The Masturbation Talk for Mormon Boys and Girls

Who would have thunk it?… One of the most common searches that brings people to my blog is some variation on the words “masturbation” and “mormons.”  Seriously.  It happens almost every day and it is totally unintentional on my part. But I think I know why my blog ends up in those search results.

There’s a page under my “Rants” in the menu above that discusses masturbation from the perspective of an LDS physician.  I found it on some former Mormon forum a long time ago and have long since lost the reference to give the credit due.  I don’t even know for sure if it’s legit or just made up.  It sounds legit though.

I expect that if the following discussion offends or makes folks uncomfortable they wouldn’t have clicked here or made it this far into the post, right? So, I’m not going to tiptoe around the topic…but this won’t be a vulgar description or anything like that, just a point of view.

Since I get so many visitors looking for this, I thought it was time that I add my own two cents on the topic… you’ve got to give the people what they want! And maybe I’ll get more traffic here as a result.

I believe that the current LDS teaching on masturbation is a violation of an individual’s personal boundaries.  The LDS position is not scriptural and it’s not moral.  It’s damaging to the  young LDS boys and young LDS girls on whom the non-doctrinal teaching is imposed. It is abusive.

As a Boy

I was taught  about masturbation by my Mormon bishop at the age of 11.  He was interviewing me in his home office just prior to my 12th birthday to make sure that I was “worthy” to be ordained as a deacon in the church.  Up to that point I’d never heard the word before and I’d never done it.  So, when the bishop asked me if I masturbated and I replied that I didn’t know what that was, a VERY uncomfortable conversation ensued.

The bishop in essence taught me how to masturbate; that wasn’t his intention but that was the outcome.

At the time I was completely  at the mercy of this HUGE authority figure in my life.  Of course I didn’t question the appropriateness of this conversation because this was the Lord’s representative and could do no wrong.  And within the context of Mormonism it was an entirely appropriate event.

That’s messed up.

As a father I find it completely inappropriate for an older man to even be asking a 12 year old boy about masturbation.  Period. The Mormon church seems to be begging for a lawsuit by keeping this practice in place.

As a Dad

25 years later and my little girl, a toddler, was really enjoying her child car seat.  That strap with the latch that goes between her legs was getting a lot of attention while the family drove around town.  This really irritated my ex-wife.  She freaked out every time she saw it.  I was still a true blue believer at this point but I tried to get my ex-wife to calm down and stop bugging our little girl about it.  Finally our pediatrician came to our rescue and told my wife that toddler masturbation was completely normal and that her freaking out about it was going to cause more damage than the act itself.

The overreacting stopped…in front of me at least. Funny thing is, though, the masturbating in the car also stopped soon after.  I don’t know if it was a naturally tapering off, or if my ex-wife somehow managed to get my daughter to stop it covertly.  I’m guessing the latter.


I don’t know if we need a definition here, but I’m assuming that we can all agree what masturbation is…or can we? Is the line really that clear? A Mormon female I was once close to  told me that a certain exercise routine would “accidentally” induce orgasm for her as a teen. Well then, if you repeat that very same exercise technique… and know that the pleasure is going to follow, that’s masturbation, right? (And then I’d also assume that you’d be more understanding of your own children when similar events occur years later, ahem.)

For a boy that sort of hands-off approach doesn’t work as well, but I know from experience that a young 14, 15, 16 year old boy doesn’t need a whole lot  manual help to make it happen either.  Just washing in the shower, for example can get results.  But that only highlights how normal and natural it is.


In the Mormon world “morality” refers almost exclusively to sex. If you follow the LDS code for sexual behavior then you are living a “moral” life.  My definition of morality is more comprehensive. In brief, my moral compass guides me to evaluate my life situations based on respect and “doing no harm to others”, or the old “treat others the way you want to be treated.” In no way does masturbation do harm to yourself or to anyone else.  To the contrary, obsessing over it the way the Mormon religion does brings it to the forefront of  a young person’s life and creates a guilt and a compulsion that is harmful and immoral.

My Plea

If you are a young boy or girl reading this post, or perhaps you are a young adult preoccupied with “sinful” thoughts that do or could lead to masturbation, or maybe you are just a concerned LDS parent trying to help your “addicted” child, please know that the LDS church is wrong on this one issue.

My father once related to me  the adage, “95% of boys masturbate… and the other 5% are liars.” Unfortunately it was a dozen years too late to help me much.  I actually managed to not masturbate from my 2 year LDS mission and all the way through my 10 year marriage. With a couple of slip ups in between, which I felt incredibly guilty and worthless about, I spent an unnecessary enormous amounts of energy on the Mormon obsession over masturbation. I’m no longer proud of abstaining.  It’s like patting yourself of the back for a long run of not brushing your teeth.

