5 Things You Should Know about Oral Sex

Ah, oral sex … the first posts I wrote about it were oh-so-popular. I mean, really — a Christian wife talking about “blow jobs”? Yet, it’s been a while since I revisited this topic.

Now if you want my best tips on giving and receiving oral sex, check out my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, in which I have a whole chapter just talking about this particular form of sexual intimacy.

Hot, Holy, and Humorous book cover

But today, I thought I’d cover five things you should know about oral sex — especially for those who have been reluctant to try it (or try it again, as the case may be).

Blog post title with the number 5 as a graphic

1. The Bible doesn’t prohibit oral sex, and may even mention it.

For those who think, Oral sex isn’t okay with God!, ask yourself why you think that. Actually, there’s no prohibition against oral sex in the Bible. Indeed, some scholars believe that the lovers mention oral sex poetically in Song of Songs with these verses:

Wife to husband: “Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste” (2:3).

Husband to wife: “Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (4:16).

If you don’t buy that those refer to oral sex, how about this passage?

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.

Eat, friends, and drink;
drink your fill of love (5:1).

A better translation of that last line is “be drunk with love!” (ESV). And that last line is either a group of friends or God Himself speaking, with the message regardless that you can indulge in sexual delights with your spouse. Oral sex is an indulgence, but it’s not prohibited and perhaps here even encouraged.

2. Oral sex isn’t all or nothing.

One of the biggest objections I hear from wives in particular is that they don’t want to put the whole sausage, to speak, in their mouths. Or they don’t want to swallow. Or they don’t want to have his semen in their mouth. To which I say, then don’t. Oral sex is simply stimulating your spouse’s genitals with your mouth, lips or tongue. That’s it — no other requirement necessary. For example, you can lick his shaft, and that’s oral sex. Believe me, a lot of husbands would welcome that. (See What Does He Mean by “Oral Sex”? (It May Not Be What You Think).)

On the other side, husbands reading this, it still counts if she doesn’t swallow. (Yeah, don’t write me your sob story about how life is meaningless because your wife’s gag reflex prevents her from drinking your semen. I’m not buying it.) Oral sex doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can enjoy what works for you both, and over time some other options might open up.

3. Oral sex is mostly hygienic.

Yes, I put mostly, because it’s possible to transmit bacteria or a virus from mouth-to-genital and vice versa. Both your mouths and genitalia should be free of any lesions, sores, or wounds. Most of the warnings about lack of hygiene with oral sex presumes multiple sex and unknown status of sexually transmitted infections. In marriage, however, we have the benefit of a single partner and, hopefully, open communication about our health status.

But as long as neither of you is experiencing an infection in your mouth or on your genitals, oral sex is basically just a mouth on skin. Albeit very sensitive skin. In which case, the only caveat is to wash up! Male semen and female lubrication won’t damage you, and — for those who are worried — urine is extremely unlikely to leak out at that time.

4. The best way to improve the taste down there is healthy living.

Sex Chat for Christian Wives logo + episode titleI mentioned this in the latest episode of our Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, but when recently asked about how to improve the taste of sexual fluids, I did a lot of research. While you can find various tips and “tricks” online to presumably help, the real answer for addressing the taste and smell of semen or female lubrication is healthy living habits:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Hydrate with plenty of water
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Stick to a healthy diet

Yep, that’s it. Just take care of the body God gave you in the manner you should, and one benefit is that oral sex will taste better. How’s that for a reward?

5. Oral sex is one of the best ways for her to reach climax.

For a woman to reach climax, she must have sufficient stimulation of the clitoris. Somewhere from a third to a half of women don’t, and in some cases can’t, experience orgasm through intercourse alone.

So let’s engage in little anatomy lesson. The clitoris is a wishbone-shaped organ, with the merged tip appearing as the clitoral head.

3d printed female sex organ clitoris for human anatomy lessons

The unseen part of the clitoris (the wishbone “legs”) run down the length of the vulva on either side of the vagina and can be indirectly stimulated with hands or mouth and during intercourse. But the head sticks out near the front of the vaginal lips as a knob of flesh and can be directly stimulated. Like with a tongue. Yes, a hand will work too, but the mouth also has the benefit of providing moisture at the same time. So it’s really one of the best ways for a wife to get to that elusive Big O.

Look, you don’t have to have oral sex in your marriage. But many marriages have found a benefit in including this practice in their sexual repertoire. It might be worth discussing with your spouse to see what they like, what they don’t like, and what oral activities you can mutually agree to try.

 

Sources: Kontula, Osmo, and Anneli Miettinen. “Determinants of female sexual orgasms.” Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology. 2016. Accessed January 07, 2018; Herbenick, D., T. J. Fu, J. Arter, S. A. Sanders, and B. Dodge. “Women’s Experiences With Genital Touching, Sexual Pleasure, and Orgasm: Results From a U.S. Probability Sample of Women Ages 18 to 94.” Journal of sex & marital therapy. Accessed January 07, 2018. 

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69 thoughts on “5 Things You Should Know about Oral Sex

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    One thing that oral sex requires is a lot of trust, because it puts one into a very vulnerable position. It should go without saying, I suppose, that that trust should be a given in the marriage relationship, but there are individual set-points that might make it a bit difficult, that have nothing to do with the marriage and everything to do with the past.

    I wonder if some of your readers could benefit for trust-building exercises in this area?

    (And yes, this applied to me; I love my wife dearly, and trust her absolutely, but never felt comfortable letting my guard down for any kind of physical intimacy and did my best to avoid oral sex. )

    Reply
  2. lynn

    I really want to perform oral blessings for my husband but I can’t seem to get past feeling awkward about it. He is agreeable to whatever amount of blessing I am willing to try, bless him 🙂 I’m praying for courage and guidance in this regard. Thank you for the reminders.

    Reply
  3. Doug

    Way to go on the Song of Solomon insights! Church leaders today, and throughout history, have done such a good job spiritualizing away the eroticism of the Song.

    Reply
    1. Manservant O' God

      Great post, I love the fact you added the Song of Solomon aspect. Since I fight against those who teach that it is a book about the relationship with the church and not a sexual relationship within a marriage. Great work love the site.

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        I think Song of Songs is about a married couple and their sexual relationship, but I also think there are elements of symbolism about God and His people. Oftentimes Scripture has more than one layer. But unfortunately, the latter has historically been the accepted interpretation in churches and the former ignored or even chastised.

        Reply
        1. Bobthemusicguy

          You’re absolutely right about layers of meaning. In fact, in Ephesians 5, Paul tells us specifically that marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ. I’ve come to think that every aspect of our marriages is a reflection of that, including our sexual relations. Just because something is physical doesn’t mean it isn’t also spiritual. Not accepting that God delights in our having sex with our spouses, leads to the idea that sex is fleshly, maybe sinful, certainly not very spiritual. And that leads to a lot of sexual refusal based on the idea that spiritual Christians don’t do that kind of thing, or not very often, and they certainly shouldn’t enjoy it much.

          Reply
          1. J Post author

            Good thoughts. I agree that we’ve too often separated physical and spiritual, thinking they can’t co-exist. But if I feed the poor — certainly a noble, Christ-like act — doesn’t that require the use of my body? So why can’t sexual intimacy, done God’s way, be spiritual as well? Short answer: It can.

  4. LJC

    We did oral sex a few times a year for 16 years without talking about it before or after. It just kinda happened in the moment. When I braved the discussion about it last year, a flood of thoughts and emotions were shared and our marriage became strengthened, both in and out of the bedroom. We had some preconceived notions about how each other felt, both giving and receiving. Just like any part of marriage where we make assumptions, they were misguided and once the confusion was cleared up, it is now a normal part of our repertoire and we do it on each other about 60% of the time (there are other positions to try, you know…). I find that it is best if you discuss oral sex (and any other preferences and emotions regarding sex) outside of the bedroom. The majority of time, just the discussion arouses us enough to continue the “discussion” inside the bedroom, but expectations are no longer there. If we talk about oral sex or the expectation or not during that sexual session, then the discomfort of assumption is lifted and we become more uninhibited. I guess what I’m saying is that communication outside of the bedroom is crucial and is a first and continuous step toward any sexual act. Feedback is important.

    Reply
  5. John

    25 years of giving, still waiting to be on the receiving end. Course she doesn’t even touch me with her hands, so guess I really can’t expect it.

    Reply
  6. Mj

    I am also married for 23 years, not one time has she attempted to even try, we talked about it years ago when first married cause l expressed my wishes, and she promised me she would…still waiting…
    I use to enjoy giving to her but she made me feel ashamed and kinda thought I was “dirty minded” for doing it, now she won’t even kiss me cause she knows where my mouth has been.
    I bought your book, I read it, then asked if she would. She got really upset with me for buying and reading the book. I love her,and I won’t leave her because of it, but the temptations are unreal for a Christian man who’s wife won’t show love and affection to him. I am afraid most Christian marriages are very similar, no wonder Preachers are leaving the ministry for another woman. Even Pastor wives leaving there husband and children for another man in the Church. I have known 4 cases in the past 3 years of this, just in a 25 mile radius for us, good Baptist Minister families destroyed because needs not being met at home.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      What a frustrating situation for you! Rather than asking her to read a sex resource, maybe you could ask how she feels about sex and why…really listening to what she says. Try to find out why she feels the way she does and supportively address the underlying issues. When a husband brings up sex, sometimes a wife feels it’s because he only values her for her sexuality. I don’t know if that’s the situation here, but I consider it worth mentioning that she might have her own take on this that you can show concern for.

      Also, I agree that a quality sex life is one protection against divorce. However, those preachers leaving their wives didn’t do it simply because “needs not being met at home” — they made a decision that they have to own and don’t get to shift the blame entirely on their spouse.

      Reply
    2. Seeking the truth

      My wife and I enjoyed oral sex for about 9 years. She stopped wanting to do it after we joined a home church. It was taught that the body should only be used for what it was designed for, there is verse in the bible for this. Once again an entire indoctrination created around a single verse!

      I believe oral sex is allowed 99% but I have 2 things holding me back from discussing it with my wife and possibility of returning to doing it again.

      1. There is some spurious evidence that years of giving oral sex to a woman can lead to throat cancer from transmission of the paploma virsus (remember Michael Douglas comments)

      2. My wife and to a fair extent myself feel convicted about the fact “we use our lips to kiss our children” and we know where our lips have been.

      Is this being too uptight?

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        1. The connection between oral sex and throat cancer is about the transmission of HPV. Let me cite an expert on this one: Head and neck surgeon Brandon Prendes says, “The No. 1 risk in contracting oral HPV and developing HPV-related throat cancer is having multiple oral sex partners.” So basically, this is another situation where the issue isn’t the activity itself done in the context of God’s design (one man + one woman = covenant marriage), but rather passing a disease through multiple partners. Sexually transmitted infections can be passed in different ways, including oral sex and intercourse. We wouldn’t say, therefore, that intercourse is wrong, so why say that about oral sex? At least this alone is a poor argument against the practice itself. What is a very, very good takeaway is that we should pursue God’s design of waiting until marriage and having a single sexual partner; if that didn’t happen in your lives (didn’t in mine), then you should be tested for sexually transmitted infections and then decide based on results what options are open to you. (See https://health.clevelandclinic.org/throat-cancers-link-oral-sex-know/)

        2. I find this an interesting argument. It certainly falls in line with the response to people who use foul language, “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” But let me ask this: Where have your hands been? Our hands are used in sexual intimacy to stimulate one another’s genitals, but we also use them to eat, to show affection to our children, to wash our bodies, and to wipe our butts. Having known several people who worked with livestock, I dare say that in the agricultural communities of Bible times, people sometimes had their hands in some very not-appealing places to accomplish their work. And yet, again…we use them for so many positive things, including praise (Psalm 63:4: “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands“). If the hands can multi-task, why can’t the mouth? In fact, sorry to break to you, but you have probably sometime in your life vomited from your mouth, and yet still kissed your children. Personally, I think God’s just a very savvy Creator, who made many of our body parts multipurpose. Now, there are uses of our body parts that aren’t good for us, but I don’t see that with the mouth and oral sex. As least done God’s way (see point #1).

        ALL THAT SAID, oral sex doesn’t have to be a part of your marriage, if you two are happy with your sexual intimacy and have a repertoire you both enjoy. Just because it’s okay doesn’t mean it’s necessary. But you should at least make the decision with good information in mind. I hope this has helped.

        Reply
  7. Eric

    How do you respond to those who use the verse about “unnatural uses of woman” and other translations? I’m not catholic but have heard people say that oral sex is not natural. Even going to the degree that it is an act that makes a woman feel like a prostitute.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      So I had to do a little research. This objection is based on Romans 1:26, which the NKJV translates: “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.” The suggestion is that natural use refers to using those body parts intended for sexual intercourse — that is, penis and vagina. But this passage really seems to be talking about sexual relationships more than parts, especially when you look at the next verse (27): “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” Indeed, the ESV translates this passage as: “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

      Moreover, rather than relying on a single verse, you can look at other places in Scripture where God seems in favor of us enjoying other body parts than the ones we match together for intercourse. For instance, Proverbs 5:19 says, “A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” And Song of Songs 7:6-9 says:
      How beautiful and pleasant you are,
      O loved one, with all your delights!
      Your stature is like a palm tree,
      and your breasts are like its clusters.
      I say I will climb the palm tree
      and lay hold of its fruit.
      Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
      and the scent of your breath like apples,
      and your mouth like the best wine.

      Notice the phrase all your delights — not just the one down there, where he gets to put his thingamajig.

      As for oral sex being an act that makes her feel like a prostitute…whaaaaat?! Hey, prostitutes also have intercourse. But does having intercourse automatically make a woman feel like a streetwalker? Of course not. Just because a sexual activity is done in prostitution (or porn) doesn’t meant that doing it in the marriage bed is the same thing. Now there are things done in prostitution and porn that should not be part of marital intimacy, but that involves other factors of determination, not just that someone paid for that activity sometime, somewhere.

      Reply
      1. Eric

        The reasoning I heard for the prostitute comment was a statistic that men went to those women because typical wives didn’t give oral. So men paid for it to get it. Hence the person I was talking with extended the argument to the “logical” conclusion. It is an act of prostitution. Of course I don’t agree due to the very simple and logical reasoning you present. If we don’t do something because prostitutes do it, or sexual menu is VERY small if not totally empty.

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          Yep. And may I suggest that men who go to prostitutes aren’t doing it because their wives won’t give them oral, but because they’re the kind of men who selfishly go to prostitutes when they don’t get exactly what they want in bed? I’m pretty sure God’s not going to accept them blaming someone else for their sin. #BadIdea

          Reply
      2. Theo

        “Natural use” is a concept from Roman Catholic Moral Theology.
        It is commanded that only sex leading to procreation is allowed. Therefore using contraceptives, or ejaculate outside the vagina is seen as sin. Even if you are unable to conceive. Check RC dogma to find the fine points. To me the fallacy in the dogma is that the prime goal of marriage is seen as procreation, where the apostle Paul clearly teaches that marriage is to prevent sexual immorality and satisfy sexual desires. He even goes so far to RECOMMEND not to marry, thereby showing that procreation should not be a concern to the church.

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          Yes, that’s been the historic teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. However, it was also the historical belief of many Protestant churches. While that remains a philosophy among some in the Catholic faith, others embrace the idea that intimacy is a primary goal of sex in marriage.

          And while I agree that Paul’s admonition shows that procreation is not the only reason to marry, you have to look across Scripture for the various purposes of sex in marriage. See What Are the Real Purposes of Sex?.

          Reply
          1. Theo

            That’s why I explicitly mention the Church; in my opinion the role of marriage has changed during the NT times, as witnessed by Paul’s commands regarding marriage. I truly think this shows that the original command to be fruitful and multiply is either fulfilled, or does not need to be fulfilled in Christian marriages. It is not wrong of course to have children, and children can of course be a blessing.

            Hence marriage for procreation is not THE reason to marry (you could also see e.g. Gal 5 “For the desolate has many more children
            Than she who has a husband” as indicating a preference of spiritual “children” over physical children, even Paul sees himself as ‘father’)
            Emotional intimacy? you can get intimate with any brother of sister in friendships, you don’t need to marry for that. Companionship? No need to marry, look at Paul himself. No, the only reason to marry is to have sex, and if you can control your sexual desires, it is much better to NOT marry, that’s more or less what Paul is telling the disciples of Christ.

            Note also the parallel with Mt 19 where the disciples are surprised at Christ’s teaching about marriage and divorce: “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” And Jesus response: “there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. ” I.e. some people have forsaken sexuality and thereby have forsaken marriage for the Kingdom of Heaven.

            And you might also refer to Mt 22: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.” I.e. the heavenly state is one without marriage and without sex.

            Therefore, in my opinion, the *only* reason to marry is to be able to have sex with your spouse, but you’re warned of much marriage troubles ahead.

            How sad that sex in Christian marriages is often so troublesome, or even non-existing. Therefore, thanks for addressing the topic of sex in your blog,

          2. J Post author

            “Therefore, in my opinion, the *only* reason to marry is to be able to have sex with your spouse, but you’re warned of much marriage troubles ahead.” Wow, really? Do you know how many women are cringing at that statement right now? It plays into the “men are pigs” and “all men want it sex” stereotypes? The same stereotypes I try hard to dispel here in my blog. Because I’ve heard from a lot of husbands who do not buy into the only purpose of their wife being sex. In fact, if you want to say that you can get emotional intimacy and companionship elsewhere, I’d say it’s even easier to get sex elsewhere. Yes, that’s not biblical, but it follows the argument you made.

            I have amazing friends, close friends, best friends … who are nothing like my husband in our level of intimacy. It’s entirely different to “do life” with someone: to share a household, to raise children, to have every kind of intimacy given to us by God, to make life decisions together. Yes, sex is definitely one reason to marry, but there are so many benefits to marriage, as laid out in Scripture and as confirmed through research. God is a loving Father who can give us more than one blessing in a covenant relationship. I think we should embrace them all.

          3. Theo

            J: “if you want to say that you can get emotional intimacy and companionship elsewhere, I’d say it’s even easier to get sex elsewhere. Yes, that’s not biblical, but it follows the argument you made.” That’s indeed the difference in argument, I make a biblical argument, you’re constructing an unbiblical one here.

            J: “It plays into the “men are pigs” and “all men want it sex” stereotypes? The same stereotypes I try hard to dispel here in my blog. Because I’ve heard from a lot of husbands who do not buy into the only purpose of their wife being sex.”

            That often men want sex more than woman is backed up by science; their high testosterone levels are mainly responsible for that. Longing for sex is a God-given design. Calling it “men are pigs” is disrespectful to the Creator.

            Be careful, I never said the only purpose of a wife is for sex, I specifically said the only reason to *marry*. During marriage I fully understand the needs, benefits and blessings of all the things you mention. I also specifically acknowledged the need for emotional intimacy for both men and women. I also did not say that marriage is *ONLY* about sex.

            To repeat; the only reason to *marry* is for sex, but marriage itself is not only about sex. And again, that’s how I interpret St Paul’s words, it’s not my made-up opinion.

