Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body”
I’m not a theologian, but here is my take after reading a lot of Pope John Paul’s “Theology of the Body”
This has not been easy reading, but it’s been amazing. In my understanding, as long as a what a married couple does is done with continence, and ends in a unitive and procreative marital act, then all is good.
In “Continence protects the dignity of the conjugal acts “ (ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/jp2tb123.htm), Pope JPII says that what we do with our spouses must always be done in light of continence. A part of the “more general virtue of temperance…Continence consists in the capacity to dominate, control and direct drives of a sexual character (concupiscence of the flesh) and their consequences, in the psychosomatic subjectivity of man. Insofar as it is a constant disposition of the will, this capacity, merits being called a virtue.” ……”This virtue is seen to be the fundamental condition for the reciprocal language of the body to remain in the truth and for the couple to ‘defer to one another out of reverence for Christ,’.
“In this way also the essential character of conjugal chastity is manifested in its organic link with the power of love, which is poured out into the hearts of the married couple along with the consecration of the sacrament of marriage….Conjugal chastity…is manifested at first as the capacity to resist the concupiscence of the flesh. It later gradually reveals itself as a singular capacity to perceive, love and practice those meanings of the language of the body which remain altogether unknow to concupiscence itself…progressively enrich(ing) the marital dialogue of the couple, purifying it, deepening it, and at the same time simplifying it. Therefore….continence…does not impoverish affection manifestations, but rather makes them spiritually more intense and therefore enriches them.”
Viewed in this way, continence (ensuring your sexual desires are focused on your spouse) sanctifies a couple’s concupiscence.
In “Continence frees one from inner tension” (ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/jp2tb124.htm), Pope JPII explains that in the masculine/feminine relationships, within each of us there is “excitement” and “emotion”. Excitement is, of course, “above all corporeal and in this case sensual. On the other hand, even though aroused by the mutual reaction of masculinity and femininity, emotion refers above all to the person understood in the person’s integrality. We can say that this is an emotion caused by the person, in relation to the person’s masculinity or femininity.”
But here is the important part.
Continence is not only – and not even principally – the ability to abstain, that is mastery over the multiple reactions that are interwoven in the mutual influence of masculinity and femininity. Such a role would be defined as negative….(but rather it is the positive) ability to direct the respective reactions, both as to their content and their character.”
“Excitement seeks above all to be expressed in the form of sensual and corporeal pleasure. That is, it tends toward the conjugal act which…includes the possibility of procreation. Emotion, on the other hand, caused by another human being as a person, even if in its emotive content it is conditioned by the femininity or masculinity of the “other”, does not per se tend toward he conjugal act.”
So continence is the controlling of your sexual character, specifically toward turning your sensuality toward your spouse, and is virtuitous. Add in another virtuitous act, that of charity (to your spouse), and keep in mind the dual requirements for the marital act to always be unitive and procreative, and I believe that much of what is commonly held as “taboo” (marital aids, oral stimulation, self manual-stimulation, post-coital stimulation) is perfectly fine….as long as it is done in light of continence.
If you want a more graphic, but not pornographic, discussion of Catholic sex, then check out this blog: theramblingsofacrazyface.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/im-gonna-talk-bout-sex-for-a-minute/
You’re a lucky man to have a chaste wife who wants to “spice it up”.
Good luck, and God bless.