Oh, there he goes off to his room to write that hit song "Alone in my principles."
Question #89073 posted on 03/03/2017 11:49 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

During a relief society lesson this year, my YSA bishop stated that in his opinion, no one should kiss with tongue before they're married. His reasoning is that kissing with tongue is a simulation of sexual intercourse. My roommates and I thought this was very bizarre. Has anyone else heard this before? Or do any of the writers agree with this?

-Save the French Kiss!!!


Dear Sebastian,

It's a bit unclear what you're asking if we've heard of before. Did you mean the counsel to not kiss with tongue before marriage? Or the idea that kissing thus is simulating intercourse?

Frankly, I don't have any idea about the latter (though it looks like the writers below me do), but I've definitely heard the former. The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet warns against "passionate kissing" before marriage, and it's hard to imagine a circumstance in which french kissing would not be considered "passionate." 

Furthermore, as far as writer opinions go, we actually had a question about this a while back. Anne, Certainly certainly (and bravely) surveyed the writers about their thoughts on what constituted "making out" and when it was appropriate. The writers majorly responded that they thought that "making out" implied kissing with tongue (i.e. french kissing), and a third of the surveyed writers felt that doing so was only appropriate in marriage.

In short: FTSOY says don't french kiss before marriage, and Board writers from a year ago also advise against stirring the Mac & Cheese before things get serious.

-Frère Rubik


Dear Frenchy,

I'm not sure if you're asking what we think about the appropriateness of making out, or if kissing with tongue is a simulation of sexual intercourse. If it's the latter, then yeah, that's a thing that I've heard from multiple people before. I don't think it's something that people consciously think of or try to emulate when French kissing, but supposedly that's what it represents (although it's important to note that there's a huge difference between something like licking someone's lips briefly versus having your entire tongue down their throat).

If it's the former, most BYU bishops I've heard speak on the matter disapprove of making out. They're careful to elaborate that that is their own opinion, and that making out isn't something that would keep you out of the temple, for example, but they don't think it's a great activity, either. They have varied reasons for believing this, but I think the most common one is that making out (or kissing with tongue) tends to arouse passions that might lead us to do things we regret later on. Sure, it's fun and exciting, but in general making out makes people a little crazier than usual. Being aroused in and of itself isn't a sin, either, but continuing to kiss while aroused usually doesn't lead anywhere good, if at the very least because it leads to unchaste thoughts. And although I'm sure there are people who can make out all the time without it ever leading to anything else, there are also lots of people who can't, and avoiding French kissing helps everyone avoid a situation that can very easily escalate into something more sexual. The thing is, you can't know beforehand if you'll be one of the people who can totally control themselves while making out in a given situation or not, and it's better to play things safe than sorry. 

Personally, I don't think it's a great idea to engage in French kissing, but I also can't condemn anyone who does so, because that's such a personal decision. I'd put it in the "border to not cross" category rather than the "sexual sin" category, so crossing it every once in a while isn't going to ruin your chances of leading a chaste and virtuous life or anything, but it's probably not going to increase them, either. Plus following the counsel of Church leaders is never a bad thing, because the worst it could do is help you develop obedience and faith. You might also miss out on some good old worldly fun, but in the grand scheme of things I don't think you'll be too sorry about that. So not only does not making out help you avoid negative consequences, which is what I mostly focused on in this answer, but it can also lead to actively positive consequences, which is also pretty cool and important. Again, this is all my opinion, and people are welcome to disagree, but now at least you have a couple of viewpoints.



Dear you,

I've never heard that French kissing is supposed to simulate sex, and frankly I think the idea is ridiculous. There are legitimate reasons to avoid French kissing before marriage, but that seems like an unnecessary scare tactic that will only serve to make people feel guilty for something that isn't sinful.