The Hedonistic Paradox

Linking to Touchstone in the previous post reminded me that they have the previous issue up --so I can link to J. Budziszewski's "Designed for Sex." J. does what he does best: makes natural law intelligible to mere mortals. In the process, he explains what Catholics call "the unitive and procreative meanings" of sex in terms of "the hedonistic paradox."
The best way to ruin pleasure is to make it your goal.
Pleasure comes naturally as a byproduct of pursuing something else, like the good of another person. When I talk with students, I illustrate the point with a Mick Jagger song they’ve all heard, although they think the Rolling Stones are a bunch of geezers. The song is “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Nobody who has ever listened to the song imagined that Jagger suffered from a shortage of sex. The problem was that all that satisfaction wasn’t satisfying anymore.