...To sex or sleep, that is the question...
April 14, 2008 7:26 AM   Subscribe

...To sex or sleep, that is the question...

"My fiancée and I have a debate going- she claims that most people are too tired to have sex on their wedding night and go right to sleep, while I find this hard to believe. So- what was the first thing you did on your wedding night- sex or sleep?
posted by photodegas to Human Relations (55 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

posted by bricoleur at 7:27 AM on April 14, 2008

posted by owtytrof at 7:30 AM on April 14, 2008

The number 40% sticks in my head, either as the number of couples who do or don't have sex on their wedding night. Either way, it's a big enough number that we said, "Statistics and exhaustion be damned, we're getting it ON!"
posted by ferociouskitty at 7:31 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex, but it was with Herculean effort.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:33 AM on April 14, 2008

Sleep. It was a LONG day.
posted by sarcasticah at 7:35 AM on April 14, 2008

We were both passed out drunk.
posted by daveleck at 7:35 AM on April 14, 2008

Sleep. We were in a tent and had been driving all day.
posted by jessamyn at 7:38 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex in the bed.
Sex in the tub.
Sex in the morning.

Of course 5 years later, sleep wins everytime.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 7:45 AM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sex. But it wasn't very good. Then hanging out with friends.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:53 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex, since it was a societal obligation, but we were really too tired.

(Let's all agree to cut down on the number of societal obligations we accept as our own.)
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:04 AM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sleepy sex.
posted by bifter at 8:10 AM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

Sex, then sleep. And we got married at 10:30 AM.
posted by mckenney at 8:15 AM on April 14, 2008

Sleep. (Watch out for crappy statistics here, people who know they beat the odds might be more likely to share than folks who just crashed out and are ashamed of it.)
posted by Shutter at 8:18 AM on April 14, 2008

Sleep. Drunkenly.
posted by tigerbelly at 8:21 AM on April 14, 2008

Sexy sex.
posted by jrossi4r at 8:23 AM on April 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

I suspect you'd have rather different statistics among people who had been abstinent before marriage, and among people who had been having premarital sex. For the first, that wedding night is a big deal; for the second, it is special, but not unique in the same way.

Moreover, I certainly wouldn't base your idea of "normal" on what a few self-selected people on a self-selected website self-report about their long-gone wedding nights. And even if 99% of people surveyed said that they did (or didn't) have sex on that night, does that have anything at all to do with whether you will want to have sex then?

So sure, we had sex that night, but we have lots of sex and it would take a lot more than a mere wedding to prevent us from getting it on. What that tells you about "normal" I don't know. It was kind of cool to have "married" sex for the first time, but otherwise wasn't a big deal.
posted by Forktine at 8:29 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex, since it was a societal obligation, but we were really too tired.

I'm not married, but I would bet this is really your answer. Since most couples have had sex plenty of times before their wedding night nowadays, it's not personally that huge a moment for them, so it's more likely for symbolic reasons or social expectations that it would be important to have sex on the wedding night.

Remember the old version of a wedding night was after a fairly public "courting" of someone you could not have sex with - and then when you married, you had a ceremony and then get the hell up to the bedroom where you finally got to know each other one on one. But the modern system is something of a reversal of that - we have the private, time-alone portion of the relationship when you first meet & fall in love and recede from the world; then by the time you decide to get married, you've brought it back to a social affair - have a big party to celebrate the union, which takes an enormous amount of planning and interaction. The wedding night doesn't quite fit anymore...
posted by mdn at 8:34 AM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Drunken, tired, obligatory sex. It was, how you say, verruh niiiice.
posted by Netzapper at 8:35 AM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

I would predict that the trend goes toward sleeping as the couple gets older. Never mind how I came up with this idea!
posted by theredpen at 8:37 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex. With Bela Fleck's "Perpetual Motion" as the soundtrack.
posted by terrapin at 8:39 AM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by Hogshead at 8:41 AM on April 14, 2008 [4 favorites]

Sleep, but only because an out-of-town friend was crashing in our tiny condo.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:50 AM on April 14, 2008

In Jewish tradition, after the ceremony and before the party, there is a break for the bride and groom called "yichud" (seclusion), when you are supposed to get it on.

