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Catholic Views On Non-procreative Sex


debrand

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We've never discussed the forum on Catholic Answers. Many of the threads have a variety of responses and opinions so the participants aren't as cut and dried to the right or left. Many years ago, I used to read that site and was always struck by the opinions on things like oral sex, masturbation etc.

I found an interesting thread. The woman asks if it is all right to engage in foreplay without having intercourse during her most fertile times.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=664612&highlight=masturbation

Some of the answers are interesting. I think that this type of teaching would lead to unnecessarily stress. It also interest me because my husband went through a period when we could not have intercourse but we still engaged in a lot other types of sex. For me, that was both emotionally and physically satisfying. I'd rather have intercourse but if we couldn't, we could still have sex.(His problem has been resolved, by the way)

There are a different opinion on the thread but I am including the more extreme in my post

This poster is responding to the first poster. Hopefully, my post within posts made that clear

I don't believe any NFP models teach it is OK to engage in genital stimulation during fertile periods. In Creighton, this would be called "abandoning the method"

Q

I think you are reading something into the word order that isn't there. Unitive and procreative, or procreative and unitive, it matters not because BOTH elements must ALWAYS be present in the act. They cannot be separated.

You are not describing "foreplay" above. You are describing masterbation.

Actions used to prepare the couple for intercourse are "foreplay", hence the "fore". Actions during intercourse to help the wife achieve climax can also be considered in this context. Actions that replace intercourse are not "foreplay". They are masterbation

and

Neither husband or wife may "climax" outside the context of the martial act. The wife may climax within the context of the whole marital act (thus during foreplay is fine..but only when it really IS foreplay...continuous with the marital intercourse). The husband must do so only in the actual act of intercourse.

http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showres...DESC&start_at=

It is good to note that sexual pleasure is subordinated to the marital communion. And it is not of course "anything goes" (general comment --not directed to anyone per se).

It is important in the current culture to note that Christians are to also live in moderation (the virtue of temperance). Our culture unfortunately is rather effected by hedonism..

So, this means that if my husband's problem hadn't been resolved, some of these posters would advise us not to have sex, at all. That is sad

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Yes. Strictly speaking, that is the Catholic teaching, but you have to pry to get it out of advocates of NFP because it sounds so extreme and crazy.

Another reason I am no longer Catholic.

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Rule of thumb is foreplay becomes its own separate act when it has become a replacement for the real thing. Notice also above it says sexual pleasure not just climax. You are not contracepting, but what you may be doing is lusting.

There really is no "if its more than 4 hours before you complete the act then it doesn't count as foreplay" kind of rule. Really just ask yourself whether your replacing intercourse with "foreplay" because you can't have intercourse or don't want to have intercourse at that point and time.

The reasoning is that not just climax but sexual pleasure is meant to be enjoyed within the context of the completed or at least attempted completed marital act.

Catholics aren't the only group that finds masturbation sinful. However, I've never heard members of other groups debate whether a couple can engage in sexual acts without intending to have intercourse. Most people would not consider that wrong.

Irishy, I agree that part of the problem is that celibate men who don't have spouses are writing these rules.

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I love how an institution made up entirely of celibate men gets to tell couples "how to have sex properly".

Wonder if this is where Gothard got the idea that despite never being married or having had sex he was totally able to teach couples all about marriage and sex. :lol:

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I love how an institution made up entirely of celibate men gets to tell couples "how to have sex properly".

...allegedly celibate...

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I love how an institution made up entirely of celibate men gets to tell couples "how to have sex properly".

Wouldn't that be "allegedly and sort of " celibate men?

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It's a joke. In the past (and maybe some people's present), couples used to take marital relations advice from a priest. The local priest was the one stop shop for all types of advice and counselling. From financial trouble to rebellious teenagers to frigid newlyweds to sex pest husbands. The power trip must have been quite heady. And people bloody well did what HE told them to.

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I love how an institution made up entirely of celibate men gets to tell couples "how to have sex properly".

I agree with this totally, but just for the sake of playing the devil's advocate, some priests aren't celibate. We had a priest at my church growing up who had been married and was a widower and became a priest after his wife had passed away. He even had children and I'm pretty sure grandchildren. Fr. B. was one of my favorite priests. He was still a no-nonsense guy, but you could tell that he really cared about us, and not in the squicky way the last priest who is still there seemed to care about the altar boys. I have seen Fr. C. out and about town from time to time, and I literally shudder and turn and go the other way if I see him to this day. It's been almost 20 years since I've been in Catholic school. Seriously squicky vibe from him.

ETA: Should have read on! I mean not celibate in a legitimate way, not the sneaking out the back of the rectory. ;-)

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Yes. Strictly speaking, that is the Catholic teaching, but you have to pry to get it out of advocates of NFP because it sounds so extreme and crazy.

Another reason I am no longer Catholic.

I was taught the same things during NFP talks. I think it follows the same line of thinking for forbidding the use of barrier methods, such as condoms.

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My question is about infertile couples. Let's say the woman is post-menopausal, has had a hysterectomy, or her spouse has a very low sperm count which would preclude fertilization. By Catholic standards, are these couples still permitted to have sex, since it wouldn't be procreative?

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My question is about infertile couples. Let's say the woman is post-menopausal, has had a hysterectomy, or her spouse has a very low sperm count which would preclude fertilization. By Catholic standards, are these couples still permitted to have sex, since it wouldn't be procreative?

