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Boys grow into men

Some look back and share

Adult male, Catholic priest - UK

This is a fabulous site - congratulations in handling issues such as sexuality in relation to the church with such sensitivity. I wish it had been there when I was growing up.

I was raised in a strict Catholic background - sex was never talked about, but we were told that certain things were 'mortal' sins and that if we did them we would go to hell. At 11 years old I happily discovered masturbation - it was a terrific experience and gave a huge amount of pleasure and sexual release. But I couldn't go to confession in the local village since the priest knew everyone. So I cycled 15 miles to go to confession to a priest who didn't know me.

Now, I am a Catholic priest myself, and from my experiences as a boy, especially with priests shouting at me in the confessional that 'sex was for married people', I can say that I take a much more understanding view. I see too many teenage boys simply give up on the Catholic church. It is not a crisis of faith, it is more a moral crisis. They don't know how to remain in a body that says faith is important but masturbation is wrong.

I was touched by the stories here of teenagers who want to continue as Christians but are not able to stop masturbating. To them all I would say this - is it likely that God would implant such a wonderful and powerful force in you, and then consign you to hell for using it? If food or listening to music gives us pleasure - why not also sex (masturbation) which doesn't cause hurt to another?

Male, 52, church Pastor, white - USA (2 sons)

What was the first sign that puberty had begun in your life?
I honestly wasn't really aware of my body changes at the time (odd as that sounds), although I remember getting pubic hair early in the 6th grade and some hair under my arms late in that year.
Have you ever had wet dreams - if so, how often?
When I was in junior high, I had them every few days. I hated them since they were so messy and I was sure mom would "discover" me. I learned (by trial and error) that masturbation stopped them.
Have you been embarrassed by having an erection at the wrong time?
Not that I remember. I worried about that, especially mom waking me in the morning since I always awoke with an erection. But I don't recall any incidents (I'm sure I would remember if there were any!).
Did you go through a stage where you thought you might be gay?
Honestly, I didn't know what a gay was until I was in high school! I was curious about guys -- especially their penises, but I didn't associate that with homosexuality because I didn't know there was such a thing!
Do you masturbate - if so, how often?
In the 6th grade, I would masturbate sometimes in the bath tub but I guess I could not ejaculate - I just enjoyed the process and I think a bit of orgasm. My first ejaculation was the summer between 6th and 7th grade. It became a daily event. Finding the opportunity was difficult in our small, busy house, but somehow I did. By college, it was maybe twice a week. Now, it's only when, for some reason, I can't share sex with my wife. It's maybe 1-2 times a month.
How old were you when you started to masturbate?
Funny, it's like your first kiss - you never forget it, right down to every detail! I was 12.
Did you have trouble coming to terms with masturbation in your life?
Yes. At first, I honestly didn't know what it was! The first time, I thought I broke something (but that didn't keep me from doing it again the next morning). I was probably 14-15 before I knew what it was and that it was harmless. I was probably 18 before I knew everyone did it. I felt lots of guilt about it, although no one told me it was wrong. I made sure I discussed all this with my sons. I wish this website existed then, it would have been a BIG help to me (and them, too!).
When did your voice break?
I don't know. It was seamless for me, I had no problems with that.
Are you circumcised?
Are you happy with being circumcised/uncircumcised?
Yes. In reality, it just doesn't matter, but it's the custom in the US. My wife left the decision to me, but I had my sons circumcised at birth.
Has your puberty progressed fast/average/slow?
It was fast. I physically matured earlier than the other boys my age.
What is your penis size?
Flaccid, it varies so much that I really can't say. Erect, maybe 6 inches now. It used to be a little bit bigger when I was younger.
Other physical characteristics? (hair growth, physical build)
I remember so clearly getting a bit of underarm hair at exactly the same time as I could ejaculate. It seems that's often the case. I was shaving daily in the 9th grade, but, in spite of the early start, I'm less hairy than the average guy. Since I was ahead of my peers in such things, it was all a bit embarrassing at the time.
Are you a virgin?
I was until my wedding night! I'm proud and very glad about that (yes, it was very rare then, too). So was my wife.
Do you regret being/not being a virgin?
I highly recommend it - not only because it makes for self-control (and one GREAT honeymoon!) but because we learned together and know each other is 100% faithful. And I can talk to my boys as one who was faithful and controlled.
Are you a Christian?
Yes, Lutheran
Have you had any official recognition of becoming a man (rite of passage)?
No. Sadly, it was all very secretive. I never even discussed any of it with my older brother. Certainly, my Dad never said a thing. It was all a great secret. I was confused and embarrassed. Sad.
Your biggest hassle during puberty?
Because I matured earlier than most, I was kind of embarrassed (it's always awkward to be different at that age)
Other comments or advice to other guys?
My youngest boy, now 16, told me about this website. It's GREAT! I so wish there had been a positive, moral, real site like this a few years ago. A friend at church mentioned the James Dobson book, that I understand is excellent (but also came too late for me - either as a boy or as a father of boys). I just agree with the advice on this site. Okay, even though I'm very close to my sons, it was HARD to address this. I kept looking for "teachable moments" but not seeing them (or maybe not taking them). I finally just had to do what I so much didn't want to do - I had "THE TALK", but it went okay. A lot of honesty, a bit of humor - both go a long way. I shared my thoughts and tried to let them talk (hey, awkward for them too). I let them know that mom knows. We discussed some things and I put some K-Y jelly in the boys' bathroom. I was uncomfortable - and I confessed that, but it really went okay, and it opened a door. The fact that my son felt open to tell me about this site makes me feel good. My only regret - I waited too long. It really needs to be done in small doses starting much younger, not one big "THE TALK". My first son was 13, I think, the second 12 at the time.

