Is finding someone physically attractive a sin?

Would it fall under the “lust” category?

‘Lust’ is defined by the catechism as ‘disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure’.

So - depends on what you mean precisely by ‘finding someone physically attractive’.

For one thing, are the thoughts that go through your head when you ‘find someone physically attractive’ sexual in nature or not?

Now for something to be a sin it has to be a behaviour that is within one’s control.

Some thoughts, sexual or otherwise, we simply and literally cannot control - they pop into our head uninvited and unwanted, and we try our best to either ignore them or get rid of them.

Others, however, we deliberately dwell on because we enjoy having those thoughts.

Only this latter type can potentially be sinful.

Believing someone to be physically attractive is not sinful. Assuming of course that is where it ends.

Jesus,our Lords peace be with You.
Dear friend,and sorry for my bad english,I guess it is a sin,or lets say a “borderline sin”. I don’t know if girls look at men the way we men look at them (hey,that rimes!) but I am 50,I have a call to priesthood,that went a bit wrong because I had to go and get married,but I look at “girls” who are “sexy”. But lets get serius. It is a sin if You think further then just what You can see. I have no new cure for it,so if You have seen my ansvers sometimes You guess it already. Always have a Rosary in Your pocket,and when You are about to do something that is not right,keep it in Your hand,You don’t need to pray,if You don’t want to,but just holding it helps. Try sometime.

No, it is a bit like “finding” somebody tall or “finding” somebody bald.

That is my understanding of Catholic doctrine too.

All sexual thoughts (except perhaps for medical and academic ones) are sinful.

Some medieval theologians even speculated that Original Sin was passed on through the sexual act that brings on conception. If this is true then children conceived through artificial insemination would be free from Original Sin.

A priest once said to me, don’t beat yourself up to much about it. We are sexual beings after all; and sexuality is very powerful.

To look at someone because they are attractive is no more sinful then looking at a picture because it is beautiful. However if you find yourself falling into thoughts of a sexual nature then one must try to avoid such thoughts as they can lead to a mortal sin. There is nothing wrong with looking at somebody because they are beautiful. What would be the point of beauty otherwise? It is not good to shun the glory of God. But because we have a disordered nature we must be on guard because a naturally good thing can turn in to a powerful lust. But this doesn’t mean that every time you look at a beautiful women, and take pleasure in that experience, that therefore you have sinned. You will see a sexy women and you will naturally look at that women because she is sexy, but it will only become a sin if you wilfully engage in sexual thoughts in your head. If you try to not look at anybody every-time you go down the street, you will drive yourself insane.

Be careful; some lay Catholics appear to have overly scrupulous and thus warped understandings on human sexuality. It was only until i asked a priest after years of torment, that I was told that there is nothing wrong with looking at a women because she is beautiful. It is completely natural. It simply depends on your intentions. If you engage in sexual thoughts about that women intentionally then you are committing sin, because for one, you are not aloud to engage in sexual activity outside of a marriage, and two, you are treating that women as an object and thus completely undermining the value of her person-hood by sexing her outside of a life long commitment in marriage. If you value a person above their sexuality then there fulfilment as a person must come first; which means a loving marriage in which sexuality is an expression of a life long commitment to the love and fulfilment of each-others being and purpose in this world; rather than simply a mutual form of masturbation between two strangers. Lust on the other had is a perversion of that love and undermines any potential human fulfilment in love in terms of humanities conformity to love. Jesus said that lust is adultery regardless of whether it takes place in your mind or in real life.

If your like me, you probably do it our of habit due to an addiction to sexual ideas, in which case the gravity of the sin can be lessoned, but this does not mean that we are not obliged to take active steps against such activity whether in the mind or outside it. If we truly value love people we cannot reduce them to their sexual functions; their person hood must always come first and be fulfilled before any sexual activity takes place.

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If that is your understanding, then your understanding is completely flawed. Read the quote which I posted from the Catechism above.

