So you've got Hogwarts, with several hundred adolescents obviously suffering from raging hormones, living in sexually integrated housing, and the incidence of hanky-panky beyond snogging is apparently zilch. Huh? How can this be?

The out-of-canon answers are more than adequate:

  1. JKR simply didn't want to write That Kind of Story (and I'm not convinced she could have if she tried). The author's choice is final.

  2. Adding sex to the mix would have complicated the story horribly.

  3. Adding sex to the mix would have cast the moral incoherence of the wizard world into unbearably sharp relief.

  4. JKR's core readership (preadolescents) wouldn't have stood for it. The cries of "Eeeeew!" would have been deafening. And the sales would have reflected that.

As far as I know, JKR dealt with the whole thing by simply and comprehensively ignoring it, so there's not likely any explanation within the books (although I could be wrong). Is there a mention of a "Sal Petrus" spell worked into the wardings of Hogwarts?

So. Has the subject come up? Has anyone had the chutzpah to ask JKR?

  • 67
    Doing WHAT????? Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 0:31
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    "To the pure at heart, all things are pure." Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 1:59
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    @gnometorule - "it".
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 5:45
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    It seems to me that every story that I have ever read has something undescribed, and/or left out. How do we know the students weren't humping like mad bunnies at every page break? JKR didn't feel the need to spell it out, and the series made her richer than the Queen of England. Had the story been more titillating, I'm sure her fan base would have shifted. Whether or not her profits would have risen or fallen is a matter of opinion. Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 16:03
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    I have voted to reopen. While only opinions as to why Wizarding children would not have the same actions and desires as Muggle children would be primarily opinion-based, I believe the answers given provide ample counter-evidence as a response to the question. I would support Protecting this question, as it does seem to be a magnet for low-quality answers, but I don't think it needs to be closed.
    – Jeff
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 17:29

11 Answers 11


As you can see from the Marauder's Map (seen in the end credits of "Prisoner of Azkaban") certain elements of the student body are clearly up to naughtiness.

enter image description here

That being said, the creator of the end-credits is adamant that they're not having sex.

"Maybe it was meant to be Harry, but we've all been kids, we've all been in school and stuff ... It was just a sort of little peck on the cheek," assured Wetherell.

In Wetherell's mind, the couple's feet "are in an embrace" and "not having sex as everyone says."

Out of universe, JKR spoke about the apparent lack of ('ahem') physical intimacy in her books;

"The thing about fantasy—there are certain things you just don’t do in fantasy. You don’t have sex near unicorns. It’s an ironclad rule. It’s tacky." New Yorker Interview 2012

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    Obviously, that's one student climbing on the shoulders of another to reach the cookie jar on the high shelf.
    – Brian S
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 19:10
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    @BrianS - Or helping another student onto their broomstick.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 19:22
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    The legs even make a twitch.
    – Saturn
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 21:44
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    Seriously though, it's hard to upvote (imo) since it is almost certainly an easter egg joke from a bored animator and not exactly canon. It doesn't even occur during the movie proper, but in the credits.
    – joshbirk
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 2:23
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    It's just a jump to the left; and a step to the right.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 12:34

The books mainly focus on Harry, Ron, and Hermione (with occasional dalliances towards other students, primarily when they interact with the main trio). They don't really pair up much with anyone in the series. Hermione's daliance with Victor Krum isn't implied to be sexual, just romantic, and takes place largely off-screen. Harry doesn't pursue anything of the sort, due to Bigger Things Happening. Ron is largely unsuccessful in his romantic endeavors, due to his obliviousness.

That said, there's ample evidence that sex (or at least the preludes) occur at Hogwarts. As others have said, there's plenty of references to people kissing ('snogging') and similar 'PG' activities, which indicates that the awkward teenaged romances are occurring.

Moreover, in Book 4 (Goblet of Fire) during the big party there is a scene outside, where Harry observes two people (who I believe to be Moody and Snape) doing rounds of the ground. Snape blasts a set of bushes and is then seen deducting points from two students (whose names escape me), a boy and girl, who were clearly up to something.

