marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

LDS Doctrine or Cultural Myth? Virgin Honeymoon = Perfect 1st Time Sex



The story we grow up with is that by saving yourself for sex until marriage, your first sexual experience on your wedding night will be more incredible than if you didn’t wait
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing…” – James 1:4
We live in a world that promotes instant gratification. If the exercise program hasn’t made us drop 30 pounds in a week, we become discouraged and give up. If our food takes longer than a minute to make in a restaurant, we become upset, and the waiter’s tip suffers. We’ll buy things on credit, instead of saving for the item we desire so badly first.
“A new self-centered generation has made the family a prime target of continuing belittlement. Marriage is downgraded or shunned, parenthood degraded and avoided. These, with other disturbing influences, have resulted in a torrent of evil temptations for so-called instant gratification and the demeaning of marriage and the sacred roles of wife and mother.”
~ Elder David B. Haight[i]
We may want to believe the rewards for righteousness are instant as well. They are not necessarily instant.

Would you marry your betrothed if you knew your wedding night sex would be disappointing? You may be surprised to learn that many people wouldn’t. Many are even terrified of the prospect of committing to a marriage only to be devastated that their wedding night sex may set the stage for a life of disillusionment in themselves or their spouse.

A lot of people do experience disappointment. Our single members who are living the gospel (as they should) are counseled to not place a lot of emphasis or focus on sex. If they do, they begin to encounter problems living the law of chastity. Focusing on sex while trying to keep chaste I imagine would be like trying to diet while reading full color cookbooks every day – sooner or later, your body will give into the constant food cues and blow your diet.

Many marry, and discover that wedding-night sex is different than what society portrays it to be. For a few it may be good. For most, it isn’t what they expected. Usually, it’s the women who are left wanting.

So if someone comes to their wedding night a virgin with only basic knowledge of sex and no experience, why would they expect fireworks their very first time? Any fireworks that may happen will be entirely due to innate talents and mutual attraction, not skills. Even the talented will only achieve a small level of success their first time, compared to where they could go over time.
“When people have good information, feel comfortable with their bodies, can communicate with a partner, and believe that sex is lovely, their virginity is not an obstacle on the wedding night.
But too often virgin-until-marriage also means enforced ignorance, unfamiliarity with the other gender, discomfort with one’s body, and a pile of taboos so high that people can barely see each other in bed….
To change this centuries-old problem, I propose that all cultures which emphasize pre-marital virginity redefine the wedding night---as the start of a couple’s sexual life together. That means the first night should primarily involve looking; the second, talking; the third, touching; the fourth, kissing; etc.
If it took God a week to create the world out of nothing, couples need at least that much time to create a sexual connection out of ignorance and inexperience.” – Dr. Marty Klein [ii]

Good sex is a skill to be learned, like any other skill. To play the piano, you need training, knowledge, and tons of practice. Imagine sitting down to the most skillfully crafted grand piano that has the potential to make breathtaking music, and approaching it as a player for the very first time ever in your life. 

Now imagine abandoning piano playing completely –even never looking at the instrument again because your first attempt at piano playing didn’t sound like a concert masterpiece. There was nothing wrong with the piano, it was the player’s unwillingness to commit to paying the price to learn to play.

To have good sex, you need training on what’s possible and appropriate to your specific situation. You need knowledge, not only of specific skills, but knowledge of each other’s bodies and preferences.

And you need tons and tons of regular practice. This is why eternal marriage sets the perfect stage to ditch worry and enjoy the journey.

Good sex is not something people are born knowing how to do well. We don’t have instincts like animals do. We might be able to figure out the basic mechanics of sex thanks to the strong sex drive God placed in us to bring us together, but good sex is a skill that needs practice and consideration and concentration and learning to improve like any other skill.

When it comes to sex, each person is unique in their likes and dislikes. Like any uniquely crafted instrument, each person requires time, patience, selflessness, and practice to learn how to get the metaphorical music just right.
“The courtesy and friendship the couple has shown during courtship are vital on their wedding night.
The first night requires nearly perfect courtesy, consideration, and, in many cases, a gentle sense of good humor.

They must be the very best of friends on this first occasion when they are able to begin to know one another completely. They may be ill at ease, even awkward, and would do well to smile at their awkwardness.

Each must remember that the other person is vulnerable to embarrassment.

And, they must realize that the greatest passions of marriage lie ahead, to increase over the years through experience and growth.” – A Parent’s Guide [iv] 

If you’re not very good at sex on your honeymoon, it’s not the end of the world, keep practicing. You’ll get better. The more you do it, the better you get. You have all eternity to get things right.

“It is important for us to understand, as we can learn from the scriptures, that God is eternal, that his creations are eternal, and that his truths are eternal. Therefore, when he gave Eve to Adam in marriage, that union would be eternal. Marriage as ordained of God and performed in his holy temples is eternal—not just until death.” ~ Elder N. Eldon Tanner[iii]
The concept is a cultural myth; not compatible with LDS doctrine.


[i] Elder David B. Haight, Marriage And Divorce, Apr. 1984 Gen. Conf
[ii] Dr. Marty Klein [ii], Ph.D., Psychology Today: Sexual Intelligence, Nov. 1, 2012, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sexual-intelligence/201211/sympathy-wedding-night-virgins

[iii] Elder N. Eldon Tanner, Celestial Marriages and Eternal Families, Apr, 1980, Gen. Conf http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/04/celestial-marriages-and-eternal-families?lang=eng&query=pure+on+wedding+night

[iv]  A Parent’s Guide, Chapter Six, Mature Intimacy, Courtship and Marriage, http://www.lds.org/manual/a-parents-guide/chapter-6-mature-intimacy-courtship-and-marriage?lang=eng