Sunday, August 29, 2010
Does it seem like some theology of the body enthusiasts take their direction from romance novels written for women? Is the source to be found in Love and Responsibility? We can say men should be considerate, caring, and so on to their wives, at all times in their marriage, and prior to and during mraital relations, but does this always manifest itself in the same external actions? How specific do TOB enthusiasts get in their recommendations? And how much should be left to the discretion of spouses, as they learn to appreciate each other and the differences between men and women? Some might claim that the man "taking the lead" or showing some dominance is too animalistic (perhaps because this is instinctual, but for other reasons as well), but is it possible that going to the other extreme is problematic, leading to a "disembodied sexuality" (even if it sounds oxymoronic) as it does not take into account the differences between male and female psychology. One can criticize men for being "selfish" but is it possible that a man we might characterize as being "selfish" nonetheless satisfies his wife? And if that is the case, is it really being selfish? (Or is that behavior really wrong?) Can we always judge this to be selfish behavior? Should Catholic moralists really go beyond giving concrete guidelines and proceed into the "privacy of the bedroom" and examine everything that happens there? Barring those actions that have been judged to be immoral by "traditional" moral theology, should we judge what happens between a husband and his consenting wife as not attaining to some higher, "spiritual" standard, and thus guilt them for not being good "Catholics"?