The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I had decided to quit porn and masturbating. It has been close to two weeks since I last masturbated. Now my sexual feelings are very strong. I also had wet dreams, but my question is why don't the wet dreams empty these sexual feelings? After my wet dream I still have that intense feeling. I hate to go back to porn because I am seeking for the things God will give me.


I suspect that you are used to "running on empty;" that is, your habit was to ejaculate frequently until there was little or none left. When the male body ejaculates, a relatively fixed amount of semen is sent out -- basically what can be held in the ejaculatory duct. The seminal vesicles can hold quite a bit more. Each ejaculation decreases the amount in the seminal vesicles, but it doesn't necessarily empty them.

Meanwhile the seminal vesicles are constantly producing more semen. Because you had a habit of ejaculating a lot in the recent past, the glands are producing a lot to keep up with the expected demands. Though you've decided to stop masturbating, it will take a little bit of time for your body to realize that you are serious and slow down its production of semen. Since they are currently near full, a wet dream cuts the quantity down and eases the sexual urges a little bit, but the vesicles are easily refilling before the next night.

Even if the seminal vesicles were lowered, say by half, you are used to spending the day with them near empty, so at the moment you are hypersensitive to any amount being present.

Another problem is that arousal and orgasm work like mild drugs. It is easily habit forming, especially for a teenager, who already has a tendency to be compulsive. Let's say you had a habit of masturbating when you were home alone and bored. You will naturally find that each time you are home alone and bored your mind will naturally turn to a desire to masturbate. It isn't the need but the habit that is demanding it.

It is sad that so many young men tie looking at pornography to masturbation. They are really two separate things, but arousal and orgasm are easily able to lock habits into a teenage mind. Yet, a person technically could see pornography without masturbating and a person can masturbate without seeing or thinking about pornography. So let's take the issues separately.

Pornography is a sin because it involves lusting for sex with someone to whom you are not married. "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). It makes you susceptible to actually committing sexual sins because you have played out your response in your mind so often. Given a sexual situation, many young men never stop to think about it being wrong or the consequences of their actions because they are simply following the habits formed in their mind.

Another problem is that since pornography gets you sexually aroused, your body speeds up its production of semen thinking that you are going to need it. The end result is a viscous cycle where a young man uses pornography to get rid of his excess semen, but that very use of pornography increases the amount of semen he produces. It is a similar trick to the one cola manufacturers use in producing soft drinks. They put a little salt in the drink to increase its flavor, but that salt also makes the person more thirsty. So the drink used to quench your thirst is also the one that makes you more thirsty. The result is a viscous cycle that is hard to break.

Worse, those same habits will impact sex with your future wife. Pornography grabs a person's attention through shock at what is shown. But after awhile the shock wears off, so the person seeks out new and more shocking images. But to gain the shock factor, pornographers turn to degrading forms of sex. The viewer is lured into thinking that sex is supposed to be degrading. The result is that a lot of men end up treating their wives in a degrading manner or only seeing them as an object. Sex is no longer about exciting the other person, but only selfishly exciting one's self.

For a Christian, pornography is never an option in life. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified" (I Thessalonians 4:3-6). "Passion of lust" is a phrase referring to sexual things that excite sexual passion. In other words, it includes things like pornography.

If you realize that masturbation by itself is just a way to get rid of excess semen, then when the sexual urges get so strong that you find them distracting, then you can use masturbation as a way to decrease the urges. At first you'll find it very hard to break old habits. It is like having ruts in the road. You try to take a slightly different path but suddenly you find yourself following the same old lines of thinking. Just battle for control of your mind. When the seminal vesicles are full, it doesn't take much to trigger an ejaculation. After a while new habits will set in.

Meanwhile, go as long as you feel you can without masturbating. What you will find is that in a few months the urge to ejaculate so often will slow down. The intervals between wet dreams will increase a bit. And the days when you feel like you are going nutty from sexual desire will gradually get farther apart, so you will find that you won't need to masturbate nearly as often.

Thank you very much, sir. I understand now. God bless you.

I have another question. What do you usually do when the sexual urge comes and you are vulnerable to temptation? I truely wish to quit pornography and masturbation, and I also truely wish to be an effective servant of God. I tried to pray, memorize Scriptures, but I still lack self-control and always fall back. It is a vicious cycle. Does that mean that I don't really fear God? How long does it takes for the body to go back to normal, so that it doesn't crave sex so often like it does now? I know it depends on the individual, but maybe you can give me a goal.

I realize the danger of pornography; I truely wish to quit it and pursue a healthy relationship. I like a girl, she loves God, and when I see her, my faith is challenged. Because of my porn addiction, I feel I'm not fit to be with her. I like her for many reasons, but now I feel I'm lusting after her, which is one thing I don't want. I hope to see every girl as I'm seeing her, like God's children.

I have an Internet filter now. If you can tell me what I can do, I'll do it, and end this once and for all. I know it is not easy because I have gone through one and a half years of struggle since I was saved. It is now the time for me to stop. I actually masturbated a few hours ago and now the craving is eased. But before it comes again, I need to prepare, so I need your help.

You are correct, changing a habit is difficult. And doubly so when you are young. As I mentioned before you have two things you are working against.

First, I assume you are still a teenager. The changing hormones of your development already gets your system running fast. Have you ever tried to get a manual transmission car going at a stop sign on an uphill incline? New drivers have a hard time figuring out just how far to push the gas pedal before release the clutch. The result is that they either kill the engine by not giving enough gas, or they squeal tires because they gave too much gas. Your body has new hormones floating around and it has a tough time getting the amounts just right. Typically it tends to over do it at first. But what you've done with the pornography is floored the system and the body thought this was normal. Now you've truly gone back to normal and your body has to find the proper levels again. It is going to take a while, probably several months, for your body to get the hang of it.

Second, because sexual feelings are relatively new, it will take a while to get use to the fact that you are always going to have some level of sexual desire. When you were a child, you had none and now you have a whole lot. As another illustration, it is like going from the dark into a bright room. It is going to take a while to adjust to the light. In an odd way, you put off getting used to the feeling being there because you kept knocking it down every time it appeared in the least way. Learning to function with it present is going to take a bit of time.

So what do you do? Pornography is not an option. I'm glad you put filters on your computer. I hope you gave the keys to the filters to someone else, such as your parents, so you won't be tempted to bypass the filters. If you haven't already, immediately trash all the pornography on your computer and in the house.

Next, figure out when the temptation gets particularly strong. Is it a certain time of day? Is it when you are bored? Is it when you are home alone? We tend to do things by habit. Just stopping the old habit isn't enough because eventually the pressure builds. "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-35). Just stopping pornography isn't enough, it is just sweeping the house clean. You need to find a good replacement.

So let's pick something that is good for you as a replacement. When you feel the urge to look at pornography, I want you to go do some activity until your are beat. For example, go for a long run or jog. First, it will get you out of the house. Second, it will get you focusing on something else. Third, it will use up some the energy that building up. The urge won't completely go away, but this will distract you for a while. Then when you get home and you still feel like you are going crazy with sexual desire, you can take care of the problem while you are showering. But hopefully, that won't happen every time. I suspect you will soon find that the distraction was enough to get you over the hump for a while.

Make a commitment right now that you are going to do this and there is going to be no pornography for one month. By setting a near term goal, it will be easier to reach. At the end of the month, set a new goal of no pornography for six weeks. In a few months you will get to the point that you will forget about setting another goal because it hasn't crossed your mind in so long. Meanwhile, you're going to get buff from all the exercise.