female arousal


#1

I am curious as to when women know that they have been too aroused. In men there is a quite definite line, but how are women able to know?
Thanks!


#2

Okay, I’m speaking as a woman here. . .a married woman.

First, I would say that that I’m not so sure that there is a “definite” line for men. Errection–which is not always a conscious choice? Climax? Surely some men who engage in the same, certain “too far” sexual activities are aroused to different degrees. The activity may be morally wrong, but the level of arousal certainly varies.

The same goes for women. Some women may be more aroused given the same circumstances.

While many moral theologians and many of our clergy would probably speak generally about “climaxing” being a definite “too far” point, I think the actual “too far” point would be several steps before then. The moment of “climax” is an obvious event that is easy to observe and recognize, but what leads to that moment is certainly as important.

This is the very reason we must be so vigilant in our behavior and what we allow our eyes, ears, and bodies to experience. Chastity and purity are not just “non-married” issues. . .They apply to all of us. If you think you may have gone “too far,” then most likey you have.


#3

Certainly once you get to the stage that you aren’t going to stop - but if you aren’t married, you shouldn’t be even getting close to that situation anyway. Very hard to judge that point though. Comes on very quickly. :o


#4

Well, I am talking more about a feeling of tenseness down there that seems to be rather omnipresent when I am in contact with my boyfriend or even when someone gives me a backrub or I see something impure. It is not pleasurable at all, nor does it ever seem to really progress. Although sometimes there is a pounding associated with it. I cannot tell if this is just simple excitement or nerves or if it is morally wrong. I never intend for it to happen. When I was younger I was quite scrupulous as well, so I sometimes cannot count on my conscience to lead me the right way. I wonder if it may be just my body tensing up because I have dealt with much worry in this area when I was younger with regards to masturbation, so I want to avoid any worrying sensations as much as possible. I am just confused. I also have a hard time believing something that is so undesired and unintended and unpleasurable to be mortally sinful, if it is.
Thanks


#5

Your clarification has helped my understanding. . .From a moral standpoint, I would not think that you are culpable for what you are describing, so long as you are not seeking the stimulation for sexual arousal purposes. It may be likened, again, to a man who is inadvertently aroused (especially young men) without seeking the provocation. For instance, if you are flipping TV channels and see something provocative and remain on that channel, you become culpable, but if you pass it in an attempt to avoid such provocation, you are fine. In the case of mortal sin, you must always will the deed and have full knowledge and freedom in committing the sin. From your description, I would not think that your sensitivities are fully willed or freely chosen.

Now, again, if you are aware that certain situations may lead to an occasion of sin for you, then you must be extra careful not to be led into sin. Your conscience may be very strong (which is a wonderful gift), but do not let your scruples make you fearful. During moments of doubt or confusion, ask the Blessed Mother to pray for you to be mindful of your purity. She will not fail you.


#6

[quote=catholic11]I am curious as to when women know that they have been too aroused. In men there is a quite definite line, but how are women able to know?
Thanks!
[/quote]

Too aroused. I don’t think a person should be seeking arousal at all outside of the marriage context. If I become aroused at all say on a date, whatever behavior caused it must be stopped and perhaps the date even has to end.

Still, I will say that for a woman arousal is not as obvious as it is for a man. In fact, the first time I was aroused I was not aware I was. Because of my lack of awareness, I made mistakes.

So the way I judge arousal is my mental state. Am I tempted to think about someone in an unchaste way? Is my mind trying to rationalize behavior I know is wrong?

As for physical signs, it is less clear as fertility signs can often intermix with arousal signs. I simply am aware that when I’m at peek fertility, I can’t watch romance movies as I am likely to think about passionate kissing.

When you’re dating someone, you have to keep in mind that you are God’s and he is God’s and the two of you are spiritually brother and sister. I have no right to give myself to him until we are united in marriage. Therefore, dating is really about discerning marriage and getting to know someone. The expression of affection depends on where you are in the relationship.

