8.40 Why is lust wrong? What about masturbation?
Sexual desires are part of who you are, and there is no reason to be ashamed of these. That said, as human beings we can decide how we deal with our desires, and whether we act upon these or not.
You can love without sex, but sex without love is not in line with God’s intentions. Generally, lust and masturbation are self-centered, whereas sex is intended to be enjoyed together. Saint Mary of Egypt easily gave in to her lustful desires, but one day she discovered how this did not make her truly happy. Dedicating herself to God in purity did.