May 25, 2005

Worst. Sex. Ever.

There's a commonly held myth that sex on your wedding night is supposed to be an earth-shattering, oh-my-god-it's-never-been-this-good experience. Even if you haven't saved yourself for marriage and have known your wife- or husband-to-be outside the before the bonds of holy matrimony, there is still a lot of pressure for couples to start things off with a bang. (And, yes, I mean that in every sense of the word.)

However, most newlyweds have a not-so-dirty little secret. Ask anyone who was married recently and more than a few will tell you that the last thing they did was have sex the first night they spent together as husband and wife. Scratch that. It wasn't the last thing they did, because they didn't do it at all.

"We stayed up opening presents and totaling up the checks," says one anonymous emailer. "By the end of it all we were too exhausted to move and went to bed."

For my book, I'd like to take an honest look at the wedding night, whether it's spent in a Jamaican hotel room on the first night of a honeymoon, or back at a couple's new home together as husband and wife. How was it for you and your partner the first night you slept together after your wedding? Was it storybook or textbook? Did it happen at all? Or did you crash?

Without giving away too many details - my mother and mother-in-law read this, for pete's sake - I will say that L and I were so tired and hungry at the end of our wedding day that we spent our first few minutes alone together as husband and wife in our hotel room eating sandwiches, fries and Cokes we had picked up from a Burger King drive-though. Romantic, isn't it?

Don't be shy! I think this could be a very funny part of the book, something unusual as far as wedding guides go. You can remain anonymous if you like, but please know that anything you post or email me will become fodder for the book. Thanks for your help. (And thanks to Rachel for spreading the word.)

Posted by Doug at May 25, 2005 10:43 PM

Our wedding reception ended on a Saturday at 11pm, we headed to a local bar with friends and stayed there till it closed at 2am. Then we headed home, packed our bags for the honeymoon, and by the time we headed back to the hotel to sleep, it was 5am.

Our international flight (3 hour check-in) for our honeymoon left at 10am. We took one look at each other (me still in wedding dress...), shrugged, and got 2 hours of sleep.

As newlyweds, we didn't have sex till the third day.

Posted by: Clare at May 25, 2005 11:19 PM

We did, but it was much more textbook than story book. A friend was joking at the reception that something like 30% of all brides and grooms don't do it on their wedding night, and he urged us not to be among the 30%. I think that is mostly why we did it at all, so we could say we weren't part of the 30%. We did have a nice bubble bath before, and that was really romantic.

Posted by: Cris at May 26, 2005 09:52 AM

Having sex on one's wedding night seems right up there with all the other wedding conventions that make no sense, like throwing garter belts and giving favors. I was up early, super stressed all day doing my bridal things with Mom, went through the most emotional and meaningful day of my entire life, and I'm supposed to suddenly have romantic feelings left over? Not me, and though we tried, it was not meant to be. I think my husband was also worn out. My memory of that evening was being very hungry and finding out the room service in the hotel had already ended, and sitting naked on the bed eating a can of Pringles I had fished out of the mini bar. My husband fell asleep pretty early and I was so wired I couldn't sleep until hours later. We didn't consummate things for 3-4 days later and that was just fine with us. And I think we have one of the healthiest marriages of all my friends. Maybe one shouldn't have sex on their wedding night -- let's start that rumor!

Posted by: Samara at May 26, 2005 01:46 PM

I'm not married, but good friends of ours got married last summer. When the bride and groom got back to the Presidential Suite at the 5-Star hotel where they were staying after the reception, the bride proceeded to have a complete emotional breakdown that culminated with her sitting in the jacuzzi-sized bathtub -- still wearing her gown -- bawling for hours. The enormity of what she had just gone through hit her and, while she wasn't unhappy with what she had done, she was overwhelmed with the idea of being married, living far away from family, and having crossed a 'no going back now' place in life. The groom was incredibly sensitive and understanding, and sat by her side (on the edge of the tub), holding her hand and stroking her hair. Needless to say, that was the extent of the romantic interludes that night.

Posted by: JB at May 26, 2005 08:36 PM

With all this tiredness and lack of romance and the huge costs involved (house downpayment worth), how many people just opt out? Is it really worth it? Me, I think I'd go on the honeymoon after a small, very small, ceremony and come back to the house I got with the money I saved.

Seriously, how many of you would do it over differently now that it is over?

Posted by: ellison at May 27, 2005 07:33 AM

wouldn't do it differently in a million years. but that might have something to do with how we did it: small wedding (by some standards), small budget, and the opportunity to be surrounded by friends and family to celebrate.

wedding was in the afternoon with a brunch. after the wedding we jumped in the river with all of our friends and then went out for burgers at a roadside joint (think dairy queen) and then to a bar where we sat outside and got to spend quality time with old friends.

no complaints. no sex. but no complaints!

new york, ny

Posted by: jamie beth at May 27, 2005 02:28 PM

We didn't get back to the hotel until 2:30am. We were exhausted, but wanted to use the room's jacuzzi bath, but instead of increasing the romance, all it did was make us more drowsy. Funny, we were already naked, but still didn't have the energy for anything. :)

Emily and Marc

Posted by: E from Michigan at May 31, 2005 09:03 PM

We got back to our room and crawled into bed to eat the chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling cider the hotel left us. We started to have sex, but then my husband realized he had too much to drink to really finish anything. So we went to bed. We did have sex when we got up in the morning before we went to see people off and catch our own flight.

The funny part is my husband kept track of just how often we had sex on our honeymoon and compared it the previous six years of living together. He got a little paranoid that we weren't up to the same schedule. I reassured him that we were spending so much time sightseeing and walking around San Francisco, no wonder all we wanted to do when we got back to our hotel room was collapse on the bed and watch tv.

Lara Amber

Posted by: LaraAmber at May 31, 2005 09:36 PM

Well...we had sex. And what's more, it was good. Not earthshaking, best-sex-ever sex, but just. good. sex.

Posted by: David. (Macon GA) at June 1, 2005 12:23 PM

Rose and I discussed this question, and we honestly can not remember whether we had sex on our wedding night or not. Our best guess: we probably did, but it would have been, you know, at an appropriate energy level for two very very tired people. But still nice.

Posted by: Francis at June 1, 2005 12:54 PM

I'm sure it would have been better with Levitra, though.

Posted by: Francis at June 5, 2005 03:47 PM