The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I am a 16 year old boy who has recently stumbled upon your site while looking for answers to questions about sexuality in my faith (Roman Catholic). It has helped a lot! For years now I have battled with masturbation. I would go roughly a week without doing it then give in and repeat that cycle over and over again. After reading some of your answers to questions that were very, very similar to mine, I have been going strong for a good while now and I have the Lord and you to thank for it! However, there are a couple of questions that I need clearing up that were covered by you, but had me thinking a step further so to speak. Some of these are things that may make you go "Well, that's a bit odd," but they're things that will hang on my mind from time to time and can't find answers for anywhere else. I will just list them and you may answer them in any format you see fit.

  1. Are different sexual positions with your spouse a bad thing? Back in my masturbation days (again thank you so much!) I use to watch porn every time I did it. Having done that, I got acquainted with a lot of different sexual positions. Sex is often thought of as 'the missionary position' (where simply the girl is on the bottom and the guy is on the top) whenever the church talks about the rights and wrongs of it. Never has anyone stated (nor do I believe anyone will!) if different sexual positions are a sin even though both people are married.
  2. Are fetishes wrong or sinful if you do them with your spouse? This kind of follows the same thought process as Question Number 1. Are fetishes or certain abnormal things that may turn a person on sexually bad if done in wedlock?
  3. Is being naked, alone, a sin if you get an erection from it? I read something super similar to this on your site, but the question wasn't put into my words. Sometimes I will lay naked and not masturbate and get an erection from it and kind of get this sexual crave from it. Is this a sin? To be naked and enjoy it but enjoy because of the sexual feelings it brings me?
  4. If I look at an attractive girl, maybe a girl in a bikini on the beach, and think dirty thoughts about her is it a sin? I am well aware that this falls under lust and that lust is a sin but as a 16 year old boy this happens very, very often. Just last week I was on vacation in Florida where there were many girls in bikinis, and I often caught myself getting erections from them and imagining them naked or in sexual situations with me. God made teenaged boys hormonal, I know, but is it a serious sin if I do this?
  5. Is looking at a girl's butt and admiring it sexually a sin?

Again thank you for what you have done for me and for taking time to read these questions and find answers for them! The Lord has blessed you with being able to save and help young men who need help finding questions they can't seem to find answers to! God Bless!


Answer

None of your questions are "odd." They are perfectly reasonable questions.

While masturbating itself is not wrong, using pornography or lustful thoughts to get yourself into a sexual state is wrong. "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" (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NKJV)" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). "Passion of lust" refers to things that are passionate (sexual) that are designed to stir up passion -- in other words, pornography.

When you are married, sex can take place in any position that you and your wife find comfortable. Typically the position where the man is on top is easier for a couple who never had sex before. There are things that need to be kept in mind even in this easier position, but that is probably a discussion better reserved for when you are close to your wedding day. Overall, it isn't the positions used in sex that make it right or wrong -- it is whether the couple is married to each other or not. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).

The proper definition of a fetish is: "An inanimate object believed to have magical power, either from a will of its own or from a god that has transformed the object into an instrument of its desires." From this comes our modern definition. People once visited people who practiced witchcraft to gain a charm to cause another to fall in love. Today, anything, "such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification" is called a fetish. So while you won't find "fetish" in the Bible, the Bible does talk about what is behind a fetish.

The idea that an inanimate object having power over a person's desire is a part of what the Bible refers to as witchcraft. Witchcraft is strictly condemned by God in passages such as Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Included are terms such as witchcraft (to obscure the sight, to act covertly), sorcery (to cast a spell or enchant), and cast a spell (to fascinate or charm). The use of charms is very close to the idea of a fetish. The modern person doesn't view fetishes as witchcraft, but at its roots, there is no difference. You don't treat objects as if they have control over you.

Pleasure, in isolation from anything else, is neither good or bad. You can get pleasure from good things, such as having sex with your wife: "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19). Pleasure can be bad if that same sex is done with someone to whom you are not married. "For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?" (Proverbs 5:20). Therefore, you can measure the right or wrongness of something merely by whether it is pleasurable or not.

Being naked when you are alone is not wrong. Having erections is not wrong. However, if you spend your time imagining yourself committing fornication, then that becomes the sin of lust. "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). Lust is more than just wanting to have sex or experiencing a passing temptation to have sex with a girl. Lust is when you start playing out the situations in mind and justifying it. It isn't proper to have sex with girls you are married to, so that would be a sin. Imagining a girl naked isn't correct either. Nakedness is supposed to be something people should find embarrassing.

Yes, your hormones a raging. Yes, you get erections constantly at the slightest provocation. But your body's desires are not justifications for sin. In fact, it is Satan who uses your natural desires against you to get you to sin. You get so focused on what you want, you stop thinking about whether it is right to want it.