What's wrong with masturbation?

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Roy
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What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by Roy » 27 Dec 2017, 10:13

Rich Alger had posed the following question and I felt that it would be better served in its own thread.
What do you think of this?
"Fair Questions 4: What’s Wrong with Masturbation?"
https://www.fairmormon.org/blog/2013/01 ... sturbation
I understand that there may be some strong feelings on the subject but I am also confidant that we can discuss the various viewpoints with respect.
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Heber13
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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by Heber13 » 27 Dec 2017, 10:48

Some of the points in that FAIR blog make good points of sacredness of sexual relations, provides some good reasoning and some scriptures to support those arguments. It's all very nicely put together.

And those may greatly motivate some people and protect some marriages from problems.

But I don't think it universally applies to everyone and every situation. Some couples may find different things work for them, and can responsibly navigate it for themselves. Therefore....what sounds great for some, even with use of scripture, may not be healthiest for others.

I just don't think it is much of a problem for a good portion of people, and someone else's "good ideas" on the subject should not be conflated with doctrine or become expectations for everyone, and the gospel get lost in the labyrinth of "good ideas."

If it is a problem for a person or a couple...avoid it and learn self control.

If it is not a problem...and doesn't impact anything...who cares to put all the scripture and guilt and shame to something unnecessarily? Why do that? Church should stay out of bedrooms and let couples and individuals decide these life choices.
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Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
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SilentDawning
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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by SilentDawning » 27 Dec 2017, 10:56

I think the idea that the church has no business in the bedroom of couples or individuals applies here.

I also have a hard time understanding how it is addictive. Your body doesn't know if the stimulation is coming from the spouse or the person's own hand....so how can it be addictive as a solo act, but not as the full sex act between husband and wife? Wouldn't both be addictive? Or neither?
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SamBee
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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by SamBee » 27 Dec 2017, 14:29

Is there any evidence of that prostate claim?
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Beefster
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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by Beefster » 28 Dec 2017, 08:15

I understand the points made and I agree with them to some extent, especially that it is not the same degree of sin (if it's a sin at all) as fornication/adultery.

The thing about masturbation: where is the scriptural evidence that it is a sin? Why isn't it mentioned by name regularly in GC? What about church publications on the matter? If there is doctrine behind it, at least one of those three things would be the case. Yet I know of no scripture that condemns masturbation- the closest thing being some OT story where God smote a guy for "spilling it on the ground" after having sex with his dead brother's widow/new wife. A number of GAs are known for bringing up the subject, but most of that was before 1990 and they did not bring it up with any regularity. There is a pamphlet on the order of curing homosexuality that condemns it by name, but it does so under the false pretense that it causes homosexuality.

It tends to be condemned primarily via guilt by association because it usually comes along for the ride on a porn problem. It has some profound effects on the brain, sure, but you can't label something as bad just because it has a profound effect on the brain. For instance, prayer impacts the brain, but that's not bad.

I think it's something to be cautious with. When paired with porn or fantasies, it can reinforce unhealthy fetishes. Doing it in excess or instead of sex with your spouse (even when it is available) is bad. Missing work because you would rather masturbate is a problem. Masturbating in a public bathroom is bad. But once a day in private? That's probably fine.
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Roadrunner
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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by Roadrunner » 28 Dec 2017, 10:59

Short answer - if done privately and if it doesn’t interfere with life then nothing wrong with it and it may be healthy if not surrounded by shame.

More complicated answer - if an aroused husband has sex with a consenting but not aroused wife (eg she just lays there) it seems like he is using her as a masturbatory aid. I bet this happens a lot even for GAs. In other words depending on how you define masturbation probably most married men do it. I’d also argue that strictly speaking during foreplay most people masturbate themselves to some extent to get ready for sex. In other words every one does it.

It’s a completely undefined and unenforceable rule that unnecessarily stresses youth. It’s (weirdly?) one of my biggest peeves with the church.

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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Dec 2017, 14:05

The Old Testament story is misapplied to this issue. Masturbation wasn't the problem; refusing to accept his responsibility to produce children for his brother's legacy was the issue. He didn't masturbate; he pulled out early. By not going through with the pregnancy expectation, he killed his brother's descendancy and, literally, used his brother's wife strictly for his own sexual pleasure. In other words, he treated her like a whore.

When people quote that passage to condemn masturbation (and many Christian denominations do that), they cheapen the story greatly.

The prohibition is a result of Victorian prudishness and, ironically, misogyny. The Catholic Church is perhaps the epitome of this, since it views masturbation as a form of prohibited birth control and as an example of sexual activity solely for the purpose of physical pleasure. The official LDS Church stance doesn't go that far (doesn't forbid sexual activity for the purpose of marital pleasure), but I see it as a hold-over of that particular incorrect tradition of our fathers.
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Heber13
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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by Heber13 » 28 Dec 2017, 15:43

Curt Sunshine wrote:
28 Dec 2017, 14:05
The official LDS Church stance doesn't go that far (doesn't forbid sexual activity for the purpose of marital pleasure), but I see it as a hold-over of that particular incorrect tradition of our fathers.
It sounds like you'd disagree with the the arguments from the FAIR blog, then. Is that right?

Here are the things I saw in the post that seem to be teaching it is not marital pleasure, but selfishness and a sin:
Therefore, a problem with masturbation is that it removes sexuality from that very important context of kindness in marriage. Even though masturbation doesn’t use others for gratification, it teaches an individual to regard sexuality as an individual event, free from the demands of a spouse.
The prophets have been clear that masturbation is not a practice that is approved by the Lord.
Do I hear you right...that you think these statements go too far and are hold back ideas from tradition?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Dec 2017, 18:58

Yes, I disagree with those statements. They are far too simplistic to me.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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willb1993
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Re: What's wrong with masturbation?

Post by willb1993 » 28 Dec 2017, 19:29

A common theme I hear regarding masturbation and pornography is that it will distort your view of what real love is. This is simply a load of crap in my opinion. I mean whatever happened to everything in moderation? If you are not allowing it to hurt anyone or affect someone else in a negative way then what's the big deal?

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