Most of my friends who have done this opted to chill out and drink instead so the dress/makeup isn't ruined before the party. Also, some are probably also too tired/weirded out that everyone would know they just did it and are now eating chicken with their parents.
posted by rmless at 8:51 AM on April 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

I don't remember for either time. I think there might have been lame attempts because we felt obligated which ended with sleep. Most of the sex occurred during the later days of the honeymoon. As has been mentioned above, it was a long day and we hadn't been abstinent prior to.
posted by Carbolic at 8:53 AM on April 14, 2008

Our wedding night: Stayed up all night the night before the ceremony to party. The next day, the Ceremony was 3 hours away from our house, after the reception we started the drive home only to remember that we forgot critical luggage back where the reception was. We had to turn around and turned a 3 hour drive into 7 hour drive. Arrived back at home late that night and spent all night packing in order to make an early morning flight to Asheville NC for the honeymoon. We were staying in a remote cabin that was a 3 or 4 hour drive after we landed, most of which my beautiful wife snored through as I struggled to keep our rental car on the narrow winding mountain roads after having had no sleep for 3 days. As soon as we found the cabin I slept soundly for long time.

So the answer to your question was, in fact, NEITHER sleep nor sex. Although I was pleasantly surprised to awaken in a remote secluded cabin in the great smoky mountains with a hot tub.
posted by jlowen at 8:57 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex, but only after a good soak in the jacuzzi to soothe aching muscles. Not our best sex ever, unsurprisingly, but very nice for the added "We're married now!" thoughts.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:03 AM on April 14, 2008

I had an allergic reaction (thank goodness it happened after the reception was over) and slept in the bath tub. YMMV.
posted by fusinski at 9:11 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex, but we went back to our hotel room and did it post-reception, before going out, because I knew I would be too tired afterwards.
posted by gaspode at 9:13 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex. but we got married at dawn. Who the hell gets married and then is too tired to have sex?

and never mind us, what are you guys gonna do? For the sounds of it you ya'll might have different expectations.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:23 AM on April 14, 2008

Honestly, even if you have been abstinent before, I totally recommend at least a NAP. You are freaking exhausted at that point.

And no, I'm not telling what went on on my honeymoon. All you need to know is that it was fantastic. ;-)
posted by konolia at 9:24 AM on April 14, 2008

sex....and a lot of it! Sleep the next day....
posted by birdlips at 9:42 AM on April 14, 2008

Sleep.... sound, good, long-awaited sleep. Then tons of sex on the honeymoon
posted by srw12 at 9:56 AM on April 14, 2008

sex, sex, sex, sex. followed by sex every day on the honeymoon. and then the honeymoon, of course, was over.
posted by worker_bee at 9:56 AM on April 14, 2008

Sleep. The wedding night itself was spent at my in-law's place, and then we got up at 3am to go to the airport for the honeymoon. It was the right choice.
posted by gregvr at 9:58 AM on April 14, 2008

Sleep. Even though we had a low-key, relatively small reception, a lot of folks had driven in from out of town, and we felt obligated to visit with them until the wee hours of the morning. In fact, as it got later and later and everyone was having such a good time (this was back at our house after we'd left the reception venue), a lot of folks just crashed on our sofas and recliner instead of attempted a long drive. A houseful of visitors was just not conducive to romance.

Mr. Adams and I made up for it on the honeymoon, though.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:59 AM on April 14, 2008

Sleep - our wedding was a very homemade affair - and I was stuffing manicotti the entire night before (after decorating the party space). We were pooped!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:27 AM on April 14, 2008

We were staying with friends in a small apartment in NYC and it was a long day so we ended up all sitting on the couch together and watching Kill Bill because, as our friend pointed out, it had a bride in it. And so it did.
posted by melissa may at 10:29 AM on April 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

Sex. And the memories from that are even better than from the wedding itself (and the wedding was damn cool!)
posted by Happydaz at 10:43 AM on April 14, 2008

We consummated the next morning. The busy, day, the alcohol, all the people, etc.

Then again, we'd been living together for awhile.

