Are sex toys OK for a married Christian couple as foreplay?

There is no official word from the Vatican or the Magisterium on the use of marital aids or sex toys. However, there are several important Catholic considerations to bring to this conversation:

  • The dignity of the person
  • Sex must be Free, Total, Faithful, Fruitful
  • Masturbation is not OK
  • Every act of sex needs to culminate in male ejaculation during intercourse
  • John Paul II suggested that men should withhold ejaculation for as long as possible to allow the woman to experience climax. This is a recongnition that sex should be unifying and enjoyable for husband and wife.

With these guiding principles, it is possible to arrive at a Catholic position on this. Naturally, if a couple can have good sex without anything to assist them, it would be better because once the climax is dependent on an external aid, its very difficult to climax without it, and the couple can become dependant on it. However, there are situations where it might make sense to use sex toys as an aid to a fruitful and fullfilling married sex life. For instance, if a woman cannot climax after serious efforts to solve it naturally, or to aid the husband in achieving an erection if there there is some physical limitation.

If sex toys (marital aids) are used, then the couple's time together must include intercourse where the man ejaculates during vaginal sex.

Sex toys should not be used:

  • in a way that diminishes the dignity of the person, particularly the wife, so bondage or any toy that degrades the spouse is out of the question
  • without full consent by both parties
  • by one of the partners alone by themselves
  • outside of marriage
  • outside of fruitful intercourse, or as a way to avoid pregnancy

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