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    Remembering that not everything will be mentioned in a story is something a lot of people forget. We focus on characters that aren't really paying attention to sex while we are watching them.
    – trlkly
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 18:04
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    In regards to you talking about Victor and Hermiones relationship I would say it wasn't sexual as he was 17 or 18 and she was 13 or 14, maybe 15.
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 19:36
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    @iliveunderawesomerock Did you make up this user name specifically for this comment or did you happen to use it before? (What I mean is: Why in the world would sex not be in the loop because they're 17 and 15??)
    – sbi
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 13:34
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    @sbi your right I was being naive and maybe I was wrong. I don't think sex was in the loop due to Hermione's character, but I do think that people that are that age have sex. Also the relationship was implied meaning that anything is possible. As for the mention of my username I don't understand what you mean by that. But this is the username I use for every site I go on,no offense. And for the record I think the answer is perfect for a theoretical conversation regarding sex in HP because to my knowledge it was never covered in the books.
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 17:52
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    Regarding the Yule Ball events hinted at in the last paragraph, it’s Snape and Karkaroff, and Snape is blasting rose bushes apart, his expression most ill-natured. Squeals issued from many of the bushes, and dark shapes emerged from them. At that point, only two unimportant characters are mentioned by name (Fawcett, of Hufflepuff, and Stebbins, of Ravenclaw). However, we visit that evening once more from Snape’s point of view in The Prince’s tale (in Deathly Hallows) and learn that Fleur and Roger Davies had also been spending time together in the Hogwarts grounds.
    – chirlu
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 12:53

There are lots of fantasy works where sex is totally ignored, just because it's something natural that has nothing to do with the main argument. The same way, authors usually don't explain you when their heroes go to the restroom and how much time they spend there.

The fact that HP novels are set on a college with lots of teenagers could seem like an excuse to introduce romance and sex into the story, however, the story is not about that. I think that JKR could perfectly added sex into its narration, but she knew that the effect would have converted its fantasy saga into something like Twilight, and she just didn't want that.

So... she did what any proud son of Great Britain would do when trying to avoid any matter, just act like it don't exist.

  • 21
    This seems like the answer. There’s nothing in the books to suggest that sex doesn’t happen; it just doesn’t get written about, because it’s not important to the story JKR wants to tell.
    – PLL
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 12:14
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    I think it's safe to say sex clearly does happen, unless Harry's birth is much more unusual than were lead to believe :-)
    – RDFozz
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 19:09

The building is not completely integrated. In Harry and the Order of the Phoenix chapter 17, Harry and Ron went to visit Hermione in the girls dormitory. In such a case the stair modifies into a slide, as the founders considered boys to be less trustworthy than girls.

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    Doesn't stop girls going into boys rooms
    – WernerCD
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 22:22
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    And, at least in the movies, the common areas have nice comfortable couches. At 3 AM, who would know? Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 23:17
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    @WhatRoughBeast: Well in the third book, the quidditch afterparty went somehow too loud. McGonagall found that out somehow. So perhaps the common room is not that private after all. And furthermore isn't 3 AM more or less the time when house elves clean up the common room? Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 9:00
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    "the founders considered boys to be less trustworthy" - the founders clearly didn't go to the same co-ed boarding school that I did, then!
    – ClickRick
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 22:04
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    @WhatRoughBeast The Fat Lady would, for one. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 12:21

There's no strong evidence either way, but statistics suggest someone is getting lucky

Since we obviously have no in-canon proof of students having actual intercourse, we have to refer based on what we can:

  1. Wizard children aren't fundamentally different from Muggle children when it comes to hormones. They fall in love, they get jealous, etc., etc.

  2. They have access to magical items like love potions which, if anything, makes it more likely that they're adolescents who might experiment

  3. Considering the number of similarities between Real World Britain and Rowling's fictional world, the fact that teenage sex is hardly a rarity in Great Britain would suggest that such trends probably follow suit at Hogwart's.

However, we should also remember:

  1. Students of wizardy aren't like typical students. Learning magic can be dangerous and Hogwart's can be a tightly controlled environment because of this fact (and other reasons, like Voldemort's growing influence).

  2. Towards the end of the series / books, the overall tone and culture of the school is closer to that of one during wartime. The possibility of getting blown up can be a bit of a dampener on romantic outings.

It's all a guess, but it seems likely that a) yes, someone is getting lucky however b) it might not as common as we might guess.

