I opened my inbox and saw the first line of his message, “Is oral sex a sin?” The man went on to say that he and his wife had both enjoyed giving and receiving oral sex as a way to express their love. They had experienced the unique pleasure of giving pleasure in such an intimate way to each other. He was writing to me because this enjoyable aspect of their sex life which had always been part of their marriage was now conflicting with his conscience. His pastor recently told him that oral sex was wrong and unnatural, and now this man was wondering if this could be true.
My first instinct was to reply that it sounds like his pastor has a boring sex life and is trying to justify it Biblically! I know many Christians have hangups and baggage with sexual expression and enjoyment because many of us were raised with misguided, legalistic lessons about sex that taught the subconscious message that “…sex is necessary for making babies, but don’t enjoy it too much because it’s dirty.” That’s a false, dangerous and misguided message.
Here’s the truth…
God made sex. (THANKS, God!) He made it for the enjoyment of a husband and a wife within the sacred covenant of marriage and it’s supposed to be FUN. There’s nowhere in the Bible that suggests oral sex is a sin within marriage. In fact, The Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) in the Bible has what many Biblical scholars agree are poetic references to oral sex. That book is so “steamy” that it was illegal to read it in public in many countries for centuries.
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You and your spouse have an incredible amount of God-given freedom in your bedroom (including oral sex) as long as ALL THREE of these factors are present in your marriage…
1. There is mutual consent. (1 Corinthians 7:5)
Whatever you do, you must both be comfortable with it. You must both feel safe. Your bedroom should be the safest place in the world for you and your spouse. If one spouse is always pressuring the other, that isn’t honoring the marriage. On the flip side, if one spouse is never open to the requests of the other spouse to try new things, that probably isn’t honoring to the marriage either. Look for ways to serve, honor and encourage each other in the bedroom.
#2 is so important (especially with the prevalence of porn in our culture)…
2. It is driven by love and not lust. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
Lust looks at people as objects to be used, love looks at people as souls to be cherished. Make sure you’re not using oral sex (or any sexual act) as a way to fantasize about others while in the act with your spouse. Jesus even said in the Sermon on the Mount that to look at someone lustfully is to commit adultery in your heart. Keep your eyes, your thoughts and your fantasies focused on your spouse.
#3 is one of the Bible’s MOST important principles about oral sex (or any form of sex)…
3. It is happening exclusively in marriage. (Hebrews 13:4)
Any sex (including oral sex) outside of marriage is a sin. Oral sex shouldn’t be seen as a justifiable “substitute” for intercourse for couples who aren’t married. In the New Testament, we’re giving the high standard of not allowing “even a hint of sexual immorality” (Ephesians 5:3). Make sure you’re protecting your purity and the purity of others outside of marriage and you’re honoring your spouse inside the marriage.
I believe oral sex can be a beautiful and pleasurable way to bring more intimacy, pleasure and connection within your marriage. If it’s not happening in your marriage and you’d like it to, talk about it with your spouse. Don’t pressure them. Just express your desire and ask if they’d be open to it. If they’re not comfortable about it, talk about the reasons why. Better communication leads to better sex (and improvements outside the bedroom too). Above all else, honor each other.