Am I going to hell because I masturbate?

Hi, I’m an eighteen year old girl and every once and a while, I masturbate. The problem is that I’ve heard it’s a mortal sin to do this.

I love God. I’m unspeakably proud of my Catholic faith. I would die for my faith and my God. I’m a good, kind person. I’ve never committed a crime. I always apologize to the ones I’ve hurt and forgive the ones who have hurt me. I live the way Jesus has taught us. I follow my conscience.

But I’m an eighteen year old girl with teenage hormones. And I can’t help but feel aroused every once and a while. I plan on remaining chaste until marriage.

I guess this is my question. Why do we, as Catholics, have to feel ashamed about our sexuality? Why am I condemned to hell for having feelings that are supposed to be natural? Sometimes I wish I didn’t feel anything at all. It’s so depressing.

Will somebody help me? Why does it have to be like this? :frowning:

First of all, only God knows your final destination, but the evidence is clear he wants you to be with Him in Heaven. That works very much to your favor.

Yes, you’re 18 years of age; living in a fallen culture that has distorted the true purpose of sexuality; and you practice a faith that teaches that what you are doing is a mortal sin…and that happens to be the truth. But before you get too depressed, do you truly have full knowledge of what sex is all about and are you able to give full consent to your actions. Others may argue with me, but I would suspect the answer to both of those questions is “no.” Now this is not to excuse the behavior. I simply offer this as a reason for you to journey deeper into your faith so you can have that full knowledge which might better enable you to master the passion instead of it mastering you.

Confess your sin as it is serious, but don’t despair. Christ came to save, no condemn. He understands your struggles and loves you the same if not more when you fall, repent, and try again.

Having those feelings doesn’t feel wrong and shameful to me. But when I read about being condemned to hell because of my feelings, I’m terrified. I just don’t understand why God gave me my sexuality if I can’t express it at all. I’m only eighteen. I may not be married for another ten years. I may never get married. What then? I’m not allowed to experience anything?

I can’t help but be depressed. Every time I follow my conscience and think of God, I’m filled with an immense joy and love. Every time I read all the rules in the Catechism, I feel that maybe getting out of bed every morning is not such a good idea. After all, we’re only here on earth to either (a.) get married and have children or (b.) stay single and possibly become a nun or priest. I feel like every time I breathe, I have to make sure I’m not breaking the rules. It’s utterly depressing living this way. Might as well forget enjoying my life if I have to be so careful about making a wrong move. :frowning:

it doesn’t feel wrong or shameful because it isn’t wrong or shameful… that’s one reason why it’s so nice to be an Atheist… we can masturbate whenever we need to, it feels amazing, it’s healthy, and there’s no reason to feel bad for doing it because it’s a natural part of human sexuality, which you said yourself. I’m a woman and I masturbate whenever I feel the need, which is probably three times a week, or sometimes twice a day. I’m a virgin and I plan on staying a virgin until the day my faraway boyfriend moves in with me. we won’t have children when we eventually get married, because we don’t like them. see how liberating it is? I’m not being tied down, I feel no guilt, and I have no fear of being punished for doing things that affect no one but myself. if only you could be as free as I. I honestly feel bad for you. hug

Instead of seeing the Church as a set of rules preventing you from “having fun” think of them more as ways to live the fullest possible life. The Church does not allow you to “enjoy your sexuality” alone because sexuality was not designed to be experienced alone. The Church only allows for sex inside of marriage because only then it can be expressed in the best and fullest way possible. Any other way is just an imitation of how it was intended.

You’ll learn that life comes with a lot of rules and responsibilities. Some of the rules are harder to follow than others especially when they come in conflict with something as primal as your biology. However, there are laws so that our society doesn’t fall into chaos. For example, you can’t rob a bank because you need money. The Church has the Catechism so that your soul doesn’t fall into chaos either.

You say you always apologize to those that you hurt. Well, think of confession as a way of apologizing to God for not using his gift of sexuality to you the way He intends it. That’s the beauty of confession in that it gives you a chance to apologize set things right again.

Your feelings, my feelings or anyone’s feelings are not the best guide to what is morally right. After all, there are people who can murder, steal or deal drugs and not feel in the slightest that it’s ‘wrong’ to do so. ‘Following your conscience’, unless your conscience is precisely in tune with God’s teachings, is the short road to ruin.

And how does God teach us? Through the church, which He gave the power to bind and loose. In a nutshell - if your ‘conscience’ isn’t in line with church teaching, which comes direct from Christ through the Holy Spirit, guess what needs adjustment. Hint: it ain’t the church teaching.

