Is it morally just for a married couple to use vibrators?
I would say not.
As foreplay I see no issue. The answer is the same as whether or not it’s OK to use manual stimulation as foreplay. Except, possibly, that you might be supporting a distasteful business by buying one, I can see no issue.
I have read Catholic materials that make a compelling argument that the answer to this is “no.”
I have read others, who make as less compelling argument that the answer is “yes.”
Based on what I have read, I have come to believe that the answer is no.
I agree with this.
The use of a vibrator is a masturbatory act, not an act of mutual affection.
Why would it be intrinsically wrong as long as the man finishes the act inside his wife? Is it really different than a husband using, say, fingers to ‘help’ his wife?
It’s getting steamy here at CAF!!!
This kind of thread is nothing new. Usually, the activity that is discussed is, ahem, oral stimulation, but this is just a variation on the same theme.
What exactly is the specific reason for choosing mechanical assistance as opposed to the usual method’s for ensuring reasonable comfort and performance in the act?
I should state that my opinion above is just that; an opinion. Based on my understanding of catholic teaching and failing to see a difference between that and other forms of foreplay that most people do agree with. But, I could be wrong and I would love to hear what people think the difference is.
I can imagine a scenario where a woman might find it easier to get aroused for sexual intercourse with one. In such a situation I don’t see a problem. Thoughts?
This is kind of how I lean, though I think in many cases it could be imprudent to use one, even if not “technically” morally questionable.
I don’t want to get into too many of the specifics, but I think about conditioned responses. We’ve used such “aids” in the past, and eventually got used to “relying” on them, and I don’t think that’s a good approach in marriage. It’s more work, but I think ultimately better if husband and wife figure out how to be mutually satisfied without relying on such marital aids.
(I don’t think the same applies to, say, lubricants or massage oil, because those facilitate normal relations and touching, rather than acting as a substitute for those.)
Within the context of intercourse, yes. Sometimes women require additional build up. It would seem licit to use a vibrator in accompaniment to the man’s actions in order to aid the woman. The goal, however, should be simultaneous climax. I don’t think anyone need beat himself/herself up if that’s not achieved. It’s difficult enough. But that should be the goal.
Note, I’ve only written so far in regards to accompanying the joined action of the man and woman. Foreplay is a separate question. I do not think it is an issue as foreplay, either, so long as the intent is full union between the couple. But these two points should be addressed separately.
As to what the Church teaches… well, it currently does not forbid either. It does not advise either to be grave matter. Whatever this or that moral theologian says, the Church doesn’t seem to have a position other than the full union of husband and wife and openness to children. So I think the expectation is that the couple consult their consciences.
Edit: I just wanted to add to what pensmama said about not developing an over reliance or dependency on such tools for the normal couple in healthy order, though there may be exceptional cases. But neither does there seem to be a need to exclude entirely. There may be… ahem days where things are more difficult than others, given how moods and other things vary, for both man and woman.
Each and every sexual marital act has to be 1)marital 2)Unitive 3)Procreative
Using something like that is not pro creative. It would be intrinsically evil to use such things. The best writing that I have read has been Ronald Conte on these sorts of topics. He is repetitive but I don’t blame him since we live in a time where sexual immorality is running rampant.
Here is a chapter from his book that explaines moral acts in general and acts such as these.
Thank you for the link. I will read this in its entirety, though I know Ronald Context’s opinions are not backed by some of the deacons and priests who participate in this forum, not by the apologists who work for Catholic Answers. Whereas many interpret “each and every marital act” as referring to each and every encounter as a whole, Mr. Conte (and I’m sure others) interprets it as applying to each and every action that occurs within a single encounter. And also, the use of a vibrator, not even as foreplay, but as an accompaniment to the joined union of a couple, at least under some circumstances, would itself be directed towards the unity of the couple and an assisting cause of union which may be lacking (at least under some circumstances) absent the additional stimulation. And if the use of a vibrator in such circumstances is not licit, then neither could be any use of hands in foreplay or at any other time even if concurrent with actual intercourse. The only permissible sexual contact with the genitalia would have to be with the other spouse’s genitalia. And that is not conducive to a marriage in which one spouse is not lacking. And also extremely important to note, neither does such aid in any respect frustrate the openness to children required by the encounter.
There is no ban on Catholic marital use of vibrators, oral stim, or anything else. Nor is there a Catholic requirement for “mutual climax”.
As others have said, marital sex should be unitive and procreative. But let’s explore those topics.
1: Unitive. Nothing much more unitive than the oxytocin (that’s the cuddle-hormone) released during orgasm. There are many women who cannot, or can only rarely, orgasm through intercourse alone. I can think of few things LESS unitive than a life of marital sex where only the husband is able to achieve orgasm. Talk about a lack of CHARITY! (more on that later).
- Procreative. The sex has to be open to procreation. However, just like there is no Catholic ban on the use off marital aids or oral/digital stimulation, I don’t believe there is a written Catholic RULE that each and every sexual ending must end with the husband finishing inside his wife. If that were the RULE, then many older men who are routinely unable to achieve orgasm wouldn’t be able to have relations with their wife.
Let’s talk about two situations:
Married Catholic couple is on 2nd honeymoon, finally away from kids/work/parents/stress. They are not only open to procreation, but they actively WANT more children. They have relations three times in one day, but ONE of those times hubby did not finish inside his wife.
