[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:1, topic:218343"]
Hi, I've been wondering from some time now what exactly the church teaches about sex. I'm not just talking about a lecture from JPII or a saint, I'm talking about an infallibe teaching from the church. I've been getting mixed messages from all kinds of people and it's caused me alot of anxiety because I want to get married someday. I have a few questions, hopefully I won't sound stupid. All the below questions relate to married couples.
1) What exactly is Natural Family Planning? does that mean couples can have sex without the intent of having a child as long as there's a good reason to not have a child?
Being open to children is part of the vocation of marriage. NFP is an alternative to complete abstinence (not an alternative to artificial birth control) that a couple can use if they are in a type of circumstance in which having a baby would be unwise for the time being. It is a means of understanding and observing the female reproductive system, and knowing when a woman is most likely and least likely to conceive.
2) Is it a sin for the couple to enjoy the bodily sexual pleasures that come with intercourse?
Of course not. God created it the way it is. In it's proper place (marriage) it is the physical statement of the marriage vows. Sexual desire for one's spouse is not a sin. But lust, however, is a sin, married or not. There's an important difference between good sexual desire, and lust (use). West clarifies it very well.
3) is the missionary position the only acceptable sexual position?
Believe it or not, West talks about that too.
4) what is the church teachings on foreplay and making out/etc. within marriage? You'd get a better understand by doing some reading for yourself.
The Church's teachings on sex go hand-in-hand with the teachings on marriage. If you haven't yet, read the relevant sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is available on the Vatican website (free), if you can't buy a copy.
As someone has also pointed out, John Paul II produced about 75% of the Church's definitive writings on marriage and sex. (That doesn't mean that the teachings did not exist before him, but he explicated them most clearly, and put the most effort into doing so, if that makes sense). You should definitely read up on Theology of the Body (the name for his body of teaching on sex and marriage). The Pope's own speeches are in a large volume called "Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body."
Christopher West has written very good books on Theology of the Body, such as "Theology of the Body for Beginners" and "The Good News about Sex and Marriage." My fiance and I have read both, I recommend them from experience.
Trust me, get Christopher West's books. You can get them pretty inexpensively online. They are totally worth the read!