What Is Not Okay In Bed?


“If both partners agree, is anything taboo?” “What about the use of vibrators?” “Is oral sex okay?” [These are a few questions that Christian women asked about the sexual relationship in marriage from a survey that the authors conducted.] But at the heart of each of these questions were two concerns: What does God prohibit in the sexual relationship between a husband and wife, and what does God permit?

We read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and compiled a list of every scriptural reference to sex. As we reviewed our list it became apparent that God gives tremendous sexual freedom within the marriage relationship. But God also sets forth some prohibitions that we must honor.

These are the ten things God forbids:

1. Fornication:

Fornication is immoral sex. It comes from the Greek word porneia which means “unclean.” This broad term includes sexual intercourse outside of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:3), sleeping with your stepmother (1 Corinthians 5:1), sex with a prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:15-16), and adultery (Matthew 5:32).

2. Adultery:

Adultery, or sex with someone who is not your spouse, is a sin and was punishable in the Old Testament by death. (See: Leviticus 21:10.) In the New Testament, Jesus expanded adultery to mean not just physical acts, but emotional acts in the mind and heart (Matthew 5:28).

3. Homosexuality:

The Bible is very clear that for a man to have sex with a man or woman to have sex with a woman is detestable to God. (See: Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9.)

4. Impurity:

These are several Greek words which are translated as “impurity.” To become “impure” (in Greek, molvno) can mean to lose one’s virginity (Revelation 14:4). It can also mean to become defiled, due to living out a secular and essentially pagan lifestyle 1 Corinthians 6:9; 2 Corinthians 7:1). The Greek word rupos often refers to moral uncleanness in general (Revelation 22:11).

5. Orgies:

For a married couple to become involved in sex orgies with different couples is an obvious violation of (1), (2), and (4) and needs no discussion.

6. Prostitution:

Prostitution, which is paying for sex, is morally wrong and condemned throughout Scripture. (See: Leviticus 19:29, Deuteronomy 23:17; Proverbs 7:4-27.)

7. Lustful passions:

First, let us tell you what this does not mean. Lustful passion does not refer to the powerful, God-given sexual desire a husband and wife have for one another. Instead, it refers to an unrestrained, indiscriminate sexual desire for men or women other than the person’s marriage partner. (See: Mark 7:21-22; Ephesians 4:19.)

8. Sodomy:

In the Old Testament, sodomy refers to men lying with men. The English word means “Unnatural sexual intercourse, especially of one man with another or of a human being with an animal.” Unfortunately, some Christian teachers have erroneously equated sodomy with oral sex. In the Bible, sodomites refer to male homosexuals or temple prostitutes (both male and female). In contemporary usage, the term sodomy is sometimes used to describe anal intercourse between a man and woman. This is not the meaning of the biblical word.

9. Obscenity and coarse jokes:

In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth.” The Greek word for unwholesome is very descriptive and literally mans “rotten” or “decaying.” In Ephesians 5:4, the Bible warns us to avoid “silly talk” or, as it is called in some versions, “coarse jesting.” We have all been around people who can see a sexual connotation in some innocent phrase and then begin to snicker or laugh. This is wrong. However, this does not rule out appropriate sexual humor in the privacy of marriage, but rather inappropriate sexual comments in a public setting.

10. Incest:

Incest, or sex with family members or relatives, is specifically forbidden in Scripture (Leviticus 18:7-18; Leviticus 20:11-21).

God leaves much in our sexual relationship with our husbands up to our discretion. In all likelihood, the questions tugging at the back of your mind were not even touched upon. When she read this list, Shelby commented: “It’s helpful to know what God says is wrong, but I still sometimes wonder if what my husband and I are doing is right. We have a great time together in bed, but every now and then, this nagging doubt comes—does God approve?”

To help you and all the Shelby’s, we will get more specific and address the questions we are constantly asked.


Clifford and Joyce Penner, in their excellent book The Gift of Sex, give this definition of oral sex: “Oral sex or oral stimulation is the stimulation of your partner’s genitals with your mouth, lips, and tongue. The man may stimulate the woman’s clitoris and the opening of the vagina with his tongue or the woman many pleasure the man’s penis with her mouth.” This sexual stimulation may or may not lead to orgasm for the husband and wife.

What does Scripture say about this sexual activity? Most theologians say the Scriptures are silent about oral-genital sex. Some believe two verses in the Song of Solomon may contain veiled references to oral sex.

The first is Song of Solomon 2:3:

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Throughout the Song of Solomon, the word fruit refers to the male genitals. In biblical literature, fruit is sometimes equated with the male genitals or with semen; so it is possible that we have a faint and delicate reference to an oral genital caress.

