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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.
Avoid family shows in examples where possible as they are likely to tone down romance in general because of the intended audience.
Anime and Manga
- Kyojin no Hoshi has Mitsuru and Akiko, who sleep in separate beds despite being already married and, while they clearly love and support one another, don't overly show their mutual affection. Still, at the end of the anime series they have a baby so things definitely changed somewhere along the way. Then again, this IS a shonen manga from The Sixties - The Seventies...
- Kira and Loran from Gundam have non-sexual romances with Lacus and Diana. We never see them having sex or even spending a romantic moment alone. Then again, there's a difference between it not being shown and it not happening.
- It's especially weird in Kira's case, since earlier in the show he lost his virginity (onscreen, no less!) to resident Yandere Flay Allister. (Though for some, that IS exactly why he would be more chaste...) Loran, on the other hand, is speculated 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.
- 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.
- In Clannad, Tomoya's relationship with Nagisa is strictly hugging but no kissing. Even after getting married. For months or even up to a year. Eventually, though... 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. Her father's reaction is PRICELESS.
- Averted in the original game, where they are a more "normal" couple.
- 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 somewhat 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.
- Eventually, in chapter 285 it's explained that there's a BIG reason for it...Keiichi had his libido / desire suppressed (without his knowledge) by Heaven so that their relationship could not advance and bring problems. And Belldandy has known it all along. And since she DOES love Keiichi, the poor girl feels HORRIBLE about it.
- 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 o physical affection. It gets agonizing.
- 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. Of course, Syaoran does have the chivalrous mindset of "She's the princess, it's not my place" and Sakura certainly doesn't seem to be much of a bold romantic type, given that she was incredibly flustered after giving Syaoran said peck. Still, even with all the sweet hugs and hand-holding, it can get kind of disappointing.
- Of course, the Syaoran and Sakura clones do get married and produce Tsubasa!"Syaoran" after their reincarnation.
- 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 clothees on and not doing anything. In the final light novel (which wasn't adapted for the OVAs, but later had its own movie), they have a kid named Mana, meaning things did change.
- Inuyasha has Sango and Miroku. They are technically engaged but there are no romantic moments because Miroku flirts with other women and simply ruins any romantic moments he does have with Sango. Finally averted in the ending of the manga and Final Act, as Miroku and Sango get married and had three children. At the very least, they waited for marriage before they consummated their love.
- Haruto Kirishima and Asuka Mishima 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.
- Michiyo Akaishi's stories initially played it straight, even when Honoo no Alpen Rose included an instance of naked Intimate Healing (which was toned down in the anime). But once she switched from Shojo to Josei, she threw this outta the window via having her Official Couples sleep together on page. (i.e., Shiho and Tomoomi haver a one-night stand few after meeting, their continue their sexual relationship through the story, and Shiho was not a virgin when they met, having given her first time to her now-dead First Love Naoya.
- Much of the "gen" fiction produced by the Starsky and Hutch fandom falls under this trope.
- 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 Tyndwil is an old woman whose entire fertile life was spent bearing as many children as possible.
- 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.
- 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, Enders 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, but his AI companion Jane snarks about it so hard he temporarily turns off his communicator. Jane... does not take this well, and sets in motion a chain of events that almost get the planet blown up.
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, since he can't touch her without killing her again 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.
- Kim and Miko from Voices From the High School are a couple whose most intimate moment is holding hands. They are portrayed as cute rather than passionate, especially when compared to the other couples in the play.
- In Dragon Age 2, 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.
- There were also some saints who did have sex at first but then stopped doing so for the same reason above. The better known ones are the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saints Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin, who stayed chaste after having several daughters and raising them to teenagehood/adulthood.