How to Answer Protestants Forum: When can masturbation be a venial sin

When can masturbation be a venial sin QUESTION from Kit_Kat July 31, 2001 My husband and I are in an invalid marriage and are practicing abstinence until we can have our marriage validated by the Church. We started practicing abstinence just over a month ago. I go to confession about twice a month and to Mass daily as well as spending time in prayer and with Scripture, missing very few days of having 30-60 minutes of private prayer.
My first question is which is more serious a sin - for either of us to masturbate or for us to have a 'slip' and break abstinence. So far I have been able to resist temptation to masturbate but we have had a slip. I went to confession the following morning.
I have done some reading and find contradictory information as to whether masturbation is a mortal sin or not and if I need to confess immediately before receiving Communion again.
Some articles mention 'mitigating circumstances'. For myself, it's not so much a matter of lustful thoughts but a sexual 'pressure' in my body that I want to relieve. I don't want to offend God but this sensation becomes quite uncomfortable and distracting. I try to ignore it and it passes only to return much more forcefully a day or so later.
Any help or guidance you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.

ANSWER by Mr. Troy Martz on July 20, 2001 I am not sure why this was posted on this portion of the site, I have forwarded it to the Faith and Spirituality forum.
Keep the faith, I will keep you in my prayers.
Pax Christi, Troy Martz
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