Bridal Guide Magazine

Q&A

Q: Whenever I think of married couples having sex, I cringe. I just imagine it all being so boring! Is there a sure-fire way to beat the marital bedroom blahs?

Ava: To kick-start your explorations, Ava Cadell, Ph.D., host of CBS Radio’s “A Touch of Romance” and author of The Stock Market Orgasm, suggests that you share with your future spouse a list of three things that you’ve been dying to have done to you. Start with the basics, like having your toes tickled or your hair brushed, and work up to more elaborate fantasies. Have him make his own list. Right there, you have a host of erotic suggestions that you can explore and incorporate into your lovemaking. Once you start, you’ll realize that, in fact the exploration never ends.

Q: Now that we’re tying the knot, should I be totally truthful about my sexual history?

Ava: This is a slightly sticky one. Of course you should be absolutely honest with the man you’re going to marry. After all, says Cadell, “The person you’re planning to be with for the rest of your life has a right to know the whole truth about you-no matter how bad you think it is.” That’s fine as a basic principle, but our advice: Don’t tell him things he may not want-or need-to hear. Does he need to know you had a wild tropical tryst right after you met him but before you two got serious? Telling him may make you feel better, but it won’t help him any and, in fact, may cause damage at this point. Also, he may not want a blow-by-blow of your sexual activities with past lovers, even if they’re long past. Most men don’t. Figuring out which tales to spill and which to keep secret is a fine line to walk. You want to establish and scrupulously maintain trust in your relationship, but you also don’t want to bruise your man’s ego (and men’s egos can be particularly easy to bruise). If he asks you how many men you’ve slept with and he really seems to want the honest answer, tell him. Follow his cue. If he asks a specific question, don’t lie. But if he hasn’t asked, don’t offer the gory details.

Q: I’m constantly afraid that my fiancé might cheat on me with his gorgeous female co-worker. How can I stop obsessing over it?

Ava: Okay, let’s face it, guys do look at other women. But that doesn’t mean they’ll touch. If you truly think he’s seducing his sexy officemate (or that she’s after him), then by all means talk to him about it. Chances are you’re jealous for no reason. At least, no reason that has to do with his actions. And if you make it about something he’s not doing, you could be making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill or, in this case, an affair out of an innocent work friendship. “Continually accusing him of being a scoundrel when he’s actually being a saint will not only cause a serious rift in your relationship, it may even drive him to do the deceitful deed,” says Cadell. If your infidelity fears stem from feeling inadequate yourself-stop it this instant! In all seriousness, maybe you need to boost your own sexual self-confidence to combat your worries. Cadell suggest that you look at yourself completely naked in a full-length mirror and begin to think positively about your body. Consider and praise the features that you adore and find flattering words to describe your not-so-favorite parts. “When you start to love yourself and build your own sexual confidence, you’ll stop worrying about his co-worker, the girl next door or the U.P.S. woman,” says Cadell. You’ll know he’s marrying you, not them-and it’s because you’re you that he loves you.

Q: Should I worry when he’s having a not-so hard night?

Ava: Are you always in the mood? Well, neither is he. If he’s had a taxing day, a few too many after-work beers or is coming off several bad nights’ sleep, you can’t expect him to be your steely Dan. But if his flag is flying at half-mast more often than not, there could be a deeper dilemma. If he isn’t running at peak performance, neither will his libido. Unless you’re already having serious relationship traumas, don’t take it personally. Instead, help him deal with the difficulties in his daily life and then shower him with attention in the bedroom. Once he’s up and running again, try this trick: “Lavish attention on the underside of his penis where the head meets the shaft,” suggests Cadell. Stimulating this highly erogenous zone can be a winning way to keep him waving.

Q: Most newlyweds I know are all over each other in public. They’re like rabbits! Do we have to be constantly intertwined to prove we’re intimate?

Ava: Holding hands is cute, a smooch on the lips can be charming, but a full-on PDA (public display of affection) is really not necessary to show the rest of us that you are completely, utterly, wonderfully in love with your new husband. Some couples want to share their physical relationship with the world, and that’s their choice. But really, who likes to hear, “Get a room!” yelled at them? “Quality is far more important than quantity,” says Cadell. Who are you really trying to prove anything to? If it’s others, forget it-you’re wasting your time. As long as the two of you are secure in your love for each other, it doesn’t matter if anyone else thinks you’re not “affectionate” enough in their presence.

