Proper names for sexual sins

If a man committed a sexual sin with a woman that was not fornication (no intercourse involved), what “designation” would he use when confessing this sin to the priest? Many people would be very uncomfortable going into detail, and I doubt the priest would want to hear it either. If, however, you said “I committed illict sexual acts”, or something like that, wouldn’t the priest assume you mean fornication? Could you say something like “I went too far with my girlfriend…”. Or is it necessary to say “I touched her here and there for such and such length of time…” Thoughts?

It’s pretty simple just to say that you while you didn’t go “all the way,” you did engage in illicit physical intimacy with a woman outside of the covenant of sacramental marriage. Spare the priest the sordid details. They’re smart men…they’ll know what you mean.

Agreed, but I don’t think it’s necessary to use the colloquial “all the way.”

‘My partner and I did not engage in intercourse, but did engage in illicit [or serious] physical intimacy.’

That covers a host of situations for which no further details are important or necessary, being that all such activity would be mortal in category and involve another party.

“I committed an impurity with my girlfriend”:shrug:

All you have to say is that you commited sins aganist holy purity with your girlfriend.

Like the O P says the priest is smart and he will know what you are talking about.

If he wants to know anything more he will ask you. So dont worry that you are not telling him everything.


Also remember that you are in fact confessing to Christ himself through the priest. Christ already knows your sins- even the ones you are unaware of yourself. Saying something to the effect of “I engaged in impure sexual acts with my wife/girlfriend/self” that is generally sufficient to get the point across to the priest.

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