Use of Sexual Aids/Toys

Does anyone know if they are permitted in a Catholic marriage? :eek: I’ve read Christpoher West’s book, and he does not say anything about them (although he does hit just about every other behavior). I am specifically talking about the products used for the female, and they always lead to intercourse.

If it leads to intercourse, they should be okay, but my husband and I used to use toys (well I did;) ) and after a while…it took the love out of our ‘love making.’ My husband started to feel like he was just ‘there,’ and I felt this way, too…this was about 5 years ago…before we immersed ourselves back into really living out our faith…now, we don’t use any toys anymore, AT ALL…because I think that God wants us to pay attention to one another–and not a third party…even if it’s made out of plastic, and takes batteries.:cool:

I doubt there is an official church doctrine that designates one aid okay and the other not; however, one would want to consider if such a toy was enhancing, distracting, or downright getting in the way of the total gift of self in the marital union. IMHO, in general I don’t believe they are immoral in themselves; however, I do believe they could lead one down a path of self-gratification versus self-donation. And that can go beyond just the female’s use of the toy. The male might enjoy the toy because it gives him control over his wife’s response and he might take more pleasure in gaining that control over the gift of totally giving himself. At such a point his wife becomes an object of his entertainment or lust, and that’s when things start getting dicey as far as sin is concerned.

Without getting graphic, one might want to focus on technique and better communication in the bedroom before going down the marital aid path if the desired natural outcome is not happening as one might think it should.

I have not read of any specific church teachings on this, but I always like to fall back on part of a quote from Fr. Larry Richards (which I will not quote exactly) in which he says “anything is permitted within the marriage act, leading up to intercourse as long as it is not degreading to either party.”

Having heard him say that, IMO, sexual aids and toys would be acceptable. Now having said that I would have to echo the concerns of the prior posters in saying that it could take away from the ‘love’ part of making love. I just think that we have to be sure that within the marital embrace we are continuing to be self giving, not selfish.

I think sexual “aids” will make a situation worse not better, especially those of the battery operated kind. :blush: I speak from experience -after we tossed the toys (about the same time we returned to the church) it became much easier for things to happen naturally. I think those of the electronic variety actually make it more difficult for a woman to climax naturally when toys are not used. It may take more time (and sometimes more experience) for hubby to figure out what works for his wife but it is waayyyy better.:thumbsup: Personal opinion -I think it cheapens the act too (I agree with the no third-party sentiment).

I agree with you, it can take away from the self-giving to your spouse.

I think it cheapens the act and therefore it is wrong.

In Catholicism for Dummies it says they are not permitted. Page 192.

Interesting. Does “Catholicism for Dummies” have an Imprimatur or a Nihil Obstat?

It does indeed have both. And the words it uses in relation to sex toys is ‘strictly forbidden.’

Okay, I changed my mind after reading this article. I now vote no on the sex toy thing. Yes, I flip flopped, but hey, I’m not running for office…I’m running for Heaven. :slight_smile:

Excellent resource! Thanks!

I can agree with the Church if the teachings are that sex toys are not permitted, don’t use them, don’t care to so it does not affect me and my wife personally. However, in reading this article, I am going to have to respectfully disagree with Fr. Matthew Habiger on the following:

In the area of sexual pleasure, there are also limits. God’s plan for spousal love is not seeking an unimpeded orgasm. It is makaing the total gift of one’s self to their spouse, and then receiving their self-donation to you. Sex toys, oral and anal sex take the attention away from a deeply personal and intimate self-gift, and misdirects it to the pursuit of pleasure. That is why they are wrong.

The Catholic Church does not teach that “oral and anal sex” are wrong. Now let me clarify, they teach that if they are used in foreplay leading up to intercourse with the husband’s climax inside his wife then they are “acceptable.” Now if they are used by themselves they are wrong. I am not sure I understand why they would want to have anal sex and then vaginal sex (not the most sanitary), and that echos what Christopher West says about it.

Now if Fr. Habiger meant that oral sex or anal sex to orgasm for the man then I agree that those are wrong. If oral sex is used as foreplay within the marital act and it is not demeaning to either party then it is allowed and it leads upto intercourse with the husband climaxing inside his wife’s vagina. Also, the husband can bring his wife to climax after he has his climax as long as it is within the same marital act.

Hold on a minute here, do you really want all these celibate priest and bishops knowing about sex toys? Wouldn’t that be a temptation? Sometimes we expect way too much.

There has been a moral tradition in the church that has taught that both oral and anal sexual activity are wrong.I’ve seen it in several older moral theology books. I’ve seen more modern ones that disagree. I don’t think there are any church documents that speak on it explicitly.Perhaps someone can come up with one.

Sodomy is considered a sin. I offer the following definition of sodomy-

Main Entry: sod·omy [](javascript:popWin(’/cgi-bin/’))
Pronunciation: 'sä-d&-mE
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French sodomie, from Late Latin Sodoma Sodom; from the homosexual proclivities of the men of the city in Genesis 19:1-11
: anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex; also : copulation with an animal .

Do you have evidence the church does not hold such a definition?

Please provide this information because I have not see this in my research, ever.