Q: We’re both so busy that we’ve talked about scheduling a weekly sex night. Isn’t that something old married couples do?

Ava: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Even if you’re both craving a frisky frolic, it’ll be increasingly difficult to fit a spontaneous sex-fest into your hectic schedules. And if you skip the intimate attention, your relationship will suffer. So call it a “date night,” a “fantasy fest,” an “evening of eroticism,” or whatever, but be sure to put it on your calendar. And you certainly don’t have to be boring about it. “Each week, surprise each other,” suggests Cadell. “Make it a game where one week you initiate the theme, and the next he does.” No matter who’s in charge, go with it. If he wants to take you to a strip club, or you’re up for an erotic outdoor episode, be open to the adventure. It’ll give you both something to look forward to when the boss is hounding you for that end-of-month report.

Q: How can I wow him on our wedding night?

Ava: Whether it’s your first time or you’ve lost count, your nuptial night should be sensual, fun, memorable-and well worth the room rate. But don’t be surprised if, after a full day of festivities, you’re both way too exhausted even to cuddle, much less cavort. It happens a lot more often than you might expect. Don’t stress-you can always save the consummation ceremony for the honeymoon. But if you are ready to rumble after the cake is cut and the bouquet tossed, try these recipes to rock his world. When you’re packing for the honeymoon or that hotel-suite wedding night, put together a basket of “Passion Principles.” Include items to stimulate the senses, such as candles, music, lingerie, oils and, if you like, sex toys. That way, it’s all waiting for you when you get there. “Build his sexual anticipation by massaging him with your body,” suggests Cadell. Go slowly, using your hair, your breasts and your tongue, and talk to him while you’re caressing him. Tell him how good he looks, tastes, feels and how wonderful a lover he is. Most importantly, let yourself go and enjoy the experience. Repeat these steps often throughout the next 50 years.

Q: Will his sex drive take a nose-dive if I get pregnant?

Ava: Granted, there are men who believe pregnant women won’t want to have sex for the entire nine months (please!), or that the baby might “see” them during the act (weird!). And there are men who are afraid sex will somehow harm the fetus (in most cases that’s just not true). But that doesn’t mean your guy will think of you as anything less than a complete sexual goddess in your “delicate condition.” If he’s worried about sex harming the baby, reassure him that everything’s fine. “There is absolutely no reason to stop making love when you’re pregnant unless it is uncomfortable for you or your pregnancy is high-risk,” says Cadell. If it’s the latter, your doctor will have already advised you to avoid intercourse. But it’s not all about him: It’s possible that your libido will roller coaster-especially once you start to show. “When a woman is feeling fat and unappealing, her desire may diminish,” says Cadell. If that happens to you, listen to your hubby when he tells you how beautiful and sexy you are and let him make passionate love to you and your ever-growing belly. And if you can’t have intercourse for whatever reason, who says that means you can’t touch, stroke, caress and otherwise give one another pleasure? With any luck, you’ll be rocking the house into your ninth month!

Q: He’s super sensual when he initiates sex, but totally turned-off when I do. How can we balance our act?

Ava: The truth is, some guys feel threatened when they’re not in charge 24-7. To quell his fears, reassure him that his masculinity is not in question. Then entice him to let you share some of the responsibilities in your sex life. Give him examples of when you’ve been in the mood while he was clueless-such as when he was sweaty after a run. Suggest that there would be less pressure on him if he lets you act on your carnal cravings. It may take time for him to relinquish the reign completely, but when he does, he’ll wish he’d let loose sooner.

Q: Will he really want to make love only to me for the rest of his life?

Ava: Yes, but it might take a little work. “Monogamy is not a completely natural state,” notes Cadell, but it is a desirable one (that’s why we get married in the first place!), and it can certainly be a euphoric one. If you start out really wanting to be true to each other, you’ll do what it takes, and realize how fun that can be. “You have to continually create sexual memories,” says Cadell. If he’s constantly thinking of you, he won’t even want to envision another hot bod in his bed. And it’s not just the erotic pleasures that he will treasure, but also the spiritual and intellectual connection that you share. That’s what keeps those 70-year-old couples passionate after so many years-they intensely enjoy fulfilling each other both intellectually and physically. So wear the little red dress now and then, or surprise him with a candlelit dinner. But remember: The best marriages-and sex lives-start with really good friendships.