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The Catholic Church teaches that sexual activity is properly reserved to men and women who have joined themselves to one another in holy matrimony, and that it must always be oriented toward procreation.
As such, it is no surprise that marriage has become such an embattled institution in a society so concerned with personal worldly success and “liberty” as freedom from any unwanted constraint.
In the realm of sexuality, such intrinsically damaging acts include premarital or extramarital sexual activity of any kind, however private, however consensual, heterosexual or homosexual; the use of pornography; scandalous dress or other violations of modesty; and any sexual harassment or abuse. “Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere.” – Elisabeth Elliot, Imagine your grandmother: consider how she would dress, consider how she always seemed to carry herself with dignity and demanded respect. She is always depicted in beautiful and flowing dresses with a sash around her waist, and of course a crown.
You might feel like you’re the only one striving to keep your romantic relationships healthy, free, and chaste . Imagine a man who arrives at a job interview in a t-shirt and jeans versus the one who wears a suit and tie. Now walk out your door and head to any public place and see how today’s young men and women dress.
2522) “Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love… It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Done right, this is a great way to get to know other people without the pressure of a “relationship,” and to get to know more about yourself and what type of qualities you’re looking for in a romantic partner (but this isn’t an interview for a potential marriage mate! It should go without saying that healthy casual dating and physical intimacy don’t mix. Real love is about two people giving themselves as gifts to one another in freedom; but you can’t give what you don’t have, and you can’t give and receive freely if you’re too needy. If you’re asking it, you’re approaching this intimacy thing backwards.
Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.” from Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between unhealthy neediness and a natural and healthy desire for intimacy. Instead, ask “How can this relationship best reflect God’s plan for us?