Arousal outside of Marriage

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.

Thank you!

Your thinking is correct.

You should be attracted to your girlfriend. If you find yourself getting so tempted that it is hard to step back from what is not yet appropriate in your relationship, then it would be time to dial back what you are doing so you could remain chaste.

Arousal is a physical response of our bodies. It happens. As long as you are not doing anything purposely to continue the arousal don’t stress over it.

A married man, through no fault of his own, can experience physical arousal at work when interacting with a female co-worker. By itself, there is no sin. It can’t always be avoided.

Since your will not only does not consent but deliberately rejects your physiological reaction, you should be at peace regarding any acquisition of subjective moral guilt.

If inwardly troubled or apprehensive, you would honestly do better to speak with a priest who is your confessor or otherwise knows you than seeking the counsel of anonymous internet posters.

If your a living Breathing human , lots of things happen,

It would be weird if someone you were moving towards marriage with didn’t arouse you. Presumably (hopefully) she has similar thoughts about you. Just don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re going to get carried away before the appropriate time. I think you’re fine.

Are you still a teenager? Just wondering because in most instances advice that would be given a teen is different than an adult.:slight_smile:

Ack. This arousal does not go away, it’s not a ‘teen’ thing. I am 60 years old, married almost 30 years, and I constantly plagued by arousal around other females. You will carry this cross for your entire life.

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