God, funnily enough, has His own ideas about the true purpose and meaning of sex and sexuality, among other things. He shows us what is right, what uses of the sexual faculties are in accord with His purposes for them, through the church which teaches with His authority.

And the rules aren’t there to prevent us enjoying life, rather they’re there to HELP us enjoy ETERNAL life - which is far more important.

Surely there are times in your life when you’ve put aside what’s superficially pleasurable - tv, going out or what have you - to concentrate on what’s really important. You’ve probably done so in order to study for school, for example.

Don’t you find that doing what’s right in that way brings its own rewards - better grades for one? And don’t you find that they last much longer than any fleeting superficial pleasure you’d have had from going out or wasting time in front of the tv instead?

See God wants what is REALLY best for us, and makes us give up superficial distractions and concentrate on what will really enrich our lives both here and eternally. Not just what makes us feel good for a short time and serves little or no ultimate purpose.

how does going by what the Church says to do give you the opportunity to live a fuller life when it says masturbation is wrong, not wanting to have kids is wrong, premarital sex/intimacy is wrong, abortion is wrong, gay marriage is wrong, etc etc? last time I checked, those rules were all saying that there was only one right way to go in each case, not that either way is fine… how is that not limiting your choices and opportunities and experiences?

The problem with your philosophy is it is too narcissistic. Your earlier post where you were talking about what YOU could do sounds like the tone of it was all me, me, me, me! Christ’s message was to love others and to come to the aide of others, not merely think of one’s self and your own pleasures.

I love this quote.

“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness … is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” -Ayn Rand

so that’s right. it IS about me. obviously I care about other people, too, because doing nice things for other people is something that makes me happy, but I find nothing wrong with placing myself first.

nobody’s saying I don’t love others or come to their aide… masturbating isn’t infringing upon anyone else’s rights, is it? :stuck_out_tongue:

Put it this way - if you’re going to be a parent, there are some rules that are absolutes, that you have to observe, and if you don’t you can’t call yourself a good parent. A parent can’t choose to starve their child, or beat them, or leave them alone at home for days on end, and call themselves a good parent. Sure, that limits their choices, but not all choices are equal when it comes to parenting.

I’m going to be a lawyer soon (please God). There are certain rules I have to observe if I want to be a good lawyer. I can’t charge clients for work I have no intention of doing for them, I can’t steal from trust accounts, I can’t advise them to go to court when they have zero chance of success. Again, limits my choices, but not all choices are equal when it comes to lawyering either.

Same with being a human being. We’re created by God and are here to fulfil His purposes, not ours, and we are successful and good as human beings to the extent that we do so. Because we know His purposes (He has revealed them to us clearly), we know what to do and what not to do. We serve others, we don’t indulge in selfish pleasure, we don’t harm life (even unborn life), we respect the one purpose (marriage) for which sex was created. All ends and all means to those ends aren’t created equal when it comes to being a succesful and good human being.

I don’t think anyone is saying it’s not limiting choices or experiences. Abortion, STIs, pregnancy scares and the inevitable broken heart are not my idea of a fuller life. I like that the church has limits to steer me away from that kind of thing.

Masturbation seems like one of the saddest, loneliest things a person can do. Using something that is a gift to be shared with one’s spouse, something that can create a new human being, something that is the renewal of vows as a solitary practice will ultimately result in selfishness. This is one area I don’t want to be to self-sufficient, KWIM. And masturbation trains ones brain and body what stimulus to respond to. Could be a problem later in the marriage bed.

hahahaha, WHAT? what makes it a sad and lonely thing to do? if nobody told you it was “wrong” to do it you wouldn’t know that you’re supposed to feel guilty - you’d feel great doing it. and I really doubt that masturbation could possibly train the brain and body in the wrong way… how better to improve your sex life with your loved one than to become familiar with your body, and know already what feels good so you can teach your partner how to please you?

This is Catholic Answers not Ayn Rand answers :wink: so no, it isn’t right.

The PP may have been on to more than he knew when he described it as narcissistic. After doing abit of research about the personality disorder I guess I find anything that smacks of narcissism repellent. Just the thought of a person like this being a parent…

Bully for you if you “feel good” about doing nice things for others. I just don’t want to be around when you or the other individualists get bored with that or find it hard.

oh jeez, I guess I’d better put on my glasses, I swore that’s what I read. :stuck_out_tongue: and it’s a good thing I don’t want children… :wink: thanks, Señor Sarcasm.

and if you had the capability to read you would have noticed I said “that’s right” in regards to my feelings that what I do and want should be about me.

you make it sound like all I care about is myself, regardless of how I manage to obtain my happiness, which is bologna.

why should I not do nice things because it pleases me? if anyone says they do good things without getting any satisfaction from it, they’re lying, or they’re mad. :stuck_out_tongue:

anyway, I think I’m done here, I just wanted to entertain myself for a while. I’m afraid all I’ll get anyway is more of the same brainwashed responses.

bye bye!

