Do I have to go to confession every time I masturbate?

I am 20 years old and I have a serious problem controlling my urges because I am so desperate to have a lady friend. I often touch myself especially when I’m bored but I usually masturbate and ejaculate 2-3 times a week, sometimes as much as 4. I know the Church teaches this is gravely wrong and this week I have tried hard to control myself, but today I let it slip and I ejaculated. Everytime I do so I feel so ashamed but before I do it, I feel so desperate. I need to know, do I have to go to confession each time I do this and if I am not able to make it to confession, do I have to refrain from receiving communion?

First, a lady friend isn’t going to solve your problem. Married men can have masturbating problems. And you aren’t supposed to have sex outside of marriage, anyway.
Secondly, yes you should confess this and if you can’t make it to confession, please do not receive holy communion.

Yes you must go to confession and you must abstain from communion…unless your priest directs you otherwise…

Can I ask how often you pray that this be uprooted from you? Do you pray the rosary regularly?

Devotion to the Blessed mother WILL help. I’d also encourage you to make it your Lenten promise to abstain.

You are capable of doing it but you have to break the habit.

Go to confession, tell the priest what’s going on, and let him advise you. Your actions involve grave matter, but there are other requirements for a sin to be mortal. No one here has the authority to tell you whether you are in a state of grace or not. Talk with a priest and take his advice.

As for receiving Holy Communion, in general if a Catholic thinks he/she may have committed mortal sin, he/she should refrain from receiving Our Lord.

God bless you!


Exactly right…if you are looking to be sexually gratified as the underlying purpose of marriage, you will have a really ****** marriage.

Masturbation and porn make sex about the individual. Selfishness flourishes. Marriages are ruined.

Force of habit, maturity, addiction, state of mental health are all factors the church takes into consideration. Only your confessor can give you an answer after you discuss it with him.

@Jon S
I pray to the Lord to give me the will to control my urges every day. And to clarify, I am not seeking a girlfriend to have sex. And I pray the rosary everyday and have been throughout this Lenten season.

Good job! Keep it up and don’t give up hope. You can work through this with the help of a good and holy confessor.

Prayers for you to "kick the habit’ during Lent perhaps.

Go to confession as often as you can, but if you are not able to confess before Sunday mass, do not receive. We are not obliged to receive every Sunday - only once a year during the Easter season. We ARE obliged to be at mass and there are great graces available to us simply by being present at the Holy Sacrifice. This idea that everyone MUST receive at every mass is a modern heresy unfortunately deeply rooted in a lot of corners.

I used to be addicted to this sin. I still have temptations, but I try to follow the advise a priest gave me.

Whenever you feel the temptation to masturbate, start praying several Hail Marys until it goes away.

The only think I can say is that it works 100% of the time.

The only time I’ve failed and given into the sin is when I didn’t pray the Hail Mary.

So when temped, ask Mary to pray for you.

And yes, go to Confession the very next day or as soon as possible. And don’t take communion if you haven’t been to Confession.

My personal rule of thumb is: if you committed a grave sin, don’t take communion until you’ve been to confession. Even if you think you didn’t commit a Mortal sin. It’s better to be safe than sorry… you don’t want to make you sin worse by committing sacrilege.

God Bless!

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The advice above is spot on. I will just add a couple of things. If you really want motivation to stop any recurring sin make sure you go to the same priest for Confession each time. Tell him during confession you want to do this and why. You can even make an appointment if he is not hearing confessions that week. Human nature kicks in when we have to face another (in the person of Christ…to top that) and admit our failures. Jesus knew we needed to have contact with our confessor to fully repent. Great wisdom in the Sacrament of Confession vs just asking Jesus for forgiveness on your own as other faiths allow.

As far as marriage/dating/companionship… Anytime you begin to think of me, my needs, what I deserve… it is not healthy for the relationship (unfortunately I know this first hand… to have learned it at 20 would have been such a blessing). That is when all sorts of other temptations start to enter into the relationship. If you can gain mastery of your urges now it will serve you well. Avoiding the near occasion of sin is the best plan. Make sure all browsers are set to tight parental controls. If you know what tempts you avoid it… Don’t give it a chance. If it is the internet tape a photo of Jesus to your screen where you can’t miss it… Everyday you go without “doing it” give yourself credit and thank God for the Grace to remain temptation free. Get rid of any and all triggers… no swimsuit mags, inappropriate movies, only you know what they are.

We are often tested when we are least prepared for it. Free will stinks… Understand your urges are not unique… all men, not just 20 year old’s can be tempted and give in to temptation. One Priest says that the temptation to lust ends 30 minutes after death… Of course when we do lust we reduce the focus of our lust to being an object for OUR pleasure rather than a child of God. It is the ultimate of selfishness. (wish I understood that earlier too).

You should feel good that you have opened yourself up to advice like you have. Not many at 20 could do that. You have. God also knows your heart. He knows your shame when you fall short. With effort you can get ahead of the urge and head it off. It will take time but you will find with effort and focus you can avoid this sin. God also gives grace to remain without temptation when He sees you making a serious effort… You will succeed.

Addictions to any sin is terrible. You need to pray more and meditate more. Even in the case of finding a girlfriend, you need prayer. Usually addictiobs come when we think of ourselves instead of much God loves us. I also feel you should have a good confessor.

My priest advised me to say the Jesus Prayer every time I get an urge to do something immoral. It’s simple and works very well.

Catechism states
If done in freedom, full knowledge and deliberately -its a mortal sin, which means you run the risk of ending up in hell, cannot receive communion until confessed as that also is a mortal sin

Such impure thoughts about women is a mortal sin,
And; any sexual act commited to yourself or another person outside of marriage is a mortal sin

Stop these sins
Pray for self control

Your place in Heaven depends on this

You must confess each occasion and cannot receive communion until confessed first, or even get into heaven!

Choice really is;
Heaven or hell, God or satan?

You are in charge, just say no.

Get rid of ALL forms of impurity from your life, any films age 12 upwards check parental movie review on imdb website and if serious impurity do not watch

Do not listen to modern impure music

Do not go to nightclubs

If you have any friends with bad example, get rid of them

Do not read newspapers or books with any impure content

You need to get rid of the things that tempt you

Yes you must confess every time.
No you may not receive Communion.

Learn your triggers and avoid them like the plague.

God bless.

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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 can lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

This is section 2352 from the catechism. Depending on his circumstances it may not even be a sin. OP needs to talk to a pastor to get direction, not a internet forum. It is wrong for us to tell him, without knowing all the details, that he is committing a grave sin.

The section you quoted is the one that many use to justify continuing to sin by pretending they have an addiction. They think its a get out of jail free card.

You know that this is what is going on in this situation from his post?