Masturbation is not A Sin

I currently have a dilemma concerning masturbation being a sin. If you claim that it is sinful because it is selfish and supposed to be shared, then that doesn’t still qualify it as a sin. If I have two hotdogs and refuse to give someone else I am not sinning because selfishness itself is not a sin. If you claim that a married person sins by masturbating because he/she is withholding himself/herself from his/her spouse, what can you say about a situation where one of the spouses gives permission to the other to masturbate. Is that selfishness? What about singles. If I masturbate(I’m single) am I being selfish? I am not married to anyone so I am not witholding my self from that person.
If you claim that masturbation leads to bad sex habits, I want to let you know that I can masturbate nonstop for an hour so I don’t think premature ejaculation will be a problem. I also don’t watch porn that is fake or forceful because I believe that if the woman isn’t enjoying the sex then what I am doing is tantamount to rape. My major turn-on is a woman that is turned-on and enjoying the act.
If you claim that ejaculating kills sperm cells that could have been used to breed then what can you say about female masturbation? Even if sperm cells are killed when they exit the body, then nocturnal emissions must be sinful. Even if they are nonvoluntary it is still leading to death because the sperm cells still die. There is nothing that is a sin for males that isn’t a sin for females and vice-versa. I am willing to hear any counter-arguments because this is something that has really been bugging me. Thanks and may the peace of God remain with you.

It is a sin against the sixth commandment, a sin against chastity.

The sexual faculties are for intercourse, and intercourse is for married people. The use of your sexual faculties outside the conjugal act (marital intercourse) is always disordered-- i.e., intrinsically disordered and against God’s commandments.

The Church claims none of the things you wrote, so we won’t waste any time there.

I’ve got news for you, all pornography is fake.

Pornography is also a sin against the sixth commandment, both for those who make it and those who watch it. It is a completely separate sin from masturbation, although one often follows the other.

Sex is for married couples to make babies and bond. Acts that take place outside marriage or acts signing marriage that replace marital intercourse (orgasm sought apart from intercourse) are all intrinsically disordered and sins against the sixth commandment. Acts that seek to separate unity and procreation are also disordered (i.e. Contraception).

We do know the teaching of the Church, as given in the Catechism:

1852 There are a great many kinds of sins. Scripture provides several lists of them. The Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit: "Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God."127

127 Gal 5:19-21; cf. Rom 1:28-32; 1 Cor 9-10; Eph 5:3-5; Col 3:5-8; 1 Tim 9-10; 2 Tim 2-5.

2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.

The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.

2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. 126 “Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end.” 127

126 Cf. Sir 1:22.

How exactly is masturbation a violation of the sixth commandment for females? And why would you claim the only use of the sexual faculties are for reproduction and bonding between spouses. Do you have any evidence to back your claims?

Baltimore Catechism No. 3

Q. 1284. What is forbidden by the sixth Commandment?

A. The sixth Commandment forbids all unchaste freedom with another’s wife or husband; also all immodesty with ourselves or others in looks, dress, words, and actions.

Q. 1285. Why are sins of impurity the most dangerous?

A. Sins of impurity are the most dangerous:
1. Because they have the most numerous temptations;
2. Because, if deliberate, they are always mortal, and
3. Because, more than other sins, they lead to the loss of faith.

Q. 1324. In what does the sixth commandment differ from the ninth, and the seventh differ from the tenth?

A. The sixth commandment differs from the ninth in this, that the sixth refers chiefly to external acts of impurity, while the ninth refers more to sins of thought against purity. The seventh commandment refers chiefly to external acts of dishonesty, while the tenth refers more to thoughts against honesty.

What if the female is single or her husband is dead?

Also from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has "put on Christ,"135 the model for all chastity. All Christ’s faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.

2349 "People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single."136 Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence:
[INDENT]There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others. . . . This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.137
135 Gal 3:27.
136 CDF, Persona humana 11.
137 St. Ambrose, De viduis 4,23:PL 16,255A.

Your replies are well thought out and meaningful but how exactly is masturbation equivalent to adultery or a lack of chastity?

Give up, my friend. You are losing the battle. Masturbation is a sin. Period. You are not going to find a loophole or get off on a technicality. And just because you disagree with Church teaching doesn’t change a thing and it does not excuse you from doing it.

Sorry to burst your bubble. :shrug:

Because it is a very self-absorbed thing to do. I mean we’re supposed to be growing in holiness here on earth. Not just jacking off to our favorite thoughts.

And it gets us in bad habits. I mean what are you thinking about when you’re at it? I’m sure it’s not spiritually pure stuff. You’re making some girl or guy your object. Something they weren’t supposed to be.

Because there’s no love in what you’re doing. There’s only lust fulfillment. I mean it’s like eating just because something tastes good. Without worrying about not having self-control. So you’re taking something that was meant to strengthen love. And using it in a way that will only weaken it. I mean there’s no other way forward than that.

It seems pretty simple right now. But you haven’t started getting fat yet. You haven’t started getting into the habit of eating all the cake in the room.

