In our fortnightly column ‘Great Sexpectations’ the Woman Alive panel answer your questions on sex, faith and intimacy. Drop us a confidential email on and ask us anything. Here, we help a reader wants to know if this kind of casual intimacy makes her a bad Christian?


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Dear Woman Alive,

I am single, but when I go out I often end up kissing boys. I love feeling attractive, and dancing, and often that just naturally flows into a kiss. I don’t go further, but it makes me feel good to be desired. Am I am bad Christian?

‌Dear Reader,

Firstly, I want to acknowledge that we all like feeling attractive, but I do want to say that you are doing yourself a disservice if you think a kiss is the only way you can feel that you are desirable.

It is important, however, to acknowledge how tough it is as a single Christian woman to remain pure in a culture that encourages us all to have as much sex as we like with as many people as we want to. It can make it seem like the odd kiss here and there on the dancefloor is totally innocent.

It can make it seem like the odd kiss here and there on the dancefloor is totally innocent.

And yet, the Bible is very clear that we are to live by God’s standards, not the world’s – and that he is very jealous for us and views us as his beloved – the Song of Songs shows us that he wants us to as enthralled with him as he is with us. Romans 12:2 talks about the need to be transformed through the renewing of our minds – The Message translation spells this out so clearly: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.

We all fall short in various ways at different times, which is why we should keep short accounts before God. So, while what you are doing may seem totally innocent, it is important to dwell on whether you think such behaviour is drawing you closer to God or further away. And how would you feel if God suddenly appeared in the room while you were kissing a stranger on the dancefloor? Although desire and sexual drive are God-given, and to be celebrated, we are told, too, that our bodies belong to God, not ourselves: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

‌While it can come at what seems like a high cost, honouring God with your body will in fact, ultimately, lead to a deeper sense of satisfaction. I acknowledge that the Church as a whole has not been great at coming alongside single people and helping them “to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12).

Often the ‘no sex before marriage’ rule is spouted without explanation or support – and without unpacking how living in such a way can bring an intimacy with God that many others don’t experience. Remember the Apostle Paul went so far as to say: “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do” (1 Corinthians 7:8) – why don’t you ask God to reveal to you why he said that?

If any of these issues have affected you, you can call Premier Lifeline for support. Premier Lifeline is a national, confidential helpline offering a listening ear, emotional and spiritual support from a Christian perspective. If you would like someone to talk with and pray for you, call Premier Lifeline on 0300 111 0101.

Our Great Sexpectations column is written by a number of different contributors who make up the Woman Alive panel. If you have a question for us,

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