How do I explain spontaneous erections and masturbation to my stepson?


During some research, I found on your site, which was named "Growing up in the Lord: A Study for Teenage Boys."

My stepson is beginning a new stage in life, puberty, and he has been getting spontaneous erections. Now, I realize that this can happen at any time and also any place. He's been asking me how to control his erections, and I am unsure how to answer this. I explained that masturbation may help to some extent. Is this correct? And is it OK for me to be telling him that masturbation is fine? Is it a sin to masturbate if the mind is not thinking of sexual thoughts or including other people?

Your opinion is greatly appreciated and, if possible, could I have an answer soon?


Masturbating does not help with spontaneous erections. A boy begins having erections long before he is able to ejaculate. You are better off explaining why it happens. See Why do I have so many erections? for one explanation.

Just about all boys eventually discover masturbation. You don't have to explain how it is done beyond generalities. My usual rule is to explain only a bit beyond what a boy can understand at the moment. Until he experiences an ejaculation, he won't understand most of what you tell him. Masturbation is something you should discuss with your boy because it is so easy, especially in today's society, to get caught up in pornography and lust to make masturbation easier. Plan on a general talk now and a more detailed talk after he hits his growth spurt. Meanwhile, I would like you to read:

I neither encourage masturbation nor tell people that the act of masturbation is sinful. I do spend a good deal of time helping people understand that pornography and lust are sinful and must be avoided.


Thank you very much for replying to my email. I did read most of the information on your site about this subject prior to your reply, but what I hadn't found was the link to "Why do I have so many erections." I found all those links very helpful, and I'm very thankful for your opinion and insight. I'm now more educated in this, and I think I can comfortably talk to my boy about why he's having these spontaneous erections. I'm also very thankful that your explanations are backed up by scripture references! I hope more parents will find your web site and educate themselves! Keep up the great work! Thank you much!

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