As I mentioned earlier, there are many unfounded false beliefs about the effects of masturbation. It is unthinkable how these beliefs started but most have been perpetuated by ignorance, some of which stem from the cultural taboo on sexual discussions. For example, how can one explain the belief that masturbation which is only an alternative way of achieving sexual release can cause blindness, deafness, insanity or stupidity when the real sexual intercourse does not? There are also those who believe that masturbation causes ill-health and mental degradation, while some people believe that masturbation in women causes swelling of the internal sexual organs due to accumulation of blood. Some also believe that the enlargement of the inner lips of the vagina can result from masturbation. All these are totally false! There is no truth in the belief that frequent masturbation is harmful to health when frequent sexual intercourse is not.
The effect of masturbation on maturity and sexual behavior has been an area of interest to psychiatrist and psychologists since Sigmund Freud propounded his theories of how the mind works earlier in the century. He identified three stages of the development of the mind:
(1) The Oral Stage: When the child experiences everything
through the mouth.
(2) The Genital Stage: When the child enjoys playing with the
genital organ, and
(3) Full Maturity: When the person is able to adjust and interact
effectively with others around him or her.
Sigmund Freud’s theory recognizes that everyone masturbates before achieving full maturity, though most people are always shy to confess this clear fact. However, those who advocate this theory also say that persons who masturbate have failed to develop beyond the genital stage. Hence, they say that masturbation is an expression of immaturity of the mind. This, of course, is not true as most people who masturbate have been able to live and function as mature adults in every way. Most of them go on to have full and normal heterosexual relationship (that is, sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Such persons cease to masturbate after they settle down in life (get married) and only masturbate if their spouse is not physically sound or away and they do not wish to indulge in extra marital sex.
ADVANTAGES OF MASTURBATION
Undoubtedly, there are a few persons who masturbate and who are of immature mind, but so are there persons who do not masturbate have less sexual desire or have hang-ups about sex.
- There is no basis for the belief that people who masturbate have less sexual desires or have hang-ups about sex. A recent survey in fact, showed that people who masturbate have increased sexual desire and have more sexual drive than those who do not. There are people who because of previous experience, as discussed in the early part of this book, are afraid of sexual intercourse. Such people find solace in masturbation for the release of their sexual desires but they are in the minority.
- Masturbation provides an alternate sexual intercourse – free of the need and complications or cost of finding a consenting partner, free from the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, free from HIV/AIDS and free from the risk of unwanted pregnancy. Masturbation provides a chance for the girl or woman to explore her sexual response and for the man, to release his tensions when aroused at a time he is alone or not bold enough to have a regular girl friend.
- Masturbation develops self love and familiarizes oneself with one’s own sexual response. One can relieve sexual tension without imposing on any body else.
- Mutual masturbation, the act by which two or more partners stimulate themselves in the presence of each other, allows a couple to reveal the map to their pleasure centers. Witnessing a partner masturbate is an educational activity to find out the method a partner pleases themselves, allowing each partner to learn exactly how the other enjoys being touched.
- Most people who masturbate have a feeling of guilt of doing something they have been made to believe is bad. Most of these feelings arose from religious or cultural taboo and traditional beliefs on sexual behaviors and practices.
- Bruising of the genital organs can occur during masturbation, particularly if they are handled roughly during the act or if there is not enough lubrication. These can cause a lot of pain and can lead to serious infection if contaminated by germs.
- Like all habits, it may be difficult to break for some people. The tendency is also there for adolescents to do nothing else but masturbate whenever they have some free time. This is bad as it does not allow them to develop other aspects of their talent and broaden their horizon for the world ahead.
- There is the danger that masturbation may be preferred to normal sexual intercourse, and this may affect sexual relationship after marriage.
- In men, masturbation has been known to be associated with premature ejaculation, that is, having ejaculation before or just after sexual intercourse.
As already noted, those who have fallen into the habit of masturbation are often plagued with guilt. Without a doubt, being saddened in a genuine way can give you the incentive to overcome the habit. But excessive guilt can be counterproductive. It can make you feel so discouraged that you just want to give up the fight.
Strive, then, to put the matter in perspective. Masturbation is a negative habit. It can make you a ‘slave to various desires and pleasures,’ and it fosters attitudes that can be mentally dehumanizing. At the same time, self-masturbation is not a form of gross sexual immorality, such as fornication. Hence, if you have a problem with masturbation, you need not conclude that you have committed the unforgivable sin. The key is to resist the urge and never to give up your fight against its influence on you!
Sometimes it is easy to feel dejected after a relapse. When that occurs, do not give up. Instead, analyze what led to the relapse, and try to avoid repeating the same pattern.
The value of confiding in trusted people
Despite the publicity given to sex in a number of countries, many people still find it difficult to talk about sex in a serious, dignified way. Shame might make it difficult for the victim of the habit to bring up the subject even to a confidant. A young adult who struggled with masturbation for several years commented: “How I wish I had summoned the courage to talk to someone about it when I was a youth! Feelings of guilt plagued me for many years, and it seriously affected my relationships with others”.
