This section is from the book "The Transmission Of Life. Counsels On The Nature And Hygiene Of The Masculine Function", by George H. Napheys. Also available from Amazon: The Transmission of Life.
Usually marriage in this country is consummated within a day or two of the ceremony. In Greece, the excellent rule prevails that at least three days shall be allowed to elapse between the rite and the act, and it were well if this rule were general. In most cases the bride is nervous, timid, exhausted by the labor of preparation and the excitement of the occasion, indeed, in the worst possible frame of body and mind to bear the great and violent change which the marital relation brings with it.
The consequence is that in repeated instances the thought-lossness and precipitancy of the young husband lay the foundation for numerous diseases of the womb and nervous system, and for the gratification of a night he forfeits the comfof of years. Let him at the time when the slow paced hours have at last brought to him the treasures he has so long been coveting, administer with a frugal hand and with a wise forethought. Let him be considerate, temperate, and self-controlled. He will never regret it, if he defer for days the exercise of those privileges which the law now gives him, but which are more than disappointing if seized upon in an arbitrary, coarse, or brutal manner.
There is no more infallible sign of a low and vulgar man than to hear one boast or even to mention, the occurrences which transpire on the nuptial eve. Who does so, set him down as a fellow devoid of all the finer feelings of his own sex, and incapable of appreciating those of the other. While the newly married man should act so that his tender solicitude and kind consideration could only reflect credit on himself were they known, he should hide them all under a veil of reticence more impenetrable than that which ancient legend says concealed the mysterious goddess of Sais.
The husband should be aware that while as a rule the first conjugal approaches are painful to the new wife, and therefore that she only submits and cannot enjoy them, this pain should not be excessively severe, nor should it last for any great length of time - not more than one or two weeks. Should the case be otherwise, then something is wrong, and if rest does not restore the parts, a physician should be consulted. It is especially necessary that great moderation be observed at first, an admonition which we the more urgently give, because we know it is needed, because those specialists who devote their time to diseases of women are constantly meeting patients who date their months and years of misery from the epoch of marriage.