Bible Question:

Is it sin for engaged couples to see or touch private parts?

Bible Answer:

Many engaged Christian couples struggle with the desire to see or touch each other’s private parts? That is, each other’s breasts or genitals. Some wonder is it sin for engaged couples to see or touch private parts? Therefore, what follows provides a biblical answer to this question.

Is it sin for engaged couples to see or touch private parts?

Sin To See Private Parts?

It is clear from Scripture that being naked in the presence of others is shameful, unless it is with one’s wife, husband or medical personnel. The first clue that being naked is shameful is found in Genesis 3:7. Adam has just sinned by eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and then verses 7-11 say,

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “ Where are you?” He said, “ I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? . . .” Genesis 3:7-11 (NASB)

Why did they cover their naked bodies with fig leaves? While the word “shame” is not used, it is obvious that they did not want anyone, including the animals, to see their naked bodies. Notice that we are told they hid themselves from God. We could say they felt shame. That is the message of the rest of Scripture. That is, being naked was shameful.

Many people want to know why Ham was cursed.  The answer is given to us in Genesis 9:22-23.

Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. Genesis 9:22-23 (NASB)

Ham was cursed because he saw his father, Noah, naked.  The Hebrew word for nakedness, erwa, means “naked,” “undressed,” or “genital area.”  The word is also translated as “shame.” That is to be naked is shameful. A plain sense reading of Genesis 9:22-23 teaches us that Ham sinned by seeing his father’s nakedness. Why? Seeing someone naked is shameful.

In Revelation 16:15, we are explicitly told that being naked is shameful.

“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.” Revelation 16:15 (NASB)

The Greek word that is translated as “shame” is aschemosyne. It is translated as “indecent” in Romans 1:27. It literally means “dishonor” or “to behave improperly.”

Many other passages in Scripture also reveal that being naked is shameful and that is why we clothe ourselves. It is also why God encourages us to feed the poor and clothe the naked (2 Chronicles 28:15; Job 22:6; Isaiah 58:7; Ezekiel 16:22, 39; Hosea 2:3; Amos 2:16). It is shameful to allow other people to see our naked bodies, other than one’s wife or husband or medical personnel.

Therefore, since Scripture teaches that being naked in the presence of other people is shameful, it is shameful for an unmarried woman to allow any man see her naked. It is also shameful for a unmarried man to allow any woman see him naked.

It is also a sin for engaged couples to see each other naked since Jesus told us in Matthew 5:28 that it is sin to look on a woman with lust if one is not married to her.

. . .  but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 (NASB)

The same is true for a woman to see a man naked, if she is not married to him.

Therefore, in summary it is shameful or sinful for engaged couples to allow each other to see their naked bodies. It is sinful for engaged couples to see each other’s nakedness since it stirs sexual desire for one another. Engaged couples need to wait until the wedding has occurred. But this is not true when the man and woman are married or medical personnel need to perform an examination.

Sin To Touch Private Parts?

1 Corinthians 7:1-2 teaches that is also sin for a man to touch a woman in such a way as to stimulate sexually.

Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 (NASB)

The phrase “touch a woman” refers to sexual contact and sexual stimulation. For an explanation of the Greek that is translated as “touch,” please visit “Is it wrong (a sin) to touch a woman before marriage, like holding hands, hugging?” That is, it is sin for a man “to touch a woman” if it will result in sexual stimulation. It is also sin for a woman “to touch a man” if it will result in sexual stimulation.This means that unmarried couples should not touch each other’s genitals, breasts, buttocks or chests.

Therefore, the apostle Paul urges men to marry a woman if they have sexual urges. Then he can have sex with a woman (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).


1 Corinthians 6:18 and 2 Timothy 2:22 encourage everyone to flee immorality or youthful lusts. Therefore, it is shameful and sinful for engaged couples to allow each other to see and touch each other’s private parts. It is shameful and sinful for engaged couples to see and actually touch the private parts of each other. It is also obvious at this point that sexual activity, including sexual intercourse is a sin. God wants every female and male to wait until they are married. Then Hebrews 13:4 and many other Scriptures reveal that there is great freedom for married couples to engage in many different sexual activities. This is how a Christian couple pleases the Lord (1 Peter 1:14-16). For more information, please visit “What does the Bible say about foreplay and sex in marriage?

Suggested Links:

Is it wrong (a sin) to touch a woman before marriage, like holding hands, hugging?
Is kissing before marriage a sin? What does the Bible say?
When does sexual passion become the sin of sexual lust?
What are the things that defile the temple (body)?
What does the Bible say about foreplay and sex in marriage?
Can you please explain Genesis 9:22-29? — Curse of Ham