Friday, November 21, 2008

Mormonism, Masturbation, and growing up Male

First off, I want to apologize... this is going to be a long post.
So... We'll jump right into something. I've been skipping around on a few other mormon blogs recently. I was reading on the, and which I'm sad to say has shut down (temporarily I hope). Anyway, I ended up there linked from another blog, but found my way to an article called "Confessions of Serial Masturbator/Repenter." A very interesting read.
So, since the site is shut down for comments, I thought I'd put my two cents in here. Fair warning, this may take a while for me to get through everything. But, be patient.
Growing Up
We'll start at the beginning, my beginning. I grew up in a Mormon family... pretty much. We went to church every week. But there was very little religion at home, no FHE, prayers, scripture study, etc. I grew up more or less believing that the church was true, but never really had reason to doubt it either. When I was approaching puberty, my dad lost his job, and had to go back to school. Since we live in a rural area, that meant he was gone during the week, and came to visit on weekends for a few years. That meant dad was no longer coming to church. I'd also reached that age where you start to question things, and, long story short... I pretty much decided over the next few years that there was no such thing as God, and that was ok.
It was during this time, when left with large open spaces, solitude, and a rather introverted personality, that I discovered masturbation. I really don't remember when that happened. But I discovered that it felt good, somehow intuitively knew I probably shouldn't tell people, yet I don't remember even the slightest pangs of guilt about it. I grew up with a lot of empty fields and streams and trees around, so I found secret pleasure in the summer skinny-dipping alone on a hot day, which often involved me masturbating.
Over the next few years, I struggled with my self-esteem, not related to masturbation, but rather because of issues with trying to gain my father's approval (long story, didn't happen, not gunna, I kind of shut off emotionally, and now I'm pretty much over it... that'll be a post another day). Sometime around my junior year I once again gained some interest in the church. After a lot more investigating, a LOT of reading, and a LOT of prayer, I received a very powerful witness that the Book of Mormon was true, and that the LDS church was true, and that I needed to actually put my life in line with it's teachings... and for a teenage boy, that meant stopping masturbating.
Trying to Quit
I thought, that's ok. I've always had pretty good self control in almost all aspects of my life. So I stopped. No problem. But then, I don't remember how long after, it happened. I had this irresistible urge to masturbate. I did. I fell down. I came down on myself really hard for that... (I have a knack for that: being way to hard on myself. I'm getting better though) I eventually picked myself up again, and was on my merry way. But I fell again, and thus began a long cycle of masturbation, shame, feeling miserable about myself, masturbation for self soothing, occasionally making a new resolution to free myself from it. I sometimes made it a long time (several months), in fact enough so that I felt worthy to go on a mission.
That lasted about half-way through the MTC, then it began again. I fought with it throughout my mission. Scriptures "no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God" and GA quotes (miracle of forgiveness, etc) just tortured me. I probably slept for 2-3 hours per night most of my mission. I couldn't forgive myself, couldn't imagine that God could forgive someone who'd committed one of the sins second only to denying the Holy Ghost and murder. Finally, two thirds of the way through, I went to my Mission President after one of the best talks I've ever heard on forgiveness, and how to know when we're forgiven. He helped me so much. He let me know that this was extremely common (I'd always felt I had to be one of the only men in the church with this problem). He said that there were tons of missionaries in the field with me that did it. It wasn't at all as I'd feared: He didn't send me home, told me I should still be taking the sacrament, didn't release me from my calling as zone leader, didn't take my birthday away, or faint of shock. He told me to work to try and avoid it, and kind of directed the conversation as more of being an issue of self-control, rather than one of the worst sins on earth. He even told me that he, as a younger man, had masturbated as well. This was the first time I'd had any hope of being able to overcome this and become a responsible man in the church one day.
Unfortunately, despite my best intentions, it happened again. I called my MP, and he gave me some support. Before I left for home, he offered encouragement, and told me I should talk to my Stake President about it when I got back. I did, and he told me to visit with my Bishop. When I did that, he was very disappointed in me, but again, the main thing I got from him was that this wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was. I was still to take the sacrament, and the temple could be a source of strength. I should read, pray, and strive to avoid it. I did that for a long time. But it still really was hard for me to let go, and be ok with an occasional mistake. I still really struggled with my self esteem, for a while taking a break from dating after the mission, because, "even if I find someone I like, why would she be interested in me?"
New Perspectives
Finally, from doing some reading, especially online, I came to doubt whether or not it really was a sin. I questioned statements from GA's that were flat out wrong (masturbation leads to insanity, blindness, being gay, etc) or at least misleading. If they were wrong about that, were they wrong about it being sinful. Were they just reflecting cultural biases from generations past. Why haven't they said anything recently.. relying instead on pre 1975 quotes for FTSOY and such. I decided to put it to the test. I gave myself permission to masturbate without guilt, and then waited to see if I really did feel guilt from God, or if it was of my own making. I felt fine. I felt fine coming home from church, masturbating, then reading my scriptures. I never would have imagined I could feel ok about it. I didn't feel the Spirit withdraw from me. It was like my MP had told me, "I'm sure there are days when you've felt the Spirit on days that you'd masturbated..." He also told me that, "The Spirit is God's way of telling you when you are doing ok in His eyes." If I can feel the Spirit, it must not be the evil, terrible thing that Elder Packer/SWK said it was.
An interesting thing happened, when I gave myself this permission; when I no longer had the self-imposed guilt... I found myself happier, guilt-free (God didn't impose any on me for it), and surprisingly, I found myself masturbating less, and thinking MUCH less about sex. All this while meeting the girl of my dreams, getting engaged, and getting married.
Married Life
That brings me to another experience. After I'd been married a good while, one night my wife and I were talking about a friend of hers who was engaged. This friend had told her about her fiance, who would sometimes ejaculate while they were making out. I thought that was a bit weird, and so did she. Then she casually asked how often guys ejaculate, and then how often I'd ejaculated. I told her that kind of thing never happened to me. Then she wanted to know how I had ejaculated before. When I told her that I'd masturbated, she broke down in tears. I was completely unprepared for the conversation, and especially her reaction. She was doubting whether maybe our temple marriage wasn't valid or should I be going to the temple, taking the sacrament, etc. I was blown back, and didn't know what to do.
So, I'll have to go into the deeper things, the arguments for and against masturbation being a sin later. But for now, I'd like any comments from any who might read, what has been your experience with this, particularly as it relates to dealing with a spouse. It's no longer really an issue, and I don't see it being a major thing for me anytime soon, until I have a kid that I have to tell about masturbation... what will I say?
Any thoughts?
Ok, I'm back... So the arguments. I think I've gained a lot from reading things others wrote in comments on other blogs. I really think that some GA's have stepped out too far in their interpretation of the Law of Chastity. I don't think that God ever intended masturbation to be included. President Kimball's statement that prophets ancient and modern condemned the practice (paraphrased) seems un-based in scripture. He also goes on to say that we shouldn't justify our actions simply because they aren't mentioned in the scriptures. I agree with that in general, but how does that apply here. This is an activity that 95 (or whatever incredibly high percent you want to use) percent of men (and a majority of women) do or have done, most likely in their teens to twenties. If this sin really falls into the same category as fornication and adultery, why on earth would the prophets not have spoken out on it. I remember reading a more scholarly study of the issue in Mormonism, "Historical Development of New Masturbation Attitudes in Mormonism." Some of the first reactions we have on record by the brethren were negative, for sure... but the reactions were along the lines of, this practice causes insanity (and rest of the 19th century medical ideas about masturbation's effects). They weren't "We've received revelation that this is wrong." If they believed it caused all the ill effects they talked about, of course it made sense for them to come out against it, to advise the youth against it. A few GA's continued to teach the same things, having been taught them growing up, and wanting to pass their wisdom along to the youth... only problem is, it was incorrect. (Especially Elder Packer's 'little factory' idea, that masturbating will cause it to increase, that if you don't, you'll hardly even notice!)
I don't buy the self-control idea any more either. We don't talk about self-control with food as meaning you never eat.... ever. Or even, only after marriage. It would be ridiculous. I think self-control is important with sex, but I don't think that means that people need to shut the drive off completely. It's all about channelling it to proper channels. (Just as it is after marriage) There are a significant number of people in the church who'll never marry. Why would God place these God-given urges in them if he never intended for them to be used.
I don't, however, believe that this is some sort of mind-control tactic used by the brethren. That is way too cynical for me. I believe they are inspired men, good men, trying to do the right thing. But here I think good intentions fall short. I have a testimony of the Church. I know it's true. I know we have a Prophet of God on the earth. But I also know that not every thing spoken by a prophet is the word of God. It's up to us to pray and find out for ourselves what is and is not revelation, by the power of the Spirit, as well as following the New Testament council to put the word to a test... try it, and judge it by its fruits.
Other reading
A brief review of Mormon intimacy from J. Stapely @ BCC
Or Try This for a more scholarly look into the churches view, from the journal Sexuality & Culture


