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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  • beinghuman123

    This is the reason why I left the Catholic Church. I really hate their views on sex and all of the emotional trauma that I had to deal with. In high school I hated myself for masturbating. I thought I was some kind of monster for doing something that is natural. There’s too much control in religion. Too many dogmas and doctrines that everyone has to follow. The funny thing is, is that people of that religion pick and choose what they want to follow. People pick and chose what they want from the Bible. If people followed the Bible literally, they would be locked away.

  • Zoey White-Wolf

    Well I can’t help ya there. I’m an atheist.

  • Q

    Wait minute what about protestant christians, everyone is forgetting about us.

  • jj

    I went to Catholic school for 12 years and I am now nonreligious. When I was in the 6th grade, my (helicopter) mom caught me looking at pictures of Jessica Alba on Google. (I’m a guy but I empathize.) She made me read a passage out of the bible and I began to feel guilty as hell. Went to bed crying that night. At school, my theology teacher taught us that masturbation is a mortal sin and that I would go to hell for all eternity if I died with that sin on my soul. This mental abuse made me feel guilty about my sexuality, when I was simply expressing an emotion that is a product of millions of years of natural selection. I am glad to say that I now hate Catholicism and I will have no part in it. I highly recommend the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins!

  • Hannah

    Hey, you do what you want. I mean, I’m not a catholic, and neither do I have any faith, but teaching young teens against anything sexual is just wrong. It’s their life, even if it IS against your faith. God, if you believe in him, created us to have children and have sex, if that makes sense. He WANTS you to have fun. I’m just presuming here.

  • Ronnie Larsen

    I was terrified to touch myself in any way until I was FIFTEEN because I was told this stuff, and because I never stopped going to a catholic school, it got stuck in my mind to an extent that I felt sick whenever I tried to masturbate. Because all my friends did it openly, I felt like I had something wrong with me because I found no pleasure in it (until one day I really buckled down and it felt great).

  • Cecilia

    Masturbation is still wrong in the Catholic faith, public schools fuck it all up tho and say its fine.

  • animallover

    It is completely normal and the safest form of sexual contact that one can experience. Even if in a relationship with a boy/girl it can be a lot of fun that does not have to go further than that.

  • Olive

    I’m a really devoted Catholic, but i resent a lot of what the church teaches. I personally don’t believe in having sex before marriage but I don’t believe it’s an unforgivable curse of some sort. For me, being a Christian means being a good person and sacrificing for others–it has nothing to do with whether you masturbate… Crazy yahoo people are just making our faith even more shunned and judged throughout society and i hate it. Sex is a beautiful gift when used properly and just because “The Church” says something doesn’t mean that they can dictate your life. They’re human too! Your faith should be about your personal relationship with God. He has better things to worry about than whether you touch yourself or not…

    • Cecilia

      Im a devoted Catholic too, but seriously talk to ur priest before assuming masturbation is o.k.

  • Mspandabear

    Well, don’t call yourself a catholic since you are doing things against the church.

    • Sterling Foster

      Oh nonsense

  • birdy

    i don’t masturbate and i amnot lying, i just dont get it

  • messymoo

    Masturbating is just the same as sex if not better (less problems and things that could go wrong), the ‘virgin’ mary masturbated i bet even jesus masturbated honey

  • kat

    i get the whole “shy” thing but going to hell is ridiculous .from expirience; masturbating feels great. almost like you are sexing. so the right choice is DO IT!

  • Matt

    I am a catholic to.. If you are afraid of masturbation just go to confession weekly and still masturbate.. This is the 21st century everyone on this world masturbates.. If they say they haven’t they are lying..

  • Akira

    I first want to say that, if you really want to take the bible THAT seriously then you should probably READ it first, because believe me its really fucked up…

    Now, why is it fucked up? Because it has passages that literally tell you to cut your child’s hand if your child were to treat you as a father with disrespect (Google it genius…)

    The bible is a book… Written a long long time ago. And this book is not to be taken as it is written but as something to reason and learn about healthily and relatively, not as if it were the only reference fro which we can live… I mean common!