The second possible veiled reference is found in Song of Solomon 4:16 (KJV):

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.

These erotic words spoken by Solomon’s bride are at the culmination of a very sensuous love scene. Shulamith asks her husband to blow on her garden (a poetic reference used throughout the Song for the vagina) and cause its spices to flow out. Of course one cannot be certain, but it is possible Shulamith is inviting her husband to excite her by caressing her with his mouth. She then invites him to enter her and feast on the pleasures waiting in her “garden.”

Dr. Douglas Rosenau believes Scripture is silent on the topic of oral sex. “This does not make it right or wrong,” he says. A key emphasis in the New Testament is Christian liberty. Nothing is unclean in itself, says Paul (Romans 14:14), and this presumably includes sexual variety. Lewis Smedes, professor of theology at Fuller Seminary, amplifies Paul’s statement about nothing being unclean.

He writes:

Christian liberty sets us free from culturally invented “moral” taboos; and since there is no rule from heaven, it is likely that the only restraint is the feeling of the other person. For example, if one partner has guilt feelings about oral sex play, the Christian response of the other will be to honor the partner until they adjust their feelings. On the other hand, if the partner has only aesthetic reservations, and if these are rooted in some fixed idea that sex is little more than a necessary evil anyway, they have an obligation to be taught, tenderly and lovingly, of the joys of sex in the freedom of Christ.

For the Husband and Wife Only

In Intended for Pleasure, Dr. and Mrs. Ed Wheat writes that oral sex is a matter for only the husband and wife involved. If both find it enjoyable and pleasant, then it may properly fit into the couple’s lovemaking practices. One goal of lovemaking is to fill a treasure trove of memories with delightful love experiences that will quicken your responses during your future times together.

One minister’s wife blushes happily as she recalls a memo her husband sent requesting her presence for an urgent “appointment.”

RUN DON’T WALK! YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS EXCITING, DYNAMIC, RIPPING, SLEEP-DEFYING MEETING. Details follow: Would you like to have a meeting in the bathtub? (Loving massage and oral sex are included.) I love you, Your husband

Women Respond Differently

One woman might feel horrified by the above playful interchange between a husband and wife. To her, oral sex is repulsive. Another may think the minister and his wife have a gloriously free, creative, and fun sexual relationship. She sees that oral sex adds a beautiful dimension to this couple’s lovemaking.

Before we go any further, let us clarify our intent. Are we suggesting you incorporate oral sex into your love play? No. We are not making recommendations. Instead, our purpose is to set out for you what Scripture prohibits and to encourage you to seek God’s wisdom concerning His personal recommendations for your marriage.

Each couple is different.

Each husband and wife is unique. Because Scripture is either silent —or veiled —concerning this practice, the only way to discover what God allows for you is for you to ask Him. If you’ve never talked to God about your sexual relationship, now is a good time to start. You will not shock God. Remember, sex was His idea. God is a God of wisdom (Daniel 2:20). He promises that when we lack wisdom, if we ask Him, He will give it to us (James 1:5).

As you seek God’s wisdom, you might find it helpful to ask these three questions about any sexual practice you and your husband are considering.

Three Questions:

Is it prohibited in Scripture? If not, we may assume it is permitted. “Everything is permissible for me” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Is it beneficial? Does the practice in any way harm the husband or wife or hinder the sexual relationship? If so, it should be rejected. “Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Does it involve anyone else? Sexual activity is sanctioned by God for husband and wife only. If a sexual practice involves someone else or becomes public, it is wrong based on Hebrews 13:4, which warns us to keep the marriage bed undefiled.

Let’s see how these questions can help when it comes to making decisions about sexual practices that are not specifically spelled out in Scripture.


Some couples enjoy incorporating the use of sexual aids such as vibrators into their lovemaking. To find out if the use of vibrator is right or wrong, let’s apply the three questions. Is the use of a vibrator prohibited by Scripture? Is a vibrator beneficial in lovemaking? Does the use of a vibrator involve anyone else?

As we look at the list of ten prohibitions, we see that there is no scriptural reference that would prohibit the use of a vibrator. So if a vibrator enhances a couple’s lovemaking and is used exclusively for the couple’s private enjoyment, then it is permitted. Does this mean we are suggesting you run out and buy a vibrator? No. Again, we are not recommending any sexual practice. We are only trying to help you discern what is best in your marriage as you seek the wisdom of God.


Obviously videos did not exist during biblical times, so we will not find “Thou shalt not watch X-rated videos” in Scriptures. (The same is true for vibrators.) But as we read through the list of the ten prohibitions, a red flag is raised. In number two on the list, adultery is defined as “looking on a woman to lust” whether the woman (or man) is on a video, in a picture, or in the living flesh. Secondly, number four on the list describes impurity as “moral uncleanness.” X-rated would qualify as “morally unclean,” thereby making them something God would disdain.

