Wedding Woes

Sex and the arranged marriage

Dear Prudence,

I’m going to have an arranged marriage to someone, and I haven’t slept with her yet. Sex is something that will happen only after marriage. So I’m super anxious to know about how compatible we would be with each other. I’m someone who is physically attracted to the opposite sex, but I’m not quite sure if I’d be sexually attracted to this person later if it turns out we aren’t that compatible in bed with each other. What can I do about this? Also is it appropriate to bring this up in a conversation with your fiancé before marriage. I don’t want to feel judged by the other person because I brought this up.

— Engaged and Nervous

Re: Sex and the arranged marriage

  • Yah no one is ready for marriage here, but if you can’t say no to the marriage recognize that sex doesn’t have to happen on the wedding night. Take time to really get to know one another. Learn about consent and how to mutually obtain it. 

    It’s definitely good to bring this up before marriage! Talk with your FI on how they are feeling, listen to what they tell you. 

    Compatibility is important but respect and consent more so. 
    MNNEBrideei34
  • Talk to people in your community. You are not the first person to have these thoughts or fears. Depending on your location you might be able to start counseling early just to learn how to communicate with each other. 
    short+sassyei34
  • It's hard to advise because I'm not in a religion/culture where arranged marriages are done.  So I don't know what is/isn't okay.

    Like, can they wait and see if attraction/affection develops and then not get married if it doesn't?  Or are they pretty much stuck having to marry each other before that happens or even if it doesn't happen?

    At first I was reading the letter that the LW wasn't attracted to his FI.  But then I read it again and I don't think that's the case.  It sounds more like he is worried that could happen in the future if they aren't compatible in bed and/or outside of bed.

    Unfortunately, I'm guessing that the LW is also in a religion/culture were sex isn't really talked about, even with one's FI or in a marriage.  But it seems like it would be best if they did.  I'm sure she is nervous also and having some of the same concerns.
    ei34
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Sex is important, but in this situation I'd be way more worried about whether we'd be compatible life partners. 

    This sounds like a bad idea all around. 
    charlotte989875mrsconn23ei34
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 29
    I wonder if they're 'dating'/courting or whatever their culture or religion will allow during the lead up to the wedding.  I think getting to know her may help LW?  I also think LW should try to find a way to bring up sex if they are seeing each other regularly prior to this marriage. 

    I'm just not really sure what else to advise because I truly can't wrap my head around a culture has these kinds of traditions and expectations and how to advise someone to stay true to themselves and honor their culture that they find important to their identity.  I find the conversations from immigrants and people from religions/cultures that are a massive part of identity and how they navigate the modern society either in the US or world at large, while trying to honor their culture, traditions, and the pressures that come along with it, so interesting and eye-opening.  You really are living in two worlds sometimes. 
    short+sassy
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