Getting better, but slipped up, question

so, i’ve been trying to fight the good fight for the past two years to stop viewing pornography and committing the act of masturbation, these have been a particular vice of mine. however i’ve been focusing alot of time and energy to fight these sins off. i am 18 now and have found a woman (at least i hope and pray) that i feel i could give my entire self to in love.

last night i was really tired with a headache and cold, feeling a little out of it. clicked on a link on the internet to a video hosting site, saw some clips of women in swimsuits but exited those quickly. then click on videos of people doing funny random stuff - nothing too bad. then i click back to the videos of women. but as i realized this i quickly exited out again and logged off my computer. i wasn’t necessarily searching to be aroused, but i felt that it had already happen. i am happy that i did not commit the act of masturbation, and i did not view any nudity (so that would be no pornography right?). question is, because i was aroused by the non-nude images of women, did i sin mortally or venially?

thanks again for all the help

Until you are have a better self-discipline in regards to masturbation and lust, I suggest you avoid sites like that. They’re occasions of sin, and a way to get you back into doing what you were doing. I would avoid them, if I were you.

While it’s commendable that you did not give in and masturbate, you put yourself in a dangerous situation where you easily could have and by going back a second time to look at the girls in the videos, you willingly opened yourself up to any stimuli that could have come your way. It’s not our business to say whether you committed a venial or mortal sin, that’s up to the priest, but you were definitely in the wrong here, especially that you’re trying to get better for the sake of your girlfriend.

I’d confess it either way in confession and avoid this near occasion of sin.

my reason for asking whether it is a venial or mortal sin is that i received the eucharist because i thought it was only venial, but now i am not as sure.

One of the requirements for it to be a mortal sin is that you had to have known it was grave in nature. Were the women in the swimsuits acting immodestly and the video seemed to be created to cater to their sensuality or bodies, or were the videos like from some family video at the beach, and girls just so happened to be in the videos in their swimsuits which is completely legitimate?

It honestly depends, in my opinion, on the context of the video itself. Girls at the beach with their friends having honest fun in the water are not the same as two women in a spa washing each other, you know? I’m not entirely sure whether simply getting aroused means you shouldn’t receive communion, but seeing as you’re telling us about this after the fact, there’s not much we can do except caution you to avoid the material, the occasions of sin, etc.

If in doubt, confess to your priest and tell him why you received communion and under what impressions or understanding you had at the time. He’ll sort it out and tell you what’s up. If you did commit a mortal sin, and therefore committed another by receiving Our Lord, then you will have been absolved for both sins by making an honest confession about it anyways.

I’d go to confession.

:DAnother way to avoid the near occasion of sin…daily mass. The graces you receive with daily mass and reception of the Holy Eucharist is unbelievable. These graces help you resist sin. Don’t believe me, just try it.

First of all, congratulations on the improvements you have made in your struggles. The fact that you looked at women in swimsuits rather than pornography is a huge step in the right direction and I think we should definitely mention that.

I think it should also be mentioned that you even clicked away from that site originally…it was the return to the site that I question. Have you asked yourself why you did that? You say that your intent wasn’t to get aroused, but if not, why click back?

Regardless of your intent, you caught yourself the second time by exiting and logging off of the computer…and did not masturbate. If anything, I think you won that struggle…and should be happy with how far you have come. :thumbsup:

I do not think this was a mortal sin at all…venial at best…and therefore the penitential rite at mass suffices and I wouldn’t worry about your receipt of communion. However, if it makes YOU feel better to go to confession and discuss this with a priest, then by all means GO!

Just because the women were wearing swimsuits does not mean that it wasn’t pornography. According to the Catholic Dictionary, pornography is defined as “A description or portrayal of any person or activity that is consciously intended to stimulate immoral sexual feelings.” Also, I would also go as far as to say that even if the videos were not created to intentionally arouse immoral sexual feelings (like if they are of a family at the beach), but you purposely viewed them with the intention to become aroused, then you should consider your actions as sinful as if you were actually looking at porn. Only you can judge what your intentions were.

That said, I highly commend you for fighting the good fight against the sexual immorality that is so pervasive in our culture. You are truly blessed to have the understanding that these acts and attitudes are wrong, despite the message that our friends, the media, and even schools are trying to get across, that pornography and masturbation are normal and healthy. God bless you.

Also, I would agree with the advice of above posters who recommended going to confession, whether it is a venial or mortal sin, to receive the counsel of your priest and the graces of God to help you to continue this difficult, uphill battle. May God bless you abundantly.

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