I received this question through our anonymous Have A Question page back in May:
What advice would you have for someone who enjoys oral sex but their spouse’s religious beliefs (as some do) teach that oral sex is sinful?
That’s a difficult situation to be in that has a few potential scenarios, so let’s explore them.
You don’t have a right to specific sexual activities
Firstly, I don’t think anyone has a right to specific sex acts. Your spouse is not obligated to perform oral sex for you (despite what many will say). They do have a duty to maintain a physical relationship, including sex, but you cannot point to anywhere in the Bible and say “look, see it says you have to give me oral sex”.
That said, I do think it’s healthy and of generous spirit to have a sexual relationship with your spouse which includes one-sided sexual acts. I think it teaches us to serve our spouse. I also think it’s healthy to be sexually free with your spouse and be open to sexual acts that involve only the two of you and are not harmful to either.
So, what if your spouse believes that oral sex, or another activity, is morally wrong?
Talk to them, if they are willing
Some spouses are willing to talk and share why they think it’s immoral. You could do a Bible study on the topic dig into the original languages, find out what it’s really talking about. I’ve heard some pretty interesting interpretations of verses on each end of the spectrum, but with a bit of study, they don’t hold their water.
Unfortunately, many spouses who think a specific sex act is immoral don’t want to discuss it either. If they aren’t willing to discuss the issue, then you can’t figure out, together, what the Bible actually says on the subject. This type of theology is typically a “well, that’s how I feel” type of theology. It’s a very post-modern mentality, adopting the idea that all truths are equal, and you have to support how I feel. But, the Bible is clear: there is only one truth. The Bible is a book of absolutes. It often tells us to discuss, to debate, to challenge and hold each other accountable to what’s contained in it’s text.
But, if your spouse isn’t willing, then you can’t force them.
If your spouse won’t talk about it
Then your only valid recourse is to honour their boundaries. For some, it may be that way forever. For others, they may out grow it. I’m not saying you have to support their ideas, but you have to support your spouse and not force them to do something they consider sinful.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen people say that if their spouse won’t give them oral sex, then they’re going to divorce them. Frankly, I find that reprehensible, and not just because I’m against divorce. But to say that you are willing to go back on your vows, you are ready to walk away from your family, that you are willing to destroy a marriage because of one sexual act…it’s the height of selfishness.
Lastly, I think you should pray for your spouse. Because not performing oral sex isn’t the real issue. The real issue is that they believe something that is not supported by scripture. This becomes an issue of being unable to discern God’s Truth from deception, and that’s a bigger problem. So, pray for discernment and freedom for your spouse. Pray for patience and understanding for yourself.
So, in short, you can try to reason with your spouse like an adult, and if they won’t, then you have to let the Holy Spirit work in them, and hope they will open their hearts.