  1. Thank you for posting this. I found your blog through a discussion you are having with someone else on their blog about this topic. I am LDS and am having difficulty accepting that masterbation is entirely wrong. My views are similiar to what you wrote on the other blog. I am hoping for further enlightenment for myself on the issue.

  2. Thanks for reading... I'm glad if it was helpful for you... Good luck to you in your search for enlightenment.

  3. I'm with you. Sounds like a very similar experience to my own. Except that I never discussed masturbation with a MP/bishop. So I'm guessing that you're newly married, right? Give it a few years and you'll be masturbating again. I'm sure you think right now that it's no longer an issue...

  4. Let me clarify. If your wife is shocked that you masturbbated, that means that she never did. Which also means that her sex drive is much lower than yours, and after the honeymoon period she'll revert to her normal drive. Welcome to the (LDS) club.

    1. My Mormon wife of 25 years never masturbated before marriage either. I love her virtue!

      Together during sex, I know it isn't a sin to MB together or each other. It's a selfless bonding act! Together!

      Yet, after 25 years of marriage (temple marriage) I haven't had sex with my wife in 3 years... however, I'm happy. At age 50 I realize sex isn't everything, or anything. Yes I still masturbate at 50... Oh my! And yes she knows that I do it, and that I view pornography... Oh my! I have since before my mission.

      However, I will never deny my testimony, or try to justify what I do. I will continue to try and meet the standard! She is happy that I do... and I am happy that I try! It is better to admit you're not meeting the standard, admit it, and work on improvement, than to try and find ways to justify... (which I realize you aren't, so good job!)

      I hope this rambling makes sense. In any case, re-read the BoM! It's awesome every time! Do what you can. I know God will judge us according to our works... but that means both good and bad!

      I am giving every spare moment to go with the missionaries and have investigators into our home... I give all my spare dollars to others every day. Yes I still MB and look at porn. Yes my marriage is still surprisingly happy and without contention... and yes... God who judges all with a just judgement, will need only look to the heart and charitable actions to know where my intentions are... I think it will be well... and at the least, I'll have that discussion with Him, and in the mean time I'll continue to try and resist/meet the standards of the church.

      Good luck.

  5. Ya, I am pretty new to the marriage gig. Most certainly, my wife's reaction was due in part to the fact that she never did. I'm not so sure that necessarily means her drive is so much lower than mine. However, from our experience thus far in marriage, I'd definitely say that her drive is lower than mine, but I don't think I have an abnormally strong one, or that hers is particularly weak. We have some very good open communication, and I've definitely wondered about whether she'll slow down over time, I tend to think (and hope) that she probably won't. But I suppose only time will tell. Thus far I can only say that her drive seems to be increasing, as the experience is getting better for her (we've had some issues, which I've written about elsewhere... maybe I'll get around to it here sometime).

    1. Just wanted to post so that everyone is aware... it is totally normal for couples who have been married for 20+ years -- it's normal for one or both partners loose interest in sex. :0 oh my goodness!

      In my case it is my wife. I still want to love and caress her bad, but no biggie! She is still comfortable being nude (showering and dressing in front of me.)

      Granted, I have an absolute testimony of Christ.... but I'm starting to realize that sex is actually kinda childish in a way... I know that's hard to believe.

      Sure it feels great, and (this is just me, and I really don't want it to sound crass) but I sorta think that if you believe in church doctrine... and therefore believe in eternity... that humping your pee-pee together with your wife, will probably get old after a couple hundred years, or many thousand millennial. Don't you think there is something even better?

      Yes, I'll never f***ing know... but I believe that there is probably something even better that humping.

      Come on... in 100, 1,000 - 10,000,000,000,000 year is sex or masturbation really going to do anything for you?

      (reluctant confession here...)

      After 30 years of porn, good (and I must admit... my wife was really nasty, and super sexy back then... before she became RS president.) sex with my dear wife in those early years was awesome!. But... since I MB 5 times a day to every kinda porn you can imagine... F U C K! (yea, i said the 'F' word... the reality is, I'm kinda burned out! Excuse my non-mormon language... I would never say that in front of a church member, but I also think this is wisdom of sorts...