Male, 43, white - USA (2 sons + 3 daughters)

I first want to commend you on a fabulous site. How needed this is.

I became a Christian as a older teen (17), struggled with homosexual feeling and experimentation from the time I had an early homosexual experience at five until late into my teen years. It is still a struggle but I can also say I've been happily married for over 25 years, I've been completely faithful to my wife by the grace of God and we enjoy a sex life that gets better and better. I've also raised four girls and two boys who enjoy completely normal, although challenging at times sex lives (challenging because they shouldn't be sexually active with another person outside of marriage). I guess we are all broken. We all struggle. We all just like to hide it. And God is there to walk us through.

When I became a believer, I obviously stopped engaging in sexual activity with other men but the struggle then shifted to masturbation and the condemnation heaped upon this activity by the Christian group I was a part of for many years was almost unbearable. So much time and energy was wasted in guilt and fighting with my own body. This kind of Biblically honest teaching would have liberated me from years of tears and needless struggle.

After much Bible study, I have arrived at the same conclusions regarding masturbation and feel your web site is a fine guide for teens and all the struggles they face with their sexuality. I showed it to my 12-year-old son, who has entered puberty. He wasn't interested tonight but I'm hoping he comes back and spends some time here.

Male, 44, white - Australia (2 sons)

I was born into a Christian family of six kids. One of the traps that many fathers involved in church life fall into is that they tend to ignore their families' needs for those of other church family members.

This was very true of my father, apart from the fact he ate his meals in another room to watch the six o'clock news, and so call "wind down", he would often avoid some of the tricky questions and made you feel inadequate for asking them, so much so you would not even attempt to ask.

At the age of eleven me and a friend stood below our second story window and innocently exposed ourselves to my sisters and their friends. They were opening and shutting the curtains so we thought we would surprise them, but to our surprise the next opening was my mother's horrified face. A lecture followed and I was told it was wrong to play and experiment with your private parts. This stuck with me for many years to follow.

I was a late developer and totally innocent of my body and what it was about to go through, I had no idea of how conception took place, in fact I was never allowed to attend classes where this was likely to be discussed. At my all-boys school, kids talked about "wankers". I was one of them - "you're a wanker". I really had no idea what they were on about. It was around this time (15yo) I noticed in the school showers that the other boys were well into their puberty years and some well established and well endowed. I became afraid to even go into the showers with them for fear of being called a "wanker". Then one day when I was 16 a friend mustered up the courage to say he noticed I wasn't developing. He also told me that a "wanker" was one who masturbates and it was OK to do so. He added that it would help my slow development if I began masturbating. He showed me how to masturbate using his finger for a penis and told me what to expect. His advice as far as masturbating was spot on except I wasn't yet ejaculating. I now know that it was total coincidence that I soon began to develop sexually, for "wanking" does not bring on puberty, it is a gland in your brain that triggers this.

