What were you taught about masturbation?

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What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby zos » Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:33 pm

What did your parents teach you about masturbation? Did they tell you not to? Did they tell you it was OK? Did they avoid the topic all together?

My parents never said anything about the topic, and even if they caught me doing it I doubt they would have said anything. I had a few church leaders tell me that confession was necessary for masturbation, but I didn't really come clean with my bishop until right before my mission. He didn't make a big deal about it, but did want me to stop before I went to the temple/mission. I was able to stop for a while, but eventually it crept back in. Every time I did it I felt intense guilt.

Specifically, I'd love to hear from people who were taught that it was OK to masturbate. Did having the green light to touch yourself help you to avoid sex before marriage? Or did it amp you up to touch other people even more? Was it a blessing or a curse and how did affect your spirituality? The reason I ask is there seems to be a fear that approved masturbation as a youth will become a slippery slope that will lead to fornication or heavy sexual involvement with others. Is that true for you?
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby LatterDay Marriage » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:21 pm

When my father gave me 'the talk' when I was 12 it lasted less than 2 minutes and that was the sum total of what they ever said to me about sex. I had a strong sex drive as a teenager, erections at school when you didn't really want them, wet dreams, had to exert effort to keep my mind out of the gutter at times etc. At school, accusations of being a masturbator were used as a put down so I guess that stigmatized it in my mind. I never had any desire to masturbate myself.

I was at youth conferences where speakers like Don J. Black (kind of the 1980's version of John Bytheway) spoke on chastity but I don't recall specifically what was said about masturbation. Since I wasn't doing it, hearing it preached against wasn't some kind of shocking event in my life that would stick in my mind. In the early part of my mission when the MP separated the Elders and Sisters and the Elders got told not to do it and given that To the Young Men of the Church booklet. It was a surprise to me that something like that would be necessary to tell the missionaries, I expected them to already understand and to have higher standards of conduct than that. To my knowledge none of my companions did it while we were paired.

As it is, I never did it and I've never broken the LoC. And I do believe those things are linked. My guess is that if I had done it, it very much would have been a slippery slope for me and very likely have become an addiction. Being a faithful Mormon in the small town I grew up and being tied up with obligations to a family business really isolated me from my peers socially and I can see myself getting addicted to it as a way of coping with that, and making it easier to lower my standards regarding the law of chastity as another means of coping.

I think however that it is wrong in and of itself, even if it doesn't lead somebody down a slippery slope to a point where they fornicate or become addicted. I see from several who have posted here stories of person turmoil that have come from the fact that they did do it, and there seems to often be a natural feeling of guilt when somebody starts deliberately doing it even if somebody has not been taught that it is wrong. It is a blessing to have escaped that by obeying what the leaders of the church have asked us to do and I see no downside to following their counsel on this.
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby be64 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:55 pm

I wasn't taught that it was okay to masturbate. My dad talked to me once about not stimulating my penis, I don't think I really understood what he was talking about. As a young child my mother would tell me not to play with myself when she saw me with my hands down my pants.

I learned about the sin of masturbation from the pamphlet "To Young Men Only". I wish I had never been exposed to that document. I think its use could perhaps be categorized as psychological abuse of a minor. It is no longer in print, but is still available on LDS.org as a download. I really wish it would disappear entirely.

I was taught that masturbation is a sexual sin and that sexual sins are next to murder. What I believe I should have been taught is that I should try to control myself and avoid masturbating as much as possible but that slip ups were not a big deal.
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby mariabronn » Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:22 pm

My parents talked to me a little bit about it when I was a kid didn't make a big deal of it. I started doing it over 40 years ago the more I do it the better it feels I don't feel any guilt or shame when I do it.
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby LatterDay Marriage » Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:36 pm

be64 wrote:I wasn't taught that it was okay to masturbate. My dad talked to me once about not stimulating my penis, I don't think I really understood what he was talking about. As a young child my mother would tell me not to play with myself when she saw me with my hands down my pants.

I learned about the sin of masturbation from the pamphlet "To Young Men Only". I wish I had never been exposed to that document. I think its use could perhaps be categorized as psychological abuse of a minor. It is no longer in print, but is still available on LDS.org as a download. I really wish it would disappear entirely.

I was taught that masturbation is a sexual sin and that sexual sins are next to murder. What I believe I should have been taught is that I should try to control myself and avoid masturbating as much as possible but that slip ups were not a big deal.


