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CHRONIC MASTURBATION & SEX ADDICTIONS

Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH

Watching pornography may become a very compulsive practice, especially when it is frequently repeated over a longer period of time, because a very powerful neural pleasure connections are created in the brain. As a result such a deeply-rooted habit often becomes very difficult to break. So, it is not an exaggeration when someone says that porn addiction can and actually does ruin human lives. American philosopher Noam Chomsky once said that, “Pornography is a humiliation and degradation of women. It’s a disgraceful activity and I don’t want to be associated with it. Women are degraded as vulgar sex objects, that’s not what human beings are.”

It is not a secret that by nature we are egocentric and consciously or subconsciously we are looking for various pleasures that would satisfy our natural ego which is never happy to experience a pleasure only on rare occasions. It wants it every day or even more than that as it is never satisfied. In the seventh chapter of the epistle to the Romans Apostle Paul calls this dwelling in us force “the law of sin.” For him it is a “law” because like the law of gravity this dwelling in us force is constant and never changes but it is constantly pulling us down toward selfishness and toward various pleasures including sensual ones. That is why so many of us get addicted so easily and can’t control our excessive appetite for junk food, stimulants, or sexual desires. When we experience one orgasm, most of us want another one, and another, and another… For a long time you don’t even try to deny this habit, all the more since all the world seem to promote frequent sex and masturbation as something healthy and beneficial. So you keep on experiencing orgasm after orgasm as a healthy habit until you get addicted and discover that the opposite is true. Unfortunately, at this point it is too late to give up on it or even control the frequency because you also find out that after many years of repeating the same activity over and over again you have built such a strong neural pathway in your brain that you became enslaved by that “healthy habit”.

Sexual addiction occurs when you decide or promise to not do it any more, yet you keep on returning to the habit anyway. It means you are enslaved by the habit. It is now your master which slowly yet effectively ruins your whole life, including your marriage and family relations, your spirituality, health, your career, friendships and any other aspects of your life.

Sex addiction proved to be extremely dangerous as it destroyed lives of millions of people all over the world. For this reason young men and women should be educated about the risks associated with this weakness and learn how to cope with it to prevent or at least significantly reduce its horrible consequences.

Unfortunately, the modern medical world instead of helping the unaware of the risk and naive young people to address this problem seem to encourage them to develop this life-threatening habit, brainwashing them with the stupid idea that they can practice it without any harmful consequences. For example, according to NHS (UK), “Masturbation doesn’t cause any harm, either physically or mentally, even if you do it often.> Wow, and those guys get paid for writing such an idiotic rubbish. But, who cares, and besides, if you get addicted to sex or pornography it will slowly ruin also your emotional and physical health which will force you to visit your doctor who will prescribe you a medication. In this way, thanks to NHS, the big pharma is able to get into your pocket again. “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (1Timothy 6:10)

Also, “The World Health Organization (WHO) is distributing a document setting the standards for sexual education in Europe, which promotes masturbation, contraception, abortion and homosexuality to infants, young children and adolescents! Read more >

Well, now I can understand why WHO have a snake in their logo

The truth, however, is that only few people are able to practice this sexual pleasure with moderation. Great majority sooner or later develop a strong habit and finally a powerful and destructive addiction. Both NHS as well as WHO should know and educate people that excessive sexual practices (especially masturbation and porn addiction) lead to a numerous and dangerous deficiencies of various hormones, neurotransmitters, and nutrients. That includes zinc, dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, thyroid hormones, acetylcholine, prostaglandin E-1, melatonin, and DHEA. All of them are very important when it comes to sex and orgasm.

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These deficiencies may lead to many different often dangerous symptoms such as: Semen leakage, elevated PSA levels, enlarged prostate, prostatitis, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, thinning of the hair, frequent urination, incontinence, anxiety, depression, sleeping problems, shaking hands, fear, alienation, problems with concentration, poor memory, lack of motivation, mood swings, chronic fatigue, watery semen, poor multi-tasking ability, headaches, buzzing ear, lower back pain, eye floaters, weak immune system, skin problems, etc.

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For instance, as a result of excessive sexual practices testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which binds to the hair follicles blocking their supplies of nutrients (proteins, zinc, biotin, sulphur, silica, etc.) causing hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, “Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is the enemy of hair follicles on your head. Simply put, under certain conditions DHT wants those follicles dead. This simple action is at the root of many kinds of hair loss.”

To be honest, no scientific studies are required to prove harmful effects of frequent masturbation as there are thousands of online testimonials written by honest individuals who have practised this addictive habit for a longer period of time. Here is one of them:

“Being a regular masturbator myself, at least once a day (sometimes 2 times). I thought the whole idea (of masturbation being a cause of hair loss) was ridiculous. Especially, when I have read so many articles before which stated that masturbation is good for you. However, I was intrigued by results of others, and my hair was so thin at the time that I was desperate to try anything. For about 8 months, I have been on Revivogen, MSM and Multi Vitamins, but I wasn’t having much success. At one point I also added the laser comb and was not having great results either. For two months now, I have stuck with the regimen, as well as added grape seed extract. I refrained from masturbating at all, and would only save it for times when I would have sex, which wasn’t very often, so this would work out in my favour. The results? In two months, my hair is growing thicker and thicker. There were previously thin areas on the front with minute hairs that would never grow, now they’re growing back! I know it sounds completely ridiculous, but I swear by this thing, that it has been working a miracle on my hair! Further to that, the benefits I’ve seen is that my legs don’t feel weaker, and my voice has gotten deeper. Which leads me to believe that my testosterone level is higher after I quit masturbation as opposed to creating more DHT which attacks the hair follicles when you experience orgasm.”

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When you’re predominantly using your hand as your sexual tool then it can cause weakness in the structural muscles which support the penis. In other words, your arm and hand get a great workout during a masturbation session, but your penis muscles don’t. When you masturbate, your hand is controlling the pace and the intensity of the stroke. Constantly using your hand to self-stimulate can detract from your awareness of the sensations created by penetrating a partner sexually. This leads you to feeling like you are losing your sex power. Because your penis isn’t being exercised, you may experience a feeling of weakness or numbness when you attempt sexual intercourse. After experiencing weakness or numbness during sexual intercourse you then begin worrying that you have a definite erection problem which makes it start occurring during masturbation sessions as well.

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Porn does not cause erectile dysfunction directly. The problem with watching porn occurs when the male starts believing that he requires intense visual stimulation to be able to get an erection. This isn’t entirely true. But now he is worrying about his ability to fulfil a live partner if (she) doesn’t look like a porn star. Performance anxiety starts confusing his brain which promptly makes him lose his erection. Due to his addiction to porn to feel sexual fulfilment he now also has an unrealistic view of sexual actions, what is required to fulfil a partner sexually and how to bring himself and his partner to orgasm. Once a man has experienced an episode of losing his erection hardness his mind then becomes consumed with worrying that event will occur again. This causes an ongoing erectile dysfunction problem which continues, even if he stops masturbating or watching porn.

The link between masturbation, porn and erectile dysfunction is that masturbation and porn cause erectile dysfunction when the male’s brain becomes confused, whether he is alone or with a partner. A man needs to be aware that masturbation is a very different act from having sex with a partner. In order to avoid ED either while masturbating or during intercourse he must understand the correct thought/action sequences required to remove anxiety, get an erection, keep his erection and stay in control of when he ejaculates.

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TREATMENT

SUPPLEMENTS & HERBAL REMEDIES

Hops is famous in my country for its ability to calm down nervous system and  help reduce sexual cravings. You can drink hops as a strong tea (1 tablespoon per 1 or 2 glasses of very hot water 3 times a day between meals), but unfortunately the tea might be too very bitter for you so it is probably better if you try hops in the form of capsules. I would recommand taking 2 capsules three times a day with water between meals. Hops is a popular herb and for medical purposes its flowering part is used. It is used for anxiety, problems with sleeping (insomnia), anxiety, restlessness, tension, irritability, nervousness, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cancer, and gastrointestinal problems. And the good news is it doesn’t cause side effects. Try to find hops formula with at lest 180 capsules and at least 300mg of the herb in one capsule. It shouldn’t be difficult.

– Since excess masturbation leads to huge Zinc deficiency you have to take zinc supplements – 2 times 50mg or 3 times 30mg always after meals.

Zinc is a very important nutrient for the brain, nervous and immune system, digestion, hair, skin, production of testosterone, etc. Body fluids both in men and women are high in zinc. With every orgasm we may loose even about 5mg of zinc or more! But even without frequent orgasms we are very low in Zinc due to the soil depletion, stress and refined diet. Pumpkin seeds and some nuts might be a good source of Zinc, although it also depends on the quality of the soil, but these foods are not often included in the diet. The truth therefore is that since we are already deficient in this extremely important mineral adding excess sexual practices leads to a huge zinc deficiency and all the related dangerous consequences including, neurological problems, allergies, hair and skin conditions, poor memory and focus, weak immune system, low testosterone, etc.

