Aww, they're waiting 'till marriage.note
No Hugging, No Kissing
is a trope where there is no true romance in the series except in the shipper's mind
. Its distant cousin is the Chastity Couple sharing the lack of physical affection of the former trope. But the partners in question are
in love; they simply are not doing what many audiences may expect.
The Chastity Couple is a pairing where it is clear the characters are romantically involved but, due to any number of reasons, they are never portrayed as sexually intimate. The interaction between the duo can at times be mistaken for an affectionate platonic relationship
instead of a romantic one, however, their love for each other is confirmed by either Word of God
, their own confession
, or other helpful cues
, no need to get all perverted about it. But a majority will
May accidently be confused for But Not Too Gay
, where the motivations for not showing intimacy are tied to issues of representing minority sexualities. Compare The Not-Love Interest
, Heterosexual Life-Partners
, and Platonic Life Partners
, all examples of close couples who are not romantically involved.
Not to be confused with Sexless Marriage
, nor Sleeping Single
Avoid family shows in examples where possible as they are likely to tone down romance in general because of the intended audience.
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Anime and Manga
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Kira has a non-sexual romance with Lacus, but he is a weird case because he lost his virginity note to resident Yandere Flay Allister, yet shares nothing more than chaste kisses and embraces with Lacus. Then again, Kira losing his virginity to Flay so soon and in a very convoluted moment of both their lives could exactly be the reason why he and Lacus have a romantic-yet-not-sexual (as far as we know) relationship.
- Turn A Gundam: Same thing with Loran romance with Diana. We never see them having sex or even spending a romantic moment alone, except towards the very end. Apparently, Loran is implied to have lost the use of his genitals due to suffering repeated Groin Attacks over the course of the series as a Running Gag.
- In the Saint Beast anime there are at least two Official Couples whose romantic involvement is pretty well spelled out, but are never portrayed as more physically intimate than hugging. The fact that they're angels may have something to do with the non-sexual portrayal.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series is chock full with girls displaying varying degrees of affection towards each other but rarely does any character engage in explicitly romantic behavior, even the canon couples. Hayate is something of an exception; it's hard to take her thing for Signum's breasts as anything but sexual.
- Eureka Seven has the relationship between Renton and Eureka. They are quite obviously in love with each other, but between fighting a war, various arguments, and the fact that her adoptive kids don't like him at first, among other reasons, they don't even kiss until the series finale, and that requires an absurd amount of effort on Renton's part to make possible. Keep in mind that Renton is only fourteen and Eureka probably isn't any older.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has three different love triangles and one pretty blatant couple, and there's barely any hugging.
- Baccano! has an in-universe version in Nice Holystone and Jacuzzi Splot. They were in a relationship for ten years before they even kissed (and that was only because Jacuzzi expected he might die).
- Bullet Garden reveals that Firo finally managed to work up the courage to propose to Ennis after fifty years of Innocent Cohabitation - after which, they proceeded to have two more decades of innocent cohabitation. The rest of the Martillos find this absolutely ridiculous, ("At least tell me they kissed.") and decide to get them an expensive room on a cruise liner solely because they think both of them are in such desperate need of a lay that it's just getting sad. The two return from the trip as virgins.
- Keiichi and Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess. They're in love with each other, have been together for over a year in-universe, and even live together, yet the relationship has barely moved beyond the hand-holding phase. It's An Aesop in the series: Sex is not a prerequisite for a romantic relationship, and may be far better without it. By far, Keiichi is too gallant to take advantage of Belldandy even if the latter is willing to do the deed with him, as seen when the she was Above the Influence courtesy of Urd. As of chapter 285 it's been revealed that Keiichi had his libido/desire suppressed (without his knowledge) by Heaven so that their relationship could not advance. Therefore, them being chaste turned out to be a huge plot point.
- For a short moment, Sousuke and Kaname of Full Metal Panic! eventually reach the hand-holding stage (after a long time). But until the epilogue there is no other form of physical affection. It gets agonizing.
- This trope is very commonly seen in CLAMP series. There are a few exceptions (for example, Sorata and Arashi of X1999, who actually get to the point of making love), but the large majority of couples in their various manga are very much chaste, with affectionate gestures generally being limited to the said hugging, hand-holding, and kisses that are not on the lips (cheek, forehead, hand, etc).
