Is oral sex in Christian marriage a sin? If it is not a sin is it optional or is it a requirement for Christian husbands and wives in marriage?
Recently on another article I wrote, totally unrelated to the topic of oral sex, I had a commenter named Trey make the following statement about how a man should require that his wife demonstrate her submission and respect toward him after she has denied him sex simply because she was “not in the mood”. He said she should be required to do this before she would be allowed back in the marriage bed:
“Denial of sex by a wife is the ultimate form of disrespect and control of her husband. If she has denied you sex (for no good reason), sex should be required before she is allowed back into your marriage bed. Oral sex while on her knees before you seems very appropriate and swallowing is a must. Spitting you out is also a form of disrespect.”
I then had these comments come in.
Lost&Found wrote in response to Trey:
“You say, “Oral sex while on her knees before you seems very appropriate and swallowing is a must. Spitting you out is also a form of disrespect.”
Why would swallowing be a “must,” and spitting be “disrespect”? How is it you have come to that conclusion? And how is a husband going to force his wife not to spit?
To me, the fact that sperm are a man’s seed and when combined with a woman’s egg will create a baby, makes the thought of a woman swallowing it absolutely repugnant.”
Bruce went even further than Lost&Found in his response to Trey:
“Don’t know about 1,2, &4 but 3 is totally wrong. Lisa should not allow her husband to put his penis in her mouth (or anus for that matter). This is sodomy or, at best, sodomitic mimicry. Her husband’s penis and semen belongs in her vagina not her digestive tract. If Lisa is reading this: you are NOT to obey your husband in this – obey God first.”
So, we can definitely see some strong views on the matter of a woman giving her husband oral sex in the three comments I have just mentioned.
With Trey we see the view that a woman a should not only give her husband oral sex, but that she should swallow and not spit out his semen when he finishes.
With Lost&Found we see the view that perhaps oral sex is ok for a woman to do for her husband, but that swallowing should not be required.
With Bruce we see a complete rejection of oral sex and his lumping it in with anal sex and categorizing oral sex and anal sex as Sodomy. He maintains that both a husband’s penis and his semen belong in his wife’s vagina and not “in her digestive tract”. Bruce even went as far as to tell the woman who I was responding to that she should not obey her husband regarding oral sex, but rather obey God first.
So, which of these commenters is right? As always, to find the answer to all moral questions we must first look to the Scriptures.
Do the Scriptures teach that the Penis and Semen May Only Go in the Vagina?
I am willing to bet that Bruce is most likely Catholic as his view of oral sex is more common among Catholics than any other Christian denomination. The teaching of the Catholic Church is that all sex must be “procreative” or “open to life” or the orgasm must be “genital to genital”. In other words, all sexual relations between a man and his wife must end with his penis ejaculating in her vagina.
Now Catholics differ on whether a woman can orally pleasure her husband and the rule is only that he must finish in her vagina.
The problem is that the Bible never teaches this doctrine. It is a completely man-made doctrine.
Some have wrongly attempted to teach that the story of Onan in the Bible confirms that God only allows sex that is penile-vaginal intercourse and that the man must finish in his wife’s vagina each and every time:
“8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.”
Genesis 38:8-10 (KJV)
Onan was not killed simply for spilling his semen on the ground – i.e. “pulling out”. He was killed by God because of WHY he pulled out. He pulled out to avoid impregnating his dead brother’s wife which was his duty before God. So, Genesis 38:8-10 proves nothing in regard to God requiring men to always have penile-vaginal intercourse that ends with an ejaculation in the woman’s vagina.
Are oral sex and anal sex for that matter called out as “Sodomy” in the Bible? The answer is no. If you look at the story of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis chapter 19 you will find no mention of oral or anal sex. What you will find mentioned is men wanting to have sex with men – homosexuality.
Later in the Old Testament you will find the term “sodomite” used like in the following passage:
“There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.”
The English word “sodomite” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Qadesh” which literally means “male prostitute”. So, when we take together the story of Sodom and Gomorrah along with the use of Qadesh what can we say that Sodomy is from a Biblical perspective? It is when men engage in homosexual behavior or prostitute themselves out.
Oral sex is not wrong because Sodomites engage in it anymore than penile-vaginal sex is wrong because unmarried men and women engage in it. It is the context which makes sexual acts, including oral sex, right or wrong.
I will briefly address anal sex near the end of this article after I have fully covered oral sex from a Biblical perspective.
We must then ask the question, is there any passage of the Bible which looks negatively upon oral sex? And the answer is no. But the answer to the next question I will pose may surprise many Christians. Does the Bible ever speak positively of oral sex? And the answer is YES.
The Bible Speaks in a Positive Manner Regarding Oral Sex
After I show you this next passage of the Bible, you will never look at a tree, especially an apple tree, the same again.
