Chastity Devices?

I really HATE to bring up this topic, because it’s always on these forums.

I’m an 18 year old male, Cradle Catholic, and I really struggle with masturbation. Used to be porn, too, but I think that’s stopped now (I pray).

I’ve actually been masturbating since I was five, but I can’t remember how it started. I didn’t realize it was wrong until I was twelve. The longest I’ve ever gone without falling is 3-4 weeks, and I can’t stand how helpless everything seems. I go to confession, I give it an honest effort, and it never fails that I have to go back within a week or two. A couple of times I’ve just given up for months out of depression.

I pray frequently, always asking God to guard me against temptation, and I avoid whatever I can that would cause me to falter. I don’t care if it makes me seem radical: I don’t go to pools or beaches; if I’m watching a movie that “surprises” me , I get up and leave; if conversations turn a tempting way, I change the subject or walk away; I avoid teenage parties in general, and I don’t talk to girls by myself. That’s gone a long way for me.

For the past 6 months, though, it hasn’t been external temptations, but internal ones that catch me. I’ll make it a week (whoo!), feeling like I’m making progress, and then I get urges that keep coming in waves, until I give in. They aren’t caused by or attached to anything. They just appear, seemingly at random. How can I defeat these?

Can I use a chastity device? I’m not looking for a way to make masturbation impossible. Nothing can do that, just like an internet filter can’t stop you from using a password. But it makes it more difficult, at least. I would have to apply effort and CHOOSE to masturbate, and that might help me stop. Has anybody ever done/heard of this?

I really hate this sin, and I’m willing to use everything at my disposal to stop it. Whatever you end up telling me, though, please pray for me.

Sorry for the long post.

I don’t know about chastity devices, but I’ll pray for you. God bless!

First of all, keep trying and keep going to confession. Maybe add praying the rosary & Divine Mercy chaplet? Seriously - eventually it’ll break you. I don’t think there’s much in the way of chastity devices for men anymore in our oversexed culture. But keep praying and keep hope!

I used to suffer from this sin. One day a priest said to me that every time I feel the urge, start praying several Hail Mary’s until it goes away. He said to me “trust me, it really works”

I tried it and guess what, it works!!! For me, the temptation/urge usually started disappear by the 5th Hail Mary. I would just start saying them in my head or whisper them.

Really works… I recommend it.

God Bless

I second Phil’s advice: pray the Hail Mary when tempted.

You might try keeping an image of Our Lady with you, to look at when tempted. There are some very beautiful images of Our Lady, and they inspire nothing but love and purity.

Here is a sermon on impurity from St. Alphonsus. It is not exactly an “easy read”, but it is very useful:

As difficult as this is, I hope you won´t use a chastity device, because I think it’s just too extreme. I can´t imagine God wanting us to use one.

I think what you are going through is normal, due to the hormones, your age, being a male. I think we were designed that way. In older times, you would probably already be married, but in modern society, we’re to wait till we have a career, etc.

Please stop beating yourself up about a natural, normal urge. I think you are already doing all you can, so I’d ask you to be at peace. If you take it to another level, it might even reinforce it more like an obsession.

With obsessions, the harder one resists, the worse it is. The way, with an obsession is to try to ignore it, but whether you are successful or not, I hope you will go easy on yourself.

I’ve also heard chastity devices can be irritating, etc., not good for the body.

Wasn’t it Fr. Mitch Pacwa who was reported to have said not to worry so much about impure thoughts flying about as long as they are not roosting there.

Yes… I’ve heard of that, as well.

I am struggling with my faith right now. At this moment, some of the positions taken by the Church can, to me now, come across as a bit extreme. I admit I am not actually sure WHY masturbation is considered so terrible when some doctors recommend we do it as a release for our bodies.

Also, it seems like you are practically driving yourself crazy over this, even in considering getting a chastity device. I hope you don´t end up with guilt and and obsession over what is normal and natural.

Some people say folks are to do nothing, but the body wasn´t designed that way. Some people don´t have partners. What are they to do? It can sometimes seem like we are expected to do some really intense suppression, and I don´t know how helpful it is to suppress something as strong as that.

Some say it’s the thoughts accompanying it that are so wrong. Again, I am at a loss.

As I say, I am probably not the right person to ask. I don´t understand it all, myself.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom to overcome your temptations.

So long as we live in this world, we cannot remain without trial and temptation: as Job says, “Man’s life on earth is a warfare.” We must therefore be on guard against temptations, and watchful in prayer, that the Devil find no means of deceiving us; for he never rests, but prowls around seeking whom he may devour. No one is so perfect and holy that he is never tempted, and we can never be secure from temptation.

Although temptations are so troublesome and grievous, yet they are often profitable to us, for by them we are humbled, cleansed, and instructed. All the Saints endured many trials and temptations, and profited by them; but those who could not resist temptations became reprobate, and fell away. There is no Order so holy, nor place so secluded, where there are no troubles and temptations.

