Wedding night fears

Q: I am 25 years old and my girlfriend is 20. As Muslims, having sex before marriage is a sin, so we are both virgins. We are going to get married next month and I’m concerned about our coming wedding night sexual relationship. People say that when you have sex with a virgin woman it hurts a lot and there is some bleeding. My wife is really afraid about all this so please tell us in detail what to expect. Also, how we can make our upcoming marital life more enjoyable?

Dr. Klein: It is wonderful that you are concerned about your wife’s feelings, and that the two of you want to make your sexual relationship enjoyable.

Many women bleed the first time they have sex, but not all do. Some women have pain the first time, but not all do. Lack of blood or pain does *not* mean that a woman is not a virgin.

To make the experience most comfortable, go slowly. Spend time getting to know each other’s bodies: gently kiss, hug, and look at each other. Yes, look! You would never eat in the dark or work in the dark–you couldn’t see what you’re doing. In sex, too, you have to be able to see what you’re doing! So light some candles or use a small lamp near the bed, and take turns looking at each other’s bodies. Show her your penis and your testicles. She has probably never seen these before, and needs to know what she’s making love with. Don’t be embarrassed–enjoy sharing this special experience.

Then have her show you her body–her vaginal lips, her clitoris, her vaginal opening. If she is unfamiliar with her body (or you are unfamiliar with yours), then explore yourselves together. There is no substitute for learning like this. The traditional way–fumbling around silently in the dark, becoming more and more anxious as things don’t work quite right, not knowing how the other person feels or what to do–is the source of a lot of the sexual problems that people have. Don’t repeat this mistake that so many others have made. And don’t feel that you have to rush to intercourse–there are many ways to enjoy sex, and penis-inside-vagina is only one way. Make sure when you do have intercourse you use a condom unless you are prepared to have a baby nine months after making love.

Remember that God made your bodies, and therefore they are beautiful and clean. There is no part of your body or her body that is wrong to touch or kiss or enjoy in any way, as long as you both enjoy it.