My 7th Grade Teacher Made Me Afraid To Masturbate

Up until I was about 12-years-old, I was terrified to masturbate. And to have sex. And to have oral sex. And even to just touch a guy on a body part that wasn’t usually visible. It wasn’t because I was worried about doing something wrong or getting hurt or embarrassing myself. No, it was because I was scared that I was going to get damned to hell by God and Jesus themselves, because that’s what my 7th grade teacher told me.

Let me explain: Up until high school began, I was a Catholic school kid. I wore a uniform to school every day, had nuns as teachers, got detention if I chewed gum and took a daily religion class, where I learned all about Catholicism. In sixth grade, we got The Talk. My class was split until a girl group and a boy group and hearded into the auditorium, where they showed us “naked” pictures of girls and boys and explained how sex and the reproductive system worked.

After drilling it into our heads that sex was something only married couples did only when they wanted to have babies, our teachers warned us never to have premarital sex unless we wanted to go to hell and have God hate us. After our school Talk, my teacher encouraged our parents to have The Talk at home too, so that my school didn’t have to deal with it (I’m guessing). When my parents approached me, I cried hysterically the entire time and then locked myself in my room to pray because I didn’t want to go to hell.

In 7th grade, my teacher, an extremely strict and old nun, talked to us more about sexuality. She loved to scream to get her point across and obviously I was so scared of her I couldn’t look her in the eye. On the day she told us about masturbation, she slammed her religion textbook shut and stood in front of us angrily. According to her, masturbation was a sin that was not to be tolerated. She told us that masturbation was basically a one-way ticket to purgatory, where we would have to sit and make our sins right before we could enter heaven. Purgatory was not good, she said. She said that if we failed to right our sins, we would end up stuck in purgatory forever, or we would end up in hell. Then she yelled at us a lot about why we should never consider masturbating or having sex, unless we wanted God to look down on us in anger.

I really did not want to end up in door number 1 | Source: ShutterStock

I was terrified. The boys in my class who were already chock full of hormones were shaking a little bit (except for the rebels – they were like, whatever man). I couldn’t help but wonder how God would know we were masturbating. Was he watching all of us? How did he do it? Did he make a a list of all the times that we had touched ourselves? If I went to purgatory, would I ever end up in heaven? My teacher had succeeded in freaking me the heck out.

For a little while, I was scared of anything sexual because I really didn’t want to go to hell. But then I switched over to public school for high school, and things started to change. In health class, I learned more about masturbation and sex, facts that I had never once heard in Catholic school. I heard my peers talk about that kind of stuff like it was no big deal. No one ever said that doing it was a sin – in fact, all everyone seemed to talk about was how great it was. I thought, if everyone is doing it, then does that mean everyone is going to purgatory? I decided that that wasn’t possible.

Once, I let someone in on my fears. I admitted to my first boyfriend that masturbation kind of freaked me out. After he practically died of shock, he sputtered out, “but why?!” I told him that I didn’t want to go to hell and all of that good stuff. At first, I thought he was going to laugh, but instead he just gave me a really weird look and asked me why I would think that. When I told him what my old school taught me, he shook his head and said, “Dude, that is so wrong.” 

After a while, I stopped being so afraid. I learned that while Catholicism is against masturbation, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. Now, I have nothing against people who stick strictly to Catholicism. That’s your belief and your choice and I’m not going to judge you for it. But here’s the thing: I don’t think masturbation is wrong. What do I think is wrong? The fact that my school scared the crap out of a bunch of innocent young teens who were trying to figure out all of this sexual stuff on their own. Making yourself feel good is healthy, normal and completely acceptable. I still call myself a Catholic, but I have to say I’m glad I stopped going to Catholic school and stopped being afraid of everything that had to do with sex.

Can you relate to this story? Does your religion tell you that masturbating and sex is wrong? Do you think that’s true? Tell me in the comments.


