Sexual intimacy is not love. Sexual intimacy strengthens one to practice love. While the Sacrament is most truly expressed when the parties freely choose one another, freedom from infatuation in making that decision is almost as important as freedom from external coercion, since infatuation is internal coercion. Attraction, or even being friends, are not necessary to have a marriage. Choosing to love, honor and obey, in sickness and in health, as long as you both live, is what’s necessary. Being attracted, being friends or even liking each other help, but once that choice is freely made, barring some horrible extenuating circumstances (and, even then, sticking it out is heroically virtuous), once that choice is made, it’s made.
We love in marriage to prepare us to engage in the sacrificial love necessary to raise children. Babies, the anthropologists and psychologists tell us, are cute so we’ll want to take care of them. When a teenager is jerky and disrespectful, we think, “She’s my cute little baby.” When a 10 year old is bullying his siblings, or someone else, we think, “He’s my cute little baby.” It keeps us, as a comedian might say, from dropping them off at the orphanage. But there are times when parents get angry with our children, or maybe they grow up to be people we don’t have anything in common with, but that bond of the baby we once knew encourages to get through those hard times as parents.
And learning how to truly love as a parent teaches us to truly love other people sacrificially.
So, whichever permutation of the sexual revolution you’re talking about, how does self-gratification teach you to be self-sacrificing?