Pornography, nudity, and chastity

I have read something put out about pornography by the USCCB. It is very good but somewhat confusing. I have been told nudity in and of itself isn’t sin. Pornography which isn’t limited to images but reading material, conversation, and cell phone conversation too is grave matter. I amreading to look at intimate parts is using another and a violation of dignity and chastity. OK. I find it very hard when looking at an attractive woman fully clothed not to notice something. This noticing or attraction is it normal? Is it not chaste? This can be very confusing when trying to analyze it. When seeing nudity one tends to look at well…certainly places. What do you do? What is right and what is disordered. IS aa sexual attraction disordered but we just don’t notice?

:shrug:

Here I will to to post a pdf which is what I’ve been reading from the USCCB. I really like it.

Noticing that a (clothed) woman you pass on the street has an attractive figure is perfectly normal and natural, if you’re a heterosexual male who is breathing. It’s not like women won’t notice that a guy has a nice chest, or well defined arms, or whatever. The danger comes in deliberately going out of your way to stare. For example, following a woman down the street so you can stare at her butt in a skirt. Basically, if you notice an attractive woman, that’s perfectly fine. Just don’t start ogling her like you’re a lion looking at a gazelle.

As far as nudity, depends on why you’re looking at it. If a medical student is looking at images of vaginas to better understand and treat medical conditions, that’s perfectly fine. If he’s looking at images of vaginas just to be aroused, that’s something else.

Basically, you don’t have to panic if you find your gaze drawn to certain parts of the female body. It’s natural and normal that you would find women attractive. Just don’t stare or fixate on them.

I appreciate your caption on this thread. You recognize that they aren’t all the same thing. In spite of some posters on this board’s insistence, mere nudity is not “pornography”. The definition of pornography in the catechism is very specific and detailed. It isn’t by accident that the church defines “pornography” this way:

'Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the
partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity
because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does
grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one
becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are
involved in the illusion of a fantasy world."

Accordingly, it is, I think, easy to understand why viewing, reading or experiencing “pornographic” material is grave matter.

Mere nudity is more difficult. We all are aware that there are nudes (art works) in the Vatican. Somewhere between “art” and “nude girly shots” is where the sin arises. One priest once told me that noticing a beautiful woman and mentally saying “WOW” isn’t sinful. But the very next thought is likely to be. I think that applies equally to full clothed women by the way. I can appreciate a beautiful woman, but that is where it needs to stop. Entertaining thoughts of lust is over the line, offends her dignity and is a sin against chastity. Of course, we can’t always prevent brief problematic thoughts from entering our heads. That is why I highlighted the word “entertaining”. Once we become aware that we are past the “WOW” and into that “very next thought”, we need to do a mental FULL STOP.

So if one looked quite a bit at a website that had pretty women though not nude nor pornographic, that would be wrong then? Because you are entertaining thoughts and fantasizing ?

What’s your reason for looking at the website? Are you looking to buy a gift for your wife, and there are female models on the site? Fine. Are you looking at the website in order to become sexually aroused? Not fine.

I see. No I have no wife. So I am probably screwed up for looking. According what I have been reading. Perhaps relationship problems. More I guess I could say, admoration or perhaps lusting or on the verge of it anyway. :frowning: So if that is wrong the looking for the same reason at nudity would be wrong too. Why else would anyone look at nudity? Very few reasons as mentioned above medically perhaps. Fantasizing would be more like it.

To appreciate the beauty of the gentle curves of a creation of God, and the grand design of the “feminine”.

That’s putting it mildly isn’t it. It is risky whatever it is.

No, that is putting it chastely. For some it is no doubt “risky”. For others who can appreciate the beauty without any prurient interest, it is probably fine.

But then we get into the philosophical question “What is beauty?” Esthetics. Is sexual attraction beauty? It is attractive yes. God is truth, God is beauty. :shrug: Maybe it is beauty or a part of it anyway. As mentioned one must look at the whole person.

Very difficult while living in a hypersexualized culture. Feminine beauty is how a woman carries herself as well. In art/photography, gesture, expression, clothing and other things need to be evaluated. There are certain universal standards regardless of race/ethnicity but long before I knew that, I noticed beautiful women but understood there is a line you do not cross. It was natural and normal. Today, the way women are presented too often emphasizes the wrong things, including in photography magazines.

Ed

Beauty is definitely something other than a physical attraction, perhaps in addition to physical attraction. I think an aspect of beauty is “wholeness”. Maybe I’m getting a bit OT here. I just don’t want to do wrong.

Keep in mind I’m not a priest. I’m just going off the top of my head. But I think if you’re thinking to yourself “I’m going to go look at clothed pictures of attractive women and use that to fuel sexual fantasies” then that’s not too far off from looking at pornography.

On the other hand, if you happen to be looking at pictures of clothed women for an innocent purpose, and then without intending to find yourself having sexual fantasies, that’s not really your fault. You’re not responsible for stuff you didn’t intend. Of course, in that situation, the right thing to do would be to go “Ok, maybe I should go do something else for a bit.”

So would it be ok for a guy to have a “stash” of non nude pictures to look at from time to time? Or is that fixation?

Why are you looking at the pictures? I think once you honestly answer that question you will be able to know the answer to your post. Nude/nonnude, regardless.

Do you see a beautiful woman as a person worthy of respect or do you just see her body? Chasity is more that just keeping one’s hands to oneself. It is understanding that no matter how beautiful a person is, this person is a child of God and as a child of God is deserving of respect. If when you see a beautiful woman say to yourself, our Mother Mary is beautiful too, I will look at this woman with the same understanding of what being a woman is about.

It does not matter if you believe that a particular woman does or does not deserve the respect you give her. Each person is beloved of God.

Well I find the women attractive. What about it isn’t normal? Now I can see where someone might get confused and end up possibly doing something wrong they might otherwise not have. Some say these things lead to acts of violence against women, sexually or otherwise. I prefer not to have women around. Especially the kind in my town. Well…for the most part anyway. They can get you into trouble. “Paper dolls” don’t argue and get vindictive.

When I see women that I have seen I see confused pot heads, liars, drunks and users. All I’ve ever met anyway. Women I despise. If there’s one out there for me that’s different I have yet to meet her.

Wait so you have non nude pictures of women to look at? I am not following what issue you have here Sir.

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