Please do not think zinc supplementation will solve all the problems associated with the results of excessive sexual practices as apart from zinc deficiency there are many other dangerous problems such as dopamine, melatonin and serotonin deficiency, which are the key causes of alienation, lack of motivation, neurological problems, depression, anxiety, shaking hands, etc.

Try to find zinc supplements with copper (or zinc without copper plus good quality multivitamin-mineral formula that includes at least 1mg of copper) as taking zinc alone may lead to coper deficiency.

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It is incredible that in 1870, Ellen G. White seemed to know what was discovered over a hundred years later as wrote that, “Sexual excess will effectually destroy a love for devotional exercises, will take from the brain the substance needed to nourish the system, and will most effectively exhaust the vitality.” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 477.) “The body is enervated, the brain weakened. The material deposited there to nourish the system is squandered. The drain upon the system is great.” (Ibid., p. 470)

Today we know for sure that excess masturbation or any sexual practices rob the brain from dopamine, zinc, serotonin and other vital substances causing fatigue, and many other horrible side effects! We know there are large amounts of zinc in the brain glial cells, nerve cells or hippocampus but it was totally unknown in 1870. At that time nobody new about these substances, therefore she couldn’t name them, but it is shocking fact that she knew about it and many other things she wrote in her books dealing with health.

Zinc deficiency was not described until 1963, and it took an additional decade to discover that zinc plays a very important role in our body. The following statements by modern medical authorities confirm Mrs. Ellen G. White was right:

According to Dr. David Horrobin, M.D. and Ph.D. from Oxford University, “The amount of zinc in semen is such that one ejaculation may get rid of all the zinc that can be absorbed from the intestines in one day. This has a number of consequences. Unless the amount lost is replaced by an increased dietary intake, repeated ejaculation may lead to a real zinc deficiency with various problems developing, including impotence… It is even possible, given the importance of zinc for the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad!” (Zinc, Vitabooks: St. Albans, Vermont, 1981, p. 8)

Also Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., in his book on zinc wrote similar words: “In a zinc-deficient adolescent, sexual excitement and excessive masturbation might precipitate insanity.” (Zinc and Other Micro-nutrients, Keats: New Canaan, Conn., 1978, p. 45)

MORAL AND SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT

– There are countless available online testimonies by former addicts who will tell you that there is nothing more effective than regular fervent prayers and accepting Jesus as your Saviour, surrendering your life to Him every day through prayers, and claiming the promise of Holy Spirit who will empower you and start controlling your lower nature, giving you victory over any addiction.

There is nothing more important than this element of the treatment and I know it from my own experience as I myself used to be enslaved by many addictions, and although I repeatedly tried to overcome them using my will  power, promises and resolutions I always failed. Fortunately, one day I was inspired to give God a chance. And as a result of my fervent heart-felt prayer God sent someone who brought me a book titled Great Controversy by Ellen G White. That book somehow made a very powerful impression on me and encouraged me  to read the Bible and pray every day. As a result I received enough strength to accomplish something that was previously impossible. I permanently overcame my addictions. So please, remember that there is Someone who loves you very much  and is eagerly waiting for you to surrender your life and give Him a chance.

– Go to EMPOWERMENT and the GOSPEL OF FREEDOM to find out how to gain a spiritual and moral power and strong motivation to overcome your addiction.

– There are many online Christian websites with prayer request forms. Find as many of them as possible and fill them all. Tell the truth, leave your name and ask to pray for you. But please remember it may not work if at the same time you refuse to accept Jesus as your Saviour and surrender your life completely to Him in every day prayers. All you need to do is to talk with God believing He is your best Friend who loves you more than you can imagine. Be honest, open your hart before Him, and ask for forgiveness and power to change your life in the name of Jesus. Always pray until you fill the influence of God’s Spirit in your heart. And don’t get discouraged if you fail to resist the temptation again. Even if you do it again, never think God is disappointed. Just keep on praying and reading the Bible (starting from the gospel of John) every day, and if you won’t give up the final victory is yours. Don’t concentrate on your addiction and your failures but on Jesus. Talk with Him and about Him, read and listen about Him. Fill your mind with Jesus and as a result of the working of God’s Spirit you will never be the same again. It always works!

Have you tried many times to fight with your addiction using your will power and failed every time? Well, may be it’s time to try something new and this time give God a chance, as according to Albert Einstein, repeating the same method over and over again expecting different results doesn’t seem to be a very clever idea…

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

–  Remember temptation usually lasts no longer than 10 minutes so keep your mind busy praying, or if you don’t want to try to to do something that would be interesting and absorbing your thoughts.

–  If you are addicted to pornography you need to get rid of all the videos, pictures, and anything that may tempt you to do it again.

–  If possible, avoid being alone. Spend more time with friends or family, go to the gym, etc.

Exercise every day for 60 min.

– Take alternative hot and cold showers >.

Fasting and healthy unrefined plant-base diets are very helpful in overcoming addictions. The most effective and most healthy is Hallelujah diet > Try it for at least 6 months.

–  Try to avoid meat, eggs, cheese, pizzas, white flour products, stimulants (anything with caffeine, strong tea, coffee, cola, guarana, Berocca boost (high in addictive caffeine), alcohol, smoking, weed, foods with refined sugar, etc. as they will increase your sexual cravings.

 

TESTIMONIALS

“Pornography controlled my life for 10 years. I felt powerless and couldn’t shake off the shame. When I was 13, I was picking berries on a farm and this guy was raving about these pictures he’d seen online. Being curious, that evening I used my ancient dial-up connection and googled “sex.” What I found was so much more explicit than the lingerie ads I’d flipped through in my mom’s Sears Catalog. Those ads had stirred something within me, but these pictures brought on a sudden thrill and exhilaration: my heart pounded and I felt more aroused than ever. But all the while this palpable guilt was sinking its fangs into the back of my neck like a spider. I fell deep into the addiction and justified my behavior, lying to myself like an expert. I was totally enslaved: joyless, living in a fog of shame, only feeling good about myself when I’d resisted for a few days. I was sick of doing things I didn’t really want to do, tired of the person I saw myself becoming: “Is this all my life is ever going to be?” The intimacy pornography promised was proving to be an illusion. Pixels on a screen could not give me the acceptance and trust I was looking for. I wanted the fix without the consequences–the pleasure without feeling empty and ashamed afterwards. I wanted the fix without the consequences–the pleasure without feeling empty and ashamed afterwards. In 2009 I was travelling with a group of friends. Someone joined our group on Friday, and on Sunday he was hit by a car and killed. After I helped identify his lifeless body, I was struck to the core and found myself facing my addiction with new determination: ‘I’m wasting my life being addicted to this stuff? I need to kill this habit no matter what it takes.’ So I started taking big steps towards freedom. Just wanting it to go away wasn’t enough to make it go away. Good intentions weren’t going to change anything if I didn’t take action. So I chose to own my problem and let my pride die. And that meant no more secrets. I had to get help. Feeling more vulnerable than ever, I met up with a trusted friend and told him about my struggle. I gave him permission to ask me tough questions at any time, which he did in the weeks and months ahead to keep me accountable. Learning to tell myself and others the ugly truth was a huge turning point for me. Maybe you feel stuck facing this alone. It really helps to talk to someone who understands the struggle. That’s why someone on our team would love to talk to you. Just use the form below to connect with us.” >

