is it a sin?

Hi. i’m a 16 year old teenage girl and i’m pretty shy to ask you this but it keeps on bugging me. I know watching porn videos is a sin but i dont know if masturbation is a sin too or is it only a sexual desire? can someone please explain it to me, i wanted to stop it but i still keep on doing it :frowning:

If you have a balanced life it is better.
Play sports a lot, pray the rosary, practice meditation.
It is part of growing, the discovery of sexual pleasures.
When you have balanced your life, your sexual life will be balanced too.
Meanwhile, after you’ve done it, ask God for forgiveness, go to mass and communion andbe a happy girl, Ok?

masturbation is a sin.

Masturbation is a sin. How serious this matter is is something you need to discuss with your confessor. And don’t worry about bringing it up to him…He’s heard it all many times before. My guess is that he will probably recommend a book to you…
As a teenager, we are curious. These things, these feelings and such, are all new and in many ways wondrous, so a bit of experimentation is not at all uncommon. however, your desire to stop is clearly your conscience telling you that there is something disordered going on. So please do talk to your confessor about it.

As to the matter of whether something is a “sin…or…only a sexual desire”, the thing to remember is that something can “only sexual desire” and still be sinful. Likewise something can be fine in one context (like in marriage) and sinful outside of that context. I mention this so that you understand that there can be a difference.

Perhaps someone here can recommend a good book for you…


if so, is it included to “Venial sins”? cus as far as i know venial sin is a forgivable sin and i also heard that you dont need the sacrament of reconciliation and confess your venial sins cus it could be easily forgive by just praying it to God.

Hi, kiddo.

Since I am a 59 year old man, I am less sure if I can help you than I would be if you were a teenage guy.

Looking at porn and the masturbation which naturally follows looking at porn are a package.

And the package is sinful because when God created human sexuality, He made it so that at its core it is a social thing – a tool for human relating.

When you look at porn, you violate that “social shape” of sex by yanking it out of the realm of relationships and instead making it all about YOU, alone.

When you feel guilty about looking at porn and masturbating, that is because your moral sense is screaming at you: “BAD! THIS IS A SOCIAL TOOL! IT’S NOT FOR YOU, ALONE!”

But, you casually say something, in your opening post, which may be very important: “I’m pretty shy …”

Typically, a person “wants to stop it, and still keeps doing it,” because there is a larger sin in their brains – a decision to “marry shyness.”

A habitual masturbator is like a person sitting in a dark corner, sucking a lollipop, afraid of the life beyond the dark corner.

He or she is so afraid of venturing out of the corner that they sit there in their dark, lonely corner sucking a lollipop – doing the porn/masturbation thing.

Notice that for that person the bigger, more important decision is not “sucking the lollipop” – “engaging in the porn/masturbation habit” – but avoiding standing up and walking out of the dark corner – deciding to stop being shy, and growing up by doing things like developing a good sense of humor (the hardest thing you will ever do), and working, working, working, and giving, giving, giving.

When the shy habitual porn-peeker and masturbator addresses these other, larger, more terrifying things, then – ffffffftttttt! – the porn/masturbation habit tends to simply evaporate like rain on a hot sidewalk.

At least, that’s how it is with us guys.

So, my advice is to worry more about whether you have “married” a vision of youself as a shy person, and CONFESS THAT!

That may actually be the bigger sin!

… my dear friend ,

… it is probably no sin as you explain it here , but it may be venial and if so confession is not required , as to whether it’s mortal or serious sin it would be best to have a good talk in confession as it is very involved to get a precise answer …

… masturbation is wrong going by church teaching , and this is because people take normal things and pervert and twist them eg sexual things , it is not church teaching but my personal theory it is very possible this occuring occasionally may well be normal – but not the norm , this is because human beings possess very high problem solving skills , and the few other most intelligent creatures here do this or some type of stimulation occasionally , only the most intelligent can solve this problem and they dp – they are – apes etc , elephants , dolphins and some most intelligent birds, i think they do this when they have no spouse available or access to a mate – it is not the norm but they do it at times …

… i know humans are different , but we are not that different really , we are way more intelligent and vastly superior problem solvers , in the beginning adam and eve had no knowledge of good or evil , and thus no concept of right and wrong , but they were much different to fallen men of course , so my own opine is they would have solved these problems just like the most intelligent creatures here , fallen man must be weary as this usually gets out of control and he / she can start doing it too much and get overly addicted and it ends with more time on porn and doing this , and people then go to harder core porn and get dirtier and kinkier to at least have the same pleasure or more continually over time etc etc etc until it gets way out of control , to get more and more pleasure you must do it longer and more and get more kinky and perverted and dirty – it is a slippery slope and you’ll go right down the tubes with sexual depravity , it’s the fallen condition …

… below is the official line from the church in brief , and it tells you it is not always a serious sin and can be no sin at all , but it opens the door to serious addictions to porn , masturbarion etc , and just goes downhill from there , so you need to take great care you stay in control of yourself , hope this helps dear friend …

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Catechism of the Catholic Church

**2352 **By *masturbation *is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “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.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.” To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

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… may god bless and love you :thumbsup::slight_smile: ,

… john …

Both venial sin and mortal sin are forgivable so there is no problem there. The key part in forgiveness of either is repentance and the commitment to avoid the sin in the future.
Without this, neither venial sin or mortal sin is forgiven.

As to needing the Sacrament of reconciliation for venial sins…I would say that, if you were certain of the issues, the gravity of the act, your knowledge of it’s sinful character etc. then perhaps a simple prayer would be sufficient - provided you are truly repentant and resolved to avoid the sin in the future.
However - since you are here asking the question - it is obvious that you are NOT certain of these matters of gravity and the overall sinful nature of the act.
Therefore I would say that in this case, the sacrament of reconciliation provides the opportunity to get these issues clarified, get formally absolved and gain the graces attendant available through the Sacrament.

John Russel pointed you to a Catechism link on masturbation.
Here is a link to the section on sin (venial and mortal)
The section on the Sacrament of Reconciliation

These might help you understand why confessing even venial sins is advantageous.


Your reply is very pastoral and I can agree on many counts. I just find it interesting when we justify our actions by using animals as examples. Some animals eat their young! I just think that we should remain in the human realm when discerning the culpability of a person. Just sayin’…

It is normal to have sexual feelings and want to act on them. The Church teaches that sex has it’s proper place and that sex acts (not feelings) outside of these circumstances is disordered. But that shouldn’t lead you to excessive shame or guilt. Confess it and try not to do it anymore.

The only thing that worries me about what you say in your post is this.
"porn videos… i wanted to stop it but i still keep on doing it"
Don’t mess around in this area. Don’t do it. Just say no. Always. Just like drugs. No. There is danger here that you may not realize at your age. I know some of the posters here want to relieve your guilt and anxiety by somewhat normalizing sexual urges, ok, …but pornography is not something you want to mess with.


Yes - Thanks for catching this.

The only thing I’d like to add to this excellent explanation, is that if the OP is just now realizing that porn is a sin, and wondering if masturbation is a sin, chances are after reading your post, they might see that as an invitation to have sex with a person. Which is basically what you unintendedly told the OP to do.

He told the person to come out of their shell, try to develop a sense of humor, and to spend their time working working working and giving giving giving.

That seems like a long stretch to them in anyway giving direction to go out and have sex.

Well unless you think the OP was telling her to become a prostitute.

I thought it was excellent advice. Stop spending time alone in your room watching porn and masturbating and get out in the world and make a difference. Get a part time job, work hard on your school lessons, volunteer. Fill up this time that you would be watching porn/masturbating with something else. Tire yourself out, so that when you fall into bed at the end of the day you don’t feel the need to sit and watch porn and self stimulate yourself.

I agree. I did not see the connection that couponfit saw. That said, I think that couponfit’s caveat is a good point of clarification. So no harm done…


Hi, PeaceforHonks.

The folks here who fine-tuned my presentation by saying, “Don’t misunderstand him. He’s not telling you to go out and have sex with another person!” are correct.

No, I wasn’t telling you to go out and have sex with another person.

For a 16 year old in our society, right now, NO sex is what is proper.

But you should still address shyness – address “sitting in a dark corner and sucking a lollipop.”

