Why is sexuality pleasurable?


#1

If sexuality’s only function were procreation, then why did God make it so pleasurable? Couldn’t it be that pleasure is a function of sexuality too, regardless of the intention to procreate?
Who can honestly say that he/she never had any sexual activity whatsoever (masturbation included) before he/she got married - what about bachelors? I don’t think there are many people around. So why does our Church insists on forbidding every sexual activity that is not focused on procreation outside or inside marriage?

I’m not critisizing, I just seek ‘enlightenment’ on this issue.

Thank you in advance!


#2

[quote=Pious Redeemer]If sexuality’s only function were procreation, then why did God make it so pleasurable? Couldn’t it be that pleasure is a function of sexuality too, regardless of the intention to procreate?
Who can honestly say that he/she never had any sexual activity whatsoever (masturbation included) before he/she got married - what about bachelors? I don’t think there are many people around. So why does our Church insists on forbidding every sexual activity that is not focused on procreation outside or inside marriage?

I’m not critisizing, I just seek ‘enlightenment’ on this issue.

Thank you in advance!
[/quote]

Procreation is not the only end of sex. That is not Church teaching. The unity of the spouses is also an end and purpose of sex. These two ends are never to be separated. The pleasurable nature of sex could advance both of these two ends.


#3

Sounds like you have listened to the MSM’s take on the Catholic Church;) The Church has nothing against sexual pleasure within a valid marriage.God Bless


#4

God attached pleasure to the things that he wants us to do, things that are healthy for us to do. We find pleasure in eating, and sleeping, and in sexual relations. " Go forth and multiply and fill the face of the earth. " However, that does not mean that we should pervert these things. Just like we should not eat too much (gluttony) or sleep too much (sloth), we should only approach the pleasure of sex within a marriage union blessed by God and open to the Lord’s gift of children. The marital act is a gift from God and we should not abuse it (fornication). To do so is harmful to us, as is greed, sloth, etc.


#5

[quote=Pious Redeemer]If sexuality’s only function were procreation, then why did God make it so pleasurable? Couldn’t it be that pleasure is a function of sexuality too, regardless of the intention to procreate?
Who can honestly say that he/she never had any sexual activity whatsoever (masturbation included) before he/she got married - what about bachelors? I don’t think there are many people around. So why does our Church insists on forbidding every sexual activity that is not focused on procreation outside or inside marriage?

I’m not critisizing, I just seek ‘enlightenment’ on this issue.

Thank you in advance!
[/quote]

Sex is pleasurable for the same reason that eating is pleasurable. God designed food to taste good because it is essential to sustain life. If it didn’t taste good, there would be no incentive for His creatures to eat it. God made sex feel good because its primary purpose is procreation. We see this in the animal kingdom. Among humans, sex bonds husbands and wives and perpetuates the human race. God made us co-creators with Him. By His Own design, He can’t make new humans without our cooperation. If it didn’t feel good, there would be no incentive to engage in baby-making activity.

Have you read or studied John Paul II’s Theology of the Body? If you really want to know what the Church teaches about sex, I encourage you to do so.

Any use of our sexual faculties outside of marriage is sinful. Sex in humans was made for marriage and vice versa.

For $5, buy Contraception Why Not, CD or audiotape, by Dr. Janet Smith from One More Soul at omsoul.com/
Dr. Smith explains it well.

JMJ Jay


#6

Sounds like you have listened to the MSM’s take on the Catholic Church;) The Church has nothing against sexual pleasure within a valid marriage.God Bless

Which of course leaves us bachelors and those of us who remain hopelessy single out in the cold. Which includes the mentally handicapped(downs syndrome, tourettes etc) who often aren’t capable of a valid marriage, what is fair in their case?:hmmm:


#7

those who cannot get married, for whatever reason, are in precisely the same position as those who have chosen not to marry, or who are married but are prevented from having marital relations, for a time or permanently, for whatever reason: they cannot engage in genital activity, they cannot entertain sexual fantasies.

Just as a diabetic cannot eat sugar, the alcoholic cannot drink booze, the person with gall bladder disease cannot eat fat etc., the person for whom sexual activity could have harmful effects cannot have sex. The person whose spouse could have harmful effects cannot have sex, and the person who is single, for whatever reason, cannot have sex. Period.

One of life’s greatest goods and greatest pleasures, a real gift to those married persons who can enjoy it, but a gift denied to certain individuals for a time, or for their entire life. Along with a long lift of gifts, freely given by the Creator, or withheld, for His reasons, who is wiser than we are.
Sex is a gift, not a right; a pleasure, not a necessity.


#8

[quote=Lisa4Catholics]Sounds like you have listened to the MSM’s take on the Catholic Church;) The Church has nothing against sexual pleasure within a valid marriage.God Bless
[/quote]

I have never heard of ‘MSM’, perhaps because I live in Belgium? :smiley:


#9

[quote=puzzleannie]those who cannot get married, for whatever reason, are in precisely the same position as those who have chosen not to marry, or who are married but are prevented from having marital relations, for a time or permanently, for whatever reason: they cannot engage in genital activity, they cannot entertain sexual fantasies.

