While the Bible doesn't mention oral sex, many still have questions about whether or not it's considered sinful, if it's "safe" to do it before marriage, or if husbands and wives can engage in oral sex within their marriage. Some believe that oral sex ("cunnilingus" when performed on females and "fellatio" when performed on males) is an ungodly sexual perversion and is never OK in any context. Some hold the opinion that oral sex doesn't "count" as premarital sex because it's not actual sexual intercourse. But let's take a look at some biblical principles to help us unwind this tangle of misunderstandings.
Oral sex may be safer than sexual intercourse as far as preventing an unwanted pregnancy. But the idea that a person is safe from all sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during oral sex is a myth. The act of oral sex can still pass on an infection or disease if it's present in you or your partner. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV/AIDS, and many other STIs are easily transmitted through oral sex.
You may have heard that oral sex isn't really sex and therefore doesn't "count" as a sexual sin. But Ephesians 5:3 tells us, "...among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity...because these are improper for God's holy people." The definition of "immorality" here refers to sexual contact outside the context of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:2).
Hebrews 13:4 tells us to keep the marriage bed pure and undefiled—that is, we need to save our sexual acts for AFTER marriage. Period. So, yes, oral sex is still considered premarital sex and a sin. (Also see: Why are Christians against premarital sex?)
As we said, the Bible doesn't mention oral sex, but it also doesn't mention any number of other sexual acts that a husband and wife may desire. However, we DO have a few biblical principles to apply here. There's plenty that speaks against lusting after another person to which you aren't married, so that strikes including anyone outside a husband and wife's marital sexual activity. (That would include not using pornography by the way.)
Other than those two restrictions, the principle of "mutual consent" would apply to oral sex or any other married sexual act that falls outside those restrictions. Mutual consent is defined in 1 Corinthians 7:5, which says, "Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."
While this verse mostly has to do with not abstaining from sex for long periods of time and frequency of sex in a marriage, the idea of mutually deciding upon what to do in your married sex life is good concept to apply universally. Whatever sexual acts are desired, both husband and wife should be in full agreement to participate. No one should feel forced or coerced into something they don't want to do or aren't 100% comfortable with.
If oral sex is something both husband and wife desire and consent to do, then is it totally OK within their married sex life. There is no biblical argument to call oral sex a sin within the context of marriage. However, outside marriage, oral sex still "counts" as sexual immorality because it is a sexual act with someone other than your spouse.
Outside marriage, oral sex "counts" as sin—premarital sex and sexual immorality—because it is a sexual act with someone other than your spouse. Within the context of marriage, if oral sex is something both husband and wife desire and consent to do, then is it totally OK within their married sex life. There is no biblical argument to call oral sex a sin within the context of marriage.
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two teenage kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.