Is oral sex a sin before marriage?

Jay Dee

Is oral sex a sin before marriage?

Feb 16, 2015

Is oral sex wrong before marriage? After all, it’s not technically fornication if it doesn’t include intercourse, right? What’s the harm?

Is oral sex a sin for single people? What do you think? I received this question through our Have A Question page:

Is oral sex before marriage bad?

I’m assuming they are asking if it’s wrong, not whether it feels good.

Is oral sex a sin before marriage?

For me, that answer to whether something is right or wrong has to ultimately come from the Bible, either directly, or indirectly, based on principles I see in the Bible.  As with many questions regarding sex, there is no verse that explicitly states “Thou shalt not have oral sex before marriage!”  But, that doesn’t mean we don’t have an idea of God’s opinion on the subject.

The majority of the time, when the New Testament has the word “sexual immorality”, it is generally translated from the Greek word “porneia” which includes, among other things, fornication.

Fornication – voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.

-Dictionary definition

Many people have assumed that if it’s not intercourse (penis in vagina sex), then it’s not fornication, and thus it’s okay so long as theirs mutual consent.  But, the flaw in the logic here is that “porneia” doesn’t just mean fornication.  It covers the entire gamut of sexual sins, including, but not limited to sex outside of marriage.  It’s a blanket term for things outside of God’s plan for our sexuality. So, I argue that oral sex (as well as manual sex, anal sex, phone sex, aural sex, sexting, and any other sexual act) is still included in porneia if it doesn’t involve a husband and wife, and only them. If a sexual relationship involves someone other than your spouse (and if you aren’t married, then that means anyone), then it’s sexual immorality. You should not have a sex life outside of a marriage bed.

Wait until you’re husband and wife to engage in sexual intimacy

There is virtually no difference between these types of sex and intercourse, except for a decreased chance (not no chance) of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections/diseases.  The same hormones are at play when you engage in sexual activity which creates bonds that should only exist within marriage. I’m not talking about soul ties, but rather neuro-chemical bonds.  It is dangerous, in the extreme.  Even if it’s with your future spouse.

So, in my opinion, is oral sex a sin if engaged in before marriage?  Yeah, definitely!  Wait until you’re married.  Married couples can have all the oral sex they want, because oral sex itself isn’t a sin (check out Song of Solomon), but all types of sex belong in the proper container – marriage.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

2 Peter 1:5-7

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11 thoughts on “Is oral sex a sin before marriage?”

  1. JAMES WITTER says:

    Totally agree with you on this subject. Any type of sex before marriage is sex and it is wrong and will damage your marriage relationship later on.

  2. Lindsay Harold says:

    Oral sex is still sex. Sex is for marriage only. It’s pretty clear. I think people only ask if it’s sin because they are looking for a loophole that will let them do what they want to do without feeling guilty.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Oh, I don’t know, I think there are some who genuinely don’t know. I have one pastor who is quite angry at me about this, and similar posts, because he believes that premarital sex is perfectly fine for Christians, as well as erotica, pornography and more damaging behaviors. With pastors like that roaming Christianity, no wonder people are confused.

      Nevertheless, I’m glad they are asking. It’s not my job to convict people, that’s the Holy Spirit’s role, but if I can offer them a choice…well, then I think I’ve done my part.

      1. Lewis says:

        He that licketh a woman to lust after her commiteth adultery in his body and not just the heart. The new testement clearly teaches salvation but also clearly instructs us what sin is…? To the questioner please consider how you could give or receive oral sex without uncontrolled lust taking over.
        This is so ridiculous you could laugh it off but yes people are confused today as many pastors do not even read the good book let alone interpret it for others. I guess that is why you are here Jadee to help us understand.

  3. LatterDay Marriage says:

    I grew up being taught that anything you do with a girlfriend should be something you both would be comfortable doing out in public with other people seeing it.

    All this trying to justify some alternative path to an orgasm before marriage makes me think of when Christ condemned the Pharisees for straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.

  4. El Fury says:

    Do you think that maintaining a black and white categorization of sex acts is so important that a parent shouldn’t attempt to instill any wisdom beyond that? For example, I intend to tell my kids to abstain from sex until they’re married; I will deliver that instruction as strongly and enthusiastically as I can. It’s what the Bible teaches, and it’s best for everyone. However, I will also tell my kids that if they decide to have sex they’d be fools not to use a condom.

    Does the condom message dilute the instruction to abstain? Maybe. Any advice?

    1. H.K. says:

      Yes, I think it dilutes the message because you are giving them “ammunition” for future talks by saying that if they have sex before marriage, then use a condom. Some people see that as justification for their actions. If you say “no” to your kids, then you’d better mean “no” in every aspect of the word and don’t give them loopholes. Kids are sneaky and most often stupid when their hormones are taking over. Just keep reminding them that it’s wrong and why it’s wrong, and do it with love and kindness.

  5. Bruce says:

    I think it is hard to be too dogmatic about this one, though it is certainly wise to refrain from anything you wouldn’t want to get caught doing. My fiancee and I have kept our clothes on and fastened but still have had a really good time hugging and kissing, and acting out sex a couple of times, which she felt was going too far. I’m very grateful for the tenderness of her conscience, because I could more easily be tempted to go too far. Anyway, I recently realised that Song of Solomon 2:3 seems very much to indicate oral sex (perhaps Song 2:1 and Song 2:6 together indicate that he is reciprocating), and that they seem to be engaging in this before their wedding day (Song 3:6-11) and wedding night (Song 4:1-5:1). Have a read again and see what you think!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hebrew and Greek writings don’t always follow a linear progression, particularly in poetry. Just like in Revelation, it’s more of a chiastic structure, with different parts being reiterated at different times. This type of structure comes up many times in the Bible.

      So, no, I wouldn’t say that Song of Solomon indicates oral sex prior to marriage. Just as in Genesis, there aren’t two times God created man (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:7). In Revelation, many things are out of sequence as well, you have to look at the timing of the events in the passage to see where it fits. For example, in Revelation 14, you have the 144,000. However, the two resurrections occur later on (Chapter 20), and so they can’t be there yet. They should still be dead if one was looking at it as a linear progression.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ok, so how did you come to the conclusion that Oral sex or anything other then PIV sex is wrong outside of marriage from a purely biblical definition standpoint? I’ve been researching this a lot looking at all texts, commentaries and original languages and I’m genuinely trying to find a scripture or even story or reference in the Bible that talks about sexual acts or sexual touching as wrong. Every single example is PIV (or as the Bible says “he went into her”). Fornication is always PIV it seems or at least I can’t find anything that says other acts are considered fornication. If you apply this to oral sex then you can apply this to absolutely any relation between a man and woman even nudity or kissing because they can definitely be “sexual”. I do sometimes wonder if we have had this wrong. Because the two aren’t becoming one flesh until they are united as God created.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Well, let’s see. Let’s say we take your position. Let’s say “sex” only includes PIV.
      That would mean it’s not an affair unless it includes PIV.
      It would mean it’s not homosexuality unless it includes PIV – which makes homosexuality impossible.
      It would mean it’s not rape unless it includes PIV.
      That would mean it’s not pedophilia or bestiality unless it includes PIV.

      Now, to me, that doesn’t make any sense at all. At some point, you have to recognize there is a principle here – that sex means “sexual activity”. Because if you go with your legalistic definition of sex – then the Bible doesn’t make sense at all.

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