What is the meaning of sex?
Everyone in every time and place is interested in sex. Our own time is obsessed by it. One would think that a society obsessed by sex would understand it very well. But the truth is that obsession drives out understanding. We no longer understand even the common sense of sexuality, the things that were common knowledge in supposedly less enlightened times.
Acclaimed philosopher J. Budziszewski remedies this problem. His wise, gracefully written book about the nature, meaning, and mysteries of sexuality restores lost wisdom, raising and answering such questions as:
- Does sex have to mean anything at all?
- What is the meaning of the sexual powers, of sexual differences, of sexual love, of sexual beauty, of sexual purity?
- Is sexuality “all about sex”?
- Why does sexuality stir up such transcendent longings for something more than sex?
On the Meaning of Sex corrects the most prevalent errors about sex, particularly the errors of the sexual revolution, which by mistaking pleasure for a good in itself has caused untold pain and suffering. In restoring the meaning and purpose of sex, the author reclaims what Dante calls “the intelligence of love.”
“Looking out over the sexual landscape of our time,” Budziszewski writes, “I see a terrain of unutterable sweetness, despoiled by unmentionable pain. Yet who knows? Perhaps it is not too late to redeem the unutterable sweetness. Shall we try to find out?”
What They're Saying...
“Only the brave and the foolish attempt a book about sex, but J. Bud (as we, his faithful readers, refer to him) serenely avoids the usual pitfalls in this lucid and blessedly concise overview. No forced jocularity here, no prissiness, no muddle.”
— Christianity Today
“Charmingly simple and simply charming . . . An elegant, passionate book . . . Setting the book against the prevailing sense of emptiness and meaninglessness of the sexual revolution, Budziszewski aims to protect those coming of age from such destruction. . . . A welcome clarion call to return to a more purposeful and intelligent way of understanding. Recommended.”
“Budziszewski’s logic is flawless, and he understands that we cannot begin to speak about good and evil, and particularly about sexual good and evil, without acknowledging man’s transcendent end. Pleasure is not to be the law of our being, but rather we can only find our happiness in obedience to that law. On the Meaning of Sex is an eminently readable and powerful testament to that unchanging truth.”
— Anthony Esolen, author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child
“In this engaging, illuminating book, Budziszewski applies the skill of a wise professor and the grace of a seasoned writer to a subject too often mired in banality and profanity. Read it and rediscover the mystery, beauty, and grandeur of human sexuality.”
— Colleen Carroll Campbell, host of EWTN’s Faith & Culture
“One needs to recommend this book with a warning: If you do not want to know what sex really is, if you do not want to act with truth in your soul about what is, do not read this book. It will only give you an unsettled soul, which is, indeed, probably what you need. Most of all, you need to read it.”
— James V. Schall, S.J., Georgetown University, author of Another Sort of Learning
“In an era when the very idea of ‘truth’ is under assault, Budziszewski presents a powerful counterargument that is an eloquent defense of human reason—especially needed when we take up such fraught subjects as sex.”
— Jean Bethke Elshtain, author of Sovereignty: God, State, and Self
“I teach a course on ‘Philosophy of Human Sexuality,’ and I must have read fifty to a hundred books on the topic. On the Meaning of Sex is, quite simply, number one, especially for this generation. It is deep yet clear, reverent yet punchy, sound yet relevant, idealistic yet realistic, thoughtful yet exciting. It makes boredom impossible. The style is as beautiful as the content.”
— Peter Kreeft, Boston College, coauthor of Handbook of Christian Apologetics
“In a style of argument reminiscent of C. S. Lewis, Budziszewski articulates the thoughts that so many young men and women begin to discern but seldom develop.“
— Mark Regnerus, author of Forbidden Fruit