      If 30 years was all it took for me to burn out... then what about eternity? We have more porn and sexual content available today than ever before... shouldn't we be able to look at this fact and realize...

      "While you enjoy sex, and want sex... be genuine and honest before God!" I think that's going to be more important than anyone trying to justify why they deviated from church standards...

      I'm going to talk with my bish.. this week. I've done it before, and it wasn't the end of the world.

      God Bless.

  6. Corianton:

    Wish I had seen this sooner.

    Not that it would have really changed anything. This is something I have wondered about for a very long time.

    I suspect that I am quite a bit older than you, and have had a somewhat similar experience.

    It is something I have really struggled with in my head.

    In my mind, the rules change once you're married. I understand that masturbation is and has been highly discouraged pre-marriage, but none of the talks, literature, etc., have even addressed the question of post-marriage.

    My point is, if it's something that's going to keep people out of heaven, why aren't there clearer guidelines about it?

    I have to agree with your reasoning, and I have reached similar conclusions, like you, trying to find other commentary and resources on the issue.

    But at the end of the day, the real question in my mind isn't what I think about it, but what does God think about it?

    How are we supposed to know that?

    And how does one deal with the issue of fantasizing that normally accomanies?

  7. B. Watch:
    Thanks for commenting. I have to agreee about the "if it's something that's going to keep people out of heaven, why aren't there clearer guidelines" line of thinking. I remember reading a thread along these lines (I think it was at FMH, but may not have been... it's been a long time) where people debated the propriety of masturbation within marriage, especially in the context of couples forced to be separated for long periods, whether as for business, or millitary duty. I think there's quite an appealing argument that it can have a positive effect on a marriage, reducing sexual strain, and helping ward off temptation to stray.

    As to how to deal with the fantasizing issue... I think it is possible. For me, that's something I tried to avoid as much as possible, though it happened (but then it also happened throughout the day anyway, all the more so when I didn't masturbate). I read an article at this website ( a long time ago, which gave me a different perspective on it. (Disclaimer: it is a bit of an Anti-leaning site, though this article purports to be written by an active LDS, and from my reading seems to be such) It talks about masturbation viewed as a spiritual celebration, about masturbating with gratitude for the marvelous feelings that accompany it, much as one would about the taste of great food, or the feel of fresh air and sun on our skin.

    The author tells a similar story to mine, in putting the words of the leaders of the church to the test... of judging them by their fruits. IN his experience, like in mine, he found them to be wrong on this issue.

  8. Please don't feel obligated if it's not something you want to discuss, but I'd be very interested to hear how your wife ended up coming to terms with your masturbation confession. Has her attitude about masturbation changed as a result of open discussion, or is your history of masturbation just a topic you avoid now. What I'm mostly curious about is whether a frank and open dialog about masturbation helped dispel some of its taboo for your wife?

    1. I'm not the original poster, but my situation is similar. My wife 'caught' me!!!!!!!!!!! It sucked!!! (temple married mormons)

      She discovered all my porn mags, and other 'paraphernalia... (it was back in the early 90's before online porn, and I had a bunch of other nasty sh!t that I shouldn't have had in a storage shed... specifically so that she wouldn't find it... but she did.)

      Who cares... porn... artificial vaginas... dildos, silicone masturbators, sex dolls and porn videos (all legal) from a sex shop... seriously you may be trying not to believe this... but I am not an making this up, and I am also not an apostate!

      I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints... but I am trying to better my life...

      anyway... after she found out, we talked. (or rather... she yelled for several months, and I talked as calmly as possible) hey, I realize this won't work for everyone, but for my wife it did. We love and accept each other for who we are, and I feel so much better knowing that I don't have any secrets with her. I would honestly tell her anything, even if I were humping pumpkins at midnight in the back yard... yea, there I go... crass again... but seriously, it's not that she would be happy, but she would say - "please try". I know she accepts me.

      I need to close... but I sincerely hope my post can help someone else to realize that their situation isn't really that unique... we're all really in a big mess together, and giving up is the only true failure there is.

  9. Anonymous: Well, she really hasn't completely. While we have had an open discussion about the fact that I masturbated, I did hold back in regards to my feelings about it not being a sin... I'm not sure why.
    But I'd say no, her attitude hasn't changed really. In fact just the other day she brought it up again, wondering if I have done it since we've been married. Aparently she's been having nightmares about it since my confession...
    Maybe some day I'll get the courage up to bring it up and out into the open, completely... in regards to how I feel about it now.

    For me, it really isn't the issue it once was, now that I have a release, but the arguments and my opinions about it remain pretty much the same as ever.

    1. Hey, if you want a word from the wise (non-apostate) 50+ year old masturbator, then I'll share a thought...

      Women are a lot more sensitive to this stuff. The same situation gives her nightmares, but not you... that's a completely beautiful part of who your wife is!

      You'll have to be the judge... but based upon my own experience... coming clean with my wife really sweetened every part of our relationship... timing is critical, so don't be a duffass and and come clean when she's already pissed, or I'm not to blame!

      Good luck!

  10. Anon & 6:35 PM here.

    Thanks for your response. Have you and your wife read either of these LDS blogs? The first one is for husbands and the second one for wives:

    The topic on the men's blog today is about masturbation and has a lot of interesting comments. The women's blog has discussed the issue in the past extensively.

  11. Anon...

    Thanks. I'd never seen either of those blogs actually. Looks pretty interesting. I'll have to catch up a bit on there.

  12. CoriAnton,

    Thank you so much for your honesty. This is a very valuable post, and I'd like to see more Mormons be this open.

    My history with masturbation is very close to yours. I discovered it at age twelve and did it guilt free until the age of fourteen when I finally put a name to it and realized that my Bishop had been preaching against it for a long time.

    For many years to come I lived under a dark cloud of guilt, believing that I was an unworthy, sinful, vile person. I fought against it mightily before and after my mission. During I managed to stay *almost* free of it, but it was NOT easy. Within a week of being home, it came roaring back with full intensity, and it was not until I was engaged to my bride and facing a temple wedding that I finally brute forced myself to stop.

    Like yourself, I was not far into my marriage (maybe a year? maybe two?) when the topic came up. I too confessed that I had done plenty of it, and told her I had not managed to stop until a few months before our wedding. She was intrigued, curious, and thoughtful as she listened to me tell her my whole history. She told me she had never done it, but she knew from conversations with female friends that it was very common among girls and rampant among boys. I told her that if we ever had a son that he *would* do it, and that we would need to decide before he got to that point how we would handle it as parents.

