Masturbation and Catholicism

We’ve all heard the jokes about masturbation. Some say it will make you blind. Others say it will make you deaf. What if someone told you it would lead to eternal damnation? Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but some do view masturbation as a sin.

The Catholic Church has adopted a very firm position on the issue of masturbation. They strongly believe that the act of masturbation is a sin. The Church teaches that sex is a sacred act between a husband and a wife. The purpose of sex is to create life. Any act that is merely an act of pleasure and does not lead to the creation of life is an abuse of the purpose of sex. Therefore, since masturbation is not an act between a husband and wife nor does it lead to the creation of life, it is viewed as a sin. Not all practicing Catholics agree with this position. The Church does warn, however, that even though some may view masturbation as an acceptable act it is contrary to the Church’s official teachings. What does one do if they have engaged in such an act? Will one spend an eternity in limbo? Does one receive a one way ticket to hell? Fortunately, all one needs to do is confess the sin at confession before taking part in Holy Communion.

What other beliefs does the Catholic Church hold in regards to sex? The Church teaches that sex has two purposes, to bring a husband and wife closer together and to create life. While the Bible doesn’t specifically state certain sex acts are morally wrong, it does encourage other behaviors such as saving sex for marriage. The official term for engaging in sex outside of marriage is fornication. Fornication is viewed as a sin. Oral sex is also an act that the Church has taken a stance on. When followed by intercourse, oral sex is an acceptable form of foreplay. Oral sex simply used for personal gratification, however, is considered a sin.

Just because one is married doesn’t mean that he or she is in the clear. Due to the fact that sex should lead to the creation of life, artificial contraceptives should not be used. If a married couple is using condoms, the pill, or any other form of artificial contraceptives, they are going against the wishes of the church. The Church does approve of natural family planning, but contraceptive use is frowned upon.

One may think that in today’s day and age the Catholic Church’s views on sex are outdated. What is wrong with two consenting adults in a committed relationship engaging in sexual intercourse? What harm is there in married couple using artificial contraceptives to prevent the untimely birth of a child? Is any one person really impacted by an individual’s choice to masturbate? Shouldn’t condom use be encouraged to limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases?

At some point in our lives, we all will have to make choices in regards to sex. Will you choose to engage in premarital sex? Will you choose to use oral sex or masturbation as a sexual outlet? Will you use artificial contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies or the spread of sexually transmitted diseases? These are all very personal choices. The Catholic Church has its belief system. What is yours?

Comments (17 comments)

This is horse shit… the catholic church teaches that the act of masturbation is a profane abomination. That is, its an act that takes sex which is sacred by catholic understanding out of its temple (marriage) and is so terrible there is no good excuse for it… period and it only twists a pure and good thing.
The church also teaches that sex is to be enjoyed… but you can not remove the life creating aspect from it… you can avoid it with natural family planning but not tear from it with drugs or condoms that steal from the act of sex. It also teaches that fornication and adultery is wrong, and are they wrong in teaching it? It causes the spread of venereal diseases that would never spread otherwise and it hurts people emotionally when people treat another person like an object basically because they can and shirk their responsibilities. It also causes a lack of respect for sex and a lack of respect for ones self. None of these things happen and you wont even have to worry about hurt and wanting if you also listen to the Church when she says to you, chose your spouse wisely test them and commit to them fully with all your life.

The ability to deny yourself when you want to masturbate is a valuable ability it’s the ability to tell yourself what to do and teach your body to listen puts you in charge not your hormones. It helps you to deal with sexual occasions and gives you freedom-at anytime you can go back and become an animal again- but only if you have the ability to say no and follow it through do you know you are free.

Masturbation is also addicting.. the hormones that run through your body are addicting.


Patrick Lord / May 17th, 2007, 12:34 pm / #

I would like to ask what the church was thinking when saying masturbation is a sin. Recent evidence suggests that Masturbation can help prevent prostate cancer. They knew this way back in 2003…here is an older article: It is interesting that Catholic priests suffer from Prostate cancer a high rate.

