Chastity and Scrupulosity


I was hoping maybe I could receive some help about something I am having trouble with.

I’ve been in a relationship for a little while now. One of the things I have struggled with is knowing exactly what constitutes being chaste in your relationship.

Naturally, there are the givens in the Catechism about what is wrong to do before you are married. But that also leads a lot of leeway for other ways to show affection.

As time has gone on, we’ve had to set a lot of boundaries on where not to touch each other, and we’ve also tried to put limits on our times that we are affectionate with each other.

Sometimes after I spend time with him, I feel guilty, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe I am just being scrupulous. I mean, I will start feeling like I am going to hell or that I should go to Confession before I receive Communion again.

Like take this instance: last night my boyfriend was stroking my lower back. That wasn’t one of the areas we put off limits, because usually I don’t find myself getting turned on if he touches me there. But last night I was getting turned on, so some time after I realized that I stopped him. And the reason I didn’t stop him sooner wasn’t because I wanted to keep getting turned on. It was because I know he was simply trying to show me some affection in one of the few areas I hadn’t put off limits. I was trying not to get turned on from it but it didn’t really work.

So now today I feel like I have to go to Confession. Is it a sin to get turned on when you are being affectionate with someone you aren’t married to yet?

Can someone please help me here? Am I just being too conservative? I hope I am, because living like this isn’t easy.


Being turned on by a person you are attracted to while he is being affectionate to you is not a sin. In fact, its more of a sign that you probably care about this guy, which is a good thing.

I heard this advice from EWTN’s Theology of the Body for Teens (though it is good for any age). Imagine your parents walk in on you and him while you are being affectionate. If they would be completely horrified about what they are seeing/think your father would have gotten the metaphorically shotgun out to chase him away from you, you have gone too far. If you think they would shrug it off, you’re fine.


I imagine with so much time being past you have dealt with this issue already…so i will just offer this bit of extra advice … yes if one starts getting aroused doing something that one would not expect it --one does the same thing as with those things that one expects it with – do not consent…stop and move on to something non arousing…and

one should avoid the near occasion of sin --as you say you have been doing in other things–and if something happens that takes you off guard --move to something else – without drawing attention to it. then later say (perhaps if needed) --when you are away from it-- that this is not something to do…


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