Mutual Consent in the Bedroom
Throughout the years, I have been asked a lot of questions from women about sex in marriage. The questions about oral and anal sex are the ones most commonly asked. I love what Got Questions has to say about both of these:
“Is oral sex a sin if done within a marriage?
“Many, perhaps most, Christian married couples have had this question. What makes it difficult is the fact that the Bible nowhere says what is allowed or disallowed sexually between a husband and wife, other than, of course, any sexual activity that involves another person (swapping, threesomes, etc.) or that involves lusting after another person (pornography). Outside of these two restrictions, the principle of ‘mutual consent’ would seem to apply (1 Corinthians 7:5). While this text specifically deals with abstaining from sex/frequency of sex, ‘mutual consent’ is a good concept to apply universally in regards to sex within marriage. Whatever is done, it should be fully agreed on between the husband and his wife. Neither spouse should be forced or coerced into doing something he/she is not completely comfortable with. If oral sex is done within the confines of marriage and in the spirit of mutual consent, there is not a biblical case for declaring it to be a sin.”
Concerning anal sex, this is what they wrote:
“Anal sex between a husband and wife, within the confines of marriage, in the spirit of mutual consent, cannot be definitively categorized as a sin.
“Please note – while anal sex between a husband and his wife might not be sinful, that does not mean we endorse it. In fact, it is our conviction that anal sex is wrong, even within the confines of marriage. Medically speaking, anal sex is neither healthy nor safe. Anal sex increases the risk of tissue damage, infection, and the transmission of STDs.”
I feel badly for young women today since most men have watched porn. When I was young and married, these things were never spoken about. Oral sex became popular after Clinton had oral sex in the Oval Office and stated that it wasn’t sex. Then oral sex exploded. I’m not saying it’s sinful, but some wives have told me that this is all their husband wants. Anal sex has become popular in the past years, sadly, too. I’m sure it’s due to porn usage.
Personally, I believe that there should be mutual consent in the bedroom between a husband and a wife, as Got Questions wrote. However, a wife should want to please her husband in the bedroom and not defraud him, but if there are things that she feels entirely uncomfortable doing, she should not have to do it.
Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 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. 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
***Here’s a GREAT sermon by John MacArthur on the rape of Song of Solomon. “Mark Driscoll has boldly led the parade down this carnal path. He is by far the best-known and most prolific popular proponent of handling the Song of Solomon that way. He has said repeatedly that this is his favorite passage of Scripture, and he has come back to it again and again in recent years, culminating in a highly publicized series released on video via the Internet last year.”
Here’s part two in this sermon series.
Part three. “That’s a particular problem when the interpreter sees a mandate for oral sex in the simple metaphor of a fruit tree or imagines that the best way to contextualize and illustrate portions of the text is by verbally undressing his own wife in order to make the point as vivid as possible. In such a case, not only has the speaker given far too much weight to his own speculative imagination; he has given a fairly clear signal that his imagination is not altogether pure (Luke 6:45).
“And that is a far more serious problem than merely allegorizing the text.”
Part four. “I have a real problem with anyone interpreting Song of Solomon like that. . . . To be honest, words fail me when I even try to explain myself—when I try to explain how I just cannot even conceive of Song of Solomon like that. The poetic nature of the Song is entirely eroded when we assign such meaning to it: such specific meaning. And I think as well of what it may do to a couple to be able to say “Look, this specific sex act is mandated in Scripture. So let’s do it.” That may be said to a spouse who has no desire to do that act or who even finds it distasteful. And yet with our interpretation of Song of Solomon, which we really have no way of proving (at least beyond a reasonable doubt) we are potentially bludgeoning an unwilling partner into doing something. I just . . . again, words really fail me here.
52 thoughts on “Mutual Consent in the Bedroom”
The bible does not teach “mutual consent.” In fact, it teaches that if one (either husband or wife) wants sex, the other is NOT to deny it, unless they BOTH (mutual consent) agree NOT to have sex. So mutual consent is required to refrain from sex, but is not required in order to have sex.
If you have ears to hear listen:
BLUF: Oral and anal sex is wrong and it defiles the marriage bed.
Why would a heterosexual married couple participate in acts that homosexuals and lesbianism do? The spirit behind these acts (oral and anal sex) are perverse and unclean.
Totally agree, it should be mutual consent. Both spouses should want to please the other though. But nothing should be “forced”.
