question about lust

If I looked at a currently primitive-living person in the buff (amongst the others) on a Discovery Channel and admired qualities of their physical makeup, would it be lu st (I put a space in this word to throw off the Sears internet lounge’s censors)? At one time, I did lu st with no confusion about it. It started during a fallen away time. In the past year or so, I’ve been just wanting to admire the bodies. I do feel aroused, but I don’t want it. I’ve had dreams that involved nocturnal emissions (which I know isn’t a sin in itself, but may point to lust) and don’t want that either. If I’m not wishing to make contact with that body in any way (if having had such a thought, but shut it off) am I seriously sinning? I tried to work myself out of my bad habits (not illegal and they were solitary–geographically anyway) by trial and error while exposing myself to those images and documentaries, which is very wrong and seriously sinful having enjoyed it the way I had been. I could have gone to Hell if I died in a car wreck after seeing them unless I got a miracle of perfect contrition with such habits. Without God’s grace, and His grace alone (not on account of my self-experimentation), I don’t believe I enjoy those images that much. I am sorry I did it that way. Any educated info. on this?

Not that I want venial sin either. It is a gateway sin and all sin indirectly hurts others’ spiritual good and complicates God’s work.

I ask because a priest said that I under obedience, am not to confess unless I can “swear on a stack of Bibles” I committed mortal sin. As a scrupulous person, that can make me disciplined, but very nervous. I don’t have a spiritual director either. Fr. Casimer “Cass” Kucharek wrote a very detailed book with good explanations and examples, though I am not 100% he is 100% reliable–having come up with an intermediary occasion of sin between near and remote that is like, I think, a “sometimes it happens, but not often”. I have wanted to make First Friday and Saturday devotions so I figured I can make that exception to the confession when necessary under obedience thing–I hope that’s ok.

PS If these are not mortal, are they venial–you know?

Thank you!

Wrong forum…moved to Moral Theology…and lust is not a censored word. :rolleyes:

I know some people say that sexual dreams must mean that you’ve been having impure thoughts lately… but this is definitely not true. I guess such dreams could be inspired by impure thoughts, because our dreams are sometimes composed of garbled real happenings, but they can also occur when you’ve been a saint in every way. Do rest easy on that subject at least.

Moving on.

From what I’ve read, lust isn’t necessarily limited to the desire to physically touch the object of one’s thoughts. As I understand it, lust can also be the deliberate encouragement of thoughts (not involving one’s spouse) that are sexually arousing. If you consent within yourself to admire the bodies of these people in a way that you know will arouse you, I think that would fall within the boundaries of lust. If you are looking with an artistic eye and pure intentions, and your body exhibits signs of arousal against your will, that is clearly not lust–just a warning to watch out.

I’m sorry I can’t point you to the original sources. You could consult the catechism to start with.

Thanks to all but especially the last responder!

Sears Grand stores have internet access, but they block out pages that have words like “sex” (they say there is more criteria, but I don’t look at porn so the criteria can’t be that reasonable). Well, there could be a pure discussion on sex. It should require a couple more words on the site to trigger the site blocker. If it’s a porn site, the page won’t be lacking in dirty or questionable (out of context) words. It’s fear of losing my message to a blocked page alert, I posted in this place. Also, when I clicked on “moral theology” the page blocker prevented me from going there. Sorry. Believe me, it was for those going to that discussion, I wanted to address this question.

Nevertheless, God bless them, I say, for free internet access past the closing time of the library!

You can lust after something/someone in a non-sexual way. In addition, dying to look at or be near someone because of how they look can also be idolatry in my mind.

That’s the way I worked it out at least when I really wanted to be around someone of the opposite sex but told myself it wasn’t lust. I really didnt lust after them Ijust loved being around them, but in a bad way.

you could apply that same reasoning to thinking about your wife. Basically catholics define lust as sexual thoughts - any sexual thoughts - since thoughts require an image in the mind, and that is ‘objectifying’ even if it’s your spouse.

Apparently doing is ok within marriage. But thinking about doing, or wanting to, is not. Sex is supposed to be some spontaneous act that doesn’t involve any desiring thoughts, how utterly bizzare.

Good point about the possibility of lusting after one’s own spouse. I neglected to make that clear.

But I don’t agree that having sexual thoughts about one’s spouse is always lustful. I imagine that married couples have a lot of thoughts like these on a regular basis. These thoughts should be pointing toward and encouraging self-donative love toward the real spouse, like a crucifix points to Christ. Thinking about one’s own spouse in a utilitarian way is wrong. But looking forward to how nice it will be the next time one can share the marital act with one’s spouse is perfectly fine, is it not?

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