    After that, not much was said about it until about four years into our marriage when she was pregnant with our first. One night I was in the "mood" and she was too tired to even think about it. I was respectful and told her that I could put it on hold. To my shock, she tossed me a hand towel and said, "knock yourself out. I'm going to sleep."

    I laid in bed listening to my wife sleep next to me with the towel in one hand and my erection in the other, too shocked and amazed to know what to do. But she HAD given me permission, after all. And for the first time in about 4 or 5 years, I did it. It was every bit as sweet and as fun as I remember it being.

  13. (continued...)

    When I reminded her what she had done she gave me a look like she thought I was lying and said, "I did WHAT? Are you SURE? And you... you... did... it?" She was clearly shaken. (To her credit, she HAD tossed me the towel and made the statement in a near sleepy stupor, collapsed on the bed half a second later, and was asleep the next half second, but I was still surprised that she would seem morally opposed to it after the fact).

    I'm not positive that I convinced her that she had, in fact, said what she had said. But I did for absolute certainty know this: Now that I had done it again, I was not going to be able to stop. I knew that it was not something I could just take out and look at once every five years and then put away again. It was out, and it was out to stay.

    But I also knew that I was *NOT* going to sneak around and masturbate behind her back.

    I devised a plan, and it had a dual approach.

    The first approach was open and honest communication. We TALKED about it. We listened as each shared our thoughts, ideas, fears, concerns, etc. Her's were traditional and expected: Church leaders have said it's wrong. To this I replied, "Well, we seem to have a Garden of Eden conflicting commandment situation. Past church leaders HAVE said it's wrong, and yet recent church leaders have said that what happens in the bedroom of a married couple, so long as both agree and it does not involve other people, is okay. I think it's up to us to decide."

    And in that light, my second approach was a bit more radical: I asked her to masturbate herself while I watched.

    The first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and maybe eighth time I asked she turned me down flat. She never got mad, and I never pressured. I would just ask in a patient, loving, pleading, sexy manner as I could. I told her it would turn me on something fierce, and that if we both agreed then there was nothing wrong with it.

    At first she just simply had too much cultural tradition (dare I say baggage?) that told her it's wrong. It took a couple of weeks of me asking her gently and lovingly before she would even tough herself, and even longer before she would stimulate herself. But eventually she did it, and brought herself to orgasm using her fingers while I watched. At the risk of being too personal, just watching her do this (and not even touching myself) almost gave me an orgasm!

  14. (continued...)

    Well, lemme tell you, doing it this once opened the flood gates for her. The next time I asked she did it a little more readily, and same with the next. After a few more times she would really get into it, enjoying putting on a good show for me as she masturbated as part of our foreplay. After a couple times of this I asked her if it was okay if I rubbed myself while she did this. "Of course!" she replied.

    And thus, mutual masturbation was introduced into our marriage. I would usually hold off on my own orgasm until I was inside her, but rubbing myself while she brought herself to orgasm was mind-blowing foreplay. And the times when I did come to orgasm from masturbating while watching her do it to herself, she found me ejaculating on her tummy or breasts fascinating, and after having fun cleaning her up, we either fell asleep in each others arms without actual intercourse, or the intercourse was put on hold until I was "ready" again, with lots of other types of foreplay (oral, etc) in the mean time.

    But, I still knew that the time would come when I would want to masturbate and she would not be around. We had breached the wall of mutual masturbation, but I knew that solo masturbation was still, in her mind, a no-no. I told her a couple times that if she ever wanted to when I was not around, that I didn't mind at all if she did it. Her reply, at first, was always the same. "Oh no. I could never do that. That would be selfish and wrong."

    And so I devised another plan.

    I went to an adult store and bought her a vibrator. When I got home and showed her what I'd done she was shocked, horrified, and excited all at the same time. We used it at once and she loved it, but she also told me that she would never, ever use it alone.

    A while after that I was going to be gone on a business trip. (To put this on a time line, we are now several years after she tossed me the hand towel and told me to knock myself out. PATIENCE is key!!) I had just purchased my first digital camera, and I used it to take a series of nude photos of myself, all of them with me having an erection, which I then printed off on our home black and white dot matrix. When I left on the trip, I snuck the print outs and the vibrator under her pillow, along with a note that said "I love you! Have 'fun' while I'm gone and stay warmed up for when I get home."

    I knew it was a long shot, and that it might backfire. But when I got to the hotel that night and called home, and I knew as soon as she answered the phone that she had done it.

  15. (this is the last...)

    The girly, excited, playful way she said "hello?" (we had caller id) told me everything. The surprise I'd left under her pillow made her horny, and she deliberated for a long time if she should do it, but finally relented telling herself that not only did I not mind, but that I WANTED her to. She said it was fun, but no where near as fun as if I'd been there in person. "Good!" I said. "if you preferred the vibrator over my real thing I'd be jealous, but as long as I'm not around, there is no reason to not have a little fun!"

    That incident took place about eight years after we were married, and about four years after she tossed me the hand towel. We have now been married fourteen years. Over those years, we have masturbated countless times both together and apart. She has worn out more vibrating dildos then I care to count. If one of us is in the mood and the other is tired, it's accepted practice to masturbate while the other sleeps.

    Just the other night (like, last week) she stayed up late to read a book that was highly romantic, and when she came to bed she tried to rouse me but I was dead to the world, so she got her vibrator, went to the living room couch, and gave herself seven orgasms in a row. When she told me this the next morning over breakfast (we ALWAYS tell each other when we do it, and we always congratulate or high five each other). I told her, "Seven is not bad, but I would love to stay and make you REALLY happy if I didn't have to to get to work." As I headed for the shower, she said, "Well, you can at least make yourself a little happy in the shower!"

    And I did.

    The keys in getting to this point have been simple: 1) Communicate! 2) Never be sneaky, 3) Put the others needs, wants, and feelings ahead of your own. And most of all, 4) BE PATIENT!


    We have a daughter who will soon be eleven and we also have an eight year old son.

    As for my son, I fully expect him to do it. It's part of growing up male. It WILL happen. He's young now, but the time will come when we'll have the talk, and the lessons he learns about masturbation will be very different then what I heard. My approach with him will be simple:

    "Don't let it control you. If you feel like it's becoming an addiction, come talk to me. If you feel like it's going to lead to sexual promiscuity, come talk to me. When you go on a mission, you will enjoy being an Elder more if it's not part of your life. In the mean time, your mother and I both know it's going to happen from time to time. It's important to stay on top of it and to be in control, and it's also important to not beat yourself up when it happens. We love you, your Father in Heaven loves you, and you are a great kid!" A similar message will be communicated to my daughter by my wife.