Sodomy (that’s what’s being talked about here) has been considered a sin for thousands of years in Christian (and old-Israel) society and only in less than the last 100 years not so. Beforehand it would’ve been considered disgusting by most people. Thomas Aquinas (yes, I know you’re not Catholic) teaches that it is even an even worse sin and would be less of a sin when committed with a whore because it’s a greater desecration to violate and desecrate in this manner one’s beloved rather than an unknown whore.
This orifice being abused here is for the expulsion of dead rotting matter. We shouldn’t be imitating the pagan tribes some of which were entirely wiped out (by fire from the sky, and also war) on account of this sin.
While spouses are obligated to satisfy as each other sexually, sodomy is not properly a sexual act. Sex is reproductive at least in essence (even if it is not anymore because of infertility).
You might find this blog post informative:
This is referring to not denying the other spouse sex, not doing whatever the other one wants if it is painful, sinful, or something the other one doesn’t feel comfortable doing. Surely, love from 1 Cor. 13:4-8 fits into this somewhere, yes?
Oral sex was always around and didn’t explode because of Bill Clinton!
Oh, yes it did. It was never openly talked about before this happened. Afterwards, it exploded in the high schools. All the kids thought it was okay to have oral sex because it wasn’t sex, according to the president of the United States.
I’m pretty confident, as a man, that neither would have crossed my mind if I had not been exposed to porn in my early twenties.
Porn alters and perverts the sexual desires.
Anal is not only wicked, it’s gross and unhealthy.
Oral depends on both parties consent.
Honestly, if I marry and my wife wasn’t comfortable with it, I’d be perfectly willing to do without it.
I truly do not understand the argument surrounding sex in general in the modern Christian circles. I mean, I was taught that the penis and vagina were the sexual organs, so sex was using those and nothing else ??♀️ The word used for “bed” in Hebrews 13:4 implies that the marriage bed is where conception takes place, and one of the purposes for sex is reproduction. Call me crazy, but it just seems like common sense to me (and as history shows, the natural thing to do!) to keep all the purposes of sex combined to reap God’s best intentions for it ? I’d rather not mess with God’s perfect design; these are just a couple points I’ve gleaned from studying Scripture ?
This is exactly what I was thinking!
Without being too graphic.
The Catholic teaching on this is that whilst other activities are acceptable as the starter – the main course should only ever be the act which is ‘open to’ that is capable of creating new life.
It is also that it is a sin for a man to spill his seed, that is to ‘finish’ anywhere other than in his wife’s vagina.
As long as those teachings are followed I guess that your principles of mutual consent, respect and kindness apply. Although personally I am not sure that much of what we are told is ‘normal’ by the pornographers would meet those criteria.
We were taught anal sex is a perversion even bereeen husband and wife.
Oral sex yes, but anal sex seems deviant.
I totally agree with what you say about anal sex. But regarding oral, how do explain the Book of Songs?. It’s there as happening between husband and wife and it isn’t exactly in a negative light
I can’t say that I agree with you on this article. My thoughts would alien with Sander’s points, as described above. On the subject of life ethics, I have found that orthodox Catholics have done much, much better work than we Protestants have, and I would encourage you to look in that direction rather than modern Protestant resources, which tend to be short-sighted and theologically weak.
Cheers, and Happy Easter!
And that should be “align,” not “alien”! Sorry!
I’m not sure my husband has ever asked what I like. He figured it out for himself.
This is moreso about what acts are approved by scripture and what aren’t, and what man and woman FEEL is okay and what it’s not, rather than mutual consent.
I love the idea of the topic of mutual consent and did expect more toward that opinion of whether or not it’s necessary within the marriage for that to be a clear ideal, rather than whether or not certain sex acts between man and woman are sinful.
That which is sin is clearly defined in scripture, and anything that isn’t is up to the people in question.
How can someone be held accountable as a sin for having oral sex with their spouse, if it never said that in the first place?
There is a verse that says the marriage bed let non defile. I’m paraphrasing, but we were always taught that it essentially means that whatever goes on in that bed between spouses is their business and no one can call it wrong.
But yes, I think the title of this should be reworded because it’s moreso talking about permissable and acceptable sex acts, than whether or not both parties’ consent is needed in the marriage bed for sex/sex acts.
We should use our parts for the purpose God made them!
Even if the Bible does not explicitly condemn these acts between men and women, I find it difficult to justify in light of the purpose of marriage per Malachi 2: 1) that the man and wife be one and 2) that they might raise godly seed. Both oral and anal sex pervert this purpose. As someone pointed out earlier, “sodomy” doesn’t simply refer to homosexual activity, but also those acts even in a heterosexual context. God designed human genitalia with His purpose in mind, which in the end glorifies Him and brings delight to us. It’s no coincidence that the most natural and intuitive position in sex involves both people facing each other, whereas oral and anal naturally result in a position where one dominates the other in a humiliating rather than a God honoring way.
