The Truth About Wedding Night Sex
The Debrief: There's nothing less sexy than a wedding. So why's that the day when you're meant to have the best shag of your life?
Picture by Frances Sousa
As someone who is in the middle of organising one, I’m fairly sure that weddings are the antithesis of sex. There is nothing erotic about an event centred around formal paperwork and mass catering. I’m not thinking ‘Hey, introducing my boyfriend’s parents to my octogenarian Granny will really put me in the mood for a long, hard shag.’ The idea of getting my picture taken as I stand in front of everyone I know and cut a big cake does not give me the horn. Yet your wedding night is supposed to be the hottest night of your life. The weirdness of it all hit me when I was speaking to a lingerie PR. ‘And what are you, ah, going to be wearing on the big night? We’ve got some lovely silk slips in…’ ‘Um, I will have been wearing a long, lacy dress for eight hours. I was planning to change into the softest, comfiest thing I own, which is a Sonic Youth Goo tee with a coffee stain on the hem,’ I replied, silently adding ‘And I don’t think we’ll be having sex. We’ll be so tired that getting our genitals to meet would be like watching two old men trying to high five each other.’
When we were expected to wait until marriage, wedding night sex was a big deal. But now that most of us aren’t walking down the aisle as virgins, surely it’s a weird tradition to hold onto? My friend Tash, a 25 year old teacher tells me ‘We’re Christians, and we did wait until marriage! But at the end of our wedding day, I was so tired that I barely had the energy to take my dress off! My husband was wiped out too, and was really scared about letting me down – but when we decided to wait until morning, we were both so relieved! I talked to a couple of friends from church, and they admitted that their wedding nights had been similarly unsexy. It’s a relief, but I wish I’d known beforehand, so I didn’t put pressure on myself!’
Sex and relationship coach Guy Winters says ‘I’ve had clients ask me for advice about wedding night sex, and my one tip is always the same. “Don’t bother.” There’s so much pressure on the day, it’s tiring, intense and emotional, and chances are that you haven’t had a good night’s sleep for a few days. If it happens, it happens, but people often do it for the sake of tradition, and feel really disappointed and disconnected from their partners. If you can wait until you’re relaxed and rested, it means you’ll have happy memories of the first time you were intimate together as a married couple.’
If you can remember any of it, you’re doing well. My friend Rachel, 29, an accountant, reveals ‘I can’t remember my wedding night. Not because we were incredibly drunk, or because anything crazy went down. I was just that tired. We definitely did the morning after, and that was lovely. I know there’s no way my husband would have tried it if I wasn’t feeling it, but I feel like it would be massively unromantic to ask “Darling, do you know when we actually consummated our marriage?”’
Bridget, a 28 year old DJ, had a much more memorable wedding night. ‘I was quite excited about wedding sex. We had a beautiful hotel room, I’d got a negligee and I deliberately didn’t get too pissed during the day so I could enjoy it. My husband did not get the memo, and spent the night being sick in the bath. We eventually had make up sex two days later, because I spent the next day being really annoyed with him.’ Cara, 30 a make up artist says ‘Um, I got really drunk at my own wedding and passed out on a chair at some point. I woke up on a duvet on the floor of my parents’ hotel room.’ A friend who would prefer not to be named says she was so stressed that as soon as she’d signed the register, she spent the rest of the day on the toilet with an IBS flare up.
Ultimately, marriage means you’ve got the rest of your life to get lucky. Your wedding is hopefully just the first of many amazing parties you’ll get to attend together. Sex is supposed to bring you closer together, but I already feel close enough to my partner to know that neither of us are at our sexiest after planning an admin heavy event – we can wait for a while. We’re going to a friend’s wedding the week after ours. I’ve booked a posh B&B, and I’m hoping for an early night.
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Picture by Frances Sousa
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