Is Masturbation Acceptable for a Catholic teen? HELP!

I am a 13 year old Catholic male, and I’ve been troubled lately. I recently found out about masturbation being a mortal sin, and I’m really worried, but it just doesn’t quite make sense to me. Would there be any exceptions to a teen masturbating?
I can understand why a married adult could not, for they have a spouse who they are bound to, but they have an outlet for the sex drive which builds up over time. From what I’ve read, teens have a much stronger sex drive than adults, and less self-control. We don’t have an outlet for our drive, and it just builds up, up, and up, until we can’t hold it in, and we masturbate. I intend to stay chaste until marriage. But every time I’m finished, I feel overwhelming guilt, and I promise not to do it again, but deep inside, I feel that I will just do it again.
I’m done with pornography. I only masturbate when I just can’t hold it in any longer. I’m Roman Catholic, and the Bible never mentions masturbation. Lately, I’ve looked at the site “Boys Under Attack”, which is run by a pastor.
His reasoning seems very logical, but goes against the Church. I just don’t know who’s side I’m on. I’ve prayed multiple times for guidance, but I’m still not sure. I just don’t see why the good Lord would put a wild sex drive in a boy, and damn him for what he can’t help doing.
I also find that when I don’t masturbate for a while, I can’t focus, and I am aroused by nearly everything remotely sexual in nature. But after I do it, I feel more self control, and better focus.
So would it be ok for a boy like me to do it occasionally, without porn? Any help would be appreciated.

No there are no “exceptions” for teens…

I would suggest a regular confessor to help you in your advancing (and you are advancing!) in living a chaste life and avoiding the near occasions of such…he can help judge your culpability etc (which is not a “go ahead” of course to continue…).

In Jesus Christ is true life!

He is with you in your struggle to be chaste and follow him!

And given your age:

Make sure you read the messages from world youth day with Pope Benedict XVI :slight_smile:

Regular confessor= trying to go to the same Priest for confession so he can know you in confession and help you overcome the difficulty.

He gives you guidance in the Teachings of his Church …anything to contrary would not be from God…

“A divine inspiration cannot ask us to do something that contradicts what the Word of God teaches and asks of us. This means not the Word of God as compiled by each individual’s fantasy and interpretation, but Holy Scripture as transmitted and explained by the teaching authority of the Church. For example, a divine inspiration cannot ask me to commit acts that the Church considers immoral. In the same way, true inspirations always go in the direction of a spirit of obedience to the Church.”

~ Fr. Jacques Philippe

  • In the School of the Holy Spirit, p.47

Your difficulty is a trial …but you have to understand too that not only is your body going through the teen years but that since the fall of man such disordered is present. Your task in following Christ is to continue to embrace the virtue of chastity and avoid the near occasions of sin and not sin against chastity. With grace and discipline you can do this! Even where there has been falls - one can reject that sin (all mortal sin) and turn to Jesus in confession and start again. Do not let past falls discourage you.

The urges will not continue for ever they may happen during a particular time -but just turn your attention to something else that is good and they will in time pass…it can be annoying and a trial…but they will pass…and you will be better for your resisting- as a man and as a disciple of Jesus.

Note too that with temptations against chastity the main approach is not “fight” but “flight” - be a man! Run away!

PS:There is a whole chastity section at the top of this website.


Do not enter into dialogue with temptation. Allow me to repeat it: have the courage to run away and the moral strength not to dally with your weakness or wonder how far you can go. Break off, with no concessions!

~ St. Jose Maria Escriva - the Furrow (Scepter)

From the Catechism regarding chastity:

“The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.”

So your in one of those “times” -where more intense effort is called for - but just as a new soldier or knight fresh on the battlefield - do not grow distraught but have courage! God loves you and the Church is with you in your battle!

Seek out that Priest as a confessor and repent of any sins and go forward!

“I just don’t see why the good Lord would put a wild sex drive in a boy, and damn him for what he can’t help doing.”

But the thing is, you can help doing it. It eventually becomes an addiction, a sexual high. You can’t focus when you don’t do it? Well, drug addicts could say the same thing about their drug, should they still keep doing it? You need to pray, and you said when you do it, you swear you’ll never do it again, but deep down know that you will, that’s because, deep down, you don’t really want to stop, you don’t want to give up the orgasm. So, no, there are no exceptions. Pray that you have a stronger desire to please God, more will power, and talking with a priest would help. If you have no self control when it comes to masturbation, it’s going to be even harder to be chaste until marriage.

