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Konfused Karl wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm a confused Roman Catholic (guy). Due to my medical circumstances I'm not able to ever have a child with my fiancée. She knows it and we'll be getting married soon.

  • Would it be a sin to practice sex before we get married though we will never be able to have our own children?
  • Would it be considered to be a sin to have sex after we get married, if it would mainly be for pleasure?


  { If we medically can't have children, can we have sex before marriage and is sex for pleasure OK? }

John replied:

Hi, Karl —

Thanks for your question.

It is always a sin to have sex outside of marriage. There are no exceptions.

Addressing your second question:

Sex between a married couple has two components. The unitive and the procreative. A married couple is free to have sex any time they want so long as they do nothing to artificially frustrate the procreative bond between them.

If one or both can't have children, there is no reason why they can't express their love for one another through the gift of (sex|natural conjugal love) which God gave them.

It is a very unfortunate misunderstanding that married couple's can't have sex for pleasure.

All the Church teaches is that the couple has to be open to new life. As long as:

  • the couple doesn't engage in artificial contraception (i.e., the pill, condoms, etc.), and
  • the couple is open to new life and that includes couples who, for medical reasons, can't conceive.

If they are open to new life, God can always work a miracle.

This is one of the most widely recorded miracles in the Old Testament. Many old couples in the Old Testament found themselves having miracle pregnancies, starting with Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was one hundred years old when he had a child, Isaac, with Sarah. (Genesis 21)

Sex between married couples is more than pleasure, it is unitive. You both give each other,
to one another. Your concern is for each other, not for yourselves. The man gives himself to his wife and is concerned with pleasing her, not himself and vice versa. Of course, this total
spouse-pleasuring is open to life, even if it seems impossible.


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