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Thread: Masturbation! Guilt and Religion!

  1. Top | #11
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Loads 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.
    I seem to have picked up on the prohibition of masturbation somehow from popular culture, because I recall worrying about it a fair bit early on in life, and was surprised to learn much later that the denomination I grew up in has no strong views on the question. This came about in curiously awkward context, as my (Catholic) high school Bible class brought the whole thing up and the teacher complained about the lax attitudes of Protestants on this question! It was around the same time that I followed up the literature on Onan's sin, found out about the levirate rules, and decided then and there that Old Testament laws were not going to be the basis of my views on sexual morality in any degree, whether some authority said otherwise or not. I'm not marrying my dead brother's widowed wife for the faith, sorry!
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  2. Top | #12
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    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.
    Nope, they are pretty clear in the law actually!



    If you or your master are not "proffiting" by your actions, God is mad at you and so is Reverend Davenport. It was a strict theocracy, and its laws were extreme in many respects. I suspect this law was more often applied to indentured "servants" like my many-times-grandsire, than to the Planters who ruled the place.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  3. Top | #13
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    Thanks for joining the discussion Politesse. Masturbation was never mentioned in my conservative Baptist childhood church. That is why I never knew that such a thing existed until I figured it out by myself. From what I have read over the past few days on the subject, it almost gave me the impression that a lot of Protestant versions of Christianity have gone backwards on this issue. Perhaps that's because we talk about sexuality a lot more openly then we did when I was growing up. I never even knew there was such a thing as a gay person during most of my youth. That's how deep in the closet gay folks were in the suburb near New York City where I spent my youth. I guess I lived a very sheltered life until I was about 19.

    Of course, I'm not including the very liberal versions of Christianity when I mention the prohibition to something so innocent and harmless. It does seem as if people seem to have difficult discussing this subject, regardless of their opinion. I think that may be due to the heavy cultural influence of religion in the US. People don't consider it wrong, yet they often seem hesitant to discuss a practice that is common among the vast majority of adults of all ages at one time or another.

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    I was married to a Baha'i for nine years. It was the last religion that I seriously considered joining prior to my becoming an atheist. I thought the religion was very progressive at the time that I studied it and had mostly Baha'is as friends. So, I was sort of disappointed that a religion that supports full equality of the sexes and races and promotes world peace would have such a backward view regarding masturbation

    https://www.bahaiquotes.com/subject/masturbation


    Masturbation is clearly not a proper use of the sex instinct, as this is understood in the Faith. Moreover it involves . . . mental fantasies, while Bahá’u’lláh, in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, has exhorted us not to indulge our passions and in one of His well-known Tablets ‘Abdu’l-Bahá encourages us to keep our “secret thoughts pure”.

    Universal House of Justice, 1981, Lights of Guidance, p. 364
    God forgiveth you your nocturnal emissions and masturbation. But know ye the value of your seed, for your seed is the cause of the creation of one who worshippeth God. Keep your seed in the exquisite place. The purpose of this command is that perhaps the fruit of your existence will come to the aid of the religion of God. When semen cometh out by your own free will, make the ablutions, prostrate yourself and say this verse nineteen

    times: 'Thou art the Most Pure and Sublime, O my God! Thou art free from error and lack. There is none other God save Thee! I proclaim Thy sublimity, and I am of those who know that Thou art the Pure.'"
    I really don't get it. How can fantasies and touching yourself be harmful? Does religion condemn everything that brings a person pleasure unless it's in a marital relationship? What about people who never meet a compatible mate?

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Thanks for joining the discussion Politesse. Masturbation was never mentioned in my conservative Baptist childhood church. That is why I never knew that such a thing existed until I figured it out by myself. From what I have read over the past few days on the subject, it almost gave me the impression that a lot of Protestant versions of Christianity have gone backwards on this issue. Perhaps that's because we talk about sexuality a lot more openly then we did when I was growing up. I never even knew there was such a thing as a gay person during most of my youth. That's how deep in the closet gay folks were in the suburb near New York City where I spent my youth. I guess I lived a very sheltered life until I was about 19.

    Of course, I'm not including the very liberal versions of Christianity when I mention the prohibition to something so innocent and harmless. It does seem as if people seem to have difficult discussing this subject, regardless of their opinion. I think that may be due to the heavy cultural influence of religion in the US. People don't consider it wrong, yet they often seem hesitant to discuss a practice that is common among the vast majority of adults of all ages at one time or another.
    There are also a lot of taboos against discussion of sex with, or even about, young people. I think a lot of Americans are therefore uncomfortable with any conversation that might lead toward an open discussion of pre-pubescent sexuality.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Thanks for joining the discussion Politesse. Masturbation was never mentioned in my conservative Baptist childhood church. That is why I never knew that such a thing existed until I figured it out by myself. From what I have read over the past few days on the subject, it almost gave me the impression that a lot of Protestant versions of Christianity have gone backwards on this issue. Perhaps that's because we talk about sexuality a lot more openly then we did when I was growing up. I never even knew there was such a thing as a gay person during most of my youth. That's how deep in the closet gay folks were in the suburb near New York City where I spent my youth. I guess I lived a very sheltered life until I was about 19.

