How To Confess This Mortal Sin?

My boyfriend and I have a very physical relationship in terms of a significant amount of making out. We’ve been very good about keeping it strictly to making out, but the other day we were in a hurry and made the very poor decision to save time by showering together. Of course, I realize that we should have just been late rather than entering the near occasion of sin. I know now what we need to stay away from and we’ve now set very firm boundaries. Anyway, while in the shower, we engaged in mutual masturbation (masturbating each other) - sorry for the explicitness. I am truly sorry about my sin, and I want to confess it, but I’ve never had to confess something like this. My question is whether confessing “mutual masturbation” is specific enough or whether that can be confused with each of us pleasuring ourselves in the presence of each other? Thanks for your advice.

I’d pretty much repeat what you just said here. Minus the “we were in a hurry” thing because that’s an excuse. Just say what you did, say you are sorry and accept God’s forgiveness. :thumbsup:

I would just say, “I participated in unchaste activity with my boyfriend once.”

My priest always says, “Please - No need for details!” If yours wants more, he’ll ask.

I am thinking that would not be “specific” enough. One needs to get to the kind - to the *species.
That could mean anything from lustful kissing – to fornication!

Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers:

See above and:

PS: making out can yes be grave sin too…so you need to review more things in your relationship.

Make sure your firm boundaries need to be set in the right place…New York is not part of Canada…

Number and kind (and that which changes things like it was a church you burned down and thus sacrilege). No unnecessary details.

Wouldn’t “premarital relations without intercourse on one occasion” cover it?



While I agree that making out can be a grave sin if it creates lust, I completely disagree that it is a grave sin in my situation. We’ve set our boundaries in the places that will keep us from the near occasion of sin. Making out is not one of those things.

I sent you a good resource via PM. It will be quite helpful.

Jimmy Akin - Senior Catholic Answers Apologist. On specific confessions. Read the whole -especially the part about what species (kind) is.

With all due respect, you are not in a position to be objective about this as a near occasion of sin for you or your boyfriend. I would suggest that you discuss this situation in-depth with a confessor you can trust, and heed his advice in the matter. Frankly I can’t think of many people who can have a heavy make-out session without at least creating a little bit of lust.

Something led you and your boyfriend to showering together and the unchastity that followed there. I can’t imagine that that happened in a vacuum. You need to consider the circumstances and whether you are really cut out for heavy physical encounters before you are married.

Showering together is sinful not just a near occasion for sin. If you think your boyfriend is not lusting you are kidding yourself.

Also it depends on "making out ". If it’s a little French kidding well ok , but if there is groping and heavy petting I would say that is getting into sinful territory.

Be careful, and talk about all of this with the priest explain your behaviors, seek forgiveness and ask for guidance from the priest.

I would say impure deeds if you are feeling embarrassed, you won’t have to say any more than that if you want to get advise from the priest do so. Anything that will keep us from sinning. Pray daily to the Holy Spirit.

That Jimmy Akin article says:

“If he has doubts about what you’re confessing then he should ask for a clarification, and in these cases it seems that the priests you confessed to didn’t ask, indicating that they understood your meaning.”

So, “I participated in an unchaste activity with my boyfriend on one occasion” should be sufficient unless asked for specification. Or “My boyfriend and I engaged in foreplay” would be plenty specific without having to say the dreaded “M” word…

The problem with making out is not limited to the fact that it can lead to other things. Making out in itself is lustful. Basically, if the action has natural consequences of arousal (which is different than actions that unintentionally cause arousal), it is inappropriate outside of marriage.

Talking about specific sins should not be considered inappropriate on this site.

I would think that “mutual masturbation X times” would suffice, but if there was “ejaculation outside of proper marriage”, I would mention that as well.

Otherwise, if you have been pushing towards inappropriate acts with all this “making out,” I would look into mentioning that as well.

Rather than approach confession with an eye toward what the minimum sufficient disclosure might be in order to receive absolution, I would approach the session with your confessor with a heart open to receive useful counseling about how you might find practical ways to handle things that are difficult for you, as they would be for anyone.

A wise confessor might help you to balance a “very physical relationship” with the truths you obviously aspire to. But the process does involve discussion, and at least initially there may be some discomfort, probably mainly on your part (most good priests have heard it all). In the end, you would receive the absolution, but you may be surprised at the insights and the graces you will receive once you let go of the shame and speak as frankly with the priest as you have on here.

:thumbsup::thumbsup: awesome advice

I don’t think Jerry Lewis is sinful at all. :wink: (sorry could not resist…:blush:)

I would be very careful not to make your sins too graphic or detailed in confession, not because of shame but because of the priest’s conscience… your sins could be an occasion of scandal for others if you go to far on the description, if you know what I mean.

Saint Josemaria Escriva used to say that chastity related sins are kind of “sticky” in their nature. The more you talk and think about them, the more you poison the environment with them.

So, I would say that you must be objective regarding the nature of the sin and how many times you sinned, but choose your words wisely in order not make the situation worse. As for the OP situation, I would put it like this:

"Father, I have sinned twice:

  • First for being imprudent and putting my self in a situation of sin with my boyfriend; (not intentional, venial sin)

  • Second for indulging in sinful acts with him, once; (intentional, mortal sin)"

And that’s it. No need to be too specific… just go to confession with an open heart and truly regretted. And everything will be fine.

Look, I’m not a christian, and I don’t really think what happened is sinful.

That being said, I will offer this - once a sexual behavior is introduced, there will be the expectation of it continuing and escalating. If you want to change the behavior, or limit it, then you have to be very clear with your boyfriend.

Very clear.

If you don’t want to escalate the behavior, that’s fine. But he has to know that. If you want this to be a one time only deal, that’s fine. But he has to know that.

Depending on the type of person he is, he may try to push your boundaries, or he may acquiesce gracefully. But you have to have the discussion with him.

You don’t have to be explicit

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