Now let’s apply the questions:

• Are X-rated videos prohibited by Scripture? Yes, based on (2) and (4).

• Are X-rated videos beneficial? Anything that promotes “moral uncleanness” is not beneficial.

• Do X-rated videos involve someone else? Yes. You bring the man or woman on the video into your lovemaking.

Based on these answers, we could conclude that God wants us to stay away from X-rated videos. [PLEASE NOTE: Look for the link to another article below to read on this subject at the end of this one.]

We have considered three “gray areas,” oral sex, vibrators, and X-rated videos. There are many others. We encourage you and your husband to prayerfully seek God’s wisdom, study the list of ten prohibitions, and use the three questions to help you discern what to do in your specific situation.

Seek the Best

As Christians we are simultaneously free and responsible. We are responsible to seek the best of the one we love, to think more highly of him and his desires than our own (Philippians 2:3-4). But we are also free to explore new territories of sexual delight.

According to Dr. Lewis Smedes, “The Christian word on trying out a sexual practice that is not prohibited in Scripture is ‘Try it. If you like it, it is morally good for you. And it may well be that in providing new delight to each other; you will be adventuring into deeper experiences of love.'”

God has given you great freedom in your sexual relationship with your husband. Remember His words to Solomon and Shulamith: “Eat, friends; drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers” (Song of Solomon 5:1).

This article comes from the book, Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex, written by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, published by WaterBrook Press. This is powerful —one of the best “no-holds-barred books on intimate issues that’s available for Christian women (if not THE best)! It addresses 21 questions that Christian women ask about sex and contains so much practicality, healing sensitivity and spiritual wisdom on each subject.

— ALSO —

Below you will find 3 linked articles we encourage you to read. In reading them we believe you will know better what God does and doesn’t allow us to do sexually:




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147 responses to “What Is Not Okay In Bed?

  1. I really enjoyed this article and found it helpful. I agree with most listed here. I agree porn is not great and pornea in greek is in fact in the Bible. I agree oral sex is a choice between the couple. However, anal sex defiles a body whether male or female because it puts bacteria in the colon wall, not meant to be there, that can cause disease. Oral sex doesn’t. Also the sphincter muscle is not like the vaginal muscle and can more easily lead to incontinence.

  2. Here is what God wants every Christian (couple) to know:..
    1. Oral sex is sin. – God says He didn’t make your tongue for that purpose.
    2. Using vibrators is sin. All these objects are Satan’s products. Anyone who uses Satan’s products belong to him. This also includes condoms. They are all his products…
    3. Fingering your partner is sin – He didn’t make your fingers for that purpose.
    4. God wants couples to meet ONLY in the missionary position. There are women in Hell for being on top of their husbands. And not to mention the doggy style which makes human beings look like animals. Only animals have sex in the doggy position and that doesn’t glorify God.
    5. Using condoms or any other birth control method is sin. Again, it’s satan’s product.
    6. Giving your husband a handjob is sin
    7. Watching pornography is sin. Watching anything that doesn’t glorify God is idolatry. That’s how He sees anyone watching pornography. Not to mention, masturbation, lust, etc.
    8. Masturbating is sin. Masturbating your husband or wife is sin.
    9. Dirty talking is sin…

    Note: Every Christian should read “Heaven and Hell Testimonies” online. There are so many things Christians are ignorantly doing and wearing that will lead them to Hell. (Hosea 4:6) Like earrings, lipstick, make-up, jeans, women wearing pants/trousers, high-heel shoes, artificial hair, artificial nails, nail polish, artificial eyelashes, golden watches, silver watches (wear ONLY leather bands), bangles, wedding (or finger) rings (God hates ALL rings on your body!), bleaching creams, in short, anything you change from natural to unnatural on your body is sin. Many souls end up in Hell due to outward holiness. They were never told that God looks at what we put on our bodies. Sadly, they are burning in Hell presently. (See Romans 12:1)

    Before you say you don’t believe in Heaven and Hell testimonies because they’re not of God, or you don’t need them, know that there is a section in Hell for those who do not believe in Heaven and Hell Testimonies…
    To see paintings of actual scenes in Hell, click here…https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dWXkBBIaiVc

    1. Well, looks like I’m going to hell then, along with some preachers and deacons I know (and their wives).

      Seriously, where do you GET this stuff? You cited TWO scriptures that have a tangential relationship to the topic AT BEST.

      You are not only misinformed, but your misinformation is confusing and misleading a lot of readers who come here looking for advice.

