What is the purpose of sex?


I cannot find whether the Catholic Church views the act of sex as just for procreation, or if it views it as the ultimate expression of love, and not just for procreation. Can someone clarify this for me, as I hold the opinion that human sexuality is just for procreation.


Just procreation.


Then sex during pregnancy or after menapause is sinful?


I would say both, 1 corinthians7:5 mentions to “not deprive each other”.


No. I think the usual forumulation is that the couple must be “open to the gift of life”. Artificial contraception is the big no-no.


ACTUALLY, it is both unitive and procreative. CCC 2369

Also, I highly suggest reading Theology of the Body, by JPII.


Alright! Both then.


The Church views the sexual act as the ultimate expression of love between husband and wife and must always be open for procreation. It is not one without the other.


Theology of the Body



So true. The Church recognises that the marital act is a Sacrament.


No, fortunately, the Church recognizes that sex has both procreative and unitive purposes.


I am not sure if they would classify it as a sacrement… but they would classify it as an important aspect of the sacrement of matrimony.



So true. The Church recognises that the marital act is a Sacrament.

Matrimony is the sacrament. Sex is the consummation of the sacrament, but it the Catholic Church does not consider it the 8th Sacrament.

The Catholic Church does teach that, in the proper form, sex is an expression of love. But to remove the procreative aspect of sex would cancel the “proper form” - it would be like changing the words to the concecration prayer - it nullifies it. Putting a condom on nullifies the expression of love.

I doubt that the Catholic Church teaches that sex is the ultimate expression of love. I think it teaches that laying down your life for another is the ultimate expression of love.


Sex is the Liturgy of the Body. The Marital bed is an altar of Sacrifice where the Husband offers his wife and the Wife offers his Husband to God. Sex is the prayer of the Body.

Only the Catholic Church has this view of sex.


Marriage and the Eucharist. MP3 download. This will answer your question.


I’d like to see the references you have to sex as Liturgy. Can you give me a link to a discussion of this specific concept with Liturgy?


I can’t, but it was from our Holy Father Pope John Paul II if I recall correctly. What is liturgy? Its worship. “The Word became flesh”, meaning, our bodies are meant to worship God. This is accomplished, when done in love, by the marital act. It gives glory to God indeed, and as He said, it was “very good”.


Perhaps my problem is I tend to see liturgy as something done publicly or as the Body of Christ, or something. I’m often confused by the word liturgy. For example, I would be likely to talk about the Church and HER liturgy, like it is something the Church does.

But, I see elements there, and you are right that a marital act gives glory to God. :hmmm:


The Liturgy of the Hours is private prayer…:slight_smile: All prayer is done in the context of the Body of Christ since we are all members…:slight_smile: God Bless


Peter Kreeft has a good answer for this,

Take a specific instance where different choices are both equally good. Take married sex. As long as you stay within God’s law—no adultery, no cruelty, no egotism, no unnatural acts, as, for example, contraception—anything goes. Use your imagination. Is there one and only one way God wants you to make love to your spouse? What a silly question! Yet making love to your spouse is a great good, and God’s will. He wants you to decide to be tender or wild, moving or still, loud or quiet, so that your spouse knows it’s you, not anyone else, not some book who’s deciding.


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