Should I Feel Guilty?

Question

My husband and I are no longer capable of having children because of medical reasons but we still enjoy sex a great deal. Are we still allowed to have sex for enjoyment even though we can’t have have children? Due to diabetes problems, my husband has trouble maintaining an erection and wants to use “sex toys” to help us both reach mutual climaxes. I’m not sure if this is okay. Could I have your thought on this also? I don’t want to feel guilty if I don’t have to and could you give me reasons to argue the point with him if you think it is wrong?

Answer

Cathy and her husband are no longer able to sire children, plus he is having some difficulty maintaining an erection. She asks if it is “OK” with the Catholic Church to enlist the aid of various devices to assist in the maintenance of his erection and for the stimulation of mutual orgasm even though they may no longer conceive children.

This is a question best answered by one’s confessor, but my understanding of the issue is that a married couple may use whatever means necessary to continue to enjoy marital love as long as the lovemaking culminates in traditional intromission (the husband’s penis is in his wife’s vagina when he experiences orgasm).

The logic behind this guideline is that married love is the mutual sharing of gifts, (potentially) her egg and his sperm, that is a privilege of the married pledged to each other for life. And that sharing of gifts occurs during vaginal penetration and ejaculation even though events may have interceded that prevent conception from occurring. The ecstasy of marital intercourse is meant to somehow prepare us for the total self-giving of our loving God that we will experience after death. Even if either or both of the spouses are no longer fertile the act must continue to follow the Lord’s design for married love.

Dr. Gregory Polito

Answered By:

Gregory Polito, MD
Gregory Polito,MD, KM, Past President of CANFP, retired from a urologic practice, with a sub-specialty in vasectomy reversal

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