    If I had been told that as a fourteen year old, my entire adolescence would have been infinity happier.

    Wow! That was long!


  16. (...a typo correction:)

    At first she just simply had too much cultural tradition (dare I say baggage?) that told her it's wrong. It took a couple of weeks of me asking her gently and lovingly before she would even *TOUCH* (not tough) herself, and even longer before she would stimulate herself.

  17. holy crap that was a long, detailed post. thanks for your honesty. the mormon community has conditioned it's members to be sexually dysfunctional in my opinion. and i don't think God meant for that to happen. i have been a "strong member" all my life. AND being such i was so ignorant about so many things. i never really even knew what masturbation was growing up. i had seen a few pornographic photos as a child but only wondered why they weren't wearing any clothes. i became interested in sex at a "normal" age and i felt a bit bad for thinking about it so often. when my future husband told me that he had been viewing pornography and masturbating, i was shocked and disgusted. i didn't know if we should still get married. i felt like he had cheated on me already. i went to a priesthood leader who told me that after he could express himself in a proper marriage relationship that the problem would sort itself out. (i am not too sure that was very good counsel) and there was always a trust problem in the back of my mind. but we got married and had a wonderful sex life for the first two years of our marriage (until the first baby came). during the first year it was not uncommon for us to have sex 2-4 times every day. i never felt like either of us wanted more than the other, that he was addicted or anything and he always waited for me to orgasm before he would. we explored each other and had a wonderful time. it was awesome. things "fizzled" a bit the next year because of studies but we made love almost every day and made up for the days we'd missed. but after our first child was born he lost interest and that hurt me like hell. he wouldn't talk about it. every time i brought it up, he put up walls and got mad at me. i wondered so many things. was i the problem? was he back into pornography, replacing me with masturbation? was he jealous of our new kid? was he gay? was he having an affair? i could only guess because he wouldn't talk. anyway things just kept getting worse over the years and no priesthood leader was able to help our situation. so i started researching it myself on the internet. i wanted to understand certain things better. i wanted to know what it is like to have an addiction (even though i don't think he had a problem anymore with pornography or masturbation, i wanted to stop feeling like he was a pervert for having done it. i didn't want to be mad anymore.) as i kept researching about masturbation, i realised that there are a lot of misconceptions about it and some ideas that are just down right ridiculous. i told him that i was so sorry for all the times i had lashed out and asked him to help me understand it better. he actually did talk a bit about it. i also read about women who are porn stars and what they do, how they feel about it, etc. i have seen a bit of pornography but truthfully it has turned me off and made me feel sick inside every time. it is so completely degrading and disrespectful. i know that there are different kinds of porn. i am guessing my husband was more into "soft" porn than anything. there's a lot of sex in movies these days and as a good little mormon girl i should turn it off or look away but "it's not like i haven't done all of that anyway" i rationalize. still, watching other people going at it always makes me feel like a bit of a peeping tom because they are doing it to get paid and i am supposed to be watching it to get turned on rather than doing the real thing and that just seems so fake...

  18. but the masturbation thing left me very curious. i think it was because i was living in a sex-starved marriage by this time. i am not sure what happened to my husband's libido. i asked him so many times but to no avail. we have been married for about 9 years now and we might have sex once a month (we have 3 children, he works all the time). i feel totally ripped off but he doesn't see a problem. he is satisfied with the frequency of it and i feel like...i don't know. i still love him. he is a good man, a good father, a good provider, but he and i have no intimacy, no connection. and i feel like i am wasting my time and my life being married to a man who has no interest in a husband/wife relationship when i could be enjoying life as God intended. i feel more like his roommate or a sister but not like a wife. i feel unattractive and frustrated. i have had thoughts of leaving him but we have kids together. "time and all eternity" is not a possibility in a marriage like this but having an affair is also not an option. this is why i have wondered so much about masturbation. could this option save my marriage? it definitely doesn't replace the bond that is formed between a man and a woman who have a healthy sex life. but it might keep me from leaving him to satisfy a perfectly normal and God given desire with someone else. i have told him how i feel and i have asked him what he expects of me if he does not desire sex anymore. he has actually become quite opposed to masturbation, saying that it always made him feel bad when he did it. and that he no longer has any temptations toward pornography. he says he's not attracted to men and that there are no other women he is attracted to. he simply has no sex drive. but i still do. and i am going crazy. i am so resentful and angry. i had "saved" myself for him before we got married. i have tried to please him and be a good wife and mother. i have tried to be obedient. i have learned to be understanding and forgiving. and now i feel like i am the one being driven towards these temptations BECAUSE of him. being a moromon, your pretty much stuck. i have made covenants with him and with God that i don't want to break. i also don't want to break the hearts of my children by leaving because my own father did that to my mom and i still haven't gotten over it. it is hard not to feel that men are all selfish bastards. i wish Heavenly Father had given me a man who would love me, who was interested in me in the way you are supposed to be with your spouse. i don't know what to do but i know i don't want to live another 9 years like this. it really bothers me that everyone says that men have the greater sex drives. that is simply not always true. does the Lord allow us to choose the lesser "sin" if it will save a masturbation really even a sin or is it a God-given alternative to avoiding sin? i don't want to say the GA's are wrong but where did they actually get their information from? the church has been wrong many times about important things. but God is never wrong. if the Spirit tells me something is not right, i feel it. are we conditioned to feel a certain way about things because of a lack of education over past years? i am not upset at my husband anymore for having masturbated in preivious years because i've learned more about it. but i would be furious if i found out that it was replacing his sex life with me now. i will not be upset at my kids when they discover their sexuality. i hope it won't become an addiction though or that they are not getting other things done because they are so preoccupied with it. as long it it stays healthy. i want them to know all they can about sex (except for actually doing it) before they get married so that they can choose a spouse who they can be compatible with, who they can explore with and trust and love in every way. and i want that again in my marriage. but my husband just doesn't want sex anymore. i feel miserable and hopeless.

  19. Adam:

    Thanks for sharing your story as well. I think it's so valuable to see how this has played out for other members and couples. I'll have to admit I'm happy to see that there may be a happy ending in all this for my wife and I... you've given me hope. (not like light at the end of a tunnel - it's not that serious... more like seeing dessert on the menu)

    That also seems like a pretty good way to handle things with the kids. I can't even imagine how different my life would be had my parents talked about it with me like that.

