Gay pornography, masturbation and impure thoughts


#1

Before I go any further, I wish to state that I am not new to CAF. I do have another account and I created this one specifically for posting this thread. Using the other one, I couldn’t have made myself post the thread, since I would be too embarrassed. Forgive me for my weakness. One last note, if you’re uncomfortable with this sort of topic, best to leave now. So, let me get it out. :frowning:

I struggle with one kind (genus) of sin, three species, to use the specific terms. Firstly, pornography, particularly of homosexual nature. Second, masturbation. Third, impure thoughts about people I know or see in public, related to the first species. I am not sure whether the latter is Mortal Sin.

These are the sins I constantly confess, and I have been confessing them since my conversion recently. While I have noticed that Confession helps me battle these sins, I find myself falling to the first two (unfortunately always linked) within two weeks. That’s the longest I have endured. For some reason, after about two weeks thoughts like “Boy, you’ve gone two weeks without this. You’re getting there.” will enter my head, and the same day I find myself in mortal sin. Last time it happened, I had been telling myself “No” all day. Even just shortly before, I said to myself “No, you will not do this. You will not give in like a coward. Fight.” And yet, I fell. If I can put it this way, once I had begun to fall (the exact reason for which I cannot remember) I was torn between my conscience saying “Stop right now” and the other side saying “You’ve fallen anyway, so don’t bother”. I was plagued by those contradictory thoughts.

About the sin of harbouring impure thoughts about people I know or see in public, let me say this to explain. They are clearly linked to my struggle with porn. I will find myself looking at both men and women in improper ways. Thoughts will pop up in my brain. I’m unsure as to whether I could call them “fantasies”. :shrug: I would say (even though I may just be denying the truth to myself) they are not willingly conjured up. It’s more like I am not paying attention, someone catches my eye and there we go… I’ve tried to develop the habit of praying immediately at such moments. I’ll invoke the Blessed Mother Most Pure and pray the Gloria Patri.

The latter in combination with some scrupulosity is causing me great worry. I’m not sure whether it’s a mortal sin or not, so I confess it every time. However, as long as I have not fallen to porn or masturbation, I took Communion. Since I wasn’t sure about those impure thoughts’ status, I said in Confession “I may have taken Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin”. So basically, I don’t even know how much mortal sin I have contracted.

I guess the reason I post this thread is this: I don’t know what to do. I feel weak and unworthy. As a matter of fact, I feel I shouldn’t even pray, so as not to bother the Lord with the invocations of such an unworthy person as myself. I feel like “Really, you’re sinning so horribly in the face of the Lord. You’re blatantly doing what you shouldn’t, and yet you ask Him for His forgiveness. How arrogant are you to presume He would hear your prayers if you keep doing this? You’re refusing Him again and again.”

This is all kind of chaotic, since things just pop into my mind as I type. I hope you understand what I mean and can help me in whatever way. Prayers are appreciated very much. In fact, since I consider myself unworthy to pray, it would seem as though that’s the only option… :imsorry:

If anyone understands where I’m coming from, if anyone has experienced similar trials but overcame them and is comfortable talking about it, please do so. If you need any more info, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be as honest as I can.

God bless you.


#2

do you have a regular confessor ,if not get one .i have the exact pattern of sin that you are struggling with and i also am a fairly recent convert do the priests you confess to know that you’re a recent convert? this is an important detail they should know .and if so have they spoke to you of scrupulosity ? and have they told you that this is a mortal sin not veinal in your case ?