Did they sin? They are obviously open to procreation. I would suggest they did not sin.
Take another situation: A married Catholic couple does NOT want more children and they time their relations around the woman’s cycle with the specific intent to avoid becoming pregnant. Other than her fertile periods they have an active sexual life.
Did they sin? They are taking active steps to avoid procreation, seems to me that is more against the “open to procreation” rule than the former situation. (Although I would suggest that they, too, did not sin).
That covers the unitive and procreative aspects, however that is not all that is required in marital relations. Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” is a wonderful read on the importance of Catholic sex, and adds the requirement of CONTINENCE to the requirements of unitive and procreative sex.
In “Continence protects the dignity of the conjugal acts “ (ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/jp2tb123.htm), Pope JPII says that what we do with our spouses must always be done in light of continence. A part of the “more general virtue of temperance…Continence consists in the capacity to dominate, control and direct drives of a sexual character (concupiscence of the flesh) and their consequences, in the psychosomatic subjectivity of man. Insofar as it is a constant disposition of the will, this capacity, merits being called a virtue.” ……”This virtue is seen to be the fundamental condition for the reciprocal language of the body to remain in the truth and for the couple to ‘defer to one another out of reverence for Christ,’.
“In this way also the essential character of conjugal chastity is manifested in its organic link with the power of love, which is poured out into the hearts of the married couple along with the consecration of the sacrament of marriage….Conjugal chastity…is manifested at first as the capacity to resist the concupiscence of the flesh. It later gradually reveals itself as a singular capacity to perceive, love and practice those meanings of the language of the body which remain altogether unknow to concupiscence itself…progressively enrich(ing) the marital dialogue of the couple, purifying it, deepening it, and at the same time simplifying it. Therefore….continence…does not impoverish affection manifestations, but rather makes them spiritually more intense and therefore enriches them.”
Viewed in this way, continence (ensuring your sexual desires are focused on your spouse) sanctifies a couple’s concupiscence.
In “Continence frees one from inner tension” (ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/jp2tb124.htm), Pope JPII explains that in the masculine/feminine relationships, within each of us there is “excitement” and “emotion”. Excitement is, of course, “above all corporeal and in this case sensual. On the other hand, even though aroused by the mutual reaction of masculinity and femininity, emotion refers above all to the person understood in the person’s integrality. We can say that this is an emotion caused by the person, in relation to the person’s masculinity or femininity.”
But here is the important party.
“Continence is not only – and not even principally – the ability to abstain, that is mastery over the multiple reactions that are interwoven in the mutual influence of masculinity and femininity. Such a role would be defined as negative….(but rather it is the positive) ability to direct the respective reactions, both as to their content and their character.”
“Excitement seeks above all to be expressed in the form of sensual and corporeal pleasure. That is, it tends toward the conjugal act which…includes the possibility of procreation. Emotion, on the other hand, caused by another human being as a person, even if in its emotive content it is conditioned by the femininity or masculinity of the “other”, does not per se tend toward he conjugal act.”
So continence is the controlling of your sexual character, specifically toward turning your sensuality toward your spouse, and is virtuitous. Add in another virtuitous act, that of charity (to your spouse), and keep in mind the dual requirements for the marital act to always be unitive and procreative, and I believe that much of what is commonly held as “taboo” (marital aids, oral stimulation, self manual-stimulation, post-coital stimulation) is perfectly fine….as long as it is done in light of continence.
So, go have crazy hot sex with your spouse. As long as what you are doing is unitive, open to procreation, and done with continence, then you’re good to go.
Maybe I’m old fashioned but both my wife and me would be too embarrassed to use anything other than what God endowed us with…although (ahem) some nice sexy underwear is a nice bonus from my point of view…but wouldn’t using devices be akin to watching porno movies together…(my wife would kill me…not that I would suggest it)…but like the saying goes…whatever turns you on I guess…just not me.
According to some on this forum you essentially need to come together as spouses wearing a burlap bag with small holes cut appropriately. The wife is expected to close her eyes, lay down, and think of England as the husband attempts to impregnate her. Foreplay of any kind is intrinsically evil.
I exaggerate, but that’s basically what some of these more “traditionalist” (read: Jansenist) views almost boil down to. :shrug:
That’s right, Mr Conte explains that all of our actions are, every single one, even in the marriage bed, have to be moral. Every act has to have the 3 fonts of morality as he explains.
The device would not have the pro-creative purpose of marital sexual intercourse , as all sexual acts as defined by the Popes have all three
Foreplay and showing affection (which is allowed) such as hugging,kissing, or touching areas of the body other than stimulating the genitals are not sexual acts per se. Using a device with your genitals does involve a sexual act.
Ronald Conte teaches heresy. He claims to know when the second coming of Christ will be. He published a catechism without an imprimatur (in direct violation of canon law). He quotes a lot of sources to make it seem legit but the ideas he espouses are definitely his own. Re: his sexual ethics, he uses the legitimate teaching that “every sexual act must be unitive and procreative” to justify a bizarre interpretation of the requirements of marital love, including his own opinion that all foreplay is immoral. I highly recommend finding a more authoritative source of sexual moral ethics.
Hehehe…love the sarcasm:rotfl: