Sorry you felt a little attacked by the previous post.
So, you basically stated that the Church teaches that it is disordered/sinful to experience sexual attraction outside of marriage, and that it is disordered for married persons to experience sexual attraction to people other than their spouses.
I think the one important distinction that must be made is that sexual attraction in itself is a biological response, but in the case of sexual attraction outside of marriage, or extramaritally, it is also a temptation, that once entertained–by allowing oneself to have impure thoughts and/or actions based on this attraction–becomes disordered and can be gravely sinful. This is a fine and dangerous line, the crossing of which can happen very quickly.
I found a brief Q&A on a EWTN.com, in which Father Robert J. Levis addresses this matter. Here is an excerpt from Fr. Levis:
*Of course, every man finds every woman attractive. And I suppose most if not every women also finds every man attractive. Here we have the God-established mutual attraction of the sexes. Sin enters when sexual pleasure (emphasis added) is a factor. So if a man continues his attenti0n on a subject once sexuality becomes active, he sins. The degree of the sin depends on the degree of sexual pleasure indulged in. *
Here is the link to the entire Q&A:
I’d also like to add that St. Francis de Sales, in his amazing work Introduction to the Devout Life further distinguishes between 1) the temptation to sin, 2) delighting in the idea of the sin/temptation, and 3) completely surrendering to the temptation.
This is my example, not one St. Francis directly proposes: A man sees a woman who he finds extremely sexually attractive. He does not want to fall into sin by entertaining lustful thoughts about her, but for a moment, before he turns his attentions elsewhere and cuts off the blossoming lust, he “delights” in the idea of that lust/sin/temptation.
Once we truly come to love the Lord to the point where we hate anything that offends him, even that moment of “delight,” according to St. Francis, will no longer occur. Instead, we will be repulsed by, rather than enjoying, the mere idea of the sin (in this case, the example being lust).
This has been a helpful way for me to try to “monitor” my own rooting out of certain sins. There was a time when I knew watching a morally offensive (primetime) TV program was sinful. It contained adultery, theft, promiscuity, lying, homosexual acts, every imaginable kind of sin, and I knew it just wasn’t making God happy for me to sit there enjoying it every week.
So I decided to stop. BUT, there was a time when I still really wanted to watch it…that was the period in which I had stopped consenting/surrendering to the sin by not actually watching the show, but I still delighted in the temptation–imagining what might be happening in the upcoming episodes that I was missing, wishing I could watch it.
Today, I’ve conquered the “delight” stage, and the thought of the show, and how incredibly offensive it must be to Our Lord, simply disgusts me.
I included this little digression into St. Francis’s explanation of “delighting” in the idea of the sin because I think that, in the case of lust, many people–men and women-- try to exist in that gray area of “delighting” in the idea of sexual sin–not fully consenting to out and out lustful imaginings and actions, but still failing to exercise proper authority over their eyes and imaginations–letting themselves enjoy the temptation a bit before turning away completely. This is something that we can overcome with God’s grace.