- In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, for all the trouble Syaoran goes through to save Sakura, a peck on the cheek is as close to a kiss as they're ever going to get. This is because Syaoran has the chivalrous mindset of "She's the princess, it's not my place". Sakura has to remind him, regularly, to call her by her name instead of her title and certainly doesn't seem to be a bold romantic type, given that she was incredibly flustered after giving Syaoran said peck. the Syaoran and Sakura clones do get married and produce Tsubasa "Syaoran" after their reincarnation.
- In Chobits, Hideki is adorkably chaste around Chii, and if it weren't for the fact that she was a persocom he'd be all over her. Ultimately, Hideki learns that while she's human enough to love and be loved, and was even designed for it, touching her sexually would delete all her data and make her forget him. The ending implies that they continue on as a couple, quite happily in love even though they can't consummate it (while the anime implies that they'll be able to skirt around the problem due to being truly in love).
- Mikiya and Shiki in Kara no Kyoukai are obviously in love, but are chaste to the point of one time sleeping in the same bed with their clothes on and not doing anything. In the final light novel, it's revealed that in the distant future, they have a daughter named Mana, so at some point things change between them.
- Sango and Miroku are romantically interested in each other from an early point after they first meet and it becomes a relationship that is complicated by his womanising. However, their romantic interludes don't involve sexual activity (even though he's implied to have engaged in the act, or almost so, with any number of other women) and rarely even involve physical touch. Even after they become engaged, this remains the case and, towards the end of the manga, when Miroku's life is on the line and he's unconscious, Sango requests privacy before she gives him a kiss goodbye. In the epilogue, Sango is giving birth for the second time.
- Inuyasha has this relationship with both Kikyou and Kagome. He was technically engaged to marry Kikyou before her death. Due to magical interference, Inuyasha and Kikyou are seen kissing intimately early in the manga, and on one occasion when Kikyou is badly injured, Kagome notices that it looks like she and Inuyasha desperately want to hug each other (there are people around, so they don't). By the same token, Inuyasha and Kagome aren't physically intimate beyond occasional hand holding or, on one occasion when Kagome thought Inuyasha had died, a tight embrace. It's led a lot of the fandom to believe Inuyasha and Kagome aren't an official couple until the end of the story, whereas in the manga, they're officially considered a couple by everyone (including themselves) shortly after Kouga's first arrival in the story note . However, chastity is very much the name of the game for both relationships.
- Kirishima Haruto and Mishima Asuka of Kimi No Iru Machi were in a relationship that bordered on Innocent Cohabitation, since they were neighbors, for two years, and yet they never went beyond the occasional kiss. This is not implied either; it was outright stated by the couple.
- Let and Julia are the first, and for a long time only, Official Couple in Rave Master. This is mostly understood by the fact that Let once calls Julia his lover. Other than one kiss for Intimate Healing purposes, they act more as close friends than romantic interests for one another.
- Simon and Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, despite all the other blatant fanservice. They've had just one on-screen kiss before Nia's death. Although, off-screen the director confirmed that they've got it on before. Granted, in yet another interview with the directer, he stated that they didn't, making this a case of Did They or Didn't They?.
- In the earlier mangas by Michiyo Akaishi, the protagonists (like Lundi and Jeudi, or Mio and Shou) rarely go beyond kissing, though at least the first couple does get some naked Intimate Healing. Then it's averted in Private Actress, where not only Shiho and Tomoomi are sexually active, but it's later shown that Shiho's first time took place years before with her first boyfriend and client, Naoya, who later died.
- As the series goes on and the characters get older this becomes more apparent in Wandering Son. The closest we get is Anna inducing an erection in Nitori when massaging her, Anna saying she has dirty thoughts about Nitori, and Nitori having Erotic Dream's. One of the last chapters has a seventen year old Nitori lamenting that she hasn't had sex with Anna but wants to. At that point they had been dating pretty much constantly since Nitori was in middle school. It's not due to censorship, as Shimura's other manga don't shy from nudity and sexual situations.
- Maho, who is older by her sister by a year and has been dating her boyfriend even longer than Nitori's been dating, makes a comment once that she hasn't had sex with Seya yet.
- My Bride Is a Mermaid: Nagasumi and Sun are engaged very early on, but for the bulk of the series, they're no more intimate than hugging or Holding Hands. Even after Sun moves into Nagasumi's house, they sleep in different rooms.
