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SEXUAL PLEASURE

The emotional satisfaction that arises from the movement of those organs and secretions that aid the act of procreation. This pleasure reaches its peak in a healthy man in the pleasure that accompanies the emission of seed, or in women and youths below the age of puberty in the diffusion of some secretion from the sexual glands. The Catholic Church holds that direct sexual pleasure outside marriage is gravely sinful and never admits of slight matter; indirect sexual pleasure may be either sinful or no sin at all. Direct sexual pleasure is desired and enjoyed in itself and is the privilege only of married partners between themselves. It is forbidden to the unmarried because such conduct would be contrary to the virtue of chastity. Indirect sexual pleasure is not sought for itself but arises from some other action that is performed for a good reason. If there is such a reason, the actions are not sinful, provided a person neither intends the sexual pleasure nor consents to it if spontaneously aroused.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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