sex is natural. How can you deny that?
can’t deny it. In fact,
I agree with you. Sexual pleasure is natural. And being
“natural,” bodily pleasure can come
from anyone or anything. And God knows, some people have tried anything.
Literally. That’s the real underlying philosophy to the Marquis de
Sade’s writings, for example. It all comes down to saying, “Anything
goes if it serves your pleasure. Any body—man, woman, child,
or animal—is as good as any other body.”
So there’s the
natural for you.
Death—and Reproductive Sexuality
The problem with
sexuality, from the Catholic perspective, derives
from the difference between life and death. Because of mankind’s fall
from grace in Original Sin, we became subject to
death, and, consequently, sexual reproduction became our only connection
to continuing life. As a result, both men and women constantly feel the natural
physiological urges of their reproductive organs.
Now, the sexual union between
a man and a woman serves the holiness of life when the reproductive act is
expressed within the context of Holy Matrimony through an intimate bond of
love that guarantees a child a secure
family in which to grow in love for God.
But when the sex act is stripped
of its reproductive nature and turned into the sporting pleasure of pagan
eroticism, it perverts the holy ecstasy of life into the
demonic ecstasy of death—the death of defying
The lack of a consecrated
bond between a man and a woman breeds broken families, single mothers, missing
fathers, and—as the ultimate defiance of the holiness of
Children not conceived
in consecrated holiness will struggle with spiritual emptiness throughout
Children who are
not wanted are vulnerable to abuse (emotional, physical, and sexual) and
Adults are demeaned
when treated as mere sexual objects, and they
are vulnerable to falling into the belief that they do not deserve any
Adults who find their
identity as sexual objects open themselves to the danger of being
Therefore, because of these dangers,
we simply cannot manage our natural sexual urges without holy discipline.
It’s a bit like realizing that a firearm, if not kept locked up, can
cause terrific damage in the hands of a child.
In fact, with respect to bodily
pleasure, we are all children—psychologically.
Roots of the Expansive and the Intoxicating
The experience of lying naked
and helpless during dressing, feeding, bathing, etc. arouses profound and
complex emotions of pleasure in any infant: seeing and being seen, touching
and being touched. In some individuals, these experiences can be intensified
through fantasy, masturbation, sex play,
or outright sexual abuse.
During middle and late childhood
this erotic bodily awareness tends to fade into the background until it emerges
again in adolescence. But, oddly enough, just as all adult
eroticism grows from the roots of early infantile
experiences, adult eroticism holds within itself deep
fantasies harkening back to its infantile origins.
Making oneself seen through seductive clothing or through nakedness, being
touched freely and intimately—it all becomes a heady, expansive
This yearning is expansive
because the infant’s bond with a caretaker hints at the spiritual communion
with God that we crave—but have lost—through
Original Sin. And it’s intoxicating because
the desire for pleasure can become so intense
that we neglect even life itself to keep the pleasure
In the 1950s,
psychological researchers began to experiment with the intensely pleasurable
effects of electrical stimulation of the brain on animal
allowed rats to press a lever that stimulated the
pleasure area of the hypothalamus; the rats pressed the lever continuously,
several thousand times per hour, even to the point of collapsing from fatigue.
found that female rats would abandon—and even
trample underfoot—their own newly born pups for the sake of the brain
Divine revelation, therefore,
has told us that our bodies are more than
objects to be used for personal pleasure and
that we have souls destined for everlasting life—or everlasting
death—in the spiritual realm. When God calls us to be holy, then, He’s
calling us to give up our natural infantile fantasies and take on
the supernatural ways of divine love as the
only path to genuine spiritual life.
Make no mistake:
God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the
one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one
who sows for the spirit will reap everlasting life from the
1. Olds, J., & Milner,
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2. Olds, J. (1958).
Satiation effects in self-stimulation of the brain. Journal of comparative
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T. B. (1970). Intracranial stimulation and maternal behavior. APA convention
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