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Chastity Couple

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Aww, they're waiting till marriage.note 
"It's easy to sustain a relationship when sex plays no part, and impossible, I have observed, when it does."
Gore Vidal on the secret to his decades-long relationship with Howard Austen

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 a romantic relationship — 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, for 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. Nevertheless, many fans will resort to Rule 34 to make up for the lack of sex in canon.


May accidentally 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, which are all examples of close couples who are not romantically involved.

Not to be confused with Sexless Marriage. In a sexless marriage, we're meant to understand that one or both partners do want sex, and the fact that they don't is connected with relationship problems and results in dissatisfaction. In contrast, a Chastity Couple is content to have a relationship that doesn't involve sex. Also not to be confused with Sleeping Single. In television from the 1930s to the 50s it was common to depict a husband and wife sleeping in their own single beds separated by a nightstand, but most of the time this was understood to be merely a convention of censorship. Its purpose was simply to avoid showing the couple in a suggestive situation, and other evidence such as pregnancy and kids could still indicate that their marriage wasn't actually chaste.


Please avoid family shows in examples where possible as they are likely to tone down romance in general because of the intended audience.

Contrast this trope with its inversion Friends with Benefits, in which two people have sex but not romance, while a chastity couple has romance without sex. Both are subtropes of Romance and Sexuality Separation. See also Innocent Cohabitation, where they just live together and aren't in a relationship, and Lets Wait Awhile, where they're simply putting off the next step. Compare to Can't Have Sex, Ever, where a couple might if they could but they can't so they don't.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • Justified in Cheerful Amnesia. Arisa was always the one that took the lead in her relationship with Mari, so her amnesia means that both of them are at a loss for how to be intimate.
  • 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).
  • Pictured above: In the anime adaptation of 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) and they don't even sleep in the same futon, 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 father to freak out on Tomoya ("You bastard, CONGRATULATIONS!") This is downplayed in the visual novel, where, while nothing is actually shown, intimacy between the two is implied on multiple occasions, and they share the same futon after marriage.
  • 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.
  • Nasa and Tsukasa from Fly Me to the Moon rarely do anything more than kiss, due to the fact they got married after their second meeting. They both want to go further eventually, but neither want to rush things and they're perfectly content just keeping each other's company.
  • 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.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Kira has a non-sexual romance with Lacus, but he is a weird case because he lost his virginity, onscreen, to resident Yandere Flay Allister, yet shares nothing more than chaste kisses and embraces with Lacus. Then again, the very troubled nature of Kira's relationship with Flay could be exactly why he and Lacus have a romantic-yet-not-sexual (as far as we know) relationship. Interestingly enough, the two are often portrayed in openings naked (especially when they are embraced and posed in a rather sexual manner in the final opening of SEED Destiny), but given Japan's view of nudity as a sign of purity, it's more of a highlight of the quality of their relationship than anything sexual happening between them.
  • In Heroic Age, the relationship between Age and Dianeila is made extremely obvious over the course of the series, though they never even kiss.
  • Inuyasha:
    • 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, but it's implied that physical intimacy wasn't involved in their relationship (due to Kikyo's duty as a priestess). After Kikyo comes back to life, Inuyasha and Kikyou kiss 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).
  • The 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.
  • Necromance has a justified example. The main couple, Shibuki and Safina, become engaged in the first chapter, but there's a big problem: Shibuki was killed and became an undead because of the curse of the Demon King and because Safina is the Grand Saint, Shibuki can't touch her without getting badly burned. Both really wish they could be physically intimate, especially Shibuki. However, when they do get a brief chance to spend the night together thanks to an anti-holy element bracelet, they don't go beyond hugging and kisses on the cheek because the church Safina was raised at taught her any sexual act before marriage is "corrupt" so Shibuki decides to hold back even though he admits he does want to make love to his fiancée very much.
  • Haru and Tsurezure from Ojojojo. It took them several weeks to reach the Holding Hands phase, and even longer to switch to a First-Name Basis. Both of them want to go further, but their nervousness makes it incredibly difficult, although they are shown to have a kid in the epilogue. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 during their wedding in the final episode before Nia's death, but before that we barely see them hugging or holding hands even though they have been in a relationship for years now and get engaged at the beginning of the Time Skip.
  • Kirishima Haruto and Mishima Asuka of A Town Where You Live 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.
  • 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 her later stories like 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 Anna, 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. (To be fair, Anna is a popular idol so her image would take a hard blow.)
    • Maho, who is older than her sister by a year and has been dating her boyfriend even longer than Nitori's been dating Anna, 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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 dealt with this. An issue from the 1970s 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.
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake has several girlfriends over the course of the books (Ariana, Stephanie Brown, Zoanne, and Tam) but it's made clear he never sleeps with any of them, nor is he really interested in doing so. He and Steph finally decided to have their first time together in her Convergence tie in but they both find they're too injured to do more than cuddle. Finally averted in Detective Comics (Rebirth).
  • In the The Amazing Spider-Man (J. Michael Straczynski) storyline Sins Past, Peter is attacked by two people claiming to be his and Gwen Stacy's children. One of the reasons this doesn't make sense is, as Peter points out, that he and Gwen never had sex.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • The Meaning of One has Harry and Ginny soul-bonded to each other, experiencing everything the other does; it's generally assumed (including by themselves) that they'll marry someday, and they share a bed out of necessity (one of the side effects of the bond is that they find it extremely difficult to fall asleep unless they are making skin-to-skin contact). But being only between ten and twelve years old, they don't go beyond kissing.
  • 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.
  • Fuzzy Memories has Gareth and Violet, who are in love but rarely ever show any kind of intimate moments with one another. Gareth even mentions later on that while they don't act like a "normal" couple, he does truly see her as the best thing to ever happen to him.
  • Invoked in Advice and Trust. Ritsuko deliberately wanted to take things slowly with Maya since she had just come out of an emotionally abusive relationship with Gendo. They do flirt a lot though (by leaving messages in the MAGI changelog).
    They hadn’t slept together, kissed, or even so much as held hands, but she already felt a dozen times closer and happier being with Maya than she had in years pursuing Gendo. She felt positively giddy at times. Maya wanted her just for being her. Maya wanted to hold her, say her name softly, and wake up next to her. Without either of them saying three little words, without a kiss or anything, they were… a couple.
  • Zig-zagged in the Dragon Age: Inquisition fanfic Walking in Circles, Solas and Evelyn were pretty sexually active before they escaped from the Ostwick Circle but they become this trope after they leave it. During the first two years, it’s because she is a Tranquil who can’t give consent and Solas has lines that he won’t cross so they only touch when he needs to guide or take care of her. They don’t do it for months after she recovered and got the mark either despite having no problems hugging, kissing, or even sleeping in the same bed as the act of sex reminds Evelyn of her trauma during the uprising and her being afraid to give up control to someone else.
    • They eventually have enough confidence to gradually move away from this trope, and finally break it in chapter 32, after Evelyn has mentally recovered enough. Solas still treads very carefully when they do it, though.
  • Ryuko and Mako in Natural Selection never engage in anything more risqué than cuddling and kissing. Junketsu even questions Ryuko on why she hasn't consummated the relationship, since it's rather at odds with the Kiryuin mentality that she was raised with.
  • In the Avantasia Protag AU series, Gabriel and Elderane are this. They hardly act any different after they confess their love than they did before it, which includes nothing further than holding hands and (completely clothed) cuddling. They don't even kiss. The author confirms they are romantic asexual.

