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← Nun's sex talk raises the Vatican's ire

Corylus's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Corylus

Some more detail on what she actually said here...

... it is surely the case that many women have found great good in self-pleasuring—perhaps especially in the discovery of their own possibilities for pleasure—something many had not experienced or even known about in their ordinary sexual relations with husbands or lovers. In this way, it could be said that masturbation actually serves relationships rather than hindering them.

Needless to say this speculation caused particular ire ...

The Vatican handily disagrees on both points, and said so in the notification sent to Sister Farley. “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose... "

The interesting thing is that this one "rang a bell" with me (no sniggering in the back please, children) in that I did remember reading about a study on this. After some googling (and later furtive clearing of internet history) I track down the reference. Apparently Thomsen and Chang, 2000 found a history of masturbation is a very significant predictor indeed of later female orgasm ... when one manages to have company, as it were. So it looks like Sister Farley's instincts - and the science - trump the 'fruits of a lifetime of scholarship' that the Vatican priests have to offer.

Incidentally, I would not site her sexual history as evidence against her theories. Firstly, because I don't know for sure what this is; secondly because there is a history of books on sexuality written by the non-engaged (Marie Stopes wrote the informative Married Love while still a virgin); thirdly, because there is no direct logical link between 'experienced in' and 'correct about'; fourthly because there is a very real possibility that the hideous lack that many clerics seem to demonstrate when talking about sexuality is not lack of experience but instead lack of compassion, and fifthly because it really is absolutely none of my beeswax.

All I will say is that if she has managed to demonstrate both care about and a desire for those who experience things that she cannot to nevertheless enjoy themselves ... well ... then this shows a laudable lack of jealously and true generosity.

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 20:21:58 UTC | #945951