by Raymond Carver
Analysis: Steaminess Rating
Exactly how steamy is this story?
Nobody has sex in "Cathedral." But there is an erotic subtext. It's pretty obvious that the narrator thinks that his wife let Robert do something sexual to her when she "let him run his hands over her face" (1.4). When the narrator experiences Robert's touch on his hand when they draw the cathedral, he understands that touch can be intimate without necessarily being sexual.