know your own body, the easier it will be guide your new husband on your wedding night and thus enhance mutual pleasure. A good idea would be indulge in some extra bridal beauty pampering which apart from facial, manicure and pedicure could include a full body wax. Consider whether you would like to go for a Brazilian – men differ according to their preferences in women but a good working rule is to make yourself as fuzz-free as possible.

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Accessories

One of the things that brides look forward to the most is shopping for their wedding night. and this of course means lingerie which can be a great way to set the mood.  Some guys like sexy lingerie on their women more than others, but even if you don’t know enough about your guy’s sexual preferences, keep in mind that the right lingerie can be something that makes you feel sexy which, in the end, is reason enough to wear it. Along with lingerie, you may also want to pack some massage oil, perfumed candles and your favorite eau de cologne. Another essential would be some sort of lubricant and you could bring a variety so that you can see which ones you like the best. Some are stickier than others, some are flavored while some are warming. Then there are chemical-based lubes and then there are those based on natural ingredients like Coconut oil but avoid using it with condoms as it can break down the latex. As you become accustomed to intercourse you may find you need lubricant less and less, but you may notice that you need it more during certain times of your menstrual cycle. If you anticipate that the venue of your wedding night – your in-laws place, marital home or hotel room - may not have enough towels, you may want to bring extra towels because sex can be messy and good sex is even messier.

Contraception

Birth control is yet another crucial aspect of preparing yourself for your wedding night, especially if you are not planning on having a baby right away. Contraception is the avoidance of pregnancy and can range from birth-control pills, female condoms, spermicides, diaphragms to minor surgery. Here it is important to remember that the most effective forms of contraception used by women need to be in place well in advance. For instance you need to start taking birth control pills at least a month before you have sex while Depo Provera injections, Norplant, IUDs and diaphragms all require the help of a doctor. Spermicides and female condoms offer immediate protection against pregnancies but their failure rate is higher too. Condoms when used correctly are still the most effective way to obtain all round protection from unplanned pregnancies as well as STDs.

Communication

in arranged marriages, where the bride and groom never even met until their wedding day, any discussion between the couple on intimacy used to be unthinkable; however open communication is key to establishing a healthy sexual relationship which in turn will determine the health of your marriage. Things though are changing now and the spouses-to-be are allowed to meet and talk by family elders as a way of gauging mutual compatibility. If you have a comfortable relationship with your fiancĂ©, you may consider talking about your wedding night. For instance what are your expectations on your first night? By the time you are finally left alone – after all the rituals and partying - for your wedding night, you are probably going to be exhausted. In that kind of situation, how do you and your husband want to spend the first night together? Also talk about what your hopes and fears are; or what are his thoughts on birth-control, masturbation and intimate games. You may want to visit a counselor or talk about sex during your pre-wedding counseling. If you are too nervous to bring up the subject of sex, consider leaving a magazine open, or even forwarding this article in an email. While honest communication on all these matters could be a great way of starting off on the right note, keep in mind that many young men and women from traditional cultures may still feel inhibited about talking on these matters.

The wedding night

Once you are emotionally and physically prepared to have sex on your wedding night, it is a good idea to take an effort to build up the momentum. Spend a little time and effort on foreplay. Kissing, massaging and erotically exploring your partner’s bodies will help the two of you to connect on a deeper level, reduce any awkwardness about it being the first time and more importantly for you, give you the lubrication you need to enjoy the actual act of intercourse. Don’t rush through this most intimate part of sex – it will be over soon enough as it is.

So now that you are aroused and ready to have your husband enter you, you want to be in a position that is comfortable for you. Many women find it easiest if they are lying on their back with their husband on top and then guiding him in with her hand, but you may find that you feel it is better with you on top because you can lower yourself on your husband as you feel comfortable. Communication at this point is key because your husband needs to know if you want him to go slower or faster or stop all movement. If this is the first time you are having sex, the actual act may leave you sore and in a little discomfort. You might tear your hymen and even bleed a little. You may not even experience the earth-shaking orgasm that popular media is wont to associate with sex. That is all right – as long as it is a natural part of a relationship based on mutual love and respect, there is no correct or ideal way to go about it.

After your wedding night, if you are still worried about an unplanned pregnancy, you could consider the option of morning-after pills. However these require a doctor’s prescription in many states as well as proof of your being above the required age. Moreover these pills have to be taken within 72 hours of intercourse or they do not remain effective.

The time after a first sexual experience is unique in many ways. You may find yourself experiencing conflicting emotions of love, relief and even a little regret. The key in all of this is to enjoy yourselves as a couple. Take pleasure in discovering each other intimately and the time right after your wedding night will be one of the most precious memories in your married life.