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
Song of Solomon 2:3 (KJV)
In ancient middle eastern poetry, the apple tree was a euphemism for a man’s genitals. Consider the parts of the tree in the image below and how they correlate to a man’s genitals.
The image that the woman “sitting under his shadow” portrays is that of a man standing over top of his wife with his shadow over her and her down below him performing Fellatio which is oral sex performed on a man and is commonly referred to today as a “blow job“. The Scriptures tell us she did this “with great delight” or in other words with enthusiasm and desire. What is the fruit of his tree? It is his semen. The woman says of her husband’s semen that it was “sweet to my taste”.
But what about oral sex on a woman? Again, the Bible speaks to this as well. And just as I warned you with the apple tree, you will no longer look at a cluster of grapes or a pomegranate the same ever again after reading the next few Scripture passages.
“7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes…
12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.”
Song of Solomon 7:7 &12 (KJV)
This picture being presented above is that of a man wanting to see his wife’s breasts and genitals becoming aroused with grapes representing her breasts and pomegranates representing her genitals.
See the image below of a pomegranate and you can definitely see the resemblance to a woman’s genitals:
Now look below at what the wife asks her husband do with her “pomegranate”:
“I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.”
Song of Solomon 8:2 (KJV)
Drinking of the juice of her pomegranate is a euphemism for Cunnilingus which is oral sex performed on a woman.
Another reference to the wife requesting oral sex from her husband is found below:
“Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”
Song of Solomon 4:16 (KJV)
If you ever wondered where “going south” on a woman or “eating out” a woman came from – you can find it right there in there in Song of Solomon 4:16. The imagery of this passage is unmistakably referring to cunnilingus with the “spices” that “may flow out” referring to the natural secretions that come from a woman’s genitals when she is aroused or stimulated.
So yes, we can say beyond a doubt that the Bible speaks positively, not negatively, of oral sex as long as it occurs as all sexual acts should – within the proper context of marriage. We can now at this point completely dismiss as totally unbiblical Bruce’s position that oral sex is a sin and that women should disobey their husbands if this is requested.
So Oral Sex is an Option for Christian Spouses, But Is It Also Required?
Up to this point we have proven that oral sex is definitely an option for men and women within the covenant of marriage. The next question we must ask though is this. Is oral required in marriage in according to the Bible?
None of the references to oral sex in the Song of Solomon are written in the form of a command, but rather they are written in the form of a positive example. Examples of various behaviors and actions in the Bible when presented in a positive light show us that God allows us to do that particular thing, but examples do not require us to do a certain thing.
In other words, positive Biblical examples allow while Biblical commands compel.
But while Song of Solomon contains no commands about oral sex, there are other passages which do give us commands about sex in general.
“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)
The passage above from 1 Corinthians teaches us several important Biblical principles about sex:
- Sex is both a right and duty in marriage of both the husband and the wife.
- The husband does not have the power to deny his body to his wife for sex nor does the wife have the power to deny her body to her husband for sex.
- The only thing that requires “consent” in the Biblical world view of sex is consent by both of them to stop having sex for a brief period of time.
The Biblical principles above fly in the face of our modern individualist and secular humanist view of human autonomy today. But we as Christians are commanded to reject whatever values our culture has which conflict with the Word of God:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
So now let’s apply the principles of I Corinthians 7:3-5 to the topic of oral sex.
If a man wants his wife to perform oral sex on him – does she have the right to refuse? According to 1 Corinthians 7:4 the answer is no she does not have such a right. But the same goes for woman. If a woman wants her husband to perform oral sex on her, does he have the right to refuse? Again, the answer according to I Corinthians 7:4 is no, he does not have such a right.
So, the answer to our question is that oral sex can be both optional and required.
It is optional in the sense that if neither spouse wants to engage in oral sex than it is not required. Is required in the sense that if either spouse wants to engage in it, then the other spouse must cooperate and render themselves accordingly.
Now of course we must balance the right to have sex with one’s spouse and the responsibility to have sex with one’s spouse with other Scriptural principles.
For instance, the Bible teaches the following to husbands regarding their wife’s body:
“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”
Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)
A man must care for the needs of his wife’s body as he would his own. In the sexual arena, that means he should never do anything to his wife that would misuse or cause harm to his wife’s body.
Sometimes vaginal sex may be need to cease for a time if the woman is having medical conditions that warrant such a ceasing, a good example of which would be right after she has had a child. There may also be times when oral sex may need to cease because the man or woman has had some type of dental work or oral surgery. There may be other times when it would not be conducive for a man to perform oral sex on his wife, for instance when she has her period or when she has some type of infection in her genital area.
Is it Healthy for A Woman to Swallow Her Husband’s Semen?