Now, I do know that once in a relationship, it becomes more troublesome. I had a friend who had the same rules as me, but as soon as she entered into a relationship, she decided her ideas were wrong and when on this ridiculas thing that they’d be ok if they put a time limit to their making out. Problem was, they kept going over and she started coming up with ideas like “an alarm clock set on the other side of the room.” She actually lost her ability to discern right and wrong with her own conscience and was having her boyfriend take complete control. Instead she kept questioning things. And then she started becoming downright rude because she wanted the intamcy of being able to say everything that was on her mind including telling her boyfriend that she thought she was more attractive than him. After a year, she started insulting her friends. Strangely enough, I do believe this occured because she was putting herself into a position where her desires were longing for more and more intamcy due to her arousal and that she could not completely deny herself. Therefore she started finding other expressions of intamacy.

The key is to guard your heart and to not enter into a dating relationship with the mindset of “This is my spouse to be and we just gotta wait till the time is right to get married and make it official.” The real relationship of martial love doesn’t start till you are married.

–Well, I am talking more about a feeling of tenseness down there that seems to be rather omnipresent when I am in contact with my boyfriend or even when someone gives me a backrub or I see something impure.–

I can’t say what that is as it is not something I have experienced. I will say that I probably would not allow a guy I was attracted to to give me a back or shoulder rub. Now in my family, we give each other back rubs all the time. We are an affectionate family, but I wouldn’t consider this appropriate with men around my age group, even my biological brother who is 2 years younger than I and I am not attracted to.

And it doesn’t sound like your conscience has changed much. You said you had a scrupolous conscience. An over-scrupulous conscience is one that is constantly on the search for sin. There had to be something else I did wrong and because you are aware you’re looking for things that aren’t sins, you go through periods of doubt and can’t tell when you’re being over-scrupolous and when your conscience is working and pointing out a real sin.

Even if you are allowing yourself to do things that you previously thought sinful, you still possess a doubting conscience that appears to be expressing itself in a different way. I recommend seeking our Blessed Virgin’s help with discerning your sins. Consecrate yourself to her. There’s a book…St. someone de monfort or something like that.


#7

Climaxing being a too far point for whom? A married person? Please clarify.


#8

[quote=Chardin]Climaxing being a too far point for whom? A married person? Please clarify.
[/quote]

I am referring to climaxing being a “too far point” for anyone who doesn’t intend to complete the marital act. Climax would be “too far” for 1) an unmarried person who cannot engage in the marital act OR 2) a married person who does not intend to complete the marital act with his or her spouse.

Obviously, there are different allowances regarding affectionate touching for the unmarried and married. What may be entirely inappropriate for an unmarried person, may be fully permitted and proper for a married couple. The point of climax, in both cases, however should ONLY be a part of a completed marital act.

Hope that clears things up a bit.


#9

[quote=catholic11] I also have a hard time believing something that is so undesired and unintended and unpleasurable to be mortally sinful, if it is.
Thanks
[/quote]

Thank you for sharing, catholic11.

Rest assured, if it is undesired and happens anyway, it is not a sin. That “happens anyway” piece that happens in a woman or in a man is a physical response to some kind of trigger over which that woman or man has not asked for… or chosen to actively succomb.

Personally… I am really enraged that the local mall’s Victoria Secret store has their mannikins now “almost” wearing the products that the store sells. In other words, the store is dressing their mannikins in the window in almost enough material to count as a raunchy streetwalker’s underwear that is designed as an obvious “come on” to prosepective drive-by johns. Absolutely NO “secret” is going on – it’s blatantly and very sickly obvious how “cheap” those almost-garments are!

Children who are walking past that huge window that the mannikins (which are at eye level of even children) are having their innocence getting stripped away from them… no pun intended!


#10

[quote=JaneFrances]I am referring to climaxing being a “too far point” for anyone who doesn’t intend to complete the marital act. Climax would be “too far” for 1) an unmarried person who cannot engage in the marital act OR 2) a married person who does not intend to complete the marital act with his or her spouse.

