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Monograph - 19
Higher Power and Sexual Activity:
RELIGION, DAYDREAM, AND SEXUALITY
To my surprise, some people claim certain common sexual practices are sinful. Some of the most popular frequently asked questions on my website were about religion, sex, masturbation, and sin. Since so many people were concerned about it, I thought it would be important to devote an entire monograph to offer my opinion and documentation of my experiences regarding the topic. As far as I can remember, my church did preach the concepts of monogamy and love but never mentioned anything about masturbation, sex, or sexuality. Masturbation, according to some churches, is a cardinal sin. I did some research on the topic and found out that masturbation is not mentioned in the Bible at all. I just don't see the whole sin concept. Although I will say, sometimes what we think about during masturbation isn't all that healthy. Pornography, for example, can undoubtedly lead to problems. But overall, I think masturbation itself is a neutral issue when it comes to spirituality. It's just one of those things that a body does. Interestingly, one religious group went as far as to publish a Guide to Self-Control, which is a list of strict instructions for quitting masturbation.
If it were a sin, couldn't we assume that there would be stories, parables, or at least a statement against the practice of masturbation? Wouldn't there be dialogue about young or unmarried people being castrated or at least reprimanded for stimulating themselves? If God did not want us to masturbate, wouldn't it have been the 11th Commandment? After all, the practice is very common. Why would any religious person dictate restrictive rules against masturbation? After careful study of the situation, the question is no longer whether or not it is against the doctrine, but rather the question becomes, why would anyone even suggest that it is? Several suspicions arise as to how the anti-masturbation ideals began.
Sexting (Sex Texting)
(1) It could have started with parents who wanted to keep their children young and innocent. Keep in mind that for parents, the thought of their own child acquiring a sexual identity and masturbating can be quite repulsive. After all, isn't the vice-versa thought of our parents having sex or masturbating somewhat distasteful 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. Sexuality is a sure sign of having growing up and acquiring an adult body. Often, adults may assume a child of 10 - 12 years old is far too young to be experiencing such sensations. For such a young boy or girl to have a sex drive may be seen as nothing less than perverse. However, biologically speaking, this is the age at which normal hormonal changes in the body begin to happen which initiate the onset of puberty.
(2) Another possibility is that some high ranking religious leaders may have wanted to keep their followers feeling guilty as to encourage their frequent return 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 usually something a person can just easily quit. Very few have been successful at quitting entirely. 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. I've read several different medical guides that say regular release of semen is important for a healthy prostate. Some say both men and women may experience stress, agitation, anxiety, or impulsivity if they feel they have an unwanted build up of sexual tension.
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. Masturbation is nothing more than acting on the God-given gift of the sex drive combined with an erotic daydream. Trying to quit is impossible because we will no doubt eventually masturbate in our sleep. If we do not have an erotic daydream, we will definitely have an erotic wet dream. Rather than working on trying to quit, we should try to examine more carefully 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 certainly can not argue that all the sexual things mentioned in my personal experience monographs are acceptable. In fact, they are just the raw truth, not necessarily things that I advocate for humanity.
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 people feel pride in their body or sex drive and find this to be quite an autoerotic masturbatory thought. Feeling prideful to have sexuality is a very powerful, self-gratifying thought. It is the pride that gets us into trouble. Pride leads us to the road of the guilt and possibly sin. I know pride does not allow me to serve the Power greater than myself and it certainly doesn't allow me to follow God's 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 full of pride, why not consider gratitude? Being grateful for a body and the sexual sensations that go along with it brings in a whole new realm of spiritual experience. We then acknowledge it as gift and express thanks for it. It is no longer a selfish, self-gratifying, secretive act. When we are grateful for something, it must include another entity because there is the fact that we are grateful to someone for it. To who(m) should we be grateful for this gift? God, of course.
also see SexEditorials - Mental Masturbatory Abuse
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