03 Feb

As a newlywed, a lot of brand new challenges are thrown your way, including learning to live with your spouse, blending your life with theirs, and, of course, figuring out sexual intimacy.

As a Christian woman, it can be especially difficult to find appropriate resources on sexual intimacy in marriage.

I can relate to that struggle as a young newlywed and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the months leading up to my wedding, I spent countless hours reading any resource I could find on waiting for marriage, wedding night tips, sexual intimacy in Christian marriages, and any topic in-between.

Needless to say, I was feeling anxious.

Unsure of what to expect, insecure about my body, and just hoping I could do and be enough to meet my husband’s expectations.

Now that’s definitely a bleak outlook and not how I want you to feel as you start your married life together, so today I’m going to share with you my top tips on sexual intimacy in marriage to help you start this new chapter of your life on the right foot.

So let’s get started! Here are 10 sexual intimacy tips and resources for newlyweds.

10 sexual intimacy tips & resources for newlyweds

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Nerves and Insecurities are Normal

Even after the wedding night, it’s perfectly normal to feel a little bit nervous and insecure about sexual intimacy. Hopefully less so than on your wedding night, but feeling comfortable in your own skin, with your sexuality, and sharing both of these things with your spouse is a complete 360 from what you’re used to.

Make sure to give yourself time to adjust!

For all of you soon-to-be bride and grooms and newlyweds (or even couples who have been married for years) the best thing you can do for yourself and your marriage is to prepare.

Before my husband and I got married we read a book all about sex, which is the best thing we could’ve done to prepare for sexual intimacy in marriage!

The biggest reason people are disappointed with their wedding night and newlywed intimacy is having unrealistic expectations.

We live in a fallen world that is very much littered with false representations of sexuality and how God intended it to be used.

Sexual intimacy has two main purposes: for spouses to deepen their relationship and connect to each other in the closest way possible—both physically and emotionally—and to create life.

It’s not going to be some scripted movie scene where everything goes perfectly on the first try and comes naturally to both of you. It just isn’t.

Things will likely get a bit awkward, so try not to take anything too seriously and just enjoy spending time together.

Before I got married I was seriously worried about what my husband would think about my body. It’s so easy to look down on yourself and pick out any little flaw you can think of.

I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to do this! Your significant other loves you just the way you are! Make sure you take the time to remind your spouse that you love them exactly the way they are, too.

sexual intimacy in marriage - nerves and insecurities are normal

Everyone has days when they feel insecure and look down on themselves, but that’s one of the great things about marriage—there’s always someone there to help pick you back up!

In order to set realistic expectations for sexual intimacy in marriage, and to put yourself at ease, spend some time preparing. I highly recommend reading this book.

It talks all about sexual intimacy in marriage from a Christian perspective. It’s jam-packed with information in a very helpful, non-graphic, and non-worldly way.

Another resource will all sorts of helpful information is the Ultimate Intimacy app. It’s also full of Christian-based sexual intimacy tips, articles, and more.

If you want to learn more about a specific intimate topic but aren’t sure where to find appropriate information, the Ultimate Intimacy app is a great place to look!

Feeling Guilty

While I was in the middle of planning my wedding I read countless articles, blog posts, and personal stories about how to prepare for your wedding night as a virgin bride.

I read story after story from other Christian wives and found one thing in common with quite a few of them: guilt.

Growing up in a church where you’re taught that sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage has unintentionally built mental connections between sex and guilt.

It often seems like the underlying message is ‘sex is bad’ and ‘evil’.

This isn’t the case at all!

Sex is good. It’s holy and sacred, godly even.

It’s a gift from God that should bring you pleasure and happiness—but only in the right place, at the right time, and with the right person. Sex was made for marriage.

It’s unfortunate that so many people, particularly women, struggle with feeling guilty after being intimate with their husbands on their wedding night.

Start trying to shift your mindset to that of a more positive one before getting married so you don’t have to struggle with this guilt at the beginning of your marriage.

If you spend time shifting your mindset and looking at sex in a positive view, being intimate with your husband can feel natural and guilt-free from day one!

Spend Time Learning

Do you remember how you felt before you kissed someone for the first time?

sexual intimacy in marriage spend time learning

Were you nervous? Excited? Weirded out at the thought of someone else’s tongue potentially being in your mouth?

I certainly was all of the above.

As with anything new, sexual intimacy will get better with time.

One message from the book And It Was Very Good is you have your whole life to learn each other’s bodies, or instruments. You don’t have to learn how to play every kind of instrument, just one.

No matter how long you’ve been married there is always more you can learn.

Take some time to learn about each other’s anatomy, including your own. Trust me, this will be extremely beneficial to both of you.

Before getting married I spent some time talking to close relatives and trusted friends about their recommendations and advice. This is very helpful as they typically share the things they wish someone would’ve told them before they got married.

My mom, for example, was never told that she needed to pee after having sex until several UTIs later when her doctor asked her if she had been.

You can find these golden pieces of information early on in your marriage so you don’t have to learn them the hard way.

Safe Sex & Birth Control

If you’re preparing to get married I recommend making a premarital appointment a few months before your wedding.

I know it’s awkward, and sitting in the stirrups can make for a very uncomfortable situation, but it’s a necessary step.

Your doctor can address any concerns you or your spouse may have about intimacy, make sure everything looks good, and give you peace of mind.

Talk to your doc about the different birth control options available and what will work best for you so you don’t have to deal with any pregnancy scares.

The transition to married life is stressful enough as is, make it easy on yourself and take precautions where you can.

safe sex and birth control - sexual intimacy in marriage

I had read enough wedding night horror stories that I was worried about painful sex and things not fitting. (Please, don’t do this to yourself! You don’t need this mental torture.)