I talk with guys who are addicted to masturbating. They’re addicted to porn. They’re addicted to impure thoughts. Everything reminds them about alone time. And that craving moves everything else out of the way. All the other things that should be more important sort of fall aside.

Because sex is a kind of drug. Being restricted to only having it with a spouse helps to limit the dose. Helps to keep the supply in check. But masturbation? What puts that upper limit on that for you?

I mean you can go an hour or more at a time already. I don’t know how old you are. But add 10 years and you can be like guys I know who can go 8 times that long. Then you can also sort of also join company with those who can’t have normal relations at all. Because they’ve worn out all the easy ways at getting that high. All that stuff’s now dull and predictable. Because the brain adapts. It craves novelty.

So if you don’t keep sex novel it’ll become mundane. And once it does you’re on a downward spiral. As you push the limits of normal. In all directions.

Peace fromckcc. Thanks for asking. Thanks for not just assuming you were totally right. Thanks for leaving that room for doubt.


It is a violation of the sixth commandment for both males and females for the same reason-- it is a disordered use of the sexual faculties. I don’t understand your question.

It’s not my claim. It is Church teaching. You listed yourself as Catholic. Have you had no formation in the Catholic faith? How old are you?

All of Scripture and reams of Church documents.

This sixth commandment encompasses all sexual sin.

What do you believe the virtue of chastity to be?

Chastity is the proper ordering and mastery of one’s sexual appetites based on one’s state in life.


Does one masturbate without dwelling on impure thoughts in their head? I sure never did. That is a mortal sin in and of itself. And if one does not dwell on impure thoughts (besides if someone is married and turned on by their spouse) how do they get aroused enough to masturbate? I could be wrong but it seems to me that Masturbation probably involves more than one Mortal sin besides masturbation.

If you do not easily see how Masturbation is a sin (I think I can just feel how disordered it is) you might have a very Lax conscience. It would do you good to talk to a priest about this and other things you struggle with. I hope you become reconciled to what The Church teaches about such things. Do you really think you might know better than the 2000 year old Church? Ever see a teenager insisting they know better than their parents? :wink:

I don’t want to seem like an idiot but if we are talking about addiction then anyone can be addicted to anything including spousal intercourse. I don’t see how masturbation weakens love because I feel that sex where the other party isn’t enjoying the act is tantamount to rape. Also, when I meet a person of the opposite sex the first thing that come to my mind is not sex. I find people who might not be so good looking more attractive than very good-looking people with bad behaviors. Also by your logic, having sex with your spouse just because you enjoy it(even if your spouse is enjoying it)is sinful. I am just really confused.

1 Like

A letter from CS Lewis to a young man:

For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover: no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself . . . . And it is not only the faculty of love which is thus sterilized, forced back on itself, but also the faculty of imagination.

The true exercise of imagination, in my view, is (a) To help us to understand other people (b) To respond to, and, some of us, to produce, art. But it has also a bad use: to provide for us, in shadowy form, a substitute for virtues, successes, distinctions etc. which ought to be sought outside in the real world—e.g. picturing all I’d do if I were rich instead of earning and saving. Masturbation involves this abuse of imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.

Not to mention you’ll go blind…


Haven’t heard that one before, so I don’t consider it a sin/wrong because of that.

Sexuality is very different to your analogy of sharing a hotdog. For starters, you don’t have two, you only have one and secondly it generally requires another party, whether it be your thoughts, imagination, pornography or another person, which I’m sure you can see is not right.

I believe it’s still not right because of the reasons above, it’s not just you, it involves your thoughts, imagination maybe pornography and in the worst cases another person which makes it adultery, regardless of whether a spouse gave permission or not.

Same reasons I mentioned above I believe.

Those are not the ‘bad’ sex habits people are referring to, more regarding the way it can warp your view of your wife (future wife if you plan to marry someone) and the sexual act between the two of you.

That’s good. Now I believe all you have to do is move to the next step to see that what you deem as ‘okay’ porn is easily tantamount to promiscuity/fornication.

I don’t. It’s usually pro-choice people who try to use that argument against us which is completely fallacious.

Personally I am surprised you need convincing. I think if you give it some reflection, deep down you will know. The only reason I can gather is that you have been listening/reading some fallacious reasoning behind why some people call it sinful.

I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading


What you have is not quite a dilemma, but a series of arguments, some weak, some less so. They are presented in a rather confrontational manner, and that makes it difficult to respond to.

Sexual sins are sinful, because they misuse sexual faculties, and they almost always have other negative consequences.

The natural purpose of sex and sexual attraction is to draw a man and women together towards marriage. A strong sexual desire is indicative of a vocation to marriage.

Misuse of these faculties detracts from this prospering ordering. There are various consequences to this misuse, but these are the fruits of sin, not the sin itself. The sin is misuse, the consequences are the predictable results. It is possible to commit sexual sin, and not experience overtly negative consequences, but casual disregard for sinful behavior might have other subtler consequences.