Creating Lustful looks and being Catholic?

Creating Lustful looks and being Catholic?

I’m new to this and trying very hard to learn so please help me out… I may stumble so be please be patient.

Here are my questions on creating Lust in others’:

In the view of the Catholic church are any of the following “wrong?”

*]A Catholic woman dresses in a bikini and the by-product of the action is creating lustful desires in others.

*]A Catholic woman dresses very sexy and the by-product of the action is creating lustful desires in others.

*]A Catholic woman dresses very **conservatively **but **dances very sexy **and the by-product of the action is creating lustful desires in others.

*]A Catholic woman dresses very sexy and dances very sexy and has her body and breasts pressed up against her dance partner. The by-product of the action is the creation of lustful desires in her (non-relationship) dance partner and others.

*]What if she feels no Lust, does that make these actions “okay”?

If any of the above is wrong with the Catholic Church what would be “right” by their standard? e.g. conservative dancing? One piece bikini? etc.

It seems unfair that a beautiful woman has the curse of causing lustful feelings in men regardless of how innocent she is. Does the Catholic church have a solution for this?

Thank you so much for any help or guidance you can give me.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.87

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"90


2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.

2526 So called moral permissiveness rests on an erroneous conception of human freedom; the necessary precondition for the development of true freedom is to let oneself be educated in the moral law. Those in charge of education can reasonably be expected to give young people instruction respectful of the truth, the qualities of the heart, and the moral and spiritual dignity of man.

2527 "The Good News of Christ continually renews the life and culture of fallen man; it combats and removes the error and evil which flow from the ever-present attraction of sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. It takes the spiritual qualities and endowments of every age and nation, and with supernatural riches it causes them to blossom, as it were, from within; it fortifies, completes, and restores them in Christ."316

Those actions are all intrinsically sinful except for wearing a bikini in appropriate circumstances, such as at the beach. The man also sins, but that does not mean the woman does not. The last is so sinful as to be beyond my comprehension, and is tantamount to fornication: why would anyone do any of those things?

The very purpose of “dancing sexy” is to sin in itself, and to lead to further sin. The purpose of “dressing sexy” and “dancing sexy” is to either bolster a very low self-esteem in a bad way, leading to lower self-esteem, much as promiscuity, or to engage in and lead to further sin. To engender lustful attention purposefully is always sinful, as is the purpose of it - to lead to further sin (or, in a sociopath, merely to manipulate the emotions of others, still a grave sin). The woman feeling lust or no lust matters not: it is her intention to give rise to lust that makes it mortal sin.

If the lustful attention is engendered accidentally, it is no sin. A woman who is beautiful, and through no fault of her own engenders feelings of lust in men in no way sins. It is only a sin when the intent is to give rise to lust. If the dance partner was a husband, I do not believe it would be sinful. Nor would any of the above, in context of marriage: I do not believe the Church teaches it to be wrong to give rise to lust in a married relationship. Much like in law, that for a crime to be committed, there must be intent (legal Latin: mens rea).

For information, it should be something such as, “dances in an erotic manner”, not “dances sexy” or “dresses sexy”. Such butcherin’ o’ the English lang’age don’t do much for the impression of sluts as, bluntly, imbeciles.

I think the idea is not to instigate sinful thoughts, which might lead to the occasion of sin in others. It is really just being considerate to others, not to incite such thoughts. A husband and wife may do such things as a prelude to procreative sex. This should be kept private, and not put on as a show for others to incite them to lustfully sinful behavior. That is how I understand the Catholic doctrine on the subject.

Probably not. If it were suitable attire for the locale - at the beach or a swimming pool. And not a dental floss bikini.

A Catholic woman dresses very sexy and the by-product of the action is creating lustful desires in others.

Too vague. Is she dressed nicely and she just has a great figure? Is she dressed like a hooker? Men are supposed to find women attractive. If she’s wearing a knee-length business suit and low heels and just happens to have incredible legs, it’s not her fault a guy looks at her.

A Catholic woman dresses very **conservatively **but **dances very sexy **and the by-product of the action is creating lustful desires in others.

Same as above. too vague. Just the standard jiggle a lot of women have when they walk can trigger lust.

A Catholic woman dresses very sexy and dances very sexy and has her body and breasts pressed up against her dance partner. The by-product of the action is the creation of lustful desires in her (non-relationship) dance partner and others.

