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Honest Struggles of Figuring out Sex as Newlyweds

Jordan is a newlywed of nine and a half months, six of which have involved navigating secondary vaginismus and sex with her loving husband.

Photos taken by Stevie Lowe and Heath Snyder

Photos taken by Stevie Lowe and Heath Snyder

A little backstory context before I dive all-in, my husband and I were both virgins when we got married. We are both Christian, though I will be the first to point out that the Christian community at large usually does a poor job of expressing how God was the one to create sex in the first place. So, we chose to honor that by saving our first time for the typical "wedding night", though I will never knock anyone who did not end up waiting till marriage to have sex. Our wedding night, while not painful or bad, was rushed. I was anxious all through that night and that same anxiety didn't subside till the next day.

During our staycation honeymoon week (thank you COVID), we were the typical newlyweds you see in movies--and, by that, let’s just say we were frequent with our sexual intimacy.

This leads me to the four biggest problems we faced our first month of marriage:

  1. We struggled to figure out what actually felt good for me and I unleashed all my frustration on my husband, making him want sex less with each encounter.
  2. Coming into marriage, I didn’t realize Nathan and I would have different drives and desired frequencies. I pressured Nathan, even though it’s completely normal for couples to differ in how often they want sex—differences that vary even depending on what season of life you’re in!
  3. My period. When sex was already brand-new, the idea of period sex freaked my husband out--which made me feel guilty for something that was unintentional and uncontrollable.
  4. I was really bad at communicating about sex--and I can still be really awkward about it.

In our second month of marriage, I had a lot to learn about mutual enjoyment—not just seeking after what feels good for me. There’s a balance between figuring out pleasure for yourself (totally healthy) and wanting to sexually please the other person (also very healthy). Because of my own selfishness and my difficulty with learning how to orgasm, I didn't put much effort into loving my husband well.

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Three and a half months in I learned that "getting good at sex" will be an ongoing process. What works for you may not work for you all the time. That’s natural, but your spouse may need some help with knowing what is arousing to you in the moment. The two of you will just have to keep exploring and keep figuring it out.

And my best piece of advice for that? Try not to take it too seriously! I caused us a lot of grief by letting frustration consume me, instead of having grace and remaining hopeful. Sex is supposed to be mutually pleasurable, connecting, and good! If it's not, then have a chat with your partner.

There’s my honest review of figuring out sex in our first few months of marriage! Now that we're nearly ten months into marriage, I daresay I've learned even more. I look forward to sharing in the future how secondary vaginismus altered our sex life for many months and how it may have been the best thing to teach us what mutual pleasure really looks like.

Praise the Lord I figured out how to orgasm within days before the yeast infection that led to us not being able to have the intercourse part of sex for months! Let me tell you, as the higher drive spouse, I don't know how nice of a human I'd be today if I could neither have intercourse nor orgasm...

I'd like to add a word of encouragement to any newlyweds who are feeling discouraged: sex may not look the way you thought it would, but the "normal" you create with your spouse can far exceed any previous expectations. And I use the word normal lightly. Normal for my husband and I has primarily looked like cuddles, kisses, my orgasm, and his orgasm. Culture may tell you that sex equals "penis in vagina", but that is only one part of the entire picture. It's a part Nathan and I have had to leave out for some time now, and it took me many months to come to decent terms with it. Embrace this new intimacy you get to have, remember to take it slow, and don't forget to lavish your partner, too.

A few bonus things I learned early on about sex: it's messy (grab a towel), it takes awhile (please, no quickies before you learn what the definition of properly lubricated is), and it's easy to get into a dry routine (no, I'm not asking you to try a new position every day/night, but take note if you're getting bored and take action to liven things up).

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jordan Mullins

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