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  • Karen

    I went to a Catholic School too but they didn’t scared the hell out of us that way. They presented the facts in a very medical fashion and rather interested the girls in the cuteness of pregnancy (when you are married). I think that Catholicism has a bunch of flaws about their sex opinions and standars.

    I really wish they would stop spreading the “you had sex? you are going straight to hell” policy. C’mon, it’s not reallistic to ban masturbation, condoms, the pill, or any other “unnatural” birth control. It’s part of human nature to have a sex drive because that’s what keeps us alive as a specie.

  • aqua

    Your logic is severely flawed: “Making yourself feel good is healthy, normal and completely acceptable.”
    I sincerely hope that the people who read this are not psychopaths who kill for pleasure.
    And technically, it IS possible that everyone who m’ed went to purgatory. You never know.
    Then again, I’m pretty sure some saints actually committed the act, so I really have nothing much to say.

    • Jessica Booth

      When I say “making yourself feel good”, I’m referring to masturbation… it’s not mean to be taken as a general statement that means “whatever makes you feel good”. Here, “making yourself feel good” is just another way of saying masturbating, which is the only thing this post was about.

  • Ariana

    haha. i am a baptist christian and currently i am living ith my sister Alexis. we both masturbate together. sometimes i just go in her room, sit on her bed and be like “i am having one of those moments, Lex.” she just nods and either A) goes back to whatever she was doing or B) she does it with me. i see nothing wrong with it. It’s a way to release stress.
    So, its cool do masturbate. i am not sure about that catholic stuff, but there is nothing wrong with it. there is ONE Bible, and it says nothing about masturbation, but it does speak against premarital sex. But masturbation is okay.

    • lala

      Masturbation is of the “flesh”. It’s called self-gratification. God created us sexual beings to share with our opposite sex. Being in the flesh is a sin and sins lead to death. The Bible does not specifically talk about “masturbation”, but it is included within the sexual immorality. The more you masturbate, the more sins you will open up.

      Use your head! The Bible does say that masturbation is a sin! Why? Wanting/self-gratification are selfish.

      “Ultimately I think that it is much better to resist the temptation to masturbate as you have been, asking God to help you day by day.”

  • Tiffany

    Seriously you will not go to hell for masturbating this is a old wise tale

  • baba28

    do it, tape yourself, and show the nun

  • Monica

    Hi… i am in 10th standard.. my boyfriend tired to sex with me but i refused him as i can make me happy by masturbation..
    in my thinking because of this i saved my virginity. so its not bad

  • Breezy Bree

    Great article, I really enjoyed it. I was really confused, still am sometimes, on the subject regarding sexual acts whether it’s wrong or right. Masturbation I’ve never read directly in the bible. Perhaps, as my Christian friend told me, it’s perceived as wrong because it’s lustful? And God to hate you if you do? He hates the sin, not the person..
    Either way, as a high schooler, and probably to the discontent of God, I have m’ed (and participated in other comparable acts) . Sometimes I feel guilty afterwards, I’ve grown up going to church my grandma who I love very much is a pastor.. Dang you WHOREmones! But like you said, it is normal. I even ask the people around me sometimes about it and whether religious or not, being a teenager gets the best out of (most! of) them. Oh God, please don’t damn us all >_<

  • No Name

    You can say it’s wrong…you can say it’s right. It all comes down to your beliefs. If you are Catholic, maybe it’s not right for you. If you are an atheist, you will likely think it’s fine. But…you can’t define what’s right or wrong based on what makes you feel good.

    The quote “making yourself feel good is healthy, normal, and completely acceptable” scares me. I can already see the world changing with people who are trying to “make themselves feel good”. To me, that’s not what life is about, and it’s a dangerous way to live. I’ll tell you right now that loving people isn’t always easy…I don’t *enjoy* recycling, and I hate eating well. But, these things are good for me and the people around me.

    I think that there are arguments in favour that do make sense…but probably just as many arguments that make sense that say it’s damaging. Basically, if you feel guilty, and it feels wrong…maybe it is wrong for you. No one should convince someone that something they feel is wrong, isn’t. Cause what if you’re wrong?

