Oral Sex and Mortal Sin


#1

I read an article that states that oral sex can actually help you achieve and maintain pregnancy. If you practiced it in this context, would it still be a mortal sin? Is there any room for interpretation to the rules regarding oral sex?

Here is an excerpt from the article:
GENTLE PERSUASION by Douglas Fox
New Scientist; 02/09/2002, Vol. 173 Issue 2329, p32, 3p

Robillard’s studies make an excellent case for the medicinal virtues of
semen exposure. But it was Dekker, then at the Free University of
Amsterdam, who took the studies one eyebrow-raising step further when he
looked to see if the same goal could be achieved with oral sex — or more
specifically, fellatio.

It’s well known that our immune systems tolerate things better when they
enter the body via the mouth. This is why we’re not usually allergic to
our food even though it’s always genetically foreign, and why girls with
nickel braces on their teeth are less likely to develop nickel allergies
after their ears are pierced than girls without these braces.

Sure enough, when Dekker compared 41 pregnant women with pre-eclampsia
and 44 without, he found that 82 per cent of those without pre-eclampsia
practised fellatio, compared with only 44 per cent of those with the
disorder. And in keeping with the “condom effect”, the protective effect
of oral sex was strongest if the woman actually swallowed the semen
rather than coughing it onto the pillow. True, it’s only one study, but
for some couples who can’t seem to carry a pregnancy to term, a little
fellatio can hardly do any harm, suggests Dekker. “I tell them, ‘semen
exposure’s good, and you could think of oral sex.’”


#2

Scientific studies don’t trump moral theology, so no it would still be a mortal sin.

All sexual acts must be in themselves open to procreation, as described in your article it would not be therefore it would not be licit.


#3

As far as I’m aware, oral can be permitted as a part of “foreplay” but the man must finish inside the woman. However, people who claim this are usually very attached to the act. I’d pray over it if you really think it can be permitted. I know that Steve Wood thinks its ok.

I can say that the idea of it disgusts me and that I can’t imagine how it does not violate the dignity of the one giving it.


#4

The title of this article may be “Gentle Persuasion”- but my reaction to it is anything but gentle. (I think it’s a bunch of ****!). Oral sex has NOTHING to do with achieving or maintaining pregnancy. By definition it makes pregnancy impossible- at least that time. Honestly, Douglas Fox should be ashamed of himself for associating his name with such bogus research. I checked out the website of this magazine. From what I can tell it looks credible, but I never found a contributor where it is specified that he has an academic Doctorate- and it doesn’t say anything about where any of them teach, if they teach at all. Usually, credible research journals will say things like this (as the research they do, and base their articles off of are usually affiliated with a school).


#5

The type of study cited does not show causality. It cannot demonstrate that certain sex practices reduce the incidence of pregnancy complications. It can only show association. But things can be associated for underlying, hidden reasons, which means that if that is the case here, it will be a total waste of the person’s time to try these practices to get the benefit supposed. What would be of benefit to them would be to change the underlying, hidden reason, assuming it is changeable.

I mean, for all I know it is certain ethnic groups that are more susceptible to certain complications and simultaneously also those ethnic groups dislike fellatio.


#6

[quote=the-3rd-parent]As far as I’m aware, oral can be permitted as a part of “foreplay” but the man must finish inside the woman. However, people who claim this are usually very attached to the act. I’d pray over it if you really think it can be permitted. I know that Steve Wood thinks its ok.

I can say that the idea of it disgusts me and that I can’t imagine how it does not violate the dignity of the one giving it.
[/quote]

The idea of whether it’s permissible as foreplay has been discussed on these forums before. One good point was that if all sexual acts were considered separate then of course it would not be permissible because by itself it is a non procreative sexual act. But if that was the case, then almost nothing that people do would be permissible, except for a very basic “man puts his appendage inside woman and ejaculates”. Obviously this is not the case. So oral sex as foreplay is part of the entire sexual act, if it finishes with proper intercourse then it is a part of a sexual act that’s between validly married people, procreative and unitive - hence permissible.

As for how it does not violate the dignity of the one giving it - it’s because it is voluntarily given out of love and a desire to please one’s spouse. It’s like, if a woman gets on her knees and scrubs the floor of her house, so that it will be clean and hence more hygenic for her family, then does that demean her? If someone was forced to do it as a slave, then scrubbing floors on their knees would be demeaning. But if it’s done out of love for their family, it’s not demeaning. (I know it’s a poor analogy, but hopefully it helps).

