Puberty Sex information - Teenage Boys



You thought you were the only one secretly doing it!
image of youth
"I don't believe a loving God would put a raging fire in an immature kid and then damn him for doing what he can't help doing"
Dr James Dobson "Focus on the Family" (5)



It's sex-by-yourself, it's "solo-sex." Stimulating (usually rubbing) the penis to achieve orgasm and ejaculation. (slang - wanking, jerking off, jacking off, beat the meat, beating off, whacking off, spanking the monkey, toss off, crack one off, flog the log, jerking the gherkin, rub one off, yank it, tug... and lots of others)
The fluid that comes out your penis during ejaculation. Sperm live in this fluid (slang - cum, jizz, spooge, load, wad...)
In old Latin language it meant 'a little something shot out' and refers to semen coming out of the erect penis. (slang - cum, shoot your wad, spooge, blow your load, blast, jizz, shoot, skeet, splooge, wad...)
Intense feelings and muscle contractions associated with ejaculation. The "high-point" of feelings during masturbation or sex.
Feelings toward others of sexual: craving; eagerness; desire; passion; urges
Imagining sexual acts with others in order for you to achieve ejaculation

The Concerns

  • Do other boys do it too?
  • Will people know I've been masturbating?
  • Why do I feel guilty after I've masturbated?
  • Why can't I stop doing it?
  • How often is too often?
  • Does masturbating mean I'm gay?
  • Will I go blind from masturbating?
  • Will I use up all my semen from masturbating too much?
  • Will I go to hell because I masturbate?
  • Will God punish me for masturbating?

How many teenage boys masturbate?

image of typical boySurveys have consistently shown that more than 95% of males engage in masturbation, particularly during adolescence. (Some say the remainder are lying!) Dr Dobson of "Focus on the Family" notes that there is absolutely no controversy on these figures from any source!

Some surveys went on to say there was no difference in the rate of masturbation between boys brought up in a Christian environment compared to those brought up without Christian influence. The boys from Christian backgrounds did, however, feel more guilt over masturbation.

Boys cannot fail to know about masturbation at a young age these days since it is a regular topic in the school yard and everywhere they go. (A 1998 Internet survey (3) claimed 50% of boys had masturbated by their 13th birthday and 84% by their 14th birthday)

Will others know I have been masturbating?

image of typical boy
I feared my friends would be able to tell. I thought I might act different or walk differently the next day after masturbating. I remember my peers accusing me of doing it, and I didn't say anything to defend myself, because I knew it was true. I tried to quit altogether a few times, although quitting never lasted more than a couple of days or a week at most. (3)

If you clean up after masturbating, then no-one will be able to tell - including a doctor! The only clue would be if your penis was red and sore from too much masturbation!

Why do I feel guilty afterwards?

image of typical boy
After I'm done masturbating I usually feel guilty and don't know why. I know that almost 95% of all men do it, but I still feel guilty. It's like I'm hiding something. age 12, Canada (3)
How come whenever I'm done masturbating, I feel like I was being stupid and have the urge to put on my clothes immediately? age 14, New York (3)

That is an extremely common reaction, and it's almost certainly physiological (i.e., physical rather than mental) in origin. For most guys, something just shuts their brain off to sex when they're done ejaculating. For many, this manifests itself in the form of guilt - that you were 'being stupid' (as you put it), or they ask themselves, 'Why did I just do that?' This is all normal, and you'll probably outgrow it as you get older. (3)

Some guys find less problem with the 'blah' guilt feelings if they only masturbate before they go to sleep at night. That way, the body and mind has many hours to chill out before tackling the outside world again.

There are studies that show after you cum from masturbating, your hormone level drops dramatically causing the 'blah' feeling.

graph of hormone levels
As your seminal vesicles fill (with semen), hormones are released that increase your sexual desire. The primary chemical is dopamine. As it rises your interest in sex increases. When you masturbate, these hormones rapidly rise and at orgasm there is a "dopamine storm" in your brain for a brief moment. This is followed by the release of a chemical called prolactin. It, in turn, causes your dopamine levels to suddenly decrease. Without this turn-off mechanism, damage would occur from the too high dopamine levels.