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“This is the thing that many people do but don’t really talk about, especially women. It’s looked on as not ladylike and not pure. It’s a shameful thing for many women and men alike. I struggled with masturbation for many years but this wasn’t the only sexually immoral thing that I was enslaved to. I started masturbating as early as 7th or 8th grade, but overall my imprisonment to lust started as early as 4 or 5 years of age. When I was a little girl, I had a friend that I played with. Something must have happened to her because it was from playing with her that I had my first sexual experience. After this one time experience, I wasn’t the same , and I developed homosexual tendencies as well. The seed of lust was planted and grew to maturity in my heart. I went from “humping” the floors, to sexually stimulate myself, to full on masturbation, which became my most shameful secret. The frequency to which I masturbated and the degree to which I did it was so bad that I actually ended up tearing the tissue on my clitoris. This sent me into depression for months because I thought I had mutilated myself. I had contemplated suicide because of it but I still didn’t stop. The real battle began for me when I desired freedom.
In the summer of 2005, while on a mission project, God began to work in my life. When I was there, I met a woman named Kate, who shared her testimony of being delivered from masturbation. This was huge news for me because, until that point, I had believed that I was the only one in the world who did it. Somehow I bought into the lie that I’d never be free and that if I ever told anybody what I’d been doing nobody would love me or at least they wouldn’t look at me the same way. I had a lot to confess. You see I was enslaved not only to masturbation but to pornography, sexual fantasies, and a lot of other things I wanted to keep on the dark.
During the days that followed, God was pressing me to bring it to the light, to confess it. Fear was also there with me. You see, I was afraid to expose myself. This fear wrapped around me like a boa constrictor in order to keep my mouth shut. I was so shamed and afraid of being condemned that I’d be scared to write my struggle with masturbation in my journal because I feared someone would find it. I was in torment. I heard a message that talked about keeping things in the dark. That was the word I needed and I had courage to tell somebody. The first person I told was Kate. Next, I told my roommate and few other girls at the project. I later confessed it my own sister, but this confession was only half the battle.
Then I tried to break free, I found that those same desires tracked me down like a Mississippi Slave catcher. I had never had so much temptation to sin by masturbating in my whole life. I kept giving in and giving in. It was hard to last one day, much less two, without doing it. This lasted from June 2005 to September 2005. Until for 2 and half months, I managed to stop. Temptations were strong. There were times I’d have to run out of my dorm room or find a public place to be in because I couldn’t be alone when I was tempted. This was huge for me because I was used to falling to this sin daily. However, I backslide due to unforgivingness. Sin had a snow ball effect in my life after that because an old habit had revived. Old habits revived because old reasons why I masturbated revived too. I’d masturbate like people eat comfort food. I’d do it because I was bored or upset. It was like how an alcoholic drink is to a drunk— I’d do it to forget.
When I fell after a time of victory, I was constantly taunted with: “See you’ll never be free. You’re always going to be like this.” This sin would seduce me to lay with it then condemn me when I did. I’d struggle trying to go to God. I felt so dirty and so full of despair after I gave in to my own sinful lust, that I’d pull the cover over myself to hide. I didn’t want God to look at my filth. I hated it. It was like an abusive relationship that I couldn’t get out of and didn’t know how. I was losing hope. This lasted from late December 2005 to May 2006.
After this, I run into a ministry that talked about being free from sin. The victory for me came one day as fear was telling me “you may have stopped for now. But you will fall” But God helped me realize something that I hadn’t before when He told me “You never have to do it again.” I never knew I was free from sin. That I actually had a choice. Therefore, I never had to do it any more. The reason why I have that choice is because of Christ who has made me free from sin. I didn’t have to perform every whim of my own sinful desires. Now I’ve been free for three years. I’m free to talk about it. I thought I’d go to my grave with this sin.If you’re dealing with this, you need to confess it to God, confess everything. God is so serious about this sin. He said “if your eye—even your good eye —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. “(Matthew 5:29) and in Job 31:11 it says” For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. The heart of lust is so wicked. In Romans 3, it says that people didn’t want to honor God as God. One of the first sins it lists after that is sexual sin. It’s a form of self worship. Its may sound crazy but think about this, why do we watch people sin sexually or even ourselves sin sexually? I’d get that hot and heavy feeling from just watching myself masturbate, from sexually admiring some other part of my body, or from watching porn. . In my heart was rebelling against God because I really wanted to be God, you know, do what felt right to me. That’s the heart of this sin. Please don’t take this lightly. Self worshippers and sexually immoral will end up in Hell. But those that agree with God, who confess and forsake it, will have mercy. Please if you have any question or need help contact me at dameco@p4cm.com. Or www.myspace.com/john1140. A great website to help you mature in Christ is p4cm.com as its helped me greatly to learn about Christ and new life in him.”