Obviously, there are different allowances regarding affectionate touching for the unmarried and married.
[/quote]

When I am speaking on affection in a dating relationship, I mean non-sexual affection. The question to ask yourself when figuring out how far is too far, is what is sex? Now there is behavior that can be in a particular situation, sexual and in another situation not sexual. Sex is not just the climax. Where does it begin? It begins with arousal. Now at times arousal cannot be helped, but the aim should be not to seek to arouse the other person and if one or the other becomes aroused, affection needs to be stopped and avoided.

As for your suggestion of the the married couple, when they are abstaining from sex say to postpone pregnancy, it is not morally licit for them to engage in uncompleted sex. If you are going to abstain, you abstain from the entirity of it.

I suggest reading Song of Solomon. The bride says it in repeatively not to wake love up too early. What it means is that sexual love is marital love and that you are not to love each other sexually until you are married.


#11

[quote=the-3rd-parent]When I am speaking on affection in a dating relationship, I mean non-sexual affection. The question to ask yourself when figuring out how far is too far, is what is sex? Now there is behavior that can be in a particular situation, sexual and in another situation not sexual. Sex is not just the climax. Where does it begin? It begins with arousal. Now at times arousal cannot be helped, but the aim should be not to seek to arouse the other person and if one or the other becomes aroused, affection needs to be stopped and avoided.

As for your suggestion of the the married couple, when they are abstaining from sex say to postpone pregnancy, it is not morally licit for them to engage in uncompleted sex. If you are going to abstain, you abstain from the entirity of it.

I suggest reading Song of Solomon. The bride says it in repeatively not to wake love up too early. What it means is that sexual love is marital love and that you are not to love each other sexually until you are married.
[/quote]

Indeed, the Song of Solomon is a beautiful Scripture that gives us much appreciation for God’s gift of married love. Of course I have read it and I understand your point.

However, I’m not entirely sure exactly about what you are challenging or disagreeing with me.

As for my point regarding married couples, I think you have misunderstood me. I did not intend to say (nor do I think I did say) that married couples can licitly engage in what you have termed “uncompleted sex.” I’m not sure exactly what you think I meant.

Again, my point is that married couples (even those who intend to abstain for ANY reason–avoiding pregancy, fatigue, time constraints, etc.) by nature of their marital union do enjoy greater parameters of affectionate touching than non-married couples. This may include more passionate kissing, embracing in bed, love pats, etc. All of these are “sexual” in that they express the sexual love and desire between the spouses regardless of the intention to abstain for a time. These “parameters” may indeed be a source of “arousal” for a spouse, but they are not morally illicit for married couples who do not intend to complete the marital act.

This topic is dealt with in depth in The Art of Natural Family Planning (Kippley) in the section titled “Permissable Behaviors.” I will quote a few points:

1.) “Marital chastity during the fertile time is not the same as pre-marital chastity.”

2.) “Activities that are sexually arousing are permissable provided that they do not become excessively arousing. That is, they should be expressions of marital love and affection, but they should not lead to orgasm by either spouse or provide temptation for either spouse to seek relief of sexual tension through masturbation.”

3.) “Spouses should have good reason for engaging in any such activity because it may carry the remote possiblity of involuntary orgasm.”

4.) “Each spouse must remember that marital chastity is a virtue that each must cultivate as a good habit to guide their behavior.”

5.) “There is no universal recipe for the periodic courtship-without-coitus phase of marriage.”


#12

[quote=catholic11]I am curious as to when women know that they have been too aroused. In men there is a quite definite line, but how are women able to know?
Thanks!
[/quote]

If you are not married, I would say it is the point when you quit viewing this man as your brother in Christ and you begin to lust after him.


#13

This topic is dealt with in depth in The Art of Natural Family Planning (Kippley) in the section titled “Permissable Behaviors.” I will quote a few points:

1.) “Marital chastity during the fertile time is not the same as pre-marital chastity.”

Chastity is a virtue of the heart, not a practice, though many speakers have made it seem as such. Chastity is practiced even when the couple engages in sex. And during a couple’s fertile time, if they are chaste, they need to prayer about whether or not it is selfish to abstain or not. It should be a month to month decision.

