For all the planning that goes into having the perfect honeymoon, we all know what this vacation is really about: sex. It’s you, your new spouse, and plenty of time for you to get down and dirty as much as you want to.
Of course, honeymoons are no longer the time when you mutually trade in your V-cards—at least, not for most people. “Traditionally, though likely not the case any longer, it symbolized the first time a couple is having sex, and maybe even in their lifetimes,” says licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD, author of Don’t You Know Who I Am?.“That old-fashioned symbolism may still be leaching into how we think about honeymoons now.”
The result, she says, is a general ~vibe~ that your honeymoon is a trip to “consummate” your relationship, “even for couples who have been living together and have been having sex for a long time.” While Durvasula points out that there are still plenty of people who have sex for the first time on their honeymoon, there is a lot of overblown expectation—and pressure—on what honeymoon sex should be like for those who have been having sex together for years.
But whatever your status going into the honeymoon, this is a great time to connect with your S.O. and relax together. And that’s especially true coming off the whirlwind of actually getting married. “Going away takes the stress away from your world,” sex therapist Debra Laino, Doctor of Health Science, says. “It is a great way to escape, which allows couples to connect. I see this a lot in my office—sex goes up on vacations.”
That makes this a great time to lay the foundation for married life. The hope, Durvasula says, is that you have a great time that encourages you to have sex on a regular basis when you get back to normal life. But she warns against putting too much pressure or stock in honeymoon sex. “Since most people’s lives are not beaches and resorts or sleeping in, the patterns set during a honeymoon may not generalize to real life,” she says.
Still, you can have a great—even epic—sexual experience with your new spouse on your honeymoon. While you two may already know what you’re doing in the bedroom, these moves, tips, and tricks can help make your honeymoon sex an experience to remember.
First, lower your expectations.
Experts say this is super, super important. “Don’t have expectations of this being a sort of fairy tale sexual experience,” Durvasula says. That’s especially clutch, she says, if you’re having sex for the first time. Read: Don’t assume it’ll be the real-life version of the Bridgerton honeymoon sex montage.
Give yourself time to settle in.
Even if you eloped, getting married is a huge deal—and also a little stressful. Ditto for traveling. So, don’t panic if you’re not exactly in the mood the minute you get to your vacation spot. “Give yourself a few days to come down,” Durvasula says. “Don’t feel the need to start having lots of sex as soon as you arrive at your destination.”
Be clear about exactly what you want.
If your bedroom communication hasn’t been as open as you’d like, now is the time to change that. “Communication about what you want is a key element of healthy sex,” Durvasula says. “A honeymoon is sometimes conceptualized as a ‘sex focused’ vacation, so maybe that can give permission to making sex, and talking about it, front and center as well.”
Get busy whenever the mood strikes.
That’s right, you have full permission to get it on wherever, whenever. This is the point of a honeymoon, after all. You don’t have to worry about being on a schedule or work stress—you can just be together. “The spontaneity of it can allow both people to feel like a priority, and to trust your rhythms sexually with each other,”Durvasula says. And you can set the tone for when you return from your trip, too. “It may also facilitate touch and other forms of physical connection even when you are not on a honeymoon.”
…But don’t put pressure on yourselves to have sex at any given moment.
In the morning, before bed, when you’re showering off after the beach…there are certain moments that just feel like the times for sex. But don’t force it if you or your partner isn’t in the mood. “Sex should not involve pressure. This can turn into resentment very easily,” Laino says. Durvasula also points out that honeymoons are often dream vacations. “There is enough time to only connect in other ways—talking, eating, being tourists, other activities—as well as sex,” she says. So take advantage of some of those vacation activities when you want, too.
Don’t forget to pee after sex!
Practical PSA here: All that sex can raise your risk of getting a UTI. Why? Friction and rubbing can push bacteria up your urethra (the opening of your bladder), where it can multiply, says David Kaufman, MD, director of Central Park Urology, a division of Maiden Lane Medical. Cue the burning, gotta-constantly-pee feeling. A good way to avoid that? Drink plenty of water, Kaufman says, and then pee as soon as possible after you have sex. If you feel like you don’t have to pee right afterward, drink lots of water and wait on it a sec, Kaufman adds.
Go ahead and experiment.
For the record, you don’t have to experiment. But, if you’ve been interested in using some toys (just, make sure you have lube before you break them out) or trying out new positions, you’ve got the time rn. “Some couples like to experiment; others like to stick to what works—both are fine,” Durvasula says. “In the perceived safety of a marriage, people may be more willing to take some risks.”
Pack your good lingerie.
Not only can it get your spouse excited, but it’s also “fun self-care and relationship care behavior,” Laino says. Plus, slipping into something lacy or strappy can just make you feel confident—which can inspire you to take the reins in the bedroom.
Mix up the type of sex you have.
If missionary 24/7 is your thing, more power to you. But tossing some oral during foreplay or other forms of sex into the mix can help keep things extra saucy if you want to branch out in your honeymoon sex. “Variety is the spice of life,” Laino says. “This allows the sex not to get boring and complacent.”
Sex doesn’t have to be so serious. And, TBH, it’s more fun when it’s not. “Have fun, laugh, and make sex playful,” Laino says. “It takes the pressure off.” Once again, you’re on vacation, so it should be even easier than normal to mentally relax and enjoy your partner.
Make a sex pact.
Your honeymoon is the perfect time to talk about the kind of future you want to have together, and that can include your sex life. “I like it when couples make a commitment to one another, to always keep sexuality and other bonding behaviors, like open communication and romance, a priority in the relationship,” Laino says. So take all that honeymoon time to make a sex pact to one another.
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