Remember too that “resolving” not to commit mortal sin again does not mean that one may not fear one might fall again. It is resolving here and now in the Sacrament that one repents and rejects it and will avoid the near occasion - but the fact that one fears one will fall again - does not mean one is not resolved. One must go forward with grace and take the needed steps (as you already have!).

It is one thing to repent and thus resolve against mortal sin - though one may have fears that one could fall.

and quite another not to repent or intend to commit mortal sin again later…(that would be bad and not make for a good confession.

Feeling of fear is not the same as “will” …

One repents with ones will …even despite fears etc.

Let us remember Jesus of Nazareth is The Lamb and the Good Shepherd (and let us think of such even daily…)

"Jesus is called the Lamb: He is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. Someone might think: but how can a lamb, which is so weak, a weak little lamb, how can it take away so many sins, so much wickedness? With Love. With his meekness. Jesus never ceased being a lamb: meek, good, full of love, close to the little ones, close to the poor. He was there, among the people, healing everyone, teaching, praying. Jesus, so weak, like a lamb. However, he had the strength to take all our sins upon himself, all of them.

“But, Father, you don’t know my life: I have a sin that…, I can’t even carry it with a truck…”.

Many times, when we examine our conscience, we find some there that are truly bad! But he carries them. He came for this: to forgive, to make peace in the world, but first in the heart. Perhaps each one of us feels troubled in his heart, perhaps he experiences darkness in his heart, perhaps he feels a little sad over a fault… He has come to take away all of this, He gives us peace, he forgives everything. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away sin”: he takes away sin, it’s root and all! This is salvation Jesus brings about by his love and his meekness. And in listening to what John the Baptist says, who bears witness to Jesus as the Saviour, our confidence in Jesus should grow. Many times we trust a doctor: it is good, because the doctor is there to cure us; we trust in a person: brothers and sisters can help us. It is good to have this human trust among ourselves. But we forget about trust in the Lord: this is the key to success in life. Trust in the Lord, let us trust in the Lord! “Lord, look at my life: I’m in the dark, I have this struggle, I have this sin…”; everything we have: “Look at this: I trust in you!”. And this is a risk we must take: to trust in Him, and He never disappoints."

~Pope Francis

"Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” who goes in search of lost sheep, who knows his sheep and lays down his life for them (cf. Mt 18:12-14; Lk 15:4-7; Jn 10:2-4, 11-18). He is the way, the right path that leads us to life (cf. Jn 14:6), the light that illuminates the dark valley and overcomes all our fears (cf. Jn 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46).

He is the generous host who welcomes us and rescues us from our enemies, preparing for us the table of his body and his blood (cf. Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25); Lk 22:19-20) and the definitive table of the messianic banquet in Heaven (cf. Lk 14:15ff; Rev 3:20; 19:9). He is the Royal Shepherd, king in docility and in forgiveness, enthroned on the glorious wood of the cross (cf. Jn 3:13-15; 12:32; 17:4-5)."

~Pope Benedict XVI

What Sneaux and Bookcat said. x 2. Because this is the beginning of other things. Because you’re going to be up for a whole life of being faced with wanting to do things you shouldn’t do. So this is your chance to start to learn self-control.

Is it easy? No.

Will you fail often? Yes.

Does this mean that it’s useless to try? Of course not.

Because trying to do something hard is what builds character. That’s what gives you the authority later to offer your hand to someone else. Because you’ve lived that struggle. You’ve fought that war. And yes you’ve lost some battles. Yes you’ve been humiliated in your set-backs. But the main story is that you saw it through. And eventually got the upper hand. I mean fighting when there are no enemies on the battlefield never won anyone a medal. So doing things only if they are easy doesn’t count for much either.

Good luck in your struggles. I think all of us know this fight. We all know what you’re up against. I hope you’re stronger than I was. But even a guy like me figured a way out. Eventually.

Peace Jakub.


I understand the idea of charitably responding in good faith to all inquiries posted, but do any of you that have replied honestly believe that any 13 year old in the year 2015 possesses the writing skills demonstrated in the original post?

I actually wondered this myself, especially since they only have one post. However, I’m only 18 and I probably could have produced something like that at 13, so I just tried to give them the benefit of the doubt.

