Self-pleasure, intrusive thoughts and guilt

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    First of all I apologies for the topic I have posted if this is an inappropriate topic. But I really need help as I am very confused and depressed.

    I am 25 years old and I have a habit of masturbation (rarely). And while I am doing it I can’t control my thoughts that different people and situations comes into my mind. I can’t figure out whether those thoughts are intentional or not. When those thoughts come into my mind I force them to go away and try to only think about my boyfriend which makes it even worse. It’s like trying to not to think about a pink elephant. The more I pull those thoughts away they come again to my mind even more. And I think when those thoughts comes up I sometimes think about those thoughts for a few seconds to make my self feel good. It’s not like I have any feelings for that person. But I just try to pleasure my self for the moment.

    I feel very guilty about this and I can’t control my thoughts. And the worst thing is After I masturbated I feel like everything in my room is contaminated with sexual fluid and I wash everything and throw everything away (obviously not everything is contaminated it’s just a doubt). I feel like I need to clean everything to get rid of sexual fluid because I thought about different people. I think among those thoughts 75% are about my boyfriend and only 25% is about others. I know this sounds weird.

    I only love my Boy friend so much and I have no intention to be with someone else or to cheat. I love him in all my heart. But I can’t control my thoughts. So when those thoughts comes up I automatically think about them while I am masturbating. I even talk about this to my boy friend he said it can happen and not to over think about it and to let it go.

    Anyway I am now trying to control my thoughts, feelings and also trying to stop masturbating completely. But My problem is I feel like I need to wash everything up to make the past actions I have done correct. If not I feel like it will add up to bad karma and I’ll born in a bad place as a bad person in my next life.

    I even saw a psychologist and he said whether the thoughts are intentional or not I don’t need to wash everything up. I want to know what other people do in such situations? I feel like I am trapped in a unrealistic world.

    Please help me.
    I want to know
    1)Is that necessary to wash everything to make everything correct and clean (I sometimes just wash everything up even my bags, shoes, pillows etc just to ensure everything is 100% clean)?
    2)How can I stop those thoughts?
    3)If it is bad how can I correct the past wrong actions I have made?

    Thank you in advance for anyone who could show me the truth and any advice to ease my pain and guilt.


    It’s a fantasy. And that’s it. I think I speak for everyone here when I say a majority of people that masturbate think of other people or other situations outside of what they’re currently living and experiencing. I’ve been in a relationship for 4 years with a man I love very much, but when I’m trying to get off, chances are I’m thinking about a celebrity or watching porn or letting my imagination take me to a sexual situation I’ve never experienced. They are just what they are, THOUGHTS. And they are yours and only yours. You definitely shouldn’t be feeling guilty as it is a natural part of human nature. I can guarantee when your boyfriend masturbates he thinks of something or someone other than you most times too. Take a deep breath, and enjoy that brain of yours.

    With warmth,


    First, masterbation is totally normal and healthy! Everyone does it or has. Even animals do it! You shouldn’t make yourself feel badly about it. It’s something that humans and animals both do!
    I once was listening to a sex therapist, and she said something that stuck with me. She said that when you’re alone and want to get off, any thought you want to have, have it! It’s your mind and your thoughts that make you feel good, so have them. That being said, I’m sure she meant not thoughts that are considered not “normal” like hurting other people, just sinister things in general, etc. But if for example, you were totally into sock puppets, then, have as many sexy thoughts about sock puppets that you want! Ha ha
    To be serious though, it’s completely okay and normal (and healthy!) to masterbate and think of things that turn you on. It’s not hurting your boyfriend that you love, and I’m almost 100% certain that he probably has many thoughts when he masterbates. And you shouldn’t feel like you’re unclean because you masterbate. Look up the health benefits of masterbating – there’s been research done as to how it’s beneficial for health. Plus that, if you absolutely need to orgasm, it’s probably better to let yourself do it than cheating on your boyfriend (I know you didn’t suggest that at all.)
    You don’t have any reason to feel like this is a bad thing:) it’s probably a good thing to do for yourself!


    Hi Anna,

    My view is that masturbation is like most things in that it is healthy when done in moderation. Just don’t let it be something you do all the time (nothing else going on) and you’ll be fine. I’ll get to your thoughts of others in a moment. But looking at masturbation in itself, what’s not to love? You get to learn how you are wired, what pleases you, on your terms, in the comfort of whatever space is comfy for you. You control the speed and pressure, when to stop and when to release. It’s a win, win, win, win (and then some) situation for you. Again, allow yourself the experience in moderation and you’ll be fine.

