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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Sex in marriage

by Catherine Frakas 30 Jun 2001

Sex in marriage QUESTION from Teresa on October 9, 2002 I am 24 and have been married for 4 years. I was raised Catholic and taught little about the rights and wrong of sex. Just that sex is bad until you are married, and masterbation is wrong always. So I need a little guidance. I have questions about my current sex life with my husband
1) Is it wrong for the woman to masterbate during sex for the pleasure of the man? (ex. He enjoys watching and asks her to do it)
2) Is oral sex wrong for a woman to perform on a man during sex if no ejaculation occurs?
3) Is it wrong for a married couple to have sex in positions other than missionary?
4) I use an IUD for contraception. My husband and I have a daughter, and want to be able to have sex without worrying about children that we are not prepared for. I like the freedom of sharing myself with my husband without having conception hanging over my head. I have never really understood the biblical basis for no contraception. I understand the story of Tamar and Onan, but I thought God punished him for not fulfilling his role as Jewish tradition demanded by fathering a child. Help!
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on October 16, 2002 Dear Teresa:
--------BEFORE I GET ANWSER, A LITTLE NOTE------ This is my second attempt to answer this question. I was in the middle of writing up my answer and all of a sudden everything was erased. I have had this happen before with questions like this. The Devil REALLY does not want me to answer. Well, forget it Mr. Devil, Teresa has a great question and I will answer it! ------------------------------
Okay, now to your question Teresa. I thank God for your great questions and the courage you have to ask them. These are the kinds of questions that many couples have but are often too embarrassed to ask.
On your 1st Question: Yes, it is wrong and sinful to masturbate while the spouse watches because they like to watch. This is no different than a peep show at an Adult Bookstore. Sex is to be a mutual giving of each other to each other. Any sexuality outside of that mutual self-giving is wrong.
Now stimulating oneself in order to assist in your pleasure DURING SEX (intercourse) is okay. The husband stimulating the wife after intercourse to help her come to organism is okay. These acts are foreplay or afterplay or DURING intercourse itself.
But what you are describing is none of these things. It is masturbating for its own sake and the voyeuristic pleasure of the spouse.
I would strongly advise that you both take this to confession and to cease this activity.
On Question #2: As long as ejaculation does not occur any form of foreplay or afterplay mutually consented to is okay. Ejaculation must occur vaginally of course.
On Question #3: Any sexual position that is mutually acceptible to the couple is okay.
On Question #4: On this question we have a problem. It is forbidden and a sin to use artificial contraception.
If there is a GENUINE REASON that is grave and necessary to delay pregnancy or space the births of children then Natural Family Planning (NFP) can be used. But even NFP is not allowed if it is used merely as just another form of contraception. One must have a morally acceptible reason to use it.
The Pill has about a 99% effectiveness rating. All other contraceptive methods are less effective. NFP, however, is JUST as effective as the Pill if used properly. I believe the effectiveness rating is also 99%. (do not confuse NFP with the rhythm method, it is not the same thing). So from an effectiveness point-of-view there is no difference between the pill and NFP, except, in NFP one must discipline oneself.
It does require self-restaint. There will be a period in the woman's cycle that intercourse cannot be done. But frankly, if a couple cannot retrain themselves for a few days something is seriously wrong. Human are not dogs that spontaneously hump in an alley. Humans can control their desires and urges. But we live in a society that is self-indulgent and hostile to the idea of disciple and self-restraint. Thus although NFP is the most effective and safe method in existence, many refuse to use it.
Added benefits is that the use of NFP tends to be a marriage building activity. The intimacy between husband and wife tends to increase when they use NFP.
I would advise looking at the following website for information on NFP and on the truth about contraception:
Couple to Couple League
For background on why the Church forbids contracetion see: Humanae Vitae
P.S. Many people do not know it, but many contraceptive methods actually are abortions. The IUD may prevent conception, but usually it KILLS the baby by not allowing the baby to implant in the womb. The pill also kills the baby.
There are MANY people who will meet children they never knew they had when they die and go into eternity. Each baby that dies from a contraceptive device is a child of ours and will be with God in eternity.
I would advise that you both go to confession for the sin of contraception and then learn how to use NFP, remembering the even NFP can only be used for morally acceptible reasons.
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