Yeah, sinful. Unless she’s drunk and not capable of rational thought. Which is in itself another issue

Thank you all so much for your quick responses. I really appreciate it, there is so much for me to learn.

PS: One could argue that Bikinis are not a modest choice…

(CA apologist:

Women who dress immodestly are walking occasions of sin for others–whether they are sunbathing on a beach or walking in a public mall. What’s worse, women who model scanty outfits, show off their bodies on television, film, print, web, etc are prostituting their bodies for money, selling their bodies—selling sex—and helping others sell their products and movies by becoming themselves the pornographic objects. “Fashion models” are merely modeling the fashions dictated by the world, and their bodies are used as instruments to assimilate society into mirroring the dictates of the world.

The word pornography is derived from the Greek words pornē, “prostitute”, and graphein, "to write, to “graph”,“illustratrate”—meaning “a written description or illustration of prostitutes” Since the human imagination is a bank for images, when an immodestly dressed walks in public she becomes an image for others to record in their minds, imaginations, and hearts. *It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. *Luke 17:1

In 1917 the Blessed Virgin Mary said to the three shepherd children: ***“Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend My Son very much.” . . .“More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason” (Sins against the 6th Commandment ***

Man must not look upon a woman with lust—but woe to the woman who knowingly entices man to into lust. As for women who dress in skimpy outfits without the intention of becoming objects of man’s lust, these women are stupid, and only stupid, or evil people allow themselves to become instruments for sin.

One must understand that pornography affects men differently depending on temperament and background, but the effects is always evil. For some it leads to masturbation and fornication, for others it leads to adultery which leads to broken homes and the objectification of women. For others it leads to rape and violence. Here’s a short video of serial killer Ted Bundy explaining how pornography shaped his mind:

Whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28*

Some people laugh and make fun of the woman on the left, but which woman is more apt to be an occasion of sin because of the fashion she wears in the picture below?

Most definitely the Muslim - it was one of the experiences that shocked me out of Islam, realizing that Islamic dress is incredibly immodest in the American culture. And, in culture where hijab is common, ankles and face take the place of T&A. Fallen nature at work.

Thank you for replying.

So, let me see if I understand: The more a person “dresses up” the more attention that person will get… and if that attention is lustful, they are in sin?

What if the woman dresses to “feel pretty” or “feel good about myself”. If she creates no lust she **is not **in sin? But if she creates lust she **is **in sin?

Is “accidently” above defined as "dressing conservativly and still getting attention? And how is **“throught no fault of her own” **defined above?

So, this leads to: an average looking female (with **no **sinful intention) can dress and dance sexy and create **no **lust. Is she **in **sin? Or is she **not in **sin because she is not creating lust?

And…a beautiful female can dress conservative and create lust with a single glance. Should she go the extra mile and not wear make up and wear clothing to conceal her beauty?

From what I am gathering it’s not how a person looks or what they do, what matters if they create the sin of lust through their actions. Is this correct?

Thank you all for the insight!

Charity, Prudence, Chastity and Modesty :slight_smile:

But that does not mean “not- attractive at all” or “not beautiful” or “not femine” etc

If the woman (or man) attempts to create lust, she is in sin. If she does not, she is not. If she attempts to create lust and fails, she is in sin. If she does not attempt to create lust but does unintentionally, she is not in sin.

The “dressing sexy” in order to “feel good about oneself” is another problem entirely, and I’ll have to think on it, as it arises from a wounded psyche and sense of self, a commoditization of the self and the selling of the body or the image, and an essentially disordered sense of self only as viewed through the lens of others instead of intrinsic worth vis a vis being a child of God, as the Founders of America wrote: “We declare these facts to be obvious, that all men are created equal in the eyes of God, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights…”, giving rise to the notion of human rights as an intrinsic factor of human worth qua human worth as all were created by the same God. I believe such circumstances would mitigate the guilt of sin (as three requirements to mortal sin exist: 1. sin. 2. intent. 3. knowledge.), but would nonetheless be advised to seek spiritual counselling and/or psychological counselling.

The fact that the Muslim woman is unintentionally immodest by drawing great attention to herself with clothing that is from a different culture does not make her sin - being, unintentionally, a “near occasion to sin” is not a sin in itself, nor is a near occasion to sin a sin - it is what it says on the tin, “an opportunity or enticement to sin”.

One can “not intend” (in the sense of actively seek) to create lust…and still yet sin to one degree or another by knowingly dressing in a way that is immodest (in the sense of the word taken in the usual sense).

