Is it permitted for married Christians to have oral sex with each other? This is just one of many questions that people have regarding sex in the life of a Christian. Some believe that sex is only for reproduction and therefore, any sex without that motive is considered sinful. The Bible, however, does not reveal that belief in any way. As a matter of fact, even a cursory view of the Bible will reveal that it does not tell us how to have sex in the context of marriage.
Of course, if a married couple desires to have children, then sexual intercourse is the obvious choice. If sexual intercourse does not produce children, then the couple may seek medical treatments or procedures to produce children, e.g., in-vitro fertilization. However, sex is not merely for reproduction. Sex is also used as a way for a married couple to bind with each other. It is an act of intimacy within the marriage that is used to express emotional connection, in addition to being physically connected.
This article attempts to provide insight on the topic of oral sex between married couples and to answer the question of whether it is permissible by God in the context of Christian marriage.
This begs the question, what is sex? Like many other English words, it has evolved over the centuries. Sex and gender at one time were almost synonymous with each other. Speaking of one’s sex or gender meant male or female. Today, that is not necessarily the case. Speaking of one’s sex tends to refer to the biological state of that person being male or female, which is determined by sexual organs (e.g., penis, vagina, etc.). Gender tends to refer to one’s sexual orientation based on one’s behavior, physiology, and hormone levels.
This means that a person who is considered male biologically may consider himself to be female or a combination of the two based on his behavior, sexual affinity to other males, etc.
Sex, therefore, has become quite complex given the environment today where sex isn’t necessarily considered binary (male/female). However, in the context herein, sex refers to sexual acts between a husband and wife.
What are these sexual acts? At its core, a sexual act is anything that involves the expression of human sexuality. This expression can be for lovemaking, self-gratification, pleasure, etc. and may take the form of sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, kissing, and more.
With that said, sexual acts have three major purposes: reproduction, expression, or pleasure. All three can exist in a marriage, Christian or not. The question for Christians is what sexual acts are permissible and prohibited.
Sex in Marriage
The context of sex in marriage herein refers to sex in a Christian marriage, though I believe it applies to any marriage.
Sex in marriage occurs to reproduce, physical and psychological pleasure, and expression of love and emotional connection. I believe this point is extremely important because sex is not merely for reproduction, but rather has a very important role within a marriage.
Through sex, a husband becomes emotionally (and physically) connected to his wife. Through sex, a wife expresses her emotional connection she has with her husband. The sexual acts themselves may vary. It could take the form of kissing, licking, sucking, intercourse, oral sex, sex games, sex talk, and a plethora of other sexual activities.
But what does the Bible say about what types of sexual activities are permissible? Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the Bible says nothing about forbidden or permissible sexual activities between married couples. The Bible does not tell us how to have sex, except that it should be between a husband and wife, i.e., man and woman.
Okay. Let’s talk specifically about oral sex. First, what do I mean by oral sex?
Oral sex means to stimulate your spouse’s genitals with your mouth, tongue, or lips. This could involve sucking or licking your spouse’s penis (called fellatio), vulva or clitoris (cunnilingus), or anus (anilingus). Basically, oral sex is to use your mouth to sexually stimulate your spouse.
Some classify oral sex as only those activities that involve the mouth stimulating the genitals. I personally do not limit oral sex that way. I believe oral sex is anything that involves using the mouth to sexually stimulate a person. That could be a husband sucking his wife’s breasts, a wife sucking her husband’s chest.
Different things could arouse different people. A woman may become extremely sexually aroused if her breasts are sucked and licked by her husband. A man may become extremely aroused if his wife sucks his penis or neck. It all depends on the person and the areas on their body that is most sensitive to sexual stimulation.
Oral Sex and The Bible
So, what does the Bible say about oral sex? Nothing. There is nothing in the Bible that declares that oral sex is prohibited. It doesn’t even define oral sex. Therefore, we are not informed by God that oral sex should be something we avoid the way it does adultery for example.
What about Onan?
The circumstances surrounding Onan in Genesis chapter thirty-eight has nothing to do with oral sex or sex itself. It has all to do with obedience to God.
Genesis 38:6–10 (NKJV) —  Then Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.  But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord killed him.  And Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.”  But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother.  And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore He killed him also.
In the Israelite culture, a man was supposed to provide heirs for his brother if the brother had no children (sons). Therefore, when Er died and had no heirs, it was the responsibility of Onan, Er’s brother, to provide a son/heir for his brother so that his brother’s name would progress. Not only that, the LORD told him to marry his brother’s wife, Tamar, and produce an heir for his brother.
Onan did not want to do what the Lord told him to do. Instead, when he had sex with Tamar, he removed his penis from her and allowed his semen to spill on the ground so that Tamar would not get pregnant and produce an heir for his brother. That was the sin of Onan, i.e., disobedience to God’s command. It wasn’t about masturbation or oral sex as some suggest.
What about the Song of Solomon?
Some consider the Song of Solomon to be an allegory of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church. Such is not the case by any means. The Song of Solomon is a love poem that expresses the love between a man and his wife. There are some verses in the Song of Solomon that some believe refers to oral sex. This cannot be known for sure because of the symbolic and perhaps euphemistic language of the poems.
Song of Solomon 2:3 (NKJV) —  Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, So is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
Some believe that the fruit reference in the above passage refers to her beloved genitals, and taste implies she was doing something with them with her mouth. This is not definitive because of the nature of poems. However, it did refer to oral sex, we see that there is no right or wrong associated with it, only that it was done and as an expression of love.
Song of Solomon 4:16 (NKJV) —  Awake, O north wind, And come, O south! Blow upon my garden, That its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden And eat its pleasant fruits.
This passage appears to be extremely erotic. The word garden is used throughout the Song of Solomon to refer to his bride’s vagina. She invites him to enjoy her vagina (eat its fruits), which implies oral sex or sexual intercourse. No one can be sure. The one thing we can be sure of is that it is an erotic text, and if nothing else, it shows us that God is not opposed to erotic expression done in the right context, i.e., marriage.
Is oral sex prohibited for Christian married couples? No. Oral sex is not prohibited for Christian married couples. Couples can enjoy sexual expressions with each other as they see fit. It is important, however, that both are comfortable with any sexual act that is practiced between the two. Neither should force or otherwise manipulate each other to do something their spouse is not comfortable with.
The Bible does not tell us how to have sex in marriage. Sex is used in marriage as an expression of love, emotional connection, pleasure, and reproduction. It is to be enjoyed fully (see 1 Corinthians 7:5). Fulfilling sex life in marriage is one way to help protect it from adultery, in addition to building a strong bond. As Solomon said in Proverbs, “Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well” (read Proverbs 5:15-21).
Married Christians are free to enjoy sex in their marriage. That sex could be intercourse, foreplay, or oral sex. The couple determines what is permissible and prohibited in their own marriage as they express their love for one another.
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