Let’s Be Real: Oral Sex is Sex  


How Orange Is The New Black Is More Honest Than Many Christians about Oral Sex  

I will admit something rather freely to you all here: I’m really not very good at the whole only watching wholesome shows and movies thing. I never really have been. Mostly because wholesome stuff is usually either just for kids or it sucks. There are a few exceptions to this, but not many. So, I’ll share with you that my husband and I have watched every available season of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix[1]. I’m not endorsing the show or recommending it to you (though it is interesting and addicting), I’m just admitting that I watch it. In the last season, I noticed something I think is significant (other than the fact that the show is slowly getting to the “jumping the shark” level of believability in its plot lines).

In case you don’t know, the show is set in a women’s prison. Many of the characters in the show are lesbians. Some are lifelong lesbians. Others are heterosexual, but up for some girl on girl action while there’s nothing else to be had. All of them admit that they’re having sex with one another. They call it sex. They don’t differentiate between what they’re doing and “real” sex. They’re honest. Whether it’s oral sex or fingering (or hand jobs or whatever you want to call it), they’re admitting that what they’re doing is real sex, even though there are absolutely no penises involved.

At the same time, studies show that since the whole Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski fiasco, only 20% of teens surveyed think of oral sex as a sex act, compared to 40% among the same age group 10 years before.[2] My point is not to be political here, but to show the facts. Since that time, the idea that oral sex isn’t really sex has spread like wildfire, especially among teens and young adults.

The Appeal of Oral Sex to Christians

Don’t think that Christians are immune to this trend. In fact, this idea of oral sex as not actually being sex is super appealing to Christians committed to sexual purity but tired of waiting. It provides a “loophole”, so to speak. You’re still a virgin (technically), but you can sexually pleasure your significant other before marriage and experience sexual pleasure for yourself.

How do I know this? Because I know people who have done this. They didn’t think it was a big deal because of how the culture treats oral sex and because they knew other Christian people who had done it (a great example of how the sins that we commit often have unintended consequences which influence the lives of others). While they would never have gone “all the way” and had “real” sex, they felt fine to engage in oral sex and still considered themselves virgins and “sexually pure”, despite engaging in a very physically intimate act that usually involves partial if not full nudity. Sure, pregnancy was out of the picture, but there was very little consideration of the legalistic nature of allowing oral sex while saying that “real” sex was off limits.

My Story

Heck, I fell into this trap myself, despite saying I never would. It’s one thing to think something philosophically at 15, and another to live up to it in your twenties when you have a boyfriend who’s more sexually experienced than yourself wanting it. Add to that your knowledge that your Christian friends (some of whom even went to Bible college) did it before they got married and it seemed to have had no negative impact on them. Why should you say no? Everyone seems to agree that it’s no big deal.

To be honest, I don’t think I realized that it actually was a big deal until after I got married and had permission to go “all the way.” It was then I realized that there’s not much of a difference. Sure, the physical mechanics of it might be a little different, but the emotional connectivity is the same. The sexual release and sensation are the same. “Real” sex might involve slightly different body parts, but it involves the same spiritual and emotional parts. I always assumed there would be some huge difference in sensation or emotional connection when I had “real” sex, but there was none.

Isn’t that what the characters of Orange Is the New Black are ultimately saying by calling oral sex what it is? Aren’t they acknowledging what we so often try to skirt around, that it’s a sexual act with very real emotional and spiritual consequences? Let’s not kid ourselves any more. If Orange Is The New Black can admit that oral sex is “real” sex, why can’t we?


[1] As an aside, oh my gosh, that theme song sucks. I love Regina Spektor, but that is far from her best work. So annoying and just bad.

[2] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-young-adults-oral-sex-is-not-sex/

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