  • 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.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Nat and Bruce. Nat can't have kids and Bruce can't get excited, and the couple-y dynamic between them is so thick that Laura Barton's first question when the Avengers drop in is "how long has that been going on?"
  • Stand by Me: Billy mentions that his Catholic girlfriend Connie lets him grope her breasts but refuses to have sex with him.
  • In Terminator: Dark Fate, Carl and his wife Alicia have never had sex, according to him, because she was put off sex by an abusive former partner and he's asexual and it means that she won't notice that he's a robot.
  • In J. Edgar, J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson are portrayed as being in a romantic relationship but never having sex. The pair share one kiss during a brutal physical fight which occurred after Tolson confessed his love for Edgar, who only reciprocates once Clyde is out of the room. Otherwise, the raciest their relationship gets is holding hands, due to Edgar's deep self-hatred.

    Light Novels 
  • Baccano!:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mikiya and Shiki in The Garden of Sinners 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.
  • The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign's narration describes Kyousuke and Mary as having been "lovers" in the past, but flashbacks show this love was expressed verbally/mentally, not physically. The trope seems to be both a realistic (as Kyousuke was only 13 at the time) and stylistic choice; it was their naivete that led to their breakup, so showing them do 'adult' things like kissing would cloud that fact. In the present day, Mary glibly propositions Kyousuke...yet is entirely unsurprised when he refuses.
  • Maoyu: The Hero and the Demon Queen are a borderline example since their arrangement of "belonging to each other" makes them husband and wife in all but name. It's a bit enforced on his side because he's a Celibate Hero who, despite being genuinely attracted to the Demon Queen, wants to avoid a Mayfly–December Romance. As for her, it's clear that she does want to be more affectionate, but she's also very innocent and as inexperienced as him.

  • 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 reader/viewer never sees them do more than hug each other, and even that is ridiculously rare.
  • 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.
  • Mistborn
    • Sazed and Tindwyl 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.
  • The J.A. Johnstone westerns, on occasion. In Sidewinders: Bleeding Texas The Peeping Tom follows a pair of Star-Crossed Lovers (his employers daughter, and the grandson of their neighbor and rival) hoping to catch them having sex and finds this trope at play instead.
    Samantha and the Creel boy hadn't done anything except kiss and talk. Considering what they'd talked about, Holland couldn't be disappointed about that.
  • 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 is in a Catholic monastic order 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.
  • In the Village Tales series, the Rector, Noel Paddick, a young widower, finds himself unexpectedly in love with another man: the Deputy Headmaster of the local Free School, the bisexual Sher Mirza, who is head over heels for the Rector, in turn. And nothing will happen. The Rector's a High Church C of E cleric. Sher's a devout Muslim. Even if their own consciences could be squared, they love each other too much to allow the other to do violence to his principles. (Their lips have touched, once: when Fr Paddick gave Sher Mirza rescue-breathing after a fire. And that's the limit, difficult though they find it.)
  • 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 The Wicked Years 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, as they believed that if they were pious enough, God would give them a child without them having sex. Then Ralph got drunk one night, changed his mind about that, and forced the issue with Margaret, and nine months later, Carrie was born.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • 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, but there are fanfictions out there that depict Their First Time as happening after a decade and a half.
    • In Catching Fire they are a straight example of the trope, as their love affair and subsequent engagement is very public but initially only for show. While Peeta spends many nights in Katniss' bed there's no mention of the two of them so much as kissing during those nights. During the course of the book, Katniss begins to fall in love with Peeta and they engage in a passionate make-out session on the beach, but that's as far as it goes before they are separated.
  • Maurice and his boyfriend Clive never go any further than hugging or kissing (and a harmless bit of caressing) each other which is partially justified by the restrictions of the time they live in, partially by Clive's firm support of Plato's philosophy about same-sex relations. Maurice appears to wish for a bit more intimacy at first, but he settles fairly comfortably with Clive's view.
