Why are couples not having sex on their wedding nights?
Your wedding day. It's the biggest, happiest day of your life, filled with family, friends, champagne and culminating in a championship session of lovemaking with your brand new husband.
According to a new survey, most couples nowadays don't actually get round to consummating their marriage on the first night as man and wife -- thanks to a plethora of reasons ranging from tiredness, arguments and, of course, the groom being a little too tiddled to 'perform'.
The poll in question quizzed more than 2,000 people who had tied the knot in the last three years, with a whopping 52 per cent admitting that they didn't partake in the horizontal mambo on their wedding night. A further 17 per cent waited more than three days after the ceremony. As The Black Eyes Peas once sang, 'Where is the love?'
While this could make for worrying reading to those amongst us who are yet to walk down the aisle, let's just take stock for a moment and remember how different modern relationships are to those of bygone generations. First up, brides and grooms tend to know each other much better and have often lived together for several years before agreeing to get married. Add into the mix that many modern couples plan and pay for their own big day, meaning that pre-wedding organisation and stress is now part and parcel -- so much so that by the time you've done your last dance, all you want to do is it the hay. To sleep. Without any funny business. And let's not forget the kiddie factor - so many couples today decide to have children before they get hitched, and someone still has to look after them even if it is your wedding day.
According to the survey, other key reasons for lack of big day bedroom antics include: the bride being too tired (16 per cent), having to look after the kids (11 per cent) and arguments before the wedding reception is even finished (9 per cent). Yikes.
George Charles, marketing director of Voucher Codes Pro, who commissioned the survey, said: ‘The emphasis of wedding night sex for married couples is no longer a huge factor. It may be that the stress and pressure of organising a wedding takes the main priority, especially considering such a large proportion of couples have been living together for years.’
We hear you, George. And to add further fuel to this fire, a recent thread on Reddit titled Did you have sex on your wedding night, seems to back up the theory that day-of consummation is no longer mandatory.
So what reasons did Reddit users give for abstaining after saying 'I do'?
Ember357 writes: 'I was tired after a long weekend and all the family and work but I was ready for it. 10 minutes after going over the threshold my sister knocks on the door to tell me my brother has wandered away from the reception and I needed to help find him... at 2am... he had gotten very drunk, hit on my sister-in-law and decided to walk back to the hotel in a town he had never been to before. Yeah, that put a damper on things.'
Nefariousmango said: 'We were too tired. We crashed into bed without even getting all the bobby pins out of my hair! The next morning was a different story. I think it's probably more important to some people to have wedding night sex than it was to us. We'd been living together for three years when we got married, and our marriage didn't change our relationship.'
MuffinsRUs wrote: 'I had the lingerie to change into, but I didn't use it that night. I was exhausted.'
Anytime_yoga wrote: 'I catered my own wedding and kept all the visiting relatives from killing one another. Sex on top of all that? I am not Superwoman.'
PirateZero said: 'We were so tired. I just collapsed. My husband was upset because "It's what you do!" So we tried. But we ended up basically passing out. Funny now, upsetting then.'
So, there you have it. Wedding night sex -- don't feel bad if you don't get round to it or you're just too tired or your new husband has had one too many. You've got the rest of your life to make up for it.
Lisa Cowan is a London-based freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter.