Can we *Blank*?

Can we *Blank*? 1

This post is also available as a podcast: Podcast #001: Can We *BLANK*?

Are there any sexual limits or boundaries in a Christian marriage? Long-time readers of our blog may not be surprised at the short answer: no! But, of course, there are a few caveats worth discussing. In general, God has given us a wide field of freedom that is fenced with a few rules for our protection. Some rules are precise and explicit (example: “do not commit adultery”) while others require discretion (example: “love your neighbor as yourself”), but we think the principles are pretty easy to apply to sex in marriage.

  • Sex in marriage must involve only the married couple. The only holy sex is sex between a married husband and wife. Spouses cannot agree between themselves to bring other people into their sexual relationship. Any sexual practices that involve anyone other than the husband and the wife are sinful. There are numerous passages in the Bible that command strict monogamy; consider this post about Proverbs 5, “be intoxicated always in her love”Hebrews 13:4, and Proverbs 7.
  • Sex in marriage must be consensual. The Bible is pretty heavy on love and humility, and there’s no place for non-consensual sexual activity in a loving relationship between humble spouses. You’re free to play at non-consensual sex if both spouses desire it, as long as it’s play that is founded on real consent. Power exchanges, like bondage play, can be quite fun, as long as it’s play. Consider Philippians 2:3 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
  • Sex in marriage must lead to satisfaction for both spouses. Sex in your marriage must satisfy your sexual needs and your spouse’s. One aspect of satisfaction is frequency — sex needs to be as frequent as is required for each spouse to avoid temptation into sexual immorality. When one spouse is feeling angsty, the other spouse must satisfy that need (to the extent possible, given health, distance, etc.). Each spouse must also make a good-faith effort to satisfy the other’s specific sexual desires, as long as those desires don’t violate one of the other bullet points in this post. This point doesn’t mean that every single sexual activity must lead to an orgasm for both spouses, but rather than your sex life as a whole should be mutually satisfying. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 says:

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

  •  Sex in marriage must be done in faith. It’s beyond the scope of this post to explore the topic exhaustively, but consider Paul’s teaching about eating food offered to idols in 1 Corinthians 8. Some of the Corinthians believed it was a sin to eat such food, while others knew that the idols had no spiritual power and that therefore the food offered to the idols was no different from any other food. Paul instructs each person to follow his conscience with regards to such food, but to be careful that the strong do not cause the weak to stumble. Applying this principle to sex: as long as you don’t violate an explicit command as described in the points above, you can have sex however you want in your marriage — but don’t push your freedom on others and thereby cause them to stumble. See also 1 John 3:18-21 and Titus 1:15.

1 Corinthians 8:8-9 — However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

We get a lot of emails asking, “can we do X, Y, and Z?” The purpose of this post is to give couples a framework they can use to decide that for themselves. As long as the activity is only between spouses, is consensual, meets both spouses’ needs, and is done in faith, then the answer is yes, you can do it! In fact, our prayer is that as your marriage matures spiritually you will agree with each other to push back your boundaries and enjoy the full breadth of sexual freedom that God has given you in your marriage. God’s plan is for you and your spouse to have an amazing sex life together!

Finally, Sexy Corte and I want to give you our personal recommendation: don’t forget to prioritize traditional intercourse — penis-in-vagina.

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  1. Exclusive, consensual, satisfying, and faithful – that really sums it up very well. If I had to pick one that Christians and “the church” are most inclined to miss the boat on, it would probably be “satisfying for both spouses.” I think there’s a widespread assumption that, if the husband’s “needs” are met, then everything is fine and dandy. I know you are doing your part to dispel that myth!

    1. Thanks for the comment! No doubt that taking care of the wife’s needs is critical. If she’s having fun, I bet the husband will be having fun too ;)

      I also think that the church spends a lot of time talking about all the wrong ways to have sex: don’t don’t don’t. For the most part those “don’t”s are probably correct, but they give the impression that most of sex is off limits!

  2. When it comes to married sex, churches should spend more time on the DOs. As far as I know, when husband and wife go into their bedroom and turn the lock, there are NO rules to discuss, other than mutual consent and respect. Other than those, ANYTHING goes! Anything includes EVERYTHING, even the stuff many think are immoral … like oral and anal sex. If it’s consensual and respectful, it’s Godly.

  3. Hey Nick
    I agree about the anal sex. God only forbids anal sex to homosexual men not ot heterosexual couples. Many have tried it and it caused pain the wife is not willling to go there again. Here is prescription to pleasurable pain free sex.

    The best solution is woman on top facing away. It is good to give her a lot of foreplay including anallinqus first.
    Then lube up the penis with good water based lube. Have her mount the husband slowly and once fully penetrated immediately STOP and allow the anal sphincter muscle to relax around the penis for about 1 full minute. Then start moving slowly gradually increasing speed and depth of penetration. With her on top she can adjust the angle of penetration to her own comfort. She should then apply a vibe of her choice to her clitoris guaranteeing orgasms during intercourse. I recommend the Hitachi Magic wand vibe the most powerful one on the market

      1. I agree Dan. Nothing should be in there unless it’s for medical reasons. I think husbands who ask this of their wives should be prepared to accept penetration via a strap on worn by their wives.

  4. I have read through this entire site (and loved every part), but I noticed there is nothing on here about anal sex. My husband and I are wanting to try and I was hoping to find the same caliber of advice on that as on everything else you guys discuss, but I have been disappointed :( Is that something you and SC abstain from? If not, I sure would love to see that topic on the blog!

  5. Marriage is a blessing and thanks for this article. In the church we often view sex as taboo and to avoid it. God has blessed the intimacy within the marriage and wants us to enjoy our partner and the intimacy / sex we are able to have. It brings you closer to your partner and adds closeness to the relationship. When we avoid discussing sex we raise people who become uncomfortable with what God wants us to be comfortable with and enjoy. My wife is amazing and I’m blessed we can discuss this stuff. When you’re married it’s your business and what you and your partner decide to do is between you two.

  6. Hello, could you please explain how sex is done “in faith” I was a little confused with what you wrote.
    Thank you :)

    1. Hi Brina, thanks for the question. I recommend that you consider and study 1 Corinthians 8.

      Super short version: When you are not violating scripture and are not convicted by the Holy Spirit then you are acting “in faith”.

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