There is a certain age at which human nature is desirous of procreation-procreation which must be in beauty and not in deformity; and this procreation is the union of man and woman, and is a divine thing; for conception and generation are an immortal principle in the mortal creature (The Symposium by Plato
Sex-positivism is a modernistic phenomenon that seeks to reduce sex to mere physical pleasure. Actually, it isn’t a recent phenomenon at all. If it was, there would be no need for the Platonic condemnation of it in The Symposium. Sex-positivism is of course is a hostile attack on the purpose of humanity in general. We were not created simply to reduce the most sacred gift of pro-creativity into an act of pure pleasure. Rather, we were created to partake in the ultimate act of divine creation (Gen. 1:26-27) which is why the Platonic influence upon Christianity was so strong.
With this, we need to establish the actual purposes of the conjugal act. The conjugal act is not for mere pleasure alone but is rather the highest act of self-sacrifice. Marriage serves the purposes of procreation, man and the woman, and is a remedy for sexual sin (Wojtyla, Love and Responsibility, 50-51). These purposes listed form a synthesis because simply viewing marriage as a remedy for sexual sin ends up leading into submission of sexual lusts and viewing marriage nothing more than as a means of pro-creation takes the sacrifice of the man and the woman out of the equation. The synthesis though reveals man and woman as truly complementary (52). Further, more than entering into marriage as a means to avoid sin, the remedial purpose is actually a redemptive purpose as in the marital union, “because in conjugal love [sexual love] does not need to be a mere servant of lust, and also because it receives a sacrificial justification for itself in reproduction” (Bulgakov, The Comforter, 331).
On the subject of false love, Karol Wojtyla (St John Paul II) discusses four main points. That false love must transcend desire. Neither must it limit desire. That true love seeks to desire the good of another. And that false love is a form of evil love (Wojtyla, 66). Because false love does not seek to desire the good of another but rather of the self, it leads to an impure seeking of the good which in effect is not where the good actually dwells. Following the example of Christ’s sacrifice, love builds one another up often times through sacrifice. A false love lacks the necessary sacrifices.
Sex-positivism makes the faulty presumption that lacking sexual activity is harmful for the
human being. Or, when mentioning once that the Queen of Heaven was an Ever-Virgin, I have once heard someone guffaw that “she had it bad”. Which would be impossible seeing as God, being the ultimate good, of whom the Virgin Mary carried in her own womb and became forever intimately connected to in the salvation of mankind, had only ever been able to experience good in a way that most men can never even think to experience. Far from having it bad, it was the Virgin Mary’s acceptance of allowing the Messiah to be born of her that secured her over-flowing goodness. As Wojtyla maintains, there is no pathological syndrome that confirms at all the rightness of this hypothesis that the lacking of sexual activity would be at all harmful to the individual. Far from this hypothesis, it is abuses of the sexual life that have caused the harm (268-269). We see that “the drive” seeks sexual value and stirs the will to desire the other’s good (which is the basis of true love), and that this desire unites with the will to bring about human life (118-119). The human desire is to bring about the good. However, improper suppression of “the drive” is “not abstinence” (269) and lacking the proper abstinence to guide “the drive” to fulfill good of the other is what creates the harm. Further, mastery of the flesh is “worthy of person” (178-179) as the canonized Pope references Aristotle and if this fails, it jeopardizes the natural perfection. While self-mastery allows one to govern their passions (181), merely sexual self-giving leads to utilitarianism (82) and the human body becomes an object.
In response to sex-positivism, it is necessary to condemn the various sins involved that distort the sexual life as the sex-positivists would want it to be distorted. It must be understood that one sin promoted is that of homosexuality. This cannot be accepted since the sexual life and the marital union can only be recognized in the male and female “synthesis of unity” and only there can the “natural psychophysical” completion take place (<em>Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church</em> 228). Abortion has been lauded as fundamental to sex-positivism since it enables “sexual liberties” and “women’s bodily rights” but far from being a fundamental human right, it is a “dangerous threat to a just and democratic social coexistence” (233). In addition, rejection of contraceptives are based on the correct understanding of human sexuality (233). Equally problematic are IVF and other forms of artificial reproduction but these are for another discussion.
Closing thoughts on the sex-positivist heresy–
Woman’s being formed the man means joining of the wife to the husband is the only possibility. Homosexual marriage is not only not marriage but is impossible. (St Hildegard of Bingen, <em>Scivias</em> 1.2.11)
Sexual life is primarily for the reproduction of the human race partaking in the creative act of God and only in this do we see it serving the sacrificial purposes of man and woman and redeeming sexual lusts. (ibid)
Woman is for man and man is for the woman. (1.2.12)
A man may not emit his semen in excessive lust, out of accordance with nature, by touching himself. Masturbation is out of line with human sexuality. Masturbation causes peril to the soul. (1.2.20, 2.6.78)
Virginity was created by God (the highest good) and is to be valued, not guffawed at. (1.22.4)
Because man is for the woman and woman is for the man, they are not to be joined to the same sex. (2.6.78)
Sexual acts must not be done in wantonness but for the love of children. (1.2.22)
The sexual act is sacrificial and it is not only for the good of one man and one woman but is for the good of all men and all women which is why in human sexuality, one of the main purposes is pro-creation. Any activity lacking is an abuse. Any lacking not transcending and going above is abuse. Human sexuality is one of the most sacred things because in it, we participate in the divine act of creation itself.