I enjoyed masturbating so much that it became a daily ritual, then an obsession and then a desire to see others doing it. It became dangerous, and as explained in this site an obsession can become a real problem if it is not addressed well. I began to see myself falling away from God's covering - began feeling that this is wrong - but I love it so much I can't give it up. I would go to local parks with two mates from school, borrow a porno mag and hide behind the nearest tree. I was then introduced to the idea I was gay, why, because I always wanted to see what the other boys had under their belt. Were they any better than me? This too became an obsession. I began to feel exactly how my dad made me feel - inadequate. What soon became apparent was that suddenly everything I was sheltered from had hit me like a ton of bricks. As my hormones grew, my desire for sex grew, but as I was too afraid to get close to anyone, this too festered within me to a point I became a closet lover (for want of a better word).

Then came along Dr Dobson's book called something like "Coping with Adolescence". I was now 23 - a bit late - but I was in myself a late developer and needed to get back to basics. It took many years to come to a point of self forgiveness, to forgive my parents from sheltering me and to gain back some self respect. If only the www was around then and if only what is available for kids today was around then, things may have been different. But reality is, they weren't around. I got over my obsessions, and now enjoy a healthy sex life which does include masturbation from time to time.

If I could give advice to parents and boys, it would be on the lines of "do not be afraid to ask, be asked, or share your testimonies". But always remember someone elses testimony may be similar to yours but it isn't yours. Be aware of who you are and what God has intended for you. There are so many arguments for and against matters of sexuality. Times may be tough but keep focus on what God has given you and what is in your hand (no pun intended). If you're in a place of obsession, realize you can get over it - in fact, get over it - deal with it and move forward. Obsessions are only set backs and what you make of them.

Male, 44, USA (1 son)

My problems started when I was 9 years old. I saw a boy, about my age, being washed off with a garden hose by his dad who was upset with him for playing in the mud. I remember staring at the boy's body, while at the same time feeling guilt and shame for having the impulse. It was the first time I recall thinking there was something wrong with me. It wasn't the last.

Around the same age I became obsessed with my own body, spending long sessions naked in front of the bathroom mirror examining every inch of myself. This was done in secrecy of course, because I was sure I was doing something wrong.

Then I remember a few times meeting under a vacant building with another boy and touching body parts. I felt bad and guilty about it all. Again, I felt like something was wrong, but the feeling wasn't enough to make me stop.

When I was 10 years old, my older brother told me that one of his friends wanted to hang out with me. I remember thinking it was cool because my older brother typically didn't want much to do with me, much less with his friends. So I willingly went along. The boy led me to a wooded hillside where he zipped down his pants, pulled out his penis, and encouraged me to touch it. Although I never did, I remember feeling very nervous, upset, and somehow guilty. I was sure I did something wrong. The feelings of guilt over that stayed with me for a long time.

I began masturbating when I was about 11 years old. The first time was while washing in the shower. I've continued to masturbate ever since, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. I've done it for many reasons including physical relief, boredom, habit, curiosity, desperation, or excitement. In my early years, I typically felt guilt or shame after I masturbated. No adult ever admitted to me they did it, and if it was brought up in conversation, it was always in a negative way. It was considered a joke, the message being that anyone who did it was some kind of freak.

When I was about 12 years old, I hung around with three other boys in my neighborhood who masturbated a lot together. I participated some, but again, felt guilty about it. The thing that bothered me the most was that I got aroused by being around them when they did it. I never stopped to think that the same thing was happening to them.

When I entered junior high school (age 12), I was worried sick about Physical Education (PE) class because I feared I would get an erection when it came time to undress in front of the other boys. Sure enough, I did. But luckily at that age I didn't have to shower after PE and could get away with staying in my underwear. So, even though I got erections, nobody seemed to notice. Nonetheless, I was convinced I shouldn't be getting them, and that I wasn't normal.

Then came high school where showering after PE was the norm. I worried about it every day. When it came time to shower, I would race to get my underwear off, get in the shower, get out of the shower, and get my underwear back on before an erection began. Whether or not I got an erection seemed to be random, but I was always nervous and had a consistent desire to look at the other guys. This really bugged me.

