Do young men often fantasize about having oral sex?  According to a study of 1,516 men between 18 and 77 years old, with an average age of 30, the most common sexual fantasy involves oral sex.  87.6% of the men studied responded that they have this fantasy.[1]

Oral sex has traditionally been esteemed as sodomy.  Sodomy was treated as a felony in every state prior to 1962.  In 1779, Thomas Jefferson wrote a law in Virginia which contained a punishment of castration for men who engage in sodomy, which he intended to be a liberalization of the laws in Virginia at that time.[2]  Certainly castration is a lesser punishment than the death penalty.  Around 1962, punishment involved a lengthy term of imprisonment and/or hard labor.

One of the advantageous of holding such behavior in disdain, regardless of any inherent truth involved with classifying it as fundamentally immoral, is the greater ease with which one can maintain chaste thoughts; when one regards such behavior with disdain, there is one less avenue for the mind to be carried away with by and by.  Is it easy to be held captive by lustful thoughts?  If so, would not cultivating an attitude of disdain for such behavior help to prevent the mind from being carried away so easily?

For a moment, let’s assume that it is true that such behavior is immoral.  This would mean the laws of our society have become increasingly tolerant of immoral behavior.  Let’s also assume that one is bound to be more healthy and sane when they embrace truth.  Similarly, as with many lies wherein basic truths are lacking, or where there are half-truths, a.k.a. heresies, one is bound to be healthier and saner when they embrace the fullness of the truth.

“What is truth?” you might ask in a sarcastic tone, as if to say there is no absolute truth.  Interestingly, that is the same question Pontius Pilate asked Jesus as He was on trial for blasphemy, for claiming to be God, a crime punishable by death according to Jewish law.  Thus, Pontius Pilate is the patron of relativism, that there is no absolute truth.  In contrast, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”

In order to bolster the truth of the statement that sodomy is immoral and that such behavior should be held with disdain, consider it in the context of the addictive and harmful nature of pornography.  Awhile back Newsweek published an article entitled, “The Sex Addiction Epidemic,”

“…compulsive sexual behavior, also called hypersexual disorder, can systematically destroy a person’s life much as addictions to alcohol or drugs can. And it’s affecting an increasing number of Americans, say psychiatrists and addiction experts. “It’s a national epidemic,” says Steven Luff, coauthor of Pure Eyes: A Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and leader of the X3LA sexual-addiction recovery groups in Hollywood.” [3]

One man’s experience further elucidates the nature of the struggle,

“Friendships suffered, and he felt “pathetic” about his sexual urgency. The worst part, he says, was that his sex drive ultimately changed “what I think is normal,” as his tolerance grew for increasingly hard-core forms of pornography. “It really is like that monster you can’t ever fulfill,” says Harper, 30, who has avoided dating for the past eight months and attends a recovery group. “Both with the porn and the sex, something will be good for a while and then you have to move on to other stuff. The worst thing is, toward the end, I was looking at pretend incest porn. And I was like, ‘Why is something like that turning me on?!’”

As a single person hoping to embrace the virtue of chastity, not only for a healthier, saner and self-controlled mind, but for the sake of the cross of Christ as it relates to personal struggles and those involved with being an active source for truth in the world, consider that a more productive disposition and a greater respect and love for oneself and others ensues as one views sodomy with disdain.

How about in the context of marriage?

It is natural for one to want to please their spouse.  In the midst of attraction and excitement, why not let anything go, even if it may seem demeaning or naturally unattractive outside the context of sexual excitement?  What I mean by naturally unattractive is that it is not natural for a person to put their nose near the exit of another person’s bowels –we generally stay a safe distance from there.  However, in the context of sexual arousal, it may seem natural and fitting to perform oral acts of sexual intimacy, even as a way of saying ‘I love you so much I’ll go down there and use my mouth in ways I ordinarily wouldn’t so that you may be pleased all the more.’  Who would disagree that such an act is not good intentioned?

However, in order for an act to be moral, it must satisfy three elements: 1) the objective act (what we do); 2) the subjective goal or intention (why we do the act); and 3) the concrete situation or circumstances in which we perform the act.

“All three aspects must be good –the objective act, the subjective intention, and the circumstances –in order to have a morally good act.”[4]

The Holy Spirit has inspired the Apostles to teach that in order for a sexual act to be moral, it must be marital, unitive and procreative.  It must be all three.  Thus, in addition to not being directly procreative, if we consider oral sex ordinarily unnatural, except in the context of sexual arousal involving intense feelings of attraction and an overwhelming desire to please the other, we may also agree that,

“Unnatural sexual acts are not truly unitive (even if there is a type of mere physical union) because this is not the type of union intended by God for marriage.”[5]

Arguably, many married couples engage in oral sex.  Arguably, there is a unitive element inherent to such acts.  Since the act itself cannot directly be procreative, which it must be in order to be moral according to the requirements above, the question can then become one of context… is this behavior necessary as part of an overall procreative act?

