Lately I've been seeing (on late night TV) commercials for Trojan condoms. These feature a couple trying to kiss and hold hands through a chain link fence while the announcer intones that condoms help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases that may destroy your fertility and keep you from having children later on. Now I don't know what the marketing department was smoking on the day it developed this ad, but it seems to display a Catholic understanding of artificial birth control and its limitations.
Here's this young guy and girl. They want to be close to one another, but there's this damn chain link fence in the way. Trying to kiss through a fence looks pretty silly, and I'm guessing (not having done this sort of thing myself) that's it's rather unsatisfying. There's a barrier between them blocking the completeness of their embrace. Perhaps the symbolism the producers were looking to evoke was an image of playing it safe, but frankly, a fence is a fence is a fence. Something is standing between the guy and the girl, and any expressions of love are going to be truncated until they can find the gate, or until the guy decides that the girl is worth the effort of climbing the fence.
The Theology of the Body talks about the intrinsic meaning of sex. On a spiritual level it's an image of the love Christ has for the Church; even at a purely physical level it says, "I love you and I give myself to you completely, without reservation." Using birth control to withhold one's fertility makes a lie of the objective meaning of sex. Regardless of the intention in using a condom or the pill or the patch (to space children, financial reasons, a one-night stand), birth control is the fence between the couple.
Funny that a Trojan condom commercial should recognize that.