My penis was out of control while I was in high school. Erections came and went all day long it seemed. And the feeling that there was something wrong with me began torturing my mind. Although I didn't have a close relationship with my father, I decided to go to him about my concerns. It turned out to be a disaster. He was in the medical profession and immediately assumed that he was looking for some physical problem (I'm guessing warts or something, I don't know). He had me drop my pants. He took a quick look at my privates and it was over. He told me everything was okay, and not to worry. End of story. He had no clue! He didn't know how desperate I was, or how difficult it was for me to even approach him, and that I had the weight of the world on my mind concerning my sexuality. I never went back to him again, and left convinced there was definitely something wrong with me.

I didn't date all through high school. I didn't play sports. I hadn't developed very much in terms of body hair and upper body muscle. I was intensely self consciousness and had little confidence. It was a joke when I had to play sports in PE. When the teacher lined us up to be picked for teams, I was typically one of the last to be picked. All that made me feel abnormal.

By the time I was about 21 years old I recognized that I was getting crushes on other males. It happened periodically. I've never approached any male about sex, and none has ever approached me, but every so often I would get preoccupied with thoughts about a particular guy. This really bothered me. Looking back, many of the male "friendships" I pursued were motivated by these crushes. For that reason those friendships were strained. I am happy to say that I have made some male friends that I don't have secret attractions to, and that those friendships have been lasting and valuable. The others ended, usually in an awkward manner.

By the time I was in my 30's I was convinced I was homosexual. Period. No choice in the matter. And that thought made me so depressed that at times I considered suicide, wondering why I should go on if I was always going to be that way. I didn't want to be a gay guy.

Although I lived my life in turmoil, I don't think the people around had a clue about it. I acted normal in just about every way, and I even felt very normal in every way, except in my sexuality. (I should note here, that I haven't been only attracted to males all my life. I've always had what would be probably considered a normal attraction to females, but that was something I didn't dwell on. And I did date now and then after before and after high school. But I wouldn't call any of my relationships with girls or women positive ones. They usually started because of peer pressure, or desperation on my part. They always ended badly.) Even though there was only one aspect of my life that really bothered me, it affected all of my life. I couldn't separate it from the rest. I couldn't feel okay about myself.

Things started to change for me in my mid 30's when I slowly began to believe in God. I was exposed to Christian ideas in little bits over the years, mainly through radio ministries. As time went on, however, I realized that what Christians said just made sense to me. It gave me hope. It was the only thing that began to make me feel okay about myself. I started to accept the notion that we are all weird (i.e. sinners), and not supposed to be perfect. That allowed me to not take it personally that my body did things I didn't want it to. I came to realize that it wasn't what my body did involuntarily that mattered, it was what I chose to do about it that mattered. That took a huge weight off my shoulders.

A major reason I was open to Christianity was due to one man. He was my boss for a time, and unlike any man I'd met up to that point (my mid 20's). He was fun, very capable, a great leader, very giving, and most important, willing to tell people what he thought and not a hypocrite. He freely told people he was a Christian. At the time I was living with a girlfriend, and when he found out, he looked at me square in the eyes and told me that it wasn't good to do that. That had a huge effect on me. He was the only man that I respected and he told me something that went against the grain of the common belief of my peers (who thought it was perfectly normal to live with my girlfriend), but what he said seemed right in my heart. He was the first man to give me the feeling that it is possible to be a man that I could respect. He gave me strength to follow my heart. Later I found out that he modeled his life after Jesus.

So I sought help through God's word. And it worked! Some of the best help I received was through ministries on the radio and internet. The radio show Focus on the Family, was, and still is, the most valuable resource I have found on the radio. There were many internet sites that were helpful (although was one of the best). The only negative thing about seeking help on the internet was the need to avoid non-Christian web sites that promoted gay activism and porn (lots of that on the Internet for sure). I wish I could have learned sooner just how common it was for other guys to have the thoughts and impulses I had (and have). I might have avoided so much anguish.