This sudden decrease in dopamine is what makes a guy suddenly feel sleepy after ejaculating. But if you stay awake, the decreased dopamine level induces a mild depression that lasts for about 20 minutes. It causes a sudden loss of interest in sex, which is actually needed to give the body a chance to recover from orgasm and the ejaculation. It is typically called the refractory period. It is that sudden shift from sexual excitement to no interest and a mild depression that you are interpreting as guilt. (68)
Imagine if your hormone levels did not drop - you would finish masturbating and be just as horny as you were before you started. Of course you would start masturbating again and repeat the cycle and still be just as horny. Despite how attractive this scenario sounds, it would end up worse than a chinese water torture. The only thing that would stop you from masturbating would be pain from the skin you have rubbed off your penis!

Understanding why you feel 'crap' for a while from low hormones is part of understanding your 'big picture'. Editor

Why can't I stop masturbating?

image of typical boy
If I could go back 2 years, I would not have started to masturbate in the first place. First, I feel guilty. Second, it now takes up a lot of my time. Third, I don't think it has benefited me in any way — it has just made me less pure. I think masturbation is a waste of my time. I don't even really enjoy it, and I feel miserable afterwards. Why the heck can't I stop masturbating? age 17, Nova Scotia, Canada (3)

An Internet survey (3) asked the following question about masturbation:
Question: not counting your childhood, what is the most number of days you've gone without masturbating?

Options Percentage
4 or less days 27.6%
5 or 6 days 22.7%
7 to 30 days 41.7%
more than 30 days 8%

The results may be slanted by the background of the people answering a survey of this type, but as you can see, the trend is that half the males could not go longer than a week and less than 8% could go without masturbating for more than a month!

image of typical boyThe need to periodically release semen is so strong, especially in a young male, that the urge to masturbate is nearly unavoidable. Even if you are able to stop masturbating for a while (like a week), your body may respond by releasing semen at night in a nocturnal emission (or 'wet dream') (3)

The biological reason you can't stop masturbating for an extended period is that the sexual pressure continues to build within you because of the hormone called testosterone in your blood. The sexual pressure continues to build (whether you want it to or not) until you ejaculate your semen by some method. Most likely we guys are designed this way to ensure the human race continues to multiply!

The best advice seems to be that if find the need to masturbate, then to accept it as a normal part of your being.

Weird things happen when I do stop masturbating!

image of typical boyOnce during the summer after my junior year (age 16), I was too tired at night to masturbate. I went an entire week this way. Toward the end of the week, not only was I having vivid sex dreams but I was almost hallucinating — everything I saw had a sexual component or context. I was 'seeing' genitalia in all things (and in the worst possible ways). To tell you the truth, I don't recommend it. (3)
I gave up porn a few months ago and I gave up masturbation for Lent. Well I fully intend on holding true to that promise but it's been really hard so far and it has only been 9 days! Just seeing a girl or a pic. of a girl or seeing a girl on T.V. makes me get a hard-on and not just for a few seconds. I'm talking staying hard for a good 20-30 mins at times and not only that, I'm thinking about porn more often now too. 15 year old boy - USA
image of typical boyI'm 17. Recently I went a few days without masturbating, and to my surprise I found myself notably more attracted to girls. I suddenly found myself staring at girls I'd never noticed before, as if I were in love. Did my abstaining from masturbation lead to this at all?

Probably. If you're used to ejaculating regularly, going without can really mess with your head. The results can vary - in your case it seems to have been rather pleasant, but others report almost a temporary insanity, when you're liable to do things and think things you definitely wouldn't otherwise. (3)

Dr James Dobson in his video "Peer Pressure and Sexuality" explains that over time, the hormonal pressure inside a boy can increase to the point where even a girl simply walking into the room can trigger off an irreversible chain of events in his mind. The desire for sexual expression becomes so strong that he invariably masturbates later, resulting in the hormonal pressure then dropping again.

