Is it a sin to make erotic art?

Basically in the community of digital artists it’s commonly thought that you can make a lot more money on NSFW commissions, which drives a number of them into that space. Also, there are many artworks that may seem innocuous to the common man, but have audiences of perverts who look at these same images in an entirely different way (the foot fetish for example); they even make use of fine art like that of Bouguereau’s.

So this got me wondering… Are those who consciously make pornographic art sinning? What about art that isn’t pornographic but which the artist knows perverts will make use of?

What would make you think it is not? :confused:

It’s not about art, its about money.
And yeah, pornographic material is sinful.

It’s just that the moral arguments tend to be addressed to the recipients of such things, to the people who lust. The artists on the other hand might not necessarily experience lust and could create something without sexual passion involved.

Not that I’m defending stuff like that. Just genuinely curious.

Going back to the foot fetish example I mentioned earlier - think of a scenario where the artist himself doesn’t have such a perversion but creates such images, which could simply be a barefooted person like in Bouguereau’s paintings. Do you think it’s the intent that makes it sinful then (meaning that it only becomes sinful if his intent if for others to see it lasciviously)? In the opposite direction, what about a scenario where an artist makes a piece that most people would think of as pornographic, even though that wasn’t his intent?

**CCC 1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

  • by participating directly and voluntarily in them; **

  • by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

**- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so; **

  • by protecting evil-doers.

Don’t try to justify it, because you will be wrong. Creating pornographic art is a sin and it is participating in other’s sin.

Creating art without the intention that others may find erotic due to their disorders isn’t necessarily sinful, but you have to look at your intention

At a minimum, it is an unjustifiable scandal in nearly every case which you seem to be describing.

Makes sense, thanks :thumbsup:

What about looking at erotic art though? What is tateful nudity?

Think of it this way:

You throw a dinner party. You knowingly use some spoiled ingredients.
You didn’t INTEND for the people to get sick, but you were aware that they might.

Irresponsible at the bare minimum.
We have a Christian duty to want good for others,

I tend to agree with Stephen, what is the artist’s intent. You can’t control the audience’s perception and it is a strange world. Some folks find the most innocuous thing sexual.

If the art is created with the intent of sparking a prurient interest vice an admiration of the human form or as an expression of human vulnerability (a common theme, naked=vulnerable so often used in communicating hopelessness and vulnerability in war or violence), then I think the artist is committing a sin.

What was it the SCOTUS judge said in the case regarding pornography in the '60s. Something like- I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.

Similarly, if you are looking at something and it is sparking more of a prurient interest than a contemplation of human nature, form, beauty, the historical incident or story being depicted etc., then I think you personally need to avoid that type of art.

It’s sinful. That foot had better look pretty realistic to get the “wrong” reaction from perverts. The same for other art. Speaking as an artist, if I draw something I know is generally erotic or stimulating, odds are someone will take it that way.

If I produce a drawing where a female is dressed provocatively or has large body parts, then yes, guys will react, even if it’s not pornographic by itself. So some busty female in a short skirt is a big deal, even if it’s not being drawn for those who are stimulated by this.


There’s no such thing. The only exception being Church approved sacred art, like the Sistine Chapel. The human body is not sinful but exploiting it for financial gain and to appeal to those who like the erotic is not good.


Why is this even a question?

Not everyone is going to interpret art the same way. Most take it as face value, even if it means something else to the artst…intent does not eliminate sin for the artist.

Sorry but isn’t this quite simple. If you make or do anything with the intent (or reasonable expectations) that it will be consumed by people for the purpose of sexual arousal then that must be a sin.

If you do something for artistic reasons without that intention then it isn’t

What are these artistic reasons? Where would this type of work be shown? I know what the “real” art world is doing and the demand for “erotic” writing and illustration.


[quote="PelagiathePenit]What about looking at erotic art though? What is tasteful nudity?

I don’t follow the logic that nudity is tasteful only when it is used in Church-approved sacred art. Let’s look at a couple situations:

Suppose I am an artist highly recommended for my sacred art. A local church commissions me to paint their new ceiling. I include nude and partly-nude figures not unlike Michelangelo. Your verdict: tasteful.

The following year the nearby Hindu temple commissions similar work from me. But for some reason the same type of art is no longer tasteful.

A couple years after that I get inspired and paint a large canvas in the same style as the first ceiling as a gift for the parish’s new auditorium. After considering it, the parish informs me that they cannot accept the painting, as they were planning to put in a digital screen at that location. Not Church-approved, so not tasteful?

Traveling to Italy later, I visit the sculpture of David. Never approved by the Church, and so apparently not tasteful.:shrug:

Suppose I am a voice actor, and I am aware of a group of fans who obsess over my sexy voice.

I have a reasonable expectation that my next job recording the audio book of Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal will be arousing for that small group, so it must be a sin?

the whole point of pornography is to be erotic and to make people aroused. you can’t really make pornography and then claim you didn’t know what you were doing.

just use reason, if an artist paints pictures of normal things and someone has a weird fettish, well that’s not on the artist.

pornography doesn’t fall in to that category

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