So what now? Well, I still get aroused when I don't want to (or "shouldn't"). It's still bothersome to deal with, mentally and physically. I still get erections about any time I take my clothes off and there's someone else around (and by the way, I even still have wet dreams every now and then -- and yes, sometimes the dreams have guys in them). I deal with the erections the same way I've always dealt with them (i.e. race to get out of the situation). I'm married now, and about the only time I don't have to panic is when I get an erection in front of my wife. I have an 11 year old stepson, and the most worrisome time is when it happens around him. Recently I sat down with him and told him that it happens to me, and that I can't help it. My wife was there for support. Having that conversation made things better, though mentally it is still a drain. I recently read a story wherein a Christian man pointed out how important it was for a dad not to hide his body from his son(s). That's something I just can't do, so I just try to fill things in through words. I'm hoping that my situation will teach him that nobody is perfect, and if he has something that confuses him about his body, he should find out what to do about it through God's word (e.g. through my wife, myself, our pastor, and later, directly through the bible).

It was amazing how fast I found myself living a life I could be proud of (productive, fulfilling, meaningful), once I gave up trying to control things that were out of my control, and began trusting and following God's word. For the longest time I was convinced there was no way I could make a suitable husband or father or friend because there was something seriously wrong with me. I was wrong.

My wife's first husband died when their boy was very young. I've been her husband (and the boy's stepfather) for almost five years now. We have a good marriage, and are a tight family. The boy thinks I'm doing a good job as his dad. In fact, he recently spontaneously stopped what he was doing, looked me in the eyes, and told me that I was the best dad in the whole world. He's told me numerous times that he and his mom prayed every night that God would send him a new dad some day. He tells me that he is glad I was the one.

So there you have it. For most of my life I thought I was homosexual, without a choice in the matter. Then I quit letting my sexual impulses run my life and started letting God run my life. He led me to a meaningful, fulfilling, life with a wife and son and their families to love. I was nobody special until I found God. So if such a thing can happen to me, it can happen to someone else too.

Male, 53, church Deacon, white - USA (2 sons)

