The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Please help me. I have had a problem of ejaculation and masturbation the last few months. I will be in bed or in the shower. I might sometimes have looked at pictures of woman, but not porn; I have never looked at porn and the once or twice that I have it was not intentional, such as pop up ads. And I will then ejaculate from touching myself. I keep on promising God I will stop, but it keeps happening. I think I am in the middle or early middle of puberty.

Please, I need help. I am very scared and get very emotional and sometimes cry when it happens or I think about it.


Answer

The need to ejaculate comes from the fact that your body produces semen in your seminal vesicles. That production varies in speed, but it is always going on. Eventually the seminal vesicles get full and the body has to ejaculate the old semen to make room for the new semen being produced.

Before you are married and have access to sex, there are two ways the body can get rid of the excess semen. One is by wet dreams and the other is by masturbation.  Technically a wet dream is involuntarily masturbating in your sleep, so they are really two forms of the same thing. Touching is involved because of the way the male body is designed. The triggers for ejaculating involve touching of the private areas of the body. The brain also gets involved by pulling up images of whatever you might have connected with sexual ideas.

When the amount of semen that the body has accumulated gets high, your sensitivity to sexual ideas rises. Given a long enough delay, instinct takes over to make sure you ejaculate some semen and relieve the pressure of the build-up.

The problem that arises is that ejaculating semen produces a moment of intense pleasure. Many boys chase after that pleasure for the feeling and not because there is a bodily need. To encourage the drive to ejaculate, they look at sexual pictures (pornography), or daydreaming about sexual situations that are inappropriate for a guy to be involved in (lust). It is this focus on sinful ideas that is wrong (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). However, it is easier to blame physical acts than the thoughts, so many people state that ejaculating or masturbating is wrong when the actual wrong is the sinful things a person might be thinking about. God never states that the physical act of ejaculating is wrong. God does say that lust and pornography are wrong because they are encouraging a person to accept sin.

I try to make the difference clear so that young men know the difference between right and wrong. To blame yourself for a bodily function that has to take place is futile. To focus on the physical act of ejaculating distracts from making sure you don't get involved in the actual sin of lust. As you noticed, promising not to ejaculate isn't going to work because it is promising to go against how your body operates. But you can continue to avoid looking at inappropriate pictures and work hard at not lusting after sinful situations.