Like anything, too much of a good thing can become obsessive. So, if it interferes with the person’s ability to have intimate relationships,  function productively in life, or if there are inappropriate times and places where it occurs then it can become an immoral behavior because of how it affects others.  But in and of itself there is nothing immoral or wrong about it. And those negative outcomes are anomalies of the behavior not givens or consequences.

There is an appropriate time (when alone), there is an appropriate place (in private) and the benefits for men and for women far outweigh any possible negative affects.

Trying to NOT do something  normal and natural creates an obsession that is unhealthy. Mormons think about masturbation far more than the rest of the world who just do it and get on with their lives.

UPDATE: Re-Thinking Porn; The Internet Factor

Update: Here’s another article that confirms my suspicions and another HERE

The little known benefits of masturbation

Other things I’ve posted on the topic:

Sexual Unhappiness is a Religiously Transmitted Disease

Porn for Mormons

LDS Physician – Masturbation

About dadsprimalscream

I am a divorced father of 4 children. I'm a post-Mormon. I am a gay man. This blog is my "primal scream" as watch my children faithfully indoctrinated with thought-terminating experiences and mind-lulling pressure... and how my rowboat of reason doesn't stand a chance against the religious and emotional battleship in their daily lives. How do you stand by and watch delusion take hold? Intervention seems to just push them farther into the hypnotic embrace of their mother religion.
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26 Responses to The Masturbation Talk for Mormon Boys and Girls

  1. Permaguilt says:

    Just another thing to feel guilty about!
    Funny thing, though, since I didn’t raise my son as Mormon after he hit puberty he doesn’t suffer from any of the guilt I feel about it. I opened his door one day without knocking and saw him “relaxing.” He looked at me and simply said, “now this is awkward.” I shut the door and said, “there is a reason for the lock on your door!” Other than that short exchange and a short follow-up where I said when he starts dating, condoms were to be his constant companion, we said no more about it. Done. Conversation over. He seems pretty healthy.

  2. The men are from mars book suggests avoiding the practice, as well, FWIW.

    • First of all, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Come back often.

      Secondly, I have to admit that I have not read the book, but Google has allowed me to research the author, John Gray, and the book. The conclusion I come to with that admittedly limited knowledge is that my point of view and Gray’s are completely compatible. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

      “If you do not have a sexual partner and you want to be more in touch with your male side, then practice self-control and do not masturbate. This suggestion is not moral advice. Masturbation is innocent…A moderate amount of stimulation is, of course, fine.”

      This advice from Gray is miles and miles from the draconian and moralistic condemnation dished out by the LDS faith as “self abuse” is considered part of “fornication” which is the “sin next to murder.” I also conceded in my post that there were times that anything can be overdone and masturbation is included. Personally, I think his assumption that masturbation is feminine is baseless and a bit crackpot but it was certainly more of a recommendation than a commandment.

      Lastly, using pop culture books such as this to confirm or even to dismiss LDS teachings isn’t something that I would recommend. There is instead actual peer-reviewed research and scientific evidence that confirms what I wrote in the post above. By contrast, LDS teachings on this and other topics are based on archaic Victorian morals… or in other words the pop culture of another time. I think our youth deserve better.

      • steve says:

        Im a Mormon but i fully agree with this. The Church’s teaching on sex are from Cultureal teachings of the Church leaders Upbringing. Not from Revilation. I would Say that to the prophets face. My kids will not be tought that sexul thoughts are roung. Just have good judgment. They should also be tought about protection in case they make a choice not to wait befor marrige. I mean they are kids they will not always do what i would prefer.

      • Thanks for stopping by and providing your input. It’s nice to know there are folks like yourself who can think for themselves and put their children’s safety and protection first.

        Very admirable.

  3. Pingback: Porn for Mormons | Dad's Primal Scream Blog

  4. Michael says:

    You described EXACTLY how I have felt these past few years. A lot (let’s be honest here: All) of what you have said seems quite reasonable, and makes a lot of sense. I had thought I was committing a horrible, horrible act, and at one point, I went through bouts of depression over it, in large part causing me to become inactive for several years. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone.

  5. Marty Nemko says:

    Religion is truly ridiculous. Any prohibitions against consensual sex, let alone masturbation are absurd. In any event, how can any reasonable person place faith in a God who would allow BILLIONS of innocent people, including INFANTS to die of earthquakes and, screaming in agony as they die of diseases such as cancer, then leaving bereft families. And then the absurd dysfunctionality of New Testament rules: no pride, no willfulness, turn the other cheek, the meek shall inherit the earth, submit to God, God will provide. People who live those precepts are doomed the failure. Remember, the phrase “God helps those who helps themselves” is NOT in the Bible. It’s an aphorism created by the agnostic Benjamin Franklin.” Wake up or your religion will bury you.