    Thanks for reading, and especially thanks for commenting!

  20. Anonymous: "holy crap" - I warned you...

    Great to hear from the other side of the gender aisle as well. Your situation is tragic to me, but not without hope. I can't say there's ever been a time that I've turned my wife down, but I know it's not that uncommon for the woman to be the higher-desire partner. However, I'd have to say that your husbands desire seems abnormally low, and if possible I'd say you should try to get him to talk to his doctor about it. There might be something that can be done for him to either directly increase his libido (supposing there's a hormonal issue) or indirectly increase it (supposing it could simply be an issue of fatigue, etc).

    You do raise some good points. "I don't want to say the GA's are wrong" was something that hit me. It was hard for me early on too, because it seems like you're putting yourself above them. But the fact is that every word they say is not inspired. They have opinions. They even disagree with one another. They can all be wrong together about certain things. That's why it's sooo important for us to follow the spirit, put their words to the test and see if they are right. That way, we know. For me, that led to my belief that masturbation isn't actually sinful. You might get a different answer.

    That brings up another point: choosing the lesser evil. I think there is ample scriptural evidence of God permitting, or even commanding people to choose the lesser evil. How many ancient prophets lied about their wives actually being a sister (I think it's 2-3). How about early church leaders publicly decrying polygamy while secretly practicing it. I think it happens.

    I think leaving your husband and kids over sexual issues is a huge mistake (excluding sexual abuse/adultery) but if that's where you feel you're headed, I can't imagine God being upset at you for choosing a slightly sinful (if that's the decision you come to on it) alternative to keep your marriage alive.

  21. Anonymous,

    My heart goes out to you. I'm truly sorry for your pain, and I hope you can find a way to make things better.

    I'm Adam, BTW... the guy who left the long and detailed post above. I'm seven years older then my wife and there is no question that her sex drive is stronger then mine. I know she would relate well to all that you said because there are far too many nights when she wants "it" but I am so dang tired that I just fall asleep. It's not that I don't have any sex drive, it's just that hers overpowers mine. Our frequency has gone way down, just like yours. If it's any comfort, know that you are not alone.

    Now, that being said, we still have a fairly healthy sex life... maybe just not AS healthy as my wife would like, but it's still plenty active. If you don't mind a couple tips from somone who can understand your husband, I'll be happy to offer a few.

    Please don't make him feel guilty. This will only make things worse. The "Don't you want me any more" approach will take an emotional tax on him and will not help him re-boost his sex drive. I think your challenge is to forget your own pain and seek to get really into him. I know, it sucks that he's the one who is causing you pain and now you have to be the one to ignore the pain and try to make him happy, but if you want to be proactive and save your marriage, this is one way.

    Here's a few off the top of my head suggestions. I'm no marriage councilor, and what I'm about to say next might be frowned upon by your Bishop, but...

    Try having some long, friendly conversations about fantasies. Find out what his are, and be open. If you can do so and keep your Temple Recommend, try and fulfill them. Remember the rules: If you both agree and if it doesn't involve other people, then it's fair game. If you have not done it already, try giving him hand jobs and blow jobs. Suggest that he try having anal sex wit you. Invite him to do all the same things to you. Get as weird and kinky as you can think.

  22. (continued)

    Considering getting a video camera and making some home made porno movies for yours-and-his-eyes only. Maybe, on your own, make a couple of highly sexual (think: porn) videos of just you that you leave for him to discover. Take him to an adult sex store and buy some toys. Get some for him and for you and play with them together. Be brave and look at the toys that may have repulsed you at one point in time (anal probes, etc).

    Consider taking him skinny dipping. Depending on where you live, it may be an option to find a remote camp site with a beach where you can strip naked at night and go for a moonlight swim.

    If you live in a place with a lot of wilderness, like Utah or other western states, go free-hiking. Find a remote trail, put all clothing but shoes into a backpack, and hike naked for a mile or two.

    And if you want to REALLY buck Mormon tradition, consider a public nude beach or nude resort. Mormons in good standing DO go to these places.... my wife and I have been, and then went to church the very next day and had no qualms about taking the sacrament. They are not the highly charged sexual places that you may think they are, and are FANTASTIC ways to shed a lot of social baggage about bodies and sex. Consider this web site:

    Here's a more mainstream approach: Try starting an exercise program together. Many couples who workout together say their sex life sees a noticeable boost. It can be as simple as going on regular walks or bike rides together, but could be as aggressive as attending the same aerobics classes.

    More mainstream ideas: Get involved in joint hobbies. Re-connect outside of sex. Sign up for some cooking classes, wilderness survival classes, or what-ever class you might both enjoy. Create a new hobby that you both do together. It can be a no-brainer like doing your genealogy together and taking the names to the temple together, or it can be as far-fetched as sky diving. The main thing is, do it together.

    My wife and I do this religiously: If you are not already doing it, instigate Friday Night Dates... EVERY Friday (or, as often as you can). Our kids are old enough now to be home alone for a couple hours, but before that point we had two or three sitters who were always ready and willing. Once a year, take a you-and-him only vacation.

    The day-to-day routine of jobs, laundry, kids, cooking, dishes, and even church callings can REALLY get in the way of a loving marriage. You have got to force yourself to break out of the routine or your already fizzling sex life will continue to fizzle. Shake it up. Make it exciting, kinky, even a little naughty.

    Most of all... pray!

    Good luck. I really do hope that things improve.

  23. "Don't let it control you. If you feel like it's becoming an addiction, come talk to me. If you feel like it's going to lead to sexual promiscuity, come talk to me. When you go on a mission, you will enjoy being an Elder more if it's not part of your life. In the mean time, your mother and I both know it's going to happen from time to time. It's important to stay on top of it and to be in control, and it's also important to not beat yourself up when it happens. We love you, your Father in Heaven loves you, and you are a great kid!" A similar message will be communicated to my daughter by my wife."

    I will remember this for my son.

    I wish my dad would have handled it that way. Instead he had the sex talk in junior high, but never addressed the issue of masterbation. I wrote home from my mission and he ashamedly admitted that he had struggle his whole life with it. I know that pornography addiction is a different issue, but I think we need to change our view of masterbation in the church.