John / May 25th, 2007, 6:07 am / #

From a Catholic perspective, since I study theology, Sin is what happens when we willingly and knowingly choose evil. The Church teaches that masturbation is an evil and an offense against chastity. Let’s quote the CCC 2352:

“By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”
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 lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.”

Notice that the word “sin” is not in this paragraph. Masturbation is “disordered”. It is certainly never to be considered “good”. Sin is the break in a relationship with God. That is a hard thing to judge from the outside. Therefore there is no formula that says masturbation=sin. As we see in the paragraph, it is always wrong, but culpability differs based on a number of factors. Let’s be careful how we throw around the word “sin”. Instead let’s help each other discern between good and evil, so that in our choices we may avoid sin.

Dan / June 2nd, 2007, 8:47 am / #

well Im catholic and I have never heard anything about this…. I know having sex before marriage is a sin but not this..

christal / July 26th, 2007, 12:48 pm / #

masturbation is something i often almost do everyday
i am a young teen
and i am a catholic
i dont believe it is a sin
it benifits you

sexual involvment with no reproducitve acts
it is healthy also
and i have also been sexually acitve
before im getting married

to have sex is a reproducting act
but we’re also humans
pleasure is what we mostly desire

but at such a young age is what should be recognized more

Bianca QuiГ±ones / April 5th, 2008, 9:08 am / #

hi i am a catholic and i believe that it is a sin and as well as having seual intercouse is also a sin is against the law out side married

chidinma / November 4th, 2008, 11:44 pm / #

DAN tried to give some good insights by quoting CCC #2352.
the Church tried to teach the faithful the purpose of SEX. if we violates it, we violates the “why God created Eve for Adam”… Sex in the beginning was meant for experiencing the unspeakable expression of love. it’s like another language to say “i love you”. but science develop through ages. who started ‘masturbation’, ‘oral sex’, ‘anal sex’ or ‘french kiss’???
sin must be something separate us from God. sin must be something that breaking the Iron Code of Jewish Law. The Ten Commandments for instant, was imposed by YHWH to express His concerns for the happiness of human beings. As for the Israelites, adultery doesn’t bring any good to men, in our time, adultery defines as husband/wife having sex with other wo/man, premarital sex, multiple sex partners, sex for money etc. so what the Church trying to show in Catechism is sex is good as long as it not harmful and forceful.

Masturbation, in other hand, is against the Ten Commandment?? or against the Code Law of Procreation-(does it mention in the Bible)? the Story of Onan does not involve masturbation because he ejaculate outside during sex with his wife. God slew Onan because he refuse to obey God to continue his brother generations. does your masturbation harm others? will it even harm you? so it rest on your own judgment. knowing the purpose of sex in their own’s life tells you masturbation is detestable to God or not. nevertheless, the Church while guiding you into the truth will not bound your salvation into how you will experience God in your own life.

so if anyone, ask me personally- is it sinful? i would say “NO”. sometimes, in my opinion, psychologically it could ‘release’ us from certain sexual-stress. This i believe for a single man or somehow married man who live afar from their wife. hello folks, it is better than to do it with a whore or a one-nite-stand. saying that it will separate us from Christ unconditional love and salvation are being judgmental itself. science and psychology is the issues the Roman theologian stubborn to address.

celebrate the gift of sex God bestow freely to His children.


Peter Damian / January 22nd, 2009, 6:58 pm / #

Does anyone have any scripture to support your comments or is this simply a stance the Catholic Church takes becasue they can?