            Let’s review what St Paul says in 1 Co 7

            “*BECAUSE* of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”

            “For I wish that *ALL* men were even as I myself.” (i.e. unmarried, single)

            “*BUT* I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am;” (i.e. unmarried, single)

            “*BUT* if they *cannot exercise self-control*, *let them marry*. For it is *better to marry* than to *burn with passion*.”

            I summarize that as:
            1. To combat sexual immorality, one should marry (to be able to have sex)
            2. BUT It is better to stay single/unmarried (and not have sex)
            3. BUT if you cannot control your sexual desire/burning with passion, THEN marry

            Hence my statement: the *only* reason to marry is to have sex (supported by the other texts I mentioned regarding procreation etc.) I do not see how that could be a distortion of St. Paul’s message.

          4. J Post author

            But that’s looking solely at that one passage. Looking more broadly at Scripture, in Genesis 1:18, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'” That’s not just sex — it’s doing life together. Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun…” Proverbs 31:10-31 lays out the traits of a wonderful wife, and of all the blessings this wise man names about having a wife, sex isn’t in the list. Not that it isn’t important, because it’s mentioned in plenty of other places, but obviously it’s not the only reason to get married. And Ephesians 5:21-33 paints a beautiful picture of mutual care and love in a marriage.

            What I’m trying to get across, perhaps not well previously, is that when you say, “the only reason to *marry* is for sex,” it conveys the same message as “the man is only marrying a woman for sex.” If that is THE reason to get married, it’s not a very attractive deal for a lot of women who already feel like men just want something sexual from them. Yes, I know most men do want sex, quite a lot, and that’s a good thing. Marriages should be filled with holy and hot sexual intimacy. But while Paul’s statement gives passion as a reason to marry, he doesn’t preclude other reasons to marry that are equally beneficial, such as companionship, pooling resources, parenting, etc.

          5. Theo

            “What I’m trying to get across, perhaps not well previously, is that when you say, “the only reason to *marry* is for sex,” it conveys the same message as “the man is only marrying a woman for sex.””

            I hope I was able to clarify that was *not* my message; once you’re married, married life involves all the other aspects you have been referring to: sex, children, companionship, emotional intimacy etc.
            But the gateway to marriage is “sexual self-control”: it is better not to marry if you can control your sexual desire. If you cannot, then marry (hence: the only reason to *marry* is for sex/to be able to have sex)

          6. J Post author

            But I still think you’re drawing a conclusion solely from this one passage from Paul, without taking into account everything else God has said about marriage.

          7. Doug

            Yes, Paul’s words are frequently misconstrued. He tells Timothy to drink some wine for his ailments and then some conclude the only legitimate use of wine is for medicinal purposes. Ultimately, the male—female impulse to become one flesh is placed in us to reflect the Image of God in some way.

          8. J Post author

            Really? People concluded that? Huh. My grandmother drank wine in her later years for stomach issues, but she also decided around age 85 that she liked the taste of a good pina colada. ;0

          9. Theo

            Oh, and by the way, therefore this same passage is proof that the only permissible context to have intercourse is marriage between man and women. This both defines the marriage bond (between man and woman), forbids pre-marital and extra-marital sex, as well as commands marital sex.

          10. sheep

            I just read through this thread and thought I would add my personal 2 cents worth.
            1 year ago, I learned of my wife’s year long Adulterous affair and I confronted her. Her response? “I’m sorry” That is as much as I have gotten. She has done nothing to show repentance, despite my forgiveness, unconditional love, and constant attempts to reconcile. In fact, she won’t even willing to promise never to do it again.

            For a long time, she would tell me “most of the time we get along just fine. Why cant we just be friends that have sex, and raise our kids?” Let that sink in.. we are supposed to be friends, and have sex. Do you have any idea how insulting and demeaning that is? For this to happen, I would be reduced to being no more important than the next door neighbor. Oh, but I would get to have sex, unfortunately I would be no better than a prostitute or a sex toy.

            I could have sex pretty well any time I want it. But I have had to choose not to. Why? Because there is no repentance, there is no relationship, there is no intimacy! It makes me feel like a prostitute. It satisfies for a moment, but leaves me empty and feeling more used and rejected than I did before. Sex without intimacy has no purpose but to satisfy self.

            I have several friends that I am quite emotionally intimate with, but I don’t want to have sex with any of them. It is not the same as the marriage relationship. Those relationships do not meet the longing of the heart the way the love and intimacy of the marriage relationship does.

            To say that the only reason to marry is to have sex, cheapens the marriage relationship and the whole concept of marriage. It is not consistent with the biblical concept of the marriage relationship being a picture of Christ and the church. If that were the case, he might as well have said that a good friendship is a picture of Christ and the church.

            Having gone through what I am going through, my heart longs for intimacy far more than sex. I hope that someday, I will be able to experience real marital intimacy.

          11. J Post author

            How heartbreaking! I wonder why she thinks and feels this way. What does she foundationally believe about sexuality that makes her come to these conclusions?

