First Time

Dear Eryn-Faye,

My fiancee and I are both virgins. We are waiting until marriage. We would like our first time to be natural (i.e. no condom/ interference with contact) but also do not want to get pregnant. She has medical conditions that prevent her from being on any pill/insert/hormonal supplement. We would not mind bringing in condoms after the first time. Any advice?

I totally understand your desire to have the first time feel as natural as possible. However, there is no way to guarantee that you won’t get pregnant. Even though using a condom is not 100% accurate, it is the best option when you cannot use the other methods (the pill, the patch, the shot, the IUD, the ring, etc.). You will raise the risk of pregnancy significantly if you choose not to use a condom. You could look into a spermicidal lubricant so that you are not completely unprotected, but this is certainly not fool-proof and you could easily get pregnant on your wedding night. If you do choose this option, have your fiancée apply it as a “test run” before your wedding night to ensure that she is not allergic to any of the ingredients in it. Ultimately, the two of you need to make the decision together as to what is more important – protecting against pregnancy or having a “natural” experience – because you can’t be guaranteed to have both at once.

But as a professional, who has coached hundreds of people in the area of sexuality, please allow me to give you a few pointers which you might find helpful. Oftentimes, we have preconceived (and incorrect) notions of what sex will be like before we actually engage in it. Understanding the realities beforehand greatly increases our chances of enjoying that first experience.

  1. Most men, when they have not had sex before their wedding night, experience orgasm very quickly. This will not be a contentious issue if both of you are have realistic expectations on your wedding night. Having a condom on actually helps you have longer staying power, which will be helpful to your bride’s enjoyment of the experience. Just a thought.
  2. Take a lubricant on your honeymoon. The ability to lubricate to the extent needed varies from woman to woman, and having a lubricant on hand will greatly increase her comfort and therefore enjoyment. I am a fan of water-based lubricants as they are the easiest to clean up, but feel free to find what works for you.  Here are some choices.
  3. Encourage your fiancée to go to the doctor a few months before the big day, tell him/her that she is a virgin and about to have sex for the first time. If the doctor sees that she is particularly small, there are ways for her to stretch herself in preparation for you. While this might seem a bit embarrassing right now, trust me, it is so much better than her being in a lot of pain the first time (or first week or even first month) that you have sex!!
  4. Read up on the female orgasm!   The male orgasm is far less complex than the female orgasm. Fewer than 30% of women have an orgasm through vaginal penetration alone – the vast majority of women need stimulation on the clitoris in order to orgasm. Allowing your bride to “go first” will increase the chances of sufficient lubrication, allow her to be more relaxed, and ensure that both of you will be satisfied. If she doesn’t have an orgasm on that first night, don’t worry! The two of you have a lifetime together to figure it all out. (However, do write me back – or have her write me – so that I can give you some tips and suggestions for that department!)
  5. Be prepared for a clean up afterwards! Bring a hand towel, or box of Kleenex to bed with you so that you don’t have to sleep in the “wet spot” your first night together. Besides, great sex often requires a shower afterwards!

I realize that my answer goes beyond what you were asking originally, but I would love for the two of you to have the very best experience possible on your wedding night. Remember that sex is not a “gifting” that some people are endowed with and others are not. Instead, think of it as a skill set that the two of you will learn and perfect over time together. I would love to hear from you again (and your fiancée too) if you have any further comments or questions!!


Eryn-Faye, Passion Coach

1 reply
  1. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I just stumbled across your site, and have been browsing some of your writing. I like your open and honest style, but I do have to comment on this article because I see something I disagree with. I speak passionately about this topic to anyone who will listen…. Eryn, you said there is no way to guarantee you won’t get pregnant unless you use birth control all the time? I disagree. Using the Fertility Awareness method, I know exactly the days I am fertile (so on those days we use a condom or don’t have sex, unless I want to get pregnant), and on the days when I know I am not fertile then we can be totally uninhibited!!! (there are very obvious signs in our carefully crafted bodies, created by God, that tell us if we are fertile or not). For men, fertility is EVERY day, and for women, it is usually about 5 days each month. This method is also very helpful for when you do want to get pregnant. My husband and I have 3 children, and none of them were surprises, because I knew I was fertile on the days we had sex, and so each child was very much wanted and very much expected… I have not been on the pill since 3 months into our marriage when it was making me go crazy, and I decided to never be on it again. My doctors thought I was crazy for going off the pill, and that I would end up with a dozen children…(they hadn’t read the book I mention below!) I don’t know why this information isn’t taught more often – yes, you can know your cycle, and you can learn how to read your body, because your cycle can change. And it is NOT hard to do… or gross… or time consuming. Read the book… Taking Charge of your Fertility by Dr. Toni Weschler. It’s pretty simple – without a condom, on a FERTILE day, pregnancy is 100% guaranteed (unless there are fertiltiy issues, which is obviously a whole other topic). But on a non-fertile day (which is easy to figure out when that is) it is 100% guaranteed that you won’t get pregnant. I urge you to read this book….


    Thank you for your comment! You give some excellent information based on one of my favourite books! (For those of you who are interested in Taking Charge of Your Fertility, find the link to the website here.) In fact, I give credit to this book for helping my husband and I get pregnant after 18 months of “trying”, and I have since recommended it to scores of women. However, it is important to examine the context under which this question was written. This is a couple who have not had sex before and who are preparing for their wedding. I don’t know about you, but the months leading up to my wedding were very stressful as I balanced all the details of the planning and keeping everyone happy! As our bodies are extremely sensitive to our environments (travel, stress, fatigue, etc.), the months leading up to the wedding are certainly not an ideal time to figure out our cycles and plan for a “condom free” night. While Toni Weschler does claim that the Fertility Awareness Method is as effective as using a condom, her method takes quite a bit of discipline to implement correctly. Basically, the risk of human error is much higher with this method than with a condom. As such, I would continue to recommend that this particular couple use a traditional method of birth control on their wedding night. As they ease into life together as a couple, then I would highly recommend that they research the Fertility Awareness Method as either a form of birth control or as a system to help ensure pregnancy.

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