Without giving this question further consideration, are there negative consequences that couples don’t foresee when engaging in such behavior?  For example, might this create enmity between them in their ordinary day-to-day interactions?  Might such behavior cause one to demean the other or develop a pattern or mindset of “using” them rather than truly appreciating them?  Conversely, how might such an act impair romance?  Similarly, could the act impair an element of tenderness that would otherwise occur during normal intercourse?  How about tenderness during day-to-day interactions?

Consider the following question:

  1. In the post-revolutionary world, sex is easier than ever while _____ is nowhere to be found.

A. Pornography
B. Divorce
C. Dissatisfaction
D. Romance
E. None of the above

“Romance is a tenderness, a caring, a “sacredness” to the physical and emotional behavior between a couple. Sex between the spouses is one of the natural ends of romance.  This end is thwarted by pornography and a contraceptive mindset because sex becomes “safe” in this mentality, but sex is inherently wild and creative by nature, procreation being an aspect of that.”[6]

According to Christopher West in his book “Good News about Sex & Marriage,”

“There’s nothing that singles out the genitals as being “unkissable” as part of a husband and wife’s foreplay to intercourse.  The term “oral sex,” however, most often refers to an act in which orgasm is sought and achieved apart from an act of intercourse.  Indeed, many couples consider such behavior a desirable alternative to normal intercourse. And, yes, this is wrong, even for married couples – though the clarification made above regarding female orgasm is applicable here as well: It’s not objectively wrong if the wife achieves climax as a result of oral stimulation, so long as it’s within the context of a completed act of intercourse.”

Conversely, according to Alice von Hildebrandt,

“Having acquainted myself (reluctantly) with Popcak’s Holy Sex, I do not believe it merits the extravagant praise West grants it. I do know that my husband would never write such a review. For one thing, he would have strongly objected to the book’s graphic, explicit nature, which West mistakenly sees as “boldness” rather than vulgarity. For another, Dietrich would have vigorously opposed Popcak’s so-called “one rule”—that married couples “may do whatever they wish,” as long as they don’t use contraception, “both feel loved and respected,” and the marital act culminates within the woman. (p. 193). As another reviewer commented, this reduces marital love to a lowest common denominator, where “everything else can be left to the judgment of each couple. A variety of sexual positions, oral sex, sexual toys, and role playing are all judged permissible as long as couples follow the ‘one rule.'” (, 2008)

“These ideas would have struck Dietrich von Hildebrand as abhorrent. It is precisely because the marital bed is sacred that one should approach acts within it with enormous reverence. Degrading and perverse sexual behavior– even it is it done by a married couple, who do not practice contraception– should be condemned, as an assault on human dignity. The “pornification” of marriage should be resisted as vigorously as the pornification of our culture.”

“I cannot describe what Dietrich thought of pornography: the very word triggered an expression of horror on his noble face. The same thing is true of sodomy. He had such a sense for the dignity of human persons that any posture, which sins against this dignity, was repulsive to him. It is in this context, that we should judge Popcak’s shocking suggestion (p. 248) that “as Christopher West has noted in his book, Good News About Sex and Marriage, there is nothing technically forbidding a couple from engaging” in sodomy (provided the husband culminates the normal sex act within his wife); and that, while he discourages the practice of marital sodomy, “nevertheless, following Augustine’s dictum and in the absence of greater clarification from the Church, couples are free to exercise prudential judgment” in this regard.”

“That a Catholic author would cite “Augustine’s dictum” (presumably the much-misinterpreted “Love, and do what you will”) as a justification for sodomy would have broken my husband’s heart. Furthermore, the fact that an act is not formally condemned does not entitle us to believe that it is right or good. When Cain murdered his brother, he was not disobeying a formal order from God, but he knew he was committing a grave moral evil — against the Natural Law — already written on mankind’s heart. Similarly, petri dish “conception” is an abomination in and by itself, even though it is not in the Ten Commandments. It is against the dignity of a person to be “made” in a laboratory. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mathew 11: 15)

“In this context, it is important for couples to avoid what Canon Jacques Leclerc calls “any corruption of love” in the marital bed. He writes: “There are many who believe that once they are married, they may do whatever they like.” But “they do not understand,” he continues, that “the search for every means of increasing pleasure can be a perversion.” He cautions: “Now, there are even among the most Christian young people many who know nothing of the moral aspect of the problem and have only the rudimentary idea that everything is forbidden outside marriage, but that within marriage everything is allowed. It is thus a good thing to remember that the morality of conjugal relations does not allow that pleasure should be sought by every means, but calls for a sexual life that is at the same time healthy, simple and normal.” (Marriage: A Great Sacrament, 1951, p. 88). These are sentiments which my husband, Dietrich von Hildebrand, would have thoroughly approved.”
According to St. Thomas Aquinas:

“And since the man who is too ardent a lover of his wife acts counter to the good of marriage if he uses her indecently, although he be not unfaithful, he may in a sense be called an adulterer; and even more so than he that is too ardent a lover of another woman.”[7]

In this sense, St. Thomas is referring to viewing and treating one’s spouse as an object for sexual desire, rather than a person.  This type of objectification, common to lustfulness, is contrary to the tenderness and respect with which spouses should treat one another.  St. Thomas goes on to say,

“Lastly comes the sin of not observing the right manner of copulation, which is more grievous if the abuse regards the ‘vas’ than if it affects the manner of copulation in respect of other circumstances.”[8]

When a person views their spouse as an object of sexual desire, rather than as a person, they’re more likely to treat them inappropriately.  St. Thomas addresses this when referring to abuse wherein other body orifices are used as a “vas,” or vessel, for sexual acts.

St. Paul informs us that we should keep the bedroom clean and undefiled.  Does oral sex promote a disposition of temperance, modesty and a reverence for intimacy in the context of its innate nature to lead to life, as our loving Father has intended?

Are couples more prone to view one another shamefully the next morning in comparison to more reserved acts of intimacy?  If not, could there be a kind of numbness hindering spiritual growth?

Do traditional forms of intimacy promote greater appreciation and tenderness for one’s partner, not only during the act itself but the next morning and throughout the rest of the week?  Is the duration of the act likely to last longer when these other alternative forms of intimacy are not practiced, if not in the immediate sense, after a routine has been established, potentially creating greater fulfillment?  Could any of the suffering or sacrifice involved in living without these forms of intimacy better dispose the soul towards salvation?

In closing, please also consider the following article written by the highly esteemed Monica Breaux, a Catholic social worker and PhD who has spent more than 15 years collecting research that validates the wisdom of the Catholic vision of sexuality.


Published March 2, 2006 in The Catholic Sun as Humanly Possible column

Making good sexual choices in our lives (part 1)

Once upon a time there was a young man who felt called to the priesthood. He struggled against the same temptations to sexual sin that every young man must face in spiritual combat. With the help of grace, he lived in holiness. He prayed, volunteered in the church and served God lovingly in his work. He entered the seminary, but within a few years he left because he fell in love and married a young woman. They were virgins on their wedding day and remained faithful to each other, just as they had promised in their marriage vows.

The man believed that impure thoughts were sinful, so when he was tempted to indulge in sexual fantasy, he distracted himself with prayerful service to his family and church. He maintained “custody of the eyes” as he had been taught, which means he simply looked away from things that caused sexual arousal. He prayed with his wife each day for God’s grace to avoid sin by resisting temptations. Their marriage did not include contraception, abortion, pornography, masturbation, adultery, or fantasy affairs with other people. His wife felt desirable and well loved by him.

They accepted their fertility as a good gift from God, so they practiced Natural Family Planning. Their lovemaking was always open to God’s will and they welcomed each child He sent. When they discerned in prayer to abstain from sex during fertile times to space their children, they returned to the joys of courtship that they had known prior to marriage. Having a monthly courtship (by abstaining from sex) and honeymoon period (by returning to sexual loving) kept their romance alive and well. They had children and grandchildren and recently she died. Her last words were, “Honey, I love you much.” He responded, “Sweetie, you were my only girl.” The man’s name is Vernon Broussard and he is well known in Louisiana where he serves God lovingly. Sexual expression faithful to God’s design is humanly possible.

God invites us into a life of sexual purity that allows us to love fully and naturally and also satisfies the deepest longing of our hearts to be truly loved as we are. When we reject the purpose of our maleness or our femaleness, we reject God’s plan. When we reject our fertility or any aspect of our bodies, we reject God’s gift. Why do we insult God who designed human beings and human sexual desires? Will we eventually choose one flower in the world as the best one, fixate ourselves on it, and then try to make them all look like that? Until we thank God for the design of our own body, we will never feel loved and accepted by another person.

Every day we make sexual choices. Before we make behavior choices, we first make choices in our minds that shape our own desires. When a thought pops in our head, we have free will to distract ourselves with other thoughts or behaviors. Choosing our thoughts is how we form our habits of desire. Our sexual appetite can be formed to desire any person or thing.  Indulging in sexual fantasy connects our sexual appetite to unreal people and unreal situations. Sexual fantasy interferes with our ability to enjoy real life people and situations and it can lead to addiction.

In the Alcoholics Anonymous program, people learn to call another person (sponsor), go to a meeting, or use slogans or reading materials to distract themselves from destructive ideas that lead to loss of self-control. Repeating new ideas helps to alter our brain and helps to form new habits. Changing the brain by changing what we think about, in order to change what we desire and what we do, is the basis of therapy. We are not victims of our sexual appetite.


[1] Orwig, Jessica.  What Men Fantasize About.  Business Insider.  14 November 2014.  Online.

[2] Wikipedia contributors. “Sodomy laws in the United States.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 Jul. 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.

[3] Chris Lee.  The Sex Addiction Epidemic.  New Week.  25 November 2011.  Print / Online.

[4] United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, July 2006, p. 311-312.

[5] Conte, Ronald L. Jr.  Unnatural Sexual Acts as Marital Foreplay.  11 July 2012.  Online.

[6] Culture Quiz.  Online.

[7] Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, article 8

[8] Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, article 12


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