Under normal circumstances oral sex between a husband and wife within the confines of marriage presents no health risks whatsoever. What do I mean by normal? If a man and woman follow God’s design for marriage and they both wait for all sexual activity (including oral sex) until marriage there is no chance of them contracting any STDs from one another due to oral sex.
On the subject of a man’s semen. Many women are grossed out by a man’s semen while others absolutely love it. So, what is in this mystery fluid that is ejected from a man’s body when he has an orgasm?
On average men ejaculate about a teaspoon of semen.
Sperm makes up only about 2 to 5 percent of a man’s semen.
The overwhelming majority of a man’s semen is fructose(sugar), along with vitamin C, zinc, protein, lactic acid, magnesium, calcium chlorine, citric acid, creatine, potassium, vitamin B12, sodium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
Basically what that means is your husband’s sperm has about the same ingredients as the breakfast plate pictured below.
So, no it absolutely not unhealthy for a woman to swallow her husband’s semen. In fact, it is very healthy both for her physically and for him psychologically. And we will tackle the male psychological side of oral sex next.
How Fellatio Affects a Man’s Psyche
There are two ways that a woman can approach oral sex with her husband. The one is to “well I do this because I know he likes it but this is gross and he better not finish in my mouth!” In other words, the idea of her husband’s penis and especially his semen in her mouth utterly grosses her out.
Even outside of oral sex, some women just find their husband’s semen gross and immediately after sex they are running to the bathroom to do this extensive cleaning process or even taking a bath in some cases.
Other women crave their husband’s semen. These women perform oral sex to actually be able to taste their husband’s semen. This is the type of wife that is pictured in Song of Solomon 2:3.
For most men who have not been conditioned to be ashamed of their sexual desires, they want their wife to be like the wife of Song of Solomon 2:3. They want their wife to crave their semen. Whether it be wanting it on their face, in their mouth, on their breasts and certainly in their vagina. Why? Because a man’s semen is an extension of himself. Semen, unlike other bodily biproducts from a man, represents life. It represents the man’s life and who he is.
So yes, many men find it disrespectful and unloving when their wife finds their semen to be gross whether inside or outside her body or she refuses to swallow. But most men have been conditioned by our society (including the churches) to remain silent about this and to tell women what they want to hear that it is “not important” to them.
A wife shows her submission to her husband when she kneels before him and takes his “apple tree” in her mouth.
A wife shows her full acceptance of her husband when she does this act with “great delight” showing her husband that she craves the “sweet” taste of his fruit.
A wife shows her sacrificial spirit when after performing fellatio on her husband to its natural completion she asks for nothing in return.
Why Cunnilingus is Important for Women
Multiple studies have confirmed that many women cannot have orgasms from penile-vaginal intercourse alone.
Consider these numbers from an article on Psychology Today entitled “Why So Many Women Don’t Have Orgasms”:
“For men, rates of orgasm varied only slightly based on how many of these three actions they’d reported:
One (just intercourse): 96 percent of the men had orgasms.
Two (hand massage and intercourse): 95 percent.
Three (hand massage, fellatio, and intercourse): 98 percent.
But for women, rates of orgasm varied considerably based on the number of actions:
One (just intercourse): 50 percent of the women reported orgasms.
Two (hand massage and intercourse): 71 percent.
Three (hand massage, cunnilingus, and intercourse): 86 percent.”
In summary, the number above show that 96 percent of men can have an orgasm through penile-vaginal intercourse without any manual stimulation of their genitals or oral sex.
But only 50 percent of women can have an orgasm from penile-vaginal intercourse alone. For many women they must have their genitals massaged along with receiving oral sex in order to have an orgasm.
So why is cunnilingus important for women? Because there is a large chunk of women that cannot have an orgasm without it.
The Importance of Allowing Oral Sex
It is rare but I do sometimes hear from both men and women that they do not really want to allow their spouse to perform oral sex on them but their spouse really wants to.
What these men and women need to understand is that giving oral sex can be a huge turn on for many men and women and it is a crucial part of foreplay for them even if orgasm is not reached through it.
From the emails I have received, it is more often women that are opposed to their husbands performing oral sex on them then men opposing their wives performing oral sex on them.
Sometimes it is because they just always feel dirty in their genital area, even after they wash. Some women just don’t want their husband’s mouth on their genitals simply because they think it is gross. For some women it might be because their husband performed oral sex once and he was too rough.
If it is just a matter of the husband changing his technique, this can be accomplished through communication between the wife and her husband.
But in either case, a man or woman opposed to having oral sex performed on them by their spouse needs to address whatever issues are hindering them in this area. Because they are holding back a portion of themselves that they ought not to be from their spouse.
What About Anal Sex?