A woman also needs to inform herself as to the nature of men and women and effect of such dress on men. And then act out of virtue…out of modesty and charity etc (without exaggeration) without then negating beauty. Living as a joyful Christian.

For many woman are unconscious as to such (read "Love and Responsibility).

Thank you all for the replies, with your help I have reduced my thoughts to 6 “yes” or “no” questions about what is acceptable/proper to the Catholic Church: Please reply if you have the time.

*]Yes/No - The more a person “dresses up” the more attention that person will get… and if that attention is lustful, are they in sin?

*]Yes/No - If a woman creates lust through her conscious and understood action is she in sin?

*]Yes/No - Is this a sin? A **below-average **looking female (she says she has **no **sinful intention, she just does it to feel “pretty”) dresses and dances sexy - but she creates no lust while she dances. She is not creating lust.

*]Yes/No - Is this a sin? A woman who calls herself “gorgeous” (and she is) dresses and dances sexy and **her dancing creates lust **(she says she has **no **sinful intention, she just does it to feel “pretty”). She is creating lust.

*]Yes/No - Must an amazingly beautiful and sexy woman dress conservative and make extra effort to not incite lust? e.g. not wear make up, wear clothing to conceal her beauty, etc.

*]Yes/No? It’s **not **how a person **looks **or what they do, what matters if they **create **the sin of lust through their actions.

thank you all for the guidance.

Your seeking yes or no answers to things that are not so “yes or no”.

Here are some that are.

Is the intent to incite lust a grave matter? Yes.

Is the knowing that dressing in a particular way will indeed usually incite lust in the adv. man and doing it anyway even though one is doing it to “feel pretty” --quite wrong? Yes

Is dressing in a way that is beautiful but not immodest sinful per se? No.

Should a particularly attractive person take that into consideration (with prudence, modesty and charity) when making choices of how to dress etc? Yes.

This is a question that separates the legalists from those who simply love Christ and wish to be conformed to him at all personal costs.

You cannot write the perfect modestly dress code or even behavioral code. Trying is an excercise in futility. It’s kind of like trying to write a lawyer - proof definition of pornography. You either end up putting clothes on Michealangelo’s David or you legalize Playboy.

Modesty is the same sort of thing. It’s all about in what YOU intend. If your intention is to use your bodily features to have power over men (or even women), then you are being immodest.

I will subjectively say this though as a man. For the life of me, I don’t know why women go out in public in bikinis and other cleavage revealing clothes. Why on earth would you want people to file you in their mind as “that great rack chick?” Wouldn’t it be better not to be noticed at all than to be classified that way? I’m just saying!

Another strange question: How is it that Speedos are the most horribly revealing swimsuits on men, but among the most modest of all for women? Weird stuff!

In my thought, dressing in a way that is known to create lust is intending to create lust. Only if the woman did not know the way she was dressing created lust does she lack intention. If a woman puts on clothes in the knowledge that she will create lust, she has intended to create lust. If an ignorant tribeswoman walks out naked in America, completely unknowing that she will create lust, she has not sinned.

And, No, no, no. It doesn’t matter what kind of attention you get. It matters what attention you intend to get. If you seek to create lust but fail, it is sin. If you seek to not create lust but fail (and create lust anyways), it is not sin. The end result is not all that matters. A beautiful woman can create lust unintentionally, and she does not sin at all. An ugly, average, or beautiful woman can create lust intentionally, and she sins greatly. An ugly woman can do her best to create lust, and create no lust at all, but she is still in sin, because she tried to create lust - not because of the end result.

I’ve read Love and Responsibility, and heard Father Barron mention a more complex and theological writing of John Paul the Great similar to it, but I’ve not been able to remember it (and, no, not Theology of the Body, I read that too), as I’d like to get more meat than is available in L&R.

I will stay with what I wrote there :slight_smile: …I like to distinguish more there …always distinguish" as the scholastics would say.

I can just hear some woman saying “but I am not wearing it in order to cause lust…but just to look good (thats my intention)…the lust is his problem” --though most virtuous men would tell her that it was a very immodest choice…the lust does not have to be lets say the direct “intention” in order for there to be sin on her part…

But I do understand what your getting – if she knowing does what she knows will cause lust in say most --well she is in a way “intending it” though she is not setting out toward that goal per se…

And yes of course it can happen that a woman is quite innocent --due to invincible ignorance etc.

And yes it is not only the end result that matters…

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