Last week, Indonesian youth had their hearts collectively broken when singer Raisa Andriana and actor Hamish Daud Wyllie—the epitome of an ideal couple—tied the knot last Sunday. But like all nice things on the internet, it went south quickly. On the day of their marriage, #MalamPertamaRaisa, or Raisa's Wedding Night, became the trending topic on Twitter because, well, misogyny exists. The hashtag became a cesspool of mass sexual fantasies of Raisa's wedding night.
"Hamish Daud is so lucky to get a chance to unbox Raisa. Don't forget to give us the review, Hamish," wrote account @irwandisep666, as if Raisa was a smartphone being unboxed and reviewed by a YouTube vlogger. This is just one of thousands of objectifying tweets about the new couple's private lives. But why are people so obsessed with their wedding night in the first place, other than the fact that they're famous?
In Indonesia, the wedding night is still seen as something holy. And It's a reward for your patience. Virginity is viewed as a symbol of purity and especially for women, the pressure to abstain from premarital sex is high. For many couples, their wedding night will be the first time they have sex, well, legitimately at least.
VICE talked to married couples to find out what actually happens on a wedding night. Was it a start of a beautiful commitment to spend life together or was it really just about getting it on.
Ragil Silvia, 25, married for a year
VICE: How did you envision your wedding night to be?
Ragil Silvia: I thought it'd be awkward and would hurt a lot. To be completely naked in front of a man for the first time was really awkward. Since the room was dead quiet, it got even more awkward, so we turned on the TV for sound. We were so shy that we turned off the lights, shut the curtain, and hid under the blanket. It was stifling.
Did you get any advice prior to your wedding night?
Some married friends told me it was going to hurt like hell, and yes, they were right. They also said that initially, having sex is not as easy and enjoyable as what you see in porn. The man is not supposed to force their will while the woman is hurting, that's what I told my husband.
Did your wedding night take place right after the wedding reception?
It was right after the reception, yeah. It wasn't so bad since we only did foreplay on the first night. We were both still learning since we didn't know what to do. We even watched porn movies together since we didn't know what should go into which hole.
For you is the wedding night sacred?
It is. I chose to keep my virginity just for my husband. So the wedding night is a big deal for me. When we were still dating, the temptation to have sex was so strong. When I made a commitment to myself to keep my virginity, my fantasies would often run wild. But now that I'm his wife, I don't even feel like doing it every day.
Irwansyah*, 27, married for 7 years
VICE: How did you imagine your wedding night would be?
Irwansyah: When I was young I would I imagine more about going on a honeymoon, which was basically just travelling together. I was sexually active before marriage, but the only time I ever took someone's virginity was on my wedding night.
Can a man tell if a woman is a virgin or not?
It's possible to tell by seeing how they are in bed and their vagina opening. You can feel the difference. Sex felt different for me with someone who's done it before and someone who hasn't. If you're both are sexually active, then it's more enjoyable. When I did it with my wife on our wedding night, it was awkward since it was her first time. It was not how she imagined it. Since i've done it before, it was fine for me.
Did you tell your wife you were sexually active before marriage?
I didn't. She assumed we were both virgins.
How do you view Indonesians tendency to glorify the wedding night?
It's a fair if someone wants to see it as something sacred, especially if you're religious. For those who are doing it for the first time on their wedding night, there's a different kind of excitement as well.
There's an Indonesian saying that goes "It doesn't matter how naughty a man is, he must still look for a decent (virgin) wife ." Do you agree with this?
Sex is not about a man forcing a woman to do it, or assuming a woman is 'wild' just because she wants to do it. There needs to be a consent from both. You can't make virginity the standard of one's decency. That view is outdated, I want some I can be compatible with, it doesn't matter whether she's a virgin or not.
*not a real name
Riani*, 35, married for 7 years
VICE: How was your wedding night?
Riani: We didn't really have one. We were too tired after the after party, plus we had already had sex before marriage.
Is there any difference doing it before and after marriage?
Not really. I think if possible, people should have sex before marriage. If it's a long term relationship, then it's good to do a test drive. But you know, after marriage I did feel, "Yeah! Sex is no longer a sin!" Before, we often hesitated to do it.
What was your expectation of sex before you did it for the first time?
What makes sex overrated is all these expectations that it would be the best and most enjoyable experience. Plus the fact that it's deemed sinful by religion. This causes many to think, "Shit, it must be really good then!" When you do it the first time, it's either awkward or even bizarre since no one knows what the fuck they're doing. Sex is okay sometimes, and boring other times. But your first time will definitely be awkward, even for guys. So yeah, your first time is overrated. You need to get used to it and get to know yourself better before you can enjoy it.
Some people do wedding night preparation packages like as ratus treatment (a famous Indonesian treatment for vagina 'tightening'). What do you think about them?
Scientifically speaking, there's no evidence that shows that those prep treatments make our intimate organs healthier. What's important is to take care of your vagina, to have both people tested for hepatitis and HIV. As long there's no funny smell coming out of your vagina, you should be alright. Regarding its 'tightness', even after giving birth, it will eventually snap back.
If you could do it differently, would you still choose to have sex before marriage?
Yes, of course. But most importantly I would have preferred a deeper sexual education for my younger self—like how virginity is a myth, for example. We are often indoctrinated by our religion and traditions. I mean there's nothing wrong with those, especially for a moral education, but there's not enough education on sex and the human body. To be satisfied in bed is about knowing what we want, and working to achieve it, not just putting it in and immediately feeling ecstasy. But since there's a lot of myths surrounding sex, many people are left clueless.
*not a real name.