Is getting aroused wrong?


#1

Is getting aroused when you are being affectionate with your significant other wrong?

Sometimes something that will arouse me at one time, doesn't another, so it can be hard for me to anticipate.

Take for instance, my boyfriend touching my lower tummy. Sometimes he can do this and I won't get aroused, but last night I did. Now I feel like I committed a sin...

Can anyone help me out?


#2

He is your boyfriend, correct? I take it this is a serious relationship that is progressing toward marriage as well? As long as you did not have sex outside of marriage I would think it is alright.


#3

Yes, he is my boyfriend... we've been dating for two years, and engagement is in the very near future.


#4

Would your boyfriend touch your lower tummy when your dad was on the couch next to you? How about when you were sitting next to your Priest?

If the answer is "no", then, he should not be touching you there until you are married.


#5

What is *sure *is that you shouldn’t be seeking arousal or accepting it when you aren’t married. Also, you shouldn’t be putting yourselves or one another in near occasion of sin, which means in this case the near occasion of seeking or accepting arousal. A practical advice I once received from a priest was that anything which a reasonable person could consider foreplay should be avoided.

What you describe does look like a sensual (and thus possibly sexual) thing rather than a mere sign of affection (we aren’t talking about getting aroused because of hugging or holding hands or some such) and so it would seem to be good to avoid. This doesn’t mean *that *you sinned or how much–this is something a priest will tell you.

But for more details–and at any rate in every such case when you have such doubts–I believe you should talk to a priest.


#6

Sadly, many priests are not firm when dealing with such issues. Was he trying to arouse you or was he just placing his hand on your stomach as a sign of love? I agree with the above two that you shouldn’t be seeking arousal if you aren’t married. I love the statement that if you couldn’t do it while sitting beside a priest, you shouldn’t do it at all. :smiley:


#7

[quote="JBCatholicRN, post:6, topic:181883"]
Sadly, many priests are not firm when dealing with such issues. Was he trying to arouse you or was he just placing his hand on your stomach as a sign of love? I agree with the above two that you shouldn't be seeking arousal if you aren't married. I love the statement that if you couldn't do it while sitting beside a priest, you shouldn't do it at all. :D

[/quote]

It's actually possible that someone didn't sin because arousal happened when he was showing love. Arousal of itself is just a bodily response and as such it's neutral. When you aren't seeking it, you aren't accepting it (in the moral sense, meaning "delectation"), and you don't commit mental fornication and it's not occasion or sin for you or the other person... then I have a problem pointing on what account it would be sinful, although I think it's not all that great either (e.g. when you tolerate it and don't try to get your body rid of it, while it's not causing temptation even to delectation, but it's simply being there). In fact, I've had a couple of such situations in my life with a huge headache sorting them out (e.g. Q: You dance and oops, your biology acts up; you don't provoke the darn thing or enjoy it, nor is it challenging to your self-control, but you don't run away from the party despite you can claim "you have to go" without embarrassment--do you sin or not in the example? A: My head hurts.). My intuition is we aren't supposed to be indifferent to it, but at the same time mere responses of the body don't really make a sin yet. At any rate, in case of doubt => confession, and especially if the situation has a chance of being sexual. Or at least talking to a priest to ask if confession is necessary, I guess. I've sometimes gone and asked if something qualified, especially when I've had doubts regarding the (grave or not) matter.


#8

Your body/mind responded to a certain set of stimuli. That in and of itself is not a sin.
How did you react to his touching you there and the susequent arousal? That is the real question. I don’t mean, “Did you like it” or anything, I mean did you move his hand and or “change the subject”, or did you allow it to continue, wishing for more. That type of thing.
Bottom line Did the arousal cause in you, “Lustful thoughts” that you encouraged?
Only you and your confessor can sort that out.

Overall, if you and your intended have a good Chriatian Loving relationship, I doubt if you really sinned much if at all, also you should tell him and he should be more careful in the future.

A final thought. All of our thoughts and actions will either bring us closer to or further from God. This is the rule that I try to always use in judging myself. Does and action move me closer to God? Is the action well ordered toward Love of God?
While an initial reaction is not necessarily sinful, subsequent actions (thoughts intentions, etc.) could be. Just talk it over with your confessor.

Peace
James


#9

Well, he was trying to show me more affection because I had said that I feel more secure about our relationship when we are affectionate with each other. I felt like he was trying to be loving towards me.


#10

I didn’t wish to be aroused by it, even when he was doing it I was trying not to think about how good it felt and I was trying to will my body not to react. I definitely wasn’t wishing for more.

I didn’t stop him because I had asked him to be more affectionate and I didn’t want to confuse him by making him feel put off. Then again, he didn’t linger there or anything but if he had, I would have stopped him eventually.

We have had several talks about chastity in our relationship… both of us have the desire, but we aren’t always perfect at it. We did set boundaries at one point and have kept them, but it looks like maybe we need to set tighter boundaries.

I just hope I didn’t commit a mortal sin or something. I don’t have a car of my own, so it’s not always easy for me to get to Confession. I will go when I can though.