No man can be entirely free from temptation so long as he lives; for the source of temptation lies within our own nature, since we are born with an inclination towards evil. When one temptation or trial draws to a close, another takes its place; and we shall always have something to fight, for man has lost the blessing of original happiness. Many try to escape temptations, only to encounter them more fiercely, for no one can win victory by flight alone; it is only by patience and true humility that we can grow stronger than all our foes.

The man who only avoids the outward occasions of evil, but fails to uproot it in himself, will gain little advantage. Indeed, temptations will return upon him the sooner, and he will find himself in a worse state than before. Little by little and by patient endurance you will overcome them by God’s help, better than by your own violence and importunity. Seek regular advice in temptation, and never deal harshly with those who are tempted, but give them such encouragement as you would value yourself.

The beginning of all evil temptation is an unstable mind and lack of trust in God. Just as a ship without a helm is driven to and fro by the waves, so a careless man, who abandons his proper course, is tempted in countless ways. Fire tempers steel, and temptation the just man. We often do not know what we can bear, but temptation reveals our true nature. We need especially to be on our guard at the very onset of temptation, for then the Enemy may be more easily overcome, if he is not allowed to enter the gates of the mind: he must be repulsed at the threshold, as soon as he knocks. Thus the poet Ovid writes, “Resist at the beginning; the remedy may come too late.” For first there comes into the mind an evil thought: next, a vivid picture: then delight, and urge to evil, and finally consent. In this way the Enemy gradually gains complete mastery, when he is not resisted at first. And the longer a slothful man delays resistance, the weaker he becomes, and the stronger his enemy grows against him.

Some people undergo their heaviest temptations at the beginning of their conversion; some towards the end of their course; others are greatly troubled all their lives; while there are some whose temptations are but light. This is in accordance with the wisdom and justice of God’s ordinance, who weighs the condition and merits of every man, and disposes all things for the salvation of those whom He chooses.

We must not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but earnestly pray God to grant us his help in every need. For, as Saint Paul says, “With the temptation, God will provide a way to overcome it, that we may be able to bear it.” So, let us humble ourselves under the hand of God, in every trial and trouble, for He will save and raise up the humble in Spirit. In all these trials, our progress is tested; in them great merit may be secured, and our virtue become evident. It is no great matter if we are devout and fervent when we have no troubles; but if we show patience in adversity, we can make great progress in virtue. Some are spared severe temptations, but are overcome in the lesser ones of every day, in order that they may be humble, and learn not to trust in themselves, but to recognize their frailty.
-The Imitation of Christ, Book 1, Chapter 13

Thank you for all your replies and prayers. It means alot to me.

This morning I was praying the liturgy of the hours, and one of the readings was from Saint Basil the Great:

*"What words can adequately describe God’s gifts? They are so numerous that they defy enumeration. They are so great that any one of them demands our total gratitude in response.

"Yet even though we cannot speak of it worthily, there is one gift which no thoughtful man can pass over in silence. God fashioned man in his own image and likeness; he gave him knowledge of himself; he endowed him with the ability to think which raised him above all living creatures; he permitted him to delight in the unimaginable beauties of paradise, and gave him dominion over everything upon earth.

"Then, when man was deceived by the serpent and fell into sin, which led to death and to all the sufferings associated with death, God still did not forsake him. He first gave man the law to help him; he set angels over him to guard him; he sent the prophets to denounce vice and to teach virtue; he restrained man’s evil impulses by warnings and roused his desire for virtue by promises. Frequently, by way of warning, God showed him the respective ends of virtue and of vice in the lives of other men. Moreover, when man continued in disobedience even after he had done all this, God did not desert him.

"No, we were not abandoned by the goodness of the Lord. Even the insult we offered to our Benefactor by despising his gifts did not destroy his love for us. On the contrary, although we were dead, our Lord Jesus Christ restored us to life again, and in a way even more amazing than the fact itself, for his state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God, but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave.

"He bore our infirmities and endured our sorrows. He was wounded for our sake so that by his wounds we might be healed. He redeemed us from the curse by becoming a curse for our sake, and he submitted to the most ignominious death in order to exalt us to the life of glory. Nor was he content merely to summon us back from death to life; he also bestowed on us the dignity of his own divine nature and prepared for us a place of eternal rest where there will be joy so intense as to surpass all human imagination.

“How, then, shall we repay the Lord for all his goodness to us? He is so good that he asks no recompense except our love: that is the only payment he desires. To confess my personal feelings, when I reflect on all these blessings I am overcome by a kind of dread and numbness at the very possibility of ceasing to love God and of bringing shame upon Christ because of my lack of recollection and my preoccupation with trivialities.”*

That’s all I want: to die to myself, living solely to love and serve God, in accordance with His will. I want to be His, to submit myself to Him, but I always drag myself away by my own weakness. It doesn’t matter what I do; I’ve even fallen DURING prayer.

