The harms of Masturbation and Porn

First of all, hello everyone.

**Please don’t take this as an advertising thread, I genuinely want to help my brothers with this growing problem.
**
I wanted to tell you guys something that is important, it’s about the harms of masturbation and pornography on the brain and body.

Contemporary doctors and psychologists usually say it’s healthy…let me just tell you this : they DO NOT know what they are talking about, they simply don’t have the perspective of a porn addict and they lack critical data. Porn viewing is linked to less grey matter in the brain, check the latest research.

I know masturbation very well, and did it for almost a decade, I know what it does to people. And I am here to WARN YOU!

Semen is very important to the body, full of useful nutrients. Ever wondered how it would feel keeping it inside?

Quitting masturbation and pornography has been the best thing I’ve done for myself in the last few years. Most people don’t realize how harmful it can be. I personally can’t believe how much time I wasted on these things. After I stopped I felt so much better it was amazing!

Here are some of the benefits of abstaining from both masturbation and porn for a few weeks :

  • Feelings of well-being. Being calmer. Easier to laugh, less anger.
  • Feeling MORE pleasure from everyday activities, this benefit is amazing. :smiley:
  • More appreciation for art, music, video games.
  • More creativity. The sense of humor comes back.
  • Better memory. Better ability to concentrate. Less brain fog.
  • More natural confidence, less social anxiety.
  • Easier to give up other addictions (smoking, too much caffeine, gaming, thinking about someone of the opposite sex).
  • More motivation to do important things.
  • Music becomes more pleasurable. In fact, music tastes could even change.
  • Less sleep is needed.
  • Easier to talk, less stutter.
  • Being able to remember dreams.
  • Less sexual problems, better erections.
  • Feeling emotions more strongly, like love for example.
  • Emotionally more resilient.
  • The skin will look younger, less acne.
  • More physical strength.
  • A deeper voice.
  • A stronger immune system.
  • Much more attracted to the opposite sex (in a good way).
  • More interested in the little things.

Note : Most people who quit get these benefits, but some need more time to be cured.
Note 2 : Beware the withdrawal symptoms in the first few days (irritability, loss of motivation. crying…)

Here are lots of testimonials of people who quit (imo a MUST-READ) : reuniting.info/download/pdf/0.BENEFITS.pdf

Do not hesitate to share this message to other people and forums.

Useful links :
Yourbrainonporn : yourbrainonporn.com
NoFap : reddit.com/r/nofap
Yourbrainrebalanced : yourbrainrebalanced.com

Hope it helped.

Great post, my friend. I myself am still struggling with these vices. Thanks for the support and the motivation your post has given me.:slight_smile:

Thank you for the post.

I read a lot of testimonials from the link you provided, and many of them say the same thing - outlining the positive physical effects.

I will say, though, that this page of testimonials is from an obviously non-Catholic website. That website promotes sex without orgasm, which they call “karezza”. Their goal seems to be okay - to heal sexual relationships - but it lacks any decidedly spiritual, or more specifically, Christian, guidance.

So reading these testimonials can definitely be inspiring, but as a Catholic, I was left with wanting to hear the spiritual side of these people’s stories, because there is (or at least should be) more to quitting porn and masturbation than gaining the positive physical effects/benefits, so while I admire these people for quitting porn and masturbation, I would recommend anyone on this website that is struggling to look for help from a Catholic perspective, because the Catholic Church is really the church which has the fullest understanding of human sexuality.

Bearman, Thank you for joining me in reaching out to our beloved brothers and sisters who are imprisoned by sins we were once held captive by, ourselves. I pray you may reach many souls. Please pray for me. And here I’ll add a copy of a post I wrote last week. straight, or gay leaning, we all need grace and I, like you, have been given a most precious gift we need to share:

*I lived a gay lifestyle for 25+ years. I was with some women, too, but it was almost always because they pressured me into it. My attraction has been to men.

I have committed many sins in my life and was a promiscuous man who eventually got hooked on porn (3 years), but I always prayed that God show me the way. I even prayed for the men who were sleeping next to me. After many years of praying, I was granted a gift and returned to the Catholic Church and became celibate. That was in the year 2000 and I have been completely chaste, no help in any area, for fourteen years.