I’ll just put this out there…
There are a whole range of STD’s that urologists and fertility doctors don’t want to talk about because it would be too un-PC…but women give them to men…
Let’s just say my husband’s doctor was shocked that my husband didn’t have any of these ‘bacteria’ and said that was very rare that I hadn’t given him anything
It ain’t healthy guys! There’s a lot of stuff that shouldn’t go in certain places…bacteria live in certain places and should not be living anywhere else
If you want to sodomize your wife, frankly, you need help. For one it’s just gross, two, it’s an absolute misuse of of those body parts and causes damage, and three, as far I’m concerned it’s at least three quarters gay. There is no way such disorder is not sinful, it’s certainly wrong. Stop watching porn and fix your brain my guys. Your wife has perfectly good lady parts and they’re all yours, they’re awesome, much better than, well, I’m not even gonna say it. I can’t even imagine wanting to do such a thing to my wife let alone doing it, I’m quite satisfied with her “natural use.”
Unfortunately I’ve seen my share of porn as well but it seems that I was lucky to not have suffered the significant brain damage it seems to be inflicting on so many. Probably because on demand free porn of every kind imaginable wasn’t a thing when I was young. I’m glad it wasn’t, I certainly didn’t have parents who would have kept such thing’s away from me. As far as I’m concerned this is one of the biggest threats to the manhood of our sons, do your due diligence and protect them from such thing’s so they too don’t grow up with homosexual tendencies that they will then inflict on their future (hopefully) wives.
Thank You, Lori.
Personally I think that as long as both the husband and wife are physically and emotionally comfortable, that they should do whatever pleases them both. Anal, oral, whatever. They’re married, whose business is it?? As long as both consent 100% and both enjoy it.
Perversion should be left for perverts. It should not be mentioned in home talkless of bedroom. Mutual consent for perversion is not an excuse. Bib!e may not state the form of sex clearly but state in ROM1:24,28 as dishonoring each other body and doing things that are not convenient is due to reprobate mind
Oral and anal sex is sodomizing your wife and is disgusting – it doesn’t matter if something feels good . When our GI’s came back from the war in Europe they remarked “the French fight with their feet and f___ with their mouths” indicating the negative American Christian reaction to the practice. Our grandmothers would probably have slapped our grandfathers in the face or at least thought they were insane if grandpa had asked grandma to do those things. God didn’t design our bodies that way.
For Catholics, it should be noted that the early Church fathers were completely against these practices and believed oral was even more sinful than anal since the mouth is where the holy eucharist, the body, blood, divinity and humanity of Christ is placed.
By the 1980s when I was a child, oral had been normalized in pop culture – portrayed as normal among middle class married couples – see the Steve Martin movie “Parenthood” for an example. Anal would have still been considered wierd and disgusting by average people but we keep “progressing.” Sad that you have to teach these things to people – I sometimes wish I had been raised Amish.
Nope. Oral is a violation of God’s design too. People are just making the distinction because anal seems particuarly disgusting because of how gross that area is and for medical reasons – as if the health consequences of an act make it sinful or not sinful.
Oral and anal are like sexual gluttony. Not being satisfied with the gift God gives you – “I want more!”
I am 100% for patriarchy – no apologies. However, you wives should disobey your husbands if they command this – you should not commit sin even if your husband tells you too. Only God is owed absolute obedience. Neither government nor your husband should be obeyed if sin is commanded – I mean real sins not goofy pseudo sins used to get out of obeying.
Men need to learn to make love to their wives and not try to recreate the porn scene..it is a real turn off for women!!
Mutual consent is most definitely required to have sex! Spousal rape is a thing, and your gross misinterpretation of Scripture supports it.
There’s a book called The Health Hazards of Homosexuality, and here’s a summary of a chapter that discusses the health hazards of sodomy in particular:
There is NO oral sex in the Bible. The S of S is not an “erotic” book as many in this highly sexually saturated culture want to make it.
You’re right she is just saying nothing should be forced and both spouses should be on the same page.
I think both are ok if both spouses are in agreement. Not saying I support one or the other but I don’t think either is “sinful”.