Whom should you talk to? The best person would be someone who is mature, and understanding. Never share your problems with those who have the same weakness with you and those that cannot help you. How do you initiate a discussion of this nature? You could start by saying: “May I talk to you about a problem that is bothering me a lot?”
One of my respondents said that in her effort to break the habit, she took a bold step. She decided to talk to her father, who proved to be very sympathetic and understanding. In response to one of my questionnaires, she said that her father even confessed that he himself had battled with the habit when he was younger! “My father’s honesty and sincerity encouraged me greatly,” Angela said. “I reasoned that if he had been victorious, I could be too. I was so moved by my father’s attitude that I broke down and cried.”
Joseph, another respondent, gathered the courage to talk to a Christian elder, and he was glad that he did. “As the elder listened to me, his eyes filled with tears,” Joseph said. “When I finished, he assured me of God’s love for me. He told me that my problem is a common one. He promised to check on my progress and to bring me more information from Bible-study aids. Talking with him, I resolved to keep up the fight—even if further relapses occurred.” Like Angela and Joseph, you can find help in your efforts to conquer the habit of masturbation. Take the Offensive! Yes, be assured that you can win the battle!
HOW TO QUIT MASTURBATION
It is regrettable that in most individuals, what started as a bit of fun and experimentation when they were teenagers gradually degenerated into a habit of addiction that is hard to stop. Once a habit is formed, it takes time, determination, discipline and above all, divine help to overcome it. A careful study will indicate that the urge to masturbate comes up at certain times and under certain conditions. The masturbator should be able to recall, in detail, what these particular times and conditions were. Usually, showers, toileting and bedtime are challenging times for the person who has decided to quit the habit.
Are you wondering how to stop masturbating? Well you are not alone. There are millions of men and women in the world trying to figure out how to stop masturbating. There is a plethora of confusing guidance and information out there. I will lay out advice from myself and others I have collected over time to make this as simple as possible. But before I jump into that, I want you to know that you can and absolutely will overcome this addiction with the right attitude. Perseverance is the name of the game and victory will be yours if you possess the ability to get up and dust yourself off every time you fall. Many people have overcome this addiction and so can you. It is a personal decision you must make because no one can do this for you. So let’s get into the solution tips.
As I said earlier, if you are addicted to the habit of masturbation or any other harmful habit that you sincerely want to quit, this book will give you some useful tips on how to liberate yourself. Please note that the impact of the tips can only be felt if you make conscious efforts to adhere to the tips. It does not matter how many times you have unsuccessfully tried to quit the habit in the past. If you have a small child and he or she is learning how to walk, how many times will you give the child to succeed? After a couple of trials, will you tell the child that he or she is stupid and say things like, “OK, that is enough baby. You will just have to crawl for the rest of your life. I guess you just don’t have what it takes to be a walker”. I doubt that you would react in this manner. Let me ask you then, why do you do it to yourself? This type of disempowerment behavior and reaction is another reason why people have a fear for trying new things. There are seldom any hopeless situations, but there are very many people who lose hope in the face of some situations.
1. Before you learn how to stop masturbating you must isolate the cause and not the symptoms. There is a reason or reasons you masturbate and you must find out why. If you concentrate on just stopping masturbation then you will just return to your addiction after a short period of success. So, why do you masturbate? There are many reasons you could be doing this and it may take a lot of pondering to get all the reasons on paper. It could be because you are bored, lonely, hurt, stressed, or it could be because of pains from the past. You’re going to have to get yourself in a relaxed state conducive to productive thought to really find out why you turn to masturbation. What are you trying to escape from? Avoid focusing on symptoms. Saying you masturbate because it feels good is not the real reason you masturbate. Ok, it temporarily feels good but why do you feel like you need that? Dig deep into your feelings. If you find this part difficult you may need therapy to help you discover feelings you are not seeing clearly right now. It could also be something other than feelings. It could be that you are putting yourself in bad situations such as where pornography is easily accessible.
2. Once you have understood why you masturbate you need to start dealing with these feelings or situations. Dealing with feelings correctly is a skill and may be a skill you have forgotten or need to learn. Feelings are the result of thoughts. How we interpret the world and ourselves in our minds determines how we feel. We decide how we feel about things. If you masturbate because you feel bored, then it is because you decided to feel bored. Nobody made you feel bored. You did. You have choices. You can get out of the house, you can talk to friends or family, you could do many things. You also decide how you think. You could decide that your situation is not as boring as you thought. What are you comparing your situation to that causes you to think it is boring, or rather leads you to decide that it is boring. Becoming more aware of your emotions will not necessarily bring complete success but it is one step in this process that will give you essential personal power over the emotions that have ruled your life. The strongest man is the one who controls the mind. There is no universal application of this technique for everyone. Learn what works for you by trial and error, always refining your approach. Learning how to stop masturbating is exactly that, learning.
3. In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. For instance, if you are tempted, if you become aroused, think of yourself being nude and your genitals covered with raw bacon while you are standing in front of 6 starving Pit Bulls. Or imagine yourself losing control to masturbation and, if you are a male, you pull so hard, your manhood just pulls completely off. It could happen, you know! If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. If you are tempted to masturbate, think of having your member in a small guillotine and just before you finish yourself off, the blade falls. That's it! You get no pleasure. You lose your johnson. Was it worth it?
