Masturbation Rebuttal Religion and Masturbation

Masturbation is a gift of God. Sex is a gift of God to us. Sexual lust is not evil lust, it is God designed human nature. Evil lust is hurtful and harmful to humans. Masturbation is healthy. Masturbation is good. Masturbation is God designed. Masturbation is good for you. Masturbation is for everyone to enjoy.

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Religion and Masturbation

This instruction manual for quitting masturbation was written by the Church of Latter Day Saints. It is seriously a set of rules that they expect their people to obey. It appears they spent a great deal of time writing this anti-masturbation-manifesto so I thought I would include it with the rest of my website on sexuality.
The words typed in blue italics are my opinions and are additions to the original text.


[I welcome anyone to read this essay but only on the condition that they read the entire page to the VERY END. Please Do Not let any of my tongue-in-cheek remarks distract from the deeper meaning of this web page. I only added a few sarcasms, etc. to liven up an otherwise lengthy reading.]

A Guide to Self Control...

OVERCOMING MASTURBATION

distributed by... LDS Church at Brigham Young University

The attitude a person has toward his problem has an effect on how easily it is overcome. It is essential that a firm commitment be made to control the habit. As a person understands his reasons for the behavior, and is sensitive to the conditions or situations that may trigger a desire for the act, he develops the power to control it.

We are taught that our bodies are temples of God, and are to be clean so that the Holy Ghost may dwell within us. Masturbation is a sinful habit that robs one of the Spirit and creates guilt and emotional stress. It is not physically harmful unless practiced in the extreme. It is a habit that is totally self-centered, and secretive, and in no way expresses the proper use of the procreative power given to man to fulfill eternal purposes. It therefore separates a person from God, and defeats the gospel plan. (First of all, there is no mention of the word masturbation anywhere in the Bible. Secondly, It only creates guilt and emotional distress if you believe that you have to quit forever. Third, it is good practice for the reproductive system and the procreative power that God gave us. It may be self-centered and secretive, but then again... so is urinating. The only thing they said that was correct here is that it is not physically harmful.)

This self-gratifying activity will cause one to lose his self-respect and feel guilty and depressed, which can in the extreme lead to further sinning. As a person feels spiritually unclean, he loses interest in prayer, his testimony becomes weak, and missionary work and other Church callings become burdensome, offering no joy and limited success. (Actually, It reduces stress and depression, in many cases freeing the mind to work on other ideas and causes.)

To help in planning an effective program to overcome the problem, a brief explanation is given of how the reproductive organs in a young man function. (I like this next part!)

The testes in your body are continuously producing hundreds of millions of reproductive cells called spermatozoa. These are moved up a tube called the vas deferens to a place called the ampulla where they are mixed with fluids from two membranous pouches called seminal vesicles and the prostate gland. The resultant fluid is called semen. When the seminal vesicles are full a signal is sent to the central nervous system indicating they are ready to be emptied. The rate at which this filling takes place varies greatly from one person to another, depending on such things as diet, exercise, state of health, etc. For some it may be several times a week, for others twice a month, and for others hardly ever. (I guess the guy that wrote this is in the "hardly ever" category.)

It is normal for the vesicles to be emptied occasionally at night during sleep. This is called a "wet dream". The impulses that cause the emptying come from the central nervous system. Often an erotic dream is experienced at the same time, and is part of the normal process. If a young man has constantly masturbated instead of letting nature take its course, the reproductive system is operating at a more rapid pace, trying to keep up with the loss of semen. When he stops the habit, the body will continue to produce at this increased rate for an indefinite period of time, creating sexual tensions and pressure. These are not harmful and are to be endured until the normal central nervous system's pathway of release is once again established. (I find it erotic to read about how the reproductive system operates at such a rapid pace to keep up with the loss of semen from frequent masturbation. Was that the author's reason for writing this thing again?)

During this period of control several things can be done to make the process easier and more effective. As one meets with his priesthood leader, a program for overcoming masturbation can be implemented using some of the suggestions which follow. Remember it is essential that a regular report program be agreed on, so progress can be recognized and failures understood and eliminated. (I would love to join this religion just so I could give my "report" to the priesthood leader. I could see it now. "Well, Sir, I did it 9 times this week and 8 times last week. Do I get extra credit since I averaged more than once a day?" ....do we get paid over-time wages on holidays?")

