How can you root out what has been hard wired into us?


Before I begin, I would like to apologize if this question has been asked before. A couple of weeks ago, I tired to solve my sinful habit of masturbation by quitting cold turkey, which meant giving up porn. However, during this time, I would find other ways to my “rush”. I made out with multiple girls and still fantasized about women, although I did not masturbate. It was around the second or third week that I realized that what I was doing simply another form of my problem, i.e. lust. As a result, my efforts failed and I went back to my old ways, because I saw them as different formulations of the same problem.

Now, I understand Jesus (and the Church’s) position on lust. However, as animals, we are hard wired to want to procreate and spread our genes. The want to have sex is very natural and as a college student, I realize this, but I also know that that desire can be very misleading also. Given this, how do you get rid of lust, when it is natural to want to have sex? Also, how do you differentiate between lust and attraction or are they the same thing? For example, if I see a girl and I think she is pretty, is it lustful?



Lust is unnatural, because it is evil and evil, far from being good, is unnatural. Only that which is good is natural. Sex is natural, but adultery is not. It is how God formed the world, and not our desire to control it as we please, that good is natural and evil is unnatural. God did not create evil but His creatures who rebelled Him against did. Evil comes from evil. He gave us free-will so that we might freely choose and will good, yet some choose and will evil. The abuse of a gift dose not destroy the gift itself, nor its proper use, and it ought to be stamped out of the creature before the second death. Man is weak, his nature wounded, yet by Christ’s death the divine life is restored to the soul and the graces which He won for us help us to be purified and live in God. So it is by God’s grace that we can overcome evil.

If you wish to keep your passions and appetites under control, check this out:


Controlling our passions is something every human has to do, every day. Doesn’t make any of our “hard-wired” passions wrong, just means that they have their time and place and proper object. Heh, I have to wonder where in the world you spend your time…when I was young and unattached and not Catholic, I was totally focused on making out with girls…but never was able to "make out with several " at will. Sounds like maybe a change of lifestyle or location is what you need to make this whole process easier.


We are so much more than animals! We are created in the image and likeness of God. As scripture says, we are “little less than the angels.” We have a free will and the help of grace to regulate our natural urges.



I’m a male college student myself.

Like Eucharisted said, lust is unnatural. Don’t buy the lie that you are supposed to feel lust towards any shapely woman you see. Original sin has distorted what is good in us- sexual attraction- but Christ can restore that goodness in us that is supposed to be and originally was there.

You sound like you are just beginning your journey on the road to chastity, and that is the hardest stage. The longer you go, the easier it will get and the better you’ll feel, trust me.

You need to transition from purity through repression to purity through love. Purity through repression can only last for so long before you succumb again to the sin, often worse than before. Purity through love means transforming your will until you truly desire chastity more than lust, rather than just striving for it because you know lust is bad. Work on this through prayer (rosary especially), frequent reception of the sacraments, and frequent acts of sacrifice and penance (giving up certain foods that you really want to eat or TV shows you want to watch).

Also, this will be particularly hard to do, but you need to remove ALL forms of sexual temptation in your life. This means don’t see R-rated movies, watch cable channels with pervading sex (Spike TV and Comedy Central for example)…This is how you’ll really know whether you truly desire chastity or not.

In my opinion and experience, attraction goes as far as “Wow, that’s a really pretty girl. She looks amazing.” It then turns to lust when you start focusing on you-know-what about her body, not simply noticing it as much as directing your interest at it. But of course, your goal should not be “how far can I go” but “how well can I treat and how much can I respect this woman.”

Here are some posts of my that are very relevant to your questions:


We are all tempted to every sin in the book. Yes, we have to deal with each temptation in special ways.

But, it is also important to “zoom out” and look at the whole of your commitment to discipleship for Jesus Christ.

Jesus has made a covenant in his blood – an agreement with us. Think in broad terms about what your commitment is to Jesus Christ.

In each of these temptations, what is expected of us and what are we committed to? It is attractive to give into temptation to satisfy ourselves in narrow ways. But, we are called to conversion and this requires that we work at creating a state of mind – an internal spiritual life – that is the well-spring of our actions and attitude towards life, with all its temptations and challenges.

