My Catholic Boyfriend Refuses to Have Sex With Me. Should I Try to Seduce Him?


I’m 25, and Jewish but totally secular and non-practicing. I’ve been dating a Catholic guy for about two months. I knew he was Catholic at the outset, but I didn’t know quite how Catholic. Well, he’s pretty damn Catholic. I’m fine with the whole Jesus thing, but this guy doesn’t believe in pre-marital sex! But I really like him and want to be in a relationship with him. But…I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t believe in pre-marital sex! So I have a dilemma. I keep thinking that I can convince him, rationally, that the Catholic ban on pre-marital sex is a stupid, pointless anachronism that is not relevant to today’s world. He’s intelligent and educated and responds to reason; I think I have a shot at changing his mind. I’ve told him very explicitly that I think his beliefs are wrong and I plan to try to change his mind. He seems fine with that.

I mean, in some sense I’m tempted to just try and seduce him. (We haven’t done more than make out, at this point.) But I wouldn’t feel right about that, and I wouldn’t want to sleep with him if he would feel guilty or regret it afterwards.

I guess my question is, do you think it’s possible to talk to him out of it? Is it disrespectful to someone’s religion to set about convincing them that they’re wrong? (I really don’t respect religion very much, but I try to be polite about it.) And, finally, even if I were to convince him and we did have sex, would he be constantly plagued by lingering guilt and fear due to the years of brainwashing he’s experienced? Is there hope for my project, or should I try to find someone whose beliefs are more compatible with mine? He’s really really great aside from the whole religion thing, and I think there’s serious potential here.

Just as background, he had a serious girlfriend for two and a half years. They never had intercourse, but did have oral sex, and he’s said he was “never really comfortable with it”. He’s dated a few other girls but never so much as kissed them. So I take the fact that he’s willing to kiss me as an indication that he must like me…


Implicit in believing your own bullshit is the idea that people who disagree with you are WRONG.

I’m running your letter, Julia, because it’s a nice tie-in to the emails from virgins who are wrestling with their anachronistic worldview. You and me, Julia — we’ll corrupt all of their minds one of these days!

I’m kidding, of course, because, as you know, it is not your job to change anybody’s mind. I give advice for a living and, frankly, I don’t see it as MY job to change anybody’s mind. The difference between us, Julia, is that people come and ask me for advice because something isn’t working in their life. They’re looking for clarity, perspective, a kick in the ass. The Catholic guy isn’t looking for ANY of that with you. He isn’t asking you for spiritual guidance — he’s asking you to enjoy spending time with him and consider a life partnership. Thus, imposing your evolved point of view against his “brainwashing” is somewhat of an exercise in arrogance.

Believe me, I know. I’ve been called arrogant more than once, mostly because I so strongly believe in my views and can ably articulate them. However, implicit in believing your own bullshit is the idea that people who disagree with you are WRONG. And even if you’re a secular atheist Jew like me, it is certainly not your place to tell anyone in the world that they need to come around to your way of thinking. In fact, it sounds like a colossal waste of time and energy….  

I’m marrying a Catholic who is also pretty damn Catholic. But I don’t spend one iota of time explaining the error of her ways to her. Why? Because they’re not an error. They’re her beliefs, they comfort her, and they are a fundamental part of the woman I fell in love with. She knows exactly how I feel, so what’s the point of rehashing our differences? Love is about accepting someone for all that they are — and while sometimes it doesn’t come naturally, I know it’s something that’s essential to our long-term happiness.

I’ve had a lot of women try to change me. I’m marrying the one who doesn’t even try. Which is why I can say with some degree of confidence, Julia, that I don’t think you’ve fully contemplated what it’s like to date a person who is trying to change you. So try this hypothetical on for size:

You don’t want Catholic Man as he is — a sweet, God-fearing virgin with Christian values.

Catholic Man thinks you’re an amazing catch. Smart, logical, quick-witted, sexy (for, you know, the honeymoon) — you’re the entire package. Except for one thing. You’re Jewish. Your morals are questionable. And you’re going to hell — unless you accept Jesus Christ as your savior. And while he really thinks he could be in love with you, he’s not going to go down that path with a woman who would raise her children without a sense of God.

Sounds pretty awful, huh? To be with a guy who is proselytizing all the time? Who thinks your beliefs are silly? Who loves a lot of you, but won’t fully accept you as you are?

Yeah, that’s how you’re treating this guy.

I’m all for the breakdown of religious barriers. I think the new atheists are onto something. And my fiancée and I have our own unique way we plan on raising our family. It involves compromise — on both of our parts.

But it’s clear that you don’t really want to compromise on this one. You don’t want Catholic Man as he is — a sweet, God-fearing virgin with Christian values. You want him to be you — a smartypants secular Jew. And from one of us to another – that ain’t happening.

Let him find his chaste bride who will accept him as he is, instead of constantly judging him for what he isn’t.

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  1. 21

    And why would I insinuate that?

    Flattered by the attention, though.

  2. 22

    Many, many, guys, do not know how to seduce a woman…..

  3. 23

    I find it interesting that we choose someone who we know is polar opposite of us from the outset, then think we will change them to our way of thinking when we’re inconvienced by their convictions. This fellow has very firm boundaries in place and those are to be respected, not crossed. And, I will no doubt catch flack from the atheists, being pentocostal myself, but I think this guy is to be congratulated by standing on his faith. When you commit to that, the world doesn’t like it. Believe me, I know from experience!

