Carry On Fornicating
I would never buy the Irish Times, so it’s hardly surprising that I never read it, except in the doctor’s or dentist’s waiting room. A few days ago, while waiting for some physiotherapy for a nasty attack of arthritis in the knee (something I’ll probably have to endure more frequently as I advance into my 80s) I glanced over the Times as there was nothing much else on offer. My eye was caught by a psychotherapist’s agony column offering comfort to a man who found himself impotent after years of indulging in self-abuse, aided by pornography. This fellow was greatly distressed because he couldn’t perform with a real flesh and blood woman, and his every attempt to do so was a flop. Help! What could he do?
Serve you right, you dirty little bastard, I thought. An act of contrition, and then a good Confession with a firm purpose of amendment is what you need, my lad. And even if you fail (as you probably will) you’ll be forgiven seventy times seven and eventually you may obtain peace and freedom from your nasty habits. You may even achieve a happy marriage, and be the father of a family. But screwing around will just make you miserable, make it impossible for you to form a healthy, exclusive relationship, and may even eventually send you to hell.
That’s the sort of advice an old-fashioned Redemptorist would have given.
This psychotherapist had other ideas. Sex, she told this unfortunate man, was meant to be fun! So relax when you are attempting to have it off with a floozie. Don’t worry! Just enjoy it! You’ll make it in the end!
What a disaster! How much human misery has been caused by the wrong use of this, one of God’s greatest gifts. No wonder so many marriages end in divorce, and consequent unhappiness, particularly to children.
The Catholic Church, which used to have a great deal to say on this topic, now stays completely mum, out of craven fear. When did you last hear a sermon on the Sixth Commandment? I’m not suggesting priests should keep banging on about fornication or contraception every other week, but once every year or two would be fair enough.
I see the British government has decreed that sex education must become compulsory in schools from the age of four. You may be sure it will be based on ideas similar to those expressed by that Irish psychotherapist.