I have a thread I’m developing on discipleship and I’ll come back with a link when I have it a bit more developed. But, in the meantime, think of how you’re going to organize your whole life towards a commitment to Jesus Christ – not on your terms but on his.

But, organizing your life according to your goals and beliefs might include what things you will do – like Mass, sacraments, and especially daily prayer. But, it can also include things like being a bit more organized about how your dress, for example, to remind you of your commitment to living up to the covenant of Jesus Christ.

Ordinary times and activities should be sanctified and you should function mentally on an altogether higher plane of thinking and acting – no matter what is going on around you, expecially what temptations are stalking you.


in order to get rid of lust, you can’t simply “quit cold turkey”(as you have found out), because the lustful desires in you, once taken away, will leave a space open, one that, if you do not fill with good virtues, will be taken once again by some other sin, or some other form of lust…you have to replace the lust in order to remove it, and to do that you need to be very patient with yourself, it won’t happen over night, but in order to do it, you need lots of prayer, mortification, and penance, you need to make use of the sacraments, and then most importantly, you need to go to confession often, confess your sins of impurity when you have committed them, and even when you have not committed them, mention them in your confession, at the end of mentioning your sins, say “i am sorry for these and all the sins of my past, especially the sin of impurity” and you will receive the special graces necessary to overcome the habit of impurity and to overcome the temptation to it.

what my priest has told me to overcome sins of the flesh(in mind, heart, and body) is to say 3 Hail Mary’s in the morning and at night, for purity and holiness.

sins of the flesh are the most shameful and terrible sins, they send the most people to hell then any other sin, and is it any wonder that it is the most frequent sin in our world today? of course it is, because the devil knows it wins the most souls for him, so he temps us with it most relentlessly,
but you have a power inside of you that he is afraid of, one that he fears that you will discover, you have Jesus inside of you, and simply by telling satan to begone in the name of Jesus, sends him away, you should make use of this power inside of you, when you are tempted, first ask for help from Jesus and Mary, and then if your temptations persist, tell satan to leave you alone,
of course you must do your part to, try to find ways to distract yourself from these temptations, when you feel a temptation coming on, do not give it a chance, quickly turn your attention to something else, or even run out of the place you are in that you are being tempted(your bedroom for example)
the saints took great measures to fight temptation to impurity, throwing themselves into thorny bushes, throwing themselves naked into the snow(completely in private of course)
you need to take strong measures as well, take notice of what starts your temptations in the first place, and try to do what you can to avoid or remove those things from your life…
one thing you can do for example, if you wear glasses, and looking at woman tempts you to sin, then simply remove your glasses(my brother just learned that one :3 )

there is alot you can do to fight this, just be creative, and when you are really struggling, go to your priest for help, or just go to church and meditate(adoration would be especially helpful)
just be patient with yourself, read the writings of the saints, go to confession, and pray lots, that will help you the most.


I really don’t know how much mental association will help me, but I am going to give it a try. Thank you for your response.


I seduced women to make out with me; regardless of where I am, I will be faced with the same temptations, though moving away might actually give me a clean slate in the eyes of others; however, I am financially bound to stay where I am for the time being, although I wish to leave to somewhere better often. I need a change of lifestyle, but I it is hard for me to make new friends, as I tend to cling to the people whom I have know for years. I have tired to change this, but it is a hard process as well.


We are more than animals in that we have souls and rationality. However, unlike the angles, we have physical bodies, which can be the downfall to our souls.


It’s not so much that I believe that I’m supposed to lust after every woman that I see, but I’m having trouble understanding how attraction and lust can be independent of each other. If I see a girl whom I consider to be beautiful, it means that I find her physically attractive. However, because beauty in this case implies being physical, I don’t see how this differs from lust.

I wish I could say that this is my first time trying to combat lust, but it is not; I am a failed veteran of fighting with myself. However, I am going to try again; I hope that this time, I will be more successful than the last.

I must admit that I have fallen from the church and have not gone to confession or received the Holy Sacraments, though I usually do attend mass weekly. It is because I have strayed away from Christ, that I am suffering as I do. I understand logically what I need to do, but I don’t know if my faith is strong enough to act in accordance with Christ. However, I do want to become religious again.


I’m looking forward to your link. Thank you.


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