Wanting to kiss other guys is it mortal sin?

I’m a new Catholic and guy who bears the cross of same sex attraction. I’m not “out” or anything due to the current (and quite horrendous) culture we live in that is blind to the fact loving relationships have no sexual requirement. However, ever so recently I’ve struggled with how to best understand my attractions. It’s quite embarassing but I have some sort of fear of attractive men because I would like to gaze into their eyes or kiss them.

I figure to myself if I were a male who was attracted to women, this would not be an issue and would be expected. I’m very afraid I might be rationalizing sinful behavior by comparing this to how it’s normal for a boy and girlfriend to kiss and they too are unmarried. I come from a protestant background where same-sex attraction is sinful and “of the devil” I assume this uneasines about attractive men comes from that mentality. I want to adhere to what Christ says through his church’s magisterium, but it always leaves me with more questions. What if I am in the moment somewhere and desire to kiss another male? Is there something I can do to help deal with such a situation? It seems like no one is there to understand me or help me when I need someone to give guidance in chastity. All those I know who are same-sex attracted live actively sexual lives with members of the same sex and refuse to take me seriously or try to convince me to “go have fun”, but I don’t find it fun to trample on our Lord. Please help me :frowning:

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The desire to kiss another man is fine. At core, it is a desire for intimacy with another man, and intimacy is a good thing. But kissing isn’t a helpful way for men to be intimate with each other. Kissing communicates “I want you to be mine”, but there is no way for me – as a man – to make another man mine. (There is, by contrast, a way for me to make a woman mine, to possess and be possessed by her.)

So there’s nothing wrong with the desire, but it’s not a good idea to act on the desire. It’s kinda like my desire to engage in a bank robbery – not because I want the money, but because bank robberies capture my imagination. The desire, here, is fine; but there are certain reasons that robbing a bank is a bad thing to do.

What should you DO when you feel this desire? Well, first of all, you should ask yourself whether you are otherwise behaving in ways that encourage you to feel this desire. It’s always good to reduce temptation, if you can. Are you watching romantic or suggestive movies about same sex relationships? Are you looking at porn? Etc. Now, of course, it’s not easy to just stop doing these things, especially if addiction is involved. But it’s worth remembering that sinning multiplies our temptations.

Also, to head off temptation, you can try to develop healthy friendships with other men. When you’re able to be intimate with another guy in a brotherly way, it might take the sting off your romantic desires. Many men with SSA say that physical desire decreases the longer they are in a close friendship.

Finally, you can just ask the Lord to help you resist temptation. You don’t have to judge yourself for the temptation – just don’t fantasize about it, and pray that it (at least to some extent) goes away.

:thumbsup:

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This video regarding The Third Way was sent to me by an old friend, I was greatly encouraged for SSA friends after watching. I sincerely hope this might be helpful to you as you are not alone.
brandonvogt.com/third-way-homosexuality-catholic-church/

it is a temptation.

Be not afraid.

Peace

I do disagree with these statements. But not to say all you said was wrong. I think you are justifying something wrong because it is not the fullfilling the whole desire.

What should be seen, is that the desire is wrong, but if avoided and rejected, it will have no condemnation over us.

You see, when Jesus says, “whoever looks at his neighbors wife with lust has commited adultery in his heart.” He tells us it is the desires of our heart which matter most. Now, I realize desiring sex and desiring a kiss are not the same thing, but it doesnt mean desiring a kiss is pure. So the point is, we need to acknowledge our sinfull nature. It is not God’s nature that a man would desire to kiss another man. And we all know Im not talking about a “Holy Kiss” because that is not what is in question here.

When the Church says that a person is not guilty of homosexual sin because they are attracted to their same sex, I do not believe that is the same thing as saying the attraction is fine. The attraction is wrong, but our culpability depends on if we call it good or bad. When we recognize the desire is from a Godless nature which is at odds with our new nature, we are submitting to the mercy of Our Savior.

Really, gay or straight, we all have the struggle to keep ourselves from what we sometimes naturally want to do. I fail all the time, when I see beautifull girls. Its not because I think they are beautifull, but because I wish I could kiss them, touch them, etc. I am married and am bound to give all sexual desires to my wife. I struggle with this every day. It is impossible to resist all temptations without God’s Spirit overcoming them through us. Nevertheless, it is wrong even though it is our nature to feel these things.

Im not laying guilt on anyone. But saying, our nature does not lead to Godliness. A repentant heart leads to Christ, and His forgiveness leads to life.