            You might want to get into counseling yourself to look at ways you can cope, address the situation, and nudge for real intimacy in your marriage. Saying a prayer for you. Blessings!

          12. Theo

            J : “But I still think you’re drawing a conclusion solely from this one passage from Paul, without taking into account everything else God has said about marriage.”

            I appreciate this discussion, and I don’t mind that you disagree with me, but I do care that you falsely accuse me that I don’t take everything else from God’s Word about marriage into account. I think I’ve clearly shown in my comments that I acknowledged all other aspects of marriage you make based on other bible passages. My point has been about the condition to marry, not about the state of marriage (in which I think I agree with you). You have not disproven that the only reason to *marry* is to be able to have sex.

          13. J Post author

            Well, you haven’t proven that it IS the only reason to marry. Because you’re basing that on a single passage. And you know what? I don’t think we’re going to agree on this. So I do appreciate the discussion, but if you look up at the title of this post, this conversation has gotten way off from what the focus of the post is. So I’m saluting here and signing from this topic on this particular post. I do appreciate your engagement! Truly. Blessings.

  8. Brandon

    This is a very difficult post for me, but I have to say this for all of the frustrated husband and wives. My wife and I have been married for 23 years. Of those 23 years the first 20 we’re spent mostly in frustration in our marriage bed. My wife came from a very strict Christian upbringing we’re sex and affection were rarely mentioned or shown. I was raised in an atmosphere where they were considered gifts and a foundation of marriage. I was taught by my mother about the basics of sex. I was taught to be gentle and respectful. Never to be forceful or aggressive.

    After marriage we had sex. It was normal I thought until my wife started refusing. I would try to initiate or ask only to be shut down. This struggle would go on for days or weeks until my wife would give in and we would have sex. (not make love). I THOUGHT it was mutually enjoyable yet we continued on with this pattern for years. I became more frustrated and she withdrew more. She refused to give or receive oral sex or anything that wasn’t basic PIV missionary. I loved my wife dearly but I was questioning if our marriage would last.

    3 years ago we had hit rock bottom. With us both on our knees praying for God to save our marriage my wife found the courage to tell me what my mother had failed to teach me. If you aren’t providing your wife with what she needs in the marriage bed it is impossible for to provide for yours. For years we had sex, I climaxed yet she didn’t very often. The problem snowballed for years due to lack of communication. It wasn’t I didn’t want to meet her needs, I was ignorant to the fact I wasn’t. It had gotten so hurtful for her to be let down after sex it was easier to refuse.

    After alot of open communication and experimenting we are well on the way to the blessed marriage bed Good has always intended for us. Be very careful blaming your spouse for the void in your marriage bed. It could be that you need to take a hard look on your side of the bed first. I should have. It would have saved my wife from years of hurt and frustration. I thank the Lord she was strong enough to stay committed to our marriage.

    Reply
  9. libl

    Hubby removed oral from our marriage bed 8 years into our marriage with little explanation beyond he never liked giving it to me, I wasn’t good at giving it to him, and it was more something for before marriage. Now that he has access to my vagina with his penis, he doesn’t want to do anything else sexually except intercourse.

    I have a long history of complaining about it on these blogs, but I have decided to accept his sexual preference and humbly enjoy what he does allow. He is my husband, I do believe in headship. Perhaps God has a bigger reason for this.

    Reply
    1. Amy

      A man being head of his household has nothing to do with him denying his wife sexual pleasure in the marriage bed. That’s not headship, that’s dictatorship.
      Interestingly, isn’t that what most men complain about re: their wives? Yet if the wife does it that’s un-biblical because she is a woman but if a man does exactly the same thing it’s okay and called headship?

      I’m sorry, but it makes me sad to read your comments about your husband limiting what happens in your marriage bed and him not allowing something which he used to do yet insisting on sex only one way for his pleasure.
      My husband is head over our household too, but we work together to have a mutually happy home and satisfying sex life.

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        I agree with much of what you said, but I don’t like the use of the word “dictatorship,” which seems a bit over-the-top. In the same way, you could call wife gatekeepers “dictators,” but I don’t think that’s really what’s happening — a conscious attempt to forcefully rule over another. Oftentimes not meeting your spouse’s needs has to do with personal deficiencies that need to be addressed.

        Reply
        1. Amy

          Your right, that wasn’t perhaps the best choice of words, it’s just the one that came to mind when I was typing but it’s not how I intended the use of it. I was simply trying to convey the message of someone telling another how it’s going to be and there is no discussion about it. And that is NOT what headship is. Especially in the marriage bed where it should be a mutually satisfying experience.

          Was not trying to be over-the-top so to speak, was typing from a place of sadness over what libl wrote and often does write.

          Reply
      2. libl

        I agree that mutuality is part of the marriage bed, but this is where headship comes in.

        I see lack of oral as a problem.
        He sees performing (and receiving) oral as a problem.

        I feel he is selfish to not give me oral.
        He feels I am selfish to expect it of him.

