Gradation of sins of impurity

I’m a single man, and I’ve struggled with pornography and masturbation for the last 16 years, and I’m still in the thick of it. However, the last few weeks I’ve been more preoccupied with going to a nearby strip club. I think I’ve preferred the strip club because it’s not as isolating as the porn, it’s a social experience, and real connections are made. I love the women that work there, and I pray for them, and I enjoy our conversations, but it’s also not without lust. Even though money is involved, there is a sort of confidence (false as it may be) that comes through when I talk and interact with the women. I’ve become attached to some of the women specifically. I understand fantasizing to porn and supporting a strip club are both wrong, but is one of these sins worse than the other?

Also, does anybody have experience overcoming an attachment to strip clubs? Any thoughts or suggestions? Alot of times I hear that you need to experience a bottom to begin recovery from an addiction, and that concerns me because I don’t believe I’ve hit a bottom yet. I wish my heart wanted to be converted, but at this moment I like the sin. I need some help. Please pray for me.

Give it up. It is all fake. The strippers are only talking to you because you are giving them money. This pay to play habit can only give you an unrealistic and negative view of women.

I feel for you, and you are certainly in my prayers, but trying to categorize sins as better or worse is the wrong approach. It is just a way of trying to justify sin, to somehow alleviate guilt, like saying, “Yes, I committed a sin of impurity, but at least I didn’t kill anyone!” The sin of impurity is still wrong, and deep down, you know it.

As for hitting rock bottom, pray it does not come to that, and keep trying to resist temptation now. If we wait to hit some future low point in our lives, which may never come in a way we recognize, we are postponing our conversion and gambling on eternity, like St. Augustine praying, “Lord, make me pure… but not yet!”

Have you taken this to Confession yet? The hardest thing might be reaching out to another person, such as a priest, trusted friend, or support group, but this is often what is needed to brings sins of impurity out of the darkness of secrecy and into the light. God bless you, and pray for me too. As the title of a well known book on the subject says, this is Every Man’s Battle.


When you go to a strip club, you are cooperating with (supporting, participating in) the sin of the strippers and their bosses, managers, and pimps. You make it more likely that they will remain in that occupation and lifestyle. You are making it harder for them to quit and begin a new and better life.

Your presence there also encourages the sin of your fellow customers and clients. When they see a young man like you enjoying himself, spending money, buying drinks, and chatting with the strippers, it adds to the buzz. By being there, you make the place more appealing. In that way, you are leading others into sin, and making it harder for them to quit and begin a new and better life.

Rather than wondering how low you can go, why don’t you try envisioning a better life? What kind of relationships do you want to have with women this year, or next year? What kind of women would you like to spend time with? I’m guessing that you are looking for something much better than the porn lifestyle and the strip-club scene. How would you describe that bright future?

Now start working on it. You need to find a way to give up porn, strip clubs, and all that, because they are wasting your time. They are keeping you occupied, keeping you from discovering better opportunities.

What else do you like to do? Do you have a special hobby or talent? Whatever it is, you can probably meet up with people in your area who have similar interests. That’s one way to start to develop a healthier and happier social life. If you picture yourself with a girlfriend or a wife somewhere down the line, just keep in mind that it often starts in social settings that are not geared specifically toward meeting and dating, but where people come together with shared interests.

May the Holy Spirit strengthen and guide you always toward virtue and love.

If you truly want to recover from your sexual addiction, then find, and get involved with, the nearest SA (Sexaholics Anonymous) or SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) meeting to you. If there isn’t one that’s within the range you’re willing to travel, then get connected with them online: or Realize that it’s not just about your own sin, but also enabling others to sin, which is a sin unto itself.

I have been through all this and I have hit bottom. I was fortunate enough to have a wife who is also an outpatient counselor. She was DEEPLY hurt (and it took us years to begin to repair our marriage), but she steered me to SA, and we both went through a lot of counseling.

Don’t wait to hit bottom: there’s no guarantee you’ll recover and save your soul. Get on your knees NOW and pray for the grace to begin the steps necessary to return to the path to Heaven.

You are in my prayers.


Well said! :thumbsup:

You are trying to rationalize in your mind excuses to do something you know is wrong.

You have no way of knowing what will be the result of continuing down this road other than you can be certain it will not be good.

Even Ted Bundy said he thought his decent into murderous obsession started out with pornography. Some people don’t become violent, they just lose the ability to appreciate other people as people, instead of objects. Some people, by association with a criminal element, get sucked into that element.

In our neighborhood there was this really cool couple in one of the coolest houses in the neighborhood. At some point the husband started going to a strip club. Not long after, a stripper moved into the house after his wife left. Not long after, there was some issue with an investigation of his business etc. His life essentially went from the most interesting couple in the neighborhood, to oblivion – because he rationalized in his mind reasons to “unwind” in a strip club.

The way to beat this is to start spending time with God every day. Never miss a day. Go to confession every week. The Pope does this, and he is the Pope. Go to Mass and communion right after confession. Keep building on your daily devotions. If you ever fall into temptation, just increase your time in your devotions, and you will beat this. One devotion is to say 3 Hail Mary’s every day, and ask for the Mother of God to pray for your purity.

Another helpful activity is rigorous physical activity, especially if it involves other people. This will help you to learn to interact with other people in an environment where they are people, not objects.

Good luck.

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