“I’m Penelope. …. I am living proof that God is real, all-knowing and one hell of a powerful God. I have been addicted to one of the most invisible sins for as long as I can remember masturbation. When I was addicted, one of my main desires was too hear someone who was suffering from this to speak up and tell me that there was hope. And that I wasn’t just some sick minded little creep of a child. No one ever touched this untouchable and iffy subject. But I decided I am going to speak up, so that all of you who are warding this ewness off and feel hopeless can hear my story and that their is Hope, a Hope so great that you will never imagine.
God is real, and this hope should be shared at all costs!!!!!!!!!!!! I grew up in a Christian home. My parents taught me God for as long as I remember. I love my parents but the way they taught me God was as if he was an old man who did not tolerate sin. In my mind He was old fashioned, distant and a picky man who rarely took much interest in my boring life. He just stood their in the background not noticing me or caring as if he had better things to do. My thoughts were way off but I didn’t really see a need for him.  I was little and all I cared about was doing cartwheels. I don’t remember the first time I masturbated. I was really young. I worked it out that I would’ve been younger then three. Whether demons attacked me physically, or I did it of my own accord, something before the age of three made me start. I don’t remember at all how it started but I do believe that demons where definitely going crazy that night. I was so vulnerable, I was still hadn’t even learnt how to count to 50, let alone did I know right from wrong. I look at three year olds now and think about how sickening that is. I didn’t even know what sex was back then, and I was already having orgasms? I didn’t even know what masturbation was. I thought it was something that I alone did. I didn’t know if it was bad or not. The Bible never spoke about it. But I always had guilt afterwards. I remember being 8, and I wanted to stop. Something in me wanted to stop, I hated the guilt, it was unbearable so I use to quickly run away and ignore it before it could consume me…. I remember I went a few months without doing it, but I wasn’t strong enough. I was really ensnared. I stumbled in so much darkness I didn’t even realise. When I was 11, I found out what Masturbation was. After a while I tried battling against it again. One day I would succeed against it, the next I would fail. I didn’t know if what I was doing was still wrong. I would occasionally ask God about it but I never heard a response. Or I thought I didn’t. I knew I what I was doing was wrong because I tried desperately to find excuses to make up for what I was doing. I didn’t want to be noticed by God for my disgusting act. I was really freaked by God back then that is a Good thing I guess to have fear of Him but I didn’t know his loving side, and how deeply he ached for me. Satan whispered me so many things into my mind. I often thought “If God forgives, He’ll sure forgive me” or “Only a few minutes…” I failed and failed and failed. When I had solitude times I would try to forget about what I was doing so I could feel worthy in His prescience. I was trapped; no one knew the spiritual battle that was happening inside my room, inside this little head of mine. My family was known to be Christians, and they were very prude. They knew I did it though, when I was little but we never spoke of it. It was forbidden. I couldn’t speak up. It was impossible; I was being looked differently upon.   I was sickened by what I did, what would others think? I think the hardest part was knowing what I was doing was not right and it displeased by creator. I promised to stop, I remember particularly one promise I made, if he healed me, I would tell people of what I did. I got desperate.  I started making bargains. No one knew how hard it was. No one said anything or spoke of the matter; I was a girl as well! I knew that God loved me and he had the power but it just felt like he was being silent. I look back now and I can so clearly hear him shouting in the gentlest voice “No stop! Repent!” I always wondered up until recently why God didn’t heal me when I was suffering so badly. And he showed me this verse “If we say that we do not have any sin, we are deceiving ourselves and we’re not being truthful to ourselves” 1 John 1:8. I wasn’t being truthful I went into God’s prescience thinking that I was ok; I had no sin that in me. I didn’t admit this, and I never repented. I didn’t want to let go, I couldn’t. It had become my life.   When you do it, a chemical is released into your brain. It is like drugs, and you want more and more and more. I was ensnared. Addicted to this rush it gave me. But it was like sugar coated poison. The few seconds of bliss joy, then turned into the feeling of guilt and shame. Satan told me so many lies.  I thought I was a failure; I couldn’t look at God right now. I did it again; I made another empty promise not to. God kept trying hard to touch this subject with me. I once was listening to music and the song From the Inside Out came on, and the lyrics just spoke to me. 1000 times I’ve failed, still your mercy remains, should I stumble again?  Still I’m caught in your grace. Another time was one of the first times I read my bible and enjoyed it. I only ever read it and prayed out of obligation. I could never pray passionately or the way pastors and the “Holy Gurus” prayed. I just found it boring and repetitive but i felt bad if i didn’t. Anyway, i read this verse I read Who can separate us from the love of God? – Romans 8:35 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heights nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord – Romans 8:38-39 I felt so intrigued by it. After reading that verse I read the whole book of Romans throughout a few weeks.. I started going to youth group. One night early in the year I went along to a youth rally. I thought it was pretty darn cool stuff. The guy who preached was really amazing preacher. He had half his face blown off from the Vietnam war. He really captured me. At the end of the night we had an alter call. I didn’t feel the need to stand up but my friend next to me asked me to go with her. So I did. I don’t remember when it started but something moved it me. I had chills up my spine, and a joy and love filled me. It was an indescribable feeling, it was so strong I had the urge to cry. It was completeness, compassion and so much more. The holy spirit was moving in ways i had never felt before. They played music and i just had to worship. God’s love and joy, I had to worship HIM, it was the only thing that I could do. it was the best feeling. I was trembling in awe. I had never worshipped like that. The feeling didn’t wear off either. I went home and the traces of it were still on me. I was so joyful. But after a week of staying strong and not falling to Satan’s snare, i started again. Why? when God was so open to you about his feelings?” but Satan still had a huge grip.  It was an addiction, but not one that could be broken easily. It was too powerful for my humanness to overcome by myself. It was literally impossible for me to be free of this thing that I had been doing my whole life. I got frustrated and upset that I couldn’t break free. The truth was I was trying to by myself. I was so ensnared, so tangled, so captured, and I ignored God’s plea to help. I just tried to overcome it by myself. Although I knew that I didn’t need to earn forgiveness because somehow it was already given to me, i subconsciously sunk into thinking I had to earn it. I was so screwed. Demons actually started showing me that they existed in full on ways. In May 2009 I was home sick with the flu.  I would just get random sexual thoughts come into my mind. They weren’t suttle at all, they just flew in my head randomly in the middle of conversations, in the middle of going to get my haircut. And I would become really creped out because I wouldn’t of even been thinking about sex at the time. I would get random bursts of exhaustion as well and literally felt like I was going to fall asleep right wherever I was but a few moments later it would be all gone. I now know that they gave me exhaustion triggers because it was a way to get me in bed, and that is where i did it the most often. It got so bad that I wouldn’t even do it for the pleasure any more, i just did it because i could. The night Mum was watching Marly and Me on Tv. I lied on the couch with her and i just started shivering. I wasn’t even cold, I just couldn’t stop it.  Mum was really surprised she even said “I thought you were getting better!” I was shivering the whole movie. When it was finished mum had to tuck me into bed like I was little again. I was shaking. Mum left the room for a moment, she left the light on and a story popped into my head that one of my friends had told me earlier that week. About this girl that had been demon possessed who was shaking violently, and a man had laid hands on her and said “In the Name of Jesus I command you to leave,” and it stopped. The shivering wasn’t as bad as violently shaking. But i just wanted to see if it would work. So I said something along the mind of “Jesus is here, get out,” I didn’t expect it to actually have an affect. I remember looking at my lightbulb and all of sudden my shivering stopped. It dyed out. I don’t want to think about what would’ve happened if I hadn’t caught it then. I had a few random sexual images come into my mind that night but i fought against them and they stopped.I freaked out when that happened. I didn’t know that demons had lingered on me. They had been surrounding me for the past two days, maybe even the week and they were digging into me in ways they hadn’t before. It was the most scariest thing i have encountered. You always know God is there, but when stuff likes that happen and it confirms he is actually there… it is indescribable.. He shielded me that night. It felt like I got no sleep at all because Every time I woke up in the night I still had tears in my eyes. I was praising Him non stop all night. I feared Him so much, but I couldn’t believe He did that. He showed me How powerful He was. But He didn’t harm me. He helped me, He came to my rescue. And he didn’t like what I was doing because the enemy had such a strong overpowering hold in my life and He had compassion on me. I think He really trying to get across to me that He was powerful and had strength more then I could imagine. Even after the most scariest spiritual incident in my life occurred, I still did not let go of doing though. I promised I would but i slipped back into it again. It wasn’t until September 2009 I finally stopped. It was just the last time, I didn’t even know it was the last time, God works in mysterious ways and I reckon their was a real party in Heaven that night. I still feared telling people about my addiction, it was a massive phobia of mine. Because if God ever asked me to do this I would have to let him down. In March 2010, I finally told someone. My best friend Emma. She didn’t eat me for it.It was a real spirtual night for me. And i had a perfect peace and no anxiety when i felt it was time to tell her. I did something I would not normally be able to do. Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you” After that I started looking back on the things I had done. I had sort of just buried it in a box and forgotten about it but now I was reopening them, but this time not unleashing anything. I discovered how far gone I was and how God really dug for me, he dug for me so deeply I can’t believe the depths he went too to get me. I shoved all his stuff in his face, but he still went after me and loved me and called me His child. I wrote poetry and it helped. And gosh, I cant believe How amazing God is. He is so incredible.And a God of the impossible I cant describe in words for you.  I asked him why it took so long for Him to answer my prayers and heal me. I had gotten to a point where every time i did it I was bawling my eyes out.   Crying to HIm and feeling so pathetic and everything impossible. I told me straight out that he did it to see if I had enough hope and faith to persevere. I was so shocked for such a quick response. I usually asked God questions and he responded in the way I wasn’t expecting. He had healed me because every time I would run back to him. Even though I felt that things were impossible and I knew I had let Him down. My faith had healed me. Like the lady who bled for all those years and touched Jesus’  clothes, her faith had healed her. On May 30th 2010 at age 14 I got baptised by my youth Leader.  I had been thinking about getting baptised ever since my sister got baptised in February that year. But I kept thinking up reasons not to do it. I hadn’t told anyone about my addiction and I wasn’t keen on going up in front of everyone and talking about it. But then March came along and I had. Alas, again I was curious about baptism. But I think I was really freaked out about the idea of going up in front of everyone and saying my life story. One day I was on the phone to my best friend Emma. I told her why I didn’t want to get baptised and she said “Do you want to follow God? Then get baptised. If it is fear keeping you back then it is probably Satan being “EW!” I realised she was right and then 2 months later was baptised. I have this friend who is a massive goody-two shoes. I often get annoyed at her but one day she told me my mind wasn’t pure because I told a dirty joke and God didn’t like that and that made me really angry. I think she is over the top with her beliefs but the more I thought about it she was right and realized she was right. But I thought it would be impossible to change that because of what i had been doing previously in my life. I didn’t want to turn into her views of everything. I thought pacifically “I guess it is just a side effect of having dealt with this addiction. It would be impossible to heal that,” I forgot that God was a God of the impossible and he proved me wrong. A few months later I noticed that all the sexual stuff and those thoughts stopped being a desire. It just stopped, I never had a  massive desire to think about sex in a ewish way.  I was in awe.   I thought I would never be fully healed, and I was. The bible doesn’t speak much on Mastberation. Everyone argues with this topic, but the bible also doesn’t pacifically state pornography is a sin either. It just says remain pure. Humans generally know what is right and wrong. I had guilt after doing it, before I knew what it was. But In some ways it is good, it realises sexual tension so you wont go to far before marriage. If you can masterbate without that fantasies that come along with it, and are not addicted then maybe that is ok. I honestly can’t tell you that. But It is too easy to get addicted to it. It does feel amazing, but Satan will use whatever he can get on you to drag you away from God. God feels so much better. don’t let yourself get vulnerable. Don’t give Satan strongholds. It has been a year since I have been healed! woot! I was blind, now I see!   But i have had a lot of bumps since then. I think satan saw he was losing the battle and just went onto the next thing that would hurt me. I got depression for a while. I subconsciously sunk into sadness, for months without realizing. I felt unworthy, not of God but of everyone. I noticed this though, before it could get any worse and I am clinging to God. If you are suffering what I am suffering then email me because I could give you a stack load of verses and songs that would help out. Cling to God, have faith and He will save you. Isaiah 41:15 “You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth. You will tear your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains.”  God doesn’t lie, he loves you, he cries for you, you are his beloved child.  So stand back! God changed me, made a miracle out of my life and I am only freaking 14! imagine how further He will go? teats1@hotmail.com

http://cdn-img.health.com/sites/default/files/migration/images/slides/depression-symptoms-men-400x400.jpg“Creation of semen puts in significant stress the human body since it requires many important compounds and elements, one of them (with importance in hair loss) is zinc. If you masturbate frequently or have intense sex life, you should adapt your diet in order to take the necessary daily quantity of zinc (about 15 mg/day) and other nutrients also. If this is not possible, a supplement containing the appropriate amount of zinc may be a good idea.”

“Can masturbation lose your zinc level in your body? Yes, I can tell you from my own experience. I used to masturbate regularly (more than three times a week). I used to feel excessively tired. Now I have been doing this since the age of 16. At around 20 years, I realized my hair was falling. Doctors told me it was Male Pattern baldness. My head looks emptier now, except I managed to bring the hair shedding under control. The answer was simple, supplement 5 mg of zinc in my diet. Semen contains very high amounts of zinc. Hence when you masturbate frequently, you lose a lot of zinc, which the body takes time to absorb even from supplementation. I will advise that you lower masturbation frequency to once in two weeks. You will notice a massive difference in energy, libido and your overall appearance.”

“I have come across countless articles and opinions stating how masturbation is ‘a healthy practice’, the more I saw these false comments, the more I felt the need to correct this misconception! If you don’t know what masturbation is, well then I’m very surprised. Simply put, your having sex with yourself or more explicitly, with your hand! Want a more concise explanation, pick up an encyclopedia or do a google search. This is inherently against the natural disposition of man, don’t worry I’m not going to give a sermon! I have read in the past how masturbation can be more addictive than heroin, now that is serous! You can get your fix whenever and just about wherever! You release the same chemical which makes you feel good when you take heroin (i.e. opioids), though in a lesser amount. (see this article: Internet Porn: Worse Than Crack?) So what are the common effects of masturbation you ask? Did you know that every time you ejaculate, you lose approximately 3-5mg of zinc, that’s nearly a third of your RDA. Zinc is one of the main minerals responsible for testosterone production, therefore less zinc, less testosterone etc. I know some clever person out there is surmising that the same effects should occur when one has sexual intercourse, right? Sorry to disappoint! Apparently, when a man has sexual intercourse with a female, certain trace minerals and prostaglandins are absorbed from the female vaginal secretions which balance this effect! Do you really want to be a one-minute man and look like an idiot when you are with your partner? I thought not. I advise those who masturbate regularly, to stop! Fast, for fasting diminishes one’s sexual desires, unless of course you can get married or something and keep busy! Please don’t believe the fallacy that these so-called experts proclaim! Masturbation is not healthy and is quite detrimental to put it mildly!”

