Good news for anyone who thinks the expectation that newlyweds have mind-blowing sex on their wedding night is ridiculous: A number of recently conducted surveys reveal that the tradition of wedding night sex is fading away. Pressure’s off, everyone! Hoorah!
According to Jezebel, stationary company Paper Shaker conducted a survey of 1,000 newlyweds earlier this year in an attempt to get a picture of what “the modern bride and groom” are really like. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a good portion of the survey focused on sex: How many newlyweds had slept with two or more of their wedding guests (60 percent), how many revealed to their partner who those guests were (32 percent kept it a secret), and so on. If you’ve got any sort of awareness of how dating, relationships, and sex have changed over the past few generations, the results aren’t exactly surprising — but even so, I find one of the results somewhat comforting: 25 percent said they didn’t have sex on their wedding night. And that’s not the only survey to have found that wedding night sex is on its way out; another one, this time conducted by events company Chillisauce, found that a whopping 67 percent of British couples don’t get busy after the ceremony and reception. I imagine it's because everyone just feels pretty much like this:
But seriously: Why the downward trend in wedding night sex? It actually makes sense for a bunch of reasons. The biggest is that fewer people are waiting until marriage to have sex these days — according to an April 2014 Pew study, premarital sex is considered either “acceptable” or “not a moral issue” by two-thirds of the U.S.’s adult population — so “consummating the marriage” just isn’t this huge event anymore. But also, consider the fact that weddings really are exhausting. The Huffington Post rounded up 10 stories from an AskReddit thread inquiring about what married couples actually did on their wedding night; the answers ranged from “We fell asleep immediately” to “We watched Dumb and Dumber in the hotel room.” Sounds about right after a big day, right?
Although we’re often taught from a young age that having sex on your wedding night is this big, magical thing, once we get older, we start hearing the opposite: Wedding night nookie really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Mary Fischer at The Stir nailed exactly why this is the case:
“It’s cliché. It’s planned and not spontaneous at all. It’s sex for the sake of having sex because everyone expects you to have sex after the wedding reception ends. And somehow, knowing that you are going to leave the party, and then go back to your home or hotel room or wherever and inevitably have sex just takes all the fun out of it. It almost becomes a chore.”
I’m not married yet, but if my SO and I ever do decide to tie the knot, I expect our wedding night will end in us watching something goofy on TV all swaddled up in a giant hotel bed. And that’s A-OK. Because you know what? That sounds awesome.