Talk to Your Kids About Masturbation

Parent Child Talk


If you believe that masturbation is a sin, let me warn you off.  Don’t read any further.  This post is aimed at assistanting parents in the Mormon church who believe it’s a natural and normal part of growing up.

Personally, I have changed my mindset regarding this practice.  It’s not a sin.  You can find my reasoning HERE.  Since I wrote the article, I have spoken with many members who share my point of view.  This includes former bishops, former stake presidents, former stake presidency and bishopric counselors.  And….a current bishopric member.

In order to avoid saying ‘masturbation’ at every stop, I’ll take the pressure off by alternating with ‘bippity-bop.’

How to Talk to Your Kids

Sounds pretty uncomfortable, right?  I’m not an expert.  I have no experience.  That opportunity was missed during my child rearing adventures.  My wife says that she now regrets never having discussed it with our 6 daughters.

Absent any personal experience to share, I simply googled:  “How to talk to your children about bippity-bop.”  Nothing relevant came up.  Then I substituted ‘masturbation’ for ‘bippity.’  Boy, did that ever do the trick.  Up popped many great resources for talking about the bop.

My two favorites:

First:  How to Talk to Kids About Masturbation by Betsy Brown Braun.  Click  HERE.

In her video, Betsy provides a simple & straightforward method for a short discussion with children.  Her approach takes the edge off of a possibly awkward conversation.  My wife really liked this one.

Second:  Tips for Talking with Kids About Masturbation by Melanie Davis.  Click HERE.

Melanie takes the essay approach.  A short one.  But, packed with lots of good information.  Combined with Betsy’s video, both of them would have given me the tools and the confidence to discuss bippity-bop with my kids.

Why Talk to Your Kids?

If you don’t, it’s highly likely that a bishop, bishopric counselor, youth leader, or friend will teach your kids that masturbation is a big fat sin.  Take control.  They are your children.  Don’t let them be scarred by unnecessary guilt and shame being heaped on the during their precious teen-age years.

Listen to this story.  Don’t let it be the story of the adult future of your child.  This is a man in his late 30’s.

Here is one of my biggest problems with the church and why I don’t want my kids in it: guilt and shame.

My childhood should have been great.  On paper, things went well.  But I absolutely abhorred my childhood.  Why?  Because I was a boy who masturbated.  And I was committing a sin second only to murder!  I hated myself and I lived in fear and guilt and self loathing.  I despised me and it tainted my entire adolescence.  And I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that none of my children EVER feel the burden of that unnecessary guilt.

For Good Measure

Yesterday, I had the following conversation with a bishopric counselor…not in my ward.

SAM:  Have your kids been asked about masturbation in the bishop’s interviews?


SAM:  How do you know?

COUNSELOR:  Soon after the new bishopric was called, with me as a counselor, the bishop announced that he was going to have special meeting with the young men.   It was to be about masturbation.  I told him that was not an appropriate topic for my 13 year old son.  He said it was.  I told him that it had never been discussed with me in my youth and that it was not in the handbook.  The bishop insisted.  I told him my son would NOT be coming to the meeting.  The bishop said that my boy wouldn’t be able to go to the temple if he masturbated.  I told him that I masturbate, have a temple recommend and am your counselor.  He said that he wasn’t going to take my recommend away for masturbation.  But…the youth couldn’t go to the temple if they engaged in it.  I said that wasn’t right, my son wasn’t coming to the meeting and that I didn’t want this practice brought up in youth interviews.  My son didn’t go to the meeting.  He hasn’t been asked about masturbation in subsequent interviews.  And…he has been given temple recommends for every youth temple trip.  He’s 16 now.



19 thoughts on “Talk to Your Kids About Masturbation

  1. Wonderful teachings which Jive with Jesus!

    What will it take for the LDS church to survive this self-generated, line upon line, Faith (Truth) Crisis in this information revolution? BTW, all of this and more is in the BoM:

    Perhaps leadership will have to step down to earth, to apologize to Christ and men, and then move themselves to restore the True Gospel of Christ which includes, but is not limited to:
    – Restoring a leadership removed from the bedroom and prying abusively and perversely into the sex lives of youth and adults alike.
    – Restoring financial and all transparency and tithing integrity.
    – Restoring the real Word of Wisdom, without eternal judgment and damnation, with salvation hinged to it, even being the very key and guardian at the gate to ordinances to heaven (D&C 89:2,4, 10,11)
    – Restoring Christ’s own Law of Common Consent where the membership is part of the accountability for keeping the ship on course through their truthful consent rather than current shamed or coerced “consent” where leaders can do nor say no wrong.
    – Restoring leadership to their rightful positions away from a church where leaders must be revered (worshiped, with hymns of praise sung to them) as demigods who must never be questioned, along with their worshiped creations (temples, commandments of men, and the “God, Christ and Holy Ghost” they create in their own image, whose only purpose is to bear witness of “the truthfulness of the leadership.”).
    – Restoring the church to a True Organization of Christ which follows Him first and rejects all commandments to follow the edicts and creeds of leaders first, and blindly, leaders who contradict Christ, each other and even themselves

    What more should or must be added to RESTORE Christ to His own Gospel, to the head of His own Church, more than you just mentioned in a wonderful podcast?

    Thanks! I will share this for sure.


  2. We are told in the scriptures that “our body is a temple.” If we believe in this principle, where does this practice fit into our lives. If our journey is to become more like Christ, do you really think this practice of bippity is something He would condone. Let’s say it was! Where would it be a proper activity? Would you want your children or your adult self out with friends who sat around mastubating? Doesn’t the thought just make you want to puke? It then forces the activity into the privacy of hiding in their/your room or car. Do you really think this is something Jesus would do.? I believe we all experimented with this activity as well as others like smoking a cigarette . But there had to come a time when our mature self decided this is is not a n activity that is not approved of by the Father and His Son. Joseph Smith said we wouldn’t be commanded in all things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But, of course we, our parents or Jesus would not “hide” in our bedrooms
      to have condoned or God-sanctioned sex either (never mind a set of instructions from God or His anointed ones for that…)…
      This thought process and equivocation of how disgusting sex and masturbation is, and hiding, is how leaders have arrived at condoning the prying into the sex lives of minors which is the real perverted sex abuse.


      1. I never stated nor did anyone else say that sex and masturbation are one in the same. Sex or making love is intimacy between two people who love one another. The two have nothing in common.


      1. So what’s so wrong with self satisfaction. Masturbation is like a bowl of ice cream. If you have a craving for a bowl of ice cream and sit down and enjoy a bowl and it satisfies your craving, you should be able to have your ice cream. No one was harmed in the consumption of the ice cream. Some people like ice cream and some don’t. Imagine being told you’re a horrible sinner for consuming ice cream. That’s exactly what the church is doing to someone who has a natural craving that can be satisfied no differently than eating a bowl of ice cream.

        Getting a massage is a form of self satisfaction that actually involves someone else giving you one. It feels great to have a massage and has many therapeutic benefits. What’s the difference between a massage and masturbation other than it can be administered by ones self and also derives therapeutic benefits. Lastly, if your body is a temple, there are much worse ways to abuse it like lack of exercise or over eating, but there is no shaming by the church for this. The church is way out of line worrying about what one does in private.

        Liked by 1 person

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