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Thread: Masturbation! Guilt and Religion!

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    Masturbation! Guilt and Religion!

    I have actually done some research on how various religions view sexual masturbation. Surprisingly enough, I found that most all of the more conservative sects of the various world religions take a dim view in regards to masturbation, or what I prefer to call "self pleasuring". Or you could call it sex with yourself. I thought it might spice up the religion forum to have a discussion on this topic.

    First, Let me start out by linking an article from Psychology Today. I consider Psychology Today to be a pop science journal that backs up most of its claims to some extent, but I wouldn't refer to it as a serious science journal by any means. Still, I liked the article that I found when I began to give serious consideration of this topic and the cruel, harmful way that religion often views it. In fact, I think that those of us who were indoctrinated during our childhoods with versions of fundamentalist religion, may still have a little baggage or guilt in regards to openly discussing our views on masturbation. Prove me wrong.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...t-masturbation

    The history of the world’s religions is one of significant strife: Protestants and Catholics in deadly battle; Shiites and Sunnis at long-lasting war; Christians and Muslims in constant conflict; Christians and Muslims persecuting Jews; Hindus, Jews, and Buddhists oppressing Muslims; Muslims persecuting Bahais and Copts; and so on.

    And yet, amidst all this discord, there is one thing that the world’s major religions do seem to agree on: masturbation. A large number of major religions have long declared it to be bad, immoral, sinful, and injurious.

    Touching yourself to produce sexual pleasure, according to many religious doctrines, is harmful—both spiritually and physically. John Wesley, the founder of Methodist Christianity, preached that masturbation caused nervous disorders and madness. Ellen Gould White, the founder of Seventh Day Adventism, disparaged masturbation as “vice.” The Catholic Church currently castigates masturbation as “an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that masturbation is a "form of uncleanness” that can be " mentally corrupting.” Among the Mormons, Jains, Sikhs, Orthodox Jews, Buddhist monks, and most schools of Islam, sexual self-pleasure is strictly forbidden.
    I wasn't taught not to masturbate. In fact the topic never came up during my childhood indoctrination. I never really thought of pleasuring myself until I was probably around 20. I was taught that sex was only to be practiced by married couples. Shit. We didn't even discuss gay people back in those days, as everyone was in the closet.....but that's another topic to discuss some other time.

    In a recent study conducted by the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen, Germany, orgasm resulting from masturbation was shown to boost the white blood cells that help fight infection. This study confirms what other researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction have found, specifically that:Masturbatory orgasms lower stress by producing dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which act to counter stress-inducing cortisol levels.
    Masturbation fosters relaxation, which helps people sleep better, which is extremely important in maintaining health.
    Masturbation is correlated with bolstering the immune system.
    As a recent report from Big Think summarizes, “While there are many things we need to do to keep our immune systems functioning at optimal levels, masturbation (or other means of achieving orgasm) has proven to have positive effects on the immune system as a whole.”
    I can add several other links if necessary to give evidence of the extreme ways that even modern conservative religion views self pleasuring. It's often related to lust and lust is related to sin in many religions, especially the patriarchal varieties. So, it's okay to talk to a pretend invisible friend, and ask that pretend entity for all kinds of stuff, but it's harmful to fantasize and pleasure yourself to relieve stress, help you sleep and make you feel sexually satified without a partner. How could such a harmless, pleasant act, possibly be wrong!

    I will have to wrap it up for now, but if anyone is interested, please share how you were raised in regards to pleasuring yourself sexually? Did it make you feel guilty? Did it harm you in any way? Was it related to religious indoctrination? Did it give you any guilt or sexual hangups? Share whatever you feel comfortable discussing.

    If you are still a somewhat conservative Christian or member of another religion, what is your view on this topic? If you were taught not to touch yourself for sexual pleasure, do you still believe that? Why or why not?

    Discuss among yourselves.....

    If nobody is interested in discussing this subject, I will be back when I have time to add some of the crazy things that I read on different Christian, Muslim and Jewish sites in regards to the "evils" of masturbation.

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    Thank you for starting my week with a deep belly laugh.

    You can trace back to Augustine born to paganism and libertine sex. He is said to have uttered 'Lord give me chastity but not yet'. He preached a little self flagellation is good for the soul.

    Moderm day RCC Opus Dei members where spiked bracelets around the thigh. A touch of discomfort during the day to keep their heads straight.

    On of the recent popes had a rig for self flagellation.

    In Leviticus women menstruating where 'not clean' along with nocturnal emissions. Ritual cleansing required.

    IMO Christianity has created the sex abuse we see today. We are raised with an unhealthy view of sex.

    There was the pope that went around hacking genitals off statues and covering up genitals and breasts on paintings.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    An old warning the church gave trying to prevent people from masturbating is that it would make you go blind. I think it was Woody Allen that asked if he could do it until he needed glasses.