        Is oral needed to cover Biblical grounds for sex in marriage? No. We are having sex, and lots of it, just no oral.

        He has placed his line in the sand and dug in his heels. It is a gavel-down case. I can either continue in my complaining and turn into a contentious wife and put a strain on our marriage bed, or I can respect his headship and bring peace to our marriage bed, enjoying the fruits within the boundaries.

        And then there are other arguments.

        I often read advice to men saying they should respect their wife’s aversion and not force or demand anything of her.

        Also, do into others and all that…..I wouldn’t want hubby pressuring me into sex acts I find distasteful, unenjoyable, or sinful. So, what gives me the right to expect him to “man up” and give me oral? Just because the vast majority of men love performing oral? Just because people don’t understand his aversion? Just because it is ok for a woman to be averse to something sexual, but not a man?

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          Honestly, I think this comment explains much better what’s going on. Of course you know that I agree that spouses should respect one another’s aversions and not insist on one particular activity, especially when the rest of their sexual intimacy is fruitful, so I respect and appreciate your decision.

          But while I am a complementarian (and that label is a large umbrella), I don’t particularly see this particular situation as a headship issue, but rather something either spouse would do to follow the commands to “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10) and “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

          Reply
          1. Ton

            I understand the reasoning of libl, it is according to teachings of complementarian/orthodox/patriarchical headship-submission.

            The “submit to one another” does not *necessarily* mean that each one should submit to the other one. It can as well mean that some are to submit. I think that is the interpretation that is in line with the rest of text, as well as with parallel texts in e.g. 1 Peter. Submit yourselves: wives to husbands, slaves to masters, and children to parents. Nowhere are husbands directly asked to submit to wives, masters to submit to slaves, or parents to submit to children.

          2. J Post author

            While I know that patriarchy and complementarianism get lumped together, I don’t think that’s a fair equating. The former has an authoritarian structure, while the latter does not. And I think your interpretation of the scripture is patriarchal, not complementarian. Moreover, there are many places in Scripture where we are told to honor others above ourselves (Romans 12:10), to serve one another (Galatians 5:13), and even symbolically wash one another’s feet (John 13:14). In the same way that you don’t want 5:21 to overpower the other verses in the Bible about the marriage relationship, we also cannot ignore the many passages about how we treat one another in determining how our marriages should function. I’m a complementarian, but I also believe that when my husband and I are living out the Scripture, he leads but I’m right there with him, and we’re not having to overthink the “Submission Clause.”

          3. Ton

            I will not try to divert the topic into another discussion, but you seem to have a better view about the difference between complementarianism and patriarchy than I have. I’ve read all about complementarianism by e.g. Piper and Grudem. What is your source for the definition of (traditional/orthodox) patriarchy? I have not found one.

          4. J Post author

            John Piper is one of those ministers with whom I agree sometimes and disagree sometimes, but I really haven’t read his stuff on complementarianism. I really don’t want to turn this into a whole theological discussion (which I could do, but it isn’t the focus of my site), but suffice it to say that I see at least three male-female interpretations: patriarchy (man being the boss, woman obeying her husband), complementarianism (man leading, woman supporting), egalitarianism (man and woman sharing leadership equally). And please don’t get hung up on the exact words I chose, because I’m penning this as a short response that isn’t the point of my website and not a theological treatise. But I just wanted to quickly clarify a bit. Hope that helps!

        2. Amy

          A man saying no to sexually pleasing his wife is not headship, it is simply a man refusing to sexually please his wife. And I’m not just talking about oral sex because from what I remember, you have written here and elsewhere that your husband refuses to help you climax and only allows sex a certain way. If I’m wrong, I truly apologize, but that seems to be what you’ve written about before.

          Of course you cannot keep badgering your husband for something he just refuses to do, sadly there’s not much you can do if he refuses to talk about it. Neither spouse should have to ever do anything sexually they do not like, whether giving or receiving, we all have the ability to say no.

          Look Libl, I’m not here to argue with you, you are obviously trying hard to follow under what you deem headship in your marriage and sometimes we just try to make sense out of what we can to keep ourselves sane. You are in my prayers.

          Reply
          1. cp

            Admittedly a charged topic yet one I believe you have navigated as well as is possible. Interesting in the writer’s case was that her spouse changed course (taking things off the table so to speak) in an uncommon direction. Like you, I have trouble viewing this as headship; rather, it strikes me as his valuing his personal desires and needs above hers, period.

    2. Doug

      As a man, I would point out to this husband that Headship essentially entails looking out for the body — his wife. We see this physically: it is the head that is primarily involved when it comes to nutrition or exercise. We should see it sexually. If this concern is not being shown then the man is not acting as head.

      A husband should be driven by the desire to exceed his wife’s expectations sexually and blow her away. Toward that end he should be using all means to educate himself — and using all his tools!

      “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”

      “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        I appreciate this comment, Doug. This is one of those where what you’re saying would be better man-to-man. That is, this is what you’d tell the husband, but it’s the wife who’s commenting. So in this case, what would those verses mean for her? Probably what she later explains she decided.

