Getting married...questions about sex

Hi all,

I’m getting married and I’ve always been a chaste Catholic girl. I went to Catholic schools and never had a true sex ed course. I’ve had Theology of the Body and a basic human anatomy course, but I never really learned about human sexual anatomy and physiology. I never really looked much up on my own because I didn’t want to do or read anything contrary to the faith.

I am not some total prude and I do know the basics. Obviously I’m interested in learning more, but I don’t want to read anything that the Church would not want me to read.

Also, is it okay to look at certain drawings and diagrams of the sex organs for study purposes?

If anyone knows of any good resources to study this subject, I would greatly appreciate it.


Have you read Theology of the Body itself? If not, I recommend reading Audiences 114 and following at the EWTN translation. There is a better translation as I understand if you get the 2011 book of Theology of the Body audiences called Man and Woman He Created Them. In that one, read 118 and following.

As for diagrams and such, I would consult a pastor. But other people here may be far better versed than I. I’m not married nor trained to consult as such.

p.s. Also Humanae Vitae. :o

Yes, it is wrong to read erotic romance novels and sexual books made solely for the purpose of sexually arousing it’s readers. But, It is certainly NOT wrong to read textbooks and informative books that tell the basics about “the birds and the bees.” Stick with non-fiction always. Simply open the book, if it has diagrams and illustrations this should be fine, but actual photographs I’d say no. If you run into a nude photograph, you didn’t sin if it was unintentional, just close the book and find another one. Yes you will find information contrary to the church’s teachings (contraception, etc.) but you are not sinning in reading an informative book that contains it, they did in writing it. You know the truth, right from wrong, you should be fine to read these books. And God bless you and your future marriage! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your response MarcoPolo. Your links are helpful from the Theological perspective, however, I was looking for more of a biological aspect of sexuality…like what happens exactly and what to expect as kind of a heads up :stuck_out_tongue:

Like I said, I don’t want to read anything the Church would not approve of so I was wondering if there is some books approved by the faith that centers on the biological aspects of human sexual anatomy and physiology?

Thanks so much! This helps a lot actually. I obviously would not read or look at erotic things for pleasure, but it’s good to know that I should avoid photographs for educational purposes as well.

Photographs can be a grey area. It can be justified to do so, for example, people in the medical profession often have to do this. While some people can look at them and not sin, others cannot. So I personally would avoid them. (It will be lots more fun to see the real thing on your future spouse anyways!) Diagrams, sketches, drawings are okay though. They just show a representation of someone, not actually photographing someone. Make sense?

I recently read about a book, “A Time to Love: The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy,” by David Ribner and Jennie Rosenfeld, which is a very discreet “how-to” sex guide written for Orthodox Jews. This is the kind of thing the OP is looking for. I don’t know if there is an equivalent book designed for Catholics, but honestly, how much different could it be? The book is available from Amazon.

If you know the basics you know enough. When it comes to book’s, well, I would say that nothing will “kill the mood” better then look at a page in a book saying “wait just a minute, I try to figure out if this is up or down”.

And it is not a sin to know your own anathomy, and I don’t mean that you should masturbate, just learn out what is where. That you can look up in a perfectlt innocent book.

Furthermore, time will do the trick. Don’t expect “thunder and lightning” in the beginning, that will come later on. Just enjoy your husbands body as he enjoy yours and everything will turn out just fine.

Yes, this is probably more like something I’m looking for. I’ll look it up and see what it’s about. Thanks so much!

Makes perfect sense! I didn’t think of it that way initially. I don’t want to see some other man’s, ya know. It will be much better to wait until the wedding night :slight_smile:

Thanks so much!

hahaha no I wouldn’t use this ON the wedding night or anything :stuck_out_tongue: I just want to educate myself before hand. I’m going to read up on NFP as well.

Thanks for your incite! I’m not worried about “thunder and lightening”. We both love each other very much and if it doesn’t happen right away, that’s alright, but I’m not concerned.:stuck_out_tongue:

It’s just that he has …experience in this area and I don’t, which is fine. The past is the past, but I don’t want to be totally naive. I know he wouldn’t mind, but I would feel more comfortable if I was educated a little more before that night.

Nude photographs are NOT sinful. If you are tempted by them, do not look at them any more (and avoid them in the future). But there is nothing inherently wrong with a nude photograph.

Really? Does the Church say something on this issue?

I still wouldn’t feel comfortable looking at another man’s junk for educational purposes, but I would like to know what the Church thinks?

The Church does not view nudity as always sinful. Consider the Sistine Chapel. The Church does condemn pornography, which is not the same thing as a nude photograph. The ban is due to the distortion of sexual faculties, again not an issue in a nude photograph (necessarily).

I am not talking about sexting or anything like that. But there is no reason to believe that looking at a nude human in a textbook is sinful when one considers Catholic sexual theology. The only thing that would make it sinful is if it places you in the near occasion of sin.

I have nothing to add to your questions and the replies, but let me wish you best wishes and congratulations on your upcoming marriage, and may God bless both you and your future husband in many ways. I wish you Faith, Hope, and of course, Love.

1 Corinthians 13

God bless,

I see. But the Sistine Chapel’s paintings are not photos but rather depictions of humans, not actual images of naked people…I understand what you are saying but where is the line between a nude photo and porn?

Also I don’t think that a near occasion of sin is actually a sin though, right?

That’s sweet! Thanks so much!

God Bless you too! :slight_smile:

Pornography, as defined by the Church, is real or simulated sexual activity. That is not the same thing as a nude photograph, although of course you can have pornographic photographs.

Also I don’t think that a near occasion of sin is actually a sin though, right?

If you are placing yourself in a situation you know can easily lead you to sin, it can be.

Thanks for your input!

God Bless :slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit