Masturbation dream issues.

I used to masturbate a lot, but I stopped 5 years ago - a bit before I entered RCIA. Basically as soon as I realized it was wrong. The trouble is I’ve been plagued off and on with highly disturbing sex dreams - dreams that involve disturbing, fetishistic, and often even criminal sexual behavior. Often I seem to “wake up” and decide to masturbate to these images, only to actually wake up later on. I wake up feeling very aroused.

The trouble is these images make me feel filthy and interfere with my spiritual life. I can’t bear to pray or to think on anything holy or touch any religious items after waking up for the guilt I feel. On Sundays it’s especially bad because I can’t focus on Mass at all for the memory of the images.

I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know where to turn, no amount of prayers or anything seems to have any effect on these dreams. I have lived perfectly chastely and yet these dreams get worse and worse as time goes on. My only clue is they get worse the more stress I’m under.

The trouble is these images make me feel filthy and interfere with my spiritual life. I can’t bear to pray or to think on anything holy or touch any religious items after waking up for the guilt I feel. On Sundays it’s especially bad because I can’t focus on Mass at all for the memory of the images.

I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know where to turn, no amount of prayers or anything seems to have any effect on these dreams. I have lived perfectly chastely and yet these dreams get worse and worse as time goes on. My only clue is they get worse the more stress I’m under.

You cannot sin while dreaming. Your mind is in an unconscious state. Remember, to commit a mortal sin, one of the requirements is “full knowledge/consent”.

Put it behind you and keep moving forward. If you still feel “guilty”, talk with your parish priest and follow his guidance.

God Bless

I don’t know how to keep moving forward. I feel repulsed to the point of becoming physically ill if I try to push through.

Meditate on the Divine Mercy mage. That loving countenance of the Lord is very soothing.
Remember He died for your redemption.
He forgives, and is merciful.
Fill your head with thoughts of pleasing God.

Also FREQUENTLY pray the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer.
it works.
God bless.

1 Like

I get it that vivid sexual dreams can be bothersome. I doubt they will ever go away though. It is something you need to learn to deal with. I get them too. I am sure all men do. They are not your fault. I was addicted to drugs for 5 years of my life and I have not been clean for 8 years. I still have dreams regularly that I am using drugs. 8 years later. I doubt they will ever go away. So you learn to deal with them. You are not sinning in any way when you have these dreams. You just do your best not to think about them when you wake up and you go about your business. They will probably happen less when you find a way to stop giving these dreams so much power over you.


I agree with talking with your Pastor about your concerns. Many Priests have helped other men work thru this very same issue - especially us converts! Also, addictions can be a cause to receive the Anointing of the Sick and your case certainly seems to have a just cause to ask for it; however, only the Priest can make that call. Also, ask about a good spiritual advisor. Having this third party to help you grow in your spirituality without becoming overly scrupulous while working thru this may be necessary.

Main thing to keep in mind, God loves you.

As trite as this may sound, you’re breaking a habit, an addiction.
Do not try to fool yourself, masturbation can be an addiction and it’s based on one of the most basic aspects of our physical human nature which can make it a particularly difficult habit/addiction to break free from!

Your subconscious is trying to work thru a basic change in behavior, one that released a great deal of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. This is one of the chemicals in the brain that is used to reward “positive” behaviors and is a primary player in addictive behaviors by reinforcing the behavior, I’ll not bore you with the chemistry (but here’s a link to a quick overview).

The two things that really make me think this is an addiction for you are that stress triggers the dreams - it is a known fact that stress will trigger addictive behaviors, and becoming physically ill thinking about your dreams. Because there may be an addiction involved here, in addition to the sacraments and a spiritual advisor, you may also find that the help from a third party support group can help you control this behavior. Yes, they are out there for sexual addictions. Your Pastor or the Chancery office in your diocese may even have the contact information readily available.

(( Just a side note, if you have/had an addiction, it can stick with you. You have to learn about what triggers the behavior and have a good coping mechanism - even if it’s just going to someone you trust and telling them what’s going on - a problem shared is easier to handle ))

Something else I would like for you to consider: once again not to be trite here, the Devil uses our own weakness against us. You’ve had these dreams, you cannot reconcile them, and then the Devil prays upon this to hopefully keep you away from the very things that can help you work thru the issues - the Sacraments and sacramentals. Oh, and the more he can make you think you are unworthy and filthy, the more pleasure he takes in your fall. Read the Book of Job (link here) the closer you get to God the more the Devil will want to test and torment you.

I’m not a man though. That’s also why I haven’t talked to a priest. If I were a man I would, but I don’t want to talk about something so intimate and sexual with a man, even if he is ordained.

I would say that thoughts and dreams can always be there. But we need to see it like temptations. Temptations will always be there, the point is not to let them take us where they want.

This is why it is important to comprehend that bad things are bad (an example in this culture is pornography) because they will try to take the reins, and in the means our spiritual strength is not fit, it will be easier to succumb. Thats why praying and the sacraments are the pillars of our spiritual battle.

