The study, released by WhatsYourPrice.com, polled 11,243 of its American members who'd been married to find out what actually happens between the sheets post-nuptials... and 42 percent of those polled didn't have sex at all. So much for it being the most romantic night of your life.
When asked why, reasons included: intoxication, fatigue/exhaustion, had an argument, partied the night away or waited for the honeymoon. The top reason for their lack of intimacy? The groom's intoxication at 36 percent, followed by the bride's exhaustion at 17 percent. Does this mean the tradition has lost its significance? Maybe, maybe not: Of those who didn't have sex on their special night, 86 percent reported that they were, in fact, disappointed.
"Sex on the wedding night used to symbolize the end of virginity that was guarded until marriage," says relationship expert April Masini. "Because sex before marriage is now the norm, the tradition has lost its meaning — sex is old hat, as it pertains to this custom."
Plus, weddings are so much more complicated than they used to be (it's not a $53.4 billion-dollar industry for nothing), with the average wedding costing couples almost $29,000. Sounds romantic, doesn't it? Getting married one day, filing for bankruptcy the next. Le sigh. With what it takes to plan and execute the big day, it's no wonder once the big night hits — after the pictures, partying and booze — all you're capable of is passing the eff out, corset and all.
OK, so sex on the wedding night might not have the significance that it used to, but there's no reason to end the night disappointed. If what's standing in your way is the intoxication and exhaustion post-reception, why not consummate your marriage and then party? "This puts the emphasis on sex as the beginning of a new phase of the relationship between the couple, and gives you a pressure-free reception to enjoy," says Masini.
Regardless, take some time together — after the wedding, before the reception — to be alone and appreciate what your marriage is going to be. If you want sex to signify your new beginning, then great — but if not, you're not cursing your marriage right out the gate.
What's most important is to create your own rules (a la Carrie and Mr. Big) and not get caught up in what post-wedding sex is "supposed" to mean. As much as we're made to feel otherwise, "There's no correlation with intimacy in a relationship and sex on the wedding night," says relationship expert Kimberly Moffit. "Intimacy is best (and most enjoyable) when it's special and not forced, and should occur at times that feel natural and happy."
In other words: Seal the deal when it's right for you.
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