How Far Is Too Far?

No Physical Intimacy? picture take from

I was having a conversation with a single christian friend who is basking in the newness of a relationship with a christian man. The conversation turned to the question how far is too far to go with your partner before marriage?

The bible and every religious organization known to man has lifted up the esteems of virginity and abstinence. This is the expectation of single christians no matter the age. So having understand her (and other christian’s) desire to remain pure for her mate but mostly because the bible says so, I asked a question. So, everyone expects that the two people should grow together and get to know each other in every way but what happens to the sexual aspect? Is it supposed to remain in hibernation until the “I do?”

Oh course there is no good answer to that questions but it makes a good discussion. The chat turned to how far is too far according to the christian bible? The bible indicates that most of the women who were married did not have much or any contact with their intended. After two or so years of dating in the modern world, is a peck on the cheek the most suitable act of intimacy for a couple (young or mature)? Is genital manipulation acceptable with the understanding that the two private areas will never meet?

The difficult side to Christian human sexuality is that when we meet someone in which we have some attraction then the body starts to shout “YES” while the mind quietly says “NO.” The longer we are committed to an individual then the harder it is to remain chase and pure in the biblical sense of the word. In today’s society, asking the ‘too far’ question is very legitimate because of our  more liberated lifestyles. Most adults live alone which affords the right moments for things to happen that were not intended. We spend time with our love interest alone versus in the company of others who could be hall monitors of our behaviors. We just simply have more opportunities for an innocent gesture to become a moment of unbridled or my new word ‘prebridal’ passion.

I have already posted my views on singular masturbation but, when it comes to the involvement of someone else (mutual masturbation) then that makes things a little grey. Adults are very conscientious that sex is much more than joining together of genitals (hence, President Clinton’s initial declaration was very bogus). According to the bible and scientific research, it all starts in the brain and our thoughts before the first physical contact. So, I must ask then what would be considered appropriate for Christians?

The how far is too far question depends on each couple and what they have discussed, before being placed in sexual situation, as acceptable levels of intimacy. They both need to agree on what will give them the sense that they have not sinned before God and against each other.  On the other hand, they should agree on what will help them to grow in their intimate relationship. Needless to say, there was no one-size-fits-all solution. My friend has a more conservative view than I about such things. I simply believe that I am too old to play the coy skittish teenage girl anymore; however, I do believe if a couple is not satisfied with a peck on the cheek and go for a advanced sexual goal with their Christian mates, then make sure to discuss and agree on how far is appropriate before hand.

What’s your view on this issue?


13 thoughts on “How Far Is Too Far?

  1. Okay, so this whole sexual boundary thing has been in my mind for almost a week now. Of course, like any other person who wants to please God i want to fix behaviors that were not pleasing to Him or what i think wouldnt be. I commented on one of Harleys posts before and i got wonderful feedback. I just wanna make sure before im actually in my bfs eyesight, that i can be confident in my sexual boundary decisions. We talked about it before but i dont feel like he understands yet. Im terrified of losing my virginity early on but i feel like its going to happen. I want to please God. He (my boyfriend ) tells me nothing is gonna happen unless i say im ready. Not that i dont trust him, i dont trust myself because to be honest i never made it this far in a relationship(2 years) and i told him my fear about him leaving me. I definetely feel the same like the girl in article.. I feel like its better if i get married so i can just have sex without the guilt.

    1. Hi Kamrie,
      Well first, communication is the key to addressing your particular issue. You said that you don’t think your bf understands but that is a very important aspect of the relationship. If he does understand your choice to abstain, then your fears of him leaving will go away and he will be an active participant in helping you maintain your goal to be celibate before marriage. He needs to understand the importance of your virginity and wanting to follow the bible rule.

      I understand that trying to remain sex free in a long term committed relationship is very hard. It sounds like you are having problems wanting to abstain (which is normal due our biological urges). Assuming you did go ahead and have sex, my concern is that you will feel enormous guilt, shame and blame which could affect your relationship and possibly view sex in a negative way. Neither of those things are good.

      The other concern is that marriage is so much more than just sex. Marriage requires commitment and understanding to each other which intern will make the sex even better. Good sex is a byproduct of a good relationship not the other way around.

      My recommendation to you is to talk more about your struggles with your bf and make sure you both are on the same page when it comes to your urges. Talk about your sexual urges, feelings, wants, desires, and concerns in a public place. Talking about sex can heighten one’s desires so if discussed in a public setting, then it’s less likely for you two to get in the mood and act immediately. Praying for strength to make the right choice, try not to be alone with him in private, and keep the PDA down to a minimum if at all. The desire for sex is strong and natural but if it’s not the right time psychologically then it can be a force to be recon with if the circumstances are right.

      1. We talk about it quite a lot.. He understands that I wanna wait and he is willing to just for me. That I love a lot. I am trying my hardest to try to get my head out of that “Marriage isn’t just sex” thing. I havea lot of fears about it, because I saw, lived and is a sister or two by products of one of my parents extra marital things (my sisters). I already been cheated on once and ever since then it kinda screwed me up. I will admit I done stuff I never thought I would do with or for a guy, and for a while I felt comfortable with myself but I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do. I am basically confused about where I am in my sexual discovery (that’s what I call it). He himself told me he wants to do other things other sexual stuff. I had to keep reminding myself that. I just feel bad now BC I stopped some things that I did do and now he is feeling like I don’t care when I do. I even thought if we broke up I wouldn’t feel as bad BC he would be free to find someone who will do that for him, but he tells me he doesn’t want anyone else but me.. (Sorry I’m babbling) I feel like I’m the type of person who need to be sitting on a dang couch with a therapist.

