Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Different Kind of Sex

Reader Michael made an interesting comment on a recent post.  Michael writes ...

One small suggestion:

That you put " " [quotation marks] around the word sex when referring to any sexual acts outside that which God has decreed.

As Catholics, our problem isn't that gay people are having sex, it's that they're simply not even doing that!

Fornication, masturbation, life-denying sexual acts are all mockeries of the only kind of sex there is; that which is holy.

Now on the surface, this seems a bit silly. 

But what Michael is referring to is the Church's notion that the "marital act" differs in kind from all other genital activity.  "The marital act" is not simply "sex under certain conditions"; it is a different kind of thing from all other forms of sex - such as fornication, adultery, masturbation, etc.  This is what Michael is getting at.

When a husband and a wife engage in the "marital act", this act is emblematic of their entire relationship.  It must be a shared expression of their love for one another, which by definition must include openness to procreation.  It is a different kind of thing altogether from mere "sex".

But since we're on the subject of sex, something needs to be said.

What people tend to overlook is the power that lurks at the heart of sex.  Not only do we have the incredible power of producing other human beings by means of sexual intercourse, we also have the power to subvert this end and deliberately NOT produce another human being, either through contraception or through sexual acts other than intercourse.  This gives us a secret thrill.  Fecundity - making another human being who is utterly independent of you and quite surprising - is scary.  Sterility - destroying the gift of life while stealing the pleasures that go with it - is playing God.  It is thrilling - in a secret and shadowy way, as the Dark Lord's Ring is thrilling.  It confirms in our minds the illusion that we are in control.

By contrast, the "marital act" is outside of our control in many ways.  Not only does marriage make it very difficult to objectify your spouse (familiarity will do that), or even objectify the sex that's involved; but if the act is indeed open to love and procreation, it sweeps you away.  There is a loss of self, a self-sacrifice that comes with expressions of love in a marriage, and a great self-sacrifice that comes with having children - middle of the night feedings, the challenges of discipline, the teen years, living for the sake of another, etc.

It is this loss of control and submission to something greater than ourselves - love and babies - that scares us and that makes us choose perversion over the awesome and overwhelming thing that our "naughty bits" are made for. 

They are made for more than just "sex". 

They are made for an act of a different kind, an act so profound and magnificent that it scares us to death.

In fact, it scares us to the Culture of Death.

2 comments:

Micha Elyi said...

Since "gay" got mentioned, let's not pretend that word is a synonym for homosexual. It's not. "Gay" is a politics. Homosexual is a lifestyle. Not all homosexuals are "gay". Nor are all same-sex attracted people homosexuals.

And there is no such thing as gay marriage. It's same-sex sham marriage with emphasis on the word sham. The gays are not extending the definition of marriage as they claim. Rather, they are perverting it and demanding that we pretend that their same-sex sham marriages are the real thing. It's as silly as pretending pi=3 if only a judge's ruling or legislature's act were to say so.

Michael said...

Hi Kevin,

thankyou for the response, I whole-heartily agree.

"Sterility - destroying the gift of life while stealing the pleasures that go with it - is playing God."

"stealing" is the perfect word. When one takes that which is not owed to them by God (i.e. sexual pleasure which is purposefully given ONLY to married couples who are open to His plan) that is literally theft.

It's narcissistic in the fact that those who indulge in fornication say, value their own purpose for their bodies (pleasure) above that of God's (love). They are playing god in doing so.

Furthermore, couples who try to use "love" as an excuse/reason for using contraceptives haven't a leg to stand on, since they are merely compelling narcissism within their partner.

There's no love without self-sacrifice.