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Mutual Masturbation Within Marriage - A Debate I'm Having


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Mutual Masturbation within Marriage  

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I'm having a debate with someone on mutual masturbation within marriage. This individual believes that it is permissible. I say that it is immoral. We both agree that foreplay is permitted within marriage, but I argue that it must be in the proper context (unitive and procreative intercourse), whereas he argues that it can be apart from sexual intercourse. My argument follows. I want to know what people think, especially married folks.

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First, the Latin nowhere implies that masturbation is necessarily performed on oneself. Second, the word in English is defined clearly as the stimulation of one’s own genitals or another’s. Third, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2352) states:

[quote]By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”[/quote]

While at first it seems the quote is calling the act immoral based on fornication, the final sentence makes it clear that in masturbation, sexual pleasure is sought without mutual self-giving or human procreation. Masturbation is immoral because it takes place outside of that context. Even if mutual self-giving is the intention of the spouses, masturbation is incapable of achieving procreation.

It is fallacious to claim that because one sexually pleasurable act is immoral in marriage, all sexual pleasure is immoral in marriage. It is also fallacious to claim that because sexual pleasure is moral within marriage, all means of achieving that pleasure are moral. The ends do not justify the means. The CCC (2362) summarizes, quoting Pope Pius XII, “The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.”

Now, as I said, if foreplay precedes vaginal sexual intercourse, then it is moral, provided that the acts within it are moral. What we are dealing with is a foreplay that includes masturbation, that is, by the Catechism’s definition, deliberate stimulation of the genitals (not necessarily one’s own) to derive sexual pleasure outside of self-giving and procreative love (which means that manual genital stimulation within the context of non-contracepted vaginal sexual intercourse is moral and not defined as masturbation). If foreplay includes masturbation, it is immoral.

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As a wife, I guess that my first comment would be that I can't imagine why I would want to do that. Granted I've only been married for 4 years, but why would I settle for ground beef when I can have steak, as the saying goes.

As a moral theologian with training wheels, I would say that I never saw a couple in the annulment tribunal who "followed the rules." There was either contraception or pre-marital sex or other things. Someone who was cynical would say that is simply because no couple follows the rules. I don't believe that. I just think they don't end up in divorce court.

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isn't it always wrong, according to catholics, if it doesn't end up in the woman? that was always the standard, anyway, can't say ive seen it defined anywhere- other than the general teaching sexual activity is meant for unitive and procreative purposes tied together, theology of the body type stuff.
i have seen catholics debate, with that being the premise, whether things such as mutual masturbation is okay, as long as it does end up inside the woman. that seems to be the main issue, not so much whether it's okay to mutually masturbate and not end up in the woman. (it may have been implied, by "mutual masturmation", that it wouldnt end up in the woman)

Edited by dairygirl4u2c
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Masturbation, whether inside or outside of marriage, is morally wrong.

Edited by MaterMisericordiae
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[quote name='MaterMisericordiae' date='15 February 2010 - 12:18 AM' timestamp='1266211139' post='2057392']
Masturbation, whether inside or outside of marriage, is morally wrong.


[/quote]
amen!

Edited by dominicansoul
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[quote name='dominicansoul' date='15 February 2010 - 12:23 AM' timestamp='1266211387' post='2057393']
amen!
[/quote]

Please disregard that website. I discovered it is theologically incorrect in some points.

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It all depends on what you define as foreplay. As far as I'm concerned it starts with HIM doing the dishes and ends hours later in intimacy.I agree with the premise that as long as intercourse is accomplished you have fulfulled one of the purposes of marriage.

Intimacy is not a checklist of A. B. C.

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2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are [b]masturbation[/b], fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure.

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[quote name='CatherineM' date='15 February 2010 - 02:47 AM' timestamp='1266202039' post='2057352']
As a wife, I guess that my first comment would be that I can't imagine why I would want to do that. Granted I've only been married for 4 years, but why would I settle for ground beef when I can have steak, as the saying goes.
[/quote]
I agree (and have also been married only 4 years). I'd feel very cheated, to be honest.

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[quote name='dominicansoul' date='14 February 2010 - 09:56 PM' timestamp='1266209774' post='2057382']
i think couples who masturbate are cochinos...
[/quote]

Obviously it is immoral behavior. But what is the point of referring to them as "dirty pigs"? I'm grateful that God would never consider anyone a "pig", no matter how bad their sins are. If God forgives and loves every person for their innate dignity, regardless of their sins and failures in regards to purity, shouldn't we, who are just as impure before God, without the gift of His mercy?

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[quote name='dairygirl4u2c' date='14 February 2010 - 06:58 PM' timestamp='1266202734' post='2057355']
isn't it always wrong, according to catholics, if it doesn't end up in the woman?[/quote]

To put it in a vulgar and blunt way, yes. :)




I would add that stimulation even after vaginal intercourse has occured can be meant for the purpose of procreation and unity as reaching the height of sexual pleasure is essential for both the man and woman. For the man it is essential that this occurs for intercourse to be completed. For the woman it is essential for her physical, psychological, and emotional health. This stimulation after intercourse would be for the purposes of the woman reaching this height if it did not occur within the context of vaginal intercourse.

Also, for both man and woman, reaching this height is helpful to procreation. For the man, obviously more sperm is present, and for the woman, the chain reaction that occurs in her body aids the sperm to reach the egg.

[b]However, because stimulation after vaginal intercourse is for the purpose of procreation and unity and is still occuring in the [u]context[/u] of intercourse, it is not considered masturbation.[/b]


If someone finds error with the above, I'd love to talk about it as I've never seen documented teaching from the Church that fully supports what I say, but theologically I find no fallacy.


All in all I agree with Micah that masturbation is immoral even within the context of spousal relations.

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I was under the impression that it is only acceptable if its in the act of foreplay and the man "finishes" inside his wife.

I voted yes because that was the closest thing to what I believe it to be.

Any other form of masturbation I would say is wrong, no matter how mutual. It has to end inside the lady.

Of course, I'm not married, nor have I engaged in any rude shenanigans, so I can't comment really too much. However, given that sometimes men finish before they intend too, the couple could end up with the man finishing where he's not meant to finish, and while the intention was full intercourse, the couple could start getting into a bit of spiritual concern if he "spilled his seed' before he was meant too.

I'd say perhaps err on the side of caution?

Edited by Happy_Catholic
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[quote name='Happy_Catholic' date='15 February 2010 - 12:31 AM' timestamp='1266222682' post='2057450']
I was under the impression that it is only acceptable if its in the act of foreplay and the man "finishes" inside his wife.

I voted yes because that was the closest thing to what I believe it to be.

Any other form of masturbation I would say is wrong, no matter how mutual. It has to end inside the lady.

Of course, I'm not married, nor have I engaged in any rude shenanigans, so I can't comment really too much. However, given that sometimes men finish before they intend too, the couple could end up with the man finishing where he's not meant to finish, and while the intention was full intercourse, the couple could start getting into a bit of spiritual concern if he "spilled his seed' before he was meant too.

I'd say perhaps err on the side of caution?
[/quote]

If you read Micah's original post carefully, he distinguishes between foreplay and masturbation. If the intent of the foreplay is for vaginal intercourse which is both open to life and unitive, then it is not considered masturbation.


There is definitely a concern with finishing where he isn't meant to, but that is something the man should be able to control (to an extent), and know when foreplay needs to stop and intercourse needs to start way before he is close to that border.

Edited by Slappo
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