- Balthamos and Baruch from His Dark Materials have a very passionate but not really sexual relationship going on, probably relative to the fact they don't have proper physical forms.
- Sazed and Tindwyl from Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn-trilogy deeply care for one another but never engage in sexual activity. This makes sense, seeing as Sazed has been a eunuch since birth while Tindwyl is an old woman whose entire fertile life was spent bearing as many children as possible.
- Vin and Elend come across this way too, at least initially.
- Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs from the Lincoln Rhyme novels. Mostly because he's paralyzed from the neck down, but even beyond that they aren't very affectionate people. One book makes it clear that Lincoln is still capable of the physical part of sex (and as a result capable of fathering children), but seeing as he can't feel it they don't bother.
- Mary Renault's novels have a lot of this, as her characters, like her, tend to admire the philosophy of Plato. Notably, Laurie and Andrew in The Charioteer and Lysis and Alexias in The Last of the Wine, as well as, of course, Plato and Aster in the latter book.
- Carleton and Allen in Lord Dismiss Us are deeply in love but decide that they "must never do anything". This is the 1960s, after all, and they are idealistic schoolboys.
- Georges and Alexandre in Les amitiés particulières (Special Friendships), published in the 1940s but set earlier. Mind you, they are only 14 and 12 respectively. They are caught tussling in the hay and separated, but the author said that had they not been caught, they would have ended up getting up to some hanky-panky in that scene. Georges, he said, had already started to masturbate but Alexandre hadn't yet; you become like what you love; Georges remained 'pure' initially because Alexandre was, but Alexandre would eventually have become 'impure' because Georges was.
- David and Frank in David Blaize. Frank is attracted to David and has been sexually involved with other boys before, but when Frank nearly makes a pass, David is deeply disturbed; this shakes Frank and makes him realise the 'error' of his ways, and the two boys have a chaste romantic friendship. This book was published in 1916 and the author, the son of a priest, seems sincerely to have believed that homosexual sex was wrong.
- Brightly Burning, a standalone novel in the Heralds of Valdemar series, features Lavan and his lifebonded soulmate, Kalira. Their relationship is entirely chaste... though this may have something to do with the fact that Kalira is a horse. With a human mind and soul, yeah, but a horse.
- In Speaker for the Dead, Ender visits a couple that are priests in a Catholic offshoot sect that requires its members to marry but remain chaste as a Self-Imposed Challenge. He is touched by the purity of the relationship, and late in the series he and his wife end up joining the same order.
- Shakuntala and Rao are this in the first part of the Belisarius Series, as pressing the matter would offend Rao's trust with her father, not to mention damaging her usefulness in an Arranged Marriage. And of course because she is a princess and he is a minor noble.
- Brrr and Ilianora in the later Wicked books are definitely this, for several really good reasons, the most obvious one being that they're of different species: she's a human, he's a sentient Lion. There's also the problem posed by Ilianora's rather extreme strategy to protect herself from Prison Rape, the little matter that Brrr is well-endowed enough to cause some pretty serious damage even to another Big Cat, and the fact that the one successfully completed human/Animal sex act in the books ended with the complete mental and physical breakdown of the human involved.
- In Redeeming Love, Michael and Angel do not have sex for the first several months of their marriage. Angel offers, quite forwardly, but Michael refuses to allow it because he knows Angel has a strong emotional disconnect with sex due to her upbringing as a prostitute.
- Carrie's parents intended this for their marriage, but then Ralph got drunk one night, changed his mind about that and forced the issue with Margaret, and nine months later....
Live Action TV
- The Doctor and Rose in Doctor Who, more so with the ninth Doctor, but also with the tenth.
- From Modern Family, you can definitely say that Cam and Mitchell are this, and arguably Gloria and Jay too. This becomes more pronounced when compared to Phil and Claire, who have had two episodes revolving around their romantic life and who share kisses in almost every episode.
- Ned and Chuck on Pushing Daisies. Chuck was brought back from the dead by Ned's touch, but he can't touch her again without killing her for good. They do use things like plastic wrap and beekeeper outfits and gloves for physical contact, though. Apparently Ned has also built "contraptions."
