Sexual Question


I know this has been talked about before, but I’m unsettled by this. I’m not married, I’m a single man, but I do hope for marriage some day.

I’ve read on these forums how it’s common for women not to experience orgasm during sex, and it can even be painful. This really disturbs me :(. If I have a future wife, I want to be able please her, I want to be unselfish in that way. I would be disconcerted if she didn’t have the same experience as me. I would feel bad about that, even guilty…that would not seem like a unitive act to me.

Why didn’t God make us where we both orgasm during sex?

It disturbs me even more how I’ve read of women bringing a vibrator into the equation. That would certainly make me feel incompetent. That would also make me feel bad in regards to God. Thinking of Him looking down on us and my wife using a vibrator, it seems different from what He intended for sex, artificial. There weren’t vibrators when he created man and woman.

To be more specific in my questions…
*]Do most women not experience orgasm during sex? Is it painful to have sex and not experience orgasm?
*]What do you think, how do you feel about vibrators being used?
*]Has anyone received counsel from a priest on this subject?
*]If you’ve had struggles or conflict, how did you overcome them? Are you at peace with it?

I know this is a personal issue, but I appreciate any input, regardless of what your views are. I’m not experienced with sex, and I’m curious to know some men and women’s thoughts on this subject.

Thanks for reading


I don’t think what your describing is common. I’ve heard of intercourse being painful for women, but intercourse is not required for having an orgasm. I also don’t know where the Church’s stands on orgasm outside of intercourse for married couples.

Anyway, you don’t need to cross that bridge until you come to it.


They often don’t experience orgasm with the act itself but the foreplay can be very pleasurable.

Pain during sex is a rare treatable medical condition.


You can pleasure her in other ways besides intercourse. Manual and/or oral stimulation will get her to climax.


This is a very reliable guide:


Female climax can occur during foreplay, coitus, or afterward.

It is not common for a woman to have pain during intercourse. That usually is a sign of a medical problem or a sign that she was not adequately prepared for coitus by foreplay.

While some women are anorgasmic, most women are capable of orgasms. So all that remains is for the husband and wife to work together to find what brings her satisfaction, within the bounds of what is licit and loving. And even women that have a reason why they are unable to climax are often able to experience pleasure and love in marital relations, without the peak and relaxation of a climax.

Every couple is different. A marital sexual relationship is like a fine wine: it gets better with time (and practice). :slight_smile:

So do not worry. And with regards to the vibrator thing, that might be an instance of putting the cart before the horse.


Thanks for linking this.

I very often share that link too, as well as refer back to it myself. It is very helpful.


I’ve read that it is of grave matter for a couple to deliberately cause an orgasm by any other means than sexual intercourse.


Only for the man. A woman can be given one any time before or after intercourse.


Well, I think “any time” is a tad too broad. That almost makes it out as if, let’s say a woman can’t have intercourse for some reason, such as recovery from labor, that it’s fine for the husband to stimulate her to orgasm with no other sex act occurring.

From what I understand, I think the idea is that orgasm should take place within the context of the marital act. So not, 2-3 hours before or after the act.


But only within the context of intercourse - not separate from that.


Thanks for the answers, I feel a little better about how it could be a good experience for both spouses. And I understand, part of this is me being patient. It’s ultimately up to God if I get married someday, not up to me. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to ask these “what if” questions if marriage isn’t in the picture.

I am still curious about the vibrator issue. Does anyone have thoughts on a vibrator being used? That’s the other thought that bugs me, that my wife would want to use a vibrator. Is it licit? If that is licit, I don’t see how that could happen and me not feel insufficient.



“It’s up to God” should not be understood that “I” have no influence on “my” life. If you are attracted to the idea of marriage, you need to act accordingly. Present yourself well. Be sociable in relevant circles, etc.


Thanks, I don’t understand it that way either. I realize I have influence in my life. I chose the word “ultimately” as part of “ultimately up to God” because my own willpower isn’t enough for me to get married. i.e., I didn’t will myself to exist, a husband doesn’t will his wife to exist – these are up to God.


That’s really solid advice.

There’s no way to really predict the future on these things, and over the long course of a marriage, a person’s drives and needs may vary, but in a solid marriage, the love does not. What we fear we will require this way may not prove to be what we actually do.

Don’t sweat it, in other words.


Bad Catholic here with experience. You first and foremost need to grow with the person, even though it’ll be easier for you, quality will vary based on you two learning eachother. It is possible for you not to as well fyi, though more rare. With the exception of women with sexual trauma it is not as hard for them as the comical media makes it sound. Learn her and learn biology and you will more often than not be fine. Even ones who do not climax generally enjoy it and want it, if it is their lot in life not to it really won’t matter. If you both only know eachother, work together and you won’t have any comparison issues.


