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Why on earth do Catholics believe *that*???
and since I'm promoting lately, I may as well pose a question... 
5th-Mar-2007 09:23 pm
this came up in one of the recent catholicism discussions, but was never really addressed.

what forms of affection are allowed, and what not allowed, during the abstaining period of NFP? I'm thinking a lot of people have the idea that anything goes, as long as it isn't intercourse (that could get you pregnant), and doesn't involve something artificial...
9th-Mar-2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
To place oral sex between consenting spouses on the same level as contraception is, IMNSHO, completely misunderstanding the need for a unitive sexual aspect in a marriage

I don't think it's that hard to see a link. Certainly you know that many people take advantage of oral sex's lack of conception powers.

What does the consent of the spouses have to do with it?

I think you're a little close to isolating the 'unitive aspect' in sex. If we're morally avoiding the procreative, I don't see right away that we can still demand the same level of unitive pleasure. Do you? As an informal rule of thumb, as it were, I would consider that any act that is intended to lead to an orgasm should probably be off-limits during the time that we're abstaining from sex. I don't see a reason to think that we're just abstaining from procreation itself, and not from the whole act of sex; so by extension, I would say we're abstaining from the 'other' side of sex, the "unitive" or the pleasurable. Remembering that these are only abstracted distinctions and don't (or shouldn't) really exist in a couple's sex life.

I partly base this on another idea I have, that any act that leads to an isolated orgasm of one person of a couple, and not the other, is not a good idea, at least as a continued habit. Engaging in, say, similarly-pleasurable acts like oral sex during the time we're morally avoiding sex itself seems like this same principle, multiplied by two. Do you agree with that or is this unfounded?
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