PS It’s not something I think I’d participate in anyway.


#7

If one were to assume that this study is accurate and that there is true causality, would it be permissible. BTW, I found a link to the full text of the article here: fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/c-men.html#

I originally found the article on a database at college while looking up stuff on pregnancy. I was just wondering if this study were correct, would it make OS morally permissable in the context of marriage to help achieve pregnancy. It is not like it is an artificial hormone treatment. Nobody has to collect samples of anything else. Of course, the wife would have to be willing to do it.

Scientific studies don’t trump moral theology, so no it would still be a mortal sin.

For example, people have said the use of artificial birth control is acceptable if it is used for medicinal purposes only. Someone taking birth control pills for severe endometriosis would still be committing mortal sin? It seems as if there is a contradiction somewhere. Can someone help me understand?


#8

As far as I know, using ABC (artificial birth control) would only be okay if you didn’t have sex while the ABC was still in effect. So yes, you should be able to use them for medicinal purposes. It’s like, when is it okay for a man to wear a condom? Only while he’s not having sex. Not sure what he would use it for though… would it keep him warm?

However, oral sex is in itself a sexual act. It’s not the same as taking ABC. It doesn’t matter what end you’re trying to achieve, it is the means which are wrong. So even if the study is correct, it wouldn’t be morally permissible. If it is used as foreplay for a licit sexual act then it is okay, as discussed above. But by itself, it is not okay for any end (except maybe saving your life, if you were forced to do it at gun point, but of course that is an extreme case and hopefully not very common).


#9

I am not trying to compare apples and oranges but I am having a difficult time understanding why some procedures are considered OK while others are not. Tons of Catholics allow their children to be injected with vaccines that are made from the cells of aborted fetuses. Why is this OK but OS in order to help achieve/maintain pregnancy is not? I am not promoting OS per se nor am I advocating it. I am just trying to understand how the church incorporates medical knowledge in determining mortal sin. If the emphasis on the marital union is procreation and a natural way of encouraging/aiding procreation is found, then why is it not morally permissable. The couple is open to life, the OS is unitive, and they are in no way using it as a means of contraception.

As far as I know, using ABC (artificial birth control) would only be okay if you didn’t have sex while the ABC was still in effect.

A husband and wife could not participate in the marital act if she is suffering from severe endometriosis because she was prescribed BC pills? They would have to abstain indefinitely? I guess they probably shouldn’t have gotten married then. What if this didn’t become apparent until after she got married? Would this render the marriage invalid?


#10

Just because tons of Catholics do something doesn’t make it okay… tons of Catholics use ABC too. However, not necessarily saying that them having their children vaccinated is wrong, just pointing out the principle of the thing.

I’m not entirely sure about the vaccinations. Even if it was wrong, parents who didn’t know what it was made from (and I think that’s most of them) wouldn’t be sinning (like using asbestos in the days before it was discovered to be cancerous, of course it’s not your fault since how are you to know).

But I think that maybe using the vaccines is okay since it may be only remote material cooperation with the sin (ie, using the vaccines which someone else made and from which someone else again killed the baby, removes you a long distance from the sin of abortion - using the vaccine does not make you responsible for the death of the baby). Like I say, I’m not sure, maybe someone else can clarify.

The church doesn’t need medical knowledge in this case to determine if it is a sin. It is very simple. Oral sex by itself is a sexual act which is not procreative, like I said in my last post. They may not be using it as a means of contraception but it still is a means of contraception - like if a couple had sex with a condom on, not as contraception but to protect from AIDS (or even, if it was just once to see what it feels like), it would still be contraception and still be wrong. Or a man masturbating because he heard that it helps to prevent prostate cancer, still wrong. A sexual act must be procreative. Helping to procreate in a later sexual act (intercourse), doesnt make this first sexual act (OS) procreative.

If a natural means of aiding conception was found, and this natural means was not sinful, then of course it would be okay.
But we can’t do evil so that good may come out of it. In this case you need to consider the issue of what the couple is actually doing (the means), separate from their intent and the results of that act. When something is objectively a grave matter, such as OS, then it is still wrong whether you’re doing it just for fun, or for good reasons.