“This article is actually true. If I masturbate or have sex with my wife (note, I use a condom, so I don’t get those secretions to balance what I lose), I get very tired for the whole next day and if I’m sick I have trouble getting better. The loss of zinc is very serious and affects me enormously. I try to take a zinc supplement when I have sex, but I have trouble stomaching it. These bad side effects of sex might not be a problem for everyone, especially those who normally get an overabundance of zinc in their diet.”

“From my experience I can say, I am a passionate masturbator (lol), but it is not funny at all. For these few seconds of bliss, I miss out on good erection, healthy body, and healthy life. My hair is thinner, falling, my skin gets dry, self-confidence IS LOWER, discipline over oneself diminishes after time, vital energy LOW… It is a serious problem, but like any other challenge it can be disciplined. You have the power to do so…few tips for beginners…..don’t touch yourself on the genitals, stay off porn, socialize and get a woman…”

“Actually, even when I’m experiencing these ‘spikes’ and I feel the urge to masturbate as a result, I never, never break out until I actually DO masturbate. No matter how many days pass, how horny and hormonal I may be, the acne doesn’t break until the day after I masturbate, or even just hours later. Same applies to my girlfriend. I know someone’s going to tell me it’s a result of something else in my life – no, it isn’t. I’ve spent three years observing each and every time I do it, there’s an absolutely undeniable, 110% positive connection regardless of my personal attitude, emotions, life situation, health, or anything else – masturbation always caused me problems. Most, if not all, of the mentioned side-effects of masturbating are indeed real, and they all happened to me before I even began to think it was bad for me or even knew of these side effects.”

“Masturbation can indeed cause blindness, or for the more fortunate, just some damage and nothing more. The side effects more or less become apparent (the severe ones especially) depending on how often you do it. When done less often, you may never experience eye problems, but you could have a lil’ acne here and there. If done much too often, you can have every noted effect, plus all of them amped up even more severely than usual. Some effects won’t even begin to manifest until you cross a certain line, a certain frequency of committance. I’ve noticed that with increased committance my eyes start to have problems. Serious eyestrain, sharp pains in the eyes, pressure pains, constant floaters, inability to focus, and so forth. None of these problems have ever correlated with the amount of time I spend around harshly-colored light (like red light), the amount of sleep I get or the time I spend on my laptop. Only other thing that caused eyestrain was a sinus infection I had – outside of that, masturbation has done everything else. ONLY when I jack off. Only. Quitting is extremely difficult, especially in the first few days. Once you get past the three- or four-day mark, it gets much easier, but the toughest part is maintaining the attitude and drive to stay away from it. Easiest way I found to quit is to treat it as though it’s not a viable option for whatever reason. Like when you’re in public, and/or around people, you can’t just whip it out and jerk on it – it’s not viable. There’s a reason, some reason, you can’t do it, I found that treating it as such when I’m alone with an urge allows me to easily minimize the urge and forget about it completely. Which is also something you do when in one of those situations where it’s ‘not viable’ – once you realize you just can’t do it given your situation, you just let it go and forget about it because you know it’s not worth thinking about anymore, for the moment. You have to keep it going beyond the ‘moment’ – it has to be for good, forever. Yes, forever. Maybe sometime in the future you’ll do it again – but don’t consider that when quitting. Just don’t do it, period. Your body can’t jerk itself off, that’s a choice only you can make. It sounds retarded, but it really is about attitude… It really, really is. And it really, really helps to have someone supporting you. Especially if they’re a conscious sufferer him or herself. But if you don’t take the right attitude, then all the swears in the world over quitting won’t do anything for you. Because trust me – just trust me on this, I KNOW – you will never, ever quit until you really do seal the decision. You have to support it. You can’t go looking for ways to turn yourself on. There’s no excuse, no experimenting around – just flat-out, don’t ever incorporate masturbation into any decision you make anytime during any day. Period. Trust me… I’ve been there… I know. I know about the side effects, I know about quitting. So does my girlfriend’s she suffers the same side effects and even she thought it was something stupid when I first brought it up to her when I noticed her acne. Turns out she was doing it 1-3 times every day. When she stopped, the acne immediately cleared up completely and I noticed she was much more attentive, awake, energetic, focused, and playful – and her beautiful eyes didn’t look all sunken and tired. Most people just echo what other people tell them… That includes doctors. They heard from some other source it was healthy, so they just believe it. Problem is, nobody knows it’s unhealthy until they’ve stopped doing it long enough to notice the improvement in their day-to-day lives. They’re so used to the side-effects of doing it so often they think the side-effects are just normal, natural feelings in the body. They’re not.”

“I’ve been masturbating since I was 12 years old. I am now 20 going on 21. I have experienced every symptom mentioned in your post. I would love to be free of this horrible addiction. I’ve tried swearing on my grandmother’s grave, swearing to god, paying money to charity everything. I am still unable to kick this habit. It seems like I keep making excuses to watch pornography and masturbate. I am the smallest man in my family and I feel it’s because of my addiction. I met my gf a year ago and three months before i met her I lasted three months without masturbation but after she broke up with me two months after meeting me and the depression from that made me feel like I needed to masturbate. When we first stared having sex She was impressed with me every time we had sex. We were having sex almost everyday for those two months and she was impressed every time. But when my habit picked up she and I noticed a decline in satisfaction because even though we had broken up we were still having sex a lot. We decided to get back together a year later and I haven’t been the same since we first started dating a year before. I have been doing worse and worse since i started this habit. My health has declined. I get sick almost all the time. I am always tired. The things that i used to love most are no concern of mine any more. I can’t be passionate about anything any more. I have no sense of competition. My body is brittle and frail. My skin has acne scars from years ago because it takes me forever to heal. Masturbation has ruined my life and i wouldn’t wish this on my greatest enemy. I don’t want to lose my Girlfriend but she doesn’t deserve a passion lacking boyfriend who cant please her mentally or physically. Sorry about the rant it’s just that this is the best post about masturbation addiction I have ever seen and I just feel better talking about it. Thank you.”

“Masturbation is indeed truly evil. I am 32 and have masturbated for 13 years (3 times a week), but literally stopped 2 years ago because of severe sleeping and prostate problems. But shortly after all those health problems started to showed, which I won’t go into gory details. Fortunately I found a good Chinese doctor and he helped me a lot in the recovering process (Chinese medicine has been wrestling with these problems for two thousand years). Unfortunately because of stress I’ve taken somewhat of a step backward. I can honestly say that there were moments where I wanted to end my life but my friends and girlfriend have been supportive (I couldn’t even tell my parents)! Not to be religious or anything, but sexual misconduct, no matter in what religion, is a great sin, and brings real bad karma – just like the law of physics – for every action, there is a reaction, and debilitating health is a only small part of that reaction. I am still in a slow and painful recovery process but I am somewhat better now than I was 2 years ago and there is still a long road ahead. I advise everyone that has health problem to immediately stop masturbating and seek help from a qualified doctor of Chinese medicine. Then may be for those who are sincere about changing their life around to adopt some form of spiritual lifestyle. It’ll help you refrain from tempting thoughts and may be even neutralize some of those negative karma! I stand as proof that you can beat this detrimental habit. I used homeopathy – this is not a joke – after treatment the desire to masturbate disappeared and after 2 years I have never gone back to it. Not even once. I am a different man to the one I was back then, healthier and stronger than ever before. So to all those wanting to beat it don’t try and do it alone. It’s only western medicine that doesn’t recognise it as a disease. Homeopathy does and I think Ayurveda may too. What worked for me was the advice of a good homeopath and a proper treatment for my illness. It’s not your fault, you can beat this – I did, so can you!”

MASTURBATION AND ITS EFFECTS

Lawrence Wilson, MD

I receive emails often from young men, mainly, who have had a masturbation habit.  Here is a typical one from John:

Dear Dr. Wilson,

I had a severe addiction with pornography and masturbation between the years of 18 and 26.  I ejaculated about 60 times a month during these years.  It felt good for a while, but then I developed the following symptoms:

-severe premature ejaculation all of a sudden

-severely sexually exhausted and drained

-feeling tired, sleepy, and dopey all the time

-seminal leaking during bowel movement and after urination

-severe lower back pain

-severe bloating/tension pain in my abdomen after orgasm and lasting days/weeks

-frequent urination

-waking up during the night to urinate

-severe prostatitis

I became very alarmed and concerned, and finally realized that I had destroyed my body over the years.

My addiction was hard to kick but a year later, mostly all of my symptoms have cleared EXCEPT for the prostate pain/inflammation and its associated issue (urinating frequently, etc.) So I basically still have the prostatitis issue.

I need help, please doctor, I am desperate.

Masturbation is not a good idea.  I do not care what any psychologist or doctor says about it.  It depletes a man or woman’s sexual fluid and wastes vital energy, and this is never a good idea.  The best idea is to skip it altogether.