#3

To offer you a little consolation, your not the only person who struggles with impure thoughts & won’t be the last.:frowning:
The only sound advice I can offer you is to pray.
Pray for the grace to overcome this struggle my friend, it works & I know it works because been there.
I’m a heterosexual/strait guy who has struggled with self control towards women which then lead to fantasies, porn & playing around
There were times when I never gave it a second thought that I was doing wrong & other times felt so guilty.
I used to go out with pals every weekend going to bars & clubs just to meet women &, well, you can guess what for :blush:
I would see “hot” women everywhere & would almost burn with lust.(side note, I think women should be banned from wearing skin tight leggings etc, it can be so hard not to look lol)
I began to see that this was totally wrong but still found it sooooo hard to control myself in the same way your seeing it.
I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me & talked about it to my pals.
What I found was that they were no better or worse to some degree as me.
I could have left it there & carried on how I was but again like you I felt deep down it was wrong.
So here’s the good bit; I began to pray & express my sorrow & ask & beg for God to change me & pour out his grace upon me.
I can tell you now with my hand on my heart that God did just that.:smiley:
I really am totally different guy now! I still go out with my pals from time to time & have fun but I’m not one bit interested in other women other than to chat to & have a giggle.
It’s very rare that a woman will turn my head these days & even then I hear my self thinking “she’s nice” but not in a sexual way but more an observation instead.
I promise you this, do not underestimate prayer & what God can do for you
I will keep you in my prayers & hope this will give you a little hope & comfort
God bless

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, we’ll I’m not a dog!!!


#4

Hi

Do not despair. God loves you. He even gave his only begotten Son while we were still sinners. I can certainly relate to the feeling of unworthiness you feel in praying to God while conscious of being in mortal sin. My only advice would be to keep going to confession each time you fall into this sin. Keep going no matter what and no matter how embarrassed you feel. The devil wants you to give into despair and to doubt God’s love.

Keep going to Mass. Go to Eucharistic Adoration. Read the lives of the Saints daily. Pray the Rosary daily. God will give you the grace you require. You have to decide which you love more, God or the flesh. As Our Lord said, man cannot serve two masters.


#5

I stopped masturbating two years ago. It was a decision I made and I’ve kept to the commitment. Understand that when I say I made a decision, I don’t mean I made it in my head, for such a decision on such a fundamental issue is of little use. It was a visceral decision and it may well have been the grace of God that allowed me to make it. The thing to remember about God’s grace is that while He may offer it, He won’t force it on you. You have to accept it yourself, which is no easy thing since you may not even recognize it. To this day, I’m not even certain it was God’s grace which visited me; I just know that on the night I made my decision, I made it from the heart, not the head. **If you come to a point where you recognize your decision to abstain as being from the heart, not merely intellectual, then treat it as God’s grace and run with it. ** My desires have not lessened in the two years I’ve abstained, but resisting them does actually get easier because you build up a pride in your winning streak. You don’t want to break that streak, and every day you add to it reinforces it. I know of which I speak, for I actually stopped for over a year once before when I was fourteen, the time when the male hormonal system is running amok. I succumbed because at that age you are vastly more susceptible to the culture than later as a grown adult. Point is, if a fourteen year old kid can stay clean for over a year, anyone can stay clean permanently.

And don’t be ashamed to pray. You’re not Hitler, you’re a man trying to do something which our entire “civilization” tells us is impossible for the greater glory of God. That’s not weak and it’s not unworthy.


#6

PS, I’ve got the masturbation under contol, but if it’s any consolation, I’m still nowhere near casting out the impure thoughts.


#7

Believe me you’re not alone, i always struggled with masturbation , pornography and impure thoughts and i hate it when i sin because of these things i really hate it. I made a decision 2 years ago to stop all these stuff and i really did it but few months ago i fell again in them and kept on falling until 3 weeks ago and i felt a big sadness i felt im the worst and biggest sinner on earth i hated myself but then i confessed my sins and i started what i did 2 years ago again hoping this time not to fall in these sins anymore. Don’t be ashamed. If you need any help , advice or someone you need to talk to you can pm me :slight_smile:

God Bless you


#8

I myself am a recovering addict and I know how you feel. There are several things you can do, Pray your heart our daily. Go to catechism classes and everyday read from the bible and catechism. Do acts of Charity. Spend time with the sick or homeless. Offer yourself up to Christ by working at your Church. You can found a ministry with your parish priest, like an A.A but for porn addicts. Now when you think impure thoughts remember that We all are the temple of God, we all are Christ. We are the embodiment of the Living God and the Universal Truth. I recommend you buy the book, Theology of The Body by Karol Wajita AKA Jhon Paul II. I recommend the videos also. Browse through this sites online book store and listen to their podcast/radio. Watch videos on the teachings of the Church. And talk to your priest/spritual director.


