Is masturbation considered a sin?

Last updated on July 24, 2020



I have a problem with sexual sin — masturbation, and sometimes I will go as far as talking to guys my age about it just to get pleasure. I’m so scared that’s someone will find out and it will ruin my life. I’m also scared that something will happen, I will die and not make it to heaven.

Please help me. Thank you.


Is it masturbation that is the problem or pornography? Too often people blame the physical actions when the real problem is filling your mind with sinful ideas. “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” (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).

I would like to give you more specific advice, but your note was a bit vague. Scared of someone finding out that you look at pornography or that you masturbate or is it something else?


I really appreciate your response! You really help.

I don’t have problem with pornography. It’s just masturbation. Is masturbation considered a sin?


Masturbation, by itself, is not a sin. It is alluded to in several passages in the Old Testament, though not directly named. In all those, the spilled semen was considered unclean, just as woman’s monthly blood flow was considered unclean. There were rules for cleaning up,  but it was never called sinful. See:

Every reference says about 95% of all males masturbate at some point in their lives. Dr. James Dobson once commented that he thought the other 5% weren’t being honest. So being scared that someone might find out is similar to saying someone might find out you use the toilet. It is just one of those things we don’t talk about, though we know everyone does it.

Women tend to not understand it, but that is because their bodies don’t produce semen that needs to be ejaculated once in a while. You will also find some religions teaching against it, but it isn’t based on Scripture, and I find it shameful to make boys think they are sinning because they are taking care of a bodily need.

The biggest danger in regards to masturbation is that it is very easy to use it for the pleasure or entertainment it gives. Sure, having an orgasm feels really good, but when you pursue pleasure for pleasure sake, you leave yourself wide open for temptation. Enjoy it, but limited to using it because you have a need to relieve yourself.

If you have more questions, whether on this or anything else, just write.


Thank you! That helped a ton!