  6. Nikole Kelly says:

    Immorality is adultery and is a sin. I know this and I’m 15. You all think i should have masturbated by now? Nope. It’s not good, I know this because your taking away pleasure that should be given to you by your spouse. Why do you think that sex before marriage can be permitted and masturbation is natural and because it’s natural it’s okay? Sex and masturbation, and all that jazz needs to be saved for marriage (personally I don’t think masturbation is okay, because it’s just weird and disgusting-touching and rubbing your genitals? Gross) . Why, because sex is the only way to create children-the only God like power we have as people on this earth. Bishops and leaders should ask about your morality when getting an interview for a temple recommend or receiving because it says clearly in Matt 6:27-28 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” To commit adultery in your heart is thinking about someone, or fantasizing, or in this case masturbation. Since that is a law and we should obey God’s law, we should not allow masturbation and immoral thoughts. I am so disappointed of the Mormon parents that allow this, parents who say “just wear a condom”, or let them think immoral thoughts. All this is natural, i know it is. But why are we here? To be tested. We’re tested on giving into the natural man and the soul’s passions, and if we do allow this, were failing. We’re failing as parents, as the youth, and as people. And yes I am only 15.

    • Dear, Dear Nikole

      Believe me, no one who reads this will need you to tell them it was written by a 15 year old. As a father of a 15 year old, I just wanted to give you a big hug and sit down with you and have a conversation about your body unlike any you’ve had with your parents. You see, a person who truly feels at home and blessed with her own body would never use the word “disgusting” regarding touching any part of her “temple”. That’s right. If your body is a temple ALL of it is special. I hope one day you’ll feel that about your own body. I also hope you’ll learn the difference between something being natural or without shame and being necessary. I never said you or anyone else “should” masturbate. I DID say that a person who does is normal, natural and most certainly not sinning. There’s absolutely no biblical or moral foundation for the Mormon church’s fanaticism about it. Just a few rogue apostles like to talk about it a lot.

      Lastly, I also hope that one day you will learn that some things are not scarce or in limited supply. Giving one person love, for example, does not dip into a limited supply leaving you with less for someone else. A parent with 4 kids isn’t less able to give each one all his love than a parent with only two. In the same way, masturbation in no way diminishes your ability to share your body in love with your husband in the future. It’s not “taking away” anything add you suggested. In fact one major martial problem for women who were once girls like you, is the fact that they don’t know anything about their own bodies. Masturbation can help you learn about your body which you will one day learn will be a significant gift for your future husband. Thanks for this note. It has encouraged me to have a talk with my daughters in the hopes that they are never disgusted by their bodies like this and not overly brainwashed by the fanatic wing of mormonism. All the best to you

    • Nikole, you’re breaking my heart. Truly. It is absolutely tragic that you have already been indoctrinated with the self-hatred and sexual dysfunction so common in Mormon women. I know you–because I was you. And, thirty years later, I am still trying to find a healthy way out of the dogma I embraced at 15. And 20. And 30. I know I can’t say anything to make you see how terribly lost you are–it is a realization only you can come to on your own. I just desperately, desperately hope you allow yourself to think for yourself and listen to the voice inside of you (which has already been all but silenced) which tells you what is truly real for you–and not just take the words of others (who are not agenda free) as your guidance. I’m so sorry this has happened to you. So sorry.

  7. Gordy says:

    Religion is dangerous, in many aspects. It can seem te completely neutralise common sense. Is there’s a heaven, where is it? If there’s a God, why doesn’t he show himself, like he did in the Bible? If we are created after his image, does he masturbate too? Why do psychopaths exist? Or homosexuals? If the earth is only six thousand years or so old, why do fossils show up that are millons of years old, as prooved by chemical processes and geographical resaerch?

  8. rami says:

    hi i recently became a morman with my husband i asked the missionary if it was sinful they said yes its against the law of Chasity i have been struggling with that before i got married i had a horrible porn addiction once my husband and i got married i overcame that addiction of 2 years i recently found have cancer and i should not have children or i will die my husband and i agree to later adopt much later for i am only 21 anyways i take the depo shot birth control witch make it extremely hard for to have sex with my husband for lack of wetness and just pure pain im sure its a cross between the chemo the depression the stress and the depo the only way for us to have sex is for me to “go” first with his help or my do the deed earlier in the day. when we do this it is enjoyable and not painful my husband sometimes does the deed when i am to tired to do so and he has never had adultery thoughts he has always been faithful i know he will stay that as will i. how can masturbation be wrong if it benefits me and my husband in so many ways it helps with stress and depression yes even fisicul pain witch i get a lot of the reason i had to porn addiction was because i was sexually abuse as a child something that could of been avoided all through my addiction i hated my self so much and rutinly thoughts of suicide but my husband saved me from that a understanding even though i was his fist for everything and he has never looked at porn. im thankful that god allows my husband and i to be close even though most religious fanatics would im only sapost to do stuff to make babys well i cant not just for the pain but i would die and i rather not die sorry for bad spelling and grammar i cant use my hands well from nuropithy from leukemia

    • By all reasonable accounts I think you have every reason to ignore the LDS masturbation rule. Your story illustrates exactly how naive and juvenile it is on its face. I’m glad you and your husband have found ways both satisfy yourselves and each other. My heart goes out to you and I send positive thoughts for your full recovery and for a happy future with children when the time comes.