#9

Here’s my take on quitting masturbation.

So you say you go to confession regularly huh? Good, good. That’s pretty important. Most of what you are doing is correct. It takes prayer, constant masses, and visiting Eucharistic Adoration, A LOT. But the one thing I found that was the key to quitting was distraction and inspiration.

You say that you fell on days where you admitted to yourself “I haven’t done it in a while, I’m doing great!” I’ve been there. Yeah, try not to even think about it. Like ever. That’s just asking to get targeted. A very important part of quitting is distraction because the devil likes to strike when our minds are unoccupied, bored, going to sleep, etc. Basically at the times where you have time to think to yourself. Think about it, you’ve probably had tons of times where you aren’t doing anything, like watching TV and the thought pops into your head. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Then you notice that it barrages you all day persistently in the back of your mind. It tries to bargain with you and reason with you, promising things that won’t make you happy. Eventually it wears you down.

That’s where distraction comes in. Don’t reason with the thought, just get up and do something that will keep your mind busy.

Something else I noticed. Even after you’ve quit, months later the temptations creep in occasionally. They would attack me like once a month to a few weeks, just randomly in the night. I finally said enough and began to pray the rosary every day, and ever since, mother Mary has kept me clean. The temptations left.

As for inspiration, that helps for drastic instances where you’re on your last straw. It helps because it weighs with the pros and cons of the decision to sin. It helps you really not want to give in. The inspiration I’m talking about are stories of Saints lives with God. I learned how beautiful a relationship with God can be, how much He loves us, what he does for us. It made me want to quit very much.

So that’s all I got. Good luck pal.


#10

I recommend a deepening of your faith. How? – daily Mass, prayer ( daily 5 decades), fast once per week, perform acts of charity. Plus frequent reading of NT.

Also please look at chastity.com


#11

Good advice, thanks. :slight_smile:

Absolutely spot on. That is exactly the way it is. Nighttime is worst.

I tried not to reason with the temptation, but it is hard to get up and do something else when you are trying to sleep. That’s really Hell Hour for me.

I have Rosaries and my statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on my bedside table. It’s just I can’t make myself pray the Rosary daily. For some time, I prayed it regularly, but I stopped at some point.

Great suggestions, I’ll see how much I can do of these.


#12

Sorry, i should have given you some advice too. I suggest also other than praying the Rosary wear the Miraculous Medal, pray to St Michael the archangel to cast away the devil and pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy. Moreover, in your free time don’t sit like that thinking because as someone stated above that’s where the devils strikes with his various temptations so when you’re free , do some exercises and workouts at home , play a game , read ** Spiritual Books** . Reading spiritual books helps you grow more in virtues day by day and cast away temptations. To be honest , i managed to stay a year and a half without these sins because of reading these books and going frequently to communion but then when i stopped reading and going to Mass only on sundays i began to fall into serious sins. I hope this will help!

I read somewhere about the importance of reading devout books and the lives of Saints:

“Perhaps the monks of St. Hugh of Lincoln had to take it on faith when their saintly abbot made so much of it. His biographer tells us that it was one of his chief cares that all his religious should be provided with plenty of devout books; and books were scarce in those days. St. Hugh was always impressing upon them the duty of reading. He even went so far as to tell them that their spiritual books were “their arms in time of war, their occupation in time of peace, their support in time of trial, and their remedy in time of sickness.” St. Ignatius went quite along with St. Hugh in this matter.”

"In the next place, we must take into account the direct assistance in our combat which we derive from reading books about God and the soul, and the virtues or the lives of the Saints. They stir up our affections to God as we read. They elicit by a gentle compulsion continued acts of love, or hope, or faith, or desire, or contrition. They are like inspirations to us. Silent divine voices leap into our souls from off the page. Spiritual reading is itself an essential exercise. It is a special and peculiar form of prayer, the management of which is one of the important features of our spiritual day. Historically speaking, the reading of the lives of the Saints alone has been a most energetic power of holiness in the Church for long ages. [1] It will almost surprise us if we make an effort to remember how much we ourselves owe, in our little efforts after spirituality, to the study of the lives of the Saints. "

God Bless.