        Reply
    3. alchemist

      What an odd thing to think “oral sex is for before marriage”. Um, no. No kind of sex is for before marriage.

      I really wonder why/ how some people picked up the idea that manual or oral was ok before marriage, when people seem absolutely clear that any kind of genital contact or stimulation to climax with another person would be cheating (aka sex) in marrige.
      Is it just horny guys justifying doing what they want? Is someone actually teaching them that acts with “sex” IN THE NAME is somehow not sex? Like what gives?

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        As someone who was a “technical virgin” for a while way back when, I think there are (at least) four factors in play:

        1. An emphasis on “how far is too far” rather than honoring God with our bodies
        2. A desire to do what you want and then find rationalizations for it (“It’s not actually sex!” Um, yes, it is.)
        3. An inability or unwillingness of Christians and churches to talk to singles authentically about sexual integrity
        4. A flawed person (aren’t we all?) who messes up and doesn’t know how to reclaim sexual purity

        That’s my two cents. But you’re right — oral sex is part of the sexual intimacy package and should wait for marriage.

        Reply
  10. Phil

    Ok J so the wife and I had a discussion on oral sex recently with regard to me giving and her receiving. She said she didnt like it but then the truth came out. She in fact is more worried about getting a urinary tract infection from oral sex and says it isnt worth the risk. So just to cut to the chase here I will just say the I beleive my past sexual behaviors in our marriage aka masturbation in private then sex with her was most likely the cause of her infections rather than oral sex. Thats my opinion anyway. So I have read both yes and no or maybe so that oral sex causes urinary tract infections. What do you know? Can you help us out? The wife and I have been trading articles from the net and I trully just dont know the answer. This is a 14 year old issue that we just have not resolved and I feel like we are getting closer to the truth about us. Thanks

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Sometimes I wish I had a doctor on speed dial. (I do have some contacts, but they’re not speedy and I don’t like to overuse them.) But from what I can tell, yes, you can get a UTI from oral sex, but that’s not more likely to cause a UTI than intercourse. It’s possible that she got some other kind of infection if you happened to have something going on in your mouth at that time, and dental health is important to maintain for this reason. But UTIs are caused by bacteria (often from the anal area) getting pushed into the urethra — which could happen with a mouth, a penis, or a finger. She should make sure to urinate after any kind of sex you have (within about 10 minutes — no need to rush), and you might want to keep your activity toward the front of things, so to speak. If she’s prone to infections, drinking cranberry juice, taking probiotics, and eating blueberries and Greek yogurt can all help.

      Reply
  11. Wayne

    “Let him kiss me with the kisses if his mouth”, that appears almost from the start of Song of Solomon, so I think that clearly rules out oral sex *being* ruled out (thought I’d use a double negative for emphasis this once). And I agree, I can hardly imagine a more erotic book when interpreted accurately. The Song is just specific and detailed enough yet leaves enough to the imagination to be the all time best sex manual, in my opinion. Plus, it is a spiritual allegory also. It is NOT an “either/ or” choice. It’s both.

    I wholeheartedly agree with kisses being highly erotic. Especially French kisses, and while I don’t know if the French in fact invented it, they are desired, and intensely popular for a reason. And they whet the appetite for other uh, areas, to be orally stimulated. I also agree oral sex isn’t all or nothing.

    French kisses, hmm, yes, that’s one thing we haven’t done in a while. For a couple that doesn’t like to talk during our intimate time (other than “over to the left/ right, harder/not so hard, faster/ slower” , and we do discuss it away from the bedroom) that’s one sure way to keep each other quiet. At least until, well, I’ll leave that to your imagination, and even mine. Please do keep praying for me and us, as I do for you and all here.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Then I’d ask, “Did we get our allotment of conversation? Helping around the house? Going on dates? Why is oral sex different?” Maybe there is an underlying reason why she doesn’t want to engage, and then you can discuss that.

      Reply
  12. M

    @Phil: UTIs were a big problem until I started taking D-mannose, a supplement. It changed my life. I take some about once a day for maintenance and always after sexual activity. You can buy it on Amazon and at health food stores. Solaray D-mannose with cranactin powder seems to work the best for me. You stir it in water, tastes fine.

    Reply
  13. Annette

    After a year of marriage my husband and I tried oral sex, and let me tell you..wow!! I regret not trying it earlier. Of course I’m only learning and so is he, but it’s really about letting go and being vulnerable. We’ve been having so much fun getting to know each other fully 😉

    Reply
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  15. Anonymous

    There are many couple like us out there. I thought during the early days of our marriage some 30+ years ago that my wife was just not that interested in sex. Wrong!!! She just had hangups and so did I. For me I was too selfish back then. For my wife she had the miscued ideas that good girls don’t just relax and enjoy letting her husband lead and play with her naked body for the [sheer] joy of pleasuring her sex drive.

    Reply
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