  24. I just found this blog today as I was actually preparing for a talk on modesty.
    Anyways, I can really relate to some of the comments. My husband and I have been married for 3 years and I am struggling with our sex life. I have been for a while and I feel trapped because I feel like I have no one to talk to as I have no close girl friends and I didn't know if I should be talking about our sex life with anyone anyways. My husband masturbated once growing up and then turned himself away from it after learning what it was. I used to think he was so amazing for doing that and I wished I had that kind of self control because I have actually struggled with masturbating most of my life. I started when I was probably around 6? I had NO idea what it was until I was a teenager but by then it was just something I did. It was non-sexual. I just new it felt really cool. When I told my husband before we got married he was worried about it and urged me to talk to my bishop. I did and My bishop asked me if it was a problem. I told him I didn't think so and he said try not to do it, but he didn't give me the feeling like it was Really wrong. After we were married we made love once a day for a long time. I probably would have like to more, but he says he doesn't think he can orgasm more than once a day. Now-a-days we have sex maybe once a week and I would probably still like to one a day. I have talked to my husband a few times about this because like one of the other (woman)commenters, I wonder if I am not attractive enough? I don't know what the problem is. I can say I am about 99.9999 percent sure he isn't masturbating or looking at porn. He is just always "too tired." Sometimes I get a little immature and think it would be nice it for once I could use the line " i am just too tired." But no, he gets sex pretty much every time he wants it because I take it anytime he will initiate. I wish I could either lower my drive of increase his, but he won't even talk about any kind of oral sex or toys, fantasies or anything a little different... I have tried a little.
    I honestly think that if he would have let himself masturbate a little bit, that his drive might be a little stronger. During one of our conversations one night about this I asked him if he would be ok with never having sex again and he thought about it for a minute and said...probably. For him it is just a physical thing that feels good but he can go without just fine. He loves me so much and I know it, but for me while it is a feel good physical thing, it is also SO emotional. I feel loved and connected and I NEED it. Trying to figure out why he doesn't seem to care for sex is very frustrating and depressing.


  25. Tara,
    Thanks for sharing!

    First off, I'd say I don't think your problem is your attractiveness. I think it's most likely a difference in your sex drives.

    A quote from an anonymous commenter above, "Let me clarify. If your wife is shocked that you masturbated, that means that she never did. Which also means that her sex drive is much lower than yours, and after the honeymoon period she'll revert to her normal drive. Welcome to the (LDS) club."

    Now, I don't necessarily agree that in all cases, the fact that person didn't masturbate means they have a low sex drive. However, I do think it's the most likley explanation. It may be that they have either an incredibly abnormal amount of self-control. Or that they have had an extreme amount of conditioning on them about how horrible it was, that they were actually able to avoid it at all. (I think this is much more likely for women than men, because I think some families in the church teach their girls that it's not acceptable to even have a sexual thought, and they completely shut that part of themselves off. Plus, with genitalia less exposed, it's easier not to turn it back on once that happens than it is for boys)

    There is the possibility that he's into porn and/or masturbation, and that's what's draining his sexual energy. He possibly could be gay. (though I'd say that's less likely from the way you described him actually wanting sex with you every week)

    Anyway, I think most likely he's just got a lower drive than you. (A lot easier to say than accept. - I'm in the same boat. I know that my wife has a lower drive than me, but that is still hard for me to not feel unatractive/undesired/unwanted when she isn't in the mood)

    But just because it is a difference in drive doesn't mean there's nothing you can do about it. Talk about it with him. It's something my wife and I discuss every so often, and it's getting better, for both of us I think. It seems like it would be a very selfish response on his part to just ignore the issue and tell you to deal with it. So he can only orgasm once/day... fine. That doesn't mean he can't pleasure you more often than that. Just my two cents...

  26. Hi I'm a 13year old deacon in the church
    The issue of masterbation just came up and I feelthe same way as you twords it
    I think that the church leaders are mistaken
    I don't want to masterbate witout permission from my parents
    So I was wondering how I could approach them with the issue of this
    Any thoughts?

  27. Interesting read. I also wish this conversation was going on when I was a teen. What I have learned:

    1. Self control is empowering (to the 13yr old deacon)
    2. Open communication takes courage but should never be regretted
    3. Masterbation seems to flange naturally with dirty thoughts - but does it have to...?
    4. You are wasting your time if you beat yourself up about slipping now and then

    Questions I still have:

    For those with a wife that have never experienced orgasm - even after years of marriage, it could be that masterbation is the only (solo or assisted) way for them to understand and help you understand how to be equals in sex. So, how do I help my spouse not feel guilty about masterbation so she can focus and come to understand how it works? I feel completely fine if she needs to be alone when she does it. I just want her to know!

  28. Very well put, Brother. Masturbation is just fine in my book!

  29. This discussion would be more interesting on IRC. I have set up a discussion on IRC on undernet named #mormonrealism. I invite any on this list to come by and chat there.
    If you need help figuring out irc let me know at

  30. Do you think Christ gave into urges? I must say no and we`re trying to be like Jesus right? You won`t receice answers that you`re unwilling to follow. Self-mastery is the issue here not pleasure. Don`t create excuses for people struggling with this to continue.

  31. this talk by jeffrey r holland really helped me .. masterbation is definitely not something to mess around .i have masterbated for a number of years even before my mission ..and on my mission i didnt do it once habits are hard to break ,,but the lord does bless us when we keep his commandments masterbation is a selfish act all u do is reward yourself ..

  32. Did Christ give in.... that is an interesting question, though I'd say we don't know. I think your statement "I must say no" is about as solid as someone who'd say that Christ couldn't have been married. It just couldn't have happened! But I know a good many members of the church that think he was. It is very easy for us to project our notions of right onto Christ, making it impossible for him to have done otherwise, but it's shaky ground when there's no historical/scritptural evidence to confirm our ideas.

    Did Christ masturbate? I don't know. I'd be very interested to know what Jewish teachings on the subject would have been around the time of Christ. I also don't think it would have been as much of an issue for him as it is for most youth today, as he probably married much younger than we do today.

    As for being selfish... Did Christ ever eat anything that just tasted good? Did he ever smell a flower just for the pleasure it would bring. I completely reject your implication that to reward yourself is always sinful and selfish. I play basketball a couple times a week, simply because I enjoy it. I go hiking or skiing a couple times a month... sure, I get exercise, but that's not why I do it. I love the solitude it provides me, and derive great pleasure from it. This could be seen as selfish and sinful too, though I've never heard anyone give a talk on that in church....

    I'd agree with you, Anonymous, that the Lord does indeed bless us when we keep his commandments. I just don't think that the Lord has actually commanded us not to masturbate.