I no longer say I’m gay, but that I have a gay orientation. I have lived a peaceful and prayerful life and have had joy. I avoid all mortal sin and go to Mass and frequent the sacraments. (Remember that being with women outside of marriage is also a sin.)

Lately, my sexuality woke up, but I haven’t sinned. However, yesterday I was at a Lowe’s to buy bug spray for my plants and this beautiful guy with a partially unbuttoned shirt came up to ring up the sale, and I was hit with what I considered a bolt of lightning. The temptation to lust and be with him hit me so hard, I was still reeling when I got home. However, what I did was I said a prayer for him – and have been praying for him – as a way to assuage the actual spiritual pain I suffered at such a sudden temptation.

God and the sacraments have helped me. Now I long for at least a long embrace with a man, but I have to take it day by day since I won’t indulge the desire. And I avert the gaze when I feel I shouldn’t be looking at a man who is in a state of undress (I live in an area with rivers which bring out people who are scantily clad). In the end, Jesus Christ rewards what many call ‘repression’. He has made His presence known to me.

For most of the fourteen years, I learned to look at men as God’s creatures, so don’t get me wrong: I have been blessed with a spirit of acceptance and brotherhood. I’m just going through a difficult time right now. I’m glad I have the strength I didn’t have before.

May Christ bless you. May He take you by the hand and lead you. There are so many traps and snares on the road we travel! But persistence in the road less traveled pays off. I couldn’t be encouraging you right now were I not on this road. *

Beautiful list, my friend!

I’ve noticed all of these things. I’ve noticed, in particular, that chastity increases my vitality – that is, my charisma and physical energy. (I think it even makes me look better; certainly it makes me more attractive to my wife).

Another point, related the ones you made: For years of my marriage, I experienced a mild form of premature ejaculation. Then I quit porn cold turkey for about six months. About two months into quitting, the PE problem was COMPLETELY gone, and my wife and I had a 3- or 4- week informal honeymoon, where we were almost constantly amorous with each other. Chastity is an investment in relationships.

That is hard to remember at the moment of temptation, but it is very true.

One caveat I would give: It hasn’t been my experience that refraining from porn makes it easier to quit other addictions. Maybe this is because my level of sexual addiction has been reasonably heavy, at times, so the side effects of quitting are heavier. I often have a honeymoon period of quitting, followed by a period where I act out compulsively in other ways – ironically, posting a lot on CAF is one of my “fallback” addictions. I think it’s important to recognize these other addictions and deal with them in a healthy way – not condemning oneself, but also not acting like such addictions are good for us.

The worst thing that could happen is that we allow the guilt from a fallback addiction to fuel a return to the more harmful addiction.

sigh So doctors do not know what they are talking about?
If you are going to post all of that, I must reply that I do not think you know what you are talking about. Another opinion for your consideration:

Who Masturbates?

Just about everybody. Masturbation is a very common behavior, even among people who have a sex partner. In one national study, 95% of males and 89% of females reported that they have masturbated. Masturbation is the first sexual act experienced by most males and females. In young children, masturbation is a normal part of the growing child’s exploration of his or her body. Most people continue to masturbate in adulthood, and many do so throughout their lives.

Why Do People Masturbate?

In addition to feeling good, masturbation is a good way of relieving the sexual tension that can build up over time, especially for people without partners or whose partners are not willing or available for sex. Masturbation also is a safe sexual alternative for people who wish to avoid pregnancy and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. It also is necessary when a man must give a semen sample for infertility testing or for sperm donation. When sexual dysfunction is present in an adult, masturbation may be prescribed by a sex therapist to allow a person to experience an orgasm (often in women) or to delay its arrival (often in men).

Is Masturbation Normal?

While it once was regarded as a perversion and a sign of a mental problem, masturbation now is regarded as a normal, healthy sexual activity that is pleasant, fulfilling, acceptable, and safe. It is a good way to experience sexual pleasure and can be done throughout life.

Masturbation is only considered a problem when it inhibits sexual activity with a partner, is done in public, or causes significant distress to the person. It may cause distress if it is done compulsively and/or interferes with daily life and activities.

Is Masturbation Harmful?

In general, the medical community considers masturbation to be a natural and harmless expression of sexuality for both men and women. It does not cause any physical injury or harm to the body, and can be performed in moderation throughout a person’s lifetime as a part of normal sexual behavior. Some cultures and religions oppose masturbation or even label it as sinful. This can lead to guilt or shame about the behavior.

