Question: "Is cyber-sex / phone sex a sin?"

Answer: The Bible nowhere mentions cybersex (cyber-sex) or phone sex because, obviously, “cyber-anything” and “phone-anything” were not possible in Bible times. As with so many questions related to sex, the answer to this question depends somewhat on whether the people involved are married to each other. Within marriage, cybersex/phone sex would fall under the biblical principles outlined in Scripture regarding marital sex. For more information, please see our article on what is sexually allowed in a marriage.

Cybersex is any sexual activity done through means of a computer. It can involve video chats, discussion forums, or virtual reality. The key for cybersex is that everything is done online. Phone sex involves engaging in sexually explicit conversations or listening to sexually explicit recordings on a telephone. Often, users pay a fee for either cybersex or phone sex.

Outside of marriage, the performance of any sexual act is sin (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 1:7). For the unmarried, engaging in cybersex or phone sex is sinful. Jesus taught that to desire something that is sinful is itself sinful: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27–28). Also, we must be careful about what we allow our minds to dwell on: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). It is hard to see how cybersex or phone sex could be considered “noble,” “right,” or “pure.”

What about a married couple engaging in cybersex or phone sex with each other? What if a husband calls up his wife, and the two of them engage in some sexually charged banter? Is a wife allowed to spice up a video chat with her husband? The Bible says nothing that would prevent a husband and wife from engaging in such activity together. Neither spouse is having lustful thoughts about other people; the focus is solely on the spouse.

Outside the marriage bond, cybersex and phone sex are, in essence, desiring something that is sinful (fornication or adultery). Cybersex and phone sex are fantasizing about that which is immoral and impure. Cybersex and phone sex are virtual adultery. Those who engage in cybersex or phone sex are fantasizing about a person lustfully or encouraging another person to give in to selfish and immoral lust. A person who is immoral in his or her mind and heart will eventually become immoral in action. So, outside of marriage, cybersex and phone sex are sinful.