Paul said it is better to marry than to burn, though there are some, I am sure, who would have preferred literal immoslation…
But I digress.
Paul’s point in Corinthians, when he discusses physical intimacy, is that it is something without which no marriage is complete, and that faith and perceived ‘holiness’ cannot be used as an excuse for the decorous avoidance of sex.
He is quite clear – a husband and wife can have periods ‘apart’ for mutually agreed prayer and fasting, but they must come together again.
Willingly and wholeheartedly. There is no alternative given.
It is often quoted that “our bodies are not our own, but belong to our spouses”, but that rather misses the point. Our bodies are ideally a channel through which an aspect of God’s love can flow between wife and husband.
The three legs of a marriage are the spiritual, the emotional, and the physical. As for a stool, three legs give stability.
And yet, this analogy also falls short, because it implies a separateness of components. It is much more like water, whose three components are two atoms of hydrogen, and one of oxygen.
Take away an atom of hydrogen, and you have hydrogen peroxide. It is wet, but it is not water.
Take away the oxygen atom, and you have hydrogen gas. At room temperature, it is not water, nor is it wet. It is, however, explosive.
God designed us carefully indeed, that we might delight Him, but also that we might delight His created consorts.
People such as the spouses we have chosen, and from whom we cannot withold ourselves, in any way.