Wedding nights can cause a lesser of two evil dilemma.

from The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir nonfiction ~1 min read

We have, thus far, seen all the resistance the virgin has to overcome to accomplish her sexual destiny: her initiation demands “labor,” both physiological and psychic. It is stupid and barbaric to want to put it all into one night; it is absurd to transform an operation as difficult as the first coitus into a duty. The woman is all the more terrorized by the fact that the strange operation she is subjected to is sacred; and that society, religion, family, and friends delivered her solemnly to the husband as to a master; and in addition, that the act seems to engage her whole future, because marriage still has a definitive character. This is when she feels truly revealed in the absolute: this man to whom she is pledged to the end of time embodies all of Man in her eyes; and he is revealed to her, too, as a figure she has not heretofore known, which is of immense importance since he will be her lifelong companion. However, the man himself is anguished by the duty weighing on him; he has his own difficulties and his own complexes that make him shy and clumsy or on the contrary brutal; many men are impotent on their wedding night because of the very solemnity of marriage.


Too much impetuousness frightens the virgin, too much respect humiliates her; women forever hate the man who has taken his pleasure at the expense of their suffering; but they feel an eternal resentment against the one who seems to disdain them, and often against the one who has not attempted to deflower them the first night or who was unable to do it.

—Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, p. -1