Sex Comes With Strings Attached


Can sex friends stay best friends?

Stars Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman explore this 21st-century predicament in the new movie “No Strings Attached,” which opens Friday. Lifelong friends Emma and Adam unexpectedly become more than friends one morning, so to protect their relationship, they agree to a “no strings attached” sexual relationship – no commitment, no expectations, no jealousy and definitely no lasting love.

It’s the ultimate friends with benefits scenario, and without seeing even a minute of the film, I can venture a guess that these two will find more than lust in the end.

“So we just do this until one of us feels something more,” Portman’s character says in the trailer.

“Well, it won’t be me,” Kutcher’s character responds confidently.

“It won’t be me,” Portman retorts.

The fact that Hollywood has produced a film solely to explore a sex-only relationship indicates a significant shift in our culture’s views on dating and sexuality. This is not a recent change, so I doubt Kutcher and Portman were thinking of such implications when they walked the red carpet at the movie’s premier last week.

As Catholic singles, many of us know that such a lax view on physical relationships completely contradicts Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, which is one of the soon-to-be-beatified pope’s greatest legacies in the church. It was his Magna Carta on sexuality, one that is just as spiritual as it is practical. Whether you’ve crossed a line with a friend or significant other or have been called on for advice from someone else who has, Pope John Paul’s theology is a good place to start.

The core concept?

Sexuality is a “sincere gift of self.” He wrote:

“The human body is not merely an organism of sexual reactions. But it is, at the same time, the means of expressing the entire man, the person, which reveals itself by means of the language of the body… Participating in the eternal plan of love, the language of the body becomes a kind of prophetism of the body.” (TOB Aug. 22, 1984) p. 397

One cannot separate the body from the soul for mere physical expression; this is not love.

“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience love and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.” (Redemptor Hominis 10)

We can assume that the characters in “No Strings Attached” come to this realization in the end.

May we all come to accept the truth Pope John Paul laid out, that sex without commitment, love and marriage is hollow. So let’s pass on a trip to the movie theater this weekend and instead rejoice in the simple truth that God has love, real love, waiting for each of us in our relationship with Him – no strings attached.



  1. Tessa-694373 September 5, 2012 Reply

    This blog and most of the comments bring up great points…sex outside of marriage is empty and unfulfilled…who would wants that in their life…Keep the Faith…and Love and Marriage will be your reward if it is God’s will for you.

  2. Kayla-549130 February 27, 2011 Reply

    Sex outside of marriage is just an act of fornication, a serious sin. There cannot be a true fulfilling union without God being at the center.

  3. Marie-575233 February 22, 2011 Reply

    I agree with the pope “Redemptor Hominis 10”. I will definitely see that film.I am very curious about the ending.

  4. Mary-686192 February 14, 2011 Reply

    If there were no premarital sex by Catholics (even back in the “olden days” of the 60s), I would not have been conceived, and Catholic Charities’ booming baby adoption industry would not have thrived as it did before contraception became widely available. The pain of being separated from biological parents – even as an infant – is very significant, often lifelong, and should not be taken so lightly by those who make up rules about sex, contraception and what makes a “family.” Jesus himself might agree; his mother could easily have been stoned to death for being a pregnant single woman.

    And then there is the matter of spreading disease, or having unwanted children within wedlock… there were plenty of Catholic mothers that dreaded having yet another baby – I am sure sex was not so much a joy for them, knowing it would mean another mouth to feed, another two years of nappies to wash, and a huge toll on her body and her health. Exporting our ideals to less developed countries where there are fewer resources and less legal protection for women – who are often treated as chattel – is at best irresponsible.

    Idealism is important and gives us something to strive toward; being sinners as we all are, all of us will fail at this at some point(s) in our lives. However, compassion and God-given intelligence should not be written off as subservient to our ideals when real, complicated situations present themselves for us to navigate in this life.

    • Daniel-540306 February 14, 2011 Reply

      Well Mary, if you were conceived out of wedlock then that to me is just example#2,888,344,848,49494(lol) of how God can use evil acts to accomplish good. For example, would you try to assert that putting an innocent man to death(like Jesus) was not such a bad idea after all since it resulted in our salvation? No of course not. Yet by your reasoning, that’s what we should do. In my opinion, it would have been better for your biological parents not to have had pre-marital relations, but if they loved each other enough to wait for marriage, you would have been born into a more stable household.

      Who knows? Maybe you’d have been raised differently and would not be the fallen away Catholic you are today. It doesn’t worry me though, God can turn this bad thing into something good too–it’s the Circle of Life! lol.

  5. Joan-684265 February 14, 2011 Reply

    If my memory is correct, the the Baltimore Catechism states that the matter and form of the Sacrament of Matrimony is sexual union. Some of us work to live by the teachings of our holy church . Sadly, ever since the so-called “sexual revolution” began, aided by the availability of “the pill,” our culture has become more-and-more sex-addicted. Those of us striving to live by the principles of faith are considered “unenlightened” by those folks who embrace the loose cultural standards of today. I frequently remind myself that an outstanding teacher I enjoyed as a teenager (my world history teacher, Sister Mary Edmund) told us repeatedly that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, was counter-cultural. Thinking about this fact helps keep me mindful of what our faith demands.

  6. Charles-683007 February 10, 2011 Reply

    My oldest son had a “no strings attached” relationship. The “string” will be 20-years old next September.

  7. Cynthia-553754 January 31, 2011 Reply

    Pope John Paul put it very beautifully. It pains me to see a movie portray such an intimate part of life so nonchalantly. My concern is the growing number of teens that think this approach is acceptable. We’ve got to set a better example than this, America. My body is the temple of my immortal soul, and I honor it by staying true to my faith. I recently heard my parish youth minister say the most inspiring thing to the teens in our confirmation program. She said, “True love WAITS for me.” Yes, it does.

  8. Anna-266441 January 28, 2011 Reply

    I am a senior woman and a member of Catholic Match and it amazes me that even the senior men who profess as being “Catholic” think its okay to have sex outside of marriage. Its very discouraging and these types of movies make it harder for those of us who still believe,strongly in the Lords teachings about premarital sex.

    • Denis-663727 January 29, 2011 Reply

      hello Anna, well said !
      I am also amazed that on this ‘catholic’ site the vast majority of women I have viewed do not agree with the Church’s teaching on contraception.!!! Whooaaaa !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Paul-58566 January 26, 2011 Reply

    To quote G.K. Chesterton, “Take away the supernatural and what remains is unnatural.”

  10. Jerry-74383 January 21, 2011 Reply

    “May we all come to accept the truth Pope John Paul laid out, that sex without commitment, love and marriage is hollow.”

    It is much more than hollow – sex outside of marriage is a grave sin.

  11. Barbara-573224 January 18, 2011 Reply

    People are fools when it comes to sex..When done outside marriage you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment..That is selfish love doing it because it makes you feel good..There is so much more to Love then sex..Love is when you know the person will always be there in good and bad times ..Christians wake up..It is no way to enter a Good healthy relationship with lust on your record….

Post a comment