Does Oral Sex Count As Sex?

Is Oral Sex Permissible If You're Practicing Abstinence?

Question: I'm a Christian teenage girl practicing abstinence. I have a boyfriend who has the same morals as me and who also wants to wait until marriage to have sex. My question for you is this; is oral sex the same as sexual intercourse? Does it count as having sex?

Defining Sex Biologically and Legally

This is a very difficult question to answer, both biologically speaking and in a religious context.

Biologically speaking, sexual intercourse is a sex act between a male and a female that involves penile and vaginal contact, often indicated by a broken hymen in females. But that is just one form of sexual activity.

From a legal standpoint, oral sex is included in age of consent laws. Unless you are both above the age of consent in your state or country, be wary. Oral sex will most definitely be a sexual act under the law. You may be placing yourself and your partner at legal risk if one of you is under the age of consent or there is an age difference.

What Does Your Faith Say About Sexual Contact?

Does your faith caution you against any sexual activity or just intercourse? In many faiths, all lustful activity is frowned upon, making any sort of sexual act unacceptable. Some faiths are even restrictive on romantic kissing and any form of touching that may cause arousal.

The Bible does clearly forbid all lustful actions and stating that any act entered into out of lust as a sin.

It also says that "spilling a seed" for reasons other than procreation is wrong, suggesting that masturbation is also sinful. However, not all faiths or congregations interpret that in the same way. Different churches also vary in how much personal interpretation of scripture is accepted.

One understanding of the Christian stand on sex is that any sort of sexual contact that results in or is likely to result in orgasm counts as sex.

It is also commonly preached that all sexual of activity outside of marriage is unacceptable.

What Does Your Conscience Tell You?

You have to live with any guilt you will feel if, in your heart, you have violated the rules of your faith. Will you feel guilty if your current partner is not the person you marry, and you have had oral sex? Is it something you might feel you had to hide from your spouse? In the end, you have to face God and account for your actions. What is right for one person may not be right for another.

Risks of Oral Sex

Oral sex can transmit sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). You can't get pregnant, but almost every serious STD can be transmitted through this type of sexual activity.

Oral sex is just as intimate as intercourse, it has the same emotional repercussions. It can have the same detrimental effects on relationships if it is entered into lightly. Give oral sex the same consideration you would intercourse and only try it if you want to.

Making the Decision

Do not give into pressure from your partner or feel you have to honor requests for oral sex because you are not ready for or interested in intercourse. Any sex act involves giving something of yourself to another person -- something you can never get back.

Don't do anything you aren't 100% sure is right for you and your beliefs. If you are having any doubts, it is best to go without!