2.) “Activities that are sexually arousing are permissable provided that they do not become excessively arousing. That is, they should be expressions of marital love and affection, but they should not lead to orgasm by either spouse or provide temptation for either spouse to seek relief of sexual tension through masturbation.”

I would say that I’d have to disagree with Kippley. Does Kippley happen to be a man? Many women never experience an orgasm, and no sexual experience would tempt me to masterbate. I’ve never felt such a temptation. If this is a man, he seems highly biased due to his perception of how lust works. I mean, if that were the rule, I could behave any way I wanted so long as I didn’t make my husband orgasm. Lust in a man’s heart is different than in a woman’s heart.

The truth of the matter is that there are a wide variety of interpritations of what chastity involves if you look at chastity as a practice. However, if you look at it as a virtue that developes within you, it’ll help your conscience to discern what is right and wrong. Your chaste heart will let you know.

For instance, when I was in highschool, I had been only taught abstainence. I made some mistakes, but in my heart, I felt those mistakes. I went searching for what was right. Deep down I simply knew that I had done wrong because it was written on my heart. The important thing to learn is the distrinction between chastity and lust. According to my conscience, I could not engage in any sexually stimulating behavior, not because I’d want more or to go all the way, but because for me, that whole thing is sex and is an expression of complete giving of yourself which you should only do when you are truly going to completely give of yourself. It still speaks the sexual language of self donation.

3.) “Spouses should have good reason for engaging in any such activity because it may carry the remote possiblity of involuntary orgasm.”

Is he saying that if he doesn’t engage in small sexual acts, that he’ll have wet dreams? I’m not sure what he’s saying but wet dreams are not sinful.

The problem I’d say is that lust is difficult to define. And as a woman, arousal was difficult for me to define. I had to find the definition of sex that seemed adequate in order to solve this problem. If a couple has sex, when did that sex start? That starting point is where behavior needs to be avoided.


#14

I think it is very important on this thread to make the distinction between the sexual desire and the sexual act that follows. Regarding the desire there is absolutly nothing wrong with allowing yourself to experience sexual feelings. In fact to repress or push these feelings away can be psychologically harmful to us. Our sexual desires are given to us as a gift by God for the purpose of procreation.

Having said that however there are acts that these desires lead to. These acts such as masturbation, sex outside marriage or also the dwelling on fantasies of another person in a sexual way (lust). Acts such as these are deemed morally contrary to the law of God and must therefore be avoided.

There is nothing wrong with ordering your sexual desires towards your spouse within marriage and there is certainly nothing wrong with being aware of your sexual desires when presented with a desirous object (someone you’re attracted to) However once we are aware of these emotions be must learn to guide them using our sense of reason. By doing this we come to control our emotions. This applies for all emotions such as anger aswell. By guiding our emotions using reason we ensure that we control them rather than the other way around. If we are to repress our desires which are perfectly natural to our human nature then these desires are forced to an area of our mind (hidden away) where they will begin to grow in intensity and eventually begin to control us in unforseen ways such as an over whelming urge to lust.

Also lust for a woman can be different from that of a man in that a man is normally the luster the woman can be the lurer. A woman can lust by the intention behind her physical presentation in that she is intent on causing a male or males to lust after her. This is not to say that women can’t lust in a male way or men in a female way. It’s universal.

The point is that sexual desires are healthy and natural and should be experienced in the conscious mind where they can be guided by reason. As for the “too far” question the answer is that “too far” is when one consciously allows oneself to dwell on or act out sexual acts contrary to the law of God. Feeing the desire is not contrary to this law.

AP Quinn


#15

I know exactly what you are describing and have felt that sensation as well, and it is not necessarily voluntary and in many cases it is also not necessarily pleasurable, but I believe it is a good guide to go by. I think of it as sort of a female erection of sorts. (not always voluntary, but controlable once you are aware of it). If you are asking if that sensation is going "too far’ I would say no since it is not something that one seeks out, however if you are aware of the sensation and continue farther, then you may be approaching “going too far”/
Again I would use it as a physical reminder that you are approaching dangerous ground.