If you have been masturbating, then you must eat an 8-ounce hamburger every day for at least three months to replenish some of the vitamins and minerals that are lost when you masturbate.  Instead of a hamburger, once or twice weekly you may substitute lamb or another cut of beef such as roast beef or beef stew meat, but you must eat 8 ounces of some kind of beef or some lamb daily.

This article presents a view of masturbation that focuses on its physical effects on the body and how to cope with it.  To repeat, masturbating once a month or less is okay.  However, it is a problem when done more than once a month or so, and especially when it becomes habit.

End the habit, which is slow suicide and like raping yourself gently.  Do not be too ashamed or embarrassed about it, however.  Just move on.  Masturbation is not a healthful habit for a number of reasons discussed below.  However, becoming ashamed and embarrassed is not that helpful.  Much more helpful is to simply become informed about it, and stop doing it for that reason.  Here are reasons to stop masturbating:

SYMPTOMS THAT CAN RESULT FROM A MASTURBATION HABIT

Rapid ageing and an early death. This is a horrible syndrome in which one’s vitality goes down and one may feel exhausted, even as a teenager, or as a young man or woman.  The hair may turn grey, the body may become thin and lose muscle, and one feels old.  This is why masturbation, which some feel is okay, is really a form of slow death or suicide.

Irritability and unsteadiness. The most common symptom is a kind of irritability, emotional unsteadiness, low self-esteem, loss of willpower, and a certain type of weakness of the mind and the body.  One also often becomes more lazy, and thinking is definitely impaired.  Both the speed of the mind, and the memory are impaired when sexual fluids are depleted.  Most people notice this even after regular sex.  They often mistakenly think it is a sign of ‘love’, or ‘relaxation’.  However, it is the same type of ‘relaxation’ one gets from using drugs or alcohol.  It is more like a type of deep fatigue, mild stupor or trance state, and is not the same as real relaxation.

Sexual fluid craving.  Women, in particular, who lose a lot of sexual fluids, all develop Sexual Fluid Craving.  Please read about this, ladies, as it is a very important article on this website.  Men can develop this condition, also, craving male or even occasionally female fluids, but it is not as common.  Women may say that they re-absorb their sexual fluids, so it is not a problem.  This is true to some degree, and is the reason that women can handle occasional masturbation better than most men.  However, frequent sex, vegetarian diets, junk food diets and rapes, in particular, deplete women terribly of precious sexual fluids.  Often the nutrients are never replaced and the woman suffers fatigue, depression, brain fog and other problems for the rest of her life.

Loss of vigor.  Electrically, the body is discharged and the person loses his or her vigor.  This is a very critical effect.  Also, the sodium/potassium ratio tends to decrease, which is another sign of loss of vitality in some subtle way.

Other. These range from skin diseases such as acne and dermatitis, to hair loss, connective tissue problems, headaches, prostate enlargement and prostate cancer, possibly, in men, and other possible health problems.  some women gain weight in the hips for some reason, perhaps because regular sex and masturbation are a type of trauma, in fact, to that area.  This does not mean to avoid sex.  It means to be moderate.

Masturbation does not affect everyone equally.  Some men, in particular, lose much more sexual fluid than others during ejaculation, especially if it continues for more than a few seconds.  Extending it is the worst thing to do, men.  Get it over with and move on.

Boys and men that lose more fluid, for whatever reason, are much more affected by masturbation or by regular sexual intercourse, for that matter, and will usually feel much more tired and experience all the symptoms listed above.  Women, generally, do not have as much variability in the amount of sexual fluids they lose, except during rapes, which can be of varying intensity.  For much more on this topic, read Rape on this website, an insightful article, though not pleasant to contemplate.

METABOLIC EFFECTS OF MASTURBATION

  1. Zinc and other nutrient loss. Masturbation depletes the body of zinc, selenium, B-complex vitamins, as well as many other vital nutrients. Male and female sexual fluids are particularly rich in certain forms of zinc and selenium that are hard to replace with food and impossible to replace with supplements, as far as I know. Some herbs help, but are somewhat toxic.

Anyone who masturbates often, and even those who have sex more than once a week, will lose a significant amount of zinc and other nutrients that are difficult to replace.  For this reason, sexual fluid should be treated as very sacred and never ever wasted.  It is more important for men, by the way, but important for women as well.

  1. Etheric loss. Etheric energy is also sometimes called “vital energy” or “vital force”. Masturbation causes a depletion of this special type of subtle energy each of us was born with that is required in order to live a long, healthy life.  One can regenerate this energy, at least to some degree, so all is not lost.  But it should never be wasted, ever, and regaining the energy takes months of sexual abstinence, in most cases, and eating red meat daily or almost daily.  It is fine to hug and kiss, but orgasms must be avoided or limited to regenerate the etheric energy.
  1. Subtle energetic effects of masturbation. Masturbation and sexual intercourse, even more so, tend to spin the seven main energy centers of the body backwards. This may sound strange, but it is a big reason that orgasm causes pleasure in the body.  This is a bit esoteric, but I am told it is the truth and important to know about.

Spinning the energy centers backwards feels good for a few seconds,  and subtly weakens the entire aura or energy field of the body.  In effect, it uses up a certain amount of vital force or adaptive energy that leaves the person with less energy and less vitality afterwards.  This can help explain some of the symptoms of masturbation such as faster ageing, irritability, and others.

  1. Encouraging the mind in unhealthy thought patterns. This means that stimulating the genital organs tends to cause a certain type of thinking and feeling that is generally harmful for a person. It is much worse if one does it often, and the same applies to sexual intercourse more than about once a week. It also applies to viewing pornography, in any amount.  This problem, by the way, is often more harmful for women, as it can attract them to the wrong kinds of men, and attract a rape, for example.

This is a more complex topic that has to do with the type of energy that resides in the lower part of the body, as compared with the type of energies that reside in the upper part of one’s body.

The symptoms of this problem include difficulty concentrating, attention deficit or ADD, ADHD, irritability, superficiality in your thinking, lack of intelligence, lack of follow through ability, impaired school or work performance, and other difficulties in thinking clearly and forcefully.

  1. Pornography and masturbation. Another consequence of masturbation in some people is a strange attraction to pornography. By this I mean attraction to photos, movies, written material such as racy sexy novels, and other things that discuss, illustrate, or demonstrate sexual acts, sexual organs of the body, and things related to this area.

Attraction to pornography easily becomes a habit and an addiction.  It is one of the worst, in fact, and leads to unhappy relationships, rapes, murders, and is at the very least a total waste of one’s time, energy and often money as well.  If you are involved with pornography in any way, I suggest you stop it immediately and do not compromise with yourself.  This may be difficult, at first, and there may be groups and other resources available to help, but it is important to stop this silly habit that often accompanies masturbation.

  1. An anti-social behavior that reverses the mind in some way. Masturbation tends to make one self-centred in a serious way. It is a selfish habit, and while a little now and then is fine, if repeated often, it tends to turn a person too inward and anti-social in some way.

It is also a reversal of nature’s natural process to procreate the species.  By this I mean that the vital sexual fluid is designed to impregnate or fertilize an egg and produce a new human being.  When orgasm occurs in other contexts, such as rape and masturbation, it is a type of mental reversal that is confusing to a healthy mind and has a detrimental effect.

Similar to depletion after sex.  Some men and women feel depleted after sex due to fluid loss or etheric energy loss.  However, other factors also cause this feeling in men and women after sex.  These are discussed in the article on this website entitled Energy Vampirism.

OFFSETTING THE EFFECTS OF MASTURBATION

This section is divided into 1) what to do if you have a problem with masturbation, and 2) how to overcome the negative effects if you had a problem with masturbation and now you are trying to recover your health and your energy.

To overcome a masturbation habit:

