According to this (https://asknoah.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=2027), Noachides are not permitted to have premarital hookups. Sex is permitted in a permanent/long-term relationship, which is considered equivalent to marriage. But is there a minimum length of time for such an arrangement? Can a person engage in relations if she stipulates that the relationship will last for a week, or until both parties decide to move on, and so forth.

  • That would depend on the societal rules for a divorce. A marriage lasts until death or a divorce ends the relationship. Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 18:51
  • If both parties agree to move on, or even one party, the "marriage" is nullified with that.
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 19:37
  • The Gemara Yoma 18b says that Rav and R Nachmsn married women for 1 day and then left them, with no need for divorce. Although most commentators explain that they were never really married, the Yavatz explains that they were married as a pilegesh. So we see that a pilegesh could be four a specific account of time. The Rambam Ishus 1;6 sends to indicate that marriage like a pilegesh would be allowed for a Noachide, just like people before the Torah.
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 21:45

2 Answers 2


I know of no Halachic problem with a Noahide having premarital hookups with non-Jewish women; including “one-night stands”.

The thesis posited in the linked article; that for Gentile men, having sex without the bond of marriage “is deemed to be immoral and disdainful in G-d's eyes”, is not supported by any Halachic sources.

The article later appears to backtrack a bit, and states, “Although such relations are not clearly forbidden for Gentiles, it is a repulsive act, even if done in a temporary fashion.” This is an admission, that the author has no clear Torah source that forbids gentiles from engaging in such relations. Additionally, his pejorative assertion, that even for Gentiles, it is a repulsive act; is likewise not sourced in Halacha.

Non-Jews do not necessarily need to be married, in order to be allowed to engage in sexual intercourse. See Maimonides (Yad, Ishus 1:4) regarding harlotry between Noahides, and there is no apparent moral fault in a non-Jew paying a sex worker for her services.

Also in his Guide to the Perplexed (3:49) he says that prior to Sinai, having relations with a sex worker was a permissible act, on equal moral footing of an Israelite, post-Sinai, having relations with his wife.

Maimonides (ibid.) refers to the story of Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38), and explains that the “shame” mentioned there (v. 23) merely refers to the fact that even in their society, matters of sexuality were best left un-discussed. Judah was also concerned that he would loyally fulfill his contractual obligation of paying the harlot for her services, and neglect to do so would constitute a form of theft.

While non-Jews are not necessarily considered to be married, even if they engage in sexual intercourse, however if a Noahide is interested in having a longer-term relationship, then that might be considered the Noahide equivalent of “marriage”. That will have Halachic implications, in that the woman can’t have any relations with other men during this time period, as long as she’s considered married to her current sexual partner. The time period of Noahide “marriage”, is until one of the parties decides dissolve their relationship [see Maimonides (Yad, Melachim 9:8)].

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    @IsraelReader I'm an Italian Noahide, and I 100% agree with your excellent answer. "The Divine Code" is certainly a good book, but it has the limit of mixing the Halakhah with moral or self-styled considerations, which have nothing to do with legal questions.
    – Amos74
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 17:38
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    @Shalom I don't have any problem with a single-voice website, provided that they're intellectually honest, and allow relevant comments, which the moderator can respond to, and defend his position. I reached out to them via: asknoah.org/contactus and also sent an email to: [email protected] inviting them to leave a comment here, to defend what they wrote, and/or defend their website's policy regarding comments. Let's see if they respond. Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 5:51
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    Thank you for your answer. Rav Dovid Schochet concurs that gentile relationships form and break at will, without any minimum period necessary. And wow, I commend you guys for your commitment in uncovering and investigating the truth. Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 7:24
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    I sure hope you are all completely certain in your statements and attitudes, as effectively this answer and the attitudes in the comments give the impression that sexual promiscuity in non-Jews is 'fine', and anyone who says otherwise is outrageous. This makes me very uncomfortable and I believe isn't going to lead to a better world. We have to share the world with non-Jews and all-but-encouraging them to corrupt it, even if they aren't breaking halacha to do so... We have a 16 year old reading this closely looking for an answer. Did you give the right one? Were you a light, a priest?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 13:22
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    @Rabbi Kaii - I am a Noachide and I second your comment. I highly recommend the chapters on intimacy and marriage in Rabbi Manis Friedman’s ‘Creating a Life that Matters’ for a high-calibre hashkafic treatment of the meaning of marriage and how the institution is related to proper, G-d ordained intimacy. Rabbi Friedman nails some of the disasterous consequences of the ‘sexual revolution’ and how they are, covertly, tearing the world apart. As your comment suggests, a bit more common sense - humanity - is required here.
    – Tom W
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 23:05

Pre-marital sex often leads to wasting of the seed/semen, which is a grave sin punishable by death, per Bereishit/Genesis chapter 38, verses 8-10:

"So Judah said to Onan, "Come to your brother's wife and perform the rite of the levirate, and raise up progeny for your brother."

Now Onan knew that the progeny would not be his, and it came about, when he came to his brother's wife, he wasted [his semen] on the ground, in order not to give seed to his brother.

Now what he did was evil in the eyes of the L-rd, and He put him to death also."

By the way, in the same chapter, we find out that Onan was also a gentile, the product of Judah's union with a Caananite woman, Shua.

Trust that Hashem will lead you to the right woman instead of sleeping around.

  • Is that the way the Talmud reads those verses? Rashi?
    – Shalom
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 23:34
  • "punishable by death, per Bereishit/Genesis chapter 38, verses 8-10" No one extrapolates from Onan that there is a writ large death penalty for masturbation. Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 13:41
  • @Deuteronomy wasting seed is not limited to masturbation, if seed is not used for the intended purpose (procreation), it is considered wasting seed
    – ddas91600
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 0:36
  • @Shalom This is what Rashi writes (per Chabad Bereishit): he wasted [his semen] on the ground: He practiced coitus interruptus. [From Gen. Rabbah 85:5]
    – ddas91600
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 0:37
  • @ddas91600 No one extrapolates from Onan that there is a writ large death penalty for masturbation, coitus interruptus, or any other "wasting seed". Furthermore, it is not anywhere as absolute as you make it seem, see H. Issure Biah 21:9 (from an uncorrupted girsa). Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 17:11

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