Bible Question:

Threesome — Is a threesome a sin according to the Bible?

Bible Answer:

Some claim that the Bible does not prohibit a threesome and therefore they believe singles and married couples can engage in sexual activity involving three people. Some have argued that because examples of polygamy can be found in the Bible, threesomes are okay too! This article will explain that it is a sin to be involved in a threesome. A threesome in this brief study is defined as any combination of three people who engage together in sexual activity that involves kissing, genital touching, oral sex, anal sex, or sexual intercourse. What follows explains from the Bible why a threesome is a sin.

Pattern of Sexual Activity Between Two People

Some have argued that because polygamy can be found in the Bible, threesome sex is also approved by God. But such an argument ignores several important facts. The first fact is that a threesome is never mentioned in the Bible. The second fact is that the several examples in the Bible where polygamy existed, the women would only engage in sexual activity with their husband one-on-one or privately.

The first example is not an example of polygamy, but that two women did not engage in sexual activity with a man at the same time. They agreed to engage in sexual activity separately. The example is the two daughters of Lot. Genesis 19:30-38 explains the two daughters agreed to engage in sex with their father one at a time but not together. Even though they were not married to their father, this shows a pattern of one-on-one sexual activity.

The second example is Rachel and Leah who were married to Jacob (Genesis 29:21-30). Jacob was a man with two wives. In Genesis 30:15 Jacob’s two wives bargained for an opportunity to have sex with him. The passage says that Rachel offered Leah the opportunity to engage in sexual activity with their husband if Leah would give her some mandrakes. The strong implication is that the two wives did not engage in sexual activity with their husband at the same time. They engaged separately in sexual activity with him.

In summary, there are no examples of threesome sex in the Bible. But examples exist of men with more than one wife. In these cases the women would have sex with their husband privately. Even if we could find an example of threesome sex in the Bible, God’s warnings about sexual sins reveal that threesome sex is a sin. For one to guess or surmise that threesome sex occurred in the Bible is not proof that God approves of it.

Commanded To Flee Sexual Sins

It is also clear that sexual activity that results in adultery and sexual activity that does not occur between a man and his wife are sins. We should start with 2 Timothy 2:22 which commands Christians to flee youthful lusts.

Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 (NASB)

Adults understand “flee youthful lusts.” Teenage lust can run wild. It is not uncommon to hear about teenagers who have engaged in sexual activities that they later would not engage in as an adult. This passage helps us understand that God wants adults to control their emotions, especially sexual emotions and to avoid adultery, fornication, and any other sexual activity that does not occur between a man and his wife.

Matthew 5:28 warns us to avoid adultery in our thinking. The passage warns men that if they lust after a woman, they commit adultery.  Women also commit adultery when they lust after a man. The seventh of the Ten Commandments warns everyone to not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14; Romans 13:9; James 2:11). Therefore, anyone who is mentally or physically engaged in sexual activity with someone who is not their wife or husband commits adultery.

God has also warned that fornication is a sin. Fornication includes any sexual behavior before marriage. God did not intend for us to engage in sexual activity with a man or woman before marriage. That is why He tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 to get married if we want to engage in sexual activity.

God also warns that any other sexual activity that does not occur between a man and wife is a sin. That is the message of Leviticus 18:22-23; 20:13. Romans 1:26-27 is very clear.

Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. Leviticus 18:23 (NASB)

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,  and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. Romans 1:26-27 (NASB)

In summary, God warns that fornicators, adulterers and any other sexual activity that does not occur between a man and his wife shall not inherit the kingdom of God or have eternal life. That is the message of Scripture. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 gives us a warning.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NASB)

The message is that fornication, adultery, and any other sexual activity that does not occur between man and wife are sins. Those who commit these sins will reap what they sow (Galatians 6:7). Therefore, those who practice such things reveal they are not going to heaven.

Threesome Sex and a Married Person

Threesomes may involve a married man and two other people: maybe his wife, one or two woman, or one or two males. In these examples, if a married man engages in sexual activity with any female who is not his wife, he will commit adultery. If he engages in sexual activity with any male, he will commit sin.

