Question about masturbation

I understand the church’s teachings on masturbation, about how it is a gravely disordered act. I am a catholic teen and I just recently confessed to the sin of masturbation and am curious as to whether or not it is actually mortal sin. In the bible masturbation is never explicitly condemned. Then people would argue that it is always tied with lust but what about when it isnt? I know I am fully able to masturbate without sexual thoughts, or fantasy. I struggle with depression/anxiety/stress issues as well as I am in pain when I do not masturbate now. Under those conditions I understand that culpability may be lessened? In addition to that I know I have the ability to keep it under control and limit it. I wonder whether I should trust the church or the bible, because the church says it is and always is wrong, and the bible, which goes into great detail about all kinds of sexual sin, doesn’t mention it. I find it strange that all kinds of strange and extremely rare sexual sin are mentioned and condemned yet masturbation, as common as it is, isn’t mentioned. If it doesn’t change my views on the importance of sex and how it involves the union of man and woman, and doesn’t make me view women as sexual objects, and doesn’t affect me at all other than lessening the symptoms of my stress anxiety and depression along with eliminating the pain I have when I haven’t masturbated in a long time, can it really be a mortal sin?

Are you trying to convince us, or yourself? You know the answer already. Please see a doctor for your mental health concerns, and if you can “quit” masturbating, you’ll no longer have the pain you mention.

The Church is never opposed to the Bible. The Church compiled the Bible! Your argument only makes sense if you are saying the Bible tells you to masturbate. Is that what you are saying, that to be Holy means to Masturbate?

Best here to just quote the Catechism for you:

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.’”

Giving into the temptations of the flesh are weaknesses. Let’s look at other things. Jealousy, over eating regularly, violence, premarital sex, drunkenness, you could go on and on. These things allow the vices to have control over us. Our minds and our bodies. This is contrary to what God desires of us. We are to have mastery of these things so that we control them rather than them controlling us. Any time you masturbate, you allow lust to be your master. The only master we are to have is the Lord.

I hope you don’t judge all sin by whether or not it is explicitly described in the bible! :eek:

What about…
In Vitro Fertilization
Identity Theft
Computer Hacking
Cable Theft
Watching Immoral Media
Assisted Suicide
Phone Sex
Genetic Engineering…?

Impure acts are prohibited. Chastity is required. That covers masturbation.

I encourage you to discuss this with your confessor. :slight_smile:

But for teens there is a different moral code.

The Youcat says

YOUCAT 409: Is masturbation an offense against love?

Masturbation is an offense against love, because it makes the excitement of sexual pleasure an end in itself and uncouples it from the holistic unfolding of love between a man and a woman. That is why “sex with yourself” is a contradiction in terms. [2352]

The Church does not demonize masturbation, but she warns against trivializing it. In fact many young people and adults are in danger of becoming isolated in their consumption of lewd pictures, films, and Internet services instead of finding love in a personal relationship. Loneliness can lead to a blind alley in which masturbation becomes an addiction. Living by the motto “For sex I do not need anyone; I will have it myself, however and whenever I need it” makes nobody happy.

So while the CCC says it is gravely and intrinsically disordered. Youcat says

The Church does not demonize masturbation,

Now I don’t know what exactly “demonizing” means but I would imagine it to be sinful.:shrug:
Further more it would seem for teens that the bad part of masturbation is in potential social harms. Like becoming antisocial or addicted.

Sadly, the Youcat could be seen to support the OPs position. However the CCC, Bible and centuries of Popes, saints and theologians provide more than enough reason to understand the gravity of it no matter the age.

It calls it an “offense against love”, the definition of sin.

Whoa, so the Youcat says that masturbation isn’t even a sin, it’s just unwise? That seems superbly wrong to me. I don’t even care if they’re youths; I accept that some have zero culpability and some have little, but Youcat’s definition of masturbation makes it seem like “you know, it’s a bit risky, but if you feel up for it, go for it.” Teens may live by an easier moral code, but they shouldn’t have sin accepted :confused:

So is it saying the Church does not demonize sin?

My main question is that what if there is no lust in an act of masturbation? What if it doesn’t affect me in any other way other than to get rid of the pain I have in my stomach when I go weeks/months without it? What if I can keep it under control and under very close watch and only do it once a week? What I am saying is that I don’t see anywhere in the bible where it clearly condemns anything that has to do with masturbation. I can see how the church says the deliberate use of sexual faculty outside of marriage is contrary to its purpose, but if it doesn’t change the person doing it, and the person doing it understands the importance of sex in marriage, whats the problem? I just wish to find out what is the real reason it is a sin because if it is purely a physical action done to satisfy purely self needs, what is the problem if no lust is involved?

Additionally, here is a quote from an article I have read “But what if no illicit fantasies are included in masturbation? Is the act then sinful? By scripture, there is nothing to indicate that it is. Specifically, if the act is done merely as a hedge against temptation and as the body requires then there is no need for the above sinful “crutches”. This is hardly exciting, and a rote act of keeping the body in submission. It cannot be done often, as the body is not that demanding if left alone by a perverted imagination.”

I am not sure what “demonize” means.

To my knowledge, the RCC does not distinguish between lustful and non-lustful masturbation. You need to take it up with your confessor.

What does it matter? If he said it was not sinful then he would be wrong according to what I have seen on these forums of priests saying masturbation isn’t sinful. What I really want to know is an exact and elaborate reason that masturbation is a sin that isn’t arguable.

Akzrs, your conclusion is flawed because it is based on flawed premises.

For example, you ask, “\What if it doesn’t affect me in any other way other than to get rid of the pain I have in my stomach when I go weeks/months without it?”

–It does affect you, even if you don’t see it: It becomes addictive; it becomes part of who you are; it changes how you act; it changes (perhaps subtly) how you view sex. So your assumptions are false.

You ask, “What if I can keep it under control and under very close watch and only do it once a week?”

–Once again, you do not have it under control, far from it, because if you had it under control you could do it NEVER – which many do. Quite the contrary, the sin has you under it’s control! You cannot “keep masturbation under close watch” because no one can ever “keep sin under close watch by only doing the sin once a week.”

When you ask where the Bible condemns masturbation – as another poster pointed out, the Bible doesn’t condemn identity theft or a whole slew of things that we know are bad.

When you ask, “why is something a sin?” the most basic reason is because it tends to harm our relationship with God and fellow humans. As to why some actions are sinful, the answer is, “because they harm our relationships with God and humans, even if we don’t know the relationships are being harmed.”

It isn’t arguable now! It is the teaching of the Church that masturbation is a grave matter. As a Catholic we owe obedience of faith to all of the teachings of the Church, most particularly in the area of faith and morals.


CCC 144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to “hear or listen to”) in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.

In addition:

Masturbation and Medical Treatments: Deliberate masturbation can never be used or advised as a remedy or help in fighting mental or physical disease or abnormality. This would be to use an immoral means to achieve a good end, a practice condemned by Holy Scripture (Rom. 3:8) and the teaching of the Church. Pius XII expressly condemned any such activity for psychotherapeutical purposes (addresses of Sept. 13, 1952, and April 13, 1953), and the Holy Office denied the licitness of masturbation to obtain a semen specimen for the detection and cure of gonorrhea (reply of Aug. 2, 1929).

You are cherry-picking articles that support your belief rather than considering all of the facts placed before you. The writers of your articles do not have the authority that the official teaching of the Church commands.

Me neither:shrug: I would think the point of youcat would be to make things easier to understand, not harder. Oh well.

Thanks to all of you and your guidance and now I have a little more closure. Pray for me in my battle with this addiction and that I come out victorious. God bless.

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