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Kevin wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • I was wondering if a person gets the urge to masturbate, will God understand it is healthier for someone to explore [their private parts] in a safe and healthy way?
  • If someone does this should they repent?

Thank you for your time.


  { Does God understand the safe and healthy side of the desires of the flesh? }

Mike replied:

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the question.

You said:

  • I was wondering if a person gets the urge to masturbate, will God understand it is healthier for someone to explore [their private parts] in a safe and healthy way?
  • If someone does that should they repent?

Before answering your question, I want to ensure I've created an appropriate foundation on which my reply will be built on.

Everyone, both men and women, whether they have been baptized or not, had the natural law written on their souls when they were born. The Natural Law is that thing that tells a person something is good and right or something is evil and wrong, without someone else telling them it is good and right or evil and wrong.

Both men and women were also created with what I call a hierarchy of pleasures.
Paraphrasing from another answer:

You see, God created both man and woman, with a kind of hierarchy of pleasures to be used according to His Divine Providence.

Used in the way that the Lord has ordained for both men and women, pleasure is not only OK and very good, but intentionally built into both men and women.

When our Lord created us, he attached certain types of pleasure to things we do.

  • What am I talking about?

Well, whether you are at work or at home, I am sure there are a number of times you have to go to the bathroom during the day and it has nothing to do with grooming yourself. In our family we call this:

Taking a mother nature break.

I don't think there is one reader of this web posting that will disagree that there is a big pleasure in taking a mother nature break.

  • Why is pleasure attached to going to the bathroom?

Because if we didn't go to the bathroom, the toxins in our waste would kill us and we would die.

  • How about eating and drinking?

Surely everyone will agree that, for most of us, this is a pleasurable activity.

  • Why?

Because if we didn't eat or drink, over time, we would die.

What we see during our daily lives are various levels of pleasures attached to certain activities that both men and women do, including:

  • holding on to our (boy|girl) friend during a date.
  • petting during a date.
  • getting our back or feet rubbed by our (boy|girl) friend or spouse
  • kissing our <(boy|girl) friend> or (our husband or wife)

Of all the pleasures attached to all the activities we do, probably the greatest pleasure is that of sexual activity.

  • Why?

Because it has the potential each time to bring a new life into the world!!

A new life made in the image and likeness of God, made for a specific purpose in life.

The strong sex drive both men and women have are invitations by our Lord to build a Christian family within the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. In the meantime, striving to live a chaste life should be the goal of every single man and woman.

Yeah, it can be tough, sometimes very tough, especially in this sex-saturated culture.

To your question:

  • I was wondering if a person gets the urge to masturbate, will God understand it is healthier for someone to explore [their private parts] in a safe and healthy way?

Jesus, God-Incarnated, meaning made flesh, does understand your struggles, even though both Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother were both respectively a man and woman like us in all things but sin.

Even if there were health benefits to masturbation, the natural law in everyone reading this answer tells them that the sole purpose of sexual activity is within the context of the marital embrace after a couple has gotten married in the Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us in CCC 2351: Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

What single people have to discern is whether they are being:

  • called to work in the married state in life, raising well-training, knowledgeable Catholic children, or
  • called to work for the Lord in the single state of life, like St. Paul and Jesus did in glorifying the Father.

    In discerning ones vocation, daily prayer is key.

The natural law overrides the laws of physical health and also tells us we can't rationalize good reasoning for poor reasoning that justifies sin, without deceiving ourselves and others.

You said:

  • If someone does that should they repent?

Catholics are bound to confess all mortal sins. Sins of the flesh fall into this category if they are committed after serious reflection and with full consent of the will.

I wouldn't make a big thing out if it Kevin. Like I have said in other questions dealing with the sins of the flesh:

Just don't do dumb things like receiving the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday, without first going to Confession on Saturday afternoon if one has committed any sins of the flesh.

Any priest should be happy to hear your Confession on a Saturday afternoon.

I hope this answers your question.


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