you say that sex exists primarily for procreation and family not any kind
of self-fulfillment? The pleasure aspect of sex being an accidental part
of procreation used primarily for ego-building?
ot exactly. First of all, it should
be understood that Holy Matrimony is an act of
service to God for the sake of raising children who can
love God, not a form of romantic fulfillment. Sexual union
is an important element in the context of that service. The real issue is whether
sexual activity is used to join the man and woman
together in their mutual love for God or as a
in which they use sensory satisfaction in an attempt to fill up their emotional
So how do you tell the
Well, consider for a moment the
case of alcohol. Alcohol can be used socially, in a non-defensive way, with
proper boundaries (never drink alone, never drink to intoxication, etc.).
It can also be used as a perversion. Imagine the man, for example, who drinks
heavily yet denies that he is an alcoholic and
asserts that he can control his drinking if he wants. How do you tell whether
he is an alcoholic? Just tell him to stop drinking completely for a month.
If he refuses, or if he fails, then you know that he uses alcohol
defensively, because the proof is in his
unwillingness to do without it.
In a similar way, sexual activity
can be used in Holy Matrimony as an expression of love for God to procreate
children who can in turn love God, but it can just as
well be a perversion. How do you test this? Just see what happens when
procreation becomes an issue. If a couple wants to have sexual contact but
doesnt want the risk of pregnancy, then tell them to refrain from all sexual
activity. If they refuse, but instead insist on some form of artificial birth
control, or some sexual activity other than intercourse, then you know the sexual
activity is a perversion and a denial of
family. But if they agree, then you know that
for the sake of love they can do without sexual
contact as easily as they can do with it for the sake of love.
1. For the present purposes, a perversion
can be defined as that which leads you away from the true depths of your
emotional painand from the psychological healing that could happen
if you were to work therapeutically with that painby distracting you
with something apparently pleasurable.
Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical
intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion.
Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.
by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the
acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply
biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such.
It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the
love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until
spouses union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the
spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values
of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couples spiritual
life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.
The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation
of fidelity and fecundity.