Some experts suggest that masturbation can actually improve sexual health and relationships. By exploring your own body through masturbation, you can determine what is erotically pleasing to you and can share this with your partner. Some partners use mutual masturbation to discover techniques for a more satisfying sexual relationship and to add to their mutual intimacy.

Crow, As usual, you are challenging the Catholic Faith and are wrong. You are endorsing impurity disguised as useful advice. What’s “normal” according to secular movements of our age, including perverted “medical findings”, is not normal simply by being pronounced so. I urge that no one follows your advice here since we are all spiritual beings over and above our physiological makeup, and have a God and brethren to love and serve, as well as souls to save. I have no idea why others haven’t complained about your repeated attacks against the Catholic Faith. A lot of what you write is against what the Church teaches and the terms and conditions of CAF membership.

May Christ bless you and save you from what you’ve learned from the Culture of Death, as St. John Paul the Great called it. You’ve been indoctrinated and your writings do not project love. May Jesus Christ reach your hardened heart.

A married Catholic woman’s perspective here. One benefit not mentioned in OP, which applies only if you are married, is:
Your wife won’t feel like she’s being cheated on, if only in a “virtual” sense, anymore:).

This one made me laugh! It reminded me of the most common “ending” in porn, which is not, shall we say, mutual. Apparently the actors “determined” that sex acts that actually involve other people touching them are less “erotically pleasing” to them. The other person becomes little more than a prop. Very sad.

TheCrow: I don’t think this thread is about sin, and it’s certainly not about making people feel ashamed or guilty. It’s about experiences many men have had giving up masturbation and porn. It’s not a Christian thing – please look up the NoFAP movement.

You may not have had these experiences. It is perhaps more likely, however, that you simply have never tried stopping masturbating. That’s totally understandable – if I weren’t Christian, I would have never tried stopping, either. But I have tried stopping, and I have found it rewarding for myself and my marriage.

To quote Rilene from Desire of the Everlasting Hills:

“You can choose to believe or not believe that my experiences are valid. That’s OK. I just ask you to keep an open mind and consider that it might be possible that this is a genuine, authentic experience, and that it’s possible for more than just me.”

I guess the reason I wanted to point this out was that a benefit of ridding yourself of this can affect others, not just the self–at least when you are married. I have a friend that her husband “kicked the habit” and they rekindled their relationship/marriage since she didn’t feel like she had to compete with these “virtual” women anymore.

The material I’ve seen from the Catholic Church generally looks only at the spiritual side of it, the physical and mental sides don’t get much treatment there. The sites you speak poorly of are very secular, no two ways about that and there are some harmful ideas present. Yet they make very good points regarding the physical side and the mental side, don’t trash them just because they’re not handling the spiritual side to your satisfaction. A man needs all of them to lead a chastity-based lifestyle, because his drive is typically very strong and he needs to really work at it to keep himself on the straight and (very) narrow path.

I think you make a good point. I was stuck in the cycle of pornography addiction literally for decades and, unfortunately, didn’t find a lot of guidance on how to deal with the triggers that lead me back to habit. The advice was largely to go to confession and ask for the intercession of various saints, and maybe go to counseling.

The sites that helped me with the practical side of it (particularly yourbrainonporn.com and yourbrainrebalanced.com) were very secular and sometimes disheartening in that respect. Some of the participants would see themselves as “successful” when they had replaced pornography use (and sometimes masturbation) with other immoral sexual activity – contraceptive sex, non-marital sex, etc. Sometimes my religious beliefs were mocked or criticized.

Hopefully those of us Catholics who have broken free of this addiction can find ways to share our experiences and offer practical tips to others trapped in the same cycle, but do so in the light of the Church’s teaching.

Well, okay. First of all, I didn’t “trash” them - nothing I said should have led you to believe that. I was only calling to mind the fact that they leave out the spiritual side of things - very important for a Catholic overcoming these bad habits.

Also, your comment “the Catholic Church generally looks only at the spiritual side of it” is, in my opinion, not accurate. The Church doesn’t tell us we shouldn’t masturbate or look at porn because it is a grave sin - there is so much more to it than that. In fact, with human sexuality in general, the Catholic Church is the best institution in the world to turn to, because she has the deepest and fullest understanding of it.