A person that has been in a “bad place” will have many “scars” that will remind them of their past, but these things can also help us be strong on the stance of why we wanted to become better persons and become catholic. Our scars reminds us of the past but they remind us that wounds heal with time.

Persevere and don’t distress, temptation can be beaten through our will. I think it was St Pio that had funny names for the devil, as he “fought” with him many times. The point is that we will always be in a battle (a spiritual battle), so we need to be focus on where the North is, and why is that our north. God is our north because only He is truth, the way and life.

His mercy is divine, if we are humble and have faith. Our weaknesses can help us see His divinity too, and help us through our will to choose Him instead of any temptation, for we know where following the temptation can lead us

Fair enough but same thing applies to women regarding learning to deal with it because I doubt sexual dreams ever completely go away.

:blush: I can understand that :blush:.
This is where the spiritual advisor can be of real help. Simply go to your Pastor and when you ask about a spiritual advisor, tell him that you are having some really private issues that are impeding your spiritual growth and that you would be more comfortable talking with a woman about the issues, any good priest will understand - for most, this isn’t the first time such a situation has come up!

As for the second part of my post dealing with addiction… being a Woman doesn’t change the conversation one little bit. It also doesn’t substantively change LaughingBoy1503 comment, substitute “women” for “men” and the answer still basically applies.


You had a dream.

Stop it already with the drama.

I’m having the same type of dreams over, and over, and over again. Dreams that disgust me that my mind could even come up with such images, and make me feel both highly aroused and filthy for becoming aroused at such depraved acts. I can’t bear to pray or do anything spiritual because I feel so filthy just knowing that I can become aroused at such things - to say nothing of the matter that I seem to deliberate and consent to the matter within my dream. It’s not just a dream in the effects on my life.

Are you getting enough physical exercise? Socialising? Service work? Some fellowship with other? What do you do with your down time?

If your sitting around wringing your hands and ruminating that’s a big part of the problem.

Like dieting if all you do is sit around thinking of all the foods you can’t eat you only make yourself miserable. If you think about all the things you can eat that are healthy that you like to eat your more likely to succeed.

Are you able bodied? Get in some vigorous exercise. It’s the best thing you can do for stress relief.

P.S. Everyone has dreams. Get over it.

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of stuff I can do with my downtime. I attend mass every week and bible study on my one night off a week, but most days of the week and half the weekend I work into the evenings, which means every social activity I’ve found around here is mostly over by the time I get off work. I also rely on public transit (which isn’t great where I am) or carpooling, so doing things before work isn’t an option, unless someone else would drive me there and drive me to work afterwards. So I mostly spend time on the computer or doing crafts because there isn’t anything else to do.

I do get some exercise, especially on my lunch break. I’m on multiple medicines for mental health problems including anxiety right now, with limited success.

Everyone has bad dreams and thoughts. You are not unique and it is not your fault’.
You might want to order a fine book “Understanding Scrupulosity”

When I get a thought or dream like that “I tell the Devil to go to Hell and leave me alone!” or I read to get my mind off. Don’t feel like ‘The Lone Ranger’ —it happens to most everyone!

Your comment about then avoiding holy things afterwards makes me think this could be a spiritual attack. The dreams and your feelings about them are not sinful. The devil wants you to feel unworthy of God’s love and mercy.

I have had similar dreams and struggled with this addiction until earlier this year. You’re not alone. And I understand not wanting to talk to a man about it.

The first thing I would say is just calm down. Just because you have sexual dreams doesn’t mean anything. What you do with it is another thing. God is not a prude, he gave us our sexuality and desires as a gift. Suppressing those feelings is a bad idea. I know guys that see beautiful women and turn away. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging her beauty and as a child of God. But it is what you do with it is the problem. Lusting, sexual thoughts, etc. But I know you want to advance in holiness and maybe this is the cross you have to bear right now. If it is not this it would be something else, embrace your cross and keep moving forward. Don’t give up.

Fighting the good fight will sometimes make it harder. I’d say don’t let it make you feel worse. IN FACT, feel even better about yourself since the dark side thinks you are worthy of a fight – and your winning, since you feel negative about it. Don’t let them lure you by keeping you away from prayer and holy things - that’s another form of their attack. Congratulations, your on the right side and on the right track!

If you do not want to talk to a priest, then get a female spiritual director asap. I went through scrupulosity for a couple years until it because almost unbearable and I broke down and decided to search for a spiritual director and I got one and he helped me greatly. Seek out a spiritual director. Ask your parish priest to help you get one if you do not know where to start. But you can start yourself by looking up and writing to any convents around your area. This might be hard if they are far and you have no transportation but maybe you can arrange spiritual direction over the phone. I hope you get some help. Wouldent you feel better if you hear a nun tell you that you are worrying too much and that you are Just fine? Because that is what you will be told,

Ever consider that old leatherwings is trying to make you discouraged and fall into despair?

If that’s the case you can either give into that or you can choose to place your trust in God that he will help you to pull through this difficult time and that you’ll be spiritually stronger for it afterwards.

Also, like other posters say, you have no control over your dreams. You cannot sin while dreaming.

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