Monday, January 09, 2006
Recently a conversation I had stimulated (no pun intended) a desire for me to do some research into the ever taboo subject of masturbation...
Now, there are plenty of sources that should convince you that masturbation is healthy. It's not something that should be shared (unless with an intimate partner) but it's not a sin and nothing to be ashamed of!
If you look online you find many sources that support this. Obviously many health care sites and surprisingly, many parents’ websites address these issues since infants and toddlers discover masturbation. One parental website discussed this issue (http://parenting.ivillage.com/) and said,
"Masturbation does not cause physical injury or harm to the body, promiscuity, or sexual deviance. Your child is normal. Masturbation is not abnormal or excessive unless it is deliberately done in public places after the age of five or six. Masturbation can cause emotional harm (e.g. guilt or sexual hang-ups) only if adults overreact to it and make it seem dirty or wicked."
But while I was researching I found the most shocking source ever--- Christianity. Or more specifically, James Dobson, the man behind the conservative Christian non-profit "Focus on the Family." His views are very, very Christian oriented and generally conservative in every way, but his stance on this subject was fascinating. I can’t cover it all here, but for the full discussion visit http://www.layhands.com/IsMasturbationASin.htm
Dobson carefully examines the Bible to develop a view on masturbation. He says,
"Some of the arguments against Christians masturbating are that it might involve pornography, it might involve sinful fantasizing, it might decrease the desire for one's spouse, it might become addicting, and so on. However, these arguments do not prove that masturbation is a sin. After all, masturbation can be done without any of those things happening. For example, driving a car might involve exceeding the speed limit or running a red light (both of which are wrong), but this doesn't mean that driving a car is wrong in itself. In a similar way, masturbation can involve certain things which are wrong, but this doesn't mean that masturbation itself is wrong. Masturbation can be done without any of the above things happening, so those arguments do not prove that masturbation itself is a sin."
What I gathered from Dobson was that he didn’t condemn masturbation but talked about "reasonable faith." When Dobson was a pre-teen boy, his father, a conservative minister talked to him about masturbation...
“Jim, when I was a boy, I worried so much about masturbation. It really became a scary thing for me because I thought God was condemning me for what I couldn’t help. So I’m telling you now that I hope you don’t feel the need to engage in this act when you reach the teen years, but if you do, you shouldn’t be too concerned about it. I don’t believe it has much to do with your relationship with God.”
For more visit http://www.focusonyourchild.com/develop/art1/A0000553.html
Way too often people treat the subject of sex and masturbation like they would a dirty joke. These acts are not disgusting and shouldn’t be treated as such. People are way too uncomfortable about sex because we let people make it bad. We need to reclaim the joy and innate goodness of our bodies!
It's funny the amount of controversy masturbation can create… In1994 Dr. Jocelyn Elders (the first woman appointed to the position of U.S. Surgeon General) lost her job because she dared to say that masturbation was a healthy act.
MORE FUN HISTORY OF THE "BAD TOUCH" (facts found at http://www.coolnurse.com/masturbation.htm)
-Around the turn-of-the-century, some adults were so against masturbation that they forced their daughters to wear gloves made of a steel-wool-like material at night and put a powder on their genitals that made them painful to touch.
-They made their sons wear metal chastity belts at night that made it painful to have an erection.
- It was said that if you masturbate you will go blind, bald, develop acne or grow hair on your hands
- Some people attributed insanity to masturbation
The point to this lengthy post is…
What you do with your body is your own business!!! You are not perverse or morally wrong if you enjoy yourself and explore your sexuality to see what makes you happy and comfortable. And you are not abnormal if you would rather abstain from it. Just PLEASE remember, this subject is not taboo or dirty, it is simply something better left private... Not for dinner conversation.
A Woody Allen quote to leave you with,
"Don't knock masturbation, it’s sex with someone I love."