  • 62
    'Wartime' and the related fear, emotional stress & pressure would generally be an accelerating factor, making teenagers reach emotional adulthood (or the conviction that they have reached it) faster. In such a situation it would be far more likely for teenagers to experiment, and less likely to postpone or restrict things. "Going off to war" - in either literal or figurative sense - is a powerful instinctive reason to have sex now, while you still can. I won't dig for citations, but both biology and historical evidence (say, during WW2 right before war went over those places) supports this.
    – Peteris
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 21:44
  • 4
    @Peteris - Maybe in romance novels, but I disagree in reality. War is stress, stress is a huge component in sexual dysfunction. You might be more emotional, but you aren't going to be horny. We aren't talking about couples who need to get in some action to insure they might have kids if dad never makes it home - we're talking about teens experimenting for the first time. The former is the WWII scenario, I think, and I really don't think it applies here.
    – joshbirk
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 22:43
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    @joshbirk - well, the fact that most healthy young men were off fighting may have had something to do with it. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 0:30
  • 2
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    @joshbirk Take a closer look at the graph in the article you linked to. WWII was from 1939-1945. While there was a further increase in birthrate after the war, there is a SHARP increase starting in 1939. Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 18:34

Based on reality and hints in the book I believe there was sex happening at Hogwarts. When Ginny walks in on Percy snogging his girlfriend it seems like he is overly embarrassed to just be caught kissing. So I believe that while it wouldn't have been appropriate to actually talk about sex in her books based on readership she was alluding/hinting towards it.

Great point by Commusoft, The designers of Hogwarts at least expected the men to attempt to have sex with the women. Whether they were worried about it being forced or consensual is another matter...

  • 4
    That might be, but it's also consistent with a general elevated level of prudishness. And are you really going to invoke reality when dealing with the behavior of adolescent wizards-in-training in a parallel aspect of our universe? Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 18:23
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    I think most of that had to do with his baby sister catching him instead of say any other first year he could simply shoo off and think nothing further of.
    – Monty129
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 20:17
  • Can you back this answer up with something more than speculation and a point made from another answer?
    – joshbirk
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 2:39

There are several hints and one real evidence that some students are really doing it, especially in senior years.

There are several long duration passionate kissing scenes in the canon. For example, when Harry took Cho on date, a guy who was rejected by Cho was kissing a girl such way. Ron and Lavender also used to kiss such way. Probability of having sex after such kissing is certainly not zero.

The real evidence is in Chapter 13 The Yule Ball of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:

Harry looked around, back up the path, and saw Fleur Delacour and Roger Davies standing half-concealed in a rose bush nearby. He tapped Ron on the shoulder and jerked his head towards them, meaning that they could easily sneak off that way without being noticed (Fleur and Davies looked very busy to Harry) but Ron, eyes widening in horror at the sight of Fleur, shook his head vigorously, and pulled Harry deeper into the shadows behind the reindeer.
'Ow dare you!' shrieked Madame Maxime. Her voice exploded through the peaceful night air like a foghorn; behind him, Harry heard Fleur and Roger fall out of their rose bush.
'I'll explain inside,' said Ron quietly. 'C'mon...'
Fleur and Roger Davies had disappeared, probably into a more private clump of bushes. Harry and Ron returned to the Great Hall.

More in the same chapter:

Snape and Karkaroff came around the corner. Snape had his wand out, and was blasting rose bushes apart, his expression most ill-natured. Squeals issued from many of the bushes, and dark shapes emerged from them.
'Ten points from Hufflepuff, Fawcett!' Snape snarled, as a girl ran past him. 'And ten points from Ravenclaw, too, Stebbins!' as a boy went rushing after her.

Ofcourse, Rowling couldn't use more direct language to explain the intercourse in detail, but she gave solid evidences that they are doing it.

  • 10
    In a rose bush seems like a terrible place to "do it". All those thorns everywhere! Unless you're into that kind of thing...
    – KSmarts
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 14:02

If you've read the books, Harry bathes or washes two times in the entire saga, nobody pees, poos or farts, Harry is told to wash his hair the night before going to the ministry in The Order of the Phoenix. Maybe there's a spell or enchanted object that cleans you without bathing?

The sex part is a bit weird but you must not forget the Weasleys. It's just not what you want to graphically imagine Molly and Arthur Weasley having sex. It's not very sexy is it? But they do have seven children...

The rest of the wizarding world seems to be quite LOW on libido, for even after Hogwarts they only have one or two kids, even when they have the money...