#13

RegnumCaelorum,

Take a deep breath, brother. God loves you very deeply, and this cross of yours is nothing He can’t handle.

I too have experienced an addiction to gay erotica and pornography, since I was 14 or so. The shame has been overwhelming at times, and the isolation. I have felt like I was beyond the love of God and the love of my family and friends. I have felt like I was a monster or an animal.

The shame is your enemy. God does not want you to be mired in shame, brother. Until you allow the Father to take away your shame, I would be shocked if you made any real progress toward beating this sin. This post, on this forum, is a step in the right direction. :slight_smile:

If you haven’t already, you need to talk to someone trustworthy about your addiction. You need to be completely honest with this person – if you’re not completely honest, the shame still has a handhold. It is of course wonderful to talk to a priest about this, but that’s not the person you really need to talk to. You need to talk to someone who knows you well. You need to make yourself vulnerable.

Your sin is a barrier to intimacy with other people. When you write about how hard it is to go to sleep without falling back into addictive behavior, I immediately think about how lonely you must feel. This loneliness is a central thing motivating you. I’ve seen this in all sorts of addicts.

But the central place to combat these feelings, and this loneliness, is in prayer. Talk to God about your deepest desires, your fears, your shame, your loneliness – whatever it is. Listen for His response. He loves you so deeply, brother. He wants you to reach a place of freedom and honesty.

God bless you! If you’d like to PM privately, either under this pseudonym or under your regular name, I’d love to talk.

Peace,
Prodigal


#14

You read me like a book. I’ll write to you. :slight_smile:


#15

These are nothing but lies from the enemy, my friend. God never tires of forgiving us if we are truly repentant. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall, He is always there to pick us up, dust us off, and say “I forgive you. Let’s try again.” All He asks is that we try our best to live the way He has commanded us. He knows our hearts, He knows our sinful nature, He knows that the world is increasingly trying to tell us that such things are ok, that they’re not really sins. That is what is so amazing about God’s forgiveness, it is completely free. All we have to do is ask for it.

When Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered him “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” (Mt. 18:21-22). In other words, Jesus commanded Peter to forgive his brother as many times as his brother asked. Why? Because that is the way that God is with us. His forgiveness is always, I repeat, always there for those willing to ask for it and accept it. There is nothing you could ever do that would make God stop loving you and ready to forgive you each and every time you try to turn from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.

God knows that you are struggling mightily with this and fighting the good fight. He will not forsake you in your time of need. Remember the parables of the prodigal son and the lost sheep. God rejoices more over the return of a sinner to the fold than one who never left in the first place. So in those times when you feel unworthy and that you shouldn’t pray, on the contrary, those are the times when God wants you to pray the most and wants for you to experience the joy of the unmerited grace that He pours out on us time and time again.

May God bless you and pour out His grace upon you in this, your hour of need. :signofcross:


#16

Where does the flood of erotic thoughts come from? Do you really consider them to be natural or normal?


#17

I’m not sure I understand your question. Are you asking why these thoughts come up? Or what preceded them to possibly cause them? Is the second question whether I believe the demonic is involved?


#18

My contention is that some forms of thought are caused by external forces, demonic or otherwise.


#19

Well, I’ll try to explain. Often times, I will only notice what has been going on for the last few moments when it’s already happened. It’s like my consciousness went to sleep for a few seconds and the rest of me was doing its own thing. Then, it jumps back on and I notice “Whoa you’ve been looking at those people there and thinking this and that”.

Other times, it’s more conscious. People will catch my eye, for whatever reason, and then these types of thoughts will pop up. It’s not really like “OK, I’m going to phantasise now”. The look would be the active, conscious part, not the phantasy.

To be honest, sometimes I will think that some spontaneous thoughts are demonic in origin. Especially when I fall to the above sin being “torn” between being faithful and sinning. Those are moments that make me feel as though I’m facing temptation by the evil one.


#20

It’s like a split-off state of awareness where one state is oblivious to the gestalt of other states, like that of the true religious self. Psychologists are well aware of these split-off states. Spiritual warfare is not always fair!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.