  33. I think this is a very interesting discussion! I think masturbation is in the same category as the way we satisfy other physical appetites. Can it be a sin? Yes, if used with pornography or unclean fantasies, or if it becomes an obsession that detracts from other worthy and constructive action. Can it be a blessing if used in moderation to relieve sexual tension that otherwise might lead to greater temptations and sins? In my experience, yes. Is it an ideal, a virtue to be preached from the pulpit? I think not. I think of it much like eating a Snicker's bar. When I'm stressed, I sometimes go for a bit of comfort food like a Snicker's. It is self-indulgent, not really promoting health, but it helps me stay away from larger problems. Is it the ideal solution. Probably not. Perfect self-discipline borne of love of God and gratitude for my body would be the ideal. But sometimes I'm just not up to that yet. Jesus was, I guess. I see the ideal as desirable, and something I want to achieve. But if I'm not all the way there today or next year, I'm not going to beat myself up about it, or allow others to beat me up about it. I'm going to keep my faith in God and move forward, knowing that I can become perfect in Christ and that that process is between me and the Lord unless I'm infringing on someone else's agency or doing them harm. Masturbation does not fall into that category. It falls into the Snickers bar category of things that help us diffuse the little pressures and needs of mortality, albeit in a less than perfect way.

  34. Wow, what a conversation. lot's of ups and downs.

    Now I do have to admit that I never did masturbate as a youth. I did have my first experience after my mission. I guess I felt some guilt about it but not anything significant. Over the next few years until I got married I did have frequent episodes but not overbearing. Just something to release some tension. Did I feel guilt over them? Not particularly, there were probably times that I did and I guess I did try to stop a few times but in the end I continued.

    Once I got married, it almost came to a full stop unless I was away from the wife, as happened all too frequently as I was in the military. Through my marriage there have been times that I have done it. The wife has been aware of it and we have discussed it. She has also done it but due to some issues really doesn't have that much of a desire to do so. She has stated that it doesn't bother her unless I do it in place of her. As we've discussed this issue, we have determined that for the most part it is an individual issue. Is it wrong? Not necessarily, is it right? Perhaps not so much. But will we be condemned for doing it, most probably not, some likely will. In my experience and research I would say that there are potential problems with it. Is it selfish, in most cases that is likely. However, there may be some cases where it is justified and ok. A soldier deployed for a year away from his wife might be one.

    Now that being said, if the behavior fits one of several conditions then I would definitely say it's a sin and should be stopped. Those can be but not limited to: addictive (you have to do it frequently), where it replaces ones spouse (not tonight dear, I've already taken care of it), in revenge (he/she won't give it to me, so I'll do this in spite). In short I veiw it pretty much like anything else, what is the intent and spirit of the action? Is it purely selfish, then perhaps you shouldn't do it. Only you as an individual can honestly answer that, but keep in mind that your Father in Heaven also knows the answer as he knows your heart. However, if your heart is true and right, then it's another matter entirely. While masturbation in those situations may be ok or justified it doesn't necessarily mean that you should do it. It might still be best to avoid it. Can't say as if I've completely held to that statement.

    Along this line is an awesome book that I've recently discovered "And They Were Not Ashamed" by Laura Brotherson. We do have far too many inhibitions and false concepts of ourselves that are placed upon us by culture and society. However we need to be careful in defining them in variance with what the church leaders teach, even if they are only stating their opinions. In the end as in all things I strongly suggest seeking the guidance of the spirit. There are many things that are not expressed in detail for us, "a slothful servant that must be commanded in all things". We are expected to seek proper guidance, study, learn, pray, make a decision and then seek confirmation. I have learned that there is a fair amount of leeway in the details of the gospel, not much in the principles, but the details of execution are a different matter. What works for you may or may not work for me.

    In the end respect your spouse first and foremost. Treat him/her like a king/queen (my mother once stated that if you don't treat your wife like a queen all the time you can't expect her to treat you like a king when you want it.)


  35. I really appreciate the original post and most of the comments. My story is similar. I definitely did not feel guilt with my first masturbation experiences as a 14 year old. But I did start to feel bad about it; so much so that I became obsessed with getting other boys to admit that they did it.

    I had one six month stretch of total abstinence (long story), but then indulged again. However, when I became engaged my frequency dropped to zero or near zero; I do not remember which. Now after decades of marriage, my wife's desire is much less than mine. Sometimes she is too tired to engage in an act. So I ask her, 'Can you hug me?' She holds my hand or lightly fondles me somewhere on my body as I bring myself to a climax. We are both perfectly comfortable with this.

    I do know that most teenage boys are going to do it and I do not worry about that. I am active LDS, have always held a temple recommend. As others on this post have said, I feel that the brethren that wholesale condemn this act are not inspired. I could be wrong, but that is what I have concluded after years of thinking about the issue.

    Thanks for this thread!

  36. Thanks for all the comments. I'm so glad that this has been useful or interesting for others. It was really originally helpful for me, just in writing it out, putting everything I felt in some kind of coherent order.

    It's been a while since I wrote it, and looking back, I wouldn't change much of how its written. As far as an update though, I still feel as convinced as ever that masturbation, per se, is not sinful. I think it is important to stress how easily it can be sinful, either by lusting with accompanying porn use, or by betraying trust of a spouse if done secretly, against their wishes.

    Anonymous: I'm glad you've come to a situation you're both comfortable with. I think that is completely healthy, and don't see any sin there at all as long as both parties are happy with the situation. One thing though, on the inspiration part, is I'd say that those brethren were not inspired in their wholesale condemnation of this act (rather than that they are [entirely] uninspired).

  37. I have a Mormon married man friend who is tortured at masturbating in his marriage. He is approaching 50. I am not Mormon but I agree with Cori.

    Having been married for over 40 years, my wife is in ailing health. The big M has become obvious again in my life occassionally.

    As a boy I masturbated to the pleasurable feelings in my body and never masturbated to porn or images. I never have even today in my adult life.

    Jesus spoke of lust. Masturbation is not mentioned in the Bible. If it can be done without lust as I have done it and other guys I have met who were considerate enough to talk about such issues, then it is not sin. Lust, images, porn.........those are things that make the big M sinful.

    Like a poster above, when my wife is ill, I can do it and feel the wonderous feelings in my body and at orgasm, give glory to God for being wonderfully and fearfully made as a man. I identify with the poster above on the spiritual aspect of the big M

    I always tell my wife when I get off and she always encourages me to make myself happy. We have a great sex life and marriage and even in our sixties, we are trying new thing and trying to keep our marriage bed hot.

    Blessings to all who have written and to Cori for pressing the envelope on what I feel to be a correct interpretation of scriptures.