I think if you're very busy and generally having fun, sex is the last thing on your mind, magic is just cooler than what we do at school, specially when we can't choose what we like and we have to deal with 10 if not more of school years compared to Hogwarts' 7. Not that it doesn't happen, I'm sure it does... but then what if they got pregnant? Where would they get condoms? If they are pure bloods where would they get muggle money to buy said condoms, is there a spell that makes girls not ovulate or boys sperm go puff?

And there is the fact that ALL rooms are shared, that puts a damper on masturbating right?

My question is how do witches deal with periods? Can they do "Evanesco" at home if they're muggle born ?

  • 11
    As to the shared rooms, the old "Quidditch scarf on the doorknob" must have occurred to someone. Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 18:51
  • 4
    I'm fairly certain they wouldn't need a lowly muggle solution such as condoms to avoid pregnancies... there HAS to be a spell or at least a potion for that, even us muggles have invented potions that prevent or at least make pregnancies less likely... and we've had those since a lot longer than Olivander's been open (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_control#History).
    – BMWurm
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 16:59
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    @WhatRoughBeast Finally I understand the use of "Muffliato" - just not why SNAPE of all people invented it.
    – BMWurm
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 17:03
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    The Weasleys have seven children, even, not five. :-)
    – chirlu
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 19:16
  • And what about all those lonely teachers: Are we to believe that they had sexless lives? Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 1:29

It was probably happening 'off-screen'.

Rowling has stated that she intended her characters to grow up, get hormones and have "sexual feelings". However, she didn't want to make the books overly coarse by including sex within the story itself.

The characters in Enid Blyton's Famous Five books act in a prepubescent way right through the series. In the Narnia books the children are never allowed to grow up, even though they are growing older.

I want Harry Potter and his friends to grow up as well as older, though I'll keep it all humorous, well within the tone of the books. I want them eventually to be truly 17 and discover girlfriends and boyfriends and have sexual feelings - nothing too gritty. Why not allow them to have those feelings?
(Sydney Morning Herald interview, 28th October 2001).

It's a fair bet that sex was happening off-screen, but that Rowling didn't want to depict it. As such, we get the hints and suggestions that others have alluded to; for example:

Snape had his wand out, and was blasting rose bushes apart, his expression most ill-natured. Squeals issued from many of the bushes, and dark shapes emerged from them.
"Ten points from Hufflepuff, Fawcett!" Snape snarled, as a girl ran past him. "And ten points from Ravenclaw, too, Stebbins!" as a boy went rushing after her.
(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23, The Yule Ball).

This sort of slight of hand/innuendo also occurs in the movies - for instance when students seemingly recreate the car sex scene in Titanic in this deleted scene.

Rowling clearly thinks that her students have a sex drive. They have hormones and desires, in keeping with Rowling's intention to create rounded, realistic characters, not sterilized robots which remain children forever. As others have said suggested, the fact that the books were targeted at children meant that everything was kept in good taste and mostly left to the (older) readers' imaginations. That doesn't mean that sex wasn't happening at all.

  • 1
    Not kidding, I honestly thought you'd said "It's probably fappening 'off-screen'".
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 1:45

There is no evidence there was sex or no sex. But one thing for sure is, if the Founders of Hogwarts does not want the kids to have sex, there will be enchantments in place to prevent that. such as the boys not being able to enter the girls dormitory.

It is unlikely that the kids were able to have sex in Hogwarts since enchantments in the walls could easily prevent this, if the founders frowned upon it. Why was Harry able to break so many rules? Most of his actions were normal just at the wrong time (in the dark of night).

They could get lucky at Hogsmeade though.

  • 4
    This seems a bit speculative. Besides that one enchantment on the dorms, is there any other one you can think of?
    – Adamant
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 5:05
  • 2
    I agree with Adamant. There's no good evidence other than that one (privacy-related?) spell.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 9:32
  • I think it shows that the founders had an enchantment to govern the way boys relate to girls. There is no evidence that any student ever had sex, but there is evidence that the boys couldn't access the girls dormitory via ancient enchantments. That means there is the possibility that other enchantments may exist. Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 13:16

"Harry Potter" is a 13+ book/movie. I bet that it happened numerous times, JKR just didn't tell that in books to keep them acceptable for kids.

Thousands of ficwriters share this opinion.

  • 5
    Jo didn't modify her books to make them accessible to kids. She has often said that if you don't like them don't read them. Sex isn't included because its not necessary. That's about it, really.
    – Jinoshio
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 15:53

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