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"Is Oral Sex a Sin?" Print E-mail

Is oral sex a sin? Does it constitute having sex? Can you have and give oral sex and still remain a virgin? Is it okay to have oral sex if you're in a committed marriage? And if it's wrong can you tell me where in the Bible it says this?

I'm sorry about the many questions but these questions have been nagging me for quite a while.

Is oral sex a sin?

It's permitted within marriage (by mutual consent), but a sin outside of marriage. In condemning fornication (some translations call it "sexual immorality"), the Bible says that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin. It's not that God is a cosmic killjoy--it's that He knows the best way to protect us is to keep the extraordinarily powerful nature of sex contained within the safe confines of a committed marriage relationship.

Does it constitute having sex?

Yes. We need to define "sex" more broadly than many people do (such as a former president . . . ). There are a great many sexual activities and behaviors that fall in the category of "sex" besides intercourse. Here's a helpful question to help think clearly about any particular activity, such as open-mouth kissing or oral sex: would you do it with your parent or your pastor? If you shrink back in disgust at the thought, that means it's sexual. (But holding hands, however, is something you can do with anyone without it being sexual. People often hold hands while praying, for instance. See the difference?)

Can you have and give oral sex and still remain a virgin?

The definition of a virgin is a person who has not experienced sexual intercourse. It's really more of a biological term than anything else, because the real heart issue is about purity. You can't participate in oral sex outside of marriage and still be pure. So people can be technically virgins and still engage in very sexual behaviors. (For example, there is an epidemic of gonorrhea of the throat among American junior-high age kids who are still genital virgins but have infected oral sex.) The good news is, someone who has had oral sex outside of marriage can confess it as sin, be cleansed and have his or her purity restored.

Is it okay to have oral sex if you're in a committed marriage?

Yes, as long as both spouses are okay with it. If either one doesn't want it, it would be selfish and unloving for the other one to insist. Also, please see our article, "What's God's Plan for Sex in Marriage?"

And if it's wrong can you tell me where in the Bible it says this?

If you read the Song of Solomon, you can see that God encourages married people to enjoy His gift of sex in all its glory. Jody and Linda Dillow (authors of Solomon on Sex and Intimate Issues) believe that there are two veiled references to oral sex in the Song of Solomon. Keep in mind that in this biblical book, "garden" usually refers to the wife's genitals, and "fruit" to the husband's:

(Bride) Awake, O north wind
And come, wind of the south
Make my garden breathe out fragrance
Let its spices be wafted abroad
May my beloved come into his garden
And eat its choice fruits! (4:16)

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
So is my beloved among the young men
In his shade I took great delight and sat down
And his fruit was sweet to my taste. (2:3)

I'm sorry about the many questions but these questions have been nagging me for quite a while.

I'm glad we could help!

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


About the Author

Sue BohlinSue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565

info@probe.org
www.probe.org

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