#11

It was he who did it, not you, so you aren’t responsible for the intentions he had unless you could somehow be responsible for them. From the description it really doesn’t sound like a mortal sin on your part, but none of us here is competent to answer questions with regard to your conscience (we can talk in general, but general is general–meaning we still can’t say with full certainty how it applies to your situation). Besides, if you ask in a place like this, then you risk that some people will try to comfort you, while some other people will be very rigorous in order to avoid giving you wrong advice.


#12

Seek a good priest. It says something that the amount of physical intimacy equals security for you. You may want to work on this with a counselor. Don't equate sex with love, that will set you up for some big disappointment in married life.


#13

I think in the case of incidental contact there is no sin called even if the action did lead to arousal. It is only if you are trying to deliberately cause arousal that there would be a sin. You can discuss this with your confessor and then do as he tells you. my guess, 3 Hail Marys and an automatic first down...


#14

[quote="that_name, post:12, topic:181883"]
Seek a good priest. It says something that the amount of physical intimacy equals security for you. You may want to work on this with a counselor. Don't equate sex with love, that will set you up for some big disappointment in married life.

[/quote]

Oops, I'm sorry if it came across that way! I just meant that I thought affection could show that someone was feeling loving towards you. And I always thought that sex in marriage was a way to renew vows, create bonds, and benefit the relationship. At least I thought that the Catechism said this. So I didn't think it was bad to think of affection as benefitting a relationship or creating bonds... that's what I meant.


#15

In marriage - it is A way, not the only way.

You are not in marriage. You have no business creating bonds based on sexual contact.


#16

[quote="that_name, post:15, topic:181883"]
In marriage - it is A way, not the only way.

You are not in marriage. You have no business creating bonds based on sexual contact.

[/quote]

Um, I don't really call touching someone's stomach sexual contact. But that is okay if you do... sorry to make you angry.


#17

If I read the first post correctly, you were sexually aroused by this intimate touching.

Again asking, would your boyfriend touch your stomach in front of your dad? Asking a man to make you feel secure by making out with you is asking to create bonds based on sexual contact.

Keep it G rated and you will have a happier marriage and life!


#18

[quote="that_name, post:17, topic:181883"]
If I read the first post correctly, you were sexually aroused by this intimate touching.

Again asking, would your boyfriend touch your stomach in front of your dad? Asking a man to make you feel secure by making out with you is asking to create bonds based on sexual contact.

Keep it G rated and you will have a happier marriage and life!

[/quote]

Okay, thanks for the clarification... you are right.

I agree that I probably don't have the best mindset sometimes and that we could tone things done a few notches.


#19

I'm not even Catholic (yet). I'm going through RCIA and may convert in the spring... so you can take or leave my opinion.:)

I would say if your arousal was a surprise and a bodily reaction to something your boyfriend did which was NOT intended to arouse you at all, I think you did not sin. If you lingered on the arousal, wished for more, fed your desires, etc, I would say yes, you sinned. Otherwise, I don't think so.

Did your boyfriend sin? Maybe. I'm not sure whether you mean he was rubbing your lower belly on your* skin*, under your shirt or pants, or what. If he was rubbing your skin, my opinion is that is inappropriate affection for an unmarried couple and he should not do it again. Even if it was not on your skin, the fact that it did arouse you tells you you need to talk about where is OK to touch and where is off-limits and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Even though I'm not Catholic, I have looked up the definitions of different sins and I believe in order for a sin to be "mortal" it has to meet certain criteria:

1) it has to be a "grave matter" (the act is intrinsically evil... murder, rape, incest, adultery, fornication).

2) it has to be committed in "full knowledge" (The person must know what they're doing or planning to do is evil and immoral.

3) it has to be committed with "deliberate consent" (The person must freely choose to commit the act or plan to do it. If they are forced, they have not committed a mortal sin.)

I think clearly your situation does not meet any of these requirements (and even if it only does not meet ONE, it is not a moral sin). Hopefully that makes you feel better. I think if anyone sinned, it may have been your boyfriend, and definitely not mortally.

I think it is fine and good to bond through affection being unmarried, as long as it is non-sexual affection (like stroking an arm to make someone feel better, or tell them you love them), a brush of the cheek, a hug, etc. Obviously (to me anyway) these things are healthy and fine for an unmarried couple. But any shows of affection that you would be uncomfortable doing in a restaurant or in public is probably inappropriate. I think that is a good rule of thumb.


#20

[quote="GodWarrior22, post:10, topic:181883"]
I didn't wish to be aroused by it, even when he was doing it I was trying not to think about how good it felt and I was trying to will my body not to react. I definitely wasn't wishing for more.

I didn't stop him because I had asked him to be more affectionate and I didn't want to confuse him by making him feel put off. Then again, he didn't linger there or anything but if he had, I would have stopped him eventually.

We have had several talks about chastity in our relationship... both of us have the desire, but we aren't always perfect at it. We did set boundaries at one point and have kept them, but it looks like maybe we need to set tighter boundaries.

I just hope I didn't commit a mortal sin or something. I don't have a car of my own, so it's not always easy for me to get to Confession. I will go when I can though.

[/quote]

Based on what you've told us here, there is no chance of this being a mortal sin.

Just sounds like you two need to keep talking and learning about each other.

God Bless

Peace
James


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