  1. Eat at least 8 ounces of beef every single day for several months, at least.
  1. Do not stimulate yourself with pornography or pornographic thoughts. This is also quite important. Get rid of the girlie photos, magazines, website, and friends who talk about it, also.  Ladies, this applies to some of you, as well.  Stop talking dirty, stop staring at boy’s and men’s bodies, and stop flirting with your dress, looks, behavior, etc.  All of this perpetuates the problem, and can set a woman up for rape very easily.
  1. Follow a complete nutritional balancing program.
  1. Read about addictions. A masturbation habit is a types of sexual addiction. It causes a slight ‘high’, like some drugs, and this is why people like it.  Some experience this more than others.  The high is always followed by a low, however.  For more on how all types of addictions work, read Addiction on this website.
  1. Meditate using the modified Roy Masters exercise. A secret of this exercise is moving energy downward from the head to the feet as hard as you can. You can do the exercise as much as you wish.  Avoid most other meditations, which will not have the same effect and may make things worse.  The Masters exercise may seem boring, but it works.  For more on this, read Meditation on this website.  My new CD on this subject is the best one to explain how to do it.  It is $9. plus $2.50 for shipping.
  1. Distract yourself with other activities and increase your interest in other things. For example, go out, be with friends or family, watch non-sexual TV or movies, eat at healthful restaurants instead of home alone by yourself if this is when you masturbate, take short showers instead of long ones if this is where you masturbate. Perhaps you can find a healthy sexual relationship instead of fantasizing.
  1. If needed and if helpful, get help from a counselor. Know, however, that many counselors actually condone masturbation and think it is just fine. Stay away from these counselors, as they are wrong, in my opinion.
  1. Be sure to eat enough high zinc foods. The main one for this purpose is hamburger meat, and ground chuck is the best of them. Lamb is also good, but not as good for this purpose as ground chuck every day – about 8 ounces for a few months, perhaps. Totally avoid vegetarian diets.
  1. A good spice to use every day is mustard. You can buy just regular mustard at the store. Put a little mustard on everything and it will help you move along faster with your healing.
  1. The less ejaculation or orgasms, the better. Explain this to your partner, who may not understand at all. For example, many women do not understand that men must conserve their sexual fluid.  In fact, many women crave male sexual fluid, so they want their male partners to ejaculate or “it doesn’t count as sex”.  This is not true.  You can have fun together, but don’t ejaculate.  This takes some practice, I know, and it is better to keep the sex to a minimum if you end up ejaculating each time.  Women lose less fluid when they have an orgasm, but too much sex is still not wise for women, either.  Limiting orgasms can will allow your etheric energy to regenerate as fast as possible.  You can kiss and hug with a partner, but don’t ejaculate.
  1. For men, possibly, an “orchic glandular product” may be helpful for a while. Orchic glandular means animal testicles, and they have been used for this purpose for millennia. However, this is not a substitute for eight ounces of hamburger or other red meat daily.
  1. Avoid most herbs that are used as aphrodisiacs and sexual potency. Stay away from yohimbe, ginseng, licorice, and most other sexual herbs. These are stimulating and not good at all in the long run.  Avena sativa or common oats are fine, however, and may be helpful to rebuild vitality.
  1. To increase your absorption of etheric energy from the environment, eat well, sleep a lot, drink a good quality spring water, keep warm, and avoid all distractions and wastes of energy.
  1. Oxygen therapy. Breathing extra oxygen or taking it in other ways is also helpful. If possible, live in a rural area with a higher oxygen content.  Try to avoid spending a lot of time in closed-in spaces with a lot of other people such as crowded theatres that are not well-ventilated.

An ozonation/ionizer air purifier in your bedroom is also very helpful.  For more on this topic read, The Ozonator/Ionizer Machine.

  1. Other procedures. Lesser, but often excellent effects come from doing coffee enemas daily and using a near infrared lamp sauna, and not other saunas, every day.
  1. Sexual rejuvenation. Also see the article entitled Sexual Depletion And Rejuvenation.

CAUSES FOR MASTURBATION

These vary.  Some children accidentally discover the little pleasurable feelings they get from touching themselves.  It becomes a fun habit, but one that should be discouraged, always.  Other times, a parent stimulates the child too much while changing diapers, perhaps, or a child may learn masturbation from a friend or even from a parent.

Too much female energy in the home of a young boy, especially if he is unhappy or feeling frustrated, can lead to masturbation in boys.  This is more common than one may imagine.  The boy feels somehow emasculated, and masturbation is a type of social anxiety disorder response.  It is related to depression, in this sense.

A rape or some other trauma can lead to masturbation in girls, as can too much emphasis on sex, sexy clothes, sexy talk, doing your hair and so on.  This can also happen to boys and men, but it is much less commonly the cause.

Another common cause is unhappiness or boredom, especially among boys, but occasionally among girls as well.

Another cause is loneliness, extreme shyness and/or embarrassment or awkwardness, especially with the opposite sex.  This is also a type of social anxiety disorder in which the person withdraws into self-pleasuring instead of participating in society.

For a man, masturbation offers a way to avoid dealing with a woman, and a way to avoid risking a pregnancy or risking spreading or picking up sexually transmitted disease.  For a lady, masturbation is also much “safer” than regular sex in many ways, and this is certainly true.

However, masturbation is still not a healthful habit.  Regardless of the cause, the problem is best handled by distracting yourself, finding new hobbies and other things to do, and realizing it is not a healthful habit at all, no matter what a doctor or psychologist says.  So end it now, and permanently.

 

 

Harmful effects of Masturbation and Sexual Excess

by Charles H. Clever, R.N.

Many concerned individuals often question the 19th century author, speaker, and health councilor, Ellen White’s statements on the evils of masturbation. She listed numerous physical and neurological problems, including loss of sight. She said it would be years before scientists discover what the Lord has shown her. The following scientific advances will undoubtedly help us understand these revelations.

     First, much of Ellen White’s comments on the harmful effects of masturbation can be attributed to zinc depletion.  Zinc levels are high in mucous secretions and that secreted as saliva or digestive components is recycled through the enteropancreatic cycle where zinc is reabsorbed by the colon, but zinc in vaginal and seminal fluids become the major vehicle for loss, in varying secretion quantities among individuals; therefore, zinc must be replaced through proper diet or supplements.  Diets low in zinc exacerbate zinc deficiency and refined (white) flour contains 75% less zinc than whole grains; greater losses occur in pastries not utilizing yeast because yeast degrades phytates that bind with and inhibit mineral absorption; interestingly, oysters are the highest food source of zinc which might explain why they are considered an aphrodisiac.

     In sexually active adolescents and promiscuous adults, the greatest zinc loss is in sexual fluids. “Estimated secretion of 5 ml (one teaspoon) of seminal fluid represents the loss of perhaps all the zinc that can be absorbed in one day”.* Among other disorders, chronic zinc deficiency also damages the central nervous system causing nervousness, irritability, and altered brain function. Says Dr. David Horrobin, M.D. and Ph.D. from Oxford University: “It is even possible, given the importance of zinc for the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad.”*

     Zinc deficiency is also associated with abnormal skeletal-system development because zinc is essential for proper collagen synthesis. If this occurs in early life, dwarfism may result, and is partially reversible through zinc supplementation. Collagen is the building material for bone, teeth, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons, as well as skin and artery strength.  Collagen forms a foundation matrix upon which calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other minerals and proteins build upon; thus, masturbation or zinc deficiencies may be characterized by abnormalities in ligament, bone, spine, or joint development and function.

    Often victims of masturbation or satyrs may be observed with flaking skin, with the epidermis assuming a pink or inflamed hue as if it was over-washed with an abrasive. These problems do not, however, stop with weakened epithelial tissue because zinc is the retinol-binding protein that transports vitamin A.

     Because zinc deficiency directly impairs vitamin A metabolism, vitamin A-deficiency symptoms often appear. One of the first symptom is night blindness–the inability to see in reduced lighting. Night blindness is caused by a lack of vitamin A in the retina, but this can progress to total and permanent blindness by its deficiency in the cornea. This is the major cause of childhood blindness in the world with over 500,000,000 children affected each year.  One can see that zinc and vitamin A work together and are both important in the diet, especially during developmental years, but masturbation remains a major factor.

      Christians are not always as saintly as they should be. White says: “Hardly an hour would elapse [after church] before they would be engaged in their favorite, bewitching sin, polluting their own bodies” (2 Testimonies, 268). As you can see, excesses of what White calls “self abuse” are profound and, as scientific knowledge progresses, we will certainly learn more harmful effects in those who masturbate.

     White also condemned the abuse of sexual privileges. “Women’s delicate organs are worn out and become diseased”, she says (Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 1, p 224). Repeated studies recently confirm that prostitutes and women with “over-active” sex partners have a higher rate of cervical cancer.   During intercourse the cervix aligns itself within the vaginal cavity to receive the sperm where it is repeatedly thrust against. It remains swollen for several hours, and continued irritation makes it susceptible to the invasion of pathogens. This trauma ultimately results in pathological changes, cervical cancer, and other diseases. Pelvic examinations and pap smears diagnose mutational aberrations and hysterectomies are frequently necessary. White says that sexual excessiveness may result because  masturbation often begins in early childhood or adolescence and prematurely strengthens sex drives to abnormally high levels in adulthood  (Ibid.).

 As one can readily see, God has created us with wonderful reproductive features, but anything practiced to excess has corresponding penalties. Speaking against those risks is exceedingly unpopular in an unrestrained society, yet those who are “temperate in all things”  will undoubtedly be rewarded (1 Corinthians 9:25).

 [2] David F. Horrobin, M.D., Ph.D., Zinc (St. Albans, Vt.: Vitabooks, Inc., 1981), p. 8. See also Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., Zinc and Other Micro-Nutrients (New Canaan, Conn.: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1978), p. 45.

 Whitney and Rolfes, Understanding Nutrition, Eighth Edition. 1999  (Wadsworth Publishing Company) pages 418-20; 168.

    Now you can discover why Daniel 12 was “closed until the end of the days.”  Learn where the “secret key” is found in the Bible. It unlocks these verses and reveals special information for this troublesome time of history: Visit this informative site at: www.revelado.org/revealed.htm

    Free-radical foods are literally killing you. They make you wrinkle and age faster, often causing debilitating diseases and organ failure. Learn recent research and what type of foods you must avoid at: www.revelado.org/clever-diet.org

Just why did Christian nations fall of Islam, and what is our future: The Rise, Decline, and Death of Islam in Bible Prophecy at www.revelado.org/islam.htm

The other unavoidable effect of ejaculation/orgasm is the increase of testosterone levels with the known harmful effect on the hair. This cannot be easily controled (and should not).