        1. You are not babbling. I would agree that seeing a therapist/Christian therapist would be beneficial. You are definitely holding on to a lot of things that could inhibit your growth as a person, a woman and sexual being as well as that of your relationship. What happened in the past is unchangeable and you have to forgive and accept yourself without guilt or regret. As you move forward, learn from things you have done well and your mistakes.

          Establish personal goals about what you want for yourself – relationship, sexual, identity etc. While I understand that your boyfriend may want to explore sexually, you have to decide whether additional sexploration is right for you. If he cares about you and understand your struggles, then he will help (support) you through it. That’s what a good relationship looks like-helping each other in difficult as well as good times. You would also do the same for him. Sexual frustration is a very real thing which I suspect you both are experiencing. You both can make it either a small part or a large part of your relationship – it is both your choices as couple in how to handle this aspect of relationship.

          In terms of your identify, take one aspect of yourself to explore at a time. Start with the thing that is most important now – the sexual part of you is wrapped up in your identity (how you see yourself as a whole).

          1. Yeah, that’s true. I have told him I need to talk to one. Of course I can talk to him about anything. And I don’t want him to be in pain either. Maybe I’m putting too much ppressure on mmyself, perhaps? Okay, let me stop commenting this isn’t my blog. Lol i seriously felt like I’m in a sexual awakening therefore making me frustrated sexually, mentally and spiritually. I always been known as the good girl my whole life. I guess Ihave issues with sseeing myself be a sexual person and actually living it especially from seeing or hearing that sex is magical after marriage, blah blah. I felt like Iwas breaking free from all of my iinsecurities now I’mpputting them back on me. Sighs okay iI have togo to work lol bye HHarley. Can I leave you my email?

            1. Kamrie,
              I don’t mind comments. I welcome them. My email that’s listed on this blog is You can send me an email if you want to talk offline.

              Navigating our sexual side can be a bit tricky particularly as a woman and Christian. So you are not struggling alone.

  2. I wish I could say that abstaining from sex has become easier as I have gotten older, but it hasn’t. My hormone-driven sex-drive has been replaced by experience-driven desire, because I have had enough sex, and good sex, to know that I really like sex. Sex is more than just the meshing of two sets of genitals in coitus. It has deep emotional, psychological and spiritual implications as well. Sex is also a great stress-reliever, which makes “Not tonight honey, I have a headache.” a very lousy excuse. Sex is also very healing and therapeutic because it releases several “feel-good” chemicals in our bodies. Make no mistake, sex is powerful, very powerful, because God created us to not only reproduce, but also to bond through sex. That is the very essence of the “one-flesh relationship”.

    For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:21-25)

    I have waited, and I have not waited. My first wife and I waited until we got married for sex, but not for long. From the time we first met until we got married was only about six months, and our engagement was only six weeks. We had 19 1/2 years of good and frequent sex.

    Since then, sorry to say, I haven’t waited, and our sex-lives have been less than satisfactory and short-lived. When two sex-deprived people get together, it is far too easy to wind up in bed. Sex feels that good and is that addicting. Since I got put out of the baby-making business nine years before my first wife’s death, unplanned-pregnancy hasn’t been a concern, but even at that, I still wish that we had waited. I am not proud of what I have done, but I can’t turn back the calendar.

    1. I agree that sex is so much more than coming together of two bodies. The pull of our sexual feelings make waiting very challenging for a lot of Christians. One can’t live in regret but move on with forgiveness.

  3. I know it is doable, hard, but possible to remain chaste until marriage. I have found the couples who have successfully been able to put sex aside until they consummate their marriage did not tend to have long engagements. Most were engaged within 6 months of meeting and married within a year .

    1. I agree Jules, that it is very doable to be sexless before the I do’s. I also agree that most couples would be able to not indulge at all if they have short courtships and engagements. I wonder for those couples did they also refrain from any “intimate” behaviors as well. I know that I am not willing to rush into a marriage in order to make intimacy Christian-legal. I think it’s either one or the either: decide how far you are willing to go or don’t do anything at all.

  4. I think this is a very important issue. Nowadays people tend to date longer than in the past. With that said, the church is very silent about this issue. They just say “dont do it” but how are you not to respond to your natural desires. There is not talk about how to set boundaries or how to deal with your feelings. Because the church is silent many singles just move forward in the dark and pray to not “go all the way”. When I was younger I had a friend that waited til she was married to have sex (at least thats what she said) and sex was one of her reasons (not necessarily the main one) to get married. I was appalled by this factor in the decision making. As I get older I feel like its okay to have that as A reason just not THE main reason. I also think that as women get older the desire for sex and to have babies increases…this desire coupled with the desire to wait to have sex til marriage can seem unbearable at times….

    1. The idea of intimacy or sexual relationship is only a huge factor with Christians because the “remain pure” stipulation. Age also plays a role in how far many Christians will go prior to marriage. A younger person can say wait but for a more mature individual it can see quite foolish. Marrying younger and as soon as possible does seem to quelch the issues most older christians are having today. Christians can be riddled with guilt over the slightest things so I do agree that setting boundaries are very important and knowing one’s limits are very key.

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