something more

Cosmo discovers Theology of the Body

March 22, 2016

“I’m waiting for marriage” for sex, say three young women interviewed in . . . Cosmopolitan? Yes, that Cosmopolitan, the pink trash women’s magazine that’s been screaming sad and ridiculous sex advice at supermarket shoppers for as long as we can remember.

Curiouser and curiouser, the abstinent women in the article aren’t presented as zealots, oddities, or hopeless naifs, and the premise isn’t “vigins are inherently laughable and undesirable.” They’re allowed to explain in their own words why they’re abstinent and how it plays out.  Here’s how the interviews are introduced:

Although Millennials are often criticized for just wanting to hook up, never falling in love, and never going on any actual dates, there are twentysomethings out there for whom dating is about everything but sex. spoke with three women in their early 20s who are waiting until marriage to have sex, and yes, they’re still going on dates, and yes, they’ve used Tinder.

But wait, it gets stranger! The first woman, “Sara,” 22, says,

“I decided I wanted to wait when I read St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. In it, he discusses how Christ loves us totally, definitely, and sacrificially through his body, and that is what sex was created for us to do as well — to love others totally, definitely, and sacrificially through out bodies.


I don’t care how many monkeys had how many typewriters: No one expects a Theology of the Body name drop in Cosmo, not without the influence of an Infinite Improbability Drive.

The third surprise? I’m not even actually that surprised. We’ve been slogging around in the sexual wilderness for long enough. The original generations who were so in love with Egypt’s fleshpots are starting to die out (or at least their relevance is), and the younger generations aren’t blind. At least some of them are looking around at the dust and the squalor, the disorder and the pain, and they’re thinking, “This is no way to live. Let’s see, what else is there?”

And they are discovering abstinence before marriage. They are discovering Natural Family Planning. They are discovering the sanctity of life.

I’m no pollyanna. The world is in bad shape, and I know it. But there is hope, too. Sanity still has a foothold, and the sane are gaining ground and telling their friends.

Lots of secular people really do want something more. This would be a great time to make sure your friends know they can come to you, as that one Catholic friend who’s happy to answer questions without being pushy or rude. This would be a great time to signal to a lost world that there really is something better than the sexual, ethical wilderness that tried so hard to brand itself as the promised land.


Image: Bart Everson / Flickr (Creative Commons)