What is premarital sex?

Exactly what is premarital sex? Is it penetration? Does it include fondling, kissing, hugging, sleeping together, masturbation, oral? I’m sorry. I hope this doesn’t sound crude. I just really want to know what is considered premarital sex in the Catholic church. Thanks.

During love making with your girl freind, you put your penis into her virgina and pull it out before an orgasm, this is a very serious mortal sin against pro-creation. If you do have an orgasm, you could be responsible for her getting pregnant, possiblly causing her to chose to have an abortion. These are very serious sins against the Image of God. You are defacing the Image of God in each of you. If you are not sincerely sorry for this act and carry it to the grave with you, you could spend eternity in hell because of this singular act of stupidy
No offense ment!

I guess I asked the question wrong. My boyfriend and I want to be intimate but do not know how far we can go without sinning. I don’t know what the Catholic view on this is and wanted advise. Can we cuddle or go beyond that in any way before it is considered a sin? :confused:

I am under the impression that this is a banned topic on this forum. However, for the sake of politeness I will give my opinion.

Sex is reproductive, any sexual contact not aimed at reproduction is theologically sinful.

I imagine, you are talking about premarital sex that is not aimed at reproduction because you would like to have children after you marry. If that is the case all of the premarital stuff you can imagine is sinful.

That of course may sound highly inconvenient for you and a lot more of people, but reproduction is the reason why we have sexual organs.

Reminds me of a safety lecture given by a stunt man. If someone got within 3 feet of a ledge without wearing the proper safety equipment, they were fired. Everyone wanted to get up to the ledge and look over at the drop, but it only took one slip for the crew’s safety record to be ruined.

Likewise, everyone wants to get up right to the edge when it comes to sex, but it only takes one slip… It’s effectively the wrong view to take: sin is not simply action. It is intent. (That’s why the Church not only has sins of commission, but sins of omission, also.) If your intent is to go just far enough with minimal risk for pregnancy, then you’ve already sinned. You’ve recognized the possibility for procreation and you’re actively trying to avoid that while maximizing sexual pleasure.

If, on the other hand, your intent is to show this person you are with the depths of your romantic feelings, the best advice I can offer you is for both of you to be vertical at all times and not to touch anything that wouldn’t be covered by a soccer uniform. Think of it as practice for when you’re married: even then you’re not always going to be able to express your love sexually for one reason or another, so you have to learn how to express it in other ways.

(As for reasons you can’t express your love sexually after marriage, take my word for it that babies are born with parental sex alarms, that automatically go off – LOUDLY – at just the wrong moments in an attempt to keep a brother or sister from coming along too soon.)

I think the previous posters put it pretty well…

Premarital sex is the ‘completion’ of orgasm (either party) and/or intentional arousal (past the point of no-return) prior to marriage. Typically, most people only think of sexual intercourse (vaginal-penile) as pre-marital sex. However, the Catholic Church indicates that any orgasm outside the bounds of marital relations is immoral. Therefore, the Catholic Church includes oral sex, anal sex, & masturbation (self & mutual) in the definition of premarital/immoral sex. So in other words, premarital sex is pretty much anything sex related you do prior to marriage.

I added intentional arousal to the definition b/c of the premise of the ‘near occasion of sin’ coming into effect. Plus, that line can be very narrow and easy to cross unintentionally sometimes.

If you have time you should check out the DVD titled Romance Without Regret. It is very good presentation which I think would answer a lot of your questions. You can also listen to it by going to this link:


Jason and Crystalina Evert:


God bless

Remember it’s not just premarital sex that can be sinful - ANY activity that you know provokes you to lust (or sexual arousal) is a sin and not to be deliberately indulged in.

Some couples may well find that they can’t kiss or touch much (in rare cases, at all!) without it being a problem. Others can go further - but should they? It’s always a bit of a tightrope walk once you start indulging in ANY intimate activity.

How far can you go? Muzhik referred to an analogy I have heard before. How close to the edge of the grand canyon would you trust your boyfriend to carry you before you said, “wait, that’s too close to the edge.” ? And if he loves you, why would he take chances with your virtue or your soul?

There is almost no way for a man and woman to be together and not at least be thinking about or wanting sex on some level. The only way to avoid what the church would call “sin” would be to treat each other like brother and sister.

The most important thing is for you to have a stopping point. You need to know beforehand where you are going to stop once the kissing starts. If you don’t, you will certainly not be able to stop until you’ve gone way too far.

Most young people don’t “plan” on having sex. It just “happens”. You need a stopping point. Keeping the clothes on is a good place to start!