  9. Francois Morin says:

    I attempted suicide because of the psychosexual shaming teachings of the So Called Church. See my story at :

  10. Marco P. from Germany says:

    I spent an exchange year at a high school in Los Angeles. Back home in Hamburg, Germany, I today met a couple of obvious young Mormon boys in the subway: They had the typical outfit with no Jeans (very strange for teens in Germany!), white shirts, really nice ties, and their black “Elder so-and-so” name tags at their shirt pockets. I took a seat opposite to them and just asked smiling: “So, you guys are two missionaries my age. Now tell me how to manage not to masturbate all day long please!” Although we were in a very public place of the subway with some fellow older Germans around, no one of them showed any reaction since they probably didn’t understand enough English. That’s why were in private in fact. A weird situation for all, okay, but the guys could have started a discussion with me without being ashamed. Instead, they were overwhelmed meeting someone in Germany talking English to them on that specific topic – and as everyone knows, we Germans are blunt and don’t bet around the bush… ;-) All what happend was that the two guys went crimson red right away, said literally nothing at all, and left the car the next stop at Landungsbrücken and vanished. This might sound very funny in your ears now but I was disappointed since I really wanted an answer (although I’m a Roman-Catholic but go to church and believe in God and everything.) On the other hand, this topic must be a very sensiive if they just leave… Well, next time I meet missionaries, I will give it all a second try. Oh, and that encounter was the reason to google “masturbation” and “LDS”, and that’s how I came to your blog! Thanks and regards from Hamburg, Marco (19).

    • Marco,

      Thanks for your comment! That is a funny interaction with the missionaries and their reaction definitely rings true to form for Mormon missionaries. Mormons are rather childish about sexual topics. There’s an incredible amount of unhealthy shame dumped on young boys (and girls) and it succeeds in two ways.

      First, those who do masturbate feel enormous guilt and then either lie about it or become perpetual confessors. There is a significant population of missionaries in this category. These two missionaries you encountered probably do it, but they hide it and definitely can’t talk about it with each other, much less a stranger on a train!

      Second, there really are those who refrain. I did on my mission. As you are aware, this is also incredibly unhealthy and more psychologically damaging than those who just go ahead and do it. And even these stoic ones probably do it every so often…maybe as little as a couple of times a year. Thet therefore volunteer themselves for the carousel of doing it, feeling guilty, confessing, feeling like they can and will always abstain, and then eventually indulging.

      It’s one of the worst aspects of Mormonism in my opinion. And it is obviously a topic of interest and concern for many. This post is one of the most visited of everything I’ve ever written.

      I can’t wait to hear of your next encounter with Mormon missionaries in Germany!

  11. Dean says:

    I’m in Australia. It’s hardly just the Mormon church that has wrecked so many lives with masturbation guilt. It’s also all the evangelical churches, pentecostal churches, & catholicism. What sort of god would ever have allowed this to get started, let alone continue for centuries?

  12. Mark says:

    I am LDS and plan to serve an LDS mission and recently my (downstairs) has been feeling very weird and the only way to relieve the pain is to just rub it until it goes off. I feel SO guilty though! I don’t want to masturbate because it’s been screwed into our heads in almost every priesthood talk but I dont think that I can fight that feeling. I feel so disgusting when I get the feelin down there and I try so hard to fight it, but it literally won’t go away unless I finish it. So am I going to go to Hell because my body is doing what’s natural?!

    • Hopefully you read and understood the entire blog post. Don’t forget to read this as well:

      Just know you are a normal, healthy young man…definitely not going to hell. You have a few choices…1. Stop it and suffer the physical and psychological consequences. 2. Do it but not tell anyone because it’s a personal, private matter between you and NOBODY ELSE. 3. Do it and confess every so often and become increasing labelled as being weak and struggling.

      I promise you that all you missionary colleagues will fall into one of these categories. I believe if you must be a missionary #2 is the best option. Those who select #1 are most likely actually #3′s desperately trying to become #1′s and it just never really sticks. There are very few #1′s and even then only in the short term. Why put yourself through that torment?

      I wish only the best for you.

      • 👌 says:

        Ha and he calls himself a mormon😆😆😆😆😆
        God picks his leaders and they have said it is bad
        You guys are so foolish

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