The Pill Makes You Hate Sex and Want to Leave Your Milquetoast Man.

New research by the Royal Society says that women taking oral contraceptives, “scored lower on measures of sexual satisfaction and partner attraction, experienced increasing sexual dissatisfaction during the relationship, and were more likely to be the one to initiate an eventual separation if it occurred.”

The study did also suggest that the same contracepting women were more likely to be satisfied with the non-sexual aspects of their relationships, but the researchers note that this is because the pill causes women to be attracted to lower testosterone men who lack passion and drive leading to a lower potential for conflict.

Superficially, it might appear that, despite the dissatisfaction in the romantic relationship,  the increased satisfaction experienced in non-sexual interactions would make oral contraceptive’s effect on overall relational happiness a wash, but I can tell you from professional experience that it is easier to teach a manly man to wash a dish than it is to teach a milquetoast man to be passionate.

So, ladies, if you want passion and partnership, you might want to rethink that resistance to doing Natural Family Planning (or rethink marrying that man who resists NFP).   Here’s where you can learn more about how NFP can work for you.

To get more out of your sexual relationship with your spouse, check out Holy Sex! The Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving.

About Dr. Greg

Dr. Gregory Popcak directs the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to marriage, family, and personal problems. Together with his wife, Lisa, he hosts More2Life Radio. He is the author of over a dozen books integrating psychological insights with our Catholic faith. For more info about books, tele-counseling and other resources, visit

  • Theodore Seeber

    I have a theory that equates contraception with a form of rape.

    It goes something like this: Rape has nothing to do with consent, and everything to do with the intent of the rapist. If the only intent in a sex act is to use another person as an object for sexual gratification, then that is rape. The only concrete, material way to judge this is the intent to create a new life. Rapists aren’t thinking about a new life, and if they’re thinking about the future at all, they want their sex to be non-procreative. Contraception is about preventing new life from occurring- and thus making the woman available to be a sex object.

    Could it be that the study you quote is just women reacting to the objectification of their bodies and their lives?

    • James

      I see where you are going with this, but no, just no.

      Comparing contraception to rape is a false equivalence and is not a helpful analogy.

    • Maria Tiganello

      ” Rape has nothing to do with consent, and everything to do with the intent of the rapist.”

      Rape has EVERYTHING to do with consent. Everything.

      This is not even remotely connected to rape. You are a disturbed person with a disturbed theory.

      Your “theory” applies to any form of birth control, including NFP. If the intent of either the husband or wife is to use the other solely for sexual gratification purposes, then he or she is engaging in a form of rape, according to this sicko “theory” of yours.

      You cannot know the intimate details of any couple, regardless what method of birth control they use (or don’t use).

      This notion that NFP alone always relegates sex to something better than or holier than someone’s else’s sexual intimacy , and that any other form of birth control makes sexual intimacy the same as rape is a form of idolatry, as well as the sin of calumny.

      As far as the conclusions re this study, correlation does not imply causation, and there may well be other factors that impact the results.

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  • James

    In studying the Church’s teaching on sexuality, I was rather surprised to see just how much the Church values the “marital embrace” itself.

    The Church’s teaching is that marriage is a sacrament and that the marital embrace is part of that sacrament. It was designed by God to be an instrument of grace for the married couple. When people diminish the act through contraception, they diminish the grace.

    In marriage, the couple needs all the grace they can get. :-)

    The marital embrace is not sacred because it can create new life, it can create new life because it is sacred. It retains its goodness even during times of infertility. The concept that the act itself has power and goodness independent of results may be a bit shocking for some, and can be difficult to explain to English speakers (English doesn’t have much of a concept of the nature of an act independent of results or intent), but this is the teaching of the Church. Scientific studies of sexuality show how sex can bond two people together down to the biochemical and neurological level. Science shows us how sexuality has been designed to be an instrument of God’s grace.

    This is why the Pill is so dangerous. The couple appears to be having “regular” sex, but the chemistry is all wrong. The woman’s biology has been changed. She will react differently to the act and her partner and her partner will react differently to her. The meaning of the act has changed and the grace significantly diminished. Because things “look” normal, the couple is often completely unaware of what is going on. They then think boredom and dissatisfaction is normal in a marriage.

