Am I allowed any kind of sexual outlet whatsoever?

I am a 24 year old male and have just recently started practicing celibacy due to learning more about my religion. I have a girlfriend, and we used to be sexually active (without intercourse) until I found out that what we were doing was a sin, and was overwhelmed with guilt. Now, I have learned that masturbating, and even thinking sexual thoughts are sins, and it is frustrating because of all of the sexual tension building up inside of me, needing to be released. Am I allowed any kind of sexual outlet whatsoever? If so, I would appreciate finding out what is acceptable. My girlfriend and I dont plan on getting married for a while, so I need to know how to keep my libido under control until then. Thank you for your help.


Wonderful that you have taken up the challenge of chastity. No one said it would be easy, especially Jesus. "If you wish to follow me, take up your cross each day..." I can only assure you that it will pay one hundred fold in the long run - a beautiful love and a beautiful marriage.

About sexual tension building up, needing to be released: You have to ask yourself first whether you are a steam engine or a human being. I know that a lot of the time, it seems like we are mere machines, but in our better moments all of us recognize we are something much more. We can steer away from those circumstances which trigger the wrong kind of sexual response. Repentance involves the resolution to "sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin." Do you know I mean? I think you do.

I would encourage you to plan activities with your girlfriend where you can develop real friendship. In the Bible the male-female relationship of greatest affection is not husband-wife, but brother-sister. Solomon referred to his beloved as "my sister." If you develop those expressions of tenderness that are appropriate to a brother and sister, you will have a very strong basis for the sacrament of marriage. This of course is harder for you since you have been "sexually active" (thankfully without full intercourse). But it is possible.

I hope this is of some help. My prayers - and of course daily prayer (especially before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament) is the key for you and your girl friend. God bless,

Fr. Bloom


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