Mutual Masturbation or Sex-less marriage?


#1

I am a married Catholic man with 2 children (5.5 and 3.5 years old) and we do not want another pregnancy. I am confused as to how to go about the following situation.

As true Catholics, me and my wife have never used condoms or any artificial contraceptives and do not intend to do so in the future. My wife has irregular periods, and it is next to impossible to predict her fertility, as her external signs do not correspond to what happens internally her body. (that’s how we had our second son). For the last 4 years, we did not have sex, instead mutually masturbated till climax without any penetration. Natural preference of mine is normal sex and come what may the end results. My wife is scared of end-results, and we converged on mutual masturbation to keep our intimacy alive. To make matters worse, possibly due to lack of sex, I reach climax prematurely, 10 years into our marriage.
Here are my questions…
[LIST=1]
*]Is mutually masturbating as mentioned above, a sin within the context of marriage? If so, mortal or venial?
*]What is the solution, if it is a sin? Should we follow complete abstinence, then till when? When she reaches menopause a decade later? What will be the impact of a sexless marriage? We do do love each other. What is the solution? Please help.
[/LIST]


#2

Your wife has health problems. PLEASE get it addressed ASAP. For her outward signs of fertility to not reflect what is happening internally is a serious health problem. We are not allowed to offer health advice on CAF so I can go no further than saying, please get help for her health condition!

To answer your question most simply. Mutual masturbation IS contraception. That is the purpose of it. You seek orgasm in a way that frustrates the natural marital act. That is the definition of contraception.

To answer it in a more complicated way: Objectively, contraception is a mortal sin. Whether you and your wife are subjectively in a state of mortal sin is not for anyone, especially random people on the internet, to decide. For you to be in a state of mortal sin it must be grave matter (it is,) you must know that it was grave matter (I am guessing you didn’t know it was contraception and that is the reason for your post,) and you must do the act with full consent of the will. (I can’t begin to guess, nor am I allowed, by God, to discern your will.) Go to confession to a priest who knows that contraception is a mortal sin and you will be able to rectify your situation.

Now as a wife I feel I must address your troubles. A woman who fears pregnancy is a woman in great need of compassion and understanding. I know that right now it might seem like a good thing to “make each other feel good.” But I can promise you that it is a short-lived high that will damage your intimacy more and more. Masturbation is very empty, especially for a woman. Our bodies are designed to be filled. Both men and women release a hormone called oxytocine during orgasm. It is called the “bonding hormone.” It is also released during childbirth and breast-feeding.

To release this hormone without the marital act is what is leading to your compounding problems. Releasing a hormone while not really “bonded” breaks the connection. You are in reality bonding only with yourself because it is only about “feeling good” rather than an actual gift of yourself. Mutual masturbation uses the other person as a means to an end. The marital act is a gift of self.

Also, you never said what form of charting you use to ascertain her fertility. Perhaps you are just not well enough instructed in a method of NFP? I have “irregular cycles” too. All that means is that they are just not average. Mine range from 25-40 days. I have never had trouble predicting my fertility. By using a cross-check of basal body temperature, cervix checks, and observation of cervical mucous, I can predict my ovulation quite clearly and predict my period to the day it will start. Please, please get help for your wife. My health is very bad and my cycles are a clear window to my health troubles. In fact her fear of pregnancy might even be related to the hormonal troubles that are causing her cycles to be so unpredictable. If she has ever been put on the Pill for her cycle troubles she can still have some long-term negative hormonal effects. (But again, we cannot offer any medical advice here on CAF. Please seek out a medical practitioner familiar with charting fertility.)

So the short answer (oops too late) of the options presented, I choose C. “None of the above.” Fix the moral troubles, fix the health troubles and your life will be infinitely better. Please feel free to PM me if I can be of any help.

God bless you and you lovely family. You will be in my prayers. :signofcross:


#3

Yes, it is.

It is a sin agaisnt the sixth commandment-- making it grave matter (a mortal sin).

The solution is to discontinue doing this act.

If you have a grave reason to avoid pregnancy, then complete abstinence may be your best choice. Prayer and devotion to each other can see you through this as it has for so many couples through the ages.

But, you should also review your options for conservatively using natural family planning if your reasons are not life and death. You say she is “irregular” and her signs make it difficult. There are several different methods of NFP, including the Marquette Model that uses both mucus observation and a fertility monitor. Perhaps a different method is all you need to be confident and share intimacy at least in the post ovulatory period of the cycle.

I suggest you look into all the methods-- Sympto-Thermal; Billings; Creighton; Marquette-- as well as contacting the Pope Paul VI institute (doctors who specialize in fertility issues) and perhaps they can pinpoint what is causing your wife’s cycle issues.


#4

Thank you all for the answers and advice provided. I will do likewise. Thanks a lot.


