Where Does Religion Stand on Masturbation?

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The role of religion in people’s lives reflects much of how they view the outside world. When it comes to sexuality religion plays a huge role. Masturbation is a very common thing and yet in some faiths it is considered to be wrong. A sin even.

It’s curious to see the views of different religions on the subject of sexual self pleasure.

While this is simply my opinion I am sure that many would never think about touching themselves as a religious experience but the way they believe may reflect on how they do indeed touch themselves.

Information on the different beliefs came from the Moral Compass.

Roman Catholic

Touching yourself is a sin and to be condemned according to the Roman Catholic faith. The church believes in original sin and this falls into that scope.

‘Masturbation is considered ‘an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.’ But moral responsibility should be judged in terms of one’s ‘immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, and other psychological and social factors.’

Catechism of the Catholic Church


There is no stand in either direction here.

‘Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother.’

Genesis 38:9


While not condemned by the Rabbis playing with your own juice box isn’t exactly what they think is a good thing. It’s to be discouraged but if you do it don’t worry, it’s not a sin or even harmful.


Playing solo happy time is a big no no in the Mormon faith.

This power of creation affects your life several years before you should express if fully. You must always guard the power with many wisdom. You must wait until the time of your marriage to use it. During that waiting, what do you do with these desires? My boy, you are to control them. You are forbidden to use them now in order that you may use them with worthiness and virtue and fullness of joy at the proper time in life.’

Boyd K. Packer


Playing your own flute is discouraged. Although it’s not a crime nor a sin.

‘There is no basis of prohibiting it (masturbation) therefore it is allowed, except that I do not approve of it because it cannot be termed as good behavior.’

Ibn Hazam, 994-1064
Muslim theologian


The sect has no position on hanging with Rosie Palm and her five sisters.

I have to admit I was surprised by this.


Another sect who doesn’t care if you like spanking it.

‘Onan, though he consented to marry the widow, yet to the great abuse of his own body, of the wife he had married and the memory of his brother that was gone, refused to raise up seed unto the brother. Those sins that dishonour the body are very displeasing to God, and the evidence of vile affections. Observe, the thing which he did displeased the Lord – And it is to be feared, thousands, especially single persons, by this very thing, still displease the Lord, and destroy their own souls.’

John Wesley, (1703-1791)


The Buddhist don’t say one way or another about the goodness of making yourself have toe curls.


Finally a faith that says get it on!

Masturbation is normal and healthy.

Church spokesperson Janet Hayes

So in the scheme of things where do you stand? Do you follow your belief system or cross the line when no one is looking?


6 responses to “Where Does Religion Stand on Masturbation?

  • Religion and masturbating - Page 2

    […] There is some debate about whether or not Christianity/Judaism allow it. ‘Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother.’ Genesis 38:9 Now whether or not this means he masturbated, or he "pulled out" is the subject of debate. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (rule book of the catholics) states.‘Masturbation is considered ‘an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.’ But moral responsibility should be judged in terms of one’s ‘immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, and other psychological and social factors.’ Where Does Religion Stand on Masturbation? Moments In Time […]

  • tyrone0ferrara

    Dear Friend,

    I’m a Christian (not ascribing to any particular denomination) and I believe masturbation is a sin.

    In Genesis 38:9 it was the wasted ejaculation that upset God, for Onan reserved the right to refuse to have a child with Tamar (Deuteronomy 25:7). Although Onan did not masturbate, masturbation ends with the same result – a wasted ejaculation. Jesus says “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

  • deansardophd

    It’s time to shed light on this topic! The story of Onan, the biblical story most associated with masturbation, truly has nothing to do with masturbation or the practice of “pulling out.” Briefly, Onan had a brother who died. Judah, their father, directed Onan to provide an heir for his brother. In order to do that, Onan had to have sexual relations with his brother’s wife (known as levirate marriage). Onan did not want to impregnate his brother’s wife, so he “spilled his seed on the ground” every time he slept with her. God was displeased with Onan and Onan died a premature death as God had warned. (This reading is also where some religions derive their stances against birth control.)
    The story of Onan is about obeying the rules of levirate marriage. All Onan had to do was provide a child to his brother’s wife. Onan could have masturbated every day if he had wanted and still had sexual relations with his brother’s wife to impregnate her. The moral of the story is that Onan never tried. He enjoyed all the pleasure of sleeping with her, but he purposefully disregarded his duty under levirate marriage and that is why what he did was wrong. It’s sad that people relate the story of Onan to sexual practices when the story of Onan is truly about obeying a duty. I ask this: “What if Onan found it disrespectful to have sex with his brother’s wife, but still wanting to obey the rules of levirate marriage, masturbated to the point of climax and ejaculated into his brother’s wife to impregnate her?” (A kind of artificial insemination, if you will). He would have completely fulfilled his duty under levirate marriage and masturbation would have played a very positive role in the story. This is precisely why religion has nothing to do with masturbation. Masturbation has been unjustly villified when it could have just as easily been celebrated.
    The improper and irresponsible translation of the story of Onan should be disregarded and masturbation should be accepted for what it actually is: healthy, natural and good.
    Thank you.

  • bfran80

    I grew up catholic and I go to church, but I do not agree with their religious teachings about sex. I think masturbation is fine. I do not think God really cares if you spank the monkey or not. God cares more if you are a good person who cares about other people. When I went to college the priest at the catholic church there had sunday chats (that is what he called it) just for college kids. I went to the sunday chat about once or twice a month. Somebody always brought up sex during the chat because that is what college kids think about all the time. He talked about masturbation and he said the Bible is silent on the topic. He said it was not a big enough deal for God to mention it in the Bible, so he saw no problem with it. Everyone let out a sigh of relief when he said that – lol.

  • bfran80

    P.S. anybody know where a Unitarian church is in Philadelphia? I think I’d like to switch. From what this article says, the unitarians got it figured out!

  • hvacy

    Ya, the Unitarians have it right, even though I never heard of Unitarians until I read this. I don’t think it’s a big deal either way. So what if you do, so what if you don’t. People have the right to do what they want with their private time and as far as the religion stuff goes, God doesn’t care one way or the other. I believe its a good practice and its safe.

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