Hope that helps. BTW- I thought I was the only one who felt that sensation, good to know I’m not a freak!
Rayne100


#16

IMO what you are feeling is the natural physical response to stimulus (although a backrub by “non-boyfriend” has me puzzled).

You’re attracted to this person in multiple ways, it feels good (emotionally) to be around them, add to that some discreet physical contact and… your parts are doing what they’re supposed to.
The same with seeing something “impure”. The largest erogenous zone for either a man or woman is between their ears. Depending on how this input is channeled, it can go many ways.

I think of it as sort of a female erection of sorts. (not always voluntary, but controlable once you are aware of it)

At least women don’t have to deal with a physically (in all aspects) :wink: uncomfortable situation when “it” happens! :stuck_out_tongue:


#17

Too true. I am glad for that! Our issues are not as visibly obvious.
And I am glad for that.


#18

Rest assured it’s not so simple with men. It’s not like it’s only wrong when you ejaculate, nor is it always wrong if you get some degree of erection because the latter can be involuntary. Similarly, a female can have involuntary reactions too. In fact, reactions per se are always involuntary, it’s just how much stimulus we agree to receive or entertain which depends on our will.

(What’s below is about unmarried people, not about NFP.)

Basically, sexual arousal is not to be sought by unmarried persons. It’s definitely wrong voluntarily to engage in fantasies, let alone perform activities leading to climax, but before that? I don’t want to say that only guidelines exist because we aren’t judges of ourselves, nor do we have the power to make such rules for ourselves that would overweigh the natural law and design. However, I believe it is prudent to interrupt the activity if it looks like it’s giving you the temptation to proceed towards sexual acts.

A wise priest once told me that whatever could be interpreted as foreplay by a reasonable person was wrong or should be avoided, I don’t remember the exact wording of what it was - at any rate, not good to do. :wink:

I think the best way is to cut off the risky parts and limit the physical expression to what’s safe. It may be difficult to give up certain things, but it’s even more difficult to combat temptation on a constant basis and especially during “moments”, i.e. when one is particularly in the mood.

But it’s not about specifics (as much as certain specific acts are certainly off limits) - specifics don’t cut it, nor are they the answer to the need to be chaste. One should avoid thinking in “how far can we go” patterns. Some things which will be too tempting for one couple will not be so for another, or even the same one but on a different day.


#19

Chevalier makes some good points. In as much as certain bodily processes can be both voluntary and involuntary, the moral culpability of any involuntary response is determined by the direction of the will. To be sinful, the neccessity of desire for illegitimate arousal and/or approval of such must exist. In the absence of desire for and the absence of approval of, no sin is committed. This is true whether feelings of pleasure are present or not.

In Christ - J.M.J.
Mapleoak


#20

Yep, that’s better than whatever I could have said. I would only like to add that sometimes there’s no desire nor approval of the sensation, while there is some form of acceptance as a by-result. I’m not sure to what extent double-effect applies here. For example, if you’re going to orgasm from as little as prolonged hugging, you should limit it (no shame here and I think it actually differs from couple to couple in addition to from person to person), but kill me rather than having me speculate on what intensity of involuntary reaction means that you have to stop or avoid the otherwise legitimate and customary expressions. I just don’t know and I’m not sure I even want to know. I think the most important here is 1) to avoid the deliberate seeking of sexual arousal 2) to avoid any semblance of objectification or lust, the desire to possess, dominate, own, etc, 3) not in any way to accept involuntary reactions as some form of gratification (and I’m talking about strictly genital reaction, not about heightened pulse or something). I don’t think it’s right to say that we should avoid certain things if we know they will make us experience even a minimal level of biological attraction that we’re able to control, but at the same time, it would be wrong to re-condition our bodies and teach them wrong responses to impulses by engaging in a pattern of contained and limited stimulation.

So, I think we’re supposed not to stimulate and not to accept gratification, not to fantasise about sex, but we aren’t supposed to make every imaginable effort to stay unattracted, unaffected etc. I think it starts being wrong when it starts making one (or the other) think about sex, fantasise, lust, or if it creates near-occasion for that kind of thing.


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