Tacster / February 4th, 2009, 12:20 pm / #

4 me it is a sin bt better than sexual intercourse

charles / April 28th, 2009, 7:46 pm / #

I do not think thatmasturbation is a sin as it at least stops people from having actual sexual intercourse which is much riskier in todays age and wrong if there is no marriage or if it is taken as a game.The Catholic Church is a lovely church with a wide variety of colurs and characteristics but I must disagree with this issue as I believe why should one feel bad?You are exploring yourself ,not to be promiscuous but to get to know yourself .As long As you keep it to yourself and do not bring others into it,it is fine,It reduces the rate of HIV/AIDS and it prevents teens from wanting to have sex with others in most cases.Any God is who you see him as,your creater ,not a picture that the church has created.God is a God ofn great understanding and love not a the image of a Big old man with a whip,He Created You and Ypu should be greatful for a healthy body.
Liberal Roman Catholic.

Kegan / May 20th, 2009, 10:30 pm / #

Masturbation is a grooming behavior. In other words, it’s nature’s way of cleaning your thingy. Most people don’t know this and think it’s evil or something.

Doctor X / July 18th, 2009, 1:58 pm / #

i like the point of adam and eve. i am a catholic, 17 and a virgin. in past relatioships my partners have wanted sex however i still am unsure if having pre marital sex is a sin and i will wait till i am in a loving and lasting relationship and discuss it with my partner.

B. / August 14th, 2009, 10:58 pm / #

Given its popularity, speaking up in support of masturbation does not seem necessary. It is absolute genius, however, that some religions have banned it through pain of hell. It punishes a universally common and usually very private act with the harshest of sentences– Eternal Damnation. So why exactly is that a genius move? Well, perpetual guilt, for one. “Hey boys and girls, just don’t think about sex! Because if you do, you are going to hell in a hand basket!” That’s a sure way to keep the confessional lines long and the collection plates full. Pick something most everyone does and ban it, and presto, flocks of sinners ready for the forgiving. I mean, a religion that constrains itself to banning murder, theft and false witness is simply limiting its money-making potential. Murderers, thieves and liars probably have absolutely no conscience anyway. With no guilt to exploit, the pickings are slim among them.

Nano Fish / December 22nd, 2009, 12:35 am / #

Personally I do really enjoy Solo Male Masturbation often, I’m a Catholic who is Married, I do not see it as a sin. I do not plan on leaving the Catholic Church ever, We are all sinners in the World. I enjoy the pleasure for Hours if I get the time alone. Wife doesn’t no but has a idea I enjoy masturbating she has brought it up before. This is one Catholic who truly enjoys the Solo Pleasure of Masturbation. I’m 47 year’s Old & enjoyed it since the age of 10 1/2 years old. To be honest I love to masturbate often like now .

Roy / February 28th, 2010, 1:45 am / #

Hey folks ,

Before doing Masturbation

Did you think what you get out of it ?

You would say I do it for pleasure

Mario / March 11th, 2010, 4:31 am / #

First of all r serious of leaving this bad habit ,
becoz i feel by doing masturbation you only waste your energy and become a big loser in life .
Why you become a loser because god makes you a big loser if you dont follow his commandments. bible says read (1 Corinthians 3:16 ) if you destroy gods temple (ie : ur body ) god will destroy you.. So never challenge god almighty , ex : can a computer fight againts , human . why ? becoz computer were not created by themselves but by humans . so r we…

Recommendation : I personally recommend go to a roman catholic priest/ pastor and tell them u r suffering from these compulsive bad habit . Never forget to take advice from him (FOOLS R THOSE WHO DONT LISTEN TO ADVICES (pROVERBS 1: 7))

Mario / March 11th, 2010, 5:33 am / #

Something that takes a few minutes and makes you feel better and gives you relief is not evil, is not sinful.

It’s no more a problem if you do it with a partner in a loving relationship.

According to the logic expressed in the article, it would be sinful to touch or kiss or even say loving things to your partner because these expressions of love are not procreative in and of themselves. Thus, the perspective here promotes a wham-bam, thank you ma’m approach to express love.

LOL! / May 28th, 2010, 5:38 am / #

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