  • In the Left Behind book Kingdom Come, Buck and Chloe Williams stay together as a couple after they're resurrected in order to be parents to their son Kenny, but because in their new resurrected forms they could no longer have sex with each other, much less even have the desire to, they're fine with the arrangement as long as they know that the Lord will satisfy them eternally.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: Generally necessary with the Doctor and any companions he might grow closer to. It's a family series, so overtly romantic stuff is out, but platonic stuff is all right.
    • The Doctor and Rose, more so with the Ninth Doctor, but also with the Tenth.
    • Clara and the Doctor - both Eleventh and Twelfth - qualify as this. This is due to an emphasis on friendship (especially from Clara's side), 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, also because of his personal No Hugging, No Kissing rule. By Series 9, the "no hugging" part no longer applies, the Doctor being more accepting of Clara's friendly Cuddle Bug, and even growing comfortable again with hugging her back, as he used to be (when he was Eleventh). There's also the fact Clara sees the Doctor as a friend first and gave a vow to avoid relationships after the tragic death of her boyfriend. (A promise she keeps.) The friendship of the two has an interesting progression, as it starts out fairly flirty and with romantic undertones, but grows more platonic, asexual, and intellectual as time goes on. 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 on-screen 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 than 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.note 
  • 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.
  • In House one clinic patient was a married couple who identified as asexual but still loved one another. After House determines the husband has a medical condition causing his lack of libido and cures it, the wife bashfully admits she's had sex before but was willing to be asexual for him.
  • El Chavo del ocho: Professor Jirafales and Doña Florinda. The whole stitch about them is that he comes to visit her bringing a bouquet of flowers, and she offers him a cup of coffee. Nothing else, save for the occassional time they go out for a walk together, and this even though Quico would be more than glad to have the Professor as his new dad.
  • Dexter: This is how Dexter and Rita's relationship is at the start of the show. He's a sociopath who can't understand or feel human emotion, and she's traumatized due to extreme abuse by her ex-husband; however, they both enjoy the sense of stability from the relationship without pressure to take it outside of their respective comfort zones. Eventually averted when she recovers to the point that she's comfortable initiating sexual activity and he realizes he enjoys it.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Many Christians believe this was the relationship between Mary and Joseph. This is a core dogma of Catholicism (i.e. denying it is considered heretical), and a standard belief of quite a few other Christian sects, but most Protestant denominations either reject the idea as unlikely or just take no official position on the subject (since the Bible doesn't say). Jesus is explicitly stated to have several siblings in the Bible, though believers in this concept explain them as being born to a prior wife of Joseph's.
  • 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. The justification for this theory is that in Jewish culture of the time, it would've been highly unusual for a man to not marry in his 20s, if not earlier. And virtually unthinkable for an unmarried man to be a religious leader. However, the Gospel of John mentions a "disciple Jesus loved" during the resurrection scene, as a separate person from Mary Magdalene. The Gospel of Luke has three women appearing during the resurrection scene, Mary (Jesus' mother), Mary Magdalene, and Salome. Matthew only mentions the two Marys and Mark doesn't have this scene at all. This is one of the largest discrepancies between the various gospels. The jury is still out on this one, not that it's terribly relevant to well...anything.
  • On a related note, nuns often regard themselves as married to Jesus. In some orders, they even make wedding dresses which they wear to take their vows. This is partially a holdover from the old days when it was considered highly immoral for a woman to be unmarried: but mostly it's because every girl wants to have a wedding with a Pimped-Out Dress. At least according to the conventional definitions of such things, this type of marriage would be nonsexual.
  • Ghost marriages. If a girl in China dies before she can be married, a boy is often chosen to be her "husband" (or, sometimes, a girl is chosen for a dead boy). Or a planned marriage might be conducted, despite the death of the bride. This is because lonely spirits are thought to grow restless and torment the living out of boredom. Obviously, this is a relic of a time when it was considered highly improper for women (or indeed, people) to remain unmarried: and is far less common now than it used to be since children don't die nearly as often.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Daizee Haze was adamant in her refusal to date another wrestler and shied away from any romantic or sexual advances yet offered no protest when Matt Sydal was referred to as her "boyfriend" in NWA Wildside.