What do you do when the husband wants it (a sex act), the wife doesn’t (both are Christian), but he continuously wants it, and says she’s wrong, claiming Hebrews 13:4 (the marriage bed is undefiled). This is where I find myself. I love my husband, and want to please him, but our intimacy in the bedroom is more like the making of a dirty movie. When I’ve resisted doing things, he literally acts so disappointed that I’ve just stopped resisting, to the which has made me dread it. When I don’t want to do something, he says I’m just no fun and always want the same boring thing. I’ve always believed the problem was me, too (thinking it’s because I hate sex and am no fun). Early in our marriage he often wanted to watch porn together, but then we got back in church & rededicated our lives back to Christ (both of us had been saved before marrying, but fell away & got into the world and sin), but he claims that bible verse means “full speed ahead” because it’s within the confines of the marriage bed.
Would appreciate any godly advice (and prayers). This has always been a big trouble area for us.
We are not a young couple either. Been married 33 years with 7 children and 4 grandchildren (married young).
To say oral and anal sex is completely wrong in the confines of marriage is merely an opinion and not from a biblical stance, as the Bible is completely silent as to what you can and cannot do specifically in the acts of sex. Other than those mentioned in the Bible which includes everything mentioned above in regards to no adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and also beastiality, incest, and on a woman’s menstrual.
Any act of sex contrary to the natural act is indeed, sinful. If it is not for the primary purpose of begotten, than it is an act of defilement of marriage and therefore invalidation of the covenant. This is why Sodom and Gomorrah were wiped from the face of the earth by God. No way around this.
I’ve been pondering that, and am about 90% certain that oral is sinful, and 100% that anal is sinful.
Perhaps this explains the rebellion of women, because they object to being used in a degraded position that God didn’t design them for.
I don’t trust modern society at all, and ancient Jewish and Christian sources are nearly unanimous that both are wrong, and they seldom talked about it as it seemed to be common knowledge.
If I’m honest, there is no way either practice entered my mind except for the corrupt society I grew up in. I certainly did not seek out these sources of perversion. All those people who say we should let others live their lives and not interfere with others, are absolutely deluded. Had porn not been legalized in 1969, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, and 90% of men and women would be virgins at marriage, just like 1900.
Having grown up the eldest of 18 children, in a church that did not teach birth control, I’ve never discussed these topics with my parents or others in the church who are older, but, I’m 99% sure that they all viewed oral and anal as sinful.
Matter of fact, early on, about 40 years ago, the church actually had church discipline for “a defiled marriage bed”, which, while I’ve never proved the particulars, I believe was oral and anal sex. That changed about 35 years ago. But married couples were queried on what activities they did in the marriage bed, which is WAY out of bounds. It’s no one else’s business but God and the married couples.
Our nation started going down when the degenerate Kinsey Report was released in 1948, which was “science”. That was the first time lurid stories of people’s private lives were revealed for public consumption. I remember reading these filthy stories at 29, at the library, as I thought I should be “knowing” about the physical part of marriage before getting married. How terribly wrong I was.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to study human sexuality without being tainted, especially when we are dealing with pictures and stories of the acts involved and descriptions of the naked human body which God designed only to be known by ones heterosexual spouse.
When it comes to thinking about or studying sex outside of heterosexual marriage with ones spouse, NO HUMAN IN HISTORY WAS EVER CAPABLE OF DOING SO WITHOUT SINNING. It’s alright to do so in a public forum like this where the language is not graphic, and people’s conscience’s are educated, but to do so in a private setting is dangerous with the opposite sex. To think that a “counselor” can advise married couples how to have better sexual relations IS ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. That is a huge part of America’s problem, we’ve been trained that our own brains don’t matter, we need to rely on “EXPERTS” for everything. Nearly always, “the experts”, are divorced from God’s ideas.
By the way folks, the ancient Greeks expelled a certain noble from their ranks for sodomizing his wife. As Christians, we are most certainly called to higher standards than the pagan Greeks.
I don’t write these things by the way to make people feel bad or display personal holiness. We all live in this degraded society and most of us were raised on a steady diet of sexual perversion. All struggle with sin – but the first step I think is to at least to admit sin.
Kinsey was a world class pervert who should have been thrown in jail and he was also a liar who sought to normalize deviancy (pop-culture presents him as a sexual liberation hero who battled against the prudes).
Men have been degraded by watching porn and been conditioned to seek out sexual gluttony even within their marriage. Men should stop watching porn (obviously) and parents should do their best to protect their children from it even if it means no wi-fi internet in the house and no smartphones with data.
The Bible teaches natural law. Paul describes the natural law in Romans. Natural law used to be a basis of Protestant Biblical exegesis.