I would have to say that the burden of proof lies with you to show where the Church states that oral sex, used as a means of foreplay within the marital embrace is a sin. Everything that I have read through the Chatechism, Theology of the Body, Love and Responsibility and Humane Vitae (also Christopher West who has so beautifully explained the TTOTB) I have yet to see a teaching that says that oral sex is wrong within the marital embrace. Even talks that I have heard from respected priests, bishops, cardinals and even our popes have not taught that oral sex (within the marital embrace) is wrong.

If the acts are performed by themselves…oral or anal sex…that causes a husband to have an orgasm (on purpose) outside of his wife’s vagina, then yes those acts are wrong. Again, I do not want to participate in anal sex, but there is not Church teaching that says that this cannot be performed as a means of foreplay as long as the husband has an orgasm inside his wife’s vagina. I do not understand why someone would want to do this, but hey.

So to make a blanket statement that oral sex (or anal sex) is wrong is incorrect. They can be wrong, but they can be right as well as long as we follow the teachings of the Church which state that if they are used in the marital embrace with the husband ejaculating inside his wife’s vagina, they are accepted.

You said the church didn’t teach it.The burden is on you . Please provide proof from any church document.Do they actually mention that oral or anal sex is not sodomy which is clearly still a sin? Do you disagree that sodomy is considered sinful? I know that moral theologians have held both positions in recent times on the oral / anal sex question. Moral theologian opinion is not necessarily "church teaching " however. It’s really only modern times that anyone said that oral sex as foreplay is acceptable from some articles that I read. Many still hold to the sex must be total gift and renewal of the covenant which is intercourse.Remember Christopher West is not the church and some of John Paul 2’s writings were his opinions and not church teaching.

I’m not saying I disagree with your position. I’m just looking for evidence of this church teaching where this teaching changed and who it was who changed it.

I am going to have to say that I am completely and utterly confused by your post. If we are not able to have oral sex within the marital embrace, what are we to do? Do we just simply lie by one another and then all of the sudden we start having sex by simply kissing? In your opinion, what is allowed leading up to intercourse?

Never once did I say that Christopher West was “the church,” however, you need to check out to see that his credentials and status within the Catholic Church is held in high regards. Now for you to say that Pope John Paul II was simply voicing his ‘opinion’ is one of the most foolish lines that I have ever heard in my life. You mean to say that when JPII spoke about the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of the Catholic Church that he was just voicing his opinion? When he spoke of the female orgasm, he did that as an opinion? Don’t you think that if the Chruch held that oral sex was not allowed then he would have taken a stance against it rather than supporting it in Theology of the Body?

Fr. Larry Richards in his teachings says (while talking about the sins of fornication and oral sex) that “anything is allowed within the confides or marriage as long as it is leading up to intercourse and is not demeaning to either spouse.” Fr. Stan Fortunado once asked an arch-bishop what was allowed as foreplay within marriage to which the arch-bishop replied “they can swing from the cieling fans if they wish as long as the act ends in the husband climaxing inside his wife’s vagina.” I believe even Fr. John Corapi has talked about this on several occasion.

But I am sure that you will not take the words of 3 highly respected priests in the Catholic Church or that of John Paul II.

So you are saying that oral sex is not allowed within the marital embrace, ever?

I’m saying that I know that it has been taught that it is not allowed as the priest from EWTN did .All my older relatives insist this is so as well.

Plenty of people do indeed experience the marital embrace without oral sex. I’m not getting into specifics. There is no need.

Does Theology of the Body mention oral stimulation specifically. I have read and listened to some of Christopher Wests stuff. I know what his credentials are. Most of his writings are based of John Paul II 's Theology of the Body. What are the references for TOTB in this area , do you know? Does the previous Pope mention any one else’s teachings?

What I am looking for is evidence that the magesterium has always allowed for oral sex (as foreplay) in marriage.

What?!? I am not sure what your ‘older relatives’ have to say about it, but what makes you think that the words of your “priest from EWTN” are better then what I have told you.

I am sure that plenty of people do experience it this way. I am not taking a poll to ask what methods of foreplay others use, however, you are saying that oral sex as a means of foreplay is wrong. The burden of proof, as I have stated is on you.

Now if you do not want to take TOTB as a guide, then that is your decision. I have mentioned Christopher West, who has done extensive study on the TOTB and his book “The Good News About Sex and Marriage” says that oral sex is permitted by the Catholic Church. Again, I will ask you, if Pope John Paul II, the leader of the Catholic Church for so many years, spent a lot of time talking about the female orgasm and the husband’s need to provide that for her (even after the husband has climaxed inside her)?

If you do not feel that you want to have oral sex as foreplay within your marriage, so be it. It is not for me to judge, but all the teachings that I have heard over the years have drawn me to the conclusion that oral sex/oral stimulation within the marital union is fine as long as it is not demeaning to my wife and as long as the husband ejaculates inside his wife’s vagina.

If you want to show me otherwise, then please provide the documention for this. I have never seen this in all of my research on this topic.

Please forgive me as I do not have a copy of TOTB in front of me to provide an answer to your question specifically. I do believe that JPII did reference Pope Paul V’is teaching entitled Humanae Vitae.

Again, if you feel that this is wrong for you, then by all means do not participate in the acts, but to come out and tell me that it is wrong and that it is against what the Church teaches. If you want to show me where it says that the Catholic Church says that oral sex is wrong, please do provide that information. Over the years, here at CAF I have been through this debate with several people and presented the same challenge to them and have yet to have someone show me that.