Just as a diabetic cannot eat sugar, the alcoholic cannot drink booze, the person with gall bladder disease cannot eat fat etc., the person for whom sexual activity could have harmful effects cannot have sex. The person whose spouse could have harmful effects cannot have sex, and the person who is single, for whatever reason, cannot have sex. Period.

One of life’s greatest goods and greatest pleasures, a real gift to those married persons who can enjoy it, but a gift denied to certain individuals for a time, or for their entire life. Along with a long lift of gifts, freely given by the Creator, or withheld, for His reasons, who is wiser than we are.
Sex is a gift, not a right; a pleasure, not a necessity.
[/quote]

But what about the so-called ‘wet dreams’? I apologise for this expression, but my English dictionary let me down on this one :o


#10

[quote=Pious Redeemer]If sexuality’s only function were procreation, then why did God make it so pleasurable? Couldn’t it be that pleasure is a function of sexuality too, regardless of the intention to procreate?
Who can honestly say that he/she never had any sexual activity whatsoever (masturbation included) before he/she got married - what about bachelors? I don’t think there are many people around. So why does our Church insists on forbidding every sexual activity that is not focused on procreation outside or inside marriage?

I’m not critisizing, I just seek ‘enlightenment’ on this issue.

Thank you in advance!
[/quote]

Just because something is pleasurable doesn’t make it right to do. For instance, an Army official said recently that he enjoyed shooting people…he took pleasure out of doing so. While it may give him pleasure to do so, it is still wrong to shoot other people.
This doesn’t mean that well meaning people do not fall to temptation and take pleasure in things that they know are wrong. It’s called sin. It serves to show us that we all have quite a long way to go to achieve the objective righteousness needed to see God face to face.


#11

[quote=4 marks]Just because something is pleasurable doesn’t make it right to do. For instance, an Army official said recently that he enjoyed shooting people…he took pleasure out of doing so. While it may give him pleasure to do so, it is still wrong to shoot other people.
[/quote]

[off topic]

  1. The officer in question was a Marine–a LtGen, I believe.
  2. He was talking about shooting the enemy in a war, which, in a just war, is not wrong.
    [/off topic]

#12

Benedictus: There is a HUGE difference between shooting someone for a just cause and taking pleasure from it. No one should ever take pleasure in the snuffing out of human life, that is a perversion of Just War. Joy in killing is a sign of extreme malice, and very dangerous for a soul.

Pious Redeemer: It’s my understanding that, in Catholic teaching, a married couple having sex and not taking pleasure in eachother is actually a sign of abuse of the marital act. Sex is for procreation AND for bringing together a couple. You lose one and you abandon the good in sex (though good can certainly still come from it). Sex that does not express and deepen the love and enjoyment between spouses is “broken” according to Catholic teaching, just as sex that disregards procreation is “broken”. Sex is the physical expression of love between married people, and children are the physical product of love, and love is a gift from God that brings us closer to Him. As for wetdreams, don’t fret over things you can’t prevent. Sin is in your actions, not what happens to you while you sleep. Perhaps they can be viewed as God’s “consolation prize” for bachelors (though I don’t find them to be very pleasurable myself) :stuck_out_tongue: .


#13

I like your response very much Ghosty. I guess you have figured out by now that I’m a (male) bachelor myself :smiley:

Please allow me to quote a phrase of yours here:

Sex is the physical expression of love between **married **people, and children are the physical product of love, and love is a gift from God that brings us closer to Him.

  • my bold

Doesn’t this apply to (some) unmarried couples too?


#14

[quote=Ghosty]Benedictus: There is a HUGE difference between shooting someone for a just cause and taking pleasure from it. No one should ever take pleasure in the snuffing out of human life, that is a perversion of Just War. Joy in killing is a sign of extreme malice, and very dangerous for a soul.
[/quote]

I was just resonding to the claim that shooting the enemy is wrong. I wasn’t defending taking pleasure in killing.


#15

I was just resonding to the claim that shooting the enemy is wrong. I wasn’t defending taking pleasure in killing.

Yeah, my fingers got ahead of my mind. My apologies.

Doesn’t this apply to (some) unmarried couples too?

'Fraid not, though there are conceivable reasons that a couple could be married in the eyes of God while not married in the eyes of the rest of humanity, I suppose. That’s hardly an excuse to not get a marriage publically validated, however. Sex is for married couples, marriage being the sanctified union of a man and a woman. While sex is still a symbol of love, it’s also a symbol of life-long unity, just as the child is a life-long symbol of life-long unity :wink:

It’s a recipe, not just a list of “good things”; you leave one part out and the whole thing is off.


