Is Spanking During Sexual Foreplay Okay?

Question from a Wife About Spanking During Sexual Foreplay
"I have been married for 20 years and we have been Christians for 19 years. My husband has wanted me to willfully participate in what I would term "deviant sex" for the entire 20 years. I refused the first 18 years. We had intimacy, but I could tell that he was never fully satisfied.

Two years ago, I agreed to engage in what he wanted. It was fun and exciting and I especially liked the attention I received from my husband. It was the first time in our marriage that I felt truly desired by him. However, I always felt guilty.

Several weeks ago I had a dream that I truly believe was a warning from God. It was vivid and clear. I told my husband about it and I told him that I will not engage in that sexual behavior again. My husband said that he felt bad, but now he will hardly talk to me. He does not think that what he wants is wrong since it is between the two of us and no one else.

He wants me to spank him. As a Christian woman I really struggle with this.

My husband is an honest, hardworking man that truly loves me and his family. I believe he loves the Lord, but this is preventing him from growing in his relationship with the Lord. I think it always has because it has such a strong grip on him.

I don't know where to turn. I try to pray about it, but I would love to share with someone candidly about it. If you can make some suggestions in resources we can read or someone we can talk to about this I would be so grateful. Thank you for your ministry I know that it is greatly needed."

We want to encourage you to read our answer here together with your husband. Part of our answer regarding spanking during sexual foreplay is also directed towards him.

We will begin by referring to the “Christian Views on Sex” article on our website. (We’d like to draw your attention to point #6: the Give and Take Principle.)

This article outlines principles that couples must mutually agree to. An honest talk with your husband about these principles is important. Because the Bible does not list all accepted or rejected forms of sexual play…there are principles or “guidelines” that we follow to make sure our sexual activities are strengthening our relationships, and not eroding them.

For example, sex is designed such that we learn to please our spouse—and not ourselves first of all. If your husband’s sexual preference for spanking results in obsessive behavior such that he can’t or won’t make love to you without it, then his focus is totally wrong. Is he unable to get aroused without spanking? Then, it has gone too far.

Sex play must be mutually pleasing, and not a violation of conscience. There are times, however, when our conscience is shaped by our upbringing and background, and not necessarily by God’s Word. Let’s face it: the Bible doesn’t say anything about spanking or not spanking as part of sexual play. [In another context, we might be tempted to refer to the verse that tells us “when you’re hit on one cheek, turn the other”! Sorry for this non-serious comment! ;-) ] And so, you can’t automatically say “it’s not Christian-like to enjoy spanking during a time of sex play”. It depends on some other factors…

If we are talking about playful spanking, that’s one thing. In this scenario, you need not have a guilty conscience. On the other hand, if we’re talking about spanking in order to bring pain, or to intentionally degrade, then that’s another thing altogether. In this case, your husband needs to give up that desire and focus on pleasing you.

There were two things you mentioned within your email that we’d like to address. The first is that for two years you went along with your husband’s desires for spanking during sexual foreplay. You mentioned that during that time you also enjoyed the sexual play and your love making was robust. Normally, we would say that your enjoyment of an activity that the Bible does not directly or indirectly forbid would be a green light to keep going…enjoy yourself!

The second comment, though, refers to a dream you had, in which you believe God spoke to you to stop indulging your husband, because spanking was wrong. Frankly, if God really spoke to you—then, of course, you have to stop. Our question though is, was this really God, or a function of your troubled conscience? In either case, you are to be commended in desiring to do whatever the Lord wants you to do! But you must be clear that it’s not the spanking itself that God is against. You need to know the reason, the motive.

The bottom line is that God designed sex for us to have fun and enjoy each other. In our sexual relationship with our spouse, we learn to please each other first and then, of course, receive pleasure ourselves. This whole process must involve honoring each other, and preferring each other. You cannot be involved in anything that degrades you, physically or psychologically hurts you, or that is clearly contrary to Scripture.

You have to determine if your husband’s desire for spanking is something playful and enjoyable for him—and if it might also be enjoyable for you. If yes, then spank away! Your conscience need not be sensitive about it. If this activity is only designed to bring pain, humiliate, and make your husband feel demeaned then it is not healthy and needs to be dropped altogether.

Here are a few other resources that may be helpful for you and your husband in regards to spanking during sexual foreplay:

An article from Christianity Today’s website.

Find a forum that discusses this topic This site will have several forums related to this subject.

(This is Carrie writing now) I’d like to make a few comments from my perspective as a wife: I am concerned about how many Christian women feel a lack of sexual confidence in their marriage relationships. I believe this is due, in part, to the fact that sex is often seen as a “taboo” topic among Christians. There must be opportunity, in a respectful and safe setting, for married couples to be taught about God’s design for sex in marriage. Instead, the silence of much of the Christian community on this subject has impacted married women so that it is more difficult for them to overcome their inhibitions during sex with their husbands. God wants us to be sexually confident with our husbands so that we can enjoy loving them with a passion and freedom! Perhaps part of your enjoyment during those two years you indulged your husband was actually a result of you allowing yourself to drop some inhibitions… and be free to just love your husband. God designed sexual intimacy between husband and wife to be a place where both of them freely express their love, passion, and desire for one another.

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