Temptation does not equal sin.

Whether these desires are towards those of the same sex or the opposite sex, the key is how we respond. Having the desires in and of themselves is no sin. If we start to intentionally dwell on such thoughts in order to arouse ourselves, that is where sin enters in.

Perhaps Prodigal_Son is too modest to suggest this (;)), but you might want to take a look at his blog (the link is in his signature). You are not alone in carrying this cross.

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Is temptation the same as desiring?

I agree with you, but my point is what determines if the temptation is corrupting us, is wheather we call it right or wrong, not just if we actually physically commit the act. The struggle is an inward struggle against temptations. I personally think its more appropriate to call the desire wrong and not fine. When we do this, we are taking the step towards avoiding it. Afterall, we avoid doing what is NOT fine.

But yes, Its not a willfull choice to have desires, but to call them fine does not help overcome them.

We have to be honest and look at the nature of the thing being desired. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He was tempted by things which were not wrong, in themselves. Like bread when hungry, power over nations, assistance from angels. Just like a man tempted by the beauty of a woman… It is of no fault to admire the beauty, but to desire the sexual relations. But the issue of homosexual desires are in a slightly different category, because it comes directly from the fallen nature, and not God’s. Right? But nevertheless, I am not going to accuse ones personal struggle with which I do have compassion for. I too have battled some forms of these temptations. But certainly not to the extent of attraction towards another man, but the dysfunctional lust which finds pleasure even with a man.

Lord help us to avoid our own desires.

In the end, I think we are bound to suffer what the flesh has demanded, and what we have given the flesh.

You’re right that language is unclear about this. But let me explain it from the inside. For years and years, I did not admit to myself that I desired physical intimacy and sex with another man. All those years, I obsessively looked at gay porn and read stories that portrayed such intimacy/sex. (Of course, I constantly repented, but couldn’t keep free from sin).

Then I admitted to myself and several other people that I DID desire sex and intimacy with men. It was such a relief to me! And it made it MUCH easier to handle temptation. When I am tempted, I try to say to myself, “Yes, I want to be close like that to a man. Here I am, Lord, and I desire this experience more than I desire You. Transform my desire and make it a desire for You.”

If all goes well, it stops there. This is simply temptation. I don’t think straight men ever deal with this, because the desire for women isn’t colored with guilt, for them. Mind you, I’m not talking about lust for women, but simple sexual desire. Jesus gets at this distinction in Matthew 5 (or 6, I forget), when he says that lust is looking at another person “with the intention of” desiring. What I’m describing is a purely passive experience, a “testing/temptation” in the biblical sense.

I agree with you, but my point is what determines if the temptation is corrupting us, is wheather we call it right or wrong, not just if we actually physically commit the act. The struggle is an inward struggle against temptations. I personally think its more appropriate to call the desire wrong and not fine. When we do this, we are taking the step towards avoiding it. Afterall, we avoid doing what is NOT fine.

There was a reason I used the term “fine” and not “good”. I don’t think my desire to kiss certain other men is good. But I don’t think it’s helpful to say that it’s bad either – partially because, in my perverse psychology, calling something “bad” immediately makes it more appealing. There’s no proper guilt or shame attached to the desire to kiss another man. It’s just a piece of data, like the piece of data that I like to eat inordinate amounts of Sour Patch Kids, or the piece of data that my libido sometimes gets thrown out of whack by intense dreams.

You recommend taking steps toward avoiding sin. Well, I’m telling you that calling my desire “bad” is a step that doesn’t help me avoid it. And I don’t think I’m alone among men, gay or straight. C.S. Lewis argues that our perverse desires are actually desires for the good, only misdirected. If he’s right, then the desire isn’t the thing that should be rejected at all – rather, we should look deeper into the nature of the desire, and recognize that no amount of sex or lust could possibly satisfy this desire.

We have to be honest and look at the nature of the thing being desired. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He was tempted by things which were not wrong, in themselves. Like bread when hungry, power over nations, assistance from angels. Just like a man tempted by the beauty of a woman… It is of no fault to admire the beauty, but to desire the sexual relations.

Are you saying that it is wrong for one man to admire another man’s beauty?

But the issue of homosexual desires are in a slightly different category, because it comes directly from the fallen nature, and not God’s. Right?

