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- 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: It is possible to have a romantic relationship without having sex, and the relationship may even be better without it. In addition, Belldandy is not entirely sure she's ready for physical intimacy, and Keiichi is too gallant to take advantage of her in the moments she seems to be willing, knowing it's not really what she wants. Then in chapter 285 it is revealed that Keiichi had his libido/desire for Belldandy suppressed (without his consent or knowledge) by Heaven, so their chastity turned out to be a huge plot point.
- Nice Holystone and Jacuzzi Splot are an in-universe version. 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.
- 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).
- Jinto and Lafiel, from Crest of the Stars, are always together, flirt and poke fun at each other like a couple would, are deeply connected on an emotional level and have even agreed to stay that way for their entire lives (or at least for as long as possible), and yet the viewer never sees them do more than hug each other, and even that is ridiculously rare.
- 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.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Ed and Winry are very obviously in love in the manga, yet they never kiss and barely even hug. Even after Winry accepts Ed's Wacky Marriage Proposal, the only thing we get is a hug. They do have children together later, so at least we know at some point things change between them.
- Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye have such a professional relationship that it's really hard to determine if they are really just work partners who care a big deal about each other or if maybe there's something more between them. After the end of the series, Word of God has confirmed that they are indeed in love with each other, but are unable to marry because of military regulations.
- 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.
- 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 Heroic Age, the relationship between Age and Dianeila is made extremely obvious over the course of the series, though they never even kiss.
- 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, to the point of Inuyasha and Kagome never sharing a kiss in the manga (they do in the anime).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Takeo from My Love Story!! insists that he will wait until Yamato is older to kiss her or even hold hands with her. Yamato is less than pleased about this because she is as hormonal as is expected for her age but is afraid Takeo will stop liking her if he learns she isn't as "pure" as he thought. They eventually start holding hands and have their First Kiss but their relationship is mostly chaste.
- 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.
- Haru and Tsurezure from Ojojojo. It took them several weeks to reach the Holding Hands phase, and they're still on a Last Name Basis. Both of them want to go further, but their nervousness makes it incredibly difficult. Akane even lampshades it when reading a magazine article about getting a boyfriend:
Akane: Compared to this, those two are really slow.
- Patema and Age from Patema Inverted are never shown kissing or even hugging except when necessary for survival. This doesn't hinder the author at all showing just how strong and deep their love becomes.
- 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.
- 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 to anything between Nitori and Anna is Anna inducing an erection in Nitori while massaging her. Anna says she has dirty thoughts about Nitori and Nitori has Erotic Dreams about Nitori but nothing actually happens. One of the last chapters has a seventeen 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 either, 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.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has three different love triangles and one pretty blatant couple, and there's barely any hugging.
- The characters in Archie Comics are like this. They kiss often and drool over each other but actually being sexual is never implied. At least one story actually dealed with this. An issue from the 70s had Betty doubting her chastity abilities around Archie. It's probable no sex is involved due to the Betty and Veronica love triangle. Both girls date Archie at different times and adding sexual aspects to it would both complicate the triangle and create even heavier fidelity issues.
- Much of the "gen" fiction produced by the Starsky & Hutch fandom falls under this trope.
- Even after Naruto and Hinata become a couple in A Growing Affection, they don't have sex until after they are officially engaged, almost a year later. Tenten even razzes Hinata about this.
- In Harry Potter fanfic The Marriage Stone, Harry and Severus fall under this trope due to their gradually growing relationship under an Arranged Marriage.
- Subverted in RG Veda fanfic Heartbeat Of The War God. Ashura and Yasha are wed by Gandharva rite. They hold hot make-out sessions and it's heavily implied that Ashura might touch Yasha, but they haven't consummated their relationship in the "proper" way as Ashura is sexless and Yasha is afraid of hurting his lover.
- In Eating Raoul, the main couple, Paul and Mary Bland, are portrayed as this. And the introduction of the sexy thief Raoul puts their situation into turmoil
- 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. They get past it pretty quickly after they're married.
- 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...
- Due to how the first time Katniss and Peeta make love is merely alluded to in Mockingjay there are fans who believe they didn't have sex until deciding to start a family - fifteen years into their relationship. Has been Jossed already and expected to be so again when the movie comes out but there are fanfictions out there that depict Their First Time as happening after a decade and a half.
Live Action TV
- The Doctor and Rose in Doctor Who, more so with the ninth Doctor, but also with the tenth.