Earlier we talked about how some Christians like Bruce link oral sex with anal sex and associate both these practices with the Biblical condemnation of Sodomites. I have a written an entire article on the subject of Anal sex entitled “Do Christian wives have to submit to requests for anal sex by their husbands?”. I won’t go into all the details here as you can just read that article but I will just summarize my position on it here.
The anus, unlike the vagina and the mouth, is not designed for penetration. It is designed as an “exit-only” orifice.
WebMD states this about anal sex:
“The anus lacks the natural lubrication the vagina has. Penetration can tear the tissue inside the anus, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter the bloodstream… Using lubricants can help some, but doesn’t completely prevent tearing.
The tissue inside the anus is not as well protected as the skin outside the anus. Our external tissue has layers of dead cells that serve as a protective barrier against infection. The tissue inside the anus does not have this natural protection, which leaves it vulnerable to tearing and the spread of infection…
Even if both partners do not have a sexually-transmitted infection or disease, bacteria normally in the anus can potentially infect the giving partner. Practicing vaginal sex after anal sex can also lead to vaginal and urinary tract infections”
Now some have argued that “God has designed many parts of the body with a primary function and many secondary as well” and that is absolutely true. The mouth has the primary purpose of acting as the intake for food and drink for the body but it has a secondary purpose of allowing for kissing and oral sex. In the same way the vagina has the purpose of being able to give birth to a child, but it has another purpose of being able to receive a man’s penis for penile-vaginal intercourse.
Some have tried to argue that the anus in women, like the vagina is created by God for a dual purpose as well. They argue that a woman’s anus is designed by God for evacuating waste from the body but also receiving a man’s penis for anal intercourse.
The problem with this dual-purpose theory for a woman’s anus is that we know that it is a medical fact that the anus is NOT designed for penetration. It does not have the thick elastic lining of either the mouth or the vagina. It has much thinner skin that is very easily torn and can easily become infected.
Another thing which separates oral sex from anal sex is cross contamination. There are no medical issues with a man receiving oral sex from his wife and then him placing his penis in her vagina. There are however great risks of spreading harmful bacteria from man having anal sex with his wife and then putting his penis in her vagina afterwards as this can cause infections in the vagina.
It is for all these reasons that I believe anal sex is in fact a misuse of a woman’s body and it stands apart from oral sex. Oral sex does not have any health risks under normal circumstances while anal sex is considered by health practitioners to be the “riskiest form of sexual activity” that there is.
Again, you can read my full article on anal sex by reading my article “Do Christian wives have to submit to requests for anal sex by their husbands?”.
From a Biblical perspective, oral sex is not equivalent to Sodomy any more that penile-vaginal intercourse is equivalent to fornication. Just as penile-vaginal intercourse is only fornication if it occurs outside a marriage covenant between a man and woman, so too oral sex is only sodomy if it occurs in the context of two men having sex.
The Bible never restricts sexual relations between husbands and wives to only penile-vaginal intercourse. It actually presents oral sex, both fellatio and cunnilingus in a positive light.
We have also shown that oral sex is more than just an option for Christian husbands and wives. The 1 Corinthians 7:4 principle that husbands and wives must fully surrender their bodies to one another for sex can make oral sex a requirement and not just an option in marriage if either spouse wants it.
Men should not be repulsed by the thought of performing oral sex on their wives and women should not be repulsed by the thought of performing oral sex on their husbands.
Women should understand that it is not gross or unhealthy in anyway for a them to swallow their husband’s semen. It is actually very healthy and it is a powerful bonding tool for a wife to use with her husband.
When a woman has wrongfully denied her husband sex the idea of her kneeling before him, performing fellatio and then swallowing his semen is probably the best apology a wife could ever give her husband for such a sin.
But a wife must realize that her performing fellatio as well as her swallowing is not simply something she should do as an apology for sexual denial. It is something that should be done regularly to show her love, full acceptance and submission to her husband.
Finally, for those who might be concerned that I am promoting oral sex over penile-vaginal sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. While I think fellatio and cunnilingus should be utilized by couples on a regular basis for foreplay or with cunnilingus to help a wife have an orgasm, I do believe that the vast majority of sexual encounters between a husband and wife should end in penile-vaginal intercourse with him ejaculating in his wife’s vagina.
You don’t have to be a doctor or a biologist to see that a man’s penis and a woman’s vagina are perfectly designed to come together. When a man and woman come together in penile-vaginal intercourse this is them becoming “one flesh” in the most literal sense of the Biblical phase.
But what we have known since creation simply by common observation has also been proven scientifically in that penile-vaginal intercourse results in a release of 400% percent more prolactin in men and women than any other form of sexual activity (like oral sex or masturbation). Prolactin is what give us the sense of satisfaction from having sex.
However, it is one thing to say that penile-vaginal sex is the best form of sexual relations a husband and wife can have and another to say it is the only kind of sexual relations a husband and wife can have.