SUGGESTIONS

1. Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which will strengthen you against temptation. Pray fervently and out loud when the temptations are the strongest. (Give Thanks. Be grateful for the wonderful body that God gave you. Pray thanks to God for all the simple enjoyments we encounter in life. Take time to appreciate the pleasures and sensations that do not involve risk or hurt others.)

2. Follow a program of vigorous daily exercise. These exercises reduce emotional tensions and depression and are absolutely basic to the solution of this problem. Double your physical activity when you feel stress increasing. (Exercise is good. Masturbation is good. But too much of either is not good)

3. When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell stop to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind and then recite a pre-chosen scripture or sing an inspirational hymn. It is important to turn your thoughts away from the selfish need to indulge. (When the temptation to ejaculate is strong, be sure to yell when you orgasm. Instead of an inspirational hymn... how about an interpersonal rhythm)

4. Set goals of abstinence, begin with a day, then a week, month, year, and finally commit to never doing it again. Until you commit yourself to never again you will always be open to temptation. (An antimasturbation commitment? I'd rather commit to helping a fellow human being.)

5. Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved through a changed self-image. Spend time every day imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming tempting situations. (During masturbation, acknowledge your own beauty given to you by God. Do not pretend you are someone else.)

6. Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program. Relate this plan to improving your church service, to improving your relationships with your family, God and others. Strive to enhance your strengths and talents. (Be sure to do other cool things besides masturbation but always remember to take a few minutes during the day for self-stimulation.)

7. Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself to be with others and learn to enjoy working and talking with them. Use principles of developing friendships found in books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. (Have at least one good friend that you can talk about sex and masturbation with.)

8. Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated, or discouraged. These emotional states can trigger the desire to masturbate as a way of escape. Plan in advance to counter these low periods through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting a friend, doing something athletic, etc. (Keeping busy and having an active day makes for good relaxing masturbation sessions before bed time.)

9. Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card. Carry it with you, but show it to no one. If you have a lapse of self-control color that day black. Your goal will be to have no black days. The calendar becomes a strong visual reminder of self-control and should be looked at when you are tempted to add another black day. Keep your calendar up until you have at least three clear months. (My calender went through the wash and all that black ink ran all over my white shirt.)

10. A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at certain times and under certain conditions. Try and recall, in detail, what your particular times and conditions were. Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the pattern through counter-activities. (I noticed I wasn't uptight or grumpy on the days that got colored black on my calender.)

11. In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of them as you do the act. (Actually, I know a little bit about the field of psychotherapy and the aversion technique. It has been known to backfire. For example, if you think of bathing in a tub of worms while masturbating, you may develop a sexual fetish and a very strong desire for masturbating with worms again in the future. You may progress to masturbating with snakes and salamanders. Then you have a problem with bestiality. That's not good!)

12. During your shower activities, leave the bathroom door or shower curtain partly open, to discourage being alone in total privacy. Take cool brief showers. (I have difficulty masturbating in the shower, the running water distracts me and I don't like doing it while standing up.)

13. Arise immediately in the mornings. Do not lie in bed awake, no matter what time of day it is. Get up and do something. Start each day with an enthusiastic activity such as an invigorating masturbation session.

14. Keep your bladder empty. Refrain from drinking large amounts of fluids before going to bed or before masturbating. Urinating right after masturbation can be annoying or moderately painful.

15. Reduce the amount of spices and condiments in your food. Eat as lightly as possible at night. (I don't think this will affect your masturbation at all.)

16. Wear pajamas that are difficult to open, yet loose and not binding. (Wear a nice and loose pair of boxer shorts with plenty of room for the hand and the erection.)

17. Avoid people, situations, pictures, or reading materials that might create sexual excitement. (After about a day or two with no orgasm, I wouldn't need any people, situations, pictures, or reading materials to get sexually excited. I would just feel the erection coming on out of nowhere.)

18. It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use in overcoming this problem. A Book of Mormon, firmly held in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases. (Just don't get the pages of the book all sticky.)

19. In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken. This can also be accomplished by wearing several layers of clothing which would be difficult to remove while half-asleep. (Tied to the bed frame while masturbating? Isn't that bondage or S&M or something. I haven't tried that one yet.)

