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Chris wrote:

Hi, guys —

If one:

  1. has high libido in their body, caused by their biological makeup
  2. has a higher sex drive, and
  3. struggles more with sexual thoughts and masturbation

would this lessen the culpability of mortal sin?



  { Does ones libido, biological makeup, or sex drive lessen the culpability of mortal sin in this area? }

Eric replied:

Chris —

Anything that inhibits your ability to make free choices will reduce your culpability.

A trusted priest once told me that in seminary they are taught that anything that happens in the heat of passion is automatically excluded as a mortal sin (a mortal sin, mind you) because there was a lack of full consent.

This is not an excuse for not fighting the good fight. Most young men have a tough time with masturbation. By manfully persevering and exerting increasing levels of self-control, they are able, in time, to gain dominion over their bodies rather than being led about and made a spectacle by them.

Your thinking should not be my libido made me do it or my libido excuses me from Christian morality, not that you expressed this. Rather, considering your libido should cause you to have mercy on yourself when you are tempted to condemn yourself, and should allow you to evade despair and discouragement. There are two errors to avoid:

  1. One is to excuse yourself, concluding that it is too hard to obey, and the other
  2. is to condemn yourself, and fall into despair.

Confession is a marvelously powerful tool for overcoming masturbation. Yes, I know it's hard.
Yes, it's embarrassing.

  • Go to another parish. or
  • go to Confession anonymously, if you wish, or
  • just find a priest and stick with him; once he knows your secret (which isn't really a secret to him anyway) then there is much less embarrassment.

Remember, the good solider is not the one who never falls, but the one who gets up and fights again after he falls.

Another thing to remember is that the true man is the one who exerts self-control over his passions. Any yahoo can give in to his libido and masturbate. Invalid mentally disabled men have been known to do it. It takes a real man to gain mastery over his body — and he'll be in a much better position to please his wife when he gets married.

Without Christ you can do nothing. Keep this in mind and totally rely on His grace. Often God allows these struggles to teach us this or other lessons.

I've written some other lengthier replies on this topic so if you do a search for masturbation in our search engine you may find it.


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