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    Wikipedia has a masturbation article. In the section on Laws, it says that the Puritan colony of New Haven, Connecticut, in a law code from the 1600s, mandated that 'blasphemers, homosexuals, and masturbators' were eligible for the death penalty. I'm a bit surprised by the word 'homosexuals', as I don't think that was common usage in the 1600s -- however, Wikipedia's footnote credits the statement to a modern-day history book, so it may not be a direct quote from the law code.
    In any case, sometimes you must take the law into your own hands.

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    I know that Focus on the Family has a rather extreme outlook on what is sinful, but why not start there?

    https://www.focusonthefamily.com/fam...-masturbation/


    Sex and marriage are intended to serve as a picture or symbol of the union between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:31-32).
    These theological perspectives should frame our approach to the practical problem of masturbation.

    In short, we should never heap guilt on those who find the urge to masturbate almost uncontrollable — and who might be driven to spiritual despair because of it. At the same time, we should do everything we can to help people see that self-gratification doesn’t match the purpose, goal, and basic nature of sex.
    Well, it's good that they don't want to "heap guilt" on those who masturbate, but I'm a bit grossed out over the concept that marital sex is symbolic of the union between Christ and his church.

    One thing to remember is that masturbation often starts as self-soothing behavior. It’s a way to cope with pressures and try to meet basic human needs for peace, security, comfort, and reassurance.

    So if you struggle with masturbation, plan to replace the negative behavior with a valid way to address your underlying needs. Talk things over with a friend, take a hike, read a good book, listen to music, pour yourself into a project, or serve other people.
    The first sentence sounds as if they understand why people masturbate, but then they refer to it as a negative behavior. I doubt that reading a good book or taking a hike is going to satisfy that need.

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    Wow! It seems as if the Catholic Church has an even more extreme view on the practice of sexually pleasuring oneself. They even condemn it if it's used for sperm collection. Sorry Catholics. If you can't get pregnant the old fashioned way, too bad.

    https://www.ncregister.com/blog/is-m...n-always-wrong

    “By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. ‘Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.’ ‘The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.’ For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of ‘the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved’ [internal quotes from Persona Humana, 9]” (2352).
    My husband was raised in a Catholic tradition. Thank god, he's an atheist! I seriously doubt that too many RCs take this seriously, as most of my friends growing up were Catholics and well, let's just say they had other ideas. Still, doesn't such nonsense have the tendency to make innocent people feel guilty about doing something that's natural?


    Now you ask whether it could be licit to self-stimulate at the recommendation of your doctor. I suspect your doctor is recommending this in the hopes that you will achieve sexual satisfaction through the behavior; and that this will help you overcome whatever psychic block he thinks might be present. I also suspect he assumes you will use erotic images, certainly sexual thoughts, to facilitate this. If so, then he is prescribing as a treatment for overcoming periodic impotence self-stimulation to achieve sexual pleasure, a prescription that would be gravely immoral for you to carry out. The Catholic Church teaches that it is never morally good to seek sexual pleasure outside of the marital act.
    I wonder if the current pope would make an exception for this. He does seem a lot more progressive compared to his predecessor.


    What about self-stimulation for reasons other than pleasure — say, purely for collecting a sperm sample?

    Notice the second internal quote above in the text from the Catechism: “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” This would seem to include self-stimulation for purposes of sperm testing.
    No exceptions.

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    I read several articles about how Muslims view masturbation. One said if a doctor tells you to do it, that's okay, but most of what I read prohibited it in the same way that Christians do .

    http://www.therevival.co.uk/article/masturbation-islam

    t is spiritually wrong as well as morally wrong due to the fact that that when one masturbates they are taking away the right of their spouse (if they are married) or the fulfilment of getting married. However, many youth then claim that masturbation is the only way they can stay away from sin. Although one has to understand that normally sexual arousement occurs when a person either sees something that makes them want to commit a sexual act or they may involve themselves in a relationship which then leads on to masturbation. In both cases a person is not allowed to put themselves in that position.

    The other problem is that their relationship with their spouse is not a fulfilling one and therefore to fulfil their sexual hunger they feel they have to masturbate. In this situation it is still not allowed and in some ways even worse as this could deprive their marriage of one of its essential ingredients.

    It is permissible for a wife to masturbate her husband and vice versa. (Radd ul Mohtar). Therefore if the husband has the urge to this then he may allow his wife to do this for him. Also, if there are other reasons why a husband feels the need to masturbate then he must identify the root cause and discuss this with his spouse.

    If a person knows for sure that if they did not masturbate then they would commit fornication, then in this situation the lesser of the two evils is to masturbate as fornication would be a worse sin. One should still repent after this.

