Intrusive thoughts with masturbation


Hi I am ask to questions that are sort of related is it sinful to masturbate while having intrusive thoughts.


I don’t know if masturbating in and of itself is sinful, but lusting certainly is. Typically, someone who’s masturbating is not doing it with an empty mind; they’re lusting after someone. In Matthew 5, Jesus said “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart”.

The more you masturbate, the more you’ll be struggling with lust, so if you masturbate, it’s not going to cure your problem. There are better ways to spend your time than masturbating. Times where we’re struggling with temptation should lead us to spending more time in prayer-- not more time masturbating.


Masturbation is in and of itself sinful and always wrong regardless of the motive for which it is done. It is a disordered use of our sexuality and furthermore not a healthy way to deal with intrusive thoughts.


Persona humana 9 as quoted in the Catechism:

Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action

Yes, masturbation is always wrong. While we are tempted, it’s still up to us to say “no” to sin.

If you are having intrusive thoughts that cause you temptation, you may wish to go over it with your confessor (not in detail of course!). Also, depending on the particulars of your situation there may be ways of dealing with them effectively if you get it checked out with a professional.

What’s your second question?


I would think so. Masturbation is usually sinful, in my opinion.


Is was is masturbation sinful but it was answered


Do I have to go over it with a confessor would it be bad if I didn’t


One other question to will intrusive thoughts ever go away from a person


@VigorousCow70 , in the first two answers you have conflicting opinions .

This is a matter to take up with your priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation .


Would it be bad to not to take this up with a priest but I have a way to get rid of the uncontrollable thoughts


After all, you hardly ever masturbate without there having been temptation urging you to masturbate. And, as James 1:13 says, “13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” So clearly it is not God telling you to masturbate, and as it says somewhere else in the Bible that I cannot find, everything not of God and of faith is sin.

Edit: there, not their. Spelling/grammar mistake.


Ok thanks for telling me this I haven’t masturbated for like 4 months Andy I will hopefully never again


What I mean is if you’re having temptations caused by something specific, especially when the temptations are often strong and concerning grave sins such as masturbation, you should do what you can to avoid or escape them.

Since none of us here can really know your situation, we can’t really say what the best way for you to combat this issue is. But generally, asking for a priest’s advice is a good course of action.

This leads into your next question:

Oftentimes intrusive thoughts are the result of certain conditions like OCD, which seems to be particularly common on this forum. For something like this, there are effective treatments available.

We can’t say what the cause of your issue is here, but when it comes to something that is causing you stress like this it is likely beneficial (although admittedly it’s easier said than done – I’ve been there not with this specific kind of thought but intrusive and altogether unpleasant nonetheless) to get it checked with a professional.


You said for me to avoid what might cause intrusive thoughts so would I have to avoid something that is not inappropriate but might cause intrusive thoughts


No, not necessarily. The thoughts are intrusive, that’s not really the issue here – you would only have to avoid something otherwise innocent if it is a near occasion of sin for you (e.g. if I’m an alcoholic and foresee that I will likely drink too much if I go to a bar, I need to avoid those places).

When the thoughts are intrusive and obsessive it seems likely to me (at least, from my experience) that simply avoiding everything that might cause them will simply set your mind on the thoughts more. I mostly meant that there might be an effective way to deal with the thoughts or the temptations that arise from them, and when they concern spiritual matters a priest is likely a good person to ask for advice.


So I only avoid inappropriate things


It is a sin but a very common sin.
Do not allow some of the more rigid people on here think you aren’t struggling with something many have taken part in and struggle with constantly. Even priests struggle with chastity! It is a fight for sure and when you fail say a perfect act of perfect and go to confession the next time you can. Don’t let it bring you down or feel like a failure. Many men and even women struggle with lust and the temptations. We will fail at times. Don’t let it bring you down but just get back up and learn your triggers.


It’s really going to depend on your situation, and as unhelpful as it may seem an online forum isn’t going to be the place for specific, personal, practical advice on these matters when things like intrusive thoughts are concerned.


Thank you for your help


I think it is. Sex is meant as a unitive, procreative act to help those joined in marriage to reflect the life-giving nature of the Divine marriage between Christ and His Church. To use one’s potential for that to simply please themselves seems fundamentally disordered, almost as if Jesus died because He thought it might be fun to try.

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