Marriage, the Family, and Personal Fulfillment

By David A. Schulz; Stanley F. Rodgers | Go to book overview

8 THE ART OF LOVEMAKING

Praise be given to God, who has placed man's greatest pleasure in the natural parts of woman, and has destined the natural parts of man to afford the greatest enjoyment to woman.

The Perfumed Garden


INTRODUCTION

Sex, to most of us, means sexual intercourse. Whether we talk about "doing it" or "making love," whether we use any of the crude but common terms or have invented our own tender euphemisms, the focal point of our meaning is the very specific act of genital intercourse. This focus is carried over into research on sexual behavior, which heavily concentrates on sexual intercourse or coitus, its more precise expression. But human sexual behavior is much more varied than that. As the noted anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski has shown in his classic Sexual Life of Savages, sex is a social and cultural force pervading all of society.1

American lovemaking has been strongly influenced by our cultural heritage, which places a heavy emphasis on the reproductive function of human sexuality. Sex for the right purpose, with the right person, in the right way is a central element of our understanding of sexual intercourse that goes back at least as far as St. Thomas

____________________
1
Bronislaw Malinowski, The Sexual Life of Savages ( New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1929).

-173-

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