- Clara and the Doctor - both Eleventh and Twelfth - qualify as this due to The "I Love You" Stigma tradition (which also impacted the Doctor/Rose relationship, and even applies to the Doctor's wife, River Song), and in the case of the Twelfth Doctor a No Hugging, No Kissing rule (though by Series 9 the "no hugging" part no longer applies, in part because of Clara being a Cuddle Bug, though in Series 9 the Doctor becomes this too). The fact the two were in love, however, is confirmed by Word of God (the producer/showrunner and the actors) as well as the actions of both characters, particularly in Series 9. They just don't follow "the rules" of on-screen romance. At least the Doctor and Rose got to snog a few times. In a 2015 interview with Wil Wheaton shown as part of a theatrical screening of two episodes, Peter Capaldi confirmed that the "chastity couple" aspect was intentional because it was "more fun" to play a relationship based upon what was unsaid rather than just outright saying "we're crazy about each other."
- 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.
- When Calls The Heart has several couples who court throughout the series, but none of them are affectionate beyond the gentleman offering his arm to the lady or maybe a non-French kiss.
- The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon and Amy initially agreed there would be no physical relationship, but over time Amy developed into wanting one. While he has no interest in it, he has admitted to her and others that she influenced him and he considers theirs a deeply intimate relationship even if they aren't physical. Their relationship became physical as of "The Opening Night Excitation".
- Legend of the Seeker treats Richard and Kahlan's relationship as this in the second season, because sex might make her lose her Confessor power, which would destroy Richard. While in the books, the pair swore off any kind of relationship, thinking it was an insurmountable obstacle until they found a solution, in the second season of the series, they plainly and openly act like a loving couple — they just don't sleep together.
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 the romance, 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 as Prince, and make Hawke his Princess by marriage.
- 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.
- Ratchet & Clank seems to do this with Ratchet's relationships (and Clank's, though as a robot it's less noticeable). For a series whose subtitles are nothing but Double Entendre, the actual relationships are refreshingly innocent.
- In Up Your Arsenal, Sasha does kiss him all of one time (after he narrowly escaped death), which leaves him a little dazed. He also swears to the Galactic President he never touched her after he said, "My daughter tells me you're a man who's good with his hands" - referring to Ratchet's mechanical skills, of course.
- The Future arc introduces Talwyn, an Action Girl who does get a fair amount of Ship Tease with Ratchet, though both the games and comics are ambiguous enough about their relationship that Insomniac needed to clarify things during a PAX Panel in 2012. Into the Nexus, released the next year, upped the amount of Ship Tease, but still keeps things low-key to the point that their joking and teasing could be taken to indicate they're very close Platonic Life Partners instead - the closest we get to an in-game confirmation of their relationship is Ratchet saying there's more for him here than if he went to join the other Lombaxes in their dimension. Of course, given that Clank is his best friend, he could have just as easily have been speaking of the robot as her being the one who makes him decide to stay.
- Pictured above: In the anime adaptation CLANNAD, Tomoya's relationship with Nagisa is strictly hugging but no kissing. Nothing beyond hand-holding is ever shown on screen (and they're usually very awkward about it), but in one scene, Nagisa suddenly blurts out, explicitly and to her parents, that they've been having sex. (Which they had to have been, because they have a daughter together.) and this causes her Bumbling Dad to hilariously freak out on Tomoya ("You bastard, CONGRATULATIONS!") This is averted in the original visual novel, where they are a more "normal" couple.
- Justified and cranked up to eleven in Code:Realize. Thanks to Cardia's... condition, she can't kiss any of her potential love interests, let alone have sex. Lupin's ending (and to a lesser extent Victor's) have this issue being resolved. Impey's, Van Helsing's, and Saint-Germain's endings have them still stuck in this trope, but they're still searching for a way to get rid of her poison.
- Most of the romances in Little Busters! end up like this, but bonus points to Rin/Riki for the lampshading. Riki is shy and Rin is so unaware of what it actually means to be in love or dating that it becomes a mild point of awkwardness that the story fortunately doesn't have to focus on.
- In Umineko: When They Cry, George and Shannon are in a Secret Relationship due to their class differences, but they don't do anything more intimate than holding hands and hugging. In EP2 they even sleep in separate hotel rooms during their trip to Okinawa (much to Jessica's disappointment). This seems to be invoked on Shannon's end, however, because if they were more physically intimate then she'd have to reveal how mutilated her body is.
- Arsenik and Ambrosia in War: 13th Day. He courts her like a lady as every proper gentleman should, and when she has a supernatural stalker literally watching her every second, she's probably much more comfortable this way. On the other hand, Wildfire doesn't believe them for a second.
- As a general rule, the less lustful a relationship or attempted relationship in Sinfest is, the better it will go. Fuchsia and Criminy, 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 Fuchsia and Criminy, spending most of their time holding hands and flying around helping people. They also perform "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.
- Kotomi and Haru are this way in Cross Heart. They've been girlfriends for three years and only kiss. Haru wants to go further but realizes Kotomi is troubled by past sexual abuse and doesn't want to push her. They do end up having sex eventually through.
- 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.