    When society treats this disappointing sexuality as normal and virtuous, this can only be described as diabolical.

    In contrast, even a couple who uses NFP “imperfectly” is still respecting their biology and receiving the full power and goodness of the act for most of the cycle. They also know when they are diminishing the act and that this isn’t satisfying in the same way. Eventually, many couples find they lose interest in unsatisfying acts and find other ways to be intimate, including being open to life and just going for it on those possibly fertile days.

    If any couple is considering NFP, don’t be scared off by the abstinence or think you have to do everything perfectly overnight. As St. Augustine said, Do what you can and pray for God’s grace to do what you cannot.

    • Maria Tiganello

      This just isn’t true. What if a couple is using NFP, the husband decides he wants sex because, well, he wants sex and his wife’s cycle is in its infertile period, she says no, and he holds her down and rapes her anyway.

      This is using NFP “imperfectly”. Her biology is “respected” since she hasn’t altered it hormonally. Are they (or he, since he’s the actor, she the forcibly subdued victim) still receiving the “full power and goodness of the act”? Seriously/

      This is what happens when you idolize NFP in and of itself.

      It’s merely a tool. That’s all it is. Raising NFP to a sacrament in and of itself is idolatry.

      Also, the abusive mindset I see among men in NFP-using couples is deeply troubling. NFP does not protect women against abusive men (or vice versa).

      • James

        Using NFP “imperfectly” is when couples use condoms or “Bill Clinton abstinence” during the fertile period. It’s also known as the secular “Fertility Awareness Method”. The couple would still be having natural sex during the infertile period.

        No, NFP does not protect women against abusive men. (or vice-versa) But if there is sexual abuse in a marriage, then the couple has FAR bigger problems than family planning.

        You seem rather obsessed with marital rape and have a very low opinion of men. You seem to have some very serious anger issues. What’s up?

        • Maria Tiganello

          No “anger issues”. Guess I’m just reading everything through that creepy post below. ~shudder~

          I’m not “obsessed” with marital rape. I didn’t bring it up. That guy did. ~double shudder~ Ugh. Euw. Seriously skin-crawlingly creepy, that post.


          I like men. A lot. I’ve been very happily married for 28 years. I have a lovely family, including three sons and two grandsons. I also have five brothers and lots of male cousins and plenty of male friends.

          I see a lot of this NFP idolatry, however, among the twenty- and thirty-somethings of the Catholic blogosphere. It’s a fix-all, a magic bullet, it makes everything “holier”, it’s practically a sacrament unto itself, etc. That’s a dangerous road to go down.

          NFP is only an alternate, “natural” method of birth control. It’s practiced by various people for various reasons, not all of which are religious, much less Catholic. Assigning special properties to it is wrong.

          • James

            Yeah, that was a weird post. I think you got my post confused with the other one and I thought you were reading some awfully strange things into mine.

            Yes, I do agree that people try to sacramentalize the method, which really isn’t appropriate. It also creates false expectations for couples. (The only reason why you get a “honeymoon every month” is because the week or two before kinda sucks.) I like the secular term for NFP, “fertility awareness”, far better, because all it is is just information.

            I do believe the sex itself can be part of the sacrament, in certain circumstances. Getting away from contraception can lead to a better, more intimate sex life, for Catholics and non-Catholics. Not to mention you don’t have to worry about biochemical issues or side effects.

            As for the abuse, sadly, some ultratraditionalists do try to
            justify marital rape (or at the very least sexual coercion and abuse) under “marriage debt” theology. That’s not what that means and that is NOT mainstream Catholic thought at all.

          • Maria Tiganello

            Well, marriage is a sacrament, and intimacy is part of that. But I don’t think it is a good idea to speculate about other people’s intimacy. You just never know the whole story. On the one hand, it’s not a bad thing people feel freer to talk of these things, but, on the other, some of this online stuff borders on oneupmanship and comparison games that’s not good for anyone’s marriage.

            Hang in there…menopause rocks! ;~)

  • gpopcak

    Hello All, I deleted the “marital rape” thread. It was too off-topic and troubling to leave up.