This is a very good question, and the Catholic Church has pointed out that if after the male orgasms, the woman still has not achieved orgasm, it would be moral for her to ask her husband to lead her to orgasm as a part of the overall act.
I’m in agreement that the Church seems to teach this, but can we all agree that it is logically inconsistent? At least, in my opinion it is. I get why it’s worse for a man to orgasm outside of intercourse because it is final, but this arbitrary allowance of bringing a female to orgasm as an act of charity is still illogical.
Well, I think there are 3 major reasons why it’s allowed:
1. I would assume a marriage would get pretty tense if the man kept leaving the woman ‘hanging.’ So it might be to increase the unity the couples feel in sex.
2. Because it appears that female orgasms after male ejaculation increase the likelihood of conception.
3. And therefore, because of reasons 1 and 2, one could rightly argue that it is still working towards the natural ends of sexual intercourse.
1. Unitive, yes, but can I just say that calling it an “act of charity” just sounds so weird to me, like it’s out of pity or something. Maybe that’s because I associate “feeding the poor” with “act of charity” and although we shouldn’t exactly “pity” the poor (it’s a bit disrespectful, isn’t it?), “pity” is usually associated with that too.
2. That’s not true. :) Scientists used to think that, but not anymore. Plus, I don’t think it would matter, because even if it did aid in conception, it’s not necessary for it, so that argument is moot anyway.
If anything, I think an argument can be made from a unitive standpoint. Plus since a female orgasm isn’t a biologically necessary part of procreation…it doesn’t matter when it happens, as long as it’s within the context of sex. I think it should be within the context of sex for all the other reasons why masturbation is immoral - promotes lust, objectification of another, removing the love and relationship from the ecstasy. I also wonder if, then, it’d be possible to talk about how the male orgasm is evidence for the procreative nature of sex, while the female orgasm is evidence for the (just as important) unitive nature of sex. Especially so much feminine and feminist ethics/theology has so much to do with relationships.
Interesting that 2 is a myth. To be clear the “act of charity” language is not mine (pretty sure I picked it up from either the church directly or Christopher West), though I don’t agree with your objections to it. Charity consists of, but is not limited to, giving to the poor. *All* sexual acts should be done in charity.
This makes me think even more that this allowance from the Church is either arbitrary or transitional. If it is not transitional, it pokes a huge hole in the sexual ethics of the Church. If we want to talk about natural law, all signs point to orgasm ( rather than procreation ) being the natural end of female sex organs, which would suggest that female orgasm outside of procreative sex would be permissible. And that begs a lot of questions.