All concupiscent desires come from our fallen nature. In this respect, a man’s temptation to lust after another man is no different from his temptation to lust after a woman. I experience both these temptations regularly, and there is no phenomenological distinction either. They feel the same way. Non-concupiscent desires, like the desire to know and be known by my wife, don’t feel the same, at all.

But nevertheless, I am not going to accuse ones personal struggle with which I do have compassion for. I too have battled some forms of these temptations. But certainly not to the extent of attraction towards another man, but the dysfunctional lust which finds pleasure even with a man.

I am puzzled as to why “attraction” would be a further extent than “action without desire”. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you?

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:thumbsup: Thanks for your honesty! And in that honesty, you show yourself to be genuine. I believe Our Lord honors this very much.

If all goes well, it stops there. This is simply temptation. I don’t think straight men ever deal with this, because the desire for women isn’t colored with guilt, for them. Mind you, I’m not talking about lust for women, but simple sexual desire. Jesus gets at this distinction in Matthew 5 (or 6, I forget), when he says that lust is looking at another person “with the intention of” desiring. What I’m describing is a purely passive experience, a “testing/temptation” in the biblical sense.

Good points. A simple sexual desire towards a beautifull woman is natural with no offense to God’s nature. Maybe the desire becomes lust when it forsakes the respect for Godliness. Or when it prefers the sexual fullfilment despite the Union between the woman desired and her husband, or our own Union God has Confirmed us in.

But, SS attractions are in themselves an offense to God’s nature. This, to me, is all part of acknowledging our sinful nature. It is still waging against Godliness.

There was a reason I used the term “fine” and not “good”. I don’t think my desire to kiss certain other men is good. But I don’t think it’s helpful to say that it’s bad either – partially because, in my perverse psychology, calling something “bad” immediately makes it more appealing. There’s no proper guilt or shame attached to the desire to kiss another man. It’s just a piece of data, like the piece of data that I like to eat inordinate amounts of Sour Patch Kids, or the piece of data that my libido sometimes gets thrown out of whack by intense dreams.

You recommend taking steps toward avoiding sin. Well, I’m telling you that calling my desire “bad” is a step that doesn’t help me avoid it. And I don’t think I’m alone among men, gay or straight. C.S. Lewis argues that our perverse desires are actually desires for the good, only misdirected. If he’s right, then the desire isn’t the thing that should be rejected at all – rather, we should look deeper into the nature of the desire, and recognize that no amount of sex or lust could possibly satisfy this desire.

That’s kinda like reverse phycology to me. I see your genuineness about it, so I will agree and support your good efforts.

Are you saying that it is wrong for one man to admire another man’s beauty

Not at all. Admire a man as handsome or having a good, strong figure is not wrong to me. We could even recognize one as being “sexy” i suppose. This is probably normal. I think the desire to be affectionate with them and “their sexiness” is were the nature changes. Wanting to kiss the person would be this example. But not just a kiss, but a kiss of lust. A holy kiss is not done with arousal but genuine love for a friend. It is a gesture of veneration.

All concupiscent desires come from our fallen nature. In this respect, a man’s temptation to lust after another man is no different from his temptation to lust after a woman. I experience both these temptations regularly, and there is no phenomenological distinction either. They feel the same way. Non-concupiscent desires, like the desire to know and be known by my wife, don’t feel the same, at all.

I take your word for it. :thumbsup:

I am puzzled as to why “attraction” would be a further extent than “action without desire”. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you?

I guess I don’t fully understand this question either. :stuck_out_tongue:
Maybe my other comments helped with this.

Thanks for sharing. I certainly believe you may very well be more pure than myself. Only God knows, but from what you share, I think your temptations are not causing you to accept sin (though we all fall and He picks us back up). As a married man, I can be strengthened by your faith.

This was very true for me and it controlled my life. I never admitted to myself I desired sex and intimacy with men and this denial I attest is what let me deeper into sin. I would say to myself things “I’m not same sex attracted, I only want to be intimate with women alone” the sad truth would be that I too would in secret attempt to fill that underlying desire I really had with gay stories and porn all while constantly repenting of it (but not being totally free from it). After doing so I would attempt to bend my mind into feeling forgiven because I saw no one around me to share this terrible struggle, I was stuck; being raised non-Catholic the sacrament of reconciliation was not available and learning about how priests in the Catholic church are in fact in persona Christi was a huge blessing that would lead me to his church.

