What if your spouse thinks a specific sex act is immoral?

Jay Dee

What if your spouse thinks a specific sex act is immoral?

Jun 20, 2016

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

Anonymous QuestionI 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.

Looking for help?

7 thoughts on “What if your spouse thinks a specific sex act is immoral?”

  1. libl says:

    Respecting his boundaries means a great loss for me, since his boundaries means no orgasm for me unless I masturbate (during PIV). My best way to O is via oral sex. 2nd best is manual sex. He refuses to do either. Sex is PIV only. I cannot O from PIV alone.

    Divorce over this is reprehensible, and so is having to live without this the rest of my life. I guess we just aren’t entitled to good sex in life. Some people never marry, even if they want to. (By the way, I hate how the Bible says to just marry if you want sex, as if it is as easy as buying groceries when you are hungry….why is that?)

    And yes, I know what I am missing because he used to give me both oral and manual (and I him) for the first 7 years of our marriage.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      He refuses out of religious conviction?

      1. Linda Kasko says:

        BTW I just wanted to mention that it is NOT easy to just marry. The Bible is making that statement so that people recognize that marriage is the vehicle for sexual gratification and not fornication (sex without marriage). Sometimes as you say it never happens. But sometimes blind people don’t regain their sight and deaf don’t regain their hearing and sometimes babies die. This points out the problems this world poses and how there is no solution here. We may have to wait a little while and even sometimes suffer until we attain the reward.

      2. libl says:

        No. Not religious. If it were, I could have a pastor point out SoS and possibly remedy it. He just doesn’t like it, won’t explain farther, and drew a firm line in the sand. Personal boundaries can be as strong as religious convictions.

        As for boredom? I ask him every so often if he is happy with our sex life and if there is anything he wants to do to change it up, spice it up….but he says he is happy. He NEVER asks me the same question.

    2. Linda Kasko says:

      Unfortunately I believe your husband has just reached the point of boredom as my husband apparently also did at about 7 years (we have been married 47 now). It is tragic but I am Christian and he is not so he does not respond to the Bible’s advise for husbands. A scriptural divorce is not possible in this case and I have had to put it in the category of something I must tolerate (the same as persecution) until I die or Armegeddon comes. There are many things in life we are challenged with. This one was unexpected and unwelcomed. It is difficult and painful to be rejected.

      1. Chuck Daly says:

        From what I read, you are married to a non-believer, who refuses to acknowledge the fact that you and the majority of women do no climax from PIV sex, but clitoral stimulation. That is a very unfortunate situation. While your husband may not be biblically obligated to give you oral sex, he is obligated to meet your sexual needs, as we men all know that an orgasm or climax qualifies as a sexual need. Sexual immorality is grounds for a “Scriptual Divorce”, and since your husband will not help you climax, without you masturbating (A sin according to this website), I have a hard time believing that Jay Dee won’t say you are entitled to a divorce. Personally, I believe you only need the threat of divorce to solve your problem, but I don’t believe you should make threats you aren’t willing to follow through on. Your husband isn’t taking your concerns seriously, and needs a wakeup call. Providing you with clitoral stimulation is a small price to pay to save his marriage. You should find a marriage counselor who specialized in sexless marriages, as your situation closely resembles one. Good luck and God Bless.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I have a hard time believing that Jay Dee won’t say you are entitled to a divorce.

          You should probably read more of the site before telling people what I would and wouldn’t say… I don’t think anyone is entitled to a divorce, regardless of the cause. The Bible is quite clear that divorce is only there because we have hard hearts…that’s hardly saying that we are entitled to it. Rather, it sounds like it’s saying that if we can’t handle living up to the vows we took, there is an out in specific cases (like adultery). I wouldn’t say refusing falls under that category…and even if it did, I would never say they’re entitled to divorce. Rather, I’d say that if they cannot find it in their heart to forgive, and it is ruining their life, then they could get divorced…but it should be done in light of Matthew 6:15.

          And, I think threatening divorce to get what you want in marriage is abhorrent.

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