The Bible teaches that sex should be limited to married couples. But these days many people in Western societies think that it is wise for a couple to sleep together before getting married so that they will know whether or not they are sexually compatible.

Does the Bible, or any well-known Christian authors, have anything to say about the problem of sexual incompatibility which was unexpected because the couple did not sleep together before getting married?

  • 1
    "what happens then?" is a little vague. The answer could be, 'They won't enjoy sex as much as they could.' But I don't think that's the answer you are looking for. Are you asking if this dissatisfaction with sex is grounds for divorce? – Steve May 19 '14 at 3:38
  • 6
    How do you define "sexually compatible"? – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE May 19 '14 at 10:38
  • I would omit the Bible part and focus on the well-known Christian author part. I think this question is asking for the opinion of well-known Christian authors. – Double U May 19 '14 at 12:18
  • 2
    Like @Wikis, I would also ask that the "sexual incompatibility" be clarified. – Double U May 19 '14 at 12:19
  • While I don't have enough detail to flush it out in to an answer, Biblically, a marriage isn't about sex, it is about a relationship. If your relationship is based on how good the sex is, it WILL fail. – AJ Henderson May 19 '14 at 14:54

(This is not really a 'Christian' answer, but then your question isn't really a 'Christian' question.)

If 'sexual chemistry' is a thing, is there any guarantee that it will survive a wedding, or 7, 10, 20 years of married life and child-bearing-induced-body-morphing?

If not, your 'test drive' won't help much. You'll need something other than 'lust' to stay the course.

  • agreed w benjol - the op did say compatibility, not sexual chemistry. – Hello Nov 10 '14 at 6:35
  • -1 this is a forum post, not an answer. – Please stop being evil Jan 7 '15 at 8:26

The Biblical authors (and God himself) do not speak about sex in this way, as if a typical husband and wife could possibly be sexually incompatible. The restrictions that God does place on sex suggest that sex fulfills its purpose when it is experienced by two people who are committed (for life) to each other.

Compatibility is an important issue for marriage, but even that is not absolutely essential in every area because people can change over time, especially if they each act out of selfless love for their spouse. With this in mind, it makes no sense to look for a spouse based on sex (or sexual compatibility). Sex is not the reason a marriage will succeed or fail. It is pleasurable enough that it will always be a positive thing (over all) between two people who are committed to and have decided to love each other for the rest of their lives.

Pre-marital sex is dangerous because it puts the cart before the horse. God says that the husband and wife will be "one flesh" (Ge 2:24). Though the character of this unity isn't strictly physical, physical union is included in the fundamental concept. Sex comes after marriage because of the bond that it creates between the participants. It seems that it serves to “glue” a husband and wife together after they’ve committed to marry. To have sex with someone you’re not married to is to create a bond that may never serve any good purpose and may well serve to distract you from the person you do marry later on.


Your question:

Does the Bible, or any well-known Christian authors, have anything to say about the problem of sexual incompatibility which was unexpected because the couple did not sleep together before getting married?

As you probably know, pre-marital sex is a sin according to the bible - but it does address matters of incompatibility, compatibility, and a balanced win/win approach. See below:

1 Corinthians 13:5 In other words, does not over-emphasize self-needs (sexually)

5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

1 Corinthians 7:5 Should consider needs of mate:

5 Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.

1 Corinthians 7:28 Compatibility troubles (and more!) are to be expected.

28 But if you do marry, you do not sin [in doing so], and if a virgin marries, she does not sin [in doing so]. Yet those who marry will have physical and earthly troubles, and I would like to spare you that.


"Well known Christian writers" covers a lot of people over a couple of millenia, including over the past century and a half. I don't have much familiarity with what all of them wrote, so it is possible that one or more of well known Christian writers did discuss the topic. However, the notions of "love" and "marriage" have changed substantially over the same period. I don't recall ever reading anything in the Bible about "sexual incompatibility" because the notion just was not considered. There are so few men and women who lack the necessary parts to engage in sexual activity that I expect that a man or woman in Biblical times would have scoffed at the notion that there was such a thing as "sexual incompatibility". The notion of marriage has also changed considerably, and the lives of women in general have also changed considerably. In Biblical times, a woman would have gone from her father's house to her husbands, and the marriage may have been arranged years before.

  • This answer does not seem to address the question very well. First, you may want to cite your sources. You list some plausible points, but they are uncited, and hence, your opinion alone. Second, citing sources can help you narrow down your scope from "a lot of people over a couple of millenia" to [insert-famous-Christian-writer-here]. – Double U May 19 '14 at 12:29
  • I would do research on Ebscohost or Google scholar, if I were you. – Double U May 19 '14 at 12:29
  • I would submit that my offering answered the question as well as possible given the overly broad nature of the question. – brasshat May 20 '14 at 3:42

As you know, there are no exceptions to the rule.

James4;17 Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

II Peter 2;21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it , to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

You may want to seek advice from your pastor about compatibility in general.

  • "compatibility" is a buzz-word. i doubt if there are any "compatibility" issues regarding plumbing. regarding what goes on inside one's brain and spirit is something else, but still, the issue, for the faithful, is COMMITMENT, rather than compatibility. – robert bristow-johnson May 19 '14 at 20:16
  • You may be correct, however, I don't believe the poster had your definition in mind. – V. Rollins May 19 '14 at 23:25

If you find yourself with someone who dosen't care about sex or pleasing you that way at all and you do care alot about it then basically you're stuck with it so too bad. If you both match, then lucky both of you.

Then again if you can both be responsible adults and your brain doesn't implode-with-sin at the idea of having sex outside of marriage (and I must point out, me and most people I know find it perfectly possible and reasonable to have sex without being married and not turn into raving-uncontrolled-lust-demons-high-on-sin) then you might just avoid making a decision you regret for the rest of your life.

  • it's not exactly the Christian solution, but i commend Tim for his forthrightness (which is a lot better than i can say for many "Christians", some of whom hang around here). – robert bristow-johnson May 19 '14 at 20:13
  • Isn't it a bit offensive to say that people who want to obey the God they love and so study the Bible to understand it have "imploding brains"? Please remove that from your answer. – curiousdannii May 19 '14 at 21:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.