Difficulties with lust

Okay here’s another classic “is this a mortal sin” post
So today I saw a girl who had a wardrobe malfunction. I wasn’t sure if I had seen it right at first so I kept looking until I was sure.
I kept looking a few more times and tried to get myself to stop but gave in to the temptation.
There really was no lust involved.
It was more just “oh hey look at that” not “I wanna do horrible things to that person”.
Is simply looking at a nude person a mortal sin?

Your title says “difficulties with lust” and in your post you say “there really was no lust involved.” Which is it?

I don’t see any sin in doing a double-take to make sure you know what you saw, but continuing to look after that, I can’t answer that.


Because I feel like it could have been lust - the looking after part

Yeah, that ain’t great. If she was accidentally exposing herself and he kept looking after he realized what he was looking at, that’s exploitative in my opinion. He was looking at something she didn’t mean to be showing. He was taking advantage of her misfortune.

Don’t get me wrong, I get the temptation and I think a lot of guys would do the same, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.

1 Like

I do feel horrible about it and I realize my fault now, but was it a mortal sin?

I have no idea, and no one here can really tell you definitively one way or another. I guess you could argue it either way. I’d bring it up the next time you’re in confession.

1 Like

We can’t tell you whether you commit a mortal sin or not. We don’t know all the circumstances. We don’t know your heart.

Only you and God know if it was a mortal sin. Here are the conditions for a sin being mortal:

  1. It must be grave matter.
  2. You must know it is grave matter when you do it.
  3. You must freely choose to do it.

If any one of these conditions is not met, it’s a venial sin. If all three are met, it’s a mortal sin.

If you doubt whether or not it was grave matter, then chances are, it wasn’t a mortal sin. But it wouldn’t hurt to mention it in confession anyways.

I watched a movie last night that had a scene of a bank robbery in it. And then, the bank robbers shot and killed two people. Am I guilty of mortal sins against the 5th and 7th commandments? No. And my opinion is that if I see a naked woman, or a movie scene with two people having sex, I am not guilty of any sin, unless I allow both malice and intention to creep into my thoughts while viewing such matter. Normal healthy human sexual desire and appreciation are not sinful unless such desire is corrupted by both malice and intent. That’s how I understand it.
Just my opinion.

No. But if arousal (as in sexual pleasure, with or without explicit lustful thoughts) is intended, yes, and if consenting to arousal upon looking is something one foresees, also yes (unless, I think, there is some grave reason).

Also if this is like, in person, and not on a video or something, circumstances could be different, but I don’t know he details of the situation so I won’t comment.

This is part of the problem. It is somewhat natural to experience regret over our sins and shortcomings, or even just simple anxieties about our doubts in these areas.
Feeling horrible on a continual basis however perpetuates the problem with lust. Or is part of it.
The focus on your feelings can be a problem. The same preoccupation with self that draws you to dwell on the female form, also causes you to feel inordinate shame. Then you look for good feelings to escape the horrible feelings. Lust steps in.

Feelings can be a vicious cycle.


Technically I think what you are asking is if it was a serious sin to which I can’t answer infallibly but the answer is probably no. For something to be a mortal sin three conditions must be met: It must be a 1) serious sin done with 2) full knowledge that it was a sin and that you were commiting it and 3) full delibrate action to still do it. Honestly looking at all of these conditions I would probably argue against it being a mortal sin but it definetely wouldn’t hurt to bring it up in confession plus you’d be freed of any guilt associated with it. This isn’t what happened in this case since it was presumably not the other person’s intention to have a malfunction but just for some practical advice, if you’ve paid attention to the more recent fashions of clothing, you’d notice that many of the clohing that is somehow acceptable is so shockingly disgusting and provocative that usually if you did take a double take to what someone was wearing because you thought younsaw something crazy, it probably would turn out to be exactly what you thought it was. I think sometimes the best option might be just to not take the double take and pray for whoever it was you saw. :slight_smile:

I heard lust - makes you more effeminate -

I’m confused because what I’ve been lead to believe is that “normal human sexual desire” is sinful and should be avoided at all costs

Then an average healthy unmarried man or woman is in a continual state of mortal sin?? Attraction and desire between the sexes is normal, we are wired that way, and you know who did the wiring.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.