    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Dynasty Warriors plays this straight. Romance is an undeniable part of the story (loose or not, it was based on history), but whether it's because of artistic choice or censorship (which is hardly believable, given that the whole point of the series is for you to lay waste on a battlefield with hundreds of mooks), physical affection is kept to a minimum. This leads to cases like Sima Zhao and Wang Yuanji acting like close friends, whereas their real-life counterparts were a Happily Married couple. Somewhat justifiable in that the source material is basically a militaristic semi-documentary of China's Three Kingdoms period. There's barely even any women mentioned in.
    • Wu's ending on DW7 is for the longest time the closest anyone has shown physical affection, with Sun Quan bridal carrying Lianshi. Keep in mind that the ending is a feast, one that follows the euphoria of a major battle of independence. You would think they show more than that.
    • The ninth game nearly averted this trope where the endings of some female love interests show some affection between them and their partners. Nearly in a sense that the only affectionate gestures shown are caressing the cheek, embracing, gushing, and lying on one's lap.
  • The title character of Guenevere can pursue three different romances (all of which have Optional Sexual Encounters), but choose to keep any (or all) of them chaste - including her relationship with her husband.
  • Story of Seasons:
  • In Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times you can date other characters, male or female (though the Gay Option is referred to as "becoming best friends"). There's nothing obviously romantic about your relationships. You never kiss, hug, or even hold hands. All they do is talk to you more and say romantic things towards you. It could be justified as the characters seem to be preteens or in their early teens.
  • 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.
  • The Sims
    • All teenage relationships are this. Young Adults can have sex and get married but Teen Sims can't in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
    • Averted in The Sims 4, as there's an option for Teen Sims that basically functions as the Woohoo action Young Adults and older Sims have, complete with the massive bonuses to the social and fun needs, but without the chance of pregnancy.
  • The Tales Series has a strong tendency to it:

