In generations past, the wedding night was indeed special as it was the first time a couple would have sex with each other.

Over time, the importance of premarital virginity has waned considerably and these days it’s quite rare for a newly married couple to be engaging in their first act of sexual intercourse on their wedding night. Regardless, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t still be special. Even if you don’t place much importance on that first time as a married couple, chances are your new Mrs. does, so you should make a serious effort to make it memorable for both of you. It will also set the precedent for your future sex life as husband and wife.

The question of how to deal with wedding night sex was posed by an AM reader, Alex M. Well, Alex, here are some suggestions for making your first night of wedded bliss one to remember.

1. Ban Pre-Wedding Sex

You’ve already enjoyed each other carnally, but you can still try to create the kind of anticipation that isn’t normally present in your everyday sex life for this special occasion. For a period of time before the wedding, ban all sexual contact so that your desire for each other will build up until the wedding night. The ban time will vary for each couple, depending on how often you usually get frisky.

The basic formula is to hold out for twice as long as you normally would. If you are a few-times-a-week couple, a week-long sex ban should be sufficient, but if you tend to do it only once every other week, you might want to keep up the no sex rule for as long as a month before you say “I do.” To increase the expectation even more, add a “no nudity in each other’s presence” clause to your sex-ban agreement.

2. Get a Room

You may already be living together before your nuptials, but in order to make your wedding night special, you should spend it somewhere other than home. Put yourself in unfamiliar surroundings by booking a nice hotel room for the night. If you have some room left in the wedding budget, why not spring for the honeymoon suite? The point is to change the venue from the site of your everyday sex life to make your first time as husband and wife seem different and special.

3. Do It Early

Whether your wedding is a black tie affair or a casual beach event, the festivities will no doubt leave both of you exhausted by the end of the night. Traditionally, you’re supposed to wait until after the reception is over before you get your chance to be alone together, but you’re already flouting tradition with your premarital sex, so you might as well take a different approach here too. Don’t wait until you’re dead tired and probably at least a little drunk to consummate your marriage. Agree to sneak away during your reception to have a little alone time. The party will continue without you for a while; if need be, explain your plan to your best man and maid of honor so they can cover for you.

4. Help Her Out of Her Dress

Chances are your blushing bride is going to be dressed in an elaborate and difficult-to-get-into gown on your wedding night. She needs at least two bridesmaids to hold it up while she goes to the bathroom, so getting it over her head once you make it to the bedroom could be a challenge. Make taking her dress off part of your foreplay instead of letting her struggle with it on her own. Don’t get frustrated with the various buttons, bows and fasteners. Take your time and make it fun.

5. Married Sex

Now that you’re married, you can let go of any inhibitions you might still have and fully enjoy your sex life with your wife. Married sex doesn’t have to be boring and routine. Start it off right by creating the perfect situation for some mind-blowing sex as husband and wife.

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