I think that because there could be a miracle and the woman could still get pregnant the couple can still have sex. The man has to always come inside the woman.

A couple is screwed if the man can't get an erection anymore. From the posters on that thread, it sounds as if the couple can't engage in mutual masturbation unless the sex includes intercourse.

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CAF can be a dangerous place to get information about what the Church does and does not teach about everything, particularly sexuality. Threads about sex, and there are a lot of threads about sex, tend to be populated with three types of posters: sexually frustrated amateur theologians, angry sexually frustrated amateur theologians, and the scrupulous. The first lot sublimate their sex drives into protracted, oftentimes graphic discussions of sexuality. The second does the same thing with an added dose of vitriol aimed at the OP or anyone on the thread actually having sex. And then the scrupulous jump in and demand that their anxieties be fed, and usually nothing can assuage their fears that they're sinning.

And then you get the OPs who deliberately start threads to create a perfect storm of anger and angst:

*I accidentally orgasmed during my ob/gym exam. Did I sin?

*I watched my wife as she showered this morning. Did I lust?

*Can Catholics use lubricants?

*My wife had an orgasm two hours before I ejaculated in her vagina. In that two-hour window we stopped sex and had dinner. Was this the sin of masturbation, and should we receive Communion tomorrow?

*Can I kiss my husband during my fertile times?

*It is a sin to cuddle in the marital bed if it doesn't end in intercourse?

I watched threads like this swell to 150+ replies in an hour before they're either locked or removed by the mods. :lol:

The plain answer to NFP1Kate's query is that, if they wish to avoid getting pregnant , she and her husband should abstain from sexual activity during her fertile time. But given the fact that she uses NFP, she graduated from a Jesuit university, and her husband has flirted with the SSPX, I would be shocked if Kate didn't already know this. I think what's going on with Kate is that she and her husband are having problems adhering to Church teachings, but she's too afraid to be labeled a "cafeteria Catholic" (the ultimate CAF insult) if she states that outright.

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I was raised catholic and attended catechism and all and never heard of that, that sounds to me like ideas of the church in the past century, not today.

I know that in a catholic marriage according to canonic law the mates should have the purpose of procreation...so even if they are sterile is enought if they try. But given that the natural anticonceptive methods are accepted even for the radical priests that dont accept condoms, i dont see any difference with non-procreative sex if its practiced eventually and not always.

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My question is about infertile couples. Let's say the woman is post-menopausal, has had a hysterectomy, or her spouse has a very low sperm count which would preclude fertilization. By Catholic standards, are these couples still permitted to have sex, since it wouldn't be procreative?

The Church teaches the sexual intercourse must be 1. unitive and 2. ordered towards procreation. In other words, as long as the husband ejaculates inside the vagina, a couple's good to go even if there's no chance of a resulting pregnancy.

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The plain answer to NFP1Kate's query is that, if they wish to avoid getting pregnant , she and her husband should abstain from sexual activity during her fertile time. But given the fact that she uses NFP, she graduated from a Jesuit university, and her husband has flirted with the SSPX, I would be shocked if Kate didn't already know this. I think what's going on with Kate is that she and her husband are having problems adhering to Church teachings, but she's too afraid to be labeled a "cafeteria Catholic" (the ultimate CAF insult) if she states that outright.

Does that mean that her husband can't do anything to make her climax during her fertile periods? If he is willing to give her an orgasm and not ask for anything in return is that against Catholic teaching?

On Catholic Answers forum there used to be a lot of threads on oral sex. Apparently, the church does not have any official teaching about oral sex but many of the posters still thought it was against church teaching.

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Does that mean that her husband can't do anything to make her climax during her fertile periods?

This is correct. A couple who doesn't want to get pregnant needs to refrain from all sexual activity during fertile times.

If he is willing to give her an orgasm and not ask for anything in return is that against Catholic teaching?

There is nothing against Catholic teaching in a husband orally or manually stimulating his wife to orgasm during sex so long as he ends up ejaculating inside her vagina. Ejaculating in the vajay-jay is what's meant by sex that is ordered towards procreation.

The Church teaches that sex needs to be unitive and ordered towards procreation. If the husband is giving his wife an orgasm without penis-in-vagina intercourse at some point in the proceedings, the Church doesn't see this as unitive or ordered towards procreation.

On Catholic Answers forum there used to be a lot of threads on oral sex. Apparently, the church does not have any official teaching about oral sex but many of the posters still thought it was against church teaching.

CAF has a lot of posters with personal and cultural biases against oral-genital contact.

A wife can perform oral sex on her husband so long as he ends up ejaculating in her vagina. And JPII taught in Theology of the Body that a husband as a duty and an obligation to make sure his wife gets the same level of pleasure and sexual satisfaction he does, which most have interpreted as cunnilingus is Okay.

One of the big problems with CAF is that most posters want to read way more into Catholic teaching than what's there. I think this is come from a lot of reasons, but one result is that they verge on self-referencing themselves into another religion sometimes. Too often I read something like "Well SuperCath2012 said on this thread that..." and that's then taken as official teachings.

And speaking of official teachings... My words should not be taken as such. :lol: Theology of the Body is the one-stop shop for all things Catholic sexuality in my opinion.

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