Sexual intercourse is something that comes naturally to almost all mammals, and it plays a big part in human culture.
It is portrayed and eluded to in movies, video games, songs, books, sculptures, paintings, and many other forms of artistic expression.
Having said that, what is the church’s teaching on the creation and viewing of such artistic expressions?
For example, is playing a videogame or watching a movie in which sex is depicted considered sinful? What about going to a museum and looking at an Ancient Greek sculpture or a Renaissance Era painting of two people having sex? Or watching a nature documentary which includes a scene (for educational purposes) a scene of two animals having sex?
Or does it depend on motivation (looking at pornography for recreation is sinful, but looking at it for archaeological research is acceptable)?
While traveling through Rome , Athens , Munich , Paris , we saw multiple examples of art dispicting the Human form , none of which I found in the least bit erotic ,
I wouldn’t call them sexual at all,. But Porn is a whole different matter, because it’s a deliberate attempt to arouse the mind, that in itself is where the trap lies , best to be avoided , in previous times males had there bits chopped off because it was regarded as sinful… Now we’re a bit more cultured & civilised. ( some will dispute )
So now it’s all in the eye of the beholder
I used to view porn, my then girlfriend, when
she was informed I had a porn addiction quipped
“Why don’t appreciate OTHER things of creation
and look at the tree and admire the beauty of it’s
branches?!” I did a double take on THAT one,
it is NOT the same, I view porn just for the perverse
pleasure of looking at nakedness, just like Adam
and Eve, when they fell into sin, they realized that
THEY WERE NAKED.
I realized something the other day… You know how ‘religious people’ are viewed as being so “anti-sex”? Well, I realized this comes from the fact that they were ultra cautious against depictions or lewd gestures or anything having to do with sex… and its not so much that its about being ‘anti sex’ but about being CAUTIOUS in stirring those passions because** lots of really bad things can come from those passions that are out of order**, like adultery, breaking up marriages with children in them, murder, rape, hurt feelings to the point of suicide, wasting time, giving your passions to fantasy and not rightful other… etc.
What one person can handle, maybe another one can't due to their circumstances. Maybe someone can look at porn and say 'meh', and another could be deeply aroused and can't stop looking at it and thinks about it all day. (another form of ruin that can stem from the sexual passions) So these that seem so "anti-sex" are not against it, they *respect* it, they don't SHOW it, and they avoid those things that show and depict it because --not always for themselves and for the protection of their own weaknesses (and i would expect someone truly in the Lord has no problems with these things but is mature in them) but for those who are weaker in their souls, so that they don't get caught up in those problems... those really bad and serious problems that are brought on when a weaker soul falls to its temptation. The sexual passions have to be one of the most driving forces any human has to contend with,... lust is listed as one of the seven deadly sins. Why would you want to incite that in others by putting it in your movie, or your video game or your book or what-have-you if you actually care about peace on earth and goodwill towards men? A respectful Godly soul sees the damage and would refrain from putting that in his book, his moive, or any art they were trying to do- however, there is a way to depict sex that I think is not arousing but respectful.
So you ask, it is sinful? For some, yes, probably. For others, maybe not. How far is too far in depictions within art? I think the question is, if its trying to arouse, if its purpose of creation is to arouse you, then yes its sinful-as in, the person who created it sinned. Then again, maybe that is just you (not you Op but a general ‘you’) that’s got the problem and took something innocent as arousing? Jesus does say that evil does lurk within. No one is tempted by something that doesn’t tempt them. Bait is not bit when the fish does not desire to eat it.
Videogames and movies today should have zero nudity, partial nudity or obviously implied sexual intercourse, or simulated intercourse. Art is no excuse.
The earlier works you refer to usually depict nudity or partial nudity in ways that are not demeaning to the human person, but actual portrayals of sexual intercourse are not acceptable for general viewing. An archaeologist may find art or sculptures that show such things from the past but sex is sex, regardless of the age of the depiction. So, aside from specialized works about an ancient culture, such things have no other place.
Pornography as it is today should never fall under the entertainment or recreational categories.