Could it be that the requirement that all acts of intimacy end in an action that is ordered towards procreation leads to sub-optimal long term results?

Apologies in advance if this is too ‘adult’ for the forum…

My understanding is that a strict interpretation of Church Teachings requires that all acts of physical intimacy must lead to a deposit of the male seed into the female parts which are of a nature to receive this seed leading to potential reproduction.

Could it be the case that this is akin to a runner being told that all athletic acts must result in running 5000 meters?

And that - furthermore - running with the intention of just sprinting 100 meters, or even just stretching and jogging slowly around the track is intrinsically disordered and not to be done ever?

And also that until you are officially ‘on the team’ any attempts at running at all - or even stretching - is a mortal sin and not to be done ever?

It would be ludicrous to think this is a good way to prepare someone for long distance running, but could it be the case that the official teachings about human sexuality might be analogous?

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Foreplay is allowed. In fact, one of the best pieces of marital advice that I was given was by a priest who said that foreplay is a 24/7 activity. Meaning that curtailing intimacy to the bedroom was a sure way to have a disastrous time.

If the couple intends to “run a marathon” but winds up enjoying the sprint and not finishing the marathon, that is fine. That’s not in violation of church teaching.

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Yes, foreplay is allowed, but is it the case the foreplay that does not end with the aforementioned ‘deposit’ is not allowed?

Having read this previous post I wonder if a perceived requirement that any physical stimulation of the ‘nether bits’ must lead to the aforementioned might lead to similar sub-optimal results.

I think you’re talking at two different ends here.

One, is that you propose a very mechanical view of sex. Penis+vagina=sex. And then you admit foreplay is allowed. However, sex is much more complicated than it’s basic biological function.

Second, you are examining the case of someone with a major medical condition who refuses to get adequate help. In marriage, there are many times when you have to keep the fires burning but sex cannot be consummated—for instance–after the birth of a child. It is considered the standard medical practice that it is harmful to a woman to have sex sooner than 6-8 weeks postpartum.

However, this does not give her the right to simply disengage affection–including sexual affection–from her husband. Nor can the husband simply withdraw his attention because he’s not getting any. It is a delicate balance that the couple must address concurently and with grace.

How depends on the couple.


I don’t see the connection. You are comparing the intimacy between a man and a woman to that of us and the road.

Although I still don’t like the comparison. As already mentioned I guess if we want to compare this to foreplay it is allowed.

It’s a mortal sin because that is the way God set it up. I often point out to people who like to ignore the fact God set it up this way…Just look at our society over the past 60 years. More and more people are attempting to “run” without being on the 'team". From a running point of view this seems like no big deal, but from the point of view of sex before committing to the “team”. This lack of commitment has given us countless cases of STD’s. Some of which are mortal.

It is a scientific fact that if we would confine sex between one man and one woman in an intimate monogamous relationship we would wipe all STD’s off the face of the earth within 1 to 2 generations. Kind of makes you wonder if the Church is correct, doesn’t it?

We should prepare ourselves for the long distance run of marriage. Our preparation should be chastity and learning how to be open and honest before marriage. We should continue practicing this as well as physical union during marriage. Like already mentioned it’s a 24/7 activity. The sexual union should not be about your reward, which is what preparing for a race is about, the sexual union is about your partners reward. You can’t practice pleasing your partner on others, since no 2 people are alike and for countless other reasons. If you are attempting to prepare yourself by practicing before marriage, all you are practice is how to please yourself. Which could be harmful if your goal is to win the marathon.

Can’t really answer the seed part in one or two sentences. If you want to learn more this talk was insightful.

It’s the one called Marriage and the Eucharist

Hope this helps,

God Bless

Well, yes, but that goes back to my original point.

It seems to me that if the couple is always obligated to start out with the intention of ‘running a marathon’ then that might be a problem if one or both of them were only up for a ‘jog around the block’.

No, you’re missing the point.