    If a person feels the urge to masturbate on a regular basis then they should get married if they can financially afford to do so. If this is not possible then a person should fast as this according to the Hadith will quell a person’s sexual urge (due to weakness resulting from the lack of food and drink).
    Yeah. Make yourself so hungry that you are too weak to think about sex. Great idea. /s

    Sheesh! Why can't a married man or woman do both? Considering how these patriarchal religions are so down on sex outside of marriage, one would think they would be encouraging more masturbation, not less. Is this simply about controlling people? I would have thought we would have moved past such absurd superstitions by now, but I was wrong.

    Still waiting if anyone wants to share what they were told when they were raised in any conservative or even moderate branch of religion.

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    Wow! Conservative Jews believe that every sperm is sacred. And here I thought it was only Catholics that believed that nonsense. Still, since women don't ejaculate sperm, I guess it's okay for Jewish women to enjoy themselves. It's weird that so many of these religions pretend that women don't pleasure themselves sexually. Then again, that may be why so many women from the generation prior to mine never had satisfying sex lives.

    https://spokanefavs.com/ask-a-jew-is...ed-in-judaism/


    “Sacred Sperm” provides more information on its subject than most non-Jews — and, for that matter, many Jews — would probably care to have. However, its primary message is hard to miss; it’s right in the title. In Orthodox Judaism, sperm is considered sacred, and “wasting” it through masturbation a sin. Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism (I was raised in the latter tradition) have a very different take. If you’re looking for proof of masturbation’s wrongness in the Torah itself, you’ll likely end up at Genesis 38:8-10, in which Onan spills his seed on the ground, displeasing God, who “slew him.” Onan wasn’t masturbating but practicing birth control via withdrawal, but the end result — the “wasting” of sperm — was the same.
    Nice god! He kills a guy for masturbating. OF course, as one of you already mentioned Puritans did the same thing.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Wikipedia has a masturbation article. In the section on Laws, it says that the Puritan colony of New Haven, Connecticut, in a law code from the 1600s, mandated that 'blasphemers, homosexuals, and masturbators' were eligible for the death penalty. I'm a bit surprised by the word 'homosexuals', as I don't think that was common usage in the 1600s -- however, Wikipedia's footnote credits the statement to a modern-day history book, so it may not be a direct quote from the law code.
    In any case, sometimes you must take the law into your own hands.
    You can read more about it here if you have an interest. You are correct in guessing that the early New Haveners had never heard of, let alone outlawed, "homosexuality" by that name. They did, however, have very strong views on "sodomy", a very expansive class of various sexual crimes including men laying with men, women doing anything "unnatural" (such as taking it up the ass instead of throught the front door), male masturbation or even "incitement" to masturbation, sex with children, and many other crimes. It is a surprisingly detailed document, and raises some eyebrows when you really stop to think about it. Like, just how common was public masturbation in 1656 that they felt obliged to call it out specifically? In any case, all forms of sodomy were considered to be a type of rape and therefore subject to capital punishment without respect to degree.

    The unusually severe laws of the would-be colony (which was conquered and dissolved militarily by neighboring Connecticut colony nine years after those statues were written) have often drawn comment over the centuries. My own ancestors, who were among the town's original founders but not Puritans themselves, were taken to court no less than five times over various charges in less than ten years. Drunkenness, dishonesty, and "idleness", being the charges in all cases. (It was literally illegal not to be "working", somehow, at all times...)
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Wikipedia has a masturbation article. In the section on Laws, it says that the Puritan colony of New Haven, Connecticut, in a law code from the 1600s, mandated that 'blasphemers, homosexuals, and masturbators' were eligible for the death penalty. I'm a bit surprised by the word 'homosexuals', as I don't think that was common usage in the 1600s -- however, Wikipedia's footnote credits the statement to a modern-day history book, so it may not be a direct quote from the law code.
    In any case, sometimes you must take the law into your own hands.
    You can read more about it here if you have an interest. You are correct in guessing that the early New Haveners had never heard of, let alone outlawed, "homosexuality" by that name. They did, however, have very strong views on "sodomy", a very expansive class of various sexual crimes including men laying with men, women doing anything "unnatural" (such as taking it up the ass instead of throught the front door), male masturbation or even "incitement" to masturbation, sex with children, and many other crimes. It is a surprisingly detailed document, and raises some eyebrows when you really stop to think about it. Like, just how common was public masturbation in 1656 that they felt obliged to call it out specifically? In any case, all forms of sodomy were considered to be a type of rape and therefore subject to capital punishment without respect to degree.

    The unusually severe laws of the would-be colony (which was conquered and dissolved militarily by neighboring Connecticut colony nine years after those statues were written) have often drawn comment over the centuries. My own ancestors, who were among the town's original founders but not Puritans themselves, were taken to court no less than five times over various charges in less than ten years. Drunkenness, dishonesty, and "idleness", being the charges in all cases. (It was literally illegal not to be "working", somehow, at all times...)
    "Idleness" was probably similar to the crime of "No visible means of support," which is to say, a person has money but can't explain how they earned it.

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