This seems quite common, with the people I have asked about this.
posted by Danf at 10:51 AM on April 14, 2008

posted by Doohickie at 11:12 AM on April 14, 2008

Early morning wedding, lunchtime reception, home for some afternoon "Holy shit we're married" sex, change the clothes and out the door. Ended the day drinking margaritas on the roof of a local restaurant with friends. Apparently we went to some other bar later but neither Mrs. Frogs nor I remember that bit, or which friend drove us home, or what we did when we got home, so we're glad we had the sex early and got it out of the way, so to speak.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:37 AM on April 14, 2008

Sex. Both earlier in the day (just in case we were too tired), and after the wedding. We were both tired, but not tired enough that we were doing it simply for the sake of doing it. Also as additional annecdata, we'd been living together and doing it for 3 years before the wedding.
posted by nobeagle at 12:08 PM on April 14, 2008

We had a huge fight because he left the tickets to our honeymoon flight in our apartment; by the time he got back, I had passed out from exhaustion, he ate a steak in bed and also passed out. I had not slept in two days from stress and last-minute tasks.

We had already been living together for six years so my answer most likely doesn't count. Also, I'm divorced now, so you should probably try to have sex. :)

Bear in mind you usually are tired, broke, exhausted, drunk, uncomfortable in your suit/dress, hungry, have probably been pulled in 10 different directions for almost 48 hours straight, may or may not have some kind of family blowout, and also may be getting on a plane within hours of the ceremony. Imagine your high school/college graduation stress multiplied by 250,000 and you might get close to what the stress of a wedding feels like.

Most weddings are so busy and stressful a large percentage of times the bride and groom don't even get to eat at their own reception. I specifically asked the photographer to capture us eating so people would get the hell away and let us have a few bites of the catering between writing checks, hugging people, and trying to pee in a 60-lb. outfit.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:41 PM on April 14, 2008

Sleep. Besides, in-laws were in the next room (left for honeymoon in the morning).
posted by DandyRandy at 1:10 PM on April 14, 2008

Sex. Honestly, if your fiancée is already insinuating that she'll be too tired for sex ON YOUR WEDDING NIGHT I would seriously consider calling off the wedding.
posted by thomas144 at 1:22 PM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Awkward, emotional virgin-on-virgin sex, shower, better sex.
posted by wallaby at 1:40 PM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

Thomas144, even a lot of wedding manuals recommend you get some rest before you, ahem, get some.
posted by konolia at 3:00 PM on April 14, 2008

I attended a wedding of a guy who got remarried last year. He makes a big deal of the fact that they consumated on the night, even though his wife wasn't expecting it, and was basically too tired and drunk. I find that a really crass, creepy, overbearing start to married life.

I'm getting married in 6 weeks, and I'm not making any specific plans re: sex or sleep. There are enough organisational anxieties as it is, without being really un-spontaneous about something that's only really of historical significance.
posted by roofus at 3:35 PM on April 14, 2008

Well, I hope my fiancé doesn't take thomas144's advice.

I don't think I'll have any energy for sex before at least 10 hours of sleep. And we've been abstinent. I don't care. I figure, if we've waited for months, what's another 10 hours?

The plan for the wedding is get up friday, early, have a whole day of wedding stuff, get married at night, have the reception, leave the reception at 4am to go shower and change, leave for the airport, and spend like 12 hours either on a plane or in an airport before we get to our honeymoon hotel room on saturday afternoon.

So, I do think I'm entitled to some sleep before I can think of anything else.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 3:50 PM on April 14, 2008

We played Diablo 2 and then slept; I had to leave early the next day.
posted by deborah at 10:09 PM on April 14, 2008

Sex. We did the wait-until-marriage thing.
posted by ysabet at 11:07 PM on April 14, 2008

Huge bubble bath (we'd been living together) to get the gunk out of my hair,
then sleep!
posted by Wilder at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2008

Sex, but only because it felt obligatory.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2008

Although I was exhausted after my wedding, sleep was definitely NOT the first thing on my mind. I second Happydaz's remark (I being Mrs. Happydaz). ;-) It was a fantastic start to a lovely honeymoon.
posted by I_love_the_rain at 4:43 PM on April 15, 2008

photodegas, we require an update to this post when you are actually hitched.

And for the record: sleep. I'm pretty sure we didn't get our married freak on until we were in our honeymoon destination and, in addition to that, had had some sleep. So it may have been 48 hours or close to it.

We actually made much more of a point of "hey, last chance to have sinful, unmarried sex with each other, we totally have to do that!"
posted by DarlingBri at 5:12 AM on April 24, 2008

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