It’s funny you should say that, but yes, I am in fact a 13 year old. People occasionally say I have a large vocabulary. I’m a bit of a bookworm, you see.

I have three things to say to you,
God loves you, God loves, and God loves you.
God’s love is better than any other inferior thing. Self satisfaction detracts from God’s love.

Masturbation is disordered and sinful, because it turns our love inward instead of flowing outward to others.

I was young once, and I know exactly what you are going through.
It takes time. Be patient. Struggle is part of life. Virtue is supposed to be difficult, and it is difficult. It can be excruciating. Even St Augustine was enslaved by lust. Everyone deals with it at some point.

Keep the faith and remember that God is ever faithful with you, even when you fail.

I think having a regular confessor is important :thumbsup:

Masturbation is a grave matter, but any kind of culpability involved would need to be discussed with your Confessor.

Otherwise, it’s good that you are asking, but you also need to lay off the lame excuses ie “I feel sad or bad without it” or “why else did God make me this way”.

Absolutely! 13 is around 8th grade.

I just don’t see why the good Lord would put a wild sex drive in a boy, and damn him for what he can’t help doing.

I felt like this at 13. Now at 20 I wish I had quit years earlier than I did. I envy the opportunity I had back then; today I have difficulty simply discerning what God wants me to do with my life. At 13 I had a clear-cut mission that was difficult, yes, but it was clear what I had to do, and I knew God wouldn’t ask me to do anything impossible. I knew what God was asking my to do, and I knew I could do it.
It took me years to work up the courage to go to a confessor about this–I wish I hadn’t waited so long!

You have the same opportunity to make a great sacrifice for God that I did at 13, except I failed, and I failed at 14, 15, 16, and later, too. Go to confession this Saturday and then stop it for good.

Whenever you are tempted with this sin, and yes it is a grave sin even for a 13 year old (I know the situation you are in, with your passions running wild, and Satan does too), you need to ask God to help and ask our Mother to help. She is your mother, and she is known throughout the entire world for putting an end to sins of impurity.

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let
him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

You are in a difficult situation. You are being hit with temptation constantly by a world that has done away with love for God. On top of that, your enemies are fallen angels. They are more powerful than you and know your weaknesses.

Remember - you belong to Jesus and the world belongs to Satan. If the world, Satan, or the flesh tempt you - or all 3 at once - turn to Jesus and Mary. Jesus is all-powerful. God gave you life. He knows what is best for you.


Romans 13:14
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision
for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Galatians 5:17
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

James 4:5
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

Understand that your spirit is of God’s Spirit, and the Spirit and the flesh are in opposition to one another. Your flesh is fallen. You have concupiscence.

Do not listen to what the world says. God’s Spirit is talking to you in your conscience. You know it is evil. Your flesh desires what is evil - YES. Sanctify your flesh. The more you deny yourself and sanctify your flesh, walking in the Spirit, the easier it will get. But if you gratify your flesh, it will be harder for you to break free from the disordered desires that develop. This applies to ALL sins of the flesh, not just this one.

Be aware that our Mother said that more souls fall into Hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason. If you fall - make an act of contrition (aim for perfect contrition, which is being sorry because you have offended God and love God) after asking God for grace to make an act of perfect contrition RIGHT AWAY and then get to confession ASAP. Do not be ashamed. Be open and honest with your confessor(s).

God is merciful, patient, and He Loves you! He does not want to condemn you. He knows what you are up against. The Church teaches that this fight is IMPOSSIBLE. It takes MIRACLES. You need grace from God every day if you are going to serve Him faithfully. He will give you the grace. Turn to our Mother in Heaven whenever you are tempted.

I love you. Keep fighting.

I love you Guardian Angel, please help him. He doesn’t know yet. I was taken captive at his age. Please take good care of him. Please ask God for permission to help him 24/7.

I love you Holy Spirit and I trust you. Please help him. Please let him not be taken captive by Satan. Please grant him victory. Please grant him special graces so that he won’t be taken captive. Please let him see what is happening. Please use him as an instrument of your will. In Jesus Name I pray. Mother please ask God

I’m a female so I can’t offer any practical advice. But you do seem to sound a bit enslaved by masturbation. God doesn’t want you to be enslaved.

“It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not submit to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1