20. Set up a reward system for your successes. It does not have to be a big reward. A quarter in a receptacle each time you overcome or reach a goal. Spend it on something which delights you and will be a continuing reminder of your progress. (If you don't have a partner, you can save a lot of money by not hiring prostitutes for sex. You can just masturbate. Treat yourself to something which delights you with the cash you save.)

21. Do not let yourself return to any past habit or attitude patterns which were part of your problem. Satan never gives up. Be calmly and confidently on guard. Keep a positive mental attitude. You can win this fight! The joy and strength you will feel when you do will give your whole life a radiant and spiritual glow of satisfaction and fulfillment. (The pseudo-religious nuts never give up! Sure you can win the fight! Stand up and be proud with your aching testicles and painful erection in your pocket from lack of ejaculatory relief. You will get a wonderful penial erection for every person you see due to your sexual frustration from holding everything in. If you don't ever masturbate again, you can keep every sexual emotion all bottled up inside. Deny that you have gone through puberty! Pretend you have no sexual thoughts at all.) (Personally, in reality, I'd rather not worry about "winning the fight" because I see no need to start one.)

STEPS IN OVERCOMING MASTURBATION

1. Be assured that you can be cured of your difficulty. Many have been, both male and female, and you can be also if you determine that it must be so. (I see now, this was written by a female! That explains everything.)

2. This determination is the first step. That is where we begin. You must decide that you will end this practice, and when you make that decision, the problem will be greatly reduced at once maybe later.

But it must be more than a hope or a wish, more than knowing that it is good for you. It must be actually a DECISION. If you truly make up your mind that you will be cured, then you will have the strength to resist any tendencies which you may have and any temptations which may come to you. After you have made this decision, then observe the following specific guidelines: (restrictions):

1. Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during normal toilet processes (In other words, No masturbating at the dinner table.)

5. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company. (Masturbate with your best friend.)

6. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP. (Exactly how many friends would you have if you did this?) Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don't suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. (Funny how 2 million alcoholics in AA stay sober everyday by supporting one another but 5 billion masturbators can't quit.) You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken OUT OF YOUR MIND for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things. (Mind melt.)

7. When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror. Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes--just long enough to bathe and dry and dress AND THEN GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM into a room where you will have some member of your family present. (It only takes five or six minutes to masturbate... don't be hanging around in the bathroom afterwards... others want to get in there to use it you know.)

8. When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts, and so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes. By the time you started to remove this protective clothing, you will have sufficiently controlled your thinking and the temptation will leave you. (Are they talking about a straight jacket here? I'm going to need more than that to hold me.)

9. If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, GET OUT OF BED AND GO INTO THE KITCHEN AND FIX YOURSELF A SNACK, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you GET YOUR MIND ON SOMETHING ELSE. You change the subject of your thoughts, so to speak. (Ohhhh man, I would be 400 lbs! I see what they mean now, they want your belly to get so big that you can't reach your penis.)

10. Never read pornographic material. Never read about your problem. Keep it out of your mind. Remember--"first a thought, then an act." The thought pattern must be changed. You must not allow this problem to remain in your mind. When you accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act. (Erotic literature is much healthier than pornographic pictures. It's strange how this little instruction manual on how to quit masturbating just makes me think about all that semen building up inside of me just waiting to be released... All of it just seems so natural and "meant to be". Sometimes there is just an incredible urge all over my body for the rhythmic expression to celebrate the fact that I am male through masturbation. I am so grateful.)

11. Put wholesome thoughts into your mind at all times. Read good books--Church books-scriptures--sermons of the brethren. Make a daily habit of reading at least one chapter of scripture, preferable from one of the four gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon. The four gospels--Matthew, Mark, Luke and John--above anything else in the Bible can be helpful because of their uplifting qualities. (Those are good things to read but here is something more appropriate to read if we are discussing sexuality and masturbation... Confidential Biography.)

