Hi, guys —
I've looked around this site to see if the
question was asked, but I didn't find too
I'm a 15-year-old Catholic boy, and I need
advice about well, . . . masturbation. When
I first found out from my friends, I was in
public school at the time, and had never really
knew it was a sin, so for the past several
years I've been performing this act. I now
attend Catholic high school and am suddenly
faced with the fact that it is a sin. My main
- Am I able to continue masturbating due to my age and is it considered less
of a sin for me?
At first, I thought I had become addicted
because I had a hard time stopping, and yes,
I do enjoy it. I have stopped looking at pornography
and have been able to quell my thoughts but
I've come to realize something.
I am now ending
Christmas break and I haven't had the urge
to do anything because I was relaxed. I have become
very stressed from school and this type of stress
causes me to compulsively masturbate.
At the same time, since I'm 15, I won't be
getting married anytime soon, and will not
be able to, well, satisfy my urges. I'd like
to know if it would be alright for me to masturbate
until I'm at least at the age where I can marry.
I understand that if I'm able to wed, then
I have no reason to masturbate, (not that
that's a reason to marry), but I feel the
God wouldn't torture a teenager, boy or girl,
with hormones and not allow them to masturbate.
- Is there any help
or advice you can give me?
As an adolescent, am I able to continue masturbating due to my age and is it less
of a sin for me? }
Hi, Anonymous —
This is a struggle that most adolescent
boys go through, so you are not alone.
I have good news and I have bad news
- The good news is that yes,
being addicted, or being in a habit,
or even being stressed out can reduce
the level of guilt of the sin, making
it in many cases a venial sin.
it is still a sin. It still is destructive
to your soul, it can damage your
ability to be a good husband to your
future wife, it can even bring on
permanent sexual scars.
is telling a lie with your body.
What I mean is that your body is
intended to be a gift to your wife,
and the sexual faculties are intended
to be an expression of that self-gift.
It's also intended to be used to
unite husband and wife together in
a one flesh union. The rush of pleasure
and satisfaction you feel is intended
to bind you together with your wife
and bring you into intimate union
with her. When you masturbate, you're
reinforcing this but without your
wife — you are excluding her and
binding yourself to whatever you're
thinking of. If you're using pornography,
you are also building up an unrealistic
view of women in your mind — a perfect,
unattainable, unreal view. You are
in a sense becoming one flesh with
them. And your future wife is not
going to be able to compete, and
you will be dissatisfied with her.
It's a myth that as soon as you're
married, you'll stop masturbating.
You'll still have the habit and
it will be tempting, because masturbating
is selfish. It's a lot easier than
satisfying a woman.
You will be so
used to masturbating, and your sexual
response will be so accustomed to
it, that it will affect your ability
to be a good husband.
This is certainly a challenge for
adolescent boys, and the more you
give in, the more enslaved you become,
and the harder it is to be chaste.
Think of it this way:
- to stand strong against
the assaults of temptation, to fearlessly
overcome the passions and save yourself
for your future wife, or
- to give
into weakness and satisfy yourself?
It's a battle, no doubt about it.
- Are you going to surrender?
you lay down as a slave or fight
like a man?
Never forget: God
will reward you for every victory
you win. Any kid can win a video
game but it takes a real man to
conquer this monster.
One note: Confession is a powerful
tool against this sin. I know it's
a hard fight. I know it will be hard
to control as a 15-year-old, but Confession
can really help you escape it and
it is necessary when you freely and
deliberately choose to do it.
You are very smart. You have made
connection between stress and the
compulsion to masturbate, and noted
that when you were relaxed you weren't
tempted. Masturbation with pornography
has become a form of tension release
for you. That is a connection many
people don't make, and they become
caught in a compulsive habit or vice
that is hard to get out of. It is
true that your guilt is mitigated
or lessened, because you innocently
became enmeshed in this and are now
somewhat in the grip of a habit.
Sex is not just stress release, and
it is not just a biological urge
that needs to be satisfied! (and
you show you understand that when
you say that sex release is not a
reason to marry).
You should fight it because it makes
you less human and less of a man,
it desensitizes you,
and it will require harder and worse
kinds of pornography to achieve the
As a friend said, it's
like a gateway drug. As you know,
many sex criminals do what they do
to relieve tension, and the serial
killer, Ted Bundy said that
pornography was the single greatest
influence in his life, so there
is a progression.
has some of the elements of the end:
in the beginning, one is using a
kind of sexual activity for one's
own release only, and using women
only as a stimulus, and even then
seeing them only in a bodily image,
not in their real selves or as persons.
This sort of behavior makes it
hard for males to even relate to
women, and hurts men in the long
run, making them the shallow, adolescent,
uncommitted stupid souls you see
in beer commercials and silly movies.
It does not help to make males into
strong and interesting men that women
admire and love.
I admire your awareness, your ability
to see reality, and your honesty.
Because you made an attempt to quell
your thoughts, you realized something
about yourself!! Your effort at self-mastery has already led you to some self-knowledge,
so you are already on the way. Just
think of how much growth is in store
for you as you master this — and
it can be mastered.
God is not a
cruel torturer who afflicts us with
drives we can't control. It will
take a bit of effort, and some positive
activities, too, but with prayer, good habits, and good advice (like
that from the men on this site) you
can live freely without being dominated
by this habit.
Just to add to the excellent answers
my colleagues have given, whatever
you do, don't condemn yourself if,
and when, you fall. That will just
make it worse.
Recognize it for what
it is. It is a sinful habit. You
can master it but like any habit,
right now it masters you. This is
going to take a work of grace in
your life so be patient, and be quick
to repent. Don't listen to the devil
who will first tempt you, then tell
you you're no good because you
fell, and finally tell
you God is getting sick of forgiving
Finally, know that you are not
alone in this struggle. It's part
of the human condition. Most men
and woman struggle with this
problem at some point in their lives.