On the off-chance you check in I have to ask: where’s the sarcasm? I pretty much avoid it in discussions like these because it is distracting.

As for brainwashing…is that all you got? I’m not anymore brainwashed than you. You read things that are edifying to you (Ayn Rand et al) and I read things that are edifying to me (to numerous to mention). But I also read what the other side is up to which is what I though you were doing here. I was about to give you some credit but you bailed. Too bad.

Oh, and it’s Señorita.:stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, WE’RE the ones who are brainwashed since we choose to follow a Church that goes against the grain big time with mainstream, secular society. We’re the ones who are brainwashed since we choose to pull ourselves out of the natural, feel-good, “me-me-me” mindset and force ourselves to transcend. We’re the ones who are brainwashed when we choose to stand firm in our faith when everyone else mocks and makes fun.

Oh, shoot. In all the distraction I almost forgot this:

You’re not condemned to hell for your feelings, it’s our actions that get us into trouble, particularly when there is a conscious decision to commit a sin. You said above that you plan on remaining chaste until marriage but you can understand that many people do not think that pre-marital sex, extra- marital sex is shameful or wrong either. Why do you? Consider that there are real reasons that masturbation is wrong too.

I just don’t understand why God gave me my sexuality if I can’t express it at all. I’m only eighteen. I may not be married for another ten years. I may never get married. What then? I’m not allowed to experience anything?

Sex is a gift but one that is to be shared with one’s spouse only. Outside of that context it is a lie.

I can’t help but be depressed. Every time I follow my conscience and think of God, I’m filled with an immense joy and love. Every time I read all the rules in the Catechism, I feel that maybe getting out of bed every morning is not such a good idea. After all, we’re only here on earth to either (a.) get married and have children or (b.) stay single and possibly become a nun or priest. I feel like every time I breathe, I have to make sure I’m not breaking the rules. It’s utterly depressing living this way. Might as well forget enjoying my life if I have to be so careful about making a wrong move. :frowning:

That would be depressing to live or think that way. To paraphrase a non-Catholic minister I used to listen to, “If you spend time doing the dos you won’t have time to do the don’ts” i.e., change the focus.

Check out Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II. Christopher West is one of many who have tried to make ToB more accessible for those who find the original a bit heavy. It’s not going to eliminate your struggle but it will give you a new perspective and hope.

ToB has changed the lives and marriages of many. When I first heard Christopher West talk about ToB I knew I was hearing something different. The link above take you to West’s website that has articles to get you started. He also has several books on the subject.

Relax dear heart. You are at the age where this habit will be the strongest and most challenging temptation you will probably ever face. The fact that you are living for God and this bothers you is a sign that you are on the right track!

The Church has some very good reasons for condemning masturbation. But the catechism has some interesting things to say about your level of guilt in relationship to your age, maturity, ingrained habit, emotional conditions, etc. So due to your age and being single trying to live a pure life in this sex saturated culture, your occasional slip may be a venial sin.

Do not torture yourself with thoughts of Hell because this will add to your stress level and might make your masturbating worse! Satan thinks these temptations are funny and he hates us because we are trying to please the Lord. Remember, he is jealous of God so he does his best to make us turn against Him.

Your confessor priest will be able to help you. Check out some of my other posts on this topic and you might find a little peace and advice there. Regular confession, increased prayer and G-Rated living and God’s grace will help you to reduce the frequency or even stop masturbating completely. God knows your struggle. Do your best to avoid the stuff that sparks your desires will help too. You’ll find comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

Pray for God to send you a good catholic husband someday. And starting right now, even though you don’t know who he is, pray for his purity! Catholic author Steven Wood has a great book called “The ABCs of Choosing a Great Husband” That will really be a good book for you too.

God Bless you!
:slight_smile:

Because YOU don’t believe in God, Heaven or Hell, doesn’t mean that they do not exist. But most assuredly, you will believe in Hell when you get there. Beware, God especially hates the deeds of those who would corrupt his precious young… such as this girl.
He will punish accordingly.

:cool:

If premarital sex and masturbation are not allowed how do Catholic men keep healthy emotionally and physically prior to marriage? During puberty and afterwards semen production naturally builds up. There is pressure to release to remain healthy. What do Catholic men actually do to release semen without sinning? I am confused.

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