My doctor and I were able to discuss these concerns and she reassured me that she thought I would be just fine.

That reassurance went a long way in helping me to remain calm in the time leading up to my wedding and as my husband and I started figuring out sexual intimacy in marriage.

Communication is Essential

You know what’s even more awkward than having sex for the first time? Talking about sex.

Even though it might feel weird and make you a bit uneasy, you need to talk about it.

If you can establish regular communication about sexual intimacy early on it will make your intimate life so much easier.

If you’re not sure where to begin, the Ultimate Intimacy app is a great place to start! There’s a whole section on conversation starters to get the communication rolling.

I promise it will be worth the awkwardness to talk through things. Communicating what you like, what you’d like to try, and things you’d rather not do will help build a stable foundation for intimacy in your marriage and make it even better as time goes on.

Sex On Your Period?

A couple of days before my wedding a dreaded guest arrived. It was every bride’s worst nightmare: I started my period.

Menstruating wasn’t exactly in my wedding night plans.

Sexual Intimacy in Marriage - sex on your period - pads with flower petals

A couple of months prior I had an IUD put in. Before that point, menstrual cups had always been my go-to period product but you’re advised not to use them as the suction can dislodge your IUD.

Plus, you can’t exactly have sex with a cup or tampon in. You can with a menstrual disc!

The day before my wedding I rushed to my local Walmart to pick up some disposable menstrual discs, a product I’d only ever seen advertisements for.

Luckily I had experience using a menstrual cup because using a menstrual disc has a similar learning curve.

After I got home from my honeymoon cruise I ordered a reusable menstrual disc, which has been the best period product to use with an IUD! Check out this reusable period product guide for more information.

This menstrual disc is my favorite because it has a notch in it for easy removal.

Even if you don’t have an IUD, menstrual discs are amazing because you can actually have sex while using one!

Mess-free period sex? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Eliminate Distractions

One of my husband’s not-so-favorite traits of mine is my tendency to ask questions during movies.

Sometimes they’re not even related to the movie, just something that popped into my head that I want to resolve so I can focus on the movie again.

He doesn’t understand why I do it, and to be honest, it wouldn’t be fair of me to expect him to understand.

By divine design, men and women think very differently.

It can be really hard to focus on one thing when there are a lot of other small distractions that are vying for your attention.

My favorite sexual intimacy book refers to these distractions as ‘parking brakes’.

When getting in tune with your sexual self it’s important to identify what your ‘parking brakes’ are and how you can release them. Doing so will make it easier to focus on your intimate time with your partner.

You need to learn how to focus ‘in the moment’. Pay attention to what you’re doing, and how you’re feeling, and appreciate the intimate connection you’re making with your loving spouse.

Different Libidos

It is almost guaranteed that you and your spouse will have very different libidos (levels of sexual desire). This could vary throughout the week, month, and throughout different stages of your life.

sexual intimacy in marriage - different libidos

Make sure to communicate any hopes or expectations you have regarding sexual intimacy.

Uncommunicated expectations are destined for disappointment.

How often would you like to have sex during the week? Talk about it with your husband or wife to make sure you’re on the same page.

If one of you would prefer to be intimate daily and the other is content with once or twice a week, you will need to discuss the topic further and come to an agreement that you’re both happy with.

If you are the spouse with less ‘sexual appetite’ at a time when your better half is pretty hungry and intimacy just isn’t in the cards at the time, make sure to let them down gently or, better yet, offer a ‘sexual snack’ as taught in And It Was Very Good.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things

Variety is the spice of life, including in the bedroom.

It’s important to experiment, especially early on. How else will you and your spouse figure out what you like?

Don’t fall into one boring routine without trying at least a few different positions or tactics. Novelty brings excitement and fun to sexual intimacy in marriage.

If you’re not feeling very creative and don’t know what to try, you’ll find plenty of ideas on the Ultimate Intimacy app. There are even games you can try to make things more exciting and take intimate time to the next level.

Another metaphor that the book And It Was Very Good uses to explain sexual intimacy is the concept of jumping & catching.

When one of you wants to try something new in the bedroom, they are essentially ‘jumping’ and hoping the other will catch them.

Being intimate with your spouse involves being completely open and vulnerable with them, and giving them absolutely all of you.

It involves loving, trusting, and being open to them and the desires of their heart. If your husband or wife wants to try something new you should try to ‘catch’ them.

If the thing they want to try is something you do not want to do, try to meet them in the middle and find something you would be willing to try.

You might have been nervous to ask or to try out the new thing, but who knows? You might really enjoy it.

Keep Your Marriage Bed Private

One last note on the concept of vulnerability: you should respect your spouse’s privacy and keep sexual intimacy within your marriage private.

Keep your marriage bed private - sexual intimacy in marriage

Don’t share anything about you and your partner’s intimate time together that has any potential to cause embarrassment.

I’m not saying you can’t talk about anything sex-related, but make sure to keep things general and non-specific, and be careful who you choose to share them with.

The intimate time you share with your spouse is sacred, and you should be sensitive to their feelings and keep it exactly that, intimate. Just between the two of you.

Sexual intimacy in marriage is important—it’s one of the best ways to feel close and connected to your spouse.

It can be hard to navigate the waters of sexual intimacy when you’re just starting out, but you don’t have to do it blindly! There are so many high-quality, appropriate resources that are available to help you.

The book And It Was Very Good and the Ultimate Intimacy app are two of the best tools I’ve found for Christian-based sexual intimacy, so use them to your advantage!

By spending time learning about sexual intimacy and communicating with each other, along with the other key elements outlined in this post, you can make the most of your intimate time and build a strong foundation for your marriage that will benefit you and your spouse for years to come!

This article was reposted and used with permission from Nicole Elizabeth

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