Soaking is vaginal penetration by a penis, without thrusting. The term gets its name as the penetrating partner’s penis "soaks" in the receiving partner's vagina, almost like someone soaks in a bath.
Soaking is believed to have originated in the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormon) youth community as a way to be sexually intimate with a partner without technically breaking the religion’s rule forbidding premarital sex. While Mormonism forbids all sex before marriage, people who soak say they aren't having sex as they aren’t thrusting or moving themselves in any way.
To soak, the penetrating partner positions themselves near the receiving partner’s vagina and enters them. They may soak in any position people have vaginal sex in, such as lying down with the penetrating or receiving partner on top, laying side by side, or sitting with one partner straddling the other. Rear-entry soaking is less common than face-to-face soaking, but it is still possible.
Foreplay is uncommon before soaking, as Mormonism also forbids heavy petting outside marriage. Mormonism forbids sexual touching under and over clothes, so couples may avoid caressing and fondling during soaking. They also try not to have orgasms, as climaxing outside marriage is another sin.
Usually people soak without their underwear. A more chaste variation sees one or both people keeping their underwear on for soaking. The partners feel each other’s arousal, including the wetness of her underwear, but do not experience penetration.
A couple can soak on their own to feel close to one another. To make soaking feel more pleasurable, they may ask a friend to jump hump on the bed they’re on. The jumping movement moves the couple, creating friction that mimics the way sex feels. However, as the couple does not move themselves, many people believe this act is permissible before marriage.
The term soaking has been around for several years, but it went viral in 2021 through the social media platform TikTok. As more Mormon people shared their soaking experiences, news of soaking hit the mainstream media. However, LDS people say the practice goes back many years, although in the past it was rarely spoken of.