    Guilt from thoughts. I’ve experience this as well, but not as much anymore. Here are some thoughts which helped me.

    I haven’t met anyone who has complete control over what thoughts pop in their head. Our senses are constantly stimulating our brain, bringing all kinds of images and words to mind. Receiving physical pleasure will surely keep a steady stream of fantastic imagery flowing. It’s not surprising that at least some of these images are of someone you find physically attractive. Seeking out someone attractive to mate with is part of how we are wired. When you’re in love with someone, why would this hard wiring shut off? It’s like when you hang out with your loved one, and notice an attractive man. Do you stop recognizing that man as attractive just because you’re in love? I’d bet you don’t, and you shouldn’t, and that is normal because of how are brains are wired. Learn to cut yourself slack on this, at least for the reason that thoughts are very much out of our control. How we decide to follow through on our thoughts is what needs attention, imo.

    Then you might ask ‘should I follow through with masturbation when having these images of someone else?’ Absolutely. It doesn’t mean that you’re in love with the person you’re picturing. You may just think they have sexy features. In my experience, love and sex are two separate things, and obviously often go hand in hand. Seeing these as separate can be a challenge because there are strong emotions involved with each. Maybe that’s how guilt works it’s way in. I’ve had my share of struggles with it. But the more I saw them as separate, the more healthier I felt my approach to sex and love became.

    So my advice in a nutshell. Allow yourself the wonderful experience of self pleasure and exploring what turns you on. Go easy on yourself. The thoughts which trigger from physical pleasure might be all over the place. Let it happen and enjoy. It doesn’t mean you’re in love with someone else. It may just mean that they have features which you find sexy.

    : )


    Jennifer, Jess and John thank you so much for your time. You guys make my mind a bit. But still have impure kind of thoughts.
    I understand that masturbation is okay. But I can’t understand why I feel this kind of feelings. I am afraid that if I go to a temple with my contaminated shoes or a bag or my jacket or something I’ll make that place dirty. Of course it’s a doubt that they might not contaminated. Because it is a sacred place and before u go to temple the 1st thing u do is clean your self up. So I am scared in case if something is contaminated it will add up to bad karma. And specially it is because of I thought about other people. I even stop praying because my room is not clean enough to pray with all those contaminated stuff.

    It’s like Masturbation with dirty feelings/fantasies etc —- dirty sexual fluid —– contamination —– Bad karma

    I don’t feel this way when I think about my boyfriend only while I’m masturbating.

    I don’t know whether this make sense. But this is how I feel.

    Thanks again for the replies 🙂


    You’re welcome Anna. And thank you for the discussion 🙂

    I hear what you are saying about it feeling bad/dirty. I suspect that the more you explore this, the more you’ll feel comfortable with it and those thoughts as well. I think you’ll start to notice that these thoughts are normal to being a human and are not bad.

    Best wishes to you 🙂


    Have you tried masturbating with your boyfriend? That can be very enjoyable – and perhaps it would be a safer environment for you to explore.


    It’s all very normal. What isn’t normal or healthy is worrying about it so much.

    Worrying about thinking about ‘bad’ things is a very common source of anxiety problems, but people who are going to do bad things don’t generally worry about doing them – the fact that you are worrying shows that it goes against your nature. It’s just how minds work – minds can’t help but look into the dark corners. That’s all it is. Honest! The more you can let it go, the less it will bother you. The more you hang on to worrying about it, the bigger an issue it will seem, and the more likely it is to spoil things between you and your boyfriend, which really would be a pity.

    Finding out about meditation might help you to calm your mind and be kinder to yourself, and it is a really good skill to have for anyone who gets anxious.

    No need for ANY of the washing either.

    You are normal and not bad!! Believe us all. 🙂


    Hey, Anna!  Sounds to me like you have OCD–the cycle of “upsetting intrusive thought > anxiety > perform action to lessen anxiety” is there (it’s not limited to needing cleanliness).  I also have difficulty with masturbation and interrupting intrusive thoughts, and I realize it’s not always as easy as “just letting go” of them.  My sympathies are with you.  It really sucks.  There are all kinds intrusive thoughts, whether they’re about religious purity or relationships or violence against others or even worse!  But the good news is, everyone has them–some brains (like ours) just assign significance to them and get really anxious.

    This has been a great resource for me: http://drmartinseif.com/dms/intrusive-thoughts/

    And if you need more help, I would strongly suggest seeing a therapist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Exposure-Response Therapy for stuff like this.  Best of luck!

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