Is oral sex a sin between a married couple as foreplay?

Let’s say a man and a woman are in a recognized sacramental marriage. Is oral sex morally allowed as foreplay before engaging in vaginal sex? I was told that a man and his wife could pretty much do anything (oral, anal, rubbing each other’s genitals, etc) so long as the act ended in vaginal intercourse and the man’s sperm went into the woman’s vagina.
Is this correct?

Oral sex is wrong.

People who engage in it will tell you it is okay.

Get ready for a long thread with no end as all the other ones have turned out.

Then why did Blessed John Paul II write that it is acceptable for a man to perform oral stimulation on his wife in order to better stimulate her to receive his seed? Oral sex is acceptable as long as it does not prevent the creative aspect of sexual intercourse from completion. I suggest you study Humanae Vitae.

In preparation for my marriage over 50 years ago (well before V II), the priest who was head of the Newman Center at the University I was attending, told my wife and I that any sexual act, when mutually agreed upon was licit as long as it ended with ejaculation in the vagina.
If either party objected to a sexual act for whatever reason, then it was not licit and therefore sinful.
I do believe that if one queried any priest today, one would get a similar answer.

Humanae Vitae was an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI regarding artificial birth control and marital relations.Maybe you are thinking about the “theology of the Body”.

Not having read the encyclical, I still feel compelled to ask. Wouldn’t this topic fall under marital relation?

When my spouse and i were married 23 years ago,our pastor said the same thing though i doubt many priests would understand the repercusions of that advice because they have never been married.Sex is not supposed to be entertaining or “fun”,but a sacred and bonding experience capable of transmitting that love into a new life. The act in itself is a bonding of flesh.

Oral sex puts ones mouth i n close proximity to an area that is often laden with germs.The genitalia are covered by hair which in itself can harbor bacteria.

I think many people were confused by “Theology of the body” and took it as a green light for “anything goes as long as you both want it and it feels good”.

Correct. Theology of the Body would be good to read for the OP, even Familiaris Consortio by the same Pope. I think Humanae Vitae is also appropriate to put things into perspective.

OP, any type of foreplay must be for the intent of engaging in and completing the Martial Act in a manner ordered to unification and procreation. Here is a good starting point:

The person who said that oral sex is wrong is correct insofar as sex means taking it to completion (purposeful male ejaculation as a direct result or the oral stimulation). However, as an act of foreplay that will end in natural intercourse, oral stimulation of the genitals in preparation for natural sex is licit.

Actually, though I am not entered into a marital relationship, I HAVE taken theology of the body for a year in order to learn more about how to praise God by respecting ones own body and using it only for wholesome marital relations. Oral sex, to my understanding, is NOT okay in any context. Sex in itself( from what Ive been told) is a wonderful experience, because it is the natural height of happiness between a man and a woman in a loving Christ-filled relationship. I see no reason for oral sex to ever be needed, much less sanctioned by God to be deemed appropriate. Additionally, what one response about the bacteria in on or around the genital area is true, and it can be harmful to one`s health should they choose to engage in oral sex ( for foreplay or otherwise). I cannot recommend any alternative for those who do it so that “the woman can be more prepared to receive his seed” but I can say that oral sex is not the answer.

This is correct, with the important distinction to be made between “sex” and “foreplay”. Bacteria or not, as an act of foreplay that will end in natural intercourse, oral stimulation of the genitals in preparation for natural sex is licit.

There is no distinction between sex and foreplay.The sexual union includes touching and caressing and such.To say oral foreplay is not oral sex is legalistic. Oral stimulation often leads to one partner acheiving orgasm before penetration , thus disrupting the unitive act. Many couples do engage in this because the woman is not able to acheive satisfaction during normal intercourse.

I do not know if the church is in the business to say this is “licit” or not. Just as in ABC many Catholics will do as they please.

I have been doing it wrong! :slight_smile:

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I have seen today news that oral sex may contribute to cancer.

In my opinion, absolutely not. Those on this thread please provide links to authoritative documents that say it is licit, or stop spreading error!!!