The fundamental rule of thumb is that sex is physiologically unitive and procreative. It is physiologically unitive because it says, “I love you forever.” This happens naturally because nature likes couples – for one another’s good – and because nature likes sex being procreative, and a stable couple is good for the kids.

Because God made sex so that it is innately unitive, sex outside of the binding commitment of marriage is a contradiction – it is “physiologically and morally dissonant.” So, your conscience bothers you when you violate the moral imperative pertinent to sex. God made it that way.

After that, there is mankind’s imperfection. It manifests as a hundred different forces impacting and bending human sexuality. Socialized gender roles tempt males to treat females as less than they are, and tempts femalers to accept that lessening. Mass access to artificial contraception tends to generate a social expectation that the girl will “put out” fairly quickly, enormously heightening pressure to compete for the opposite sex by readily engaging in premarital sex. Then there are the neuroses resulting from family idiosyncrasies and individual personality weaknesses. Then there is economic pressure – the need to live as one is not necessarily related to sex. It’s simply cheaper. Also, as more and more people use contraceptives, and the number of children per family unit goes down, more money chasing non-kid-oriented goods and services raises the price of everything, creating additional economic pressure on non-use of contraceptives, tending to institutionalize both contraceptive use and contraception-engineered premarital promiscuity.

It’s a mess. Good luck trying to obey God’s laws in the sex area. When I was in college, I was shunned because I wasn’t promiscuous.

Just work things out as best as you can. It’s a jungle out there.

Beespost–keep your clothes on would be my advice and stay vertical (although things can happen vertically).

If you ask: “How far is too far”, it is likely you have already gone too far.
You have to ask, not: “how much can I do before the wedding night and still be a virgin?”, but rather “how much can I save my self as a gift to my future husband?”.

I know it seems unthinkable right now that you might be alone one day soon, laying in your bed at night after you boyfriend and you have broken up, and thinking: “I gave this guy something that he never should have had”. But that is going to happen.
Even if you two end up marrying this guy down the road - and you dont know that this man will be your husband until you are at the alter and he said YES - you will know he did not protect your purity nor his own.
The Bible is clear: “Our bodies do not belong to ourselves, but to Christ, we should keep our bodies holy, they are the temple of the Holy Spirit”. In other words… if you touch your boy friend you sin against him and risk his salvation. Is this love?

Also think about this: If another man turns out to become your husband, how far would you like him to go with his current girlfriend tonight? Would you like him to engage in mutual stimulation of genital regions with his current girl friend or will you hope he waits for you?

Look. I know from my own life that our sexuality is a huge force in our bodies, but what you do tonight or in the coming weekend will remain with you, be part of you, for as long as you live and even into eternal life. You will have flash backs for a long time… the desire will be in your body… and there will be shame … the pain of which is so intolerable.

Do you want to stay pure until your wedding night? Then you gotta dedicate your self seriously and find a man who is likewise virtuous and comitted to respecting his own and your body instead of taking all he can get away with like some thief.

An aquintance of mine wept on her wedding night because her and her fiance had not been completely chaste prior to marriage. She felt there was no real giff to unwrap for her husband nor herself.
As for me I have messed up in the past and made my own life hell for it for a long time. I knew I was a walking dead until I got my priorities straight. Fornication leads to damnation but more importantly, in this life, it leads to so much sadness…
I cannot emphasise enough to you, dear little sister, how you should do everything in your power to stay away from the bitterness I and so many have experienced.
One day I will have to tell my future husband that I was tempted in one moment in my life to give myself over to someone to whom I did not belong. One moment. That’s all it takes.

If you have done stupid things, now is the time to stop and save whatever you still have.

Go to www.pureloveclub.com and listen to the ROMANCE WITHOUT REGRET speech there… It will change how you look at all these things, and it will empower you to get your priorities in perspective. Right now you are blinded by love and desire and the pleasure of the moment. But there is a whole life ahead of you where Jesus is your only firm point.

Don’t let any one touch you. Remember how Josef in the old Testament was tempted by Pharao’s wife… she even undressed him but he ran away in that moment because he knew his worth.
Study all the examples of the PURE ones… there are so many, both among the living and the dead. Dont become like one of us who can never be martyrs of purity.

Peace to you… oh yes… and you can read soo many other threads about this subject too… just use the SEARCH-button

Good question to ask yourself, although I know it’s a little cliche. Dont do anything you wouldnt do in front of your parents and your Priest!
I know how tough this is, I struggled with this for a long time. And sometimes I still do, because of my past experiences. If you would like you can personal message me to discuss this further. I’m praying for you my sister in Christ! Be strong, ask Jesus to protect you and ask Him for His strength. God Bless you and your boyfriend in your journey!

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