Over time, the sexual pressure builds again and the boy will feel compelled to express the sexual pressure in his body again no matter how strong his determination was to 'never do it again'. (paraphrased from the video)

No masturbation!

It's really easy for me to put off masturbating. When I was 13, I masturbated for about a year but haven't done so since. I don't need to masturbate and I don't have a girlfriend. The buildup is expelled in my sleep about once every 2 months. seems that I am the only person who does not masturbate. age 22, Australia (3)
image of typical boyI recently tried to quit masturbation and in the process I ended up sleeping with my girlfriend. While trying to quit I went so nuts that I lost my virginity with her. Regular masturbation had controlled my passion in the past when I was with her. I thought I was stronger and when I quit masturbating the passion got too strong. Right now I am facing a lot of mental anguish and have had thoughts of suicide. 19 year old - Florida

What about the fantasies (lust)?

I point out to men that if they have a problem with sexual fantasies or sexual temptation, they are not weird or oversexed as some think; they are very normal. This doesn't mean that this universal temptation is a license to sin. (7)

image of typical boyEvery boy, without exception, will find the connection between lust and sexual turn-on, whether they are looking for that connection or not. This connection often begins with a wet dream, which obviously is totally outside the control of any boy.

After that connection has been established, it is permanently resident in every boy's brain. The next step is 'how do I handle this new side of my personality'?

You've got two options:

  1. Control the fantasies and lust as best you can and masturbate when the internal hormonal pressure causes the sexual pressure to build. This option keeps your sexual nature as an important part of your personality in the context originally designed.

  2. Feed the fantasies and lust and cultivate a sexual desire increasingly out of control and dominating every aspect of your life. This option leads to much more masturbation and then bigger problems with guilt and poor self image! This option usually involves pornography and sometimes leads to violating other people in an attempt to gratify the lust that increasingly dominates your personality.

    The more frequently you masturbate, the more fantasy you require to get an orgasm each time. This option becomes a vicious circle - the more you feed your lust, the more it demands to be fed!

Dad handing over keys for life Dad Advice
You should delay masturbation until the hormonal pressure naturally builds inside you (you become horny) - then very little fantasy at all is required to produce ejaculation and you don't feel so bad about yourself afterwards.
Delaying will mean you will also most likely 'shoot' your semen. Managing yourself this way and 'shooting' semen feels like MASTURBATION+.

See the Lust page for more details on handling this internal force.

How it all fits together












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Every guy will be somewhere between the two extremes when it comes to controlling lust and managing their masturbation. Your position on the scale will also vary a lot from time to time depending on circumstances, moods and hormone levels. The idea is to keep heading toward the left hand (green) column description to control your lust as much as you can.

image of typical boyNot one guy will be able to say he has arrived at the left hand column 'control lust' lifestyle and doesn't have to try any more. It's a daily thing for all guys because of the way we are made up, so don't be too disheartened if you find yourself drifting back toward the right hand column from time to time.

Make the overall 'big picture' theme of your life one of pushing toward controlling lust and don't get hung up on the small-picture 'failures' in the meantime.

Guys in the early stages of puberty

image of typical boyYoung guys in the early stages of puberty often report that it is difficult for them to regulate their masturbation. They can't see how they are different to the red 'compulsive masturbation' (right) column. This is possibly because their immature bodies are flooded with hormones that they haven't had time to adjust to yet.

My advice to guys in this situation, is that if you aren't feeding the lust with porn and deliberately filling your eyes with other peoples' bodies then this is probably the best you can do at this stage. Keep aiming to live on the green (left) side of the chart as you get older and you'll be OK.

Be smart where you choose to masturbate

image of typical boyRecently there was an unfortunate incident where a boy Matthew Burdette (pictured) was secretly recorded masturbating in a toilet stall at his school. When the video was circulated Matthew was so embarrassed by weeks of merciless taunting that he ended up taking his own life.

This shows that those who were doing the taunting were immature and had not come to terms yet with their own sexuality. Even if Matthew knew this it would not have made it any easier for him to cope with.