Finally, one of the reasons I was observing the lack of spirituality in the site was precisely because of what Cimachol just said:

The sites that helped me with the practical side of it (particularly yourbrainonporn.com and yourbrainrebalanced.com) were very secular and sometimes disheartening in that respect. Some of the participants would see themselves as “successful” when they had replaced pornography use (and sometimes masturbation) with other immoral sexual activity – contraceptive sex, non-marital sex, etc. Sometimes my religious beliefs were mocked or criticized.

With those firsthand experiences in mind, Catholics should think twice before going to secular sites to fight masturbation and porn.

Well, I guess I should add this - I don’t know you guys’ age, but I suppose it is possible, especially if you say this is what you experienced, that there has been a lack of Catholic support for the practical side of quitting porn and masturbation. However, that has definitely changed in recent years. I am pretty young, and from the beginning of my researching trying to find some help, I was not simply told just to “go to confession” or “pray Hail Marys”. I mean, I WAS told those things, but these days there are wonderful Catholic sites, headed by wonderful people such as the Everts and Matt Fradd (just off the top of my head) who also give practical advice.

I really began my first EFFECTIVE journey away from pornography addiction about 17 months ago. (I’d tried countless times before that.) I didn’t find the Everts’ or Matt Fradd’s resources and am not familiar with what they offer. Do they offer an interactive platform for addicts, where you can post about your struggles and successes on given day, or is it primarily articles and videos? For me, being able to express my struggle was extremely helpful, even if I was posting on a non-Catholic site where not all of my views on sexuality were necessarily appreciated.

I did find one Catholic website that offered a message board, but I just got a holier-than-thou vibe from the person who ran it – he referred to priests he didn’t agree with as “nimrods,” and although he had some good ideas (such as replacing the 12-step model), he just seemed kind of heavy-handed in conversations. There was very little participation on the site anyway, and I think the personality of the moderator had something to do with that.

Book mark these and visit regularly:

emergency.nofap.org/

www.theporneffect.com

www.yourbrainonporn.com

www.yourbrainrebalanced.

www.nofap.org

www.reddit.com/r/nofap

www.feedtherightwolf.org

It is interesting that the one Catholic site above has no discussion forum. There is an Impurity Addiction Support Group within the user groups here on the Catholic Answers site (forums.catholic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=251?styleid=18), but it was tough to find and hasn’t been getting a lot of participation.

Maybe there are different schools of thought out there about the effectiveness of such forums. Indeed, some seem to end up spending just as much time in these forums as they probably did using pornography, and there can be certain amount of narcissism that can come from document every step of one’s recovery in public, as if no one else had anything better to do than follow your personal recovery journey. At least in a physical group setting one is forced to spend more time listening to other people than talking – online user groups require no such balance.

Yet, for me it was helpful during those early months of recovery to have a place to vent. (I used yourbrainrebalanced.com) I picked four or five interesting people to follow and encourage as I kept my own journal. There were pros and cons to the group, but going to physical group meetings didn’t seem like a viable option for me at that point. As I mentioned before, the fact that it wasn’t a Catholic forum was definitely a minus.

Obsessing about not masturbating and obsessing about not looking at pornography sounds positively exhausting. Actually, I know it is…I used to do both.

I’ve no issue with masturbation or pornography, yet only infrequently engage with either.

My mind is sharp, I’m physically fit, I’m a professional, I’m active, I have a social circle and I spend exactly 0% of my time worrying about or thinking about not doing it.

It works for me and for a heck of a lot of other people.

It can be a compulsion for some people which might (and I emphasize might, because that is a matter for one’s confessor) mitigate one’s culpability.

But it is important not to bargain with either masturbation or porn. Declare them enemies and fight because they are destructive to the soul.

“john1513, you do not have permission to access this page…”

We created small groups at YBR. I check in every one or two weeks. I document when and how I fail in an online journal, mostly for my eyes and review. The questions, answers, stories, and jokes are encouraging on a number of those sites for a quick pick me up. Nofap and YBR are probably the best.

I also have a men’s group at my parish that meets weekly (That Man is You! men’s program) which is the most beneficial. It’s nice to have something online that you can get to easily and quickly for quick motivation.

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