Limitations of sexual contact before marriage

Is kissing with tongues OK?
Is kissing with lips OK?
How about touching?
Can someone give me some guidlines please? :slight_smile:

This all depends on your motives. If you are kissing/touching to entice your partner into sex, it is sinful (mortal maybe not). Kissing as a sign of love is something different. Remember though that remaining chaste is so much easier without the temptation of kissing/touching. That being said, I wouldn’t be too worried about it, just make sure you are in control of yourself.

  1. It depends on the state of your relationship, how seriously you are about discerning marriage, how much of a possibility marriage is at that point, and whether its a serious temptation to other sins. My general rule was “avoid intentionally arousing each other.”
  2. It depends
  3. Like holding hands and being in physical contact? I’d say fine. Again, my general rule was to avoid intentionally arousing each other.

Kind of surprised the other 2 posters are saying “Yes” to all of the above…


Tongue-kissing is foreplay, it is meant to excite. Not OK, if your intention is to stay pure.

Kissing on the lips may lead to other non-chaste actions, highly recommend not to. Some people say it is harmless but I would like to know how and where they are kissing, if it is in a private situation, did it lead to other actions such as ----> touching in inappropriate places or tongue-kissing which then led to—> sex.

Touching - NO!

Do you want to stay pure? Then avoid making out with your boyfriend or girlfriend, including kissing and touching!

I have told my ‘‘very spiritual’’ and ‘‘very liberal’’ Catholic girlfriend on 7.5 months - through the internet who I am planning to meet in June - that I am only willing to give her gentle kisses, loving hugs and to hold her hand. God gave us rules because He loves us and so I will follow them perfectly. It says in a reading that we all have a choice either yes or no and anything else is from the evil one. Also that it is better to marry than to burn for passion, so I have told her how I will behave in June and if she is not happy then I will be on the market shortly. How can anyone be a Catholic and be willing to do rude stuff and maybe sex before marriage? If we are Catholics then we believe that God loves us and His word is in the bible and the bible is extremely clear regarding choices, behaviour and how we will be judged. If we are Catholics and claim to be very liberal then in my eyes we are not Catholic because that is not what being a Catholic is all about. This world is not all about love and sadly my girlfriend has been influenced by the evil one because she is not following the yes-or-no mentality. She is my first Catholic girlfriend and now I know what my limitations are.

God bless,


no, yes, no

you may not engage in any activity before or outside marriage that excites the sexual passions to the degree that actual intimate contact is imminent, simulated or started. period. end of sentence.

you have no business speaking or texting any internet friend about what you will or will not do physically when and if you meet her.

How great of you to be concerned about the morality of your actions. God is truly pleased when His people take the time to discern His will.

Here is a great guide:

So, the short answer is:

Kissing with tongues - Not okay
Kissing on the lips- depends on the intent/arousal/what type of kissing
Touching - again, the above guide should help

The best thing is to not think about “How Far is Too Far?”, but “how much can I protect the purity of myself and the person with whom I am discerning marriage”?

Another great resource would be Jason Evert’s book If You Really Loved Me.

You may hear other answers, but understand that a lot of the time when we are caught in sin we (myself included) try to rationalize, convince ourselves that we’re right, or basically anything to allow the sin to continue. However, we can know in our hearts and see in our lives when we put God and his precepts first. May He be with you as you learn more about how to love Him better!

In Christ, Through Mary,


My “internet girlfriend” brought it up ands said that she would touch me and she was talking about it’s natural biology and that love would be expressed depending on how intimate we got and where love led us… I was shocked… I want to be a great man only because I believe in God and I’m trying to be the best man in His eyes, so I didn’t like what I heard… Maybe I can change her. When I first started talking to her I “brought her closer to The Lord”, maybe I can be a good example for her? I thought long and hard about it so that now I basically only want to limit it to kisses on the lips and hugs.

I do have business telling her what about we would do, because when I’m trying to be a great guy for God and she tells me that I have to figure out if she’s worth going to see. I had to clarify this before spending $1,000 on return flights to America to stay at her flat…

She’s a great woman but I’m not keen on her being very liberal. Also, Satan tries to bring in lust with love so that people can be confused - she believes that you need “biology”, hormones (due to our youth) and love. I wanted to be a great man for a great Catholic woman who wanted a great man to have a family with… If she won’t respect me and my boundaries then I’m gone…

God bless :slight_smile:

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Here is my reasoning: if dating is for discernment, discernment takes a rational mind. Now, there are ways of showing ones affection which do not preclude the use of rational judgment - a simple kiss for example. However, other acts which ignite one’s passions, which can be rightfully used within marriage, are wrong outside of it because it clouds the judgment. Because of the chemicals that are released by certain acts, the phenomenon of “head over heels in love” occurs. It sounds nice, but do you think you could discern while you’re in this condition?

There are many relationships today which are built around sexual encounters. If you took away the sex, they would crumble because they have nothing in common, no goals or beliefs.

So, in order to honor your task of finding a mate, try to avoid as much sexual contact as possible so that you choose a partner for their merits, and not because they fulfill your urges. I think this is especially important for males to keep in mind, because we particularly struggle in this way.

I don’t think such hard fast rules as “yes no yes” are really that, i.e., they’re not hard and fast. Some thoughts:

A. Although I am not advocating sexual contact prior to marriage, the fact is that members of the opposite sex are supposed to attract our notice at times…much more so when it is, say, our fiancee.

B. That said, one can conjure up all sorts of events which would not be sinful but would violate a “no touching” policy. For example, giving one’s fiancee a backrub (while clothed!) hardly strikes me as sinful. Other examples abound. For example, say I’m engaged and getting married tomorrow. Tonite, alone with her, she french kisses me, smiles, and says, “think that was good? Wait till tomorrow!” Is that really a sin? I say no. If a backrub the day before marriage is okay, why is it not okay a week before? A month before?


You’re asking the wrong question. You’re asking how much you can get away with. You should be asking, “How can I help this person I love/care about avoid sexual sin?”

Once you have the right question in your mind, the answers are easy.

This is a topic that I struggled with during my relationship with my fiance because I wanted to believe the lies of the world on what’s acceptable in a relationship. I’m quoting VdT because he brings up a good point that black and white answers like yes and no aren’t right as I’ve learned in theology the answers are gray. Now I’m not advocating by any means anything remotely sinful, but these things needs explained.

  1. Kissing with tongue? While it’s exciting, fun and a way of showing love it’s NOT a good idea especially if you’re a guy, like me. We all know guys and girls work different ways in the excitement department, but it was actually my fiance that brought it up to me that we should stop doing this because it was making her feel a way she didn’t feel comfortable. As someone else above has said this is a form of foreplay which is to transition to sex so it really should be avoided. Also, it’s a fallacy to just think of chastity as outward actions, but also our minds. How is your mind working while you’re engaging in these activities? Are they thinking sexual thoughts, even if they may be pure in intentions or about the one you love or may one day marry? Simply put it only increases temptations for other sinful acts and we should not lead ourselves into temptation.

  2. Kissing on the lips? Kissing is a simple and cute way of expressing love to another person. However, how are you kissing them? One, multiple, prolonged or passionate? I was told once that you should kiss your girlfriend no differently than your mom or sisters. Now to me that sounded terrible and I still don’t firmly believe that’s possible because there is a different type of love you have between the two, but the point is still valid. Again you shouldn’t be tempting yourself to do more in this area because then it’s only harder to remain pure as you tempt yourself.

  3. Touching? Ah well this is probably the most difficult one, but the most important because physical touch is a love language that your future spouse should know and appreciate, but you’re not there yet and neither am I. Holding hands is cute, but are you trying to make them feel more by hitting sensitive spots that may excite them? Hugs are great, but again be careful of how long you do that and in what position especially laying down can lead to other problems. Back rubs while clothed are great for relieving stress, but be careful that you’re not arousing any kind of excitement by touching the other persons back. Any other sexual touching should be completely avoided and not even put as something to consider. Here is another tip I learned through all this is to put your love for the other above the temptation you have to touch the other person because if you truly love them in an agape state then you will want what is best for them, which is not sin or the near occasion to sin, no matter what you receive.

Now you may not agree, but I have grown a lot in the virtue of chastity this past year and still continue to learn because it doesn’t just end with marriage. You may feel like your restricting yourself and not free, but once you really understand and implement chastity into your life you will realize how much you set yourself free. Finally, this is a virtue to learn and you may fall, but make a committed effort to get up, go to confession and make practical steps to not fall again. God bless and be the example to the world of what a pure Christ-o-centric relationship should be and how beautiful it is.

Prior to marriage don’t do anything that you would not want her to do with another man after marriage.

Or, as I kiddingly sometimes said to my daughters’ boyfriends, “you can do anything you want to my daughter as long as you don’t mind me doing that same thing to you.”

Absurd. To answerr the original posters quesionts 1) maybe 2) no 3) maybe

Kissing, closed-mouth, at a certain point for a brief moment when saying good-bye or hello, fine. Kissing as in #2, no. Touching: Hugs/holding hands - done properly and at right time, no problem. Much else, more problematic.

But I would not want another man giving a good-night kiss, however light, to my wife. Or holding his hands. And I certainly would never do either to my daughter’s boyfriend.

So unless the rules are 1)no 2)no 3)no ie - no physical contact at all, then your analogy is not good. And I think those rules are too strict, as some signs of affection are important as a relationship developes. We should not turn ourselves into puritans. I would say if it is a simple sign of affection, it is not sexual contact, that is ok. But many signes of affection are not ok with another man’s wife.

No no and no is not as entertaining as the way I first said it, but accurate enough.

so holding hands after engagement is wrong? Serious question, as the answer happens to pertain to me these days. What do you base this on?

My experience is that if you start out with the question “How far can I go and still be OK?” you’ve already lost the battle because the question itself betrays an attitude of self-indulgence.

Instead cut yourself some slack and simply decide to stop at the point where you feel the first twinge of desire. Go no further than that and respect the other if he/she reaches that point before you do. Don’t feed the desire until it can have a legitimate outlet (marriage).

The original question was “How about touching?”. As phrased, I take that quite differently than “holding hands.”

I will freely say that the opinion I expressed is just that: my opinion.

To answer the holding hands point, my opinion is that it depends on lots of factors. While it is and was a light-hearted answer, I go back to a quick way to analyze such actions and say if you would not want your spouse doing it with someone else after you are married, then it may well not be appropriate pre-marital activity.

I realize that draws the line way over here from where many would draw it, but I think it’s much safer to stay far away from the edge of a cliff, not by deciding how far your toes can hang off and still give a 50/50 chance of not slipping.

*I agree with you completely!

However, I left school in the early 60s and everything was OK then. Now as I look back I really see the advantage of staying chaste. I believe many girls give in because they don’t want to lose the guy. Well…! That is just the process of elimination I guess. Oh it is hard.

Nowadays many young people have decided that chastity is the way to go and I think it is worth it. You can get to know the other person better.

If one can wait and do all the right things it will be well worth it in the end.


I can smell your arrogance from Ohio…

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