When you have a feeling, any kind of feeling, learn to slow down the automatic train of thoughts you’ve created over time. The mind and body love to try and be as efficient as possible and does this by automating as much as possible. So it does take effort to interrupt ingrained automation, a.k.a. habits. For example, when you feel bored stop for a second and think about the message of this feeling. Is it because you feel your life is unproductive, or you would like to be doing something better with your free time? Once you’ve figured out why you’re bored you have some options. You need to either change the way you think about things or the way you are handling the situation or both. So you can either learn to see your life and situation as not boring or take action to make it not boring. If you’re sitting at home with nothing to do, then take action and get out of the house. Go get involved in a hobby or create a new one. Why do you think people take up running? Yeah it’s great for health, but they also want to feel productive. The feeling of boredom is trying to give you a message. If your life is already productive then you need to change your thoughts and decide to be happy and content with every day living. You’re only going to continue to search out the temporary pleasure of masturbation so long as you are not content on the inside. True happiness springs from your thoughts and emotions, which you control, and not external circumstances.
A key to learning how to stop masturbation is learning to change the feelings that are leading up to masturbation. You also need to change how you feel about masturbation. You can no longer see masturbation as a solution to your boredom or loneliness or whatever, but instead must associate the act of masturbating with the pain and lack of control it brings into your life. The more you learn to enjoy your everyday life the less you will want to turn to masturbation and its natural consequences.
4. Depending on the frequency you masturbate you need to narrow down the times of the day that seem to be the biggest problem for you. A lot of people have problems at night when they lay down and begin to relax. They’re not busy with daily activities and their thoughts begin to drift. Perhaps they have used this as a way to fall asleep for a long time. Isolating the times of the day that you struggle the most can help you to focus your efforts better, and learn how to stop masturbating. If you know you struggle most when you lay down at night, then you can create a plan specific to that time of day or night. If you masturbate all the time when you are sleeping alone in your room, try sleeping with someone and/or in another person’s room.
5. Exercise. Maybe you need to exercise and burn some testosterone before going to bed. Exercise will also help you to be more tired and fall asleep faster. That means less time to think about masturbating. If you struggle at different times of the day or several times throughout the day, then try to narrow down the times and the environment you’re in when this becomes difficult. If you go to a certain store with pornographic magazines, or the beach or the gym where women are dressed in clothes that reveal their sexy parts more than they cover, then you may have to change some things about your daily routine.
6. When you bathe, never, never, never admire yourself in a mirror. Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes – just long enough to bathe and dry and dress up. Take icy cold showers so you won't want to stay in the shower very long. Dry your private parts VERY QUICKLY, AND THEN GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM into a room where you will have some member of your family present. ALWAYS leave the bathroom door OPEN!
7. Avoid too much privacy. During your toileting and shower activities leave the shower door or curtain completely open (Please only do this when the right and trusted people are around you). Leave the bathroom door fully open too. Avoid being alone in total privacy. Take cool brief showers. Ask a friend to or family member to accompany you to the bathroom and wait inside there right with you while you bathe.
8. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP. Never associate with other people having the same weakness with you. Don't suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. This can even lead to "mutual masturbation" for which you will surely get worse. And I'm talking about mutual masturbation with the opposite sex. If you practice it with the same sex, you have even bigger problems than just masturbating; especially if you like it.
You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken OUT OF YOUR MIND for that is where it really exists. Your mind must concentrate on other and more wholesome things.
9. Spend some time each day, perhaps in the morning, visualizing a new you. Close your eyes for a few minutes and imagine yourself easily overcoming the temptation to masturbate. It’s important that you start reprogramming your brain on a daily basis. It may seem awkward at first but do this everyday for 21 days and you will be comfortable with your new and confident self-image.
10. You cannot overcome a masturbation addiction so long as you are viewing pornography. If you have unrestricted access at home or work or anywhere then you need to create a safer environment. Get monitoring software or get rid of the computer. A recovering alcoholic cannot hang out at the bar or the alcohol section of the grocery store without giving into temptation. The same applies here. You need time to recover and get stronger.
For men, I want you to understand the role of testosterone. It takes seven days for your testosterone levels to reach their max. So the first few days might not feel so difficult after you decide to stop masturbating but as the testosterone levels build up, resisting the temptation to masturbate becomes more challenging. That is how the body works. It cycles. If you strongly allow it to, the body will absorb the testosterone and continue to work properly. When you were younger perhaps you had “wet dreams”. This was the body naturally regulating the high testosterone levels. This is nothing to feel guilty about but is actually a sign that your body is working properly. Of course older individuals have lower levels of testosterone and should not expect “wet dreams” to happen.
In conclusion I would say the most important thing you can do while learning how to stop masturbation addiction is to control your thoughts. Learn to control your thoughts and you will be the master of your emotions and actions. Persevere through all the set-backs you have. You are never failing unless you are refusing to stand up and try again. Success is inevitable if you persevere through the slip ups and mistakes