What part exactly do you find so offensive? I don't see anything in there to get upset about. The 'little factory' stuff comes off as being a bit juvenile but on the whole I think it is rather good.
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby KSSunflower » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:30 pm

My mom taught me that masturbation was a normal act and was to be done privately.

I was caught also but my mom just wanted to make sure I didn't do anything that could hurt myself. Like by sticking things up inside.

At school, the topic was taboo and kids would use it as a way to make fun of people.

I didn't do it very often. It didn't prevent me from fornication. When you are in the heat if the moment, you want what you want. I think not putting yourself in tempting situations is probably a better way to ensure you don't go too far sexually before marriage. Not much will stop you unless you listen to the feeling that tells you this isn't right, which I had happen a couple of times. But then there were times that I didn't listen and let things go too far.

For me, masturbation does make me more sexual and desire sex more often. When I was dating and making out it was really difficult to not want to go further. And once you've done it once, it's even more difficult to resist.

Masturbation probably did make me a little more "experienced." With my first, he questioned if I was really a virgin because I guess my movements were like I knew what I was doing. I didn't, I just did what felt good.

I actually knew next to nothing about sex. I had seen it movies and had discussions about being safe. Other than that nothing. And that was okay mostly. I didn't have any preconceived notions about sex. I was a willing participant and tried things I might not have if I knew more about them beforehand.
Last edited by KSSunflower on Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby be64 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:31 pm

LatterDay Marriage wrote:
be64 wrote:I wasn't taught that it was okay to masturbate. My dad talked to me once about not stimulating my penis, I don't think I really understood what he was talking about. As a young child my mother would tell me not to play with myself when she saw me with my hands down my pants.

I learned about the sin of masturbation from the pamphlet "To Young Men Only". I wish I had never been exposed to that document. I think its use could perhaps be categorized as psychological abuse of a minor. It is no longer in print, but is still available on LDS.org as a download. I really wish it would disappear entirely.

I was taught that masturbation is a sexual sin and that sexual sins are next to murder. What I believe I should have been taught is that I should try to control myself and avoid masturbating as much as possible but that slip ups were not a big deal.


What part exactly do you find so offensive? I don't see anything in there to get upset about. The 'little factory' stuff comes off as being a bit juvenile but on the whole I think it is rather good.


These aren't my words but this pretty much explains what I don't like about the infamous pamphlet.


Probably the most destructive talk given by a General Authority in the last thirty years was Apostle Boyd K. Packer's talk on Masturbation back in 1976.

This talk quickly became famous because the church made it into a pamphlet called "For Young Men Only" that is given to all twelve-year-old boys in the church.

Packer is not a medical doctor, nor did he claim to have consulted with medical doctors before he declared:

"I wish to explain something that will help you understand your young manhood and help you develop self-control. When this power begins to form, it might be likened to having a little factory in your body, one designed to produce the product that can generate life."

"This little factory moves quietly into operation as a normal and expected pattern of growth and begins to produce the lifegiving substance. It will do so perhaps as long as you live. It works very slowly. That is the way it should be. For the most part, unless you tamper with it, you will hardly be aware that it is working at all."

That is absolutely false. Puberty is a normal, natural process that everyone experiences and notices. Packer suggests here that there may be something wrong with you if you notice your "little factory" working. What testosterone-filled teen doesn't notice his "factory working?"

"As you move closer to manhood, this little factory will sometimes produce an oversupply of this substance. The Lord has provided a way for that to be released. It will happen without any help or without any resistance from you. Perhaps, one night you will have a dream. In the course of it the release valve that controls the factory will open and release all that is excess."

"The factory and automatic release work on their own schedule. The Lord intended it to be that way. It is to regulate itself. This will not happen very often. You may go a longer period of time, and there will be no need for this to occur. When it does, you should not feel guilty. It is the nature of young manhood and is part of becoming a man."

For the Lord's apostle, how does he quantify "not very often?"

"There is; however, something you should not do. Sometimes a young man does not understand. Perhaps he is encouraged by unwise or unworthy companions to tamper with that factory. He might fondle himself and open that release valve. This you shouldn't do, for if you do that, the little factory will speed up. You will then be tempted again and again to release it. You can quickly be subjected to a habit, one that is not worthy, one that will leave you feeling depressed and feeling guilty. Resist that temptation. Do not be guilty of tampering or playing with this sacred power of creation. Keep it in reserve for the time when it can be righteously employed."

This whole analogy is lame. But it becomes dangerous when Packer teaches that releasing sperm will increase production. Ask your doctor and he/she will confirm that this is absolutely false! Whether you masturbate or not, the production of sperm is not increased. But believing this lie can set you up for all kinds of shame, frustration and self-hate. It can make you think you are somehow to blame for "over production" of sperm which you can't seem to control. It can also lead to painful and unnecessary medical conditions, as your doctor can explain.

