Sex Life of Jesus

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This page is part of the Sex and Sexuality section within the Jesus Then and Now series.


An opinion piece by Robert Warren Cromey

People were shocked, angered and amazed many years ago when Malcolm Boyd, priest and author, proclaimed, “Jesus had a penis.” I must say that I had never thought of Jesus that way and immediately said, “Why of course.”

The little we know of Jesus includes an educated guess that he was a thirty year old Jewish man raised in and faithful to his religion. He was full of the teachings of the law and prophets found in the Old Testament. He worked with his hands [a 'tekton'], perhaps as a carpenter or cabinetmaker, before he began his ministry. He became an itinerant preacher and healer who was executed by a cabal of Roman and Jewish leaders in the first years of the first century.

Did he ever have sex? Did he masturbate as a child and teen-ager, did he neck and pet with the young girls, did he marry, have children, was he gay? Did he have any kind of sex life? The New Testament accounts tell us nothing of his personal or sexual life. There is no evidence that he married. But this is rather odd as Jewish men of that era were expected to marry and have children as part of the family life that depended on large families to help bring in money to support the family especially the elderly, women and children, the dependents.

Going past the concrete evidence that we have, let’s be practical and use our heads as well as our imaginations. He was a man of his times. As he grew up, he masturbated and had wet dreams like most all teenage boys did and do. He lusted after the girls and young women in his community. He did marry; it was an arranged marriage with a virgin chosen by his father. After a rather brief romantic interlude, he and his wife had some children. He worked with his father as a woodworker, leaving his wife to tend the house and care for the children. He had intercourse with his wife on an irregular basis as custom and his work allowed. He had several children. He was a rough and attentive father not given to being a pal to his kids. He trained the boys to be carpenters. Sex was as natural as breathing to Jesus and not the preoccupation it is for men now.

While there is absolutely no evidence that Jesus was heterosexual, the chances are he was. Homosexuality as we know it was against the Jewish law and any urges in the direction of same gender sex were suppressed. Same gender sex could be punishable by death. The incredible land ownership policies and brutally high taxes forced Jesus and his family to live in miserable poverty. There was little time for sexual experimentation.

Of course Jesus had a sex life, as a Jewish man of his time, to marry and have intercourse and produce children was just the way it was. That he left his home and family to preach and teach was what was truly unusual. The knowledge that Jesus was not celibate but a sexual being makes him all the more believable and human and accounts for his compassion and love.

Jesus and our Sex lives today.

Since Jesus was a man of his time, his ideas of sex today would reflect today's times. He would say:

  • God created our bodies and our sexuality. Enjoy them both to the fullest.
  • It is no longer necessary to be married to have sex as we can control diseases and unwanted births. Enjoy your sexuality with willing partners.
  • If you marry be faithful to your spouse. If the love and caring die; divorce and try again, learning from your previous mistakes.
  • God made many people desire to be sexually intimate with people of the same gender. Enjoy the love and sex in those relationships.
  • Tell the truth about your sexual wants, needs and desires to your partners.


Robert Warren Cromey is a retired priest of the Diocese of California and author of Sex Priest. His book is available from Amazon.com. You may reach Robert by Phone or Fax at 415-824-6321 or via his blog. [1]