Why won’t I stop?

Have you tried using clothing to make it more difficult to…ummm…access yourself?

My DH wears layers of clothing due to his job being partially outside during the colder months. He’s complained about having a hard time when he needs to urinate because he has to go through the layers to get to his body. He also complains about things like tie-string pajama pants hampering access when we want to be intimate, are in the moment, and don’t want to be interrupted to untie strings.

Maybe wear your clothing in such a way that it would take a few steps to touch yourself. In that time, having to take a moment to think about what you’re doing, maybe you could talk yourself out of it?

:nope: It doesn’t matter if there’s clothing or not… most of the time it happens through my clothes anyway. Pardon the crude language, but I don’t seem to care if I make a mess. It’s disgusting.

:frowning: No. It doesn’t seem to matter if there’s clothing or not… Most of the time it happens through my clothes anyway.

To the mods: I didn’t realize you had to check the posts first, so I mistakenly tried to post essentially the same message twice. You can delete one of them.

Get a tattoo of Jesus staring at you on your right hand. Or wear a scapular bracelet if that is too extreme.

The male sexual appetite is insatiable, which is something that is more than ever recognizable in a post-pill culture. The male has lost his sense of vocation, leaving only passion without purpose. For the male this results in a lose in self, and for the female, the lose of the delight of real, honorable men (being replaced with a shell of what he is meant to be).

You need to stop thinking of conquering impurity as suppressing your sex drive into silence. That’s not how you do it, and that is not what God intends from you. You don’t need to stop desiring women. You need to start desiring them more than ever before. That means really desiring them for them, instead of as objects. An intense devotion to Mary, devotion to other female saints, devotion to women in your life (not as an effeminate suck-up, but as someone that is generous and kind), and surrender to God over your sexuality, are what will kill your habit of masturbation and will conquer impure thoughts. The more you cease to look at purity as something to be acquired with your own power, the more like Jesus you become.

It may not be necessary to wear an real chastity device. Simply start acting as if you were wearing one. Pretend that it is so large that its prevents your hands from getting within a foot of your genitals. And when it is necessary to enter that no-hands zone, to, say, wash yourself, be extreme circumspect, using your less dominant hand, and don’t linger there any longer than is absolutely necessary. Here some other suggestions: 1. Get in the habit of urinating while seated on a toilet, instead standing, to avoid unnecessary hand-genital contact. 2. Don’t scratch itches in the no-hands zone. 3. Don’t use your front pants pockets. After a year or two your body will forget the muscle memory it has acquired and is now working against you.

Dear NonNobis, thank God that He has given you such good-will. This is in itself an immense gift! God would not grant you such desires if they were unattainable.

It sounds like you need a good dose of trust in God! (Which we can all use - at some times more than others). Here are some considerations that have really increased my trust in God:

  1. God does not ask for success; He asks for us to be obedient.
  2. Without God we can accomplish absolutely nothing good.
  3. With God’s grace, which makes us ‘partakers of the divine nature’, we can overcome all the powers of Hell. ‘Is not My strength superior to every weakness?’ (Jesus to Mother Mary of the Divine Heart)
  4. God does not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength; but we must place our trust in Him and do what is in our power to avoid temptation i.e. by avoiding idleness, fleeing near occasions of sin, praying frequently, receiving the Sacraments etc.
  5. God’s love is the cause of all goodness within us, including any desire we have to love Him, to repent, or to be saved! Think about that; we cannot even desire to be saved apart from a grace from God.
  6. Rather than putting our trust in our good resolutions, our past, our innocence, our prayers etc., we must place our trust in Almighty God; He is the Source of our good resolutions; His grace inspires us to pray; any success comes from Him.
  7. Given our absolute inability to do any good without God’s grace, coupled with the reality of God’s infinite love, which leads God to unite Himself to us, we should abandon ourselves to God without reserve, like little children.
  8. Any hope of being saved comes from the goodness of God.

Ponder these things frequently and they will be sure to increase your trust in God. Even the greatest sinner in the world can overcome the most vile temptations, if only they place their trust in Almighty God and humbly respond to the invitations of His grace.

‘Let whosoever desires to conquer set to work courageously. If he falls, let him trust in My mercy, not in his own strength. For if any man mistrusts My goodness and says to himself: “If I begin to mortify my flesh and fast and watch, I shall never be able to keep it up, I shall never succeed in avoiding sin” – that man has good reason to fall. Therefore, let everyone who wishes to maintain the spiritual fight trust in Me, and let him hope to succeed by the help of My grace. Also he must firmly resolve to do good, to avoid evil, and to rise again as often as he falls.’ - Jesus to St. Bridget

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