It is with ironic amusement that the Roman Church should have subscribed to the notion that the missionary position ought to be THE Christian sexual position; while other positions were deemed as greater venial sins with their appropriate penances.
“Thus the sexual act must be performed in only one position, and numerous penalties were prescribed for using variants, the approach “more canino” – which was held to afford the most pleasure being regarded with especial horror and calling for seven years of penance. Confessors were required to ask specifically about these and every other possibility, and the manuals with which they were later supplied contain questions concerning every imaginable variant of the sexual act: in the present condition of the laws against obscenity it would be inadvisable to quote them here.“1
However, it has long struck me that as those who are stronger, ought to support those who are weaker; symbolically, they ought to be perceived as foundation, bottom and root of social entities.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”2
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.”3
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”4
In contrast to the masculinist Roman concept of husbands and rulers lording over their conquests, with the missionary position having an appropriate historical connotation to that effect; a scrupulous, legalistic Christianity should find woman-on-top, the appropriate sexual expression of the Christian ethos.
The whole point of this exercise is the absurdities in insisting on a seal of approval on sexual positions, techniques and the like, which the God of Scriptures deliberately, in my opinion, neglected to inscribe.
(From upcoming book - In Defense of Christian Marriage)
- Gordon Rattray Taylor, “Sex In History”, 1954, Chapter 3 – The Medieval Ideal
- Ephesians 2:20
- Matthew 20:25-27
- Romans 15:1-2