    2. G.A. (I can’t bring myself to say you are an ambassador for Christ): I seriously doubt you can provide chapter and verse from the Bible that backs up your stands on what you say, “God is against and will condemn people to hell if they participate in them.” Where does it state in the Bible that vibrators are a “sin?” Where does it say to only have sex in the “missionary position?” … I can’t find those things in the Bible, or the thing that tells us about the fingers and our tongue not being made by God for purposes of a husband and wife enjoying each other sexually. Please quote the chapter and verses. We posted your comments because we try to allow everyone the ability to post their beliefs (even if we disagree) so long as they are civil and don’t promote divorce. Our readers are smart enough to discern God’s truth (based on the entirety of scripture and not just some random reference taken out of context) from man’s opinion.

      Certainly, we believe that if you feel convicted that any…or all of the things you cite…are sin, then YOU should not participate in them. To you, “that is sin” as it’s stated in Romans 14 and other parts of the Bible. But at the same time just because you believe them to be sinful for you to practice you cannot pre-suppose that God condemns all Christians who may participate in the acts you stated UNLESS it is specifically stated so in the Bible. I would concur that #7 – watching pornography is sin because the Bible is very clear that looking at another person with lust in your heart is equivalent to adultery (Matthew 5:28).

      When you state (after talking about jewelry, creams, artificial hair and such), “in short, anything you change from natural to unnatural on your body is sin. Many souls end up in Hell due to outward holiness. They were never told that God looks at what we put on our bodies. Sadly, they are burning in Hell presently. (See Romans 12:1)” So let me ask you… do you used deodorant, or toothpaste, mouthwash, or soap… so you smell or look differently afterward? (Even washing your body after you work in the dirt will change the “natural to unnatural” and alter your smell and appearance.) Do you comb or cut your hair or your fingernails and toenails so that they deviate from being in their “natural” outward appearance state? What about what you wear? Do you only wear flesh colored clothes (instead of a color that might look nicer)? And do you change your clothes after they naturally start to stink, wrinkle, or look inappropriate to wear to church or a wedding, or even go to bed in at night? If you have a headache, do you take an aspirin (surely, you won’t die from most headaches), or do you let it continue in its “natural” state so you don’t alter what you put into your body, as well as what you put onto your body?

      GA, let me be clear – we are not going to debate you on this issue. We gave you the opportunity to post your opinion and we posted ours, so balance is given. We encourage people to pray and decide what God is telling them about these things. Unless it is stated clearly in the Bible, then we need to pray, and ask God to show us what is sin, concerning these and other types of matters between husbands and wives.

    3. I thank you all brethren, I have learned a lot on your posts. God’s Ambassador from Europe you said everything we change from natural to unnatural is a sin; then why do you use phones? board a car? sleep on beds? watch TV? Wear clothes? In short not to mention the rest. We are told in the Bible that “naked we came in this world, and naked we shall go back.” God didn’t create man with any of these mentioned above; we are passerby on earth and all that is found in belong to Satan, even the money we use is still impure. Only God sanctifies them so that his children will use it “Where the soul of our feet is we possess it.” Many things God’s child touches in this world he/she possesses it because we have been given the power to do so. To conclude, whatever you see in this world has been the result of man’s creativity given to him by God. You have the spirit of God which guides you on what to do, if you find them wrong stop doing them not imposing unto others. Thank you and stay blessed.

  3. I agree and can relate to all the Scriptural references made regarding our sexual experience within marriage and find the other overboard stuff quite out of place… I have 2 questions: 1. is it OK to swallow sperm? I find this unatural but it is an obsession with some men? … Q2. A friend of mine and her husband have been seperated as many couples are for work purposes which at this stage in their lives cannot be avoided for long periods of time, what can they do to keep their sex life intact and stay connected, what is your take on cyber sex between the couple and how can they learn about it?

    1. Hi Just Me, Regarding your questions: 1. As far as swallowing sperm, from what I’ve read, it isn’t a health hazard to swallow it. I can’t imagine doing it. I’d be throwing up and I’m not sure my husband would find that sexy… but for other spouses, I don’t see anywhere that it isn’t allowed scripturally. I’m sure you can find someone who can find a way to find a legalistic reason why it shouldn’t be done, but I don’t see it. If both spouses consent to it, then why not?

      2. Cybersex between a husband and wife (with no one else involved in any form) would be permissible. It’s a husband and wife, and it’s consensual between them, so again, why not? The only hold back would be if there was masturbation involved. It’s not the masturbation that would be as much of a problem (because it’s a consensual decision between a husband and wife), but it CAN change their ability to satisfy each other through intercourse, when they are able to be together physically. But with time this can be changed back eventually (if they want to) when they have the time together to make it happen. It’s not a simple process, but it can happen. …I hope this helps :)