Sex is NOT utilitarian.

Sex is about an ongoing relationship cultivated between a man and a woman. Sex is procreative AND unitive. You are completely missing the unitive aspect and how that plays out in daily life. Many couples find themselves at a good time to be at their most intimate and then realize after a bit that they were actually kind of tired, or hungry, or that stuffy nose was actually more bothersome or just whatever. That’s NOT wrong. They didn’t intend to get all revved up and not “go the distance” but mutually decided that nope, not today.

You seem to want a formula with lines–how far can you push things, what can you do. You seem to think that a unilateral or mutual decision to end the most intimate relations is somehow sinful. It is NOT.

Or else parents of children would CONSTANTLY be sinning.

You seem to be approaching from the perspective that God is a big, bad rule-checking meanie who doesn’t get that people change their minds.

Sex is a moment-by-moment decision of two people, it is NOT simply an unbreakable commitment once you pass a certain point. People are allowed to change their minds.

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Well, again, perhaps it is my understanding of what is allowed by Church Teachings that is flawed - my understanding is that foreplay without the intention of consummation is not allowed.

Which, I suggest, might cause difficulties.

I still don’t think you get it.

Foreplay is NOT the minutes before penis+vagina. It is the deepening of the intimacy of marriage.

You also seem to have this notion that once X happens then you MUST finish the act. This is completely unreasonable and unrealistic. Only the intention to finish in the right place must be there. That’s it.

If a couple wants to snuggle and develop their sexual love without sex and they know they aren’t going to leave each other in a position of sin–that’s fine. If they get started and then decide not to…no matter if they are at the penultimate moment…that’s fine, too. Intentions are a very flawed human part of a decision making process.

Thats why we have different words for things that have to be more than just an intention–like vows.

I think we are talking past each other…

There are some things that are obviously sins - murder, theft, etc.

It is not clear - at least to me - that a married couple mutually deciding on any particular evening that they will - for whatever reasons - not ‘finish in the right place’ but will engage in mutually pleasurable intimate activities that will result in the male finishing in ‘not the right place’ is obviously sinful.

You’ve got it so backward.

The sin is the intention to “finish in the wrong place”. That’s it. If the intention is to finish in the right place, should it progress to that point, then you are in the clear…no matter what occurs.

Okay - why is this sinful?

And the possibility that I am exploring here is that the requirement that all physical intimacy of a sexual nature must be done with the intention of ‘finishing in the right place’ might lead to sub-optimal overall results.


And again you do not get the whole point of intimacy. Sex is not perfunctual. It was NEVER intended to be.

I think - and I could be wrong here - that you might be characterizing intimate acts of a sexual nature that are done without the intention of ‘finishing in the right place’ as perfunctual.

Perhaps this is not necessarily the case.

No, you’re trying to boil sexual acts down to the most basic actions. As if they are an if/then statement. They are not.

You are seeming to continue to absolutely ignore the basic complexities of the human decision process.

Well, no, I’m suggesting that it is not obvious to me why sexual acts in the context of a marriage which are unitive but not procreative are necessarily sinful acts.

Intention to not finish in a procrative way = sinful.

Everything else is between the couple and NOT dictated by the church.

Okay, as you have both have read my post related to this. I have the same question. I am unable to finish in that spot, so therefore unable to finish. Correct? My dilemma is, how turned on can I get before it is a sin? How long of a kiss is too long? Can my hands still grab her butt when we kiss? Lol. It has been a long time. It takes hardly anything to get me “going”.

Your wife is ill and denying it. You have many more issues than the “simple” matter of sex.

Because it disorders the act. It changes what sexual relations “are” by removing the procreative aspect - - i.e., intentionally sterilizing the procreative act by ‘not finishing in the right place’. God has placed those elements - the unitive and the procreative - -together, and by intentionally separating them, one disorders the act. And they are not unitive in the sense the Church means if that is what you are talking about ‘not finishing in the right place’.

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