steepholm (steepholm) wrote,
steepholm
steepholm

Unmarried marriage counsellors?

The phrases "Catholic church" and "teachings about sexuality" are not normally a happy combination, but I must admit I was rather charmed by news of Seks, the so-called Catholic Kama Sutra, which has been published by a Polish Franciscan. At first, I was thinking sarcastically that if a celibate monk could publish a sex guide then perhaps I ought to crack on with my Introduction to Egg Sucking for the Over-Sixties or maybe even Beyond Lasts: A Cobbler Speaks; but I was pleasantly surprised by passages such as this:

"Some people, when they hear about the holiness of married sex, immediately imagine that such sex has to be deprived of joy, frivolous play, fantasy and attractive positions... [They think] it has to be sad like a traditional church hymn... Every act - a type of caress, a sexual position - with the goal of arousal is permitted and pleases God."

At any rate, it's sobering to reflect that (the restriction of sex to married couples and the disapproval of contraceptives notwithstanding) this advice is considerably more broad-minded than that of, say, Ray Blanchard, chair of the American Psychiatric Association's working group on paraphilias for the forthcoming DSM-V, who regards any sexual act or interest that doesn't have the goal of penetrative sex as a sign of mental disorder.

Which of these two is the true heir of St Augustine?

Tags: gender
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