So learn from Matthew's experience and be smart when you choose where you masturbate.

See the very sad UTube news report of a life needlessly wasted.

What about masturbation with other guys?

image of typical boyMasturbation should be an experience you do alone.

Masturbation with other males strengthens the link of sexual excitement directed toward males that might direct your sexuality in a direction you don't want it to go when you are an adult.

Many young guys compare erections and masturbate with other young guys out of curiosity. My advice is to quit doing this!

If you have been involved in 'comparing notes' then let the phase move on - don't get locked in to having the presence of another boy with you as your method of getting turned on. It doesn't necessarily mean you are homosexual/gay because it turned you on. It is generally more a passing curiosity phase for most guys, but some will get locked in to this method of sexual excitement during their teenage years which they may regret later.

The chains of a habit are too weak to feel until they are too strong to be broken. (57)

Your thought life

Males are sexually aroused mainly by what they see with their eyes or with their imagination. They can also be aroused by other sources too e.g. touch or smell but mostly not as much as by the eyes.

The message our young guys receive today is: 'If it feels good, do it'.

The Bible view is different: Control what you allow your mind to feed on!

bird flying above a tree
bird flying above a tree
A teenager's thought life:

"You can't stop the birds from flying over the tree,
but you can stop them from making a nest there!"

What this means: you are going to experience endless sexual thoughts entering your mind that you can't stop - even when you are at church!

You do however, have the power to stop them from dominating your life completely.

a word of advice, don't look at porn, because somehow it'll draw u in and u'll be j/o before u know it (11)
Yes, it happens. Whenever I get really busy, I just forget to think about masturbation on a daily basis, so I forget to get horny on a daily basis. It's strange, and whenever I get un-busy, I remember, "Hey, I should masturbate today." Pause. "Whoa! I haven't masturbated in a while!" It normally lasts a week, sometimes as much as 2 weeks. This is usually the tactic I use whenever I want to stop masturbating — make myself busy! age 15, Mexico (3)

Q & A


How much masturbation is too much?

Every boy is created with a different temperament so it is difficult to define 'too much' masturbation. A few boys never masturbate (so they claim), others do it occasionally and at the other end of the spectrum, others do it several times a day.

Almost everything can be overdone. I mean, one cookie is great, five are probably okay, but a hundred? Now, the problem (the sin) here isn't the cookie and it isn't the eating, it's the excess! Remember that old saying, 'everything in moderation'? In 1 Corinthians 5:6, Paul is talking about sex and he writes, 'I will not be mastered by anything'. If masturbation is controlling you, 'mastering' you, then it's out of control. Boys need to learn to master their sexuality and not let their sexuality master them! (37)

image of typical boyMy penis gets red and sore from masturbation. What can I do to stop that happening (other than stopping masturbation) 14 year old boy, Australia

Some guys use lubrication when they masturbate - such as Vaseline or hand cream or KY Jelly. Don't use soap or shampoo because they will irritate the skin on your penis and inside the pee hole of your penis! Lubrication also produces different sensations during masturbation.

I heard a singer from a big Christian rock band urging boys not to masturbate because of the lust associated with the activity. I've tried to quit and I can't - what advice do you have for me? 15 year old boy, Canada

It is a balancing act for every male: Every teenage boy has fantasies and lusts and will explore the connection between these, their sexual nature and masturbation.

Lust, however is something that every boy must learn to control as he grows older. (The bible advice is to "flee youthful lusts" - flee youthful cravings, passions and urges)

Even if you were able to stop all lust and totally stop masturbating, the hormonal pressure would build steadily inside you to the point where all sorts of people become sexually attractive to you. People you never even gave a second glance before! At this point the act of masturbation requires very little or even no fantasy. This is probably the ideal compromise situation to aim for as an unmarried teen/adult.

If you are one of the many males who don't experience wet dreams, then masturbation is actually a means of self control! Masturbation reduces the forced sexual attraction associated with the increasing levels of hormonal pressure inside you (time bomb effect). Mental life then returns to normal for a period of time.