  4. 24
    Cute Redhead

    Steve, #15: But if you’re looking for a yellow apple and someone is telling you that they don’t exist based on the predominance of red apples and, furthermore, that you have to change/give up/are weird because you want the yellow apple — well, you can imagine that that type of attitude would be annoying, especially when you, the yellow apple, have experience that supports your POV. When you are a minority yellow apple you tend to notice other yellow apples. When you are one of the predominant red apples, you tend not to notice the yellow apples because you get lots of support in believing that your way is “the way it is.”

    We all get to want what we want.

  5. 25
    Cute Redhead

    And I, for my part, only need one exception to the “rule” — I don’t need a million guys who support it.

  6. 26

    To Julia,

    Yes, if you are that attracted to him!…

  7. 27

    Julia – Wouldn’t your parents be much happier anyway if you weren’t having sex with a devout Jew?

    Heed the advice of EMK. “Implicit in believing your own bullshit is the idea that people who disagree with you are WRONG.” — They should put that on a T-shirt!

  8. 28


    Yes, that sentence would be terrific on a T-shirt!

    I’m copying that phrase down. I just know I will have occasions to use it. Maybe even on myself, lol.

  9. 29

    “One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh”
    – Robert Heinlein

  10. 30

    Implicit in believing your own bullshit is the idea that people who disagree with you are WRONG.

    I have no problem with that. If I thought there was more than a passing possibility that a belief could be wrong, I would believe it in the first place.

    In regards to religion, most people do not feel the need to be carefully agnostic about the existence of Thor. The reason for that is Thor is part of a culture that is past. Yahweh & Jesus are part of several current cultures.

    IMHO, I don’t need to respect religious beliefs as serious contenders of truth in order to respect the feelings of people who hold those beliefs.

    We live in a diverse world and what comes around goes around so I think the latter is of prime importance.

    I judge a persons religion or their beliefs by how well they accept that fact and how well they play with others.

  11. 31

    All right, I finally found the time to read the article and all the comments.

    While I don’t see cause for hunter’s conclusion in post 14, I can unfortunately relate to the sentiment. Some of my less enjoyable sexual experiences were with men who were more than willing to go down on me – sounds just fantastic in theory, doesn’t it? Only they were hopelessly bad at it. The ultimate kicker was that TELLING them how I want (well, need, really) it done, did NOT help – they were just not able to adjust their techniques.

    But my views on the myopia of holding off till marriage are [apparently] widely known on these boards anyway.

    Now, Ron, I don’t know why you keep bringing std’s into every discussion, but I do have to wonder if there is some sort of pathology here. One poster already mentioned the possibility of homosexuality. I just found myself thinking: his religious beliefs notwithstanding, what does he do about his sex drive? Afaik, masturbation is a big no-no in every major religion as well.

    And us atheist Jews couldn’t care less about pork, Honestamente.

  12. 32

    to juju, on post #31

    My conclusion from, women causing me physical pain through the night. Surely, you have been with men that have a painful “bite” or have a very hard painful “touch”…….and they won’t listen to,,,,,,, “stop that, it hurts”…..

  13. 33

    In regards to Juju’s #31:

    I suspect the men who are abstaining get to be quite familiar with their hand. Yes, masturbation qualifies as a sin and all sins technically are equal. This being said, however, marriage is a sacrament which means that it’s REALLY important as a religious rite. Blemishing that with premarital sex would seem worse than just taking care of one’s sexual needs with masturbation, but then again, those are my $0.02 and not found anywhere in the bible. Take it for what it’s worth.

  14. 34

    Juju on post #33

    All sins are technically equal? Really? hmmmmh…

  15. 35

    hunter, Re: #14

    “I have been with divorced women that I have to keep reminding, all night, that a BJ is an expression, you don’t really do it.”

    Made me laugh. I dated (very briefly) a man who climaxed within 5 sec. from oral. I never understood why the act was called a bj until I met him. I felt with him I could get away with just a whistle. You know the line from the old Lauren Bacall/Humphrey Bogart movie? “Just put your lips together and blow.”

    Would’ve worked for him.

  16. 36

    Hunter, I am just saying, the dislike could be very well due to the religiosity in this case. If on top of that his orientation is “non-traditional”, that would make him feel all the more conflicted, given his views.

  17. 37

    to selena on post #35

    There is a technique,(similar to accupressure points) few women know about, on how to delay climaxing….

  18. 38

    to juju on #36

    Maybe you are right, I sense the man has been smothered/overly disciplined.

  19. 39

    I think that the gang is right about this one. I know growing up my girlfriends and I were very religious and were all against it. I guess in time either the world corrupted me or I lost my beliefs a bit, but I did change how I felt about pre-martial sex. However, some of my friends did not. I support them 100% and I know why they feel this way since I did feel this way at one time. I think if you don’t have compatible beliefs, then it won’t work. If he is really strong in his beliefs, which it seems like he is, you should never try and change that. If you do, you’ll feel guilty, he’ll feel terrible. It will never work out and in addition to being broken up, you’ll both be broken people. If you’re willing to wait then that’s another compromise, but really in the end it will just cause problems. I was reading a blog about this on and the guy was dating this girl who used to sleep around and then decided to no longer. This could be a different story because her beliefs maybe weren’t as strong as your boyfriend. My advice, unfortunately you should probably try again with someone who is a bit less religious.

  20. 40
    Michael Ejercito


    Can’t you just, you know…marry him?

    Since he is so adamant about the issue, and you want to be in a relationship with him, why not marry him?

    Because if you do not, he will find someone who will .

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