An acquaintance has expressed the following opinion. One should have plenty of sex with his future wife, because one should marry for love not for sex. One should get “sex out of his mind” before marrying the girl. This is the exact opposite of truth. One should marry for sex! As with all things Catholic, most people travel from the sensual to the intellectual and spiritual. But sex before marriage does not bond the lovers spiritually. And if sexual desire is exhausted before marriage, then sex afterward within marriage will no longer be a stepping stone toward a more sophisticated spiritual friendship. The whole point of waiting to have sex until one is married is to use sex to produce love.

There are two aspects of marriage that support love: faithfulness and possession / surrender.

Sex is a means to love but only when both are committed to learning to love each other, when no one is still contemplating their “options.” Love before marriage is somewhat faithless.

Further, the ultimate signal of love is the woman’s agreement to bear the man’s children. It’s her ultimate surrender and his dominion. But such a thing is impossible before marriage.

Sex before marriage then is a recipe for massive heartbreak.

Now there is indeed a problem of finding out if a couple is “sexually compatible.” Could a solution be found in a “carnival,” understood as “licensed misrule”? During a carnival, perhaps properly executed sex before marriage can supply the relevant info.

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