Teenager and trying to understand Marriage, Sex etc

So over the past few days I’ve been doing research into the Catholic view of Sex, Marriage, what couples can do during marriage, what is NFP etc. I have been researching this as to prepare myself and understand as I go into a period of having relationships and eventual marriage, making sure I do not sin. I have been though a bit worried that through this I may of sinned. I have been keeping a clear mind and making sure I do not get aroused or that by this but being an adolescent, having these sexual topics I get aroused even when I don’t want to. I wouldn’t be sinning would I? I believe I haven’t as I am doing this research to guarantee I am living in accordance with catholic law and preparing myself for the wonders of marriage in the future.

It looks like you are a Catholic, which is great. Congratulations on learning more about the faith. Recommendations to you would probably depend on how old you are – one would recommend different things to a 14 year old than a 19 year old, for example.
Bearing that in mind, I would suggest waiting to study sex and marriage until you are closer to getting married. You might want to focus on more general topics, of which there are many.
Have you read Peter Kreeft? He has many books on fascinating topics. Here’s his Amazon page.

To look into the topic of sex and marriage, I would suggest an age appropriate book like Colleen Kelly Mast’s Love and Life: A Christian Sexuality Guide for Teens.

Another good resource is the Catechism, and there are versions for teens (it’s pretty heavy going.) It would be hard to be aroused reading the Catechism’s dignified prose.
I don’t think you have sinned, but I would stop at this point and stick to less explicit material. You don’t need to know now what you will once you’re engaged, and it’s not rocket science. Just don’t do or think anything regarding the opposite sex that you wouldn’t do or think about your brother or sister.

I hope that is helpful.
God bless.


Thank you for your response! :slight_smile: I’m a practicing Catholic who takes my religion very seriously. Being 16 years old I’ve been adjusted to explicit material but never act upon it. I have went in to some things explicitly since there were main questions I did have. I used the catechism for a lot about what Catholics can and can’t do during marriage. But otherwise it’s been fairly general. I will try and purchase one of those books since they look like a good read!

God Bless!
Enjoy your day/night.

The sinfulness of an act is determined by its nature and your intent. Since you were trying to answer questions through study I would tend to say that it was not sinful in of itself. Now if you know that you are likely to get aroused then it can be imprudent to continue studying certain materials. Constantly putting yourself in a situation where you know you are likely to become aroused is imprudent at best and can be sinful if done with the hope of it happening.

As Viki63 says I would tend toward more general questions at 16. I would focus more on the moral or theological meaning and purpose of marriage. Also look at life skills that can help, or at least reduce, strains in marriage (money management, household maintenance, cooking, etc). Unless you are planning on marrying young, some of the more “in depth” study bears little advantage. Don’t let it become an obsession. Remember that mankind lived eons without being able to look up the how’s and whats. God designed it so you just kinda figure it out. Ideally you and a future spouse will be figuring it out together.

So I gather that you are not married or engaged, and not thinking of marrying soon. You should not delve into this topic. Instead learn the moral teachings of the Church which apply to your own life, in every area of human endeavor, not just sexuality.

Always consider how Jesus and Mary would want to you speak and act. Never do anything that you would be ashamed to admit to both of them.

{5:1} Therefore, as most beloved sons, be imitators of God.
{5:2} And walk in love, just as Christ also loved us and delivered himself for us, as an oblation and a sacrifice to God, with a fragrance of sweetness.
{5:3} But let not any kind of fornication, or impurity, or rapacity so much as be named among you, just as is worthy of the saints,
{5:4} nor any indecent, or foolish, or abusive talk, for this is without purpose; but instead, give thanks.

We don’t run into burning houses unless we have to. Even then we should take proper precautions. There can be some sin in a passion rising (a desire that is felt in a bodily change, like anger or lust or fear), but if you are earnestly trying to prevent it and it continues then there is no sin - but get out of the burning house before your will gives up and you do something bad! Why walk close to the edge of a cliff when you can walk a hundred feet away and still get to where you need to go?

You need to know a bit about these things, but you are probably already well enough off.

Here’s the basic scoop: Chin up, dating. Chin down, marriage. Any attempt to “use our bodies” in marriage needs to be headed towards ending in an act that is unitive (man and woman together, as man and woman complement each other) and procreative (able to make new life, if everything is working right and the circumstances are perfect).

That’s about all you need.

Thank you for the responses people! I guess there is a time and a place for everything and eventually the questions I still have will be answered in due time. I guess for me, I’ve always had a tendency to want questions answered as soon as possible to make sure I’m a few steps ahead. Although, this is a different sort of idea. So maybe patience is the key here.

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