When I went off to college, those I knew who lived actively homosexual lives would play tricks on me and take advantage of my denial. They would ask “their straight friends” about how they were attracted to certain kinds of women and and then ask me and I had no answer. Of course I said I wouldn’t want to objectify neither men nor women, but even they knew I desired physical intimacy and sex with other men. After admitting this to myself I found the Catholic teaching on this (note I’m still a non-catholic at this point) and I was brought to tears of how God loves us and understands our fallen nature and I never knew I could offer this attraction to God and ask that I may do his will. I realized I am not required to be attracted to women in the same way I am to men, (because I would attempt to force myself to be sexually attracted to women in the same way I am to men, consequently encouraging mere lust just for the sake of it being straight lust instead of involuntary same-sex attraction I experience everyday) and that regardless of my sexual orientation I am a child of the living God. How can God heal me of my wounds if I never told him about them and was honest about them? I would also share this with a few other people I trusted…

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God bless you! What a wonderful testimony! :thumbsup:

Uhm, I haven’t read the Catechism in a few months, but I don’t think this is consistent with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. I don’t see the difference - desiring a woman who is not your wife is no different than desiring a man.

Mere attraction to a member of the opposite sex is not sinful. Period. That’s the teaching of the Church. And let’s keep to what the Church actually teaches, as OP has already been dealt enough unwarranted guilt and shame because of his attractions.

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All sorts of temptations can happen to one without one seeking them. One is not to “consent” to such of course either in thought, desire or action. But just because a thought tempts one does not mean one consents to it. A good confessor can assist one.

One can increase in virtue as one turns away from such thoughts or desires that “happen” to one out of the blue - but which are not consented to.


It is important for a person who struggles with such tendencies to have good friends.

As it is important for us all.

In the case of those who struggle with such it is important to remember it is:

Disinterested friendships -not relationships of a romantic nature (and avoiding near occasions of such…)

Friendships without “romantic” overtones.

Contact: Courage.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a6.htm#IV

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Dear Splendid, I feel for you, especially if you’re on the young side. I myself lived the gay lifestyle for about twenty-five years and I put God aside for the most part, even though I thought about Him and prayed that He show me the way through His Son, Jesus Christ. Even at gay bars people used to approach me, needing guidance, and I always pointed them to that God Whom I was so thirsting for. I hope many of them are now following Him.

What you’re going through is extremely difficult and I wish I could just give you a hug and reassure you that Christ is with you and will lead you (I’m talking about a brotherly hug, not a sexual one since I’m beyond that now).

Anyway, God heard my prayers and I have been completely (and I mean completely) celibate for fourteen years. I follow Christ now and would love to go back in time and never had strayed. I adore Jesus Christ. He has been more than wonderful to me, and I’m always on the lookout for those who are trying to beat their sexual tendencies to sin so they can reach other people in more meaningful ways (like praying for that guy you want to kiss – that will do him much more good than a kiss.)

If you or anyone else with the same problem want to, you are free to contact me. I don’t get into the dirty details, so to speak, because I avoid the near occasion of sin, but I can be of help and someone who can hold you up and pray for you. You’re already in my prayers.

Jesus loves you with a love you cannot fathom.

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Thanks. I was not accusing anyone of sinning. I did not say mere attraction for the SS is sinning.

What I said, and do believe it is consistent with Church Teaching, is that SS attraction is in opposition to the nature of God. It is a consequence of our fallen nature. We all have our crosses and I admit my natural attraction to women other than my wife, when taken to the point of desiring to kiss or fondle is in contradiction to God’s nature. We must reject our nature and honor God’s. Our Father was Satan, but God was faithfull to us, all through history, and delivered us the Spirit of His Son, so that we could be His sons also.

Prodical,

If I have unwarrantedly pushed guilt on you, I appologize. I tried to express that I dont believe you to be walking in or accepting sin. And even that you are showing admirable faith in God. I dont think you have done something sinfull to deserve this affliction. We are all subject to our own temptations.
It becomes so personal when discerning where our desire become sinfull! I do believe you can be living holy while having these attractions, but certainly not without consciously rejecting them. You have done so, that is why God is glorified through you!

Peace

I just realized after signing off that I wrote “dirty details” and I didn’t mean what many might take it to mean. I was using it as a figure of speech which definitely did not have a place here. I was having a difficult time expressing myself since I really feel for the OP. I’m usually not shaken by what I read, but I certainly was this time. I know what it’s like to be in his shoes and I wrote my answer reflecting the sadness of the memories that came rushing back to me.

My apologies for any offense.

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