Sexual thoughts per se are not wrong - they are only wrong when one has an ‘inordinate’ or ‘disordered’ desire for sex.

We believe in a God who COMMANDED Adam and Eve to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (in other words to get makin’ whoopie), after all, so the sexual desire of married persons for their spouses is not only NOT inordinate or disordered, it’s entirely part of God’s plan.

How on earth, given the stereotypical portrayal of Catholics for so long has been that of the huge Irish- or Italian- Catholic family with lots of children (therefore necessarily plenty of sex going on between the parents), can you possibly think that the Church views ‘all sexual thoughts’ as sinful?

How true. I remember as a boy (50 years ago) hearing priests in Ireland used to command wives in the confessional to succumb to their husbands advances no matter how many children they had. My how things have changed. That I suggest was a bit much and took Catholic teaching on multiplying too far.
The only problem with the answers on this thread is that finding women (or men for women) ‘attractive’ is usually a sexual reaction in itself. A sexual reaction of course immediately conjures up bodily contact. Then comes the Catholic bit, a mental handshake is OK, a kiss on the cheek probably OK, but after that think football instead.
I must ask however, if one were to say, ‘Wow, that girl is really ‘attractive’, what if I were married to her.’ Could a Catholic go further in mind under this condition?

Traditional Irish Catholic attitudes and laws regarding sex are nothing to be proud of. As stories like this make plain: cbsnews.com/stories/2003/08/08/sunday/main567365.shtml

Even the Irish Bishop quoted calls it shameful.

And I hate to burst your bubble, but Irish Catholics were not traditionally stereotyped as having good sex lives by (Protestant) outsiders. They were stereotyped as being drunks.

Perhaps by some, however I personally believe that Atheists have a far greater hurtle to overcome. Now shut up and pass me a beer! :smiley:

AND (along with Catholics in general) as having large families - lots of kids - ergo lots of hanky-panky. No getting around it, that was the stereotype, you only need go as far back as Monty Python’s ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’ skit to see it in full flower.

You don’t need to have lots of hanky-panky or a good sex life to have lots of children. The anti-Catholic stereotype is couples with lots of children who rarely engage in the “marital embrace” . And the sex is always missionary position, through a hole in the sheets, with the lights off, and then the wife is required to stand on her head afterwards. :rolleyes:

That sounds about right. Though the standing on her head afterwords is new to me.

You don’t even have to have sex anymore to get pregnant thanks to things like artificial insemination. Though in practice the Church is against virgin births (I thought that was the ideal?).

Surely that’s a stereotype that applies to the Mormons - along with the special underwear and everything.

I don’t meant to put anyone down, but I find the prevalence of these topics on CAF so odd! And interesting!

Finding someone physically attractive is not sinful in itself, and if you ever want to get married you sure want to find the person you’re with to be attractive or it would make things, er, awkward. And you sure better find your future spouse sexually attractive!

Just because someone thinks another person is physically attractive doesn’t mean it has to do with sexual attraction. I’m no lesbian, but I’ve seen other women who are just gorgeous and I can’t help but admire them as if they were ancient statues of goddesses. At my work, there is a girl who started recently and she is gorgeous. I remember also being in high school and there were some very pretty girls who could run around without makeup and caused boys to walk into doors. Lol.

Lust is when your thoughts get the best of you and you start to mentally undress the person you found attractive. Lust would be only thinking about satisfying your gratification needs by being in the presence of that person. For instance, I’ve heard many girls (and guys) say to me that being around someone who they knew thought them to be attractive made them uncomfortable because all the person would do is gawk. Not make conversation, but just stare. One guy I was really good friends with told me it made him excruciatingly uncomfortable because he never knew if his next move would make the girl jump on him:eek:

Umm no!

How else do people end up dating? The first thing you notice is looks, and then personality.

Thats how it goes.

But while you are allowed to find then attractive, make sure to keep your mind out of the gutter and you’ll be fine. :thumbsup:

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