#5

dude…:blush:


#6

Depending upon your location this may be difficult, but the Pope Paul VI Institute is a fantastic center in Omaha, NE, developing individualized NFP programs. I would bet my house they have dealt with problems similar to yours, and can instruct you in an ironclad NFP method. Plus, I think they may have ways to reach you all over the country. Go confess what you have been doing, and try to go to this place or somewhere similar. Good luck!


#7

There are medications your wife can take that will regulate her periods. Yes, some of them are birth control pills, but when taken for a medical condition it’s perfectly “legal”. She could take the medication until everything gets sorted out, then she would stop taking it and NFP would be possible. At least talk to your priest and doctor about it - it’s either truly research what can be done to “fix” her or have a sexless marriage - the latter should be absolute worst case scenario.

Admin: if my post is “giving out medical advice” then simply delete my post, not lock the whole thread.


#8

I’ve thought about this as well, in the light of the fact that Jesus said,

“woe unto those who are with child and giving suck in those days…”

because I don’t want to put a possible future wife in that position of being recipient of a “woe”…


#9

My wife and I are in our 50s. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is taking a drug that makes NFP virtually impossible to use. If she were to get pregnant while on this drug, which she will use for several more years, the baby would like suffer birth defects and she stands a good chance of dying due to the pregnancy. We are “open to life” and always have been. But I think that the Church’s position on “vaginal only” intercourse in all situations is just silly. It has really caused me to question my faith. There is nothing “non-unitive” in engaging in other forms of sex. The Church claims to support natural law, but does not take into account “nature” and our natural ability to think and solve the issues presented here. Does the Church’s position really make any sense?


#10

[quote="todd1954, post:9, topic:172315"]
My wife and I are in our 50s. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is taking a drug that makes NFP virtually impossible to use. If she were to get pregnant while on this drug, which she will use for several more years, the baby would like suffer birth defects and she stands a good chance of dying due to the pregnancy. We are “open to life” and always have been. But I think that the Church’s position on “vaginal only” intercourse in all situations is just silly. It has really caused me to question my faith. There is nothing “non-unitive” in engaging in other forms of sex. The Church claims to support natural law, but does not take into account “nature” and our natural ability to think and solve the issues presented here. Does the Church’s position really make any sense?

[/quote]

The Church's position makes perfect sense if one understands God's purpose for the human person.
On what logical basis can you declare the Church's position "silly"?


#11

Because God gave us libido', and brains. One does not need to become celibate within a marriage under the circumstances that I have described. I re-iterate, the Church's position is silly.


#12

[quote="todd1954, post:11, topic:172315"]
Because God gave us libido', and brains. One does not need to become celibate within a marriage under the circumstances that I have described. I re-iterate, the Church's position is silly.

[/quote]

You can repeat yourself one hundred more times but the teaching will not suddenly become silly. What your response indicates is the that your conclusion (silly) is not based on rational thought.


#13

You can repeat yourself all you want, David, but your reply indicates that you are a non-thinking fool-aid drinker.


#14

Name calling is the last refuge of those who have no argument.


#15

[quote="todd1954, post:13, topic:172315"]
You can repeat yourself all you want, David, but your reply indicates that you are a non-thinking fool-aid drinker.

[/quote]

Todd, you are speaking from an emotional, not a logical or rational train of thought. In addition, your ideas are contrary to the infallible teachings of the Magisterium on these matters.

There is no debate to be had if you stoop so low as to use insults. Either desist and discuss rationally with us as to why you hold this position and why it is right, or expect to be ignored.


#16

I gave you a rationale-- I have a libido and a brain. Natural law does not require that I dispose of the brain and follow the rationale of some old pedophile protector, in order to bring a deformed child into the world while at the same time jeopardizing the mother's life. God made us sexual beings. There is nothing anti-life about using one's brain.


#17

[quote="todd1954, post:16, topic:172315"]
I gave you a rationale-- I have a libido and a brain. Natural law does not require that** I dispose of the brain** and follow the rationale of some** old pedophile protector,** in order to bring a deformed child into the world while at the same time jeopardizing the mother's life. God made us sexual beings. There is nothing anti-life about using one's brain.

[/quote]

The two things I bolded in your post are false, without proof.

The intellect actually supports morality, it does not contradict it. However, your closed mind prevents you from seeing the goodness of the Church's teaching, thus you lose the benefit of it.


#18

Your closed mine prevents you from thinking for yourself. According to you, there is only one right answer-- the old unmarried pedophile protector's. WHo is closed minded?


#19

[quote="todd1954, post:18, topic:172315"]
Your closed mine prevents you from thinking for yourself. According to you, there is only one right answer-- the old unmarried pedophile protector's. WHo is closed minded?

[/quote]

Discussion with you is useless.

I will now cease talking to you because you are derailing the thread topic.


#20

Great!


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