Therapeutic Masturbation!

 

Being a Latter-day Crone, I remember when masturbation was first "normalized," as in "everyone does it, it's no big deal at all! No need to feel any guilt or shame!" That was in the 1990s. Well, we have had 30 years of that, so it's time--apparently--to move on to the next step. And what, you ask, might that be? "You must masturbate because it's so good for you! And if you aren't masturbating, that's bad!"

Yes, this week there were actually two separate articles, here and here, extolling the health virtues of masturbation, with one article actually giving you a target goal of how many times per week you should be masturbating for optimal benefit.

It's almost like a satire--it's hard not to laugh at stuff like this:

"According to Dr Kanaris the 'sweet spot' for men is about 21 times a month or five times a week. He said the lower limit should be around seven times a month. "But thinking I am failing because I am not hitting the mark is the wrong way of looking at it. If a person feels, "oh gee, once a week is what I am comfortable with", that is perfectly okay. I don't want people to think that if they don't hit these numbers then they are in trouble.I would be cautious, though, to create a sense of compulsory masturbation.You know, "I have only masturbated 16 times this month and this is jeopardizing my health", that would be the wrong way to look at it.""

And, of course, if you are recommending men masturbate 21 times per month, you're going to be fine with porn to get you there, and that's exactly what is asserted:

"All the experts said that pornography was ok to use but in moderation. Dr Ian Kerner, a bestselling author and sex therapist, told DailyMail.com: 'I am all for having a relationship with your own sexuality. 'And if porn is going to be the thing to engage sexual arousal, then I don't have a problem with it.'He added, however: 'I do suggest ethical porn. It costs something but means they all want to be there, have consented and get paid.' Alternatives to pornography include fantasy using your brain to imagine a sexually exciting scene like 'before porn existed' and erotic literature. People could also use their partners, she said, or sex toys to find other ways to stimulate themselves."

Ah, yes, I see. People "could use their partners" in order to masturbate. So sex becomes masturbation. It's not about loving the other person or even having a relationship with them, but just a part of stimulating yourself sexually. Got it.

And all those benefits! Release of "feel good" hormones that "ease anxiety and stress, and raise self-esteem." And a man will "last longer" during sex! (Because he is so de-sensitized!) Less prostate cancer! And if you rid yourself of shame concerning masturbation, you feel less bad about yourself!

The articles also descry the No-Fap movement--a movement among men to kick their porn habits and stop masturbating:

"There is no clear figure for how many Americans follow NoFap, but groups tend to have thousands of members.There were also reports of bullying (49 percent), anti-LGBT posts (42 percent) and posts instructing others to harm or kill themselves (23 percent). The authors also noted that NoFap groups were described as 'productive targets for white supremacist recruitment'. They also likened the forums to iatrogenic illnesses or illnesses caused by medical intervention. Dr Nicole Prause, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the research said: 'Reboot, especially NoFap, promotes abstinence from masturbation and/or pornography to treat 'pornography addiction', an unrecognized diagnosis. 'While the intention of ReBoot/NoFap is to decrease distress, qualitative studies have consistently suggested that 'Reboots' paradoxically cause more distress.'"

Well, darn, you're going to wind up a white supremacist if you stop masturbating to porn!

Oh, and the advice for women? At least once a week--more when you are menstruating to relieve pain!--and keep going after menopause!

We truly are living in pagan times. There's no sense that there is anything sacred about our bodies and their procreative potential. No sense that sex is about relationship, not about self-love. No sense that there can be any self-discipline regarding masturbation. What a base conception of human existence!

The Church teaches that procreative powers are only to be used between husband and wife in a way that strengthens the relationship. And as recently as 2013, we have had General Authority statements condemning masturbation, and the current Church Handbook condemns the use of pornography.

I am glad the Church's position has not changed. And yet certainly the prevalence of porn use among Church members is discouraging. We are entering a time when even the very elect may be swayed by the norms of their culture to do things that in earlier times they would have been ashamed of. Now there is no shame for anything. And that itself is a shame.