We have some friends who are nearing their wedding day, and we’ve come to realize that there isn’t a great deal of information out there for what brand new couples should expect in the bedroom. We are – and always will be! – strong advocates of waiting until marriage to experience sexual intimacy. Our series on the Pain of Past Sexual Experiences is only the tip of the iceberg on why we believe all couples should wait before considering any type of physical sex. But what should couples think through and discuss before they get married?
While many couples may choose to have some type of pre-marriage counseling before getting hitched (at least we hope they do), some of the available pre-marriage advice on the subject of sexual intimacy is brief and not overly helpful. Not only that, but some pastors may spend a great deal of time discussing religion and finances and assume that when it comes to sex, you’ll eventually figure it out. But we believe there are certain topics and questions about sexual intimacy that all couples should discuss at length with each other ahead of time, and this discussion will help set-the-stage for decades of freedom and joy in the area of sexual intimacy.
10 Questions Couples Should Discuss Before You Get Married:
1) What is your view of sex? Is it something that is fun and liberating? Is it extremely private? Is it something else…?
Each individual’s view of sex comes from a variety of areas. Some of it will come from the cultural and education system we’re all a part of. Some of it will come from family experience (did dad often kiss/touch mom in your family or were they very reserved?) Chances are, you will both have some differing views on sex. One may view any conversation about sex as improper, while the other may believe that conversations about sex should be open and frequent. One may have a vivid imagination as to what sex is going to be like and the other may feel nervous and intimidated. Whatever the case may be, you’ve got to make conversation about sex a part of your pre-marriage discussions. If you both have completely different expectations, it’ll be much better to discuss them before marriage than for your mate to discover their expectations were far from yours ahead of time.
2) How often are we going to plan to have sex on our honeymoon?
Honeymoon’s are great! The two of you get to travel somewhere special all by yourselves and spend a week or so on-your-own before beginning to settle in and start your marriage. But one of you may have some honeymoon expectations that the other doesn’t have. One of you may be thinking you’re going to enjoy sex 2-3 (or more) times a day, and the other may be thinking that one good romp every evening will suffice. One may think that it will only happen in the bedroom and another may have thoughts of jacuzzi sex. You’ll want to discuss what each of your hopes and aspirations are to ensure the honeymoon is a delight for you both.
3) How often are we going to plan to have sex throughout our marriage?
Seriously, we can’t emphasize this question enough. The majority of couples get married without ever discussing how often they’re going to plan to connect. One may be thinking sex will happen as often as possible, while the other believes once a week will suffice. The truth is, you may not be able to answer this question fully before your married. Nevertheless, we highly recommend all couples plan for sex at an absolute minimum of once a week. Intimacy is absolutely vital for a healthy marriage, and it must remain frequent, in high seasons and in low. Take the opportunity to not only discuss how often you plan to engage sexually, but also to discuss what steps you can each take to meet or exceed that goal.
4) Are you up for engaging in oral sex? Why or why not?
Oral sex is one of those subjects that a pre-marriage counselor isn’t likely to bring up. One of you may be looking forward to the idea of oral sex and the other may be completely repulsed by the idea. It would be good to know ahead of time. If you’re both on the same page, feel free to just move on to another question. But if one is accepting of giving oral sex but not receiving, or vice versa, talk about the reasons why. Be sure to show respect for the other’s point of view and once you’re married, don’t ask them to do something you know makes them uncomfortable. But you should both be willing to keep the conversation on-going, as once you warm up to each other sexually you may decide to cross a line you swore you’d never cross. And in the end, you may discover you’re very glad you did.
5) What kinds of things are “out of bounds” when it comes to sex?
Both of you have some ideas as to what “crosses a line” in the bedroom. But what those are for you and what they are for your fiancé may be different. You will want to know what may be out of bounds for your partner before you get married. Additionally, your fiancé may have some ideas that you’ve never considered, or vice versa. One of you may want to experience sex on a beach, in the woods, or some other ‘abnormal’ location. One of you may find that some sex toys are acceptable, while others are not. Find out ahead of time what your spouse has in mind as well as the things that are off-limits.
6) What are we going to do when one of us wants sex and the other doesn’t?
Once you’re married, your body is no longer your own. You’re not 2 individuals, but one unit. There will be occasions where 1/2 of that unit is looking for the physical reminder that you’re “one” and the other 1/2 isn’t feeling the need for that physical reminder. What do you do? Oftentimes, a compromise may be able to be made. But don’t plan for compromises at the expense of your marriage. If one of you is craving sexual intimacy, it’s best to go for it. If this doesn’t sound appealing to one of you, you’re going to want to talk this through at length before getting married.
7) Are we going to have a TV in our bedroom?
Many households today have TV’s everywhere. They’re in the livingroom, bedroom, and some houses even have small one’s in the kitchen. When it comes to your bedroom, you’re going to both want to be on the same page. If you choose to have a television in your bedroom, we’re not going to tell you it’s wrong. However, we have a personal conviction that a television in the bedroom will hinder your sexual relationship. One of you may lose heart when you discover your spouse spends more time watching the nightly news than watching your naked body. Or perhaps one wants to cuddle after sex and the other wants to watch tv. A television in the bedroom can cause some emotional struggles in either spouse, so we recommend caution in this regard.
8) After we’re married, are there any limits on when/how I touch you?
This goes back to what we said in #1. Some grow up in a family where mom and dad were very open about their love for one another verbally and physically. There’s the normal “I love you” but there’s also the pats on the butt and the big hug from behind. Others may grow up in an environment where talking/touching doesn’t happen anywhere around others. You’re going to want to know what kinds of PDA are off-limits with your spouse. He may desire the occasional “come-from-behind-double-boob-scoop”, or she may desire the occasional “I’m-going-rub-your-inner-thigh-while-we-watch-this-movie-even-with-the-kids-in-the-room”. Where do you draw the line in your public display of affection? Get on the same page now before you do something that makes your spouse sexually ice cold.
9) Are we going to allow our children to hinder our sex lives?
You may easily come to agreement on this question now, but chances are, once children enter your marriage your sex lives may change. Hormones for her are vastly different after children and emotional changes for him aren’t uncommon either. Before children, talk about what your intimate lives will be like after children, and set goals that you both agree you’re willing to strive for.
10) Is there anything from your sexual past that I’m not aware of?
As mentioned above, we’re high advocates of waiting until marriage for sexual intimacy. Nevertheless, we recognize that many individuals are sexually active before marriage. Your spouse must be made aware of any sexual experiences you’ve had in the past before you get married. It could be a college fling, or it could be a dreadful event such as being molested as a child. Whatever it is, be sure they understand how much you regret the event from ever happening. Be open and discuss how much pain you still have from these experiences. The more open and vulnerable you are, the better off the conversation will be.
If by any chance you’re the one on the receiving end of this conversation, remember that while this event has happened in their past, they still chose you. It’s you they want to spend the remainder of their life with. It’s you they recognize as their best friend. It’s you they want to experience the beauty of sexual intimacy with on a regular basis. It’s you they want…period. As difficult as it may be to hear what they have to say, it’s vital to remember they want you, and only you the rest of their lives.
There are many more questions we can consider, but these should provide plenty of pre-marriage dialog. Nevertheless, if you can think of any questions you wish you had discussed before you were married, feel free to write them out in the comments below.