Morality of passionate kissing and arousal before marriage

1 month ago I started dating this sweet young Catholic woman who I met at my local parish. I didn’t realize it but I think I sorely needed a woman’s company/friendship, and she’s been a very positive force in my life, has made me feel much happier and less miserable.

She’s really devout (attends Mass almost daily) and under her influence I’ve actually started taking my Catholic faith much more seriously. Around a week ago we’ve started holding hands and kissing, not making out with tongues or anything, but in a passionate way and for an extended time. The problem is I get quite aroused by this. I don’t think I’d call it lust, because it’s more romantic and not about her body or anything, but is this kind of thing mortally sinful? I don’t think she has as strong of a reaction to this as I do, so in her mind it’s innocent and not sinful. I really like this girl and enjoy being around her in general, and would like to continue the kissing sessions as well if it’s morally permissible. What’s the consensus on this?

You need to stop the kissing sessions now if you respect the girl and her faith, yourself and your faith. If she’s truly devout, she will understand.

To continue on a path that leads you to sexual arousal is sinful for you, and if she’s as naive as you say, it’s deceitful to her.

I don’t mean to lack compassion. I don’t lack it. But those are the facts. If you want the two of you to remain in a state of grace, you need to stop it now. I don’t doubt that you have romantic feelings for her, but what you’re feeling is lust as well, and she is probably feeling somewhat lustful herself, or, being devout, she wouldn’t allow these sessions to continue.

For me those sessions sound like a near occassion of sin. I think you should quit them.

Passionate kissing by an unmarried couple is not intrinsically evil. It does not have an evil moral object, so it’s morality depends on intention and circumstances.

We are not here discussing lust, which is intrinsically evil. If kissing, or any other act, even the mere act of looking at a person, is accompanied by an interior act of lust, it is that interior act which is always gravely immoral, not the kissing or the looking.

Passion refers to emotion. But emotions, even strong emotions, do not necessarily imply sin. Now the emotion of sexual passion is a result of the fallen state. But this emotion which results from being in the fallen state is not itself a sin, and when it is accompanied by sin, the sin is not necessarily mortal.

An excess of passion may be the result of sinful acts, such as unmarried persons choosing acts of excessive physical affection or excessive sensuality. And the resultant feelings may make it difficult for the unmarried couple to remain chaste. But the fact that the emotion of passion occurs during kissing (or similar acts) does not cause the act to become an objective mortal sin.

Unmarried couples should be careful to guard chastity and avoid near occasions of grave sin. But I would not say that all passionate kissing must be excluded.

If it is sexually exciting you then you should probably stop because it is pretty easy to go from kissing to groping to sex. It isn’t sinful, but it can be a near occasion of sin.

It depends perhaps on what one means by ones “terms”.

But I will respond in general:

Passionate kissing can be said to be “directly directed toward sexual pleasure” thus is rather to be reserved for marriage.

Rather different than say chaste kisses or holding a persons hand.

From an Examination of Conscience for Confession:

(for those who are not married to the person)

“Did I engage in acts such as …“necking,” passionate kisses…?”

From* the Handbook of Prayers*. Edited by Fr. Jim Socias (who also wrote a book on Moral Theology) Midwest Theological Forum (quoted by the Catholic News Agency)

Holding hands, kissing on the cheek or head, and giving a hug. Leave it to that until marriage.

Kissing before marriage (regardless of it’s degree) is perfectly fine. Even if it’s considered “passionate”.

But it’s also on a case-by-case basis.

If hubby and I are being affectionate but we are trying to abstain…we dial it back too.

Sounds like you need to dial it back big time so you don’t end up sinning yourself.

Keep in mind though…kissing, before marriage, is not wrong and you aren’t in a state of mortal sin by doing so.

No…

Chaste kissing is yes fine.

Are there “degrees” that are sinful? You betcha!

Can there be kissing that is mortal sin? Yes.

:thumbsup: Matt, how old are you and your new girlfriend? Are you still in college?

:nope:

:popcorn:

Exactly.

Kissing…even mild to moderate French Kissing is not wrong per se. But if doing so is making you aroused, you should avoid it. You can’t go further than kissing. So don’t put yourself in a position where you are wanting more. Stick to a kiss hello and goodbye for now. Don’t make kissing “something to do for the evening.” It’s the icing on the cake, not the main meal. :wink:

no.

*Not *exactly.

It depends perhaps on what one means by ones “terms”.

But I will respond in general:

Passionate kissing can be said to be “directly directed toward sexual pleasure” thus is rather to be reserved for marriage.

Rather different than say chaste kisses or holding a persons hand.

From an Examination of Conscience for Confession:

(for those who are not married to the person)

“Did I engage in acts such as …“necking,” passionate kisses…?”

From* the Handbook of Prayers*. Edited by Fr. Jim Socias (who also wrote a book on Moral Theology) Midwest Theological Forum (quoted by the Catholic News Agency)

So called “french kissing” is also problematic and can be said to be rather directed “direclty” towards sexual arousal/pleasure.

Thus such is rather something for marriage.

Chaste kissing is yes fine. A sign of love within or before marriage.

Are there “degrees” that are sinful? You betcha!

Can there be kissing that is mortal sin? Yes.

I’m 23 and she’s 21. I already graduated from college but I am still a student (2nd year in medical school).

Good, I hope I’m not in a state of mortal sin, but I’ll ask my confessor about this anyway.

There’s honestly not that much to dial back as there’s no inappropriate touching or anything, and the kissing is not sexual (not really making out or anything). It does make me feel strong feelings, some of the feelings are sexual and some are emotional (because it’s been so long since I’ve been around a woman in this way). I’m not tempted to masturbate afterwards or anything because the desires pass after a short time.

Rather…“discontinue” -such “kissing sessions” …

Focus rather on * friendship* and seek to simply show signs of affection that are moderate etc.

Better to focus on knowing her and being around her as ones friend -even in dating.

Yes sin can be involved in such.

Work with your confessor. Not only one any sin from the past but also towards avoiding sin in the future and kissing in way that is chaste and moderate etc.

It is very good that your concerned to seek to live chastely :thumbsup: and to love your girl rightly…seeking her good and yours…

Eh, it depends.

I expect that for a younger person with a long history of sexual sin (where kissing always led to groping which almost always led to sex), that might be true. But a person with a track record of self-control doesn’t just instantly go from kissing to having sex. Also, there isn’t necessarily any expressway between kissing and groping.

If passionate kissing always and everywhere led to sex, nobody would ever have any success with NFP.

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Matt, congrats on Med school! You quite obviously are a brilliant young man so my only advice is for you two to sit down and have a talk concerning your physical relationship so there are no surprises about how each one of you might feel. You sound like a “keeper” to this old gal!:smiley:

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