For now, joke. Work. Give. Learn to do these things well. Relationship and marriage will come to you, when it is time.

Be careful of priorities. One does not grow up being a joker, a worker and a giver “because, hey, that way you won’t look at porn and masturbate!” You grow up to be a non-shy, funny, hard-working giving person because that is what God created you to be. Porn and masturbation are self-absorbing junk distracting you from that goal.

Objectively speaking, masturbation is a grave sin. By masturbation, we mean the direct stimulation of your organs for the sake of indulging in sexual pleasure. (I say this because my Dad told me that masturbation as pretending to have sex while you were along. I was only told that sex involved penetration. I had great difficulty understanding how using tampons and what not were not sinful.)

The Church teaches that the pursuit of sexual pleasure isolated from its unitive and procreative purposes is morally disordered. Masturbation also takes sexuality out of the marital relationship. So ultimately speaking, its important to understand that the purpose of your sexuality involves a procreative purpose. God gave us marriage to enable us to deliberately commit to someone prior to giving ourselves to them sexually and the unitive function of sex helps the overall unity of the marriage.

I would say there is an aspect of self discovery that helps one to sexually develop and mature sexually, like a child crawling before walking. It would seem that many people begin this before they reach the age of reason, in which case even if such behavior at that age is still objectively immoral, such children are not sinning. I also think newly married couples need to be given some learning curve to allow themselves room to simply follow nature and discovery. I obsessed about this when I first got married and it was one of the contributing factors that caused problems. Either way, its important to recognize that there is a difference between discovery and development and lusting after sexual pleasure.

The Church also understands that masturbation can become so habitual that people do not fully willfully engage in it and thus are not fully culpable of it.

Either way, no matter how embarrassing it is, it is important to bring this up in the confessional because it is a grave offense and thus potentially a mortal sin. If it makes you comfortable, stay behind the screen. There is no reason to get detailed about it. If you have a good confessor, he may ask you some questions to help determine your culpability and if you go to him regularly he may be better able to spiritually direct you.

Moreover, it is good to go to confession regularly and to not reserve the confessional for mortal sins. Venial sins built up habits that lead to mortal sins. It is better to keep venial sins at bay through regular confession. Regular confession will also get you over some of the anxieties about going to confession, making it easier to go when you do have a mortal sin to confess. Regular confession also helps you to see your spiritual progress. You may see longer time spans between how long you’ve gone without committing certain sins. Go to confession for the spiritual healing and the grace.

The Church considers masturbation a sin of grave matter. For a sin to be mortal, three things need to be present:

  1. a sin that is of grave matter

  2. the sin is done with “full knowledge”
    This basically means the person knows that the sinful action is very wrong (based on your asking whether or not it is even a sin, shows that you have not fulfilled this second requirement)

  3. the sin is done with “full consent.”
    This means that the person freely engaged their freewill when committing the act. This deals with questions like: Did the person have sufficient time time reflect beforehand on what they did? Were they under some outside pressure to commit the act? Were their mental faculties somehow compromised by great stress, sleepiness, mental or emotional disorders, addiction, etc.

Masturbation is a very tough habit for people in general to break, but it can be! Go to confession as soon as you reasonably can whenever you fall (confession is required since it is a sin of grave matter. You’ll actually need to go to confession before receiving Communion if you fall in this area. don’t worry. Priests have to deal with helping people with this sin quite a bit) Pray daily for the grace to stop. Get rid of any activities that lead to sins of impurity, like pornography, (either visual or written) or just trashy literature. Develop a relationship with the Blessed Mother and go to her whenever you feel tempted. And, in general, try to develop your relationship with God through prayer, the sacraments, being around people who inspire your faith, and reading good spiritual books/websites.

You are in my prayers!

Peaceforhonks, tell you my opinion. It has been given to masturbation too much attention in the Catholic Church and that attention should be forwarded to charity, solidarity, love of the neighbor, almony to the poor…

yes, just relax. just don’t be obsessed by it. that’s all.

i’m cool.:blush:

If certain actions pose grave danger to the souls of millions, all those strong in their faith should never hesitate to speak out against those things.

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