    • No Name

      That’s supposed to say what if they are wrong.

  • Mimi

    im in a catholic school. and theres this thing called youcat thats like a bible for teens. there it says masturbation is not a huge thing just that u must respect yourself and the others. i dont think catholics should make such a big deal of it but im one and i do know many others that share my point of view. also i dont see God like that, God is someone whos understandable so He wouldnt make such a big deal of it. And take by exemple madeleine story in bible. God forgived her.

  • Grace

    I am currently in Catholic grade school but when we had “The Talk” in 5th grade, they just talked about the period, not sex. After we were finished with our talk, my friend came back from the bathroom and overheard the nurse talking, so she came in, saying, “Guys! They were talking about sexual interaction in there!” I first thought, “Um…we’re in fifth grade, we’re not going to hook up with anyone just yet.” I was the only girl in my grade that got her period already, so they asked me a bunch of questions about it so we didn’t get off topic. We more started talking about sexual things in this year, in 6th grade, but we never talked about having sex. I have to admit, I thought marriage of a man and woman was holy, and that having kids was also. But in you’re case, I feel very bad for you.

  • Tara

    I feel like I was on the other end of this story! My first boyfriend went to Catholic school, so I felt like I had to reteach him EVERYTHING that he learned in “sex ed” (religion) class. They told him that the pill would kill you (emphasized the blood clots and not the from smoking part) and said that they were too stupid to use condoms effectively. Yeah, I don’t think he got over some of their lessons, so good luck to you!

  • LesaLove

    LOL. WOW!

  • Alexandria

    I can relate to this because I was also in a Catholic school. My 8th grade teacher (I am currently in 10th grade) told me exactly the same thing. Since I was very open minded and started to have my doubts whether or not should I believe the BS coming from religion, I confronted her head on about sexuality. We started to argue and then she started to say how God will hate us if with did this and guess what? I told her she was being an ignorant and stupid nun because the Bible specifically said God forgives those who want to be forgiven and the she, in fact, was the one going to hell for feeding children LIES!
    After that, I went to have a talk with the church’s priest only to end in an argument with him. Two months later I was out and moved to the US. I am currently attending a Christian church because they have the real message God wants us to understand.
    (For some time I was actually thinking of becoming an atheist but that didn’t work)

  • Destiny

    Yes. My religion says it’s wrong. It’s a sin.

  • Jillian

    Same here. My mother tried to turn me into a Catholic girl, but she failed. This is one of the reasons why I don’t agree with Catholicism. If God did not want people to have sex and explore their sexuality, he would have found another way to make babies.

    • gamergirl

      When they sexton was wrong the meant before you were married and if you wanted to have kids . jeeze read the whole article again or something.

  • Ana

    I’m catholic too but my church doesn’t say that having sex is bad. What they do say is that wearing a condom is a sin. Which I think is kind of retarded.

  • Rebecca Longstaff

    Hey honey i am 14 and you know i masturbate and my honest opipion is it your body and god don’t give a damn if you give your self pleasure. I think that a girl should wait till she is atleast 17 to have sex but that is your choice not any body elses so look at those fricked nuns or what ever they are and say screw you, who are you to tell me what god thinks? Good luck sweetie.

  • maya

    The actions of a few do not reflect on an entire religion. I go to a Catholic school and they are very open about sex. They encourage abstinence but they do not tell you sex is evil. If you ask a question about sex, they will answer it honestly.

  • Stephanie

    I think that it’s up to the person, but personally, if I’m in a type of religion, I’m going to follow their rules. I mean, if you’re going to be Catholic, or Islamic, or whatever, you should follow the rules all the way…

  • boomtiing_ox

    And this is why I’m not religious.

    • LittleRedWolf

      ^This. This isn’t the first horror story from a Catholic school or some other religious organization for teens that I’ve heard. It drives me crazy how they spew this crap.