Here's the thing: our world, society, etc. totally supports masturbation.It sickens me. It sickens me to read what they have to say. It sickens me that a website supposedly committed to fairly presenting all sides of an issue would produce an essay that purposely shines an extremely negative light on those who oppose masturbation. Here are a few of my findings...but is any of you reading this are struggling with this issue, you may not want to read on, as you may feel tempted to use some of these as excuses.
The Medical World:
"Sex therapists Bill and Carolyn Chernenkoff from Saskatoon, SK, promote both mutual and private "self-stimulation." They say there's nothing more healthy for hormone-crazed teenagers than masturbation. If the kids are engaging in masturbation, then they won't be practicing sexual intercourse to the same degree, and risk catching STDs or becoming pregnant. 2
R. Jandl commented in an "Ask the Doctors" column that masturbation has a number of benefits:
It enables the playing out of pleasurable sexual fantasies.
It releases sexual tension and often produces a pleasant, tranquil feeling.
It helps a person become more comfortable with their own sexuality.
It is an enjoyable experience when shared with a partner.
It can curb impulses to have inappropriate sex with someone. 3
Other Internet and text references list additional benefits associated with masturbation:
No one gets pregnant by masturbating.
It helps maintain good pelvic blood flow and strong pc muscles.
It is safe. One cannot be infected with STDs during solitary masturbation.
It's great for stress relief.
It can help you sleep.
It can temporarily relieve menstrual cramps in women.
A person who masturbates can learn about the sexual responses of their own body, and thus be better prepared for sexual activity with a partner at a later time.
Some negative factors have been cited:
Among males, frequent and vigorous masturbation can produce skin abrasions. This can be avoided by using a lubricant such as KY jelly, Aqua-Lube, saliva or even soap and water.
It does take time away from other activities. Some younger teenagers masturbate a few times a day.
Prolonged sexual arousal in males without an ejaculation can cause pain due to blood congestion in the genital area. This is often called "blue balls". It is easily avoided by masturbating until ejaculation and orgasm occur.
People can and do masturbate throughout their lifetime without any deleterious side effects."
"However, the researchers found that this reduction in the occurrence of prostate cancer was only related to masturbation. They found that men who had orgasms during sex with many women did not benefit with a lower risk for prostate cancer. "
"About the act itself:
Masturbation may be considered to be composed of three to five components. A liberal Christian might analyze them as follows: Manually touching one's genitals: The human body is a magnificent structure, and no part of it is inherently dirty, evil, or untouchable. Extreme close-up photograph (say, a 1/8" square piece of skin) in the area of the foreskin, penis, clitoris, vulva, palm, chest, or neck will show basically the identical structure. If skin throughout the entire body has the same construction and is formed from identical materials, why should one part be untouchable and the other touchable? A religious liberal would probably conclude that touching one's genitals is not considered an evil or sinful act.
Enjoying the feelings arising from manual stimulation: There are many forms of body stimulation that generate pleasurable feelings: luxuriating in a perfumed bath, lying on the beach and feeling the sun's rays beating down on you, manually stimulating the genitals, experiencing a sensual massage. In each case, some external agent stimulates nerve endings which in turn generate pleasant feelings. The only difference with masturbation is the intensity of those feelings. A religious liberal would probably conclude that manual stimulation of the genitals is in no way sinful.
Fantasizing about a person who one is in love with or would like to be in love with: Fantasies are internal thoughts that bring pleasure and do not impact on anyone else. As noted above, they are harmless.
Optionally experiencing an orgasm: An orgasm is a very intense, joyous, sensual experience. Physiologically, the closest experience to an orgasm is the act of sneezing. A religious liberal would probably conclude that an orgasm is a morally neutral, and very pleasant experience. Again, it harms nobody and is thus free of sin.
