I can't stop masterbating...need help


I am a 20 year old male in college right now and I have been trying to break a masterbation/pornography addiction for almost a year now.
I really need prayers and advice. I am struggling so much to break this habit and its been so hard for me.
Its been consuming me and turning me away from God. I feel so trapped by it, it has such a hold on me. But I know that it’s completely my fault.
I am so adamant that I will stop but once one or two weeks comes around, I fall back into this sin and it ruins me mentally, physically, spiritually, and morally.
I hate what it makes me and who it makes me.
I know its ruining me and I can’t seem to overcome it. Maybe I’m not praying enough?

If anyone out there has been through similar struggles, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for reading.

Since porn is a problem, you will need to install a filter on your computer. Don’t watch any movies that go beyond PG-13 levels of sex/nudity.

Exercising is a great help, as is playing an instrument, cleaning a room, doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, etc. Engaging your mind/body both distracts and expends energy, which can help temper strong sexual urges. Since you’re in college, you should be able to find plenty of activities to distract yourself.

Thanks for sharing your sensitive issue. It seems you have a two-part problem. The bad news involving everyone is that it’s not uncommon. Though, that creates good news that God sees this problem quite often and you have thousands of sinners making the same mistake. Anyway, I would look at your sins as a jar compiled of sin and grace. You can replace some of that sin with grace through confessions. I would work on the other sins until you have these two left. Once you are “whole” again, with less sin and more grace, try to figure out which is egging the other on. Is it the pornography that encourages masturbation or the other way around. Then, try to see what is easier to drop. If you literally cannot stop it might be an addiction, and let the priest know so it stops being “mortal sin” consecutively daily, then weekly, monthly, etc. There is a rule about addictions being less sinful, if you can’t control it. Good luck.

Hey! I am currently struggling with this, too. For a few months I could abstain, but now it’s hard. Like, very hard. I get why.
My advise would be not only praying, but, also get involved in other activities, so that you may be tired and not masturbate. Something else you could try can be thinking about God before you masturbate. It may or may not be enough for you. Unfortunately, in my case, it’s not enough, so I try to keep myself busy with other things I have to do.

I hope this helped a little.

Similar thread about this issue a couple months ago, here. Might be something there that could help

Get to confession … weekly … or even daily.


Also keep sets of rosary beads with you at all times. During the day in your shirt pocket. At night in your hands.

Visit a Catholic bookstore or the shop button at the top of this page and buy some Catholic books and read them.

Catholic Answers also has the tracts available for free on-line. There are at least one hundred of them.



They cover every subject … and in fact, that’s how Catholic Answers got started: Karl Keating got his car leafleted by some anti-Catholic group, so he wrote a response … people sent him money and asked him to write more … Catholic Answers !!

They are excellent and brief and well written. Read them all.

Seriously … if you start to get interested in something wholesome, the other needs will diminish.

Print them out … put them in a loose-leaf binder.

Reread them frequently.

Visit your college library … look up books about or by famous saints. I found an obscure section … 200+ books by St. Thomas Aquinas, for example.

Join the club:


This is an extremely easy temptation to fall into for men.
Its also easy to make up “justifications” in one’s mind. For example, “When God gave the commandments people got married at a reasonable age. Because now people think it is normal to get married at demographically suicidaly late ages, it is unreasonable for God to expect me to remain chaste for that long.” or “Its not affecting anybody else.” The list goes on and on.

You might find watching some of Joseph Sciambra’s youtube videos on the subject helpful.

You’ll be in my prayers today! God Bless you, and know that having the desire to stop is a good sign.:slight_smile:

One day at a time, brother! Keep a Crucifix close by and constantly invoke the Blood of Christ in your trials.

You will be in my prayers at mass today.

Every time you get the urge, try praying the Liturgy of the Hours for that hour. If you should still have the urge, try praying the Office of Readings.
I’ve tackled this problem by saying to myself that if I can pray one of the hours of the Liturgy of the Hours and the Office of Readings and still have the urge, I can go masturbate. I have yet to retain the urge after praying both.
If you don’t know how to pray the LOTH, or don’t want to pray the LOTH, try another prayer, such as the rosary.

Just to be clear, I am not saying “masturbating is okay or no big deal.” With that in mind:

Remember that this is something that virtually every young man your age struggles with. Almost all men (and probably a majority of women) have this issue to some degree or another. You’re not weird. And, frankly, the vast majority of people don’t even make an attempt at stopping. I expect that God appreciates that you are, at least, making an effort.

I say all that not so you become complacent or go “Well, it’s no big deal, whatever.” It is an issue and you do need to make an effort to overcome this. BUT don’t let it ruin your life or make you into a nervous wreck. It’s an issue for you…like 95% of all men. You’re not uniquely flawed or anything.

I remember hearing once that an old priest said that this was the #1 most commonly confessed sin for men, if that puts it into perspective for you.


Why not find and marry a nice girl?

Rushing into marriage at 20 seems like jumping from the firing pan into the fire. He’d be trading one problem for ten more.

And people don’t know why the world is in the moral state that it is in. What did they think

would happen when the marriage age kept being pushed higher and higher every decade

and the human body has stayed the same?

I’m not saying he should wait till he’s 40. But his masturbatory habit is an ongoing, immediate issue, and marriage is not a short term fix. If he meets a nice girl, then yeah, by all means, he should date her. But rushing headlong into marriage just so he can have a licit outlet for his sexual energy is a bad, bad idea.

Perhaps imagining you’re married might help you resist the porn temptation. You wouldn’t want your wife to find out and be hurt would you?

Perhaps, but is he able to support a wife at 20? Is he able to support the children that are going to come from all the sex he’s having? Is he emotionally prepared for marriage? Is he mature enough to make a lifelong commitment at 20? I sure wasn’t.

Rushing into a hasty marriage to stop masturbating is like cutting your hand off because you got poison ivy on the skin. Yeah, it works, but it’s probably a case of the cure being worse than the disease. Marriage is a huge deal and one of the most serious commitments you can make in life. Rushing into it so you can stop looking at porn is a terrible idea IMHO.

I wasn’t talking about actual marriage, I meant *thinking *about being married might make the porn issue more clear if the person is self-duping into the “I’m not hurting anybody else, so it doesn’t matter” excuse. It most certainly could hurt somebody else tremendously and if one gets into a sin habit now someone isn’t going to be freed from it just because they reached a certain age or milestone.