12. Pray. But when you pray, don't pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep it in your mind more than ever. Pray for faith, pray for understanding of the scriptures, pray for the missionaries, the General Authorities, your friends, your families, BUT KEEP THE PROBLEM OUT OF YOUR MIND BY NOT MENTIONING IT EVER--NOT IN CONVERSATION WITH OTHERS, NOT IN YOUR PRAYERS. KEEP IT OUT of your mind! (Dear God: I'm grateful for the fascinating world around us. I ask you to assist me spiritually by guiding me to do things like helping out a fellow human being. I 'd like to take a moment to express gratitude for my body and all of it's sexual emotion, sensation, and libido. I am thankful for the way you have given me to express these feelings to myself when I am not ready to commit, or for some other reason, cannot have another person for a sexual partnership. I pray for the poor guy who tries to quit masturbating but can't stop only because he is a normal person who has a healthy sex drive. He feels guilty about something that he does not need to feel guilt for. I pray that he acquires understanding. May he find the truth about his own body... Amen.) ---

If God did not want us to masturbate, it would have been the 11th commandment! I do not see any of the things some churches say about quitting masturbation in the Bible. Why would someone write these restrictive rules? My suspicion is that it could have started with a parent who wanted to keep their children young and innocent. Keep in mind that for a parent, the thought of their own child acquiring a sexual identity and masturbating can be quite repulsive. Afterall, isn't the vice-versa thought of our parents having sex or masturbating awful to us? It's because of the generation gap.
Some parents, teachers, ministers, priests, etc. would like to keep their children young, innocent, and impressionable instead of letting them explore and experiment with sexual sensations on their bodies. Masturbating to ejaculation is a sure sign of having a sexuality, growing up, and having an adult body.
Another possibility is that some high ranking religious leader may want to keep the people feeling guilty to keep them returning to church to beg forgiveness. Not only do they keep coming back to church, but they also keep bringing their money to church for the offering baskets. In reality, the more guilt there is from masturbation, the more money they make. Masturbation is not something a normal guy can just easily quit. Few men have been successful at quitting. Even among priests themselves, there is masturbation. People have been known to suffer a great deal from trying to quit. The male body was designed to ejaculate on a regular basis. Funk and Wagnals Family Medical Guide says that regular release of semen is important for a healthy prostate.

Spiritually speaking, we should not be concerned about if or how much we masturbate. The act itself is a normal bodily function like any other. Trying to quit is impossible because we will no doubt eventually masturbate in our sleep. Rather than a working on trying to quit, what we should examine more carefully is what we are thinking about while doing it. If we are experiencing profound lust for another human being while masturbating, of course it is a source of guilt. Fantasizing about people that we can not, should not, or will not be carrying on sexual relations with is damaging to our emotional spirituality. Having said that, I must mention that there is a link at the end of this story to the main page (Confidential Biography). I certainly can not argue that all the sexual things on the main site are acceptable. In fact, they are just the raw truth, not necessarily things that I advocate.
I feel it is much more of a healthy practice if I concentrate on the sensation of my own body rather than sex fantasy or greedy self-indulgence. But wait, isn't masturbation all about self-indulgence? True, often the self is erotic and sensual but it all depends on our viewpoint of the situation to determine if it is self-indulgent. Many guys feel pride that they are male and find this to be quite an auto-erotic masturbatory thought. Feeling prideful to have a penis and a male body is a very powerful, self-gratifying thought. It is the pride that gets us into trouble. Pride leads us to the road of the sin. I know pride does not allow me to serve the Power greater than myself and it certainly doesn't allow me to follow His will. Self-pride does not take God into consideration. When we have pride for something, it is assuming that it is our own creation, our own sensation, and our own experience, having nothing to do with God.
Instead of being prideful, why not consider being grateful? Being greatful for a male body and the sexual sensations that go along with it brings in a whole new realm of spiritual experience. We are acknowledging it as gift and expressing thanks for it. It is no longer a selfish, self-gratifying , secretive act. When we are greatful for something, it includes another entity besides ourself because there is the fact that we are greatful to someone for it. Grateful to whom? God.


Wondering why I am motivated to write this much on this topic? For the answer, click to see this letter one reader sent me recently.
Mental Masturbatory Abuse

--Masturbation and Religion--
Here is an excellent page to see on this topic (Written by a Christian): Celibacy?
If you can relate to masturbation-religion anxiety, please write to:
RawPsychology@aol.com or
PO Box 406, Horsham, PA 19044

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