Have you ever had wet dreams - if so, how often?
Yes, but they stopped completely when I started masturbating. They were always about sex, and when I look back they were fun. I just was not quite ready for them. Dads need to talk to their sons about this aspect of life. Wet dreams are natural, and something that young men have absolutely no control over - they are not sinful or God would not have made our bodies like he did.
Have you been embarrassed by having an erection at the wrong time?
I have always viewed erections as "fun", and in most situations when guys are junior high and high school age there is going to be somebody around that has an erection - face it all guys are horny most of the time. I do remember once in 8th grade that there seemed to be an epidemic of erections in the shower one day. One guy popped up and then five or six others popped up, including me. We all laughed. It would have been a lot more embarrassing if it had just been one guy. Good coaches can help with this situation by letting everybody know that this is just part of the "guy" body and it can and does happen to everybody. I heard one time that "erections are contagious" and I could not agree more. The embarrassment comes from the fear of being "gay". Having an erection is not being "gay" it is about being a horny guy. Unfortunately the way this is dealt with in schools now is just to not require that guys shower. Recently, I was traveling on business and I was staying at a very nice hotel in the South. There were three guys (me and a couple of other guys - all my age or so and like professionals) in the steam room and one of the guys was laying on one of the benches and when the steam shut off for a couple of minutes we all noticed that this guy's penis was standing straight up. His friend jokingly said to him "I guess you are missing your wife". Everybody laughed. I say this just to remind younger guys that this is just part of being a guy, not really anything to be ashamed of.
Did you go through a stage where you thought you might be gay?
This is a very interesting question. No, I did not ever think I was "gay." I do remember I was always curious about how big the other guys "dick" was, but that was not because I wanted to have sex with him - I was just curious. The guy with a three inch "dick" is worried that he is too short, and the guy with a ten inch "dick" is worried that he is too long. I think that dads play a very big part in this security role. Dads that are shy around their sons (never let them see them naked) are forcing their sons to look elsewhere for reassurance. Most guys are going to look more or less like their dads when they get older and this includes the penis and testicle area. If a guy wants to see what he is going to look like down there when he is twenty he can look at his dad. If the dad is always dressed or behind closed doors then there is nothing to compare to except other guys. When I was big enough to stand up, it was my dad's job to let me shower with him. I look back on this and see how healthy it was. As my two sons got bigger it was my job to shower with them. I can remember all three of us in the shower together on many occasions. Dads need to take an active role in teaching their sons what is healthy and good and to help them stay away from what is sinful and bad. I was taught that the Bible is completely true, and the Bible is very clear that homosexual activity is wrong, a sin, and it was just not part of my life. I have always had a healthy feeling about my own body, and I think this is very important about one feeling "gay" or not. The Bible is completely right - there is no such thing as a "gay" person. There are people that live in sin and call it "gay." God does not make "gay" people, people choose a lifestyle that is against God's teachings. Let me make a comment about God, Christians, and "gay." The Bible teaches against homosexuality and it is a sin, but people that forget that we are to love the sinner and hate the sin are sinners also. "Gay" bashing is wrong, and people that go around with posters that say "God Hates Fags" do not understand the Jesus of the Bible.
Do you masturbate - if so, how often?
Yes, I masturbate two - three times per week. I am married and I have sex two - three times per week also.
How old were you when you started to masturbate?
I was twelve when I started masturbating.
Did you have trouble coming to terms with masturbation in your life?
Absolutely not. (1) I learned about masturbation from a fellow Christian who was a good friend and somebody who I trusted so I never had the feeling that I was the only one in the world that "played with myself". (2) At college it was well understood that all guys "jack off". (3) God made us sexual beings. He gave us His rules about sex, and He is silent on the issue of masturbation. God is a loving God that gave us a wonderful toy (our penis). A loving God would not give us something wonderful to play with, be silent about playing with it, and then condemn us for playing with it. Some men have decided that masturbating is sinful and work to make guys feel guilty about doing what is totally natural. Dads need to let there sons know that there is nothing wrong with masturbating, it is fun, that every guy does it, and that God gave us the gift of masturbation and that it should be viewed as a gift.
Have you ever had a Christian church worker speak openly to you about masturbation? While at college we had a revival and after the service one night the preacher (married, had two kids, and about thirty-five) spoke with a group after the service (anybody that wanted to stay) openly about masturbation as a gift from God. He let us all know that he was there without his wife and that he was going to go to the hotel room and "jack off" that night. There was a lot of discussion in the dorm that evening, and I remember that there was not one guy that denied "jacking off." There were several that said they felt guilty when they masturbated. Some of the guys were silent (that included me and R-Mate) Some of the guys thought the preacher was Satan sent, and some of the guys were just happy for relief from the guilt that had been burdening them. I wish that I had openly supported the preacher that night. Maybe this story is helping me to come to terms with my silence on the issue those many years ago.
A few years ago my older son was in a group of young men at church that studied premarital sex, masturbation, and other guy topics including pornography. Because I have definite feelings about these subjects and do not want young men to feel guilty about masturbation I went to speak with the youth pastor about what the guys were studying. I wanted to know the youth pastor's view on masturbation. The youth pastor wanted to connect masturbation with pornography. Well of course pornography is wrong and it should never be connected with masturbation. Such a connection could create real issues with men and their sex lives as married adults. Yes, let us all speak against pornography, but do not connect it with masturbation. What I found out from the youth pastor is that he had masturbated with friends as he grew up, but that in many instances pornography had been connected with their masturbation. He was concerned about the affects that pornography can have on a guy. Pornography is a demon that must be addressed with young men - they must simply be taught of its dangers and instructed to stay away form it.
Are you circumcised?
Once again I find this question interesting. I am circumcised, my dad and brother were circumcised, and my two sons are circumcised. I did not have any input into this decision. All the guys that I knew growing up were circumcised - it was just the normal thing. I know that the gay movement has a lot of issues about circumcision. Jesus was a Jew and he was certainly circumcised. I am glad that I am circumcised for that reason.
Are you happy with being circumcised/uncircumcised?
I am very happy about being circumcised. I am very glad that my parents made this decision for me. I am very glad that my two sons are circumcised. I can only say that anyone that is uncircumcised and wishes they were should simply go have it done. I am sure it will hurt, but you will get over it. If you are circumcised and wish you were not - get over it. I do know that my brother did not have one of his sons circumcised, and my brother-in-law did not have his son circumcised, both of these young men have had infection problems that my sons have not had.
Has your puberty progressed fast/average/slow?
I guess my puberty was slow. I do not see that it makes a lot of difference now.
What is your penis size?
About six and one-half inches when erect, and smaller when not. It is a lot smaller when it is cold. Guys need to know that their penis size is not very important. Unless you are going to be looking for a job as a porn star (just kidding) the size of your dick does not matter to many people.
Other physical characteristics? (hair growth, physical build)
I felt like I was a little slow becoming a man, but everything is there now.
Are you a virgin?
I was a virgin on my wedding night, and I am very glad that I followed God's plan into the bedroom. I can say with almost total assurance that I would not have been a virgin on my wedding night if I had not understood that God was not merely making suggestions about premarital sex. Also, masturbation was part of my overall plan for virginity prior to marriage.
Do you regret being a virgin?
I am so glad that I waited until after marriage to have sex for the first time. My wife and I learned about sex together, and there has never been any comparisons made about other lovers. Guys - being a virgin prior to marriage is truly a gift from God, but it is a choice that only you can make for yourself.
Are you a Christian?
I am a born again Christian. I became a Christian at the age of seven.
Have you had any official recognition of becoming a man (rite of passage)?
Your biggest hassle during puberty?
Probably the surprise of wet dreams.
Other comments or advice to other guys?
There must be a way for guys to talk about this subject without being made to feel different, weird, or guilty. So often, silence in this area is what makes guys feel like: (1) they are the only ones in the world that "jack off"; (2) they are committing a sin by "jacking off"; (3) they are "gay" because they "jack off"; (4) they are "gay" because they want to "jack off" with a friend and/or; (5) they are weird or "gay" because they want to talk about "jacking off" with a friend or their youth pastor, etc. Silence on the issue of masturbation is not good. Guys not being able to talk to each other and adults not being able to talk with young guys about this subject is what has left many young, middle aged, and old men feeling guilty and sinful over something that is a gift from God.
Dads, you must speak with your sons about (1) sex before marriage and (2) masturbation. Dads are the key to guys not feeling guilty about a gift from God (masturbation), and even a way to for them to remain a virgin until their wedding night. Recently, one of the guys that I work with, that also has teenage sons (twins), asked me if I had spoken to my son about sex. I told him that we had had a brief talk, and it was mostly about masturbation. I told the other dad that I did not want my sons growing up feeling guilty about "jacking off". The other dad completely agreed with me, but he had not said anything to his sons yet. Dads - get over being shy concerning masturbation and talk with your sons. Let them know that "jacking off" is part of being a male, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Let them know that premarital sex is not in God's plan, and that pornography, (hard copy or internet) is something to stay away from.

