I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve been reading through a few posts on here, and I’m not as nervous about this issue as I was but I still want to make sure that I’m not sinning.
So, in short, when I do certain actions with my girlfriend that are certainly chaste I’ll experience sexual arousal that usually manifests itself in the form of an erection. For instance, the other night we watched TV, and sat next to each other on the couch and held hands. This caused an erection, but I did not want the sexual arousal and did not hold hands with her in order to experience this arousal. I’ve heard the rule “don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do if your grandma was there,” and I certainly wouldn’t feel too uncomfortable to just sit next to my girlfriend on a couch and hold hands with her with my grandma there. I mean, my grandma might be an awkward third wheel, but she wouldn’t disapprove of what we were doing. Is it still wrong to sit on the couch with her then?
In addition, when I write letters to her and tell her how I feel, I’ll experience this arousal. So, when I tell her that she’s beautiful and cute, I’ll get an erection, but I don’t want it to happen, and I don’t enjoy it. Is it wrong to tell her that she’s beautiful then even though it causes arousal? I really find it hard to believe that it is.
Also, when I think about holding hands with her, this sexual arousal occurs. Again, though, I do not want it to happen and don’t think about it in order to experience arousal. Rather, I simply want to think about the awesome time we spent together, but this causes arousal. For instance, after she went home after we watched TV, I thought about the night we had while I was going to sleep and experienced arousal but did not want it to happen and simply wanted to reflect on how awesome it is to spend time with her.
Overall, I don’t think I’m sinning because when I do these things that cause arousal I don’t do them with the intent to cause arousal and they are chaste actions in and of themselves. Plus, my girlfriend and I are committed Catholics. Not one Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation goes by that we aren’t both at Mass, and we are committed to wait until marriage. Thus, I know what we would never do until marriage. I just want to make sure that these actions are sinful.