    Visual Novels 
  • 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. And from what has been seen of the sequel, succeed.
  • 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 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 though.
  • Dominic and Sarah from Unreality are clearly shown to be very passionately in love, they both seem to want to advance forward in their relationship, and there's nothing stopping them...except for the fact that they're respectively 13 and 16, on top of the fact that they're Not Allowed to Grow Up, so they obviously aren't going to be hitting the bedsheets anytime soon.
  • In Dominic Deegan, Luna and Dominic spent a lot of time sleeping in the same bed without doing anything but sleeping. Things did eventually progress further, though.
  • Nick and Ki in General Protection Fault are this since Nick believes in chastity before marriage. It's never quite explained why he believes in that, but all the same (the meta-reason is that the author is very religious and wasn't comfortable with his protagonist living in sin, even though the protagonist himself has no strong religious convictions).

    Web Original 
  • This trope as it relates to Cyclops and Phoenix is the subject of many jokes in Claire Napier's Ex-Men blog.
    Let's scour eleven years of reprints for the two on-page kisses these crazy kids shared.

    Western Animation 
  • Cricket Green and Gabriella Espinosa from Big City Greens are a family-friendly variation of this. After Cricket discovered Gabriella has feelings for him, he finds her and reveals his feelings for her as well, to which she reciprocates. She then asks him to be her boyfriend to which he accepts, only they just have to tell people they're dating and not do anything overly romantic at the moment, like Holding Hands, giving flowers, and smooching all the time. After she leaves for her vacation to Montreal, Cricket instantly tells Remy and Vasquez the good news. This is further exampled in "Date Night" when they just want to have a night at the movies, but Bill takes them to a romantic rich sky restaurant which they obviously don't find fun.
  • Gwen and Trent from Total Drama 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.
    • Crimson and Ennui from the Spin-Off, Total Drama Presents the Ridonculous Race. It's eleven episodes in before Ennui casually mentions that they've been dating for three years, and the most physical affection they show is holding hands once. But then, they're both so stoic that it fits rather well.
  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, at least initially. Walt Disney himself said that Mickey and Minnie were happily married outside of their acting career, but did not have a sex life. More modern works tend to disregard this, even going so far as to imply sexual congress between the two in the Mickey Mouse (2013) short "Third Wheel"
  • In Bojack Horseman, Todd comes out as Asexual and goes to a group meetup of similar individuals. He is surprised to discover that two of the people at the meetup are Happily Married to each other. Well, why not? Todd enters a relationship as well, with mixed results.
    "We had a nautical-themed wedding!"

    Real Life 
  • 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. Due to this, they're often called Josephite marriages. Other terms are spiritual or continent marriages. 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. e.g., Blesseds Louis Martin and Marie Azalie "Zelie" Guerin, the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, at first wished to live celibately but later changed their minds and had nine kids (though four of them died), with Therese as the youngest.
  • Gore Vidal had a romance with his partner Howard Austen for 53 years, from the time the two met to Austen's death from brain cancer in 2003. How did they stick together for so long? For his part, Vidal credited their success to a deliberate lack of physical intimacy, providing the page quote.
  • Edward the Confessor was the last Saxon King of England because he was believed to have had one of these with his Queen Edith. He may have had religious motives or maybe it was because he despised Edith's father Godwin of Wessex. Whatever his reasons Edith seems to have been okay with it and they are credited with having an affectionate father/daughter-like relationship.note 
  • Truth in Television for many people whose orientation is on the Asexuality spectrum, meaning they don't experience sexual attraction.note . Many of them have successful relationships and even marriages.
  • People on the autism spectrum often have trouble with physical intimacy due to overstimulation. That is, any tactile sensation feels like it's several orders of magnitude more powerful than it actually is. Thus for a person on the spectrum, conventional sex may be too much for them. This is different from asexuality because these people still have a sex drive (and will have sexual fantasies): it's just that their sexual urges may be satisfied by activities others wouldn't consider particularly sexual. Of course, not all autistic people experience this overstimulation since the condition manifests differently in every individual.
  • After her abdication and relocation to Italy, Queen Christina of Sweden had a very close relationship with Cardinal Decio Azzolino, who was of course celibate. Historians disagree on just how far things likely went between them, but some of their surviving letters suggest that they were this trope.
  • Mandated for members of the Shaker sect of the Quaker faith. Due to this, they have nearly gone extinct. Previously Shakers expanded due to getting converts and adopting children, but social changes ended them.