The myths surrounding the ‘wedding night’ are a source of anxiety for every guy or girl who has passed the age of puberty and looks forward to this special night. The thought of what would happen on that night caused me a lot of emotional distress because there simply wasn’t enough information or sexual education back then. This isn’t the case nowadays, thanks to the Internet. At the end of the day, we’re a Middle Eastern, Muslim culture that adheres to its customs, and having a conversation about sexual intercourse is considered taboo.
Accordingly, engaging in sexual activity occurs only on one’s wedding night. In college, I took a course on Human Reproduction, but it didn’t provide much information. We used to sit with married couples and listen to them speak, however there was never an opportunity to understand what was supposed to happen on that very special night, and fear and anxiety overwhelm our thoughts. During my third year of college, one of my roommates got hold of a book that discusses the wedding night, among other things pertaining to marriage. The title of the book was “Bridal Masterpiece.” We were told that this book was a must for anybody on the verge of marriage. My friends and I used to gather around the book in the university lobby as if we were surrounding a valuable treasure that each wanted a part of.
A friend who was reading about the wedding night focused on the importance of prolonging foreplay and how it was essential in helping one’s wife relax, as well as to give her confidence in her husband. Then we came across the words “clitoris” and “hymen,” followed by a description of the copious amount of bleeding that occurs when a woman loses her virginity and how essential it is for a husband to remain patient and gentle.
Finally, eight years after finishing university, the moment of truth arrived. I was engaged to a wonderful girl whom I loved and who loved me in return. Our engagement lasted for a year and a half, and we spent a lot of time together. There were many opportunities to be alone and for some physical intimacy. These instances helped break the barriers of fear on both of our behalves, and we often spoke of the wedding night and what to expect to the point that I noticed my fiancé was extremely afraid of that moment. What she didn’t tell me about were her conversations with her friends surrounding the wedding night, which only fueled her anxiety and dread. This was not to our advantage, or anyone’s advantage. As a matter of fact, it was to the detriment of any man on the verge of marriage. I tried reassuring her and promising to always be understanding, patient, and gentle and that we’d get through this mystifying night together and to enjoy it, without any pressure.
Finally the day arrived, and it was our first night together in our marital home, but I wasn’t as afraid as I had been. I had conditioned my mind to get rid of the fear so I could focus on what I should be doing. After all, I had spent a lot of time reading and researching and felt confident that I had at least gained some theoretical experience. But the biggest obstacle was my terrified wife, whose terror and nervousness caused her to tense up each time I approached her. She would become rigid and close her legs tightly together. Naturally, her fear led to a lack of vaginal lubrication. Our honeymoon was in Thailand, and despite the romantic atmosphere, the first night’s attempt at physical intimacy ended in failure. We continued our attempts on the second, third, and fourth nights…but she was so petrified that I became overwhelmed with anxiety. I was even afraid that her hymen was elastic; I had read that this type of hymen is so flexible that the only way to pierce it was surgically.
We both grew slightly depressed. In spite of the simplicity of the situation, we each wanted to get it over with for different reasons. I felt as if I needed to have sexual intercourse in order to prove my masculinity, while my wife wanted to please me and wanted to get rid of her feelings of guilt! However, I couldn’t do anything but be patient (like I promised I would), because I refused to add any stress to my selfless wife, who consistently made sacrifices on my behalf. I acted as if having sexual intercourse wasn’t the only element in a marriage, and we used to talk about it often in an attempt to help her overcome her fears. We also used to engage in foreplay for extended periods of time until we were finally successful, thank God. Surprisingly, it was very easy, and all it took was a lot of patience and confidence. Discussing the topic often and increasing one’s sexual knowledge was also crucial. The more you learn, the fewer mistakes you’ll make.
This was my experience on my wedding night. I hope others can benefit from it, particularly those who are approaching marriage.