What does the Bible say about different sexual positions?
The Bible does not provide a “how to” manual on sexual activity between a husband and wife, but it does provide us various principles. It is recommended that you read “What does the Bible say about foreplay and sex in marriage?” before continuing. You will also find a number of related topics below in the “Suggested Links” that may be helpful. The question that this article addresses is, “What does the Bible say about different sexual positions?”
Sex Positions On The Bed
The Bible clearly refers to at least one sex position and maybe another one. The first one is where husbands and wives lay down together when having sexual intercourse. 2 Samuel 12:24 states that David and Bathsheba laid down together for sexual intercourse.
When David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him . . . 2 Samuel 12:24 (NASB)
Genesis 39:10 is about Pharaohs’ wife attempted seduction of Joseph. The verse tells us that Pharaoh’s wife was begging Joseph to engage in sexual activity with her. Her begging had started in verse 7. In verse 10 we are told Joseph refused to be seduced and 1) lie beside her or 2) be with her.
As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her. Genesis 39:10 (NASB)
This verse seems to imply that “beside her” may refer to just foreplay or foreplay and intercourse side-by-side. 2 Samuel strongly suggests that “with her” refers to sexual intercourse. However, it is not clear if the verse refers to two different positions.
Notice that Scripture refers to the “marriage bed” in a positive manner in Hebrews 13:4, except when sin occurs. This implies that sexual activity on the bed between a husband and wife is approved by God. This statement should not be taken to imply that sexual activity that does not occur on the bed is not permitted. But it does imply that a variety of sexual activity and sex positions is permissible on the marriage bed.
Sex Positions Outside The Bedroom
The book of Song of Solomon reveals that God approves of sexual activity between a husband and wife. It is a positive statement of what is permissible. Consequently Song of Solomon 7:10-11 reveals that God approves of sexual activity that occurs in other places than at home on the marriage bed. In the following passage notice that the wife is planning to take a trip and spend a night at some distant village and then in the morning go out into the vineyard and engage in “lovemaking” or foreplay and sexual intercourse.
I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is for me.
Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country,
Let us spend the night in the villages.
Let us rise early and go to the vineyards;
Let us see whether the vine has budded
And its blossoms have opened,
And whether the pomegranates have bloomed.
There I will give you my love.
Song of Solomon 7:10-11 (NASB)
This reveals that God has a positive view of such activity between a husband and a wife. The descriptions of vineyards, blossoms and pomegranates are highly suggestive.
Genesis 26:8 also reveals that Isaac and Rebekah were engaged in “lovemaking” outside. The passage seems to indicate that King Ablimelech was looking outside from his palace window when Isaac and Rebekah were engaged in lovemaking outside the house in the backyard or on the roof top.
It came about, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out through a window, and saw, and behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah. Genesis 26:8 (NASB)
The Hebrew word that is translated as “caressing” is translated as “sporting” in the King James Bible. The Hebrew word is sahaq. It means “to caress, fondle or engage in foreplay.” Thus Isaac and Rebekah made a mistake by engaging in sexual activity outside. They probably did not expect someone to be looking from the “palace window.” But God used it to reveal to the king that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife. In response, the king rebuked Isaac and warned the people to not engage in sexual activity with Isaac’s wife under penalty of death (Genesis 26:11). This reveals that even this king understood that sexual activity must be only between a husband and wife and should not be viewed by others. This passage also reveals that a couple can engage in sexual activity in the backyard, but they must be careful to not let others see them. Scripture teaches that it is a sin to look at the nakedness of anyone who is not your spouse (Revelation 16:15).
These simple examples reveal that husbands and wives can engage in sexual activity in a variety of places. These examples also help us understand that sexual positions where a husband and wife lie down together during sexual intercourse on the marriage bed are okay, as long as both spouses are in agreement. We must remember that love must control what every couple asks their spouse to do. Are there other sexual positions that are okay? Scripture never gives us any examples. The Hebrews 13:4 reference to the marriage bed is the normal location for sexual activity and implies that any sex positions on the marriage bed are okay as long as sexual sin does not occur.
Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4 (NASB)
For information about sexual sins on the marriage bed please read, “What is the meaning of the Greek word porneia in the Bible?”
Dave Harvey, author of When Sinners Say, “I Do” makes two important statements,
If spouses are committed to one another’s pleasure, nobody goes to sleep disappointed. I don’t have to be concerned with getting mine, because my spouse is thinking of adventurous ways to enjoy what God has given us. And when someone is intent on getting their delight by being a delight . . . well, it just doesn’t get any better than that!
Anyone planning on using various sexual positions should be aware that research has shown that some positions can cause a higher occurrence of penile fractures which will require urgent medical attention. The “Woman on top” and “doggy style” are the two sex positions that most often cause penile fracture.
1. The phrase “with her”also occurs in 2 Samuel 13:20. Earlier Amnon had raped his sister in 2 Samuel 13:11-14. In verse 20 the forced sexual intercourse is referred to as “with her.”
2. Dave Harvey. When Sinners Say, “I Do”. Shepherd Press. 2007. p. 160.
3. Nature (www.nature.com/articles/ijir201724); Hindawl (www.hindawi.com/journals/au/2014/768158/)
4. Reis, et al. Mechanisms Predisposing Penile Fracture and Long-Term Outcomes on Erectile and Voiding Functions (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
1. Clifford & Penner. The Gift of Sex. A Guide to Sexual Fulfillment. Thomas Nelson.
2. Douglass E. Rosenau. A Celebration of Sex. Thomas Nelson.
3. Ed Wheat and Gaye Wheat. Intended For Pleasure. Revell.
Suggested Links:What does the Bible say about foreplay and sex in marriage?
Porneia Definition — What is the meaning of the Greek word porneia in the Bible?
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