The child goes about wondering. What’s the matter with sex that everybody’s afraid to talk about it? What’s the matter with my body that I dare not mention it? My body seems very beautiful to me. I like to look at it. I like to feel it. I like to smell it. But I’m always hurried into my clothes. My body is so mysteriously precious I must take care of it. But how am I to take care of it if I don’t get acquainted with it?
I find that having a body has something to do with being a father and a mother. I want to be a father. I want to be a mother. But how can I be a father or mother if some one who knows doesn’t tell me what precedes fatherhood and motherhood? I should prepare for it. How can I if all the books are closed? How can I if I am blanked every time I express my curiosity? Is there no one anywhere who’ll be honest with me?
If I look at sex right out of my own soul, it seems like something which God didn’t fail with, but succeeded with. Like something not polluted, but purified. Like something having everything, instead of only an occasional thing, to do with life. But the world shakes its head. The world is nasty. But it puts on airs. The world has eaten. But the world says it’s best to starve. Folks will say they’ve got to be parents. But they say they will regret it. They say sex is here. They say we’re up against its mandates or its passions. But let’s be as decent as we can with the indecent. Let’s not linger on its margins. Let’s not overstay our dissipation. Sex is like eating. Who would eat if he didn’t have to? To say you enjoy a meal is carnal. To say that you derive some sense of ecstasy from paternal and maternal desires is a confession of depravity. Sex at the best is a sin.
Sex at the best is like stepping down. That sex might be an ascent. That sex might be the only means of growth and expansion. You never suppose that! You only assume perdition. You are afraid to assume heaven. I may take pride in that which I may abstract from my anatomy. I must not allude to my body as frankly as to my soul. I must withdraw my body from the public eye. From discussion. From its instinctive avowals. Our bodies must be coffined. Treated as dead before they are born. Regarded as conveniences. Not as essential entities. The body is only for a little while. The soul is forever. But why is that little while not as holy as forever? They don’t say. They cavalierly settle the case of the body against itself.