Making out with someone before marriage is a common occurrence in many parts of the world today. However, there are differing cultural and religious views on whether this is acceptable behavior. Here we will examine some of the key considerations around premarital making out and look at different perspectives on the issue.
What is meant by “making out”?
First, it is helpful to clarify what is meant by “making out.” This typically refers to passionate kissing, fondling, and other intimate physical contact that stops short of sexual intercourse. It involves behaviors like:
- French kissing (using the tongue)
- Intense lip-locking
- Caressing parts of the partner’s body like the face, arms, shoulders, back, chest, legs, etc.
- Touching each other’s private areas above or below clothing
- Grinding body parts together
So making out involves intimate and often sexually-charged contact without going all the way to sex. It is seen by many as a natural step in the progression of physical intimacy in a romantic relationship.
Religious views on premarital making out
When it comes to religion, views on premarital making out range from permissive to strictly prohibitive. Here is a quick overview of perspectives from different faiths:
In Christianity, attitudes on premarital intimacy like making out differ denominationally. More conservative groups discourage or forbid making out before marriage, while more liberal groups are less opposed. Key factors include beliefs about:
- Saving sexual intimacy only for marriage
- Avoiding temptation toward sin
- Demonstrating self-control and purity
- Respecting your future spouse
Most Islamic scholars consider making out before marriage to be haram (forbidden). Physical intimacy is only permitted between spouses. Reasons include:
- Preventing extramarital attraction and infidelity
- Controlling sexual desire and avoiding sin
- Valuing modesty and chastity
Traditional Hindu teachings view premarital intimacy like making out unfavorably as it may lead to a loss of self-control and indulgence in sexual desire. Values of purity and restraint are emphasized.
In Judaism, attitudes vary between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform groups. Orthodox Judaism prohibits affectionate touch between unmarried individuals. More liberal groups have relaxed views but still encourage modesty.
Buddhist sexual ethics focus on avoiding harm to oneself and others. Passionate acts like making out are viewed as dangerous attachments. Celibacy is valued, though most Buddhists accept consensual intimacy between mature individuals.
Cultural perspectives on premarital making out
Cultural norms also shape attitudes about whether making out before marriage is acceptable. Here are some broad patterns:
- More permissive views tend to be found in Western cultures like Europe, Australia, and the Americas.
- More conservative views prevail in parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
- Some cultures have traditions like supervised courtship allowing for intimacy under social constraints.
However, views are diverse across and within cultures. Factors like family background, education, urban vs rural residence, and individual values all contribute to perspectives.
Reasons some approve of premarital making out
There are several reasons why many people today accept and engage in premarital intimacy like making out, including:
- It’s seen as normal in many modern relationships and a way for couples to express affection and build closeness.
- It helps assess sexual compatibility before marriage.
- For many, abstaining entirely seems unrealistic.
- Personal values have shifted away from traditions of restraint.
- More permissive social norms give couples room to set their own boundaries.
Reasons some disapprove of premarital making out
On the other hand, reasons for avoiding premarital making out include:
- Religious beliefs that intimate acts should wait for marriage.
- Concerns it may lead to going farther sexually than intended.
- Belief in traditional courtship practices without intimacy.
- Not wanting to violate social norms or taboos.
- Seeing restraint as an important value to demonstrate.
Key considerations around premarital making out
When deciding one’s own views on premarital making out, some key considerations include:
- Personal values: What intimacy boundaries align with your beliefs and principles?
- Partner’s values: What are your partner’s views and are they compatible?
- Family expectations: Will your family approve or disapprove?
- Culture/religion: What norms or rules apply in your social context?
- Practical risks: Could it lead beyond your boundaries or cause other problems?
Having open conversations and setting shared guidelines with a partner is important when navigating intimacy in a relationship.
Are there health risks to making out?
Overall, making out prior to marriage poses little physical health risk in itself. However, a few considerations include:
- It can spread infections like cold sores, strep throat, or mono through saliva contact.
- In rare cases, excessive dryness or vigorous contact can cause mouth or lip irritation.
- Hickies or other marks may draw unwanted attention.
- Without emotional maturity, intimacy can impact mental health and relationships.
Practicing good hygiene and using protection for further intimacy can mitigate most risks.
Can you get pregnant from making out?
Pregnancy cannot result from making out or other non-penetrative sexual activity. Conception requires direct vaginal (or very rarely anal) penetration by sperm.
So while making out may lead couples to go farther sexually, pregnancy requires full unprotected intercourse.
Advice for navigating premarital intimacy
For those considering intimacy like making out prior to marriage, some advice includes:
- Know your personal boundaries and reasons behind them.
- Communicate openly and honestly with any partner.
- Move slowly – don’t rush into intense intimacy.
- Consider your partner’s needs and comfort level.
- Use protection if considering higher-risk activity.
- Consider the context – some settings are riskier.
- Look for compatibility in values early on.
- Respect each other’s physical and emotional boundaries.
With good communication, mutual care, and maturity, couples can thoughtfully navigate physical intimacy – whether that allows for making out or prefers to wait for marriage.
Views on premarital making out span a wide spectrum. While some cultures and faiths prohibit it entirely, it is a common practice for couples in many modern settings. Each person must reflection on their own values, relationship context, and motivations for intimacy. With open communication, respect, and shared ground rules, couples can thoughtfully define the physical boundaries that fit their connection and convictions.