Honeymoons are sex holidays, not a mad-scramble, world-class traveling extravaganza! They are meant to give young couples private time to worship each other bodies. Before the couple sets up house, goes back to graduate school, or starts impossibly demanding careers, they need at least a week to soak up the sun and pleasure of the flesh.
I saw a young couple recently who were marrying after an extended long-distance relationship with a life trajectory that would again separate them shortly after the nuptials. Since this was their vacation too, they wanted to plan a real adventure, filled with site-seeing, hiking, and excitement on the other side of the world requiring nearly 24-hours of travel. They allowed only an hour's break between the ceremony and meeting up with friends again. Breakfast the next day would be spent entertaining family. I understand the thrill of weddings being mini-family reunions. I appreciated their energy and enthusiasm for activity. But honeymoons are to serve a special purpose. They are not an ordinary vacation; they are to be a love-fest.
As their therapist, I wanted them to lie on the beach, stir only for refills on umbrella drinks, laze in bed every morning, rest, talk, make love and then make love again. They thought my prescription was boring. But, I know that every couple is going to struggle with sex at some point in the marriage. I know that the marital adjustment, the joining of bodies, household, space, finances, and sometimes parenting isn't easy. Sex is the lubricant that eases the wear and tear of daily life. It's the glue that binds a couple emotionally. Eroticism, pleasure, touch, rest and relaxation must be given high priority in order to set a pattern for tangible, physical rejuvenation and connection between the couple.
Modern families outpace these values with duel demanding careers, high expectations for prodigy children (see The Good-Enough Child by Brad Sachs for the antidote), extended family obligations, lessons, soccer practice, homes that keep-up-with-the-neighbors, frenetic commitments and then wonder why they run dry and depleted.
'Tis the season to plan for those June honeymoons right now and as parents who have been down that road, we can direct our young adult children toward a path that will establish renewal and intimacy all their lives. As a mother of 3 potential grooms, I know etiquette is changing and I'm supposed to contribute to their weddings. I'm not going to do that. I am saving money to donate to the honeymoon. I'm an absolute wedding freak, but I think it's insane to have enormous weddings that drain the finances of a family. In fact, if you're the mother of the bride, take five thousand back from that ten thousand dollar dress you were going to buy your daughter and go on a second honeymoon yourself. Your sexual joy and revitalization will be a greater gift for her long-term happiness in marriage, let alone yourself.
6 Tips for the Best Sex Honeymoon
1) Sequester yourselves away. Take time off before the wedding for visiting relatives. It's hard to have wild sex at night thinking you'll have to be composed and see your mother and mother-in-law in the morning. Set aside special events for the family before you become husband and wife. Don't see anyone you know; don't text your mother or your maid of honor; don't update Facebook. Secrets are sexy.
2) A six-hour radius should be your travel limit. Make it far enough away that no one will visit and close enough that you won't exhaust yourself with travel. Don't empty your pocket book either for the trip; set a reasonable budget so you can enjoy yourselves without future fretting.
3) Sexual fantasies for the wedding night are important to share in advance! Watch the alcohol consumption at the reception so you are not too tired to live out your dreams. Even when couples have been sexually active or living together, this night holds powerful expectations for the beginning of your lives.
4) Six days of the trip should be unstructured with nothing pre-planned except love-making, long walks and leisurely talks. Weddings are exhausting and you'll need rest.
5) Seduction, sexual adventure, and fun are your top priorities. Bring a trousseau—"honeymoon clothes" or sexy lingerie. If it's not his style bring a few pieces still—a French maid apron, g-strings, matching bra and panties. Bring flavored lubricants, travel candles, and vibrators. (To hell with customs!) Tell your groom to collect a "sex music" playlist for his iPod. Leave your inhibitions at home.
6) See a sex therapist if this is your first full sexual experience to talk about everything from technique mechanics to feelings, fears and fantasies.
For more about Laurie and sex therapy, visit Raleigh Sex Therapy