Does oral sex count as sex? Sounds like a silly question, but really, a woman can’t get pregnant from it. So does it count as sex by definition? Also, sexual pleasure could be satisfied in many different ways, not just physically. Would it be wrong to satisfy my girlfriend and I’s sexual urges through other means save baby-making sex? I know this is a lot of sex questions, but really, once in a romantic relationship, who wouldn’t want it? If my girlfriend and I are ok with it, why not?
There is nothing silly about this question. Of course, the semantics of whether or not oral sex is actually sex is not really the question here. The question, which is probably the most frequently asked questions to youth pastors the world over, is: how far is too far sexually?
That is the common question, but it is not really the right one. “How much can I get away with?” is legalistic thinking, and that is not what Christianity is about. The way to look at it is “what does Jesus want me to do in this situation?” In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and in repeated encounters with the Pharisees, Jesus makes it clear that quibbling about the letter of the law while ignoring the spirit is not what He is about.
So the issue is, where does Jesus want you to draw the physical boundaries in your relationship? Ultimately you have to get that answer by listening to God. That answer will be slightly different for different couples, and that is fine.
However, I feel pretty confident in saying that oral sex is past where that boundary should be. You acknowledge that premarital intercourse is too far, which is right. You also seem to have a huge amount of confidence in your ability to just throw the breaks on between oral sex and intercourse, which is just probably not going to happen. By the time you are having oral sex, you have introduced nudity and orgasm into the equation. You are literally and figuratively inches away from intercourse. Again, the goal isn’t to get as close to the line as possible, it is to do what is healthiest for the relationship.
The plan to have oral sex and just stop there is like trying to eat healthier and telling yourself that you will just have one cookie, and then put the box back in the cupboard and have one more tomorrow. Invariably you are at the bottom of that box 90 seconds later thinking that you would have been better off just not bringing the cookies home in the first place.
The bottom line on this is that I have never known a married Christian couple who said “I wish we would have just gone ahead and gone further physically.” I know plenty who have said “It would have been nice if we had saved some things.”
Remember the question isn’t “how far can I go before this is officially sin?” The question should be “how can I make this thing as righteous as it can be?” The answer to that is not don’t touch each other ever, making out can certainly be righteous. Righteousness comes from Jesus, so the answer comes from Him.
Relationships are for grown folks, and a big part of that is knowing how to draw firm boundaries. It’s a tricky thing. Of course you want to have the pleasure and intimacy of some physical affection. That is as it should be. You need to have the maturity to get wisdom, from both mature Christians and directly from God, and the fortitude to put your foot down and say “this is the line.”
-Matt from The Bridge