Sensitive Question about Sex in marriage


#1

I usually stay away from questions like these, so I apologize to begin with.

Within marriage, is it a mortal sin to engage in foreplay, without orgasm of either partner, and without intercourse if one partner is not fully capable of having intercourse at that time because of a pre-existing illness? In other words, if one spouse has a condition where they shouldn’t have intercourse for medical reasons, is it a mortal sin for them to engage in foreplay without orgasm? Weird question, I know, but I would appreciate an answer. Thanks.


#2

Anyone?


#3

Get a copy of “Good News About Sex and Marriage” by West.

You can do a search and find many wise lenghty answers, but, the bottom line answer is that sex in marriage needs to have the intent at the beginning for the act to be complete.


#4

In a word…Yes! EVERY marital act must be both unitive and procreative. If you do not have those elements present in the act then yes it would be sinful. I echo what kage_ar said, read the book by Christopher West.

To have only oral sex/stimulationj with or without orgasm would be sinful.


#5

I disagree.

Intercourse isn’t taking place. Orgasm isn’t taking place…

“Just because you bake cookies, doesn’t mean you have to eat them immediately.”
-A mother once said.


#6

It is silly to ask legalistic questions. Instead, I would echo Kage_ar said and add “Theology of the Body for Beginners” (Get it here!) It is a very easy read; most people can finish it in 3 or 4 hours in one sitting. It will help you to learn what you need to answer this an related questions.

The moral teachings of the Church are not just rules, you must understand the why behind the what. Knowing that, you will understand what you need.


#7

I’m with Mirror, here. It sounds like what the OP is describing is mutual masturbation. To seek sexual pleasure outside of intercourse is essentially what masturbation is. “Foreplay” is something that comes prior to the marital embrace, not as a substitute. :thumbsup:

Another strong recommendation for Mr. West.


#8

My husband and I have had this question. We practice NFP and wondered what was acceptable when we had to abstain form sexual intercourse due to not wanting a pregnancy to result. Christopher West does answer this exact question in his book, Good News about Sex and Marriage:

"what’s acceptable regarding marital intimacy during the time of abstinence?

Many of the principles that should guide a couple’s expressions of affection when they are abstaining during the fertile time have already been discussed. for example, couples shouldn’t be seeking the PLEASURE OF CLIMAX apart from the act of intercourse. but this doesn’t mean they should take a “hands off” approach either. Practicing NFP is a wonderful way for spouses to learn that intimate signs of affection don’t always need to lead to intercourse. Kissing, embracing, caressing-such signs of affection are all good in themselves and shouldn’t be withheld because a couple doesn’t intend to have sex."

He goes on to say…

“On the other hand, couples need to know their own limits(these vary greatly from couple to couple) and discuss them openly and honestly to avoid pushing the envelope toward climax.”

So as long as you don’t intend to climax I should think you are alright.

He also states that “unintended ejaculation involves no moral fault”

Hope that helps.


#9

In a word…Yes! EVERY marital act must be both unitive and procreative. If you do not have those elements present in the act then yes it would be sinful.

I’m with Mirror, here. It sounds like what the OP is describing is mutual masturbation. To seek sexual pleasure outside of intercourse is essentially what masturbation is. “Foreplay” is something that comes prior to the marital embrace, not as a substitute.

Another strong recommendation for Mr. West.

Don’t you “get” just how wonderful it feels to pull yourself up tight to your spouse? Mr. West ought to re-examine himself and write another book. The OP stated “without orgasm”…

Within marriage, is it a mortal sin to engage in foreplay, without orgasm of either partner, and without intercourse if one partner is not fully capable of having intercourse at that time because of a pre-existing illness?

What the OP is so carefully describing is what a husband & wife do when they’re snuggling under the covers! A caress, a touch, a fondle… an expression of love & appreciation!

Depending on the circumstance it may just stop there… or progress to something else. Does physical contact between spouses HAVE TO RESULT in intercourse?

What the other replies are saying is I can’t roll over, and give my girl a squeeze or a rub under the covers of our own bed, without having it being a mortal violation of "Step 2a of the CCC rules of Conduct…a prelude to the Marital Act… subchapter 347, paragraph 987, sentence 12… that dictates the initiation of any physical contact between man & wife that results in the sexual arousal of either party must result in the expulsion of seminal fluid by the husband within his wife’s vaginal canal…?

Go back to your twin beds on opposite ends of the house.


#10

I wish, I’d sleep so much better! I’d get the covers all to myself

But I don’t understand that either. So what you are saying is we can’t even cuddle without it being a sin? That’s popostrous!


#11

According to “MirrorMirror”

In a word…Yes! EVERY marital act must be both unitive and procreative.

This would include “snuggling”


#12

I think we got off (sorry) on a side track of what is “foreplay.”

I don’t know if I know what the “official definition” of it might be. We know it is meant to improve the marital act for the pleasure and comfort of the couple. But what is it? I don’t recall a precise definition. However, intimacy, without intercourse is allowed and encouraged.

I have seen posts citing the catechist that manual or oral stimulation of certain parts of the body are not allowed even during the marital act. So there seems to be some conflict between implications of TOB and the Catichist.

From West’s books, it is not suggested that touching (with hands, feet or mouth) of particular parts of the body is forbidden. It is warned that “going too far” would be a temptation doing certain acts.

Certainly, I could see that on a regular basis, “almost going there,” would cheapen the marital act when it is possible/desired. And that is what must be avoided.

If “excitement” is to be avoided, then I would have to not kiss my wife during chaste times. :frowning: I think it is up to the couple to determine what they hear God telling them. If it seems wrong to one, then it is. Chastity is about mutual respect. And this is something that must be maintained.


#13

When the phrase “Marital act” it is referring to the full act of sex.


#14

Personally I think people tend to get to legalistic some times on these issues. Thinks like if I “touch” how much time do I have to consummate the act just blow me a way.

I think kissing, embracing and caressing are fine (I’ve not seen any church teaching that goes against that) so long as you are not intended on ejaculation without intercourse. One could even argue it is foreplay for an upcoming act :wink: With this comes prudence, imo it would be wildly imprudent to engage in any form of things like oral stimulation (even non ejaculatory) without intending to finish the marital act very soon.


closed #15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.