    Sorry but I get mad when people impose on others telling other people they’d go to hell if they do not do as the bible says, because usually people that impose are the most ignorant ones… Who don’t even search for reference or don’t investigate, they just talk with their closed little minds and then dare to make others hear them… And the others who are also under the influence… They end up in a cage, scared and hopeless, – . –

    So let us please change this… o . o

    Lets just focus on LIVING A HAPPY LIFE (And while we do tht lets just not fuck anyone else’s….)

    If you want to fuck up something let it be your own life, and if you want to impose something impose it in YOURSELF before trying to make anyone else be like you…

    With that said… I think we all have the right to do as we wish, so if you want to not masturbate then dont do so, but let everyone else live in peace…

    Happy holidays!

    • Brianna

      About the bible stuff, I’m sure you read the old testement. God says that the old testement doesent really apply

  • Carolina

    I totally agree with you! I went to Catholic school up until my Junior year when I transferred to public school. When I was in 7th grade we got “the talk” (exactly what you described), they even made us sign a pledge to never have sex till marriage. The thing is I respect those that believe that masturbation & premarital sex is a sin but I don’t think it’s right for someone else to shove those beliefs in the faces of innocent and kinda naive kids.

    I started exploring other religions and beliefs my freshman year of high school and started learning more about acceptance. I didn’t begin to masturbate till I was 16 and it was awesome! It kinda sucks that I was so scared to do it before then! And about the hell thing I never understood how an all loving God who always forgave would let anyone go to hell especially since purgatory is there to help “sinners” repent.

    Anyway I really liked this article no one ever really talks about than kinda stuff! Thanks!

  • Madara

    *Sigh* No one should be allowed to tell you what you should do with your body, and if god is so against it why don’t you ask him for a “sign” [or whatever other schizophrenic crap you’re supposed to do]
    My computer is not breaking down, my internet connection is fine, gee, no sign for me then! Continue masturbating and having fun my fellow sister!

  • Ventus

    OR. Just a thought here! That HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of people masturbate and ONE single religion in this big ol’ world says it’s wrong. THAT MUST MAKE IT TRUE! No.

    The one writing this article has ALL of my respect. For stupid, IGNORANT religions that claim they are 100% right based upon a book written hundreds of years ago are damn stupid. Your wonderful “bible” also talks about how slavery is okay and how stoning people to death is okay. Quit being such a hypocrite and trying to scare people.

    You’re so brainwashed that you are in a state of constant, sheep-like paranoia and believe that everybody else except the imaginary guy in the sky you’ve never seen is lying to you. Whatever your belief is, nobody ever spontaneously combusted from masturbating. Least. Not fire combustion. XD

  • lala

    Masturbating is a sin and it’s relating to sexual immorality. It’s in the Bible. If you masturbate, you are a slave to masturbation and you are doing is what’s called “in the flesh.” In the flesh brings death whilst Jesus brings eternal life. Even though the Bible doesn’t state about masturbation, look at what the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah turn out to be: God destroyed those cities for their sinful actions (being gay,etc).

    You are achieving sexual gratification with your self (self-gratification) and sexual things are supposed to be done between married couples. What you are doing is outside of marriage and it’s a sin. Repent now and ask the Holy Spirit to guide to the truth and you’ll be set free from masturbation.

    I used to think that masturbation was okay and went along with other docs and people of this generation. It was not until I find out for myself that God had already said specifically in the Bible that masturbating is wrong; even though He doesn’t specifically state “masturbation” ,but is is of the flesh and you’ll be a slave to the flesh. You don’ t want that, do you? You want to be a servant of God, not a servant to sin/devil/demons.

    Even though the docs/health stories tell you that masturbation is “okay”, let me tell you this: the more you masturbate, the more you’ll want to masturbate. And doing one sin (masturbating) will open up to other sins.

    And yes, masturbating and becoming a slave to masturbation will lead you to hell. You can either believe what I just said based on the Bible, or you can believe what others tell you: lies. If you want to seek salvation, ask Jesus/Holy Spirit to help you. If not, then don’t regret later that no one ever told you this. But make sure it’s not too late to repent.

    • Bailie

      If you masturbated you wouldn’t be this uptight. Maybe you should try it.

      • Kim

        Hahaha that response tho!

  • sha

    my religon is the same but i see nothing wrong with it . they keep telling me ill go to hell , And that it is a sin .