As I am Mormon, I am completely susceptible to guilt trips. I will admit it. Abelard challenged us to make September blog all about Masturbation. Now I admit this (the blogging about it part) has been on my mind.
Masturbation has often recieved a bad wrap. It will make you blind, it will make you grow hair on your hands, it will turn you gay… and then later OSA (Opposite Species Attracted). Growing up I was never really introduced to Masturbation until I moved outside of Utah. My scout troop never mentioned it in Utah, my friends in school never talked about it, in fact the first person who told me such a thing even existed was my brother who was trying to give me “the talk” due to a “less-than-present” father.
I was a Freshman in HS when I heard it mentioned next and that was also the first time I was called gay. I was in English class and someone on my football team (the Douchebag QB) asked me how often I “beat it”. I had to ask him what he meant and when he told me, I told him I didn’t. His response was to tell me I was gay. (Oddly enough I have never told that story before) I remember thinking to myself, what was “gay” and why did being a good person make me gay.
Since then I have learned a lot. I have entered a new range of understanding of doctrine and scripture and I think that all too often we are caught living in the Law of Moses (or Packer) when we have the Mount of Beatitudes. The first of the 10 and of the greatest commandments is all about focusing on the Lord. All of our ordinances point to that.
In Judaism (I am staying with some Jewish friends so this is applicable) there are many things that are meant to continually focus your eye towards God and towards living righteously. The doorways of their houses contain a mark of remembrance. Keeping Kosher (which includes not mixing meat and dairy, nor the plateware and flatware used to eat it) serves as a constant reminder of God. This has given me a greater appreciation for Garments which (having not gone through the temple) have always seemed a bit odd.
I believe that the reason why masturbation is talked about with such ill and seen as so horrendous is because it can very easily become idolatrous. In fact when I stop and think about where my focus is when I am whacking off, it is nowhere near having an eye single to the glory of God.
For almost a year and a half I went from being kicked out of BYU for my sins to cold turkey with no stimulation. After that time I looked back and saw what I had gained from that experience and realized that I was more frustrated with myself and even more desiring of a random hook-up than I had ever been. I think that having the occasional “jam session” is completely normal and fine. However, when it starts to become idolatrous, then you have a problem.