Let’s Talk About Masturbation

Real Relationship Advice

          We teach kids how to walk. We teach them how to talk. We teach them how to drive a car, boil an egg and even how to tie their shoes. If we are feeling omnipresent, we teach our kids about love, loss and how not to wear conflicting patterns and colors. With all this education, we completely ignore that our children are growing up and becoming sexual beings. The latest research shows that parents are giving the sex talk after the fact. That’s right, our kids are having sex before we explain who, what, why and how to stay safe. We teach them everything but expect our children to figure out one of the most important things about humanity on their own because we feel uncomfortable.

The most basic of topics is masturbation. It may be one of the most embarrassing topics in the field of sexuality. Sixty years ago, Kinsey showed us that 92% of men and 62% of women reported that they had masturbated at some point in their life. These numbers have held up over the years with a slight rise in females reporting that they had masturbated. As parents, we have seen our babies find their sexual organs and blush at the idea that they may be masturbating.  The conclusions we draw due to our own limited understand of sexuality and puritanical up-bringing is that it is perverse and should not be discussed. The reality is that our sexual organs have been created for pleasure and masturbation plays a large role in our ultimate understanding of how we respond sexually. To condemn masturbation is not only detrimental to a child’s future sexual satisfaction but may also affect their relationships.

Masturbation, the solo act of touching our sexual organs for the purpose of pleasure and orgasm, is beneficial for many reasons the least are:

1. Teaches us our sexual response.

2. Releases endorphins which make us happier.

3. Builds our confidence.

4. Reduces depression.

5. Provides us a template of where and how we like to be touched with which we can teach our sexual partners.

6. Is a safest of sex practices

With the negative stigmas attached to masturbation, not to mention the religious opposition to the act, it is not surprising that people feel such incredible shame concerning solo sex that it is preferable never to mention it. Even today, after supposed sexual revolutions, we find ourselves arguing over the value and necessity of masturbation.

In Biblical terms, masturbation is seen as a betrayal; a sign of physical weakness to the temptation of evil. All sexuality is seen as a means of procreation thus the expenditure of seed and strength is wicked. The term Onanism is used to describe the sin of masturbation, or self-abuse/self pollution. Onan, in the Bible, is the son of Judah who preferred to spill his seed on the ground rather than impregnate his brother’s widow. The act of impregnating the widow was considered a means of continuing the blood line but Onan, on several occasions, refused to ejaculate into his sister-in-law because the progeny of that union would not be considered his heir. This was the ultimate act of selfishness. Thus, the wickedness of masturbation is the same thing. We are wicked if we experience pleasure without the possibility of making a baby.

Today, even the Church understands that there is another purpose to having sex. They created the ever-so-effective Rhythm Method so that a married couple can enjoy themselves without the need to make babies. However, this is where the understanding of sexuality ends. The need for masturbation goes beyond just a simple sexual release. Understanding and controlling one’s orgasm is part of the foundation to maturity that we just don’t talk about. It is the basis of knowing oneself not just as a personality but as a sexual being.

Is masturbation a sin?

How often is too often?

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  • Actually…only Catholic tradition says Onan committed the “sin” of masturbation… which we don’t actually know to be true…he could’ve just “pulled out” during sex…his sin was in not fulfilling his role as kinsman redeemer, and giving his brother a son.  It had nothing to do with the sex act that may or may not have happened.
    The Bible doesn’t say anything either way – except to say that lusting for others is the same as adultery…and is a matter of the heart, rather than what physical actions one takes while lusting.
    Also…I’m pretty sure the church didn’t “create” the Rhythm method… where are you getting all of this wacky church-info?

    • LeeReyesFournier

       @caseypetersen You would be correct if you are taking a strictly literal interpretation of the Bible. However, in practice, the Church has always called the sin of masturbation Onanism. The ‘spilling of seed’ is an act of faithlessness and selfishness according to the Church. Onan get’s the credit for pulling out thus spilling his seed on the ground. True, not masturbation but the act of masturbation is not the sin it is the ejaculate without the prospect of creating a child.
      As for the Rhythm Method, you are right. They may not of created it but it is the only sanctioned birth control by the Catholic Church.
      As for my ‘whacky’ church info– 16 years of Catholic Education and a graduate degree in Theology.
      I don’t know your church background but the Catholics have put a whole lot of thought into the topic of sex. The rules and the interpretation of sin do not directly relate to the Bible. For example, lots of Leviticus is disregarded, specifically when referring to foods, whereas any sex reference is held as a commandment.

  • Bob Reyes Haf


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