    Of course, I'm not including the very liberal versions of Christianity when I mention the prohibition to something so innocent and harmless. It does seem as if people seem to have difficult discussing this subject, regardless of their opinion. I think that may be due to the heavy cultural influence of religion in the US. People don't consider it wrong, yet they often seem hesitant to discuss a practice that is common among the vast majority of adults of all ages at one time or another.
    There are also a lot of taboos against discussion of sex with, or even about, young people. I think a lot of Americans are therefore uncomfortable with any conversation that might lead toward an open discussion of pre-pubescent sexuality.

    Oddly enough, we did have sex education when I was in high school. I don't remember much. I don't talk to many teenagers but I do know that women are usually very open about discussing sexuality with their peers. At least that has been my experience when I was working as a nurse. Considering all the porn and over sexualization of females in our society, it does seem a bit weird that some people are hesitant to discuss sexuality. I had at least 3 patients in their late 70s or early 80s that openly discussed their sex lives or attempted sex lives with me.

    I imagine that pre-pubescent kids discuss these things among themselves, although I have no idea if they have reliable sources of information. My granddaughter just turned 10. If we didn't live so far apart, I would feel comfortable educating her, if I was asked to, considering I've worked in STD clinic, maternity clinic, family planning clinic and feel comfortable discussing this topic. Having said that, I have no expectations that I will be asked to inform my grandchild about this issue. I started educating my son about sex when he was about 5, as I didn't want him to be clueless like I was. He probably thought I was nuts, but as a nurse, I felt it was my duty to be sure that my son had a basic understanding of human sexuality.

    But, since I'm trying to discuss masturbation.....I did find him once playing with a back massager that I had when he was about 5. He was rubbing it on his penis. He didn't know that I saw him, as I silently backed away and let him continue his business. I never told his father, which was probably best now that I know the Baha's condemn masturbation. But, I digress.

    I will share something sad that happened when I was in 5th grade. A little girl, who I now assume was likely a budding Lesbian, had a big crush on another little girl in our class. The other little girl was a close friend of mine and she showed me the love letters from the girl who had a crush on her. Her father told her not to speak to the girl anymore. That's how homosexuality was viewed at the time. At least I assume the one girl was beginning to experience physical attraction to a person of the same sex. After I grew up, I always wondered how that experience might have impacted her. I doubt she ever knew what she was feeling at the time. She was beginning to experience puberty. It's terrible that our culture, especially as it's been influenced by religion, has caused so much heartache and misunderstandings regarding same sex attraction etc. Again, I digress. Sorry.

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    Youcan takem the kjid out of the Catholicmchurch, but you can't take the church out of the kid.

    Those of us who grew up indoctrinated in the RCC always carry residual guilt. We grow up feeling guilty of something intangible.

    In the 70s I was in the shower with a girlfriend who had an Aha! moment. She said 'Sex isn't dirty!!!'.

    It is more than that. Women breast feeding in public is or has been considered an obscenity. Bare breasted women.
    .

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    Veteran Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    I really don't get it. How can fantasies and touching yourself be harmful? Does religion condemn everything that brings a person pleasure unless it's in a marital relationship? What about people who never meet a compatible mate?
    "As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys." -- William Blake

  9. Top | #19
    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Youcan takem the kjid out of the Catholicmchurch, but you can't take the church out of the kid.

    Those of us who grew up indoctrinated in the RCC always carry residual guilt. We grow up feeling guilty of something intangible.

    In the 70s I was in the shower with a girlfriend who had an Aha! moment. She said 'Sex isn't dirty!!!'.

    It is more than that. Women breast feeding in public is or has been considered an obscenity. Bare breasted women.
    .
    When something bad happens, guilty feeling Catholics ask "How is this my fault?"

    Masturbation was never discussed during my catholic years, but then neither was sex in any way. I can even remember one girl obviously menstruating and oblivious to the fact when I was in 8th grade. Parents of those large catholic families just didn't talk about sex with their kids, likely because the subject was taboo. Very weird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Youcan takem the kjid out of the Catholicmchurch, but you can't take the church out of the kid.

    Those of us who grew up indoctrinated in the RCC always carry residual guilt. We grow up feeling guilty of something intangible.

    In the 70s I was in the shower with a girlfriend who had an Aha! moment. She said 'Sex isn't dirty!!!'.

    It is more than that. Women breast feeding in public is or has been considered an obscenity. Bare breasted women.
    .
    When something bad happens, guilty feeling Catholics ask "How is this my fault?"

    Masturbation was never discussed during my catholic years, but then neither was sex in any way. I can even remember one girl obviously menstruating and oblivious to the fact when I was in 8th grade. Parents of those large catholic families just didn't talk about sex with their kids, likely because the subject was taboo. Very weird.
    I had zero sex ed from anyone, I learned it in the neighborhood. As an adult I learned I was not alone. It was never discussed even in high school.

    Here in Washington there there has been a battle between conservatives over mandatory sex ed for kids in school.

    Someonehow sex ed is going to turn them into wanton sex crazed maniacs. It happens regardless

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