"There are ways to conquer such a habit. First of all, you must leave that factory alone long enough for it to slow down. Resisting is not easy. It will take weeks, even months. But you can get the little factory slowed back to where it should be."

This is another lie. The "little factory" is not regulated by masturbation but by normal biological rhythms. Whether you stop masturbating or not, the production of sperm will continue unabated. The male reproductive system is not a supply vs. demand factory!

"Resist those temptations. Do not tamper with your body. If you have already, cease to do it --now. Put it away and overcome it. The signal of worthy manhood is self-control."

Notice the manipulation and guilt for normal body processes.

Medical professionals will tell you that masturbation is a normal and healthy part of male self-control, not a sign of weakness.

Unfortunately, because this talk became a standard pamphlet given to all twelve-year-old boys, the "little factory" metaphor has become unquestioned truth in the church, despite the physical and emotional harm it causes so many people.
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby Momgyver » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:58 am

Ha, I posted on the orgasm thread, before I read this one.

I will reiterate it here and elaborate a little.

"I masturbated from a very, very young age, simply because it felt good. I can't remember ever not doing it. I didn't know what orgasm was, but I touched myself enough to learn what felt best. I experimented a lot. A LOT! I don't remember anyone ever telling me that it was wrong, but I was always careful to keep it private.

I did not grow up in the church, and was baptized at 18, so I never heard any of the lessons aimed at the youth. When I got married, DH confessed to me that he sometimes masturbated and I think he expected me to be upset, but I thought it was no big deal. I did it often, myself, after all. I wondered why he felt the way he did (ashamed and embarrassed) and was SHOCKED to find out that "most" people (Mormons) considered it a "sin". Wow! What that told me was that I'd better keep those proclivities to myself. And I did. For years. And years. And I repressed the urges too.

Secrecy and repression are not good for either the sex drive or the marriage.

Thank God, I'm over that! No more secrets, no more repression. Ever again."

My parents never really taught me anything about masturbation or sex, directly, but they did not make sexuality seem wrong or dirty, in ANY way. They were always very affectionate with each other. Till the day my dad died. Touching. Kissing. Holding hands. I was very lucky to grow up in such a loving, extremely functional, family. We were very poor, but very happy.

But, as an adult convert, even though I never heard any of the talks aimed at the youth, I was still a victim of them. DH made it clear to me (albeit indirectly) that good Mormons did not masturbate. It was forbidden. It didn't matter that I tried to convince him that it was really an okay thing for him to do. Even though I thought it was perfectly normal, kept telling him that it was perfectly normal... it was NOT okay. He still felt it was wrong, sinful. If he knew it was wrong, who was I to contradict him? I really knew nothing about the gospel and struggled to believe this was sin.

I failed.

What I succeeded at was driving my behavior further into secrecy. It was the secrecy that caused me to feel guilty. The guilt caused me to repress.

I have finally succeeded in helping him know that it is a normal, natural, healthy behavior. We are both, at last, freed from the secrecy. I have no guilt. I'm not sure if his guilt is gone though.
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby mariabronn » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:31 pm

KSSunflower wrote:At school, the topic was taboo and kids would use it as a way to make fun of people.
...

For me, masturbation does make me more sexual and desire sex more often. When I was dating and making out it was really difficult to not want to go further. And once you've done it once, it's even more difficult to resist.

...

Masturbation probably did make me a little more "experienced." With my first, he questioned if I was really a virgin because I guess my movements were like I knew what I was doing. I didn't, I just did what felt good.

I actually knew next to nothing about sex. I had seen it movies and had discussions about being safe. Other than that nothing. And that was okay mostly. I didn't have any preconceived notions about sex. I was a willing participant and tried things I might not have if I knew more about them beforehand.


There was a guy named Paul at my school who got caught masturbating in the locker room. He was maligned severely for having been caught, and I thought he was weird at the time, but now I look back and feel sorry that he was picked on.

I agree that once you have masturbated then it's comfortable and you want it and more. I think your 'experienced' appearance displays the confidence and comfort you felt with your body. That confidence goes a long way whether it's in the sexual arena or in business.
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Re: What were you taught about masturbation?

Postby beachdreamer » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:48 pm

Moderators: Please delete LDM's post. He is back blasting away with his unrelenting lectures about M being sinful. After so many threads of it, let's not have another one.
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