Studies show there is a significant number of women who find it difficult to orgasm. Orgasms are actually psychological. You have to learn how to achieve them. In my human sexuality class I learned most women reached orgasm by the stimulation of the clitoris or the areola/nipple. Experiencing pain during sex is far less common and can usually be treated.


Right…you have significant influence.


Indeed. Although a bit of pain the very first time is pretty common for women, who may then be a bit sore for a week or two afterwards. This is nothing to worry about. A book we read in preparation for getting married recommended that women who feel sore after losing their virginity can treat it with over the counter creams designed for haemorrhoids (hemorrhoids for those of you who spell the US way). These are easy to obtain, contain local anaesthetic, are safe to use on sensitive tissues, and can enable honeymoon activities to continue with enthusiasm without having to wait for the torn hymen to be fully healed.

If it is anything worse than “well, it hurt a bit when it first went in, but nothing I can’t handle and it was definitely worth it” or if the soreness carries on for more than a couple of weeks, then it’s best to seek treatment sooner rather than later.


Not everyone agrees with Christopher West, but he has spent a lot of time studying Theology of the body. He writes:

Manual Stimulation Permitted; Wife May Climax, Husband May Not

“The acts by which spouses prepare each other for genital intercourse (foreplay)—so long as they are performed lovingly and not lustfully—are honorable and good. But stimulation of each other’s genitals to the point of climax apart from an act of normal intercourse is nothing other than mutual masturbation. There’s no gift of self, no marital communion taking place at all. Nor are such acts open to conception.

“An important point of clarification is needed. Since it’s the male orgasm that’s inherently linked with the possibility of new life, the husband must never intentionally ejaculate outside of his wife’s vagina (unintended ejaculation involves no moral fault). Since the female orgasm, however, isn’t necessarily linked to the possibility of conception, so long as it takes place within the overall context of an act of intercourse, it need not, in any absolute sense, be during actual penetration.

“Ideally, the wife’s orgasm would happen simultaneously with her husband’s. In fact, John Paul II, in his pre-papal reflections on the matter, exhorted husbands to learn how to control their own orgasms in order to bring their wives to climax with them. Doing so with altruistic motives, he said, was a husbandly virtue at the service of marital harmony. That being said, if the wife, despite their sincere efforts, was unable to climax during penetration, it may well be the loving thing for the husband to stimulate her to climax thereafter (if she so desired). In this case, such stimulation is not inherently masturbatory since it is within the context of a completed act of intercourse.” [Christopher West, **Good News About Sex and Marriage, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Servant Books, 2000), 90-91]

Oral Stimulation Permitted; Wife May Climax, Husband May Not

“There’s nothing in the Church’s vision of the body and sexual love that singles out the genitals as being objectively “unkissable” as part of a husband and wife’s intimate foreplay to intercourse. The term “oral sex,” however, most often refers to acts in which orgasm is sought and achieved apart from an act of intercourse. Indeed, many couples consider such behavior a desirable alternative to normal intercourse. And, yes, this is wrong, even for married couples—though the clarification made above regarding female orgasm is applicable here as well: Mutual climax (or at least climax during penetration) remains the ideal to strive for, but it’s not inherently wrong if the wife climaxes as a result of oral stimulation, so long as it’s within the context of a completed act of intercourse.” [Christopher West, **Good News About Sex and Marriage, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Servant Books, 2000), 92-93]

Nihil Obstat:
Rev. Gerard Beigel, S.T.D.
Censor Librorum:
Mr. Timothy J. McCarthy, J.C.L.
Vice Chancellor, Archdiocese of Denver

Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver
April 27, 2004

About the Author

Christopher West is a research fellow and faculty member of the Theology of the Body Institute. He is also one of the most sought after speakers in the Church today, having delivered more than 1000 public lectures on 4 continents, in 9 countries, and in over 150 American cities. His books – Good News About Sex & Marriage, Theology of the Body Explained, and Theology of the Body for Beginners – have become Catholic best sellers.

Christopher has also lectured on a number of prestigious faculties, offering graduate and undergraduate courses at St John Vianney Seminary in Denver, the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and Creighton University’s Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha. Hundreds of thousands have heard him on national radio programs and even more have seen him defending the faith on programs such as Scarborough Country, Fox and Friends, and At Large with Geraldo Rivera. Of all his titles, Christopher is most proud to call himself a devoted husband and father. He and his wife Wendy have four children and live in Lancaster County, PA.

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