Question: Will God forgive me after oral sex?

Unable to concentrate on work one day, I went through my blog stats for the umpteenth time that day and stopped to stare at one search engine term: “Will God forgive me after oral sex?”

It’s not the first time I’ve seen it or its kind. I frequently come across similar search engine terms, like: “Will God forgive me for masturbating?” “How to confess pornography?” and so on. Clearly it is a matter that weighs heavily on the minds of a lot of people and it’s something that I’ve not really touched on in my posts.

Pornography, masturbation, and oral sex (outside of marital sexual intercourse), and contraception are all various evils in our world today. “No one gets hurt,” seems to be the cry of those who protest the Catholic Church’s teachings as archaic. But is that true? And if it is, why this guilty feeling that so many have after committing these acts? Why the sense of unfulfilment and dissatisfaction, especially in relationships, that come from living a life centred around one’s own sexual pleasure?

Various forms of reasoning and justification takes place in our minds, providing us with excuses to believe that no one gets hurt when we commit these acts, yet many of us still continue to feel inexplicably guilty and dissatisfied. Deep down, we know we’ve done something wrong and no amount of reasoning removes that guilty feeling, but because our mind can’t or won’t see what’s wrong, we can’t or won’t take steps to remedy it.

The addiction of masturbation and pornography, usually committed alone these days, seems to hurt no one, and therefore there’s nothing wrong with it, we reason. The woman, or man, which is the object of our sexual fantasy, does it willingly and is paid to do it, we reason. There’s no reason why she is harmed by it since she does it consensually.

But we forget one important person in the act that is harmed by it – ourselves… the person who engages in the act.

There are numerous harmful effects of viewing pornography. Firstly, pornography is not real; it’s a fantasy. It allows us to see things that are not real, and while we may think that we can distinguish between the fantasy and the real thing, viewing porn creates a kind of expectation in us that we want our (present or future) spouses to meet. But because porn is a fantasy, those expectations are not real and can therefore not be met to our satisfaction.

This harms our relationship with our spouse, or future spouse. It affects our ability to relate with members of the opposite sex, preventing us from loving another properly and being loved properly.

Secondly, in pornography, the women (and men) become objects, no longer persons, to be used for our own sexual gratification. Over time, our ability to distinguish between humans and objects becomes diminished. We see all people as objects and tools to be used to achieve our own ends.

Now this has serious consequences indeed, because suddenly, anyone who is of no use to us can be gotten rid of… including the elderly, the unborn child, and the physically and mentally handicapped. If we can’t get anything out of them, we get rid of them.

This too is tied in with contraceptives and oral sex which, without the dual nature of bonding and openness to life, becomes another form of masturbation – mutual masturbation. The issue of whether it is consensual or not has nothing to do with it.

One frequent objection that is brought up is that spiritual and emotional bonding can still take place during sex, even though physical bonding is prevented through the use of barriers.

It could happen if humans were purely spiritual beings, but because humans are material beings too, bonding has to take place on a physical level as well.

The fruitfulness of sex is another side of the same coin as bonding. The two of them cannot be separated, because that is the physical, emotional, and spiritual nature of sexual intercourse between husband and wife.

Contraceptives, oral sex, masturbation, all place physical barriers to true sex, which reduces it to a mere act of physical gratification, rather than the original unity meant for man and woman.

They all reduce a loving and total relationship to a utilitarian one. Again, whether the person being used gives his or her consent to being used has no bearing on the issue. The point is that someone is being used as a tool, and not treated as a human should be – with dignity and love. When you use a person, you are not loving that person.

So what can a person do once he realises what he has done wrong? As it is so aptly put by yet another search engine term I found that day: “Will God forgive me if I have oral sex?”, the answer is “Yes!”

As with all sins that separate man from God, the Church offers the remedy of forgiveness of sins through the sacrament of reconciliation.

If you are a Catholic, even if you haven’t been a practising one for years, so long as you desire forgiveness from God, are sorrowful for the sins you know you’ve committed, and desire to change your ways, you can be forgiven by God. Note that these conditions are no different from the normal conditions for the forgiveness of any other sin.

Do not hesitate. Seek out a priest that you are comfortable with, talk to him about it and make a good confession today.

If you’re not a Catholic, well, there’s no reason for you to keep the rules of the Catholic Church, unless you see some sense in what the Catholic Church teaches. Feel free to approach a Catholic priest that you can feel comfortable with. He can advise you what to do.

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18 Responses

  1. [...] was commenting in another post in my main blog that when a ‘red-blooded male’ goes for some time without [...]

  2. wow, CW, i’m a brazilian 22 yo guy and your words are amazing. i’m not catholic, but i agree with ALL the things you appointed. I used to see pornoghrapy since my 12 years and, when i have my first computer, i find a enormous quantity of this material for free. When I was 20, I was engaged in a relationship. In the ends of the 3rd month, I led my girlfriend to this sexual curiosities. Now, reading your replies, CW, I can see that I used my girlfriend, a person who loves me for real, as an object of my pleasure. I’m really afraid that I will not be able to love anybody as a human. I’ve tried a lot of times stopped with this addiction, but when I try getting a strong commitment with God, devil starts to set a lot of traps, so I suppose I cannot explain that i fall in all of them. I’m unhappy because i’m so weak. As Bible says: be hot or be cold, do not be warm so I vomit you off. I’m unhappy to be always in the wall.

    • Well just remember it’s only through God that we’ll be able to control our selves. Just dig into the bible, His word, this book of teachings and He’ll guide your feet in EVERY thing, what girl you’ll get and so on. God Bless

  3. Hi Douglas,

    These aren’t my words so much as they are Pope John Paul II’s, and Christopher West’s (www.christopherwest.com).

    I too used to be addicted to porn, and those two words “used to” are important, because they tell you that it is something that can be overcome. A crucial thing to note is that you cannot do it alone. You need God’s help, and you need the help of the people who love you.

    You are right when you say that the devil sets a lot of traps, which is why it is of great importance to find someone who can journey with you, look out for you, and help you stand up again when you fall down.

    I have also found it useful to know the difference between lust and love:

    - Lust is using another person for one’s own gratification;
    - Love is giving oneself to another person.

    I wrote a bit about it here:

    http://catholicwriter.wordpress.com/2006/10/23/question-is-it-possible-to-overcome-addiction-to-pornography-and-masturbation/

    And you can find more resources at this Porn Free directory: http://pornfree.wordpress.com

    It is good to read more about what the addiction is so as to know what you are up against. But most important is to realise that you cannot overcome it alone; you don’t have the strength to face the devil alone.

    God bless,
    Catholic Writer

  4. I was told, by a Priest, that engaging in oral sex but not to completion, with your married partner and with full consent from both parties is perfectly fine! The key words are ‘with your partner’ and ‘not to completion’. The act of making love between husband and wife is sacred ground, and any good catholic knows that the only way to consumate the act is when the man has his release inside of the woman. Any other act of ejaculation on the mans part is against Church policy.

  5. You’re right there, Keith, but I would hesitate to call a Catholic who doesn’t know this, a bad Catholic. :)

    God bless,
    Catholic Writer

  6. I do not believe oral sex is a sin or hand jobs in marriage and I do not believe contraceptives are a sin. Over 90% of Catholics use contraceptives, NFP simply does not work and people cannot afford to have 8 kids. Many people pretend they are pro NFP and use condoms and the withdrawal method themselves, there’a lot of liars in the Conservative branch. Many get paid to say they agree with the Church or to make money off a site and a book, but really they are just as much Cafteria Catholics as the rest of us. As a women it is my choice and decision when I have kids and how many not my husbands. I believe not using contraception is the thing that makes the women be treated as an object she is made into a rabbit, whose purpose is nothing to but to pop babies every year and as many as possible, that’s what being treated as an object is. If cardinals and bishops married contraception would be okayed, its because the effects of sex and the reality of childbirth has not hit these men, because the majority of men have not seen women in pain and in labor, or have not seen a women going through an epistiotomy. Contraception prevents all these evils from taking place. I believe the affects of child birth on a women’s body is more evil then condoms.

  7. Hi Max,

    100% of Catholics sin, but that does not make sin a right or good thing to do. As our Pope Benedict once said while he was a cardinal, “Truth is not determined by a majority vote.”

    NFP is a scientific method that was developed over 30 years ago, and it is a proven method that works when it comes to delaying and achieving pregnancy.

    I agree that not everyone can afford to have 8 kids, but the Church does not specify how many kids a couple is supposed to have, other than that they have as many as they can afford to have. She encourages couples to use NFP to space out their pregnancies when there is a grave reason to do so.

    True, there are a lot of liars in the conservative branch, but that is the same for any other branch. I don’t know if people pretend to be pro-NFP but still use contraceptives, but unless I had solid evidence of it, I would not call them liars. Assuming that it is a bad thing to be a cafeteria Catholic, would you not say that we are no better than other people then? Is it not a case of a pot calling the kettle black?

    It’s a very sad thing to say that as a woman, it is your choice when you have kids and how many, and not your husband’s, because without the help of your husband, you can’t get pregnant in the first place (unless you are not faithful in your marriage). Pregnancy is something that is achieved by both husband and wife, not by husband alone or by wife alone. It is a cooperative act of love that spouses undertake together.

    If you say that contraception is the thing that prevents women from being treated like a baby-making machine, then you have to know that contraception turns women into sex objects as well. Since life-giving is separated from sex, men can easily go ahead and have sex with any woman with little fear of pregnancy. This means sex with other women as well, since there is no more pregnancy to be worried about. And we know that adultery is one of the main causes of breaking up a marriage.

    Do you know that 50% of marriages in America in which contraceptives are used end up in divorce? Compare that to the 0.2% of couples who use NFP that end up in divorce. Bear in mind that these couples that use NFP are not Catholics. They use NFP because they are health-nuts, and NFP is the only means of family planning that has no negative side-effects. In addition, it is the only means of family planning in the first place, because in addition to delaying pregnancy, it can also help a couple to achieve pregnancy. Contraceptives can only prevent pregnancy, but cannot help a couple, say with low-fertility, to achieve pregnancy.

    Another effect of contraceptives is to have people look at pregnancy as a disease, and children as a burden. Like you say, many people feel that the effects of childbirth on a woman’s body is evil. How can bringing new life to the world be an evil thing? That is a completely warped idea of what is good and what is bad. The next thing we will say is that killing children is a good thing. But wait, we are already doing that! 40-50 million children have been killed through abortion in the past 40 years. Now we are looking at infanticide as well, killing children who are not perfect e.g. with mental illnesses or deformities. We are also killing old people who seem to have no more use for society and are nothing but burdens, and we frame it nicely as ‘mercy killing’.

    The reason why our modern society has lost its moral compass is because we only look at the intention and the effect produced. If we have a good intention to carry out the action, and a good effect is produced from the action, then the action must we good, or so we say. But it does not take into account the reality that the action itself must be good as well, in order for the whole thing to be good. Killing is never a good thing, and neither is preventing pregnancy without a grave reason. It has never been good, and the whole world thought so too only until around the 1960s, when we started to have a change in culture. This change in culture resulted in us losing sight of the morality of our actions, focusing only on the intention and the effect.

    There is much more to be said on this topic, but I believe I’ve addressed most of the issues you brought up in your comment. Feel free to dialogue further.

    God bless,
    Catholic Writer

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