In addition, threesomes may involve a married woman and two other people: maybe her husband, one or two woman, or one or two males. In these examples, if a married woman engages in sexual activity with any male who is not her husband, she will commit adultery. If she engages in sexual activity with any female, she will commit the sin.

If any married person is a true Christian and engages in a threesome, the Holy Spirit will make them feel miserable as He convicts them repeatedly of their sins.

Threesome Sex and Singles

An unmarried man and an unmarried woman will commit the sin of fornication if he or she engages in sexual activity with any person to whom they are not married. If they engage in sexual activity with anyone of the same gender they will commit sin (Romans 1:26-27).

Conclusion:

We have learned that a married or single individual could commit a number of sins in a single episode of threesome sex.  Such unholy conduct will not escape God’s punishment for Job 4:8 and Galatians 6:7 state that we reap what we sow.

According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity
And those who sow trouble harvest it. Job 4:8 (NASB)

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7 (NASB)

God is not a fool. He has warned that those who engage in such sinful activities will reap what they have earned for themselves. 1 Corinthians 6:18 warns both non-Christians and Christians to flee immorality and that such sins are against our bodies.

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NASB)

Now what does this verse mean by “against his own body”? It could refer to sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. But we must not ignore the serious warning of  the “sexpert” Tracey Cox who states that there are at least twelve problems with a threesome. While her points are informative, it is her conclusion that is all important,

Lots of people feel guilty, cheap or disgusted with themselves afterwards. Sometimes, those feelings kick in during it: once you’ve had an orgasm, your mood can very quickly change from sexy to sordid. Surely safer to stick to a twosome, which is far more likely to produce a post-coital glow rather than post-coital cringe![1]

Such conclusions should be expected for God had already warned in the Bible that we reap what we sow. Other research confirms Tracey Cox’s honest and forthright conclusion. Here is a quote from a practicing psychiatrist. That is, he actually works with people.

“Anyone in a relationship who says he or she felt great after experiencing a threesome the night before, is lying!” says Dr Alex M, a practicing psychiatrist, who also counsels married people at a volunteer center. “A sense of shame clouds you and you can of course pick yourself from it, by saying you’ll never do it again and or lying to yourself that it was great and that it has rejuvenated your flagging sex life, but a sense of shame will prevail for some time to come. Many do not recover from it and some can slip into chronic depression,” he says.[2]

We must also be aware that a threesome is growing in popularity and, therefore, it is common for writers to ignore the tremendous guilt that most experience from this sexual activity. It is important to realize that the intent of a threesome is to have sex with people with we are not married and with different genders.

But the feelings of guilt are not the reasons to avoid threesome sex. The most important reason to avoid threesome sex is it displeases God because it is sin. From a positive viewpoint, the heart’s desire of every Christian should be to please and glorify God by our behavior. Both Ephesians 5:10 and Colossians 1:10 urge us to please our Lord.

. . . trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:10 (NASB)

. . . so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects . . .Colossians1:10 (NASB)

Christians should strive to be holy, because He is holy. We honor God by controlling our lusts.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,  but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 (NASB)

Finally, individuals involved in threesome sex choose to intentionally commit a number of sins since it involves planning. Such a sin is an intentional sin. Those involved displease God.

God did not intend sexual activity to include a third person and threesome sex is sinful. We should remember that God designed sex to be between one man and one woman who are already joined in marriage. Only one man and one woman are needed to produce a child. Anything else will result in sorrow and not blessing.

 

Reference:

1. Tracey Cox. “What REALLY happens during a threesome (and why it will wreck your relationship)”, 2 December 2015.
2. Dr Alex M. “Reasons you should never have a threesome.” Entertainment Times. May 2, 2017.

Suggested Links:

What is the correct meaning of fornication in the Bible?
Sex, Seduction, and Saints
What are the things that defile the temple (body)?
Is it sin for engaged couples to see or touch private parts?
Is kissing before marriage a sin? What does the Bible say?
Porneia Definition — What is the meaning of the Greek word porneia in the Bible?
Adultery in the Heart
Heart-Adultery!
The Bible on Same Sex Relations
Are some sins worse than other sins? – Are all sins equal?