#11

[quote=gogogirl]I am not trying to compare apples and oranges but I am having a difficult time understanding why some procedures are considered OK while others are not. Tons of Catholics allow their children to be injected with vaccines that are made from the cells of aborted fetuses. Why is this OK but OS in order to help achieve/maintain pregnancy is not? I am not promoting OS per se nor am I advocating it. I am just trying to understand how the church incorporates medical knowledge in determining mortal sin. If the emphasis on the marital union is procreation and a natural way of encouraging/aiding procreation is found, then why is it not morally permissable. The couple is open to life, the OS is unitive, and they are in no way using it as a means of contraception.

[/quote]

OS is immoral because by its very nature is contraceptive. One can behave in a contraceptive manner even while pregnant. The only reason it does not have the contraceptive effect is because there is a current pregnancy. The concern of women being allergic to semen has a lot more to do with regular condom use. That would be a much more interesting study. Do women with regular condom use suffer a higher incidence of preclampsia due to semen allergy? :hmmm: Doubt that one will be researched. Oh no we might find that contraception really is bad for us! God forbid!

OS cannot be used to maintain a pregnancy. We cannot use immoral means to promote life. The “natural way” referenced here is in fact quite unnatural. A similar arguement is used promoting homosexual acts. Since the puzzle pieces can be made to fit together in an immoral manner some hold that it is therefore “natural.” My 1 year old son could insert a pencil up his nose quite easily. That does not mean it belongs there, even if he thought it was “beneficial.”

A husband and wife could not participate in the marital act if she is suffering from severe endometriosis because she was prescribed BC pills? They would have to abstain indefinitely? I guess they probably shouldn’t have gotten married then. What if this didn’t become apparent until after she got married? Would this render the marriage invalid?

Some medical practitioners believe that BC pills help endometriosis. But since birth control pills cause abortion, abstinence while on them is the only moral answer. A woman on BC for endometriosis is not on them forever so the abstinence is temporary. Usually a married woman with the condition is treated for a time with BC pills then advised to try to seek pregnancy.


#12

[quote=gogogirl]A husband and wife could not participate in the marital act if she is suffering from severe endometriosis because she was prescribed BC pills? They would have to abstain indefinitely? I guess they probably shouldn’t have gotten married then. What if this didn’t become apparent until after she got married? Would this render the marriage invalid?
[/quote]

Pax tecum!

Actually, Jason Evert said in one of his talks that he spoke with a ginacologist(sp?) about this subject. The doctor told him that there are so many more hormone drugs out there that can do the same thing as ABC (the medicinal purposes, that is, not as a contraceptive), and BETTER, that no woman really needs to be on the pill for medical reasons–there are many other drugs she can take. So no, the couple would not have to abstain indefinitely–the woman could take another medication and not worry about being on ABC.

In Christ,
Rand


#13

[quote=LittleDeb]OS is immoral because by its very nature is contraceptive. One can behave in a contraceptive manner even while pregnant. The only reason it does not have the contraceptive effect is because there is a current pregnancy. The concern of women being allergic to semen has a lot more to do with regular condom use. That would be a much more interesting study. Do women with regular condom use suffer a higher incidence of preclampsia due to semen allergy? :hmmm: Doubt that one will be researched. Oh no we might find that contraception really is bad for us! God forbid!

[/quote]

The article I am referring to actually does talk about condom use and semen allergy. Here is what it says:

“What’s more, another study found that using condoms, which naturally prevent
women from coming into contact with semen, increases the risk of
pre-eclampsia.”


#14

[quote=gogogirl]The article I am referring to actually does talk about condom use and semen allergy. Here is what it says:
[/quote]

Cool!! So it seems the solution for these people is “stop using condoms,” NOT “start using oral sex!”

Thank you for providing that reference. I have been looking for more medical research about the dangers of condoms. I don’t really want to use this one because their “solution” of using OS seems really silly. This situation reminds me of the old joke:

Patient: “Doc, it really hurts when I move my arm like this. Do you have a cure?”

Doctor: “Don’t move your arm like that.”


#15

[quote=LittleDeb]Cool!! So it seems the solution for these people is “stop using condoms,” NOT “start using oral sex!”

Thank you for providing that reference. I have been looking for more medical research about the dangers of condoms. I don’t really want to use this one because their “solution” of using OS seems really silly.
[/quote]

I completely agree that it sounds silly. Like I said, I am not really promoting this. It just raised some questions for me about sexual intimacy within marriage and what is permissable. I had preeclampsia during one of my pregnancies and I think I would do just about anything to prevent it again. I ran across this article while doing some research and thougt it would be interesting to get other’s perspectives on it.


