The flesh hangs around my neck together with the old Adam, who fell in Paradise ‹and is inborn in us›, whom we lug about in this life and cannot be rid of until we are buried. While the flesh, which we bear around our necks, lives and eats and drinks here, evil desire does not cease. It stirs itself and is eager to commit sin, [such as] lewdness [and] evil desire. Carnal desire is resisted with matrimony, virginity, [and] widowhood, so that it does not become fornication. And yet ‹even marriage› is not completely pure. ‹For› husband [and] wife cannot sleep with each other without shameful, evil desire.
The notion that even marital sexual relations are wicked comes straight from Augustine- who lived his early life as such a reprobate that when he converted to Christianity the pendulum swung completely to the other extreme. From doing everything sexually, Augustine came to believe that every sexual act- even between married folk! – was evil.
Poor Luther. And poor Augustinians. To be robbed of a good gift of God by poor theology based on personal experience rather than informed by Scripture concerning the goodness and godliness of marital relations in all their fullness.
The oddest thing in all this is Luther’s blindness to Scripture on the issue. Augustine’s view has nil support. Consequently, neither does Luther’s.