Some honeymoon symphonies are like the Boston Philharmonic. Others are like “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, where the heck are ya?”

You might be about to embark on the long-awaited event of your honeymoon. Or maybe you have already taken the long walk down that flower-strewn aisle, are now nestled together in your romantic getaway, and have brought this book along to read together. Either way, good for you. If you’re already thinking about what you can do to make your marriage the best it can be, you’re starting your marriage out right!

Most people think, Wow, the honeymoon. I can’t wait! After all, that’s when the bells, whistles, and sirens all come together at the same time. And that mighty crescendo is the sign, of course,that you’ll live happily ever after. All you need to do is save up to buy that little house with the white picket fence and your top-of the-line Beemer, and eventually have a couple of those . . . what  do you call ’em . . . children. Oh, of course. (On second thought, maybe a schnauzer would be cheaper.)

But does life always turn out as you expect? Has it so far?Just as life has its surprises, your honeymoon is likely to have its surprises as well. If you’re like most couples I talk to, you’re going to find that the honeymoon isn’t quite what you thought it would be.

If you are sexually inexperienced (possibly 20 to 25 percent of the people reading this book are virgins), I can guarantee you that you’re not going to create a symphony. You’re going to have something a little more like “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, where the heck are ya?” But think about it. If there’s a job that requires good ol’ on-the-job training, and lots of it, what job would you rather have? What would be a more fun career than learning to master this one, I ask you?

Others of you have had sexual experiences previously with one or more partners. You might have been married before. You might have gone through the loss of your first spouse through divorce, death, or abandonment. You might have experienced things in your childhood you never should have experienced—abuse that was not your fault. Because the very nature of sexual experiences is so intimate, those memories will also be a part of your relationship with your spouse. (We’ll talk more about all these issues in this book.)

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Some of you are past that first honeymoon night already and have had a great experience. You’re thinking, That was incredible. I never thought sex would be so great! And then there’s the other 95 percent of you who are thinking (and a little embarrassed to admit it to your spouse), So that was it? That was the best he had to offer? Or, You gotta be kidding me. Did she think that was going to turn me on? And, Oh my goodness, what have I gotten myself into! I have a lifetime of this? Some of you, out of desperation, may have even picked up the phone to call Mom, Dad, or a friend for some quick advice. Or maybe you went to the local bookstore to find one of those how-to-do-it right books, because deep down inside, you feel just a bit panicked.

If you’re one of those who have pushed the panic button, rest assured that you’re not alone. You’d think that sex would be one of the easiest acts to master in life-after all, get a male and a female, and the rest should be natural, right?—but, quite frankly, it takes some doing. You need the timing of a major league baseball player, the precision of the finest jeweler, and the capacity to be like Arthur Fiedler incarnate in the bedroom. And here’s the kicker: even if you could be all those things rolled up into one, there’s no guarantee that those bells, whistles, and sirens will be wailing away in your bedroom.

So how can you prepare yourself emotionally, physically, and mentally to become one on your honeymoon—and beyond?

Here’s my suggestion. So many people make their honeymoon a time when they have to go see places. “Oh, hey, let’s go to Puerto Rico.” “What about an Alaskan cruise? I’ve always wanted to go there.” “Paris? After all, it’s the city of love, and I’ve always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower.” Sure, you might be in an exotic location (many folks are when they’re on their honeymoon), but instead of focusing on the sites, why not instead make it a time to “see”each other in a beautiful and romantic spot?

Instead of rushing off to a local tourist attraction, a special dinner, or the beach, take things slow. Take your time. Wake up and cuddle. Spend a day completely, totally naked. Touch and revel in each other’s bodies. Don’t answer the phone. Order room service. Take time to explore and get to know each other’s bodies for the fun of it. Don’t make it your aim to always get the goal into the net. This isn’t your time to have to figure out everything about sex and perfect the act. It’s your time to laugh, stroke, have fun. It’s your time to relax and just enjoy being together.

Copyright © 2009 by Dr. Kevin Leman, Used with Permission, Published by Revell. Used with permission.