Male, 31

Personally, I feel that the most important thing for boys to know, is that EVERYONE starts puberty at different ages, but that in the end WE ALL end up about the same. I didn't start puberty until I was about 15, and then it was VERY slow. At 15 I had a few pubic hairs on my genital area, but penis/testicle size-wise I could have passed for 11 or 12. Then in a matter of 3 years, I went through all the changes. My voice broke at about 17, which is about the same age I could first ejaculate. Other changes happened then also. I didn't need to shave my face until I was 20 and didn't get hair on my chest until I was about 24. So, I didn't stop going through puberty until I was 24 years old. Now in the areas that matter I am above average.

It used to be so embarrassing in the showers at school. All the other boys had pubes and I was as bald as a plucked chicken. The biggest thing I had was that my penis was just like a pre-pubescent boy. It was so embarrassing. It's weird, but I did have a sex-drive and started masturbating at age 11, but biologically wasn't a proper man until I was 18 or so. My best friend could ejaculate when he was 13 (I know coz I saw him do it... well that's what boys do). Perhaps that's why I "hero worshiped" him at that time. There was me... a chubby 13 years old looking like I was 11 years old and my friend, muscular, able to father children.

Anyway... my point is that as an adult now, I see that I shouldn't have worried so much. So what if at that time I only had 3 1/2" when most other boys had 5". So what if I was bald as a baby and most other boys had hairs under their arms and their genitals. So what if I couldn't cum till I was 17. The FACT is that some of us develop sexually later than others.

One problem I feel is that many boys watch porn. They see men (and boys... illegal material online), who are more developed than they are. What they fail to realize is that the boys they see are unusually early developers. Boys who are self-conscious about size etc, wouldn't film themselves. So it's only gonna be the big-dicked ones they see. The problem may be that they may compare themselves with them. I've learned that as an adult and now know that as a boy I wasn't a "freak" at all.

I sent you this email just coz I hoped in some way I may contribute to the cause... that is... letting boys know they are NORMAL.