The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I'm 16 years old. When I was 13 I began masturbating but didn't know that there was anything wrong about it. Then I started to feel guilty and came to realize that it was impure and sinful. I stopped masturbating, but ever since I stopped, which has been about two years, I have been involuntarily doing it in my sleep. I don't mean to do it, and I can't stand it, but for some reason I just can't seem to stop. I get erections a lot but would never do it while I'm awake. Could you please help me because I'm afraid that I'm not going to be normal.


Answer

You've gotten some misinformation, so let's start out with some basics.

Your body has two seminal vesicles, which are located just below and behind the bladder. These vesicles constantly produce semen and eventually they get full. As they get full, your body gets more sensitive to sexual touch. You have frequent erections. And your mind also tends to move to sexual ideas, even when you don't want it to.

The design of the male body is to get rid of older semen to make room for fresh material. To get rid of the excess, you actually have to ejaculate. Thus, a healthy male is supposed to ejaculate semen. It means your body is working as it should.

One way the body has to ejaculate the excess semen is an instinctive response that is triggered when your seminal vesicles get full. During the dream stage of sleep (also known as the REM or Rapid Eye Movement stage), your body automatically gets an erection. You have four to six erections every night, but you only notice the last one when you wake up in the morning. Since your penis and glans are sensitive because the seminal vesicles are full, your body responds by rubbing your penis and your brain supplies a dream that it filed as "erotic." Eventually you reach orgasm and ejaculate. Some men sleep so soundly that don't realize it happened until they wake up in the morning. Others are semi-wake while it is going on, but fall right back to sleep when it is over. Others come fully awake just before reaching the point of ejaculating. This automatic response is called a wet dream, nocturnal emission, or in some areas a night fall.

Almost 100% of men discover at some point how to trigger an ejaculation while awake. This manual triggering of an ejaculation is called masturbation. The feeling of pleasure that comes with orgasm and the relief of ejaculating is so intense that it is common for young men to pursue the feelings. Chasing after feelings can be dangerous since it is easy to compromise your moral standards. The design of the body is such that it is easiest to ejaculate when the seminal vesicles are full, but harder when they get close to empty. Thus, boys wanting the feeling of orgasm start using thoughts of sexual situations or looking at pornography to get themselves sexually excited so that they can orgasm even though their seminal vesicles are not full. This is where masturbation is associated with wrong, not because the masturbation itself is wrong, but because of the means boys use to get themselves sexually excited so that they can masturbate.

Nobody has to masturbate. But all guys have to ejaculate to get rid of old semen to make room for new semen. You stopped masturbating, so your body shifted to using wet dreams to handle the need to ejaculate. In other words, everything is working just as it should.

Thank you for the help and information. So is involuntarily rubbing my penis every night while I'm asleep normal? Is there a way to stop? I don't like it, nor do I want to do it. Will it effect my body in any way or is it sinful?

You don't want to stop wet dreams from happening because the seminal vesicles have to get rid of older semen. Wet dreams are a normal occurrence for healthy males. Cleaning up after wet dreams is annoying, but it is just a part of life -- just like girls have to deal with blood flows every month. At least with semen, you can up your pajamas in the wash and if semen got on the bed sheets, it can be wiped up with a damp cloth.

Because you cannot control your dreams, those are not sinful. Neither wet dreams nor masturbation are called sinful in the Bible. Only things often associated with masturbation: lustful thinking and pornography are called sinful (Matthew 5:28; I Thessalonians 4:3-5).