In the case of a male: having an ejaculation of semen: The testicles produce semen at the rate of thousands of sperm a second. Reservoirs near the prostate gland are continuously being refilled. Each ejaculation partially empties the chambers. But more sperm will arrive to refill them. If they are not emptied by masturbation or intercourse, they will automatically be voided during sleep in the form of nocturnal emissions. A religious liberal would probably conclude that an ejaculation is harmless. It merely speeds up a natural process."
"They regard human sexuality as a gift of the Goddess and God. It is an activity to be enjoyed responsibly in accordance with the Wiccan Rede. One form of the Rede is:
"Do what you wish, as long as it harms no one, including yourself."
Neopagans carefully consider any act in advance, and avoid those that are harmful to themselves or others. Masturbation is no exception. It is not harmful to other people, because (by definition) it is performed while one is alone. Most Wiccans agree with the best medical information indicates that it is not harmful to the individual either, but rather offers many benefits."
Some Conservative Protestants:
There is no reason to be fearful, guilty or...concerned:
Pastor Paul of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Atlanta, GA -- a United Methodist congregation -- wrote:
From my point of view, masturbation only becomes a problem if you are doing it so often that you hurt yourself (bruising or making yourself irritated) and/or you no longer desire a healthy sexual sharing with the person you love. In other words, it replaces the sexual act with your partner in life. If you are finding yourself preoccupied with masturbation and or the material that generally goes along with it then I would say you have an issue to deal with. Otherwise, you sound like a healthy man to me who is concerned that what you do is OK with God. The fact you are concerned about sharing your sex life with the one for whom you love is something I wish there was more of these days.
However, saving yourself for your husband is about not being with any person other then your husband either before or after. While most would not admit it, masturbation is practiced even during the marriage. In fact, masturbation is one of the tools we have for saving ourselves for that special person with whom we will live and maintain our life with. So, my dear child of God, while many in the world may be shaky, fearful and guilt-ridden with an act that everyone does--there is no reason to be fearful, guilty or all that concerned, morally, ethically, or spiritually. 5
New Man, an Evangelical Christian magazine, published an excerpt from Richard Dobbins' book "Teaching your children the truth about sex." 8,9 Dobbins notes that "nationwide surveys indicated that about 55% of all 13 year-olds, both boys and girls" and more than 80% of of 15 year-olds masturbate. He emphasizes the importance of parents talking to their children about the practice because so many are confused and troubled by it.
He writes: "Openly discussing masturbation and sexual fantasy with your teens will help them avoid the explosive damage sexual misbehavior can bring." His prime concern is that the youth, during masturbation, will use either pornographic pictures or fantasies involving a specific person. Their brain will train itself to link the sexual stimulation with the fantasy that they use. This can cause a need for pornography to be carried over into their married life. However, if they direct a fantasy towards their future spouse, "...then there is nothing morally wrong with it." For the teen, "The spiritual issue is the fantasy accompanying the activity, not the activity itself." He suggests that the parent: Inform their child that sexual fantasies are a normal part of puberty.
Teach that for a teen to Involve a specific person in their sexual fantasies before becoming engaged "will devalue that person."
Warn them about the dangers of using pornography or mental images of specific persons to stimulate their sexual excitement.
Teach them that, while masturbating, they should fantasize about making love with their future spouse.
Explain that they should ask God for grace, if needed, to overcome feelings of guilt.
Neither condone nor condemn masturbation.
Review their own experiences during their teen years.
Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a Fundamentalist Christian advocacy organization, has written:
"It is my opinion that masturbation is not much of an issue with God. It is a normal part of adolescence which involves no one else. It does not cause disease. It does not produce babies, and Jesus did not mention it in the Bible. I'm not telling you to masturbate, and I hope you won't feel the need for it. But if you do, it is my opinion that you should not struggle with guilt over it. Why do I tell you this? Because I deal with so many Christian young people who are torn apart with guilt over masturbation; they want to stop and just can't. I would like to help you avoid that agony." 1
See also a Q&A section in the Focus on Your Child web site. 2