#16

'Fraid not, though there are conceivable reasons that a couple could be married in the eyes of God while not married in the eyes of the rest of humanity, I suppose.

  • my bold

What do you mean by that exactly? I mean, if they are considered to be married in the eyes of God, why would a ‘human marriage’ be necessary in this case? If God thinks they are married, isn’t that enough? What could we, inferior (humans) compared to Him and His wisdom, attribute to His view?


#17

I want to preface everything I say with the disclaimer that I’m a layman and not a Canon Lawyer or theologian, and everything here represents my faulty understanding.

It goes into the nature of marriage as a Sacrament. Check out scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c3a7.htm 1625-1632 for the details on what a marriage is. Essentially a normative and licit marriage is one that is conducted at a Mass with the priest and congregation witnessing the Sacrament. The true element of the marriage, however, is the commitment of the two being married, and they confer the Sacrament on themselves with or without the proper witnessing. The same is true of any Sacrament, for instance a Priest can still prepare the Eucharist even if he’s been excommunicated, and a person taking such a Eucharist is still enjoys the benefit of the Sacrament (and the penalties for taking it unworthily).

Let’s say that, for some reason, a baptised couple in a mountain town wants to be married but the local priest has been bought off by their families who don’t want them to wed. They could theoretically still be married in God’s eyes if their vows are sincere, as they are responsible for bestowing the Sacrament. It would not be a normal marriage, and that comes with its own bag of issues (espescially if one of them later decides they don’t want to be married; they still would be in the eyes of God). It’s not a place I’D want to be stuck in, but I suppose it’s possible. The point is that there are rules for how marriage is supposed to be recognized by our religious society, and that’s different in different Rites, but the Sacrament is valid if it has the proper elements regardless of whether or not it was legally performed.

As you can probably see, it’s MUCH safer and easier to go with a recognized marriage than to try and skirt by on a “hidden sacrament”, for all concerned!


#18

If God thinks they are married, isn’t that enough? What could we, inferior (humans) compared to Him and His wisdom, attribute to His view?

Nothing, but here’s the rub: who knows God’s mind but God? The Church, as God’s instrument on Earth, can give as close to a “sure thing” stamp of approval on a marriage that two people can ever get. It’s as close to a direct “thumbs up” from God as you’re likely to see.

Here’s the real question: Without a validly recognized marriage, what’s your recourse if one spouse decides to leave and says the marriage never happened? What is the state of your soul if you agree with them and hook up with someone else, all the while there was indeed a marriage in God’s eyes? It’s not a place that most people would want to get stuck in, or even risk getting stuck in.


#19

In answer to the question posed in the title of this thread, as I used to tell my high school students: "Because if sex hurt, none of us would be here."
Now, as to all the questioning of the Church’s teaching on the proper and licit function of sex, again as I used to tell my high school students (who are, for all practical purposes, hormones with feet), stand at the foot of the cross and tell Jesus what a profoundly pleasurable experience you had on your date last night.
TheChurch is ridiculed for being “Puritan” about sex, but it’s our culture that has it wrong. Sex anywhere, anytime, with anybody of any sex for any reason except procreation. John uses Marsha and Marsha uses John, and for all the coimmitment involved, they might as well have masturbated.
Sure, it’s difficult to abstain, to wait, to remain chaste, but it is most certainly worth it.
Offer it up. You’re Catholic. Save somebody eles’s soul and your own in the process.
As far as sexual activity before marriage, didn’t your mom ever say,“If everybody else jumped off a cliff, would you?” or something similar.
And because our Lord knew we weren’t perfect, there’s always Confession, but only if we repent.


#20

[quote=Ghosty]I want to preface everything I say with the disclaimer that I’m a layman and not a Canon Lawyer or theologian, and everything here represents my faulty understanding.
[/quote]

I’m not a Canon Lawyer or theologian either, but I don’t think a valid marraige can exist without a Priest or Deacon. I followed your link to the Catechism:

**[


](“javascript:openWindow(‘cr/1631.htm’);”)1631%between% This is the reason why the Church normally requires that the faithful contract marriage according to the ecclesiastical form. Several reasons converge to explain this requirement:134

***- Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act. It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church; ***

  • Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order, and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children;

- Since marriage is a state of life in the Church, certainty about it is necessary (hence the obligation to have witnesses); - The public character of the consent protects the “I do” once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it.

**

The bold, italicised sentences make me think you may be in error.

I may be wrong, but marraige is a sacrement and can only be performed by a Priest or Deacon, marraige is a sacrement. I liken your thoughts about them being married in the eyes of God to those who prescribe to the fact that if you are really sorry for your sins, and pray for forgiveness, your sins are forgiven and you don’t need to go to a Priest, well, they aren’t forgiven until you go to confession.

Give me your thoughts on your interpretation of the Catechisim here, maybe I’m missing something!


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