#16

[quote=Flopfoot]The idea of whether it’s permissible as foreplay has been discussed on these forums before. One good point was that if all sexual acts were considered separate then of course it would not be permissible because by itself it is a non procreative sexual act. But if that was the case, then almost nothing that people do would be permissible, except for a very basic “man puts his appendage inside woman and ejaculates”. Obviously this is not the case. So oral sex as foreplay is part of the entire sexual act, if it finishes with proper intercourse then it is a part of a sexual act that’s between validly married people, procreative and unitive - hence permissible.
[/quote]

It would seem to me, and I may be wrong, that it would depend on the purpose of the oral sex. Some people do it to technically keep their virginity (and you’re not a virgin if you have had oral sex). Others do it for birth control reasons (which is a violation on the Church’s teachings on using birth control outside of NFP). However, some couples just have a thing for oral sex. If they use it for foreplay or in addition to vaginal sex (oral sex one night, and vaginal the next or both on the same night) and it’s not being used as birth control, it shouldn’t be a violation on the Church’s teachings on sex and procreation. Otherwise, it would be a sin for a married couple to French kiss since no one ever got pregnant by French kissing alone.


#17

[quote=CrossoverManiac]It would seem to me, and I may be wrong, that it would depend on the purpose of the oral sex. Some people do it to technically keep their virginity (and you’re not a virgin if you have had oral sex). Others do it for birth control reasons (which is a violation on the Church’s teachings on using birth control outside of NFP). However, some couples just have a thing for oral sex. If they use it for foreplay or in addition to vaginal sex (oral sex one night, and vaginal the next or both on the same night) and it’s not being used as birth control, it shouldn’t be a violation on the Church’s teachings on sex and procreation. Otherwise, it would be a sin for a married couple to French kiss since no one ever got pregnant by French kissing alone.
[/quote]

This was my thinking too but nobody seems to agree with me here. Even if it is being used for mere pleasure between spouses, it seems that it should be permissible, especially if they go on to have vaginal sex within a short period of time. I have to wonder if some of the inability to find it permissable in any circumstance is due to the natural repulsion some people have towards OS.


#18

[quote=gogogirl]I have to wonder if some of the inability to find it permissable in any circumstance is due to the natural repulsion some people have towards OS.
[/quote]

I think it goes back the early church’s belief that all sex outside of procreation is a sin. Some church fathers even said if a married couple have sex they are sinning unless they do it for procreation only. In fact, the only birth control they would allow would be a reverse form of natural family planning where sponses would only have sex when the woman is the most fertle.


#19

[quote=gogogirl]This was my thinking too but nobody seems to agree with me here. Even if it is being used for mere pleasure between spouses, it seems that it should be permissible, especially if they go on to have vaginal sex within a short period of time. I have to wonder if some of the inability to find it permissable in any circumstance is due to the natural repulsion some people have towards OS.
[/quote]

You folks are confusing OS with foreplay. The actions might seem similar but have very different intentions and entirely different results.

Foreplay is about unity, OS is about domination. Foreplay is culmination. OS is empty promises. OS is degrading. Foreplay is still foreplay even when it occurs right after the act. (It is still before orgasm for her.)

Fellatio is immoral because that is not where semen belongs. Look back to my analogy of my son and a pencil up his nose. Just because he can put it there doesn’t mean it belongs there. Natural repulsion towards fellatio is due to it being an unnatural act. Foreplay doesn’t result in degrading the spouses. OS does.

Many spouses don’t even realize they are degrading or being degraded, but it is always clear in other areas of their marriage. The immorality of OS manifests itself in many ways. All of them bad.


#20

[quote=CrossoverManiac] I think it goes back the early church’s belief that all sex outside of procreation is a sin.
[/quote]

That is still true. All sex outside of procreation is a sin. Hence, contraception is intrisically evil. I think you are confusing sex for procreation vs. sex for lust. This subject has been addressed many times on this forum. Each and every marital act must be ordered towards procreation and unity. Whether it results in reproduction is entirely up to God’s design.

Some church fathers even said if a married couple have sex they are sinning unless they do it for procreation only. In fact, the only birth control they would allow would be a reverse form of natural family planning where sponses would only have sex when the woman is the most fertle.

Actually that is Old Testament, not Church fathers. Sex is sinful if it is removed from procreation and unity. If it is ordered towards procreation and unity it is not only not sinful, it is holy!

Please seek understanding of the word procreation. That might solve your confusion. Procreation means that it could result in conception not that it always will.


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