That is how author and Notre Dame professor, Charles Rice describes contraceptive sex in his book, Fifty Questions on Natural Law (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 1995, pg. 254).
This seems like a crude assessment. Why would he say this?
As Professor Rice describes in his book, contraceptive sex disrupts and even contradicts the marital union. Marriage is meant to be an exchange of persons in total self-giving and receiving.
Whereas, couples who engage in contraceptive sex reject one or the other’s fertility. How can a married couple claim to love the other without limit, when they engage in contraceptive sex?
They allow a barrier (ie, a condom), a device (ie, an IUD) or a surgery (ie, a tubal ligation) to get between them. Rather than make love to one’s spouse in their totality, Rice points out one or the other in the contracepting couple physically alters himself or herself.
The one using the contraceptive physically changes himself or herself, temporarily or permanently. This often occurs by literal, physical mutilation, as in the case of sterilization. Thus, he or she does not present a genuine person for the other to behold.
The one not physically contracepting but willingly engaging in the contraceptive sex is saying that’s all he or she is willing to accept of the other. A lesser person.
Rather than the conjugal act being a total exchange of persons in love, you can see how Dr. Rice can describe it as “mutual masturbation.”
The husband uses his wife for the arousal and subsequent joyous sensation of conjugal relations. The wife likewise allows herself to be used. This works vice versa, as well.
Couples who go through the exercise of contraceptive sex are merely using their genitalia, rather than their hands, to arouse the other. The aim of contraceptive sex is to achieve this arousal but not to fulfill the primary purpose of the act itself.
I see the accuracy of Professor Rice’s observation in calling contraceptive sex “mutual masturbation.” Albeit crude, his observation is spot on.
Do you agree with the description of contraceptive sex as “mutual masturbation?”
Share any thoughts you may have below.