Faith/Spirituality Forum: intimacy problem within marraige

intimacy problem within marraige QUESTION from Christiane August 13, 2001 I am not able to reach sexual satisfaction (orgasm). My husband is feeling inadaquate and is getting frustrated at himself. Whoever I ask for advice, say a doctor or health nurse, I get the same response. They say I need to masturbate to learn to satisfy myself in order to tell my husband how. I tell them I don't beleive that is morally right and could never even attempt to do that. They always say that if I don't, I will never experience one. I want to experience this special gift for myself, but mostly for my husband. It is causing problems mainly to my husbands self-esteem. Is there any way to get help in acheiving this without going the mroute?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on August 15, 2001 Dear Mrs. Christiane:
You are correct, masturbation is a grave sin and cannot be condoned for therapeutic reasons.
I would advise trying to find a Catholic counselor who can help you and your husband deal with this. Your husband needs to work through feelings of inadequacy -- this problem most likely has nothing to do with him. You need to work through this as well. And you need to be examined by a doctor who is familiar is sexual dysfunctions. There are some possible physical reasons that you are not able to reach orgasm. You both also need to work through the idea that this has to be a major problem -- because this does NOT have to be a major problem.
But there are many things that may be tried before accepting this as the way it is. If the Catholic counselor has some knowledge of sexual counseling they can talk to you and your husband about ways that can increase your chance of sexual satisfaction within the bounds of normal marital relations. I have had training in sexual counseling and have found that some of this knowledge has been useful in helping many couples, but such counseling must always stay within the bounds of Catholic Moral Theology.
You might try Catholic Charities for a Catholic counselor, though unfortunately not all Catholic Counselors are loyal to the Church.
The bottom line is that the problem may be physical, medical, or psychological. Once that is investigated there are certain techniques that are proper to marriage that might help.
One thing is certain, any doctor, nurse, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor who tells you that masturbation is the solution, walk away from them. You do not have to violate morality to deal with this issue.
We will be praying for you. And thank you for the courage to ask this question. I can assure you that there are MANY others who would have liked to ask the question, but didn't.
God Bless.
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