God made the male and female genitalia to complement each other. Gay men and lesbian women have sex with each other’s digestive tracts because they lack complementary sex organs.
This is not a lie. My wife and I knew a couple from HS who married. The husband used to make the wife put on a fake male organ and do you know what to him. They told us this flat out. I’m sorry for writing something so disgusting but it’s a true story. Is there a Bible verse that explicitly forbids this?
This whole idea that if there isn’t an explicit Bible verse that something is permitted is a way to create “loopholes” and not feel guilty for doing deviant things. Men who sodomize their wife should repent.
Tough spot. You shouldn’t deny your husband but he shouldn’t “force” you either. You guys have to get on the same page, praying for you guys.
I’m still trying to figure out why so many people are concerning themselves with what married people do in the bedroom?? Whose business is it?? Pretty sure it’s not anyone’s job to put their ears to the door and govern what’s “sinful” and what isn’t.
I agree; Oral sex is debauched; an act of domination and degradation; which is why is so appeals to reprobate minds. God does not countenance these sexual acts even within marriage.
As a young, unmarried lady like me, I’d like to know what’s sinful or not before I get married so that I can keep myself chaste both before and after marriage. It’s not prying into other married couples’ lives to teach younger generations how to keep the marriage bed pure ??♀️
Because this is a Christian website, people here discuss Christian morality.
I am amazed that any Christian husband would want his wife to have so little regard for her modesty and chastity as to partake in anything unnatural.
It’s a vicious circle of immorality, IMO. The wives often want to do such a thing to please the husband because that’s what he’s come to expect/desire in our debauched culture and there’s the idea at least in some womens’ head that they have to compete with other women – if she doesn’t keep him sexually satisfied some other woman will.
A man should be satisfied with sex the way God designed it – any more is a form of sexual gluttony in my opinion. I don’t pick on men for this too much – at this point we were all raised on this stuff – but people can change their hearts and attitudes. Habits of concupiscence can be hard to break but with God all things are possible.
He’s probably still watching porn and putting it off on you. You can have a heart to heart with him and maybe try filters to prevent him accessing it cause it sounds like an addiction. I understand and am speaking from experience and it hurts. I will pray for us all. God bless you. I hate that it’s everywhere and I’ve always compared myself to other women so when I found out he was going behind my back our entire marriage looking at porn I was devastated. We are rebuilding but it’s hard some days for me not to think about it. He’s a stay at home dad now and everyday I go to work I worry about it. Still praying for my mental peace no matter if he relapses or not. ?
I would be concerned he is still watching pornography and is “bored” with lovemaking. Sex is supposed to be mutually pleasurable for husband and wife and if you “dread” sex because you feel manipulated into performing like a porn star….you are well within your rights to not fall for that manipulation “your husband acting like his feelings are hurt.”
I’m not making excuses for them but pornographic images have a way of burning into the male brain. I can still remember things I shouldn’t have been allowed to see as a little boy – it’s incredibly hard since we’re raised with this temptation from the time we’re little boys and if anything it’s even worse these days. It’s hard to unsee the things you see.
In other words it can still be in men’s heads even if they’re not watching that sort of thing.
I agree with a lot of the views here and of course, anything to do with sex should be mutually agreed between consenting adults. I read your latest post, Lori, on “Many handle the WORD deceitfully” and agree entirely with you. It is nonsense to say you “encourage” a “rape culture”. There should always be mutual respect between a husband and wife as the Bible commands. My wife, along with any wife who believes in the Truth of God’s WORD, consents to “duty sex”!
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:22-24
In fact, she has told me she prefers it as it removes any pressure off her and sometimes when she hasn’t felt “in the mood” she has actually enjoyed it more as she feels that in submitting to me, she is submitting to God’s will. In regards to the issue of oral sex, however, personally I do not agree with it as I do not see it as a show of mutual love and respect but I accept that if that’s what some Christian couples wish to do so be it. Making love for us is missionary position as I feel this is what God intended – sex is about procreation and demonstrating love for each other. As for sodomy it is an abomination and should never be tolerated – how can it be anything other than abusive? My first wife was a cold fish but my second wife is very affectionate and it has made me more so too. Even after 26 years of marriage we kiss, cuddle, hold hands and she will sit on my lap from time to time (our daughter says we are “embarrassing love birds”). I sometimes think these simple displays of affection are relegated to being of less importance due to Western Societies’ obsession with sex and the variety of different sexual acts! Whilst a wife should be submissive and obedient to her husband a husband should love, cherish, respect and honour his wife as that is what God intended. A husband should NEVER be abusive to his wife.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7