- In The Wire, a show which never shied away from showing the physical side of romance, it sticks out that Omar and Renaldo, despite their flirting, sharing a bed, and moving to Puerto Rico together, were not shown to even hold hands. What differentiates this from But Not Too Gay is that the show had no qualms about showing Omar getting affectionate with his first two boyfriends, making this portrayal seem exceptional.
- Mulder and Scully of The X-Files are a prime example of this trope. Part of it could be that they were originally never intended to be a romantic couple, but while they have intense feelings for one another, are rarely physically demonstrative. The extent of physical contact we see is usually holding hands, and occasionally a hug. In nine seasons, there are only four onscreen kisses between them, and one of them was likely all in Mulder's head. On the other hand, Gillian Anderson remarked that "Mulder and Scully holding hands is as intense and romantic as a kiss on another show," and their touches, while not demonstrative, were certainly very intense.
- Jadzia in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's "Soldiers of the Empire" says that she and Worf are this while voyaging aboard a Klingon warship. As they had copulated in another episode it seems to imply that they were fasting because of the needs of Klingon military discipline rather then being a Chastity Couple regularly.
- Buffy and Angel had to be this upon discovering that having sex would cause Angel to lose his soul and turn evil.
- Salty and Pepper from American Horror Story: Freak Show are eventually revealed to be married, with Elsa describing them as "soul mates" who "fell in love at first sight"; but since both suffer from microcephaly and have the intellects of children, their relationship is shown as physically affectionate without being sexual.
Mythology & Religion
- Many Christians believe this was the relationship between Mary and Joseph.
- Although a lot of historians don't believe they were ever married, some believe Jesus was involved in a non-sexual marriage with Mary Magdalene.
- In Dragon Age II, the Romance Sidequest between Female!Hawke and Sebastian along the Friendship path takes this route. Sebastian is an exiled prince-turned-Chantry brother who took a vow of chastity and if you complete it, Hawke becomes a Chantry sister and the two have a chaste marriage. If the romance is pursued among the Rivalry path, then this is subverted as Hawke would have then convinced Sebastian to leave the Chantry, take back his lands and Sebastian and Hawke marry as Prince and Princess.
- In Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Towns, one of the marriageable bachelorettes, Alisa, is a nun. Because of her status as a servant of the Harvest Goddess, your relationship with her will, by necessity, be chaste. This means that Alisa is the one marriage candidate in the series with whom you cannot have a child.
- As a general rule, the less lustful a relationship or attempted relationship in Sinfest is, the better it will go. Fuchsia and Crimnee, the healthiest couple, spend most of their time reading to each other, and Slick's relationship with Monique got a lot better after he gave up hope of getting in her pants. The exception to this is Fuchsia's lesbian relationship with Baby Blue, but their friendship seems entirely separate from their gay-for-pay antics.
- The Angels are sort of a spoof of this: they manage to be even purer and more blissful than Fucshia and Crimnee, spending most of their time holding hands and flying around helping people. They also preform "The Wholesome Lambada of Platonic Love" for Slick and Monique.
- Piro and Kimiko of Megatokyo, who clearly like each other but spent several years (in Webcomic Time) working their way up to hugging, a feat which has not since been repeated. Also, Miho, who had a more intimate relationship with Piro...in a video game, before the comic began. Completely averted, however, with Largo and Erika, despite Largo's bafflement.
- Gwen and Trent from Total Drama Island have only shared one on-screen kiss during their relationship. As did Harold/LeShawna, though in their case, Leshawna decides they're Better as Friends.
- Marc-André Raffalovich and John Gray were partners for almost forty years, until Raffalovich's death, but apparently never had sex. They were both very Roman Catholic, Gray being a priest and Raffalovich a member of the tertiary order of Dominicans, and were both born in the mid-1860s; the combination of the two factors probably explains why.
- There are some recognized Catholic saints who were married, but did not have sex. They are admired because they chose to sacrifice Earthly pleasures in order to better serve God. The Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches also view Mary and Joseph as such a couple.
- In a subversion, however, the Catholic definition of chastity does not exclude marital relations. A married couple is considered chaste as long as they only have sex with each other and do not use pornography or contraception. i.e, we have Blesseds Louis Martin and Marie Azalie "Zelie" Guerin, the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who at first wished to live in chastity but later changed their minds and had nine kids (though four of them died), with Therese as the youngest.
- The ideal relationship for an asexual couple.