You never treat your spouse like some kind of animal. Each party must treat the other as a child of God at all times.

Any priest who ever said it was O.K. just didn’t know what he was talking about!!!


Honestly I doubt there is much difference between licking your wife’s shoulder (say), mouth (via french kissing) and genitals. All of them are intended to stimulate and pleasure your wife, and, if undertaken as an action of granting pleasure to the wife as a gift of love, and a symbol of the unique intimacy granted by the sacramental union of marriage, perfectly fine. As long as none of them bring about the conclusion of the act without the fulfillment of its procreative telos, visiting gifts of sexual pleasure upon your wife is permissible.

Alright. I’m getting two different answers here. Which is it?
In this particular thread, I’m not looking for people’s individual opinions. I’m looking for the official stance of the Church on this single issue.

Hi mjb:

I don’t know if this qualifies as an official stance, but there is a verse in the Bible that the Old Testament scholars say references this. I don’t know if you could get more authoritative than that! Anyway, it’s in the Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), chapter 7, verse 3:

“01. Turn, turn, O Shulammite, turn, turn, that we may look at you! Why would you look at the Shulammite as at the dance of the two companies?
02 How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the handiwork of an artist.
03 Your navel is a round bowl that should never lack for mixed wine. Your body is a heap of wheat encircled with lilies.
04 Your breasts are like twin fawns, the young of a gazelle.”

If you look at verse 3, it says “your navel is a round bowl that should never lack for mixed wine.” What does this mean, exactly? The KJV translates it thus: “Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor”. A belly-button filled with sweet wine? What’s up with that?

Apparently, the word for “vulva” was sometimes translated as “navel” so as not to offend readers; the Hebrew says, הפות שלך היא" מכתש מעוגל, לא חסר יין מעורבב" . Maybe some Hebrew readers on here could comment? Does this say navel, or vulva?

According to the wiki:

“Verse 7:3 (verse 7:2 in the King James Version of The Song of Solomon) of the Biblical Song of Songs may contain a veiled reference to cunnilingus, although many translators render the key term “navel.” The King James version renders the line, “Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor”. (KJV) An alternate translation could read as follows: “Your vulva is a rounded crater, never lacking mixed wine”. ( הפות שלך היא מכתש מעוגל, לא חסר יין מעורבב) But the context, moving up from her sandals to her vulva to her belly to her breasts, however, makes the meaning of “vulva” (Heb. shor), as derived from an Aramaic word meaning “secret place”, all but conclusive. In many Christian and Jewish traditions the erotic intimacy between the bride and groom described in the Song of Songs is given spiritual significance.”

I don’t know if this helps, as I’ve seen people argue both sides of this question. But really if they want to start developing a position, this is probably the right place to start. Apparently the Old Testament scholars reasoned this out in the late 19th century; the wiki entry bases this argument on Brown, Francis; Driver, S. R., and Briggs, Charles A. Hebrew & English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1902; repr. 1978; p. 1057a. There is apparently an extensive discussion of this translation in Wilhelm Gesenius’ hebräisches und aramäisches Handwörterbuch über das Alte Testament.Göttingen: Springer-Verlag, 1915; repr. 1962; p. 863a.


As far as I know the Church in an official document has not listed the things it considers permissible for a married couple to do with each other in the lead up to sex capable of leading to conception, should conception be possible.

The Church position is outlined in some detail here:

I think you can take the absence of any instruction to not allow the upper mucous membranes of the body to interact with the lower to indicate that the official position of the Church is that, in itself, any physical contact leading up to what it delicately calls the ‘unitive act’ is ok, provided both parties agree.

I think that the reason you get two answers is that some prefer their own sense of disgust at certain activities and their associated slogans ‘the bits don’t fit’ to the actual teaching of the Church. You’ll find many threads on CAF illustrating this, in embarrassing detail.

For myself, I find belief in a God who cares so deeply about the details of what people do in bed absolutely fascinating, even though I would refer to read more about the belief, and less about the detail of what God is claimed to spend time thinking about.


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