What the Bible has to say

Bible ??






The silence in the Bible does not necessarily mean 'go for it'. Because there are strong and loud differing views on this subject I have chosen to look to those who are highly regarded in the Christian community with a track record of presenting balanced views on tough subjects.

Dr James Dobson from 'Focus on the Family' writes:

image of typical boyIt is my opinion that masturbation is not much of an issue with God. It is a normal part of adolescence that involves no one else. It does not cause disease. It does not produce babies, and Jesus did not mention it in the Bible. I'm not telling you to masturbate, and I hope you won't feel the need for it. But if you do, it is my opinion that you should not struggle with guilt over it. Why do I tell you this? Because I deal with so many Christian young people who are torn apart with guilt over masturbation; they want to stop and just can't. I would like to help you avoid that agony. (5)

Gerald Coates, in his book 'Kingdom Now' writes:

Over this whole issue of masturbation, we have to face the fact that the Bible is completely silent about it. Those who lived 2,000 years ago had all the same basic desires and inclinations of a twentieth-century human being. The New Testament (as well as the Old Testament) continually directs us not to get drunk, rob, murder and swindle. Few believers have ongoing problems in those areas! It is amazing therefore that one thing most Christians experience, to some degree or other, is not actually even mentioned. (6)
image of typical boyCompulsive masturbation, simply for the purpose of self gratification, with other people in mind is wrong. .....But masturbation for the purpose of self control is something altogether different. The act in and of itself is not wrong. When someone is under pressure to the point of distraction, whether single or married, it is often better that they relieve themselves - for at that point no mental stimulation is necessary. (6)

What about Onan?

Many people refer to the Bible passage where God was angry with Onan because he 'spilled his seed (semen) on the ground' (Genesis 38:8) as referring to masturbation. A study of the section reveals that it was Onan's duty to continue the family blood line and he failed to do as God had commanded in the laws of the day. Instead of completing the sex act, he withdrew his penis from his sister-in-law at the last moment and let his semen go onto the ground.

That section of the Bible has nothing to do with masturbation or 'wasted seed'. It has to do with deliberately failing to provide an heir for his deceased brother's family.

For Christians

image of typical boyWhen I first began to masturbate, I thought it was a sin. I would masturbate and then frantically pray for forgiveness. I would hold off for a week, and then it would happen again. Given the chance, I would go back and learn the truth... age 15, Georgia (3)
I am 70 years old, and how I wish there had been something like your site when I was a teen. The MISERY and GUILT I suffered is beyond description, as my family was VERY religious. I was well into adulthood and in the military before I found that masturbation was a normal private function. (3)

Dr. James Dobson says that boys from Christian or church backgrounds often have additional problems with masturbation. Boys from these backgrounds are taught that there is an after-life and they will be held accountable for their life here on earth. Many become plagued with unrelenting guilt over masturbation.

He goes on to say that many boys (including Christians) find masturbation absolutely uncontrollable. The boy feels he has sinned and asks God to forgive him and promises not to do it again. Sooner or later though, the accumulating hormonal pressure becomes all encompassing and he will find he is unable to keep his promise to God.

image of typical boyWhat does a boy say to God on the 300th time he has failed to live up to his promise to stop?

This boy is in incredible pain.

He feels bad about himself and 'those' thoughts and guilt that won't stop even when he is church! The pain becomes so great that we lose the young man from the church and from God because he simply has to escape from the inner turmoil.

Dr Dobson summarizes with the statement: 'Masturbation is all encompassing!'

Boys and parents need to understand that masturbation (in Dr. Dobson's words) 'is an inevitable developmental stage - it is going to happen!'

He concludes with the statement: 'If it happens to you, I wouldn't worry too much about it because I don't think it has much to do with your relationship to God'.

The way it is

image of typical boy
Even if you know it's normal and all that, you still lock the door! You don't go around advertising that you're doing it..... Everybody does it, but they sort of pretend they don't. (2) 16 year old boy USA



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