From the Associated Press’ Nicole Winfield.

Pope Benedict XVI (above) wrote in his first encyclical Wednesday that sex without unconditional love risks turning men and women into merchandise

The pope acknowledged that in the past, Christianity has been criticized “as having been opposed to the body” — the erotic form of love — “and it is quite true that tendencies of this sort have always existed.”

But he said the current way of exalting bodily love is deceptive.

“Eros, reduced to pure sex, has become a commodity, a mere thing to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself has become a commodity.”

“Here we are actually dealing with a debasement of the human body: No longer is it integrated into our overall existential freedom; no longer is it a vital expression of our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely biological sphere.”

I’m sorry, I know this is a bad thing to admit, but all this talk of men and women being turned into commodities is really turning me on.