As I hastily packed my overnight bag with the frilly nightie my mom had bashfully given me at my bridal shower, I wondered how I was going to have enough energy to not only get through the next 24 hours, but also play the part of the vampy, sex-hungry wife to my new husband at the end of all of it.
I love sex with my husband. However, like most other people, there are times when the thought of sleeping is more of a turn-on than sexing. I already suspected my wedding night would be one of those times and I resented that feeling.
A wedding night is supposed to be a magical time full of soft light, lace lingerie, and sex that feels different somehow now that you’re married. I hated myself for anticipating that I wouldn’t enjoy it. So I packed the ridiculous lingerie and told myself to suck it up and just TRY. Maybe the wedding wouldn’t be as exhausting as I was assuming.
Unsurprisingly, it was just as exhausting. If not more.
A forgotten veil, crying flowergirls, evil church coordinators, rain showers -- plenty of things went wrong. And yet, despite all the little misfires, it was still a perfect day. At 11 PM, as my husband and I cracked each other up on a dance floor in the midst of our favorite people, I was blissfully happy and perfectly drunk. Friends and family thanked us for an amazing evening and we moved on to the afterparty to celebrate some more.
A little while later, I started to feel like my limbs could no longer support my body. I had to fight every urge to just lay down where I was and go to sleep. My feet, troopers to the end, were desperate to escape the confines of my wedding heels. And the gin coursing through my veins had made my eyelids heavy and my body wobbly.
Instead of going home to our nearby apartment, my husband and I traveled to the hotel room downtown we’d gotten for the evening. After he helped unbutton the 6 million buttons running down the back of my dress, I had about enough energy to pull the dress off and toss it on the floor before I laid down in bed, closed my eyes, and promptly fell asleep.
Waking early, the remorse was immediate.
I fought back tears as I sat naked and alone in the dimly-lit, ice-cold hotel room. My husband had already gone downstairs to visit with his family before they left town. I wondered about his state of mind -- was he still on a high from our fantastic wedding or was he already harboring resentful thoughts about his wife who was too drunk and tired to even entertain the thought of wedding night sex?
I was filled with regret as I washed my face and brushed my teeth. Despite how lovely I’d looked just 12 hours ago, I was a miserable disaster now.
My husband returned to the room, hugging me and kissing me and assuring me that it was OK that we didn’t have sex the night before. He’d had a lot to drink too, he said, and besides, we’d gotten home so late. I tried to feel comforted by his words but the guilt still gnawed on my insides. I briefly contemplated seducing him right then and there but then remembered my bedraggled state as well as the family members waiting patiently for us to come to breakfast. I quickly got dressed and we headed downstairs to meet everyone, my husband continuing to reassure me that he wasn’t mad at all.
The rest of the day was as much of a blur as the day before -- the wedding breakfast, saying goodbyes to friends and family, packing for our honeymoon, driving the long distance to the airport, and finally catching a red eye flight to Iceland. The guilt continued to haunt me and as we hit the 24-hour mark of being married without consummating it yet.
That remorse coupled with the fact that I was still exhausted put me in a terrible frame of mind. As I tried to sleep on the plane, I fought off thoughts that my husband was already frustrated with me. Who waits so long to have their first sex as a married couple? Surely this wasn’t what either of us had envisioned.
I thought of the white lace lingerie in my suitcase, still unworn. I counted the hours until we would check into our hotel in Reykjavik that evening -- it would be over 48 hours from when we got married.
Our plane landed at Keflavik Airport just as the sun was coming up. We had a lot of time to kill before check-in at our hotel yet it went unsaid that neither of us wanted to spend it having awkward sex in the tiny backseat of a rental car in the middle of a lava field. So the clock kept ticking.
Late in the morning, we arrived at the Blue Lagoon, a spa built over a natural hot spring. Bleary eyed, I daydreamed about sleep as we followed our concierge into our private shower and changing room. He instructed us to shower first and then head downstairs to the pool to relax where he’d be waiting with champagne and fruit.
What happened next was pure magic. As we stripped off the clothes we had been wearing since the day before and turned on the rainfall shower, all the exhaustion and frustration left our bodies and we found ourselves entwined in the greatest sex of our lives -- nearly two days after being married, but worth the wait.
As we sat in the milky waters of the Blue Lagoon later on, laughing as we slathered silica mud on our faces, I thought back to the dark, cold suite at the hotel back home and thanked my lucky stars it wasn’t where we had our first sex as husband and wife. Sure, we had to wait a little longer than most people do, but it came completely naturally and we were relaxed, clear-headed, happy and in a beautiful place. It was perfect.
Late, yes, but perfect.