Masturbation cannot do more damage than normal intercourse. Less? Most probably, if you factor in STDs.

 

HELPFUL LINKS

How to Stop a Masturbation Addiction >

Hands Off! Why are a bunch of men quitting masturbation? So they can be better men ! >

 

SOURCES

http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/causes_of_hair_loss.asp

© 2016 Slawomir Gromadzki – All Rights Reserved

 

The Great Masturbation Hoax: Is Not Masturbating Unhealthy for You?

Luke Gilkerson

Anthony Santella and Spring Cooper, two lecturers on human sexuality at the University of Sydney, claim masturbation is good for men. It reportedly reduces the risk of prostate cancer, increases immune system functioning, and reduces depression.

But when we look at the actual research, we see a different picture.

When sex educators claim masturbation in men is healthy, they are referring to research about ejaculation. One study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, says, when you look at the various studies on this subject, the results are quite mixed. Some show a positive correlation to reducing prostate cancer risks, some a negative correlation, some no correlation at all.

Conclusions from the research about ejaculation are mixed because researchers often assume all orgasms are created equal. They aren’t. Even the makeup of semen is different when you compare masturbation to vaginal intercourse.

Once researchers started differentiating between masturbation and vaginal intercourse, they noticed more consistent trends regarding health benefits. Compared to sexual intercourse, Dr. Stuart Brody says masturbation is correlated with fewer health benefits—or even increased health risks—for the following conditions in men:

    Satisfaction with one’s mental health

    Relationship satisfaction

    Self-rated happiness

    Lower depression scores

    Less likely to have schizophrenia

    Improved erectile function

    Faster recovery from stress

    Fewer prostate abnormalities

    Less prostate cancer risks

Dr. Brody says masturbation is actually associated with more symptoms of depression and more prostate abnormalities.

In short, there are a few health problems associated with masturbation, and whatever physiological benefits masturbation claims to have, it is only because of its distant relation to its healthier cousin: sexual intercourse.

Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain that Changes Itself, says there are two separate pleasure systems in our brains: one for exciting pleasure and another for satisfying pleasure. Masturbating to fantasies and especially pornography activates the exciting system, but leaves the satisfying system starved for “the real thing.”

The exciting system is fueled by the neurochemical dopamine. Dopamine focuses our attention, giving our brain a little feel-good reward, helping us become sexually aroused, gearing up for sex. The satisfying system involves actually having having sex—touching, kissing, caressing, and really connecting with someone—which provides a calming, fulfilling pleasure. The problem with masturbation is that the satisfying system is never activated.

The more one masturbates to porn, the more dopamine is released in the brain. Eventually dopamine receptors and signals fatigue, leaving the viewer wanting more but unable to reach a level of satisfaction. This desensitization in turn impacts the prefrontal cortex—the “executive control” center of the brain—causing what is called hypofrontality. This means a loss of self-control and a propensity to addictive behavior.

Masturbation, especially when porn is involved, is also causing erectile dysfunction in some men. The problem isn’t with the organ between your legs but the organ between your ears: the brain.

Drs. Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson explained in Psychology Today that overstimulation with pornography creates changes in the brain that make a man less responsive to the physical pleasure of a real woman and hyper-responsive to Internet porn. Men become sensitized to Internet porn, but desensitized to sex in general, which requires more and more stimulation to achieve arousal. When preparing for real sex, the pornified brain fails to get its dopamine surge and the signal to the penis is too weak to achieve erection. But turn on an Internet device with unlimited pages of novelty, and boom, the plumbing works.

Physical health aside, when masturbation is accompanied by erotic fantasy, what do men risk by habitually escaping into that fantasy world? Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis offers some hard-hitting thoughts:

For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides.

And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman.

For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no woman can rival.

Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity.

In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself.…After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.

The health impact of masturbation, good or bad, may not motivate anyone to start or stop masturbating, but we shouldn’t be duped into thinking quitting masturbation is bad for us. If anything, refusing to retreat into a fantasy world forces men to live in the real world where they can serve, love, and enjoy a real woman.

Masturbation: Good or Bad?  

Previous page: Freedom from Masturbation study Intro page

The purpose of this page is to explain why masturbation can be detrimental to life and to encourage people to abandon the practice.  Granted, masturbation may bring temporary pleasure, but it often comes with the long-term cost of addiction and other sexual problems.  Because many people reading this page are not Christians, I’ve created a separate section for the spiritually-based points.  If you are a Christian, I encourage you to take a moment to ask God to show you the truth concerning masturbation.

Non-spiritual points about masturbation

  1. Masturbation is addictive! I encourage anyone who doubts masturbation is addictive to see how many weeks or months they can go without masturbating. We know now that sexual addictions are in fact self-induced drug addictions. The chemicals our bodies release during sexual arousal create the same effect on the brain as drugs.  Repeated masturbation reinforces a brain chemistry loop of addiction. (ref: Exposing Porn: Science, Religion, and the New Addiction, Paul Strand.  www.cbn.com, April 2004)  As with drug addiction, masturbation requires an increasing amount of stimulus to achieve consistent levels of pleasure.  This can lead to both an increased frequency of the habit and a never-ending search for new material to enhance the experience.  Another aspect of this can be the ‘dulling’ effect that habitual masturbation can have on the body.  For example, women who masturbate frequently may find that vaginal intercourse will not provide enough stimulation to reach orgasm.
  1. Masturbation conditions our bodies to respond to self-stimulation, which is self-centered. This damages our ability to relate to another person sexually. Sex is a relational experience, where we give attention to another person’s needs at least as much as to our own.   If we’ve been serving our own desires habitually, we may find it difficult to give our partner the attention he or she desires.   Additionally, the hormones released in the brain during sexual arousal cause a bonding to whatever we are looking at and/or thinking about at the time.  This can cause us to be more sexually responsive to masturbation (and its associated fantasies) than to real sex.
  1. Masturbation causes sexual imbalance: Masturbation stirs up our sexual emotions and trains our bodies to seek sexual release more frequently than normal. Common sense tells us that there should be a balance between sex and the other activities in our lives.  Masturbation disrupts that balance by training our bodies and minds to expect gratification more frequently than normal.  Like a feedback loop in an amplifier, the imbalance between reality and fantasy can likely drive a person further into the addiction.

The sexual imbalance can also affect other areas of our lives by diverting energy, time and resources into sexual activity.  For example, a man stays up late each night to surf for porn to masturbate to.  His job performance suffers because he can’t stay awake during the day, his family life sours because he’s grouchy, his wife is alienated from him by his lack of affection and interest in her, and his debt increases because of the credit card charges from the porn sites he’s visiting to feed his habit.

The people most likely to suffer from the imbalance are people who don’t have a regular provision for sexual intimacy (e.g. teens, singles, divorced persons, widowed persons, persons in sexually dysfunctional marriages).  Ironically, these are the same people that may be strongly tempted to indulge in porn and masturbation.   If they whet their appetite by indulging, chances are that they could easily get hooked in the addictive cycle that the imbalance creates.

Spiritual points about masturbation

For Christians, there are some important issues we need to address concerning masturbation.  The foundational question is, “Are you committed to honoring God with your life?”  If you are, then I urge you to carefully consider the points presented in this section.

Let’s first examine the typical sins that accompany masturbation: lust and sexual idolatry.  These may not be involved in every case, but they usually are.

Lust

Definitions from Webster’s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary:

    (n) Intense or unbridled sexual desire, lasciviousness…an intense longing: craving

    (v) to have an intense desire or need, crave

Obvious examples of lust during masturbation include looking at pornography and fantasizing about sex. As we can see from the definitions, lust can simply be an intense longing or craving.  It may not even be a conscious thought, but simply a gut feeling of the flesh.

Sexual Idolatry

Definition of idolatry from Webster’s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary:

    (n) Immoderate attachment or devotion to something

Definitions of idol from Webster’s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary:

    A likeness of something

    A form or appearance; visible but without substance

    An object of extreme devotion

    A representation or symbol of an object of worship

    A false conception; fallacy

When we look at porn or form sexual images by memory or imagination during masturbation, we are basically feeding an immoderate attachment or devotion to the idol of sex.  Such attachment and devotion is greatly reinforced by the pleasurable brain chemicals released during sexual arousal and orgasm.

Idolatry is sin (Exodus 20:3-5) and it can bring unpleasant consequences, such as demonic oppression and generational curses.  God’s primary command to us is that we love him with all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:36-38).  I suggest that it is impossible to love God with all our heart, soul and mind when we are idolizing sex images in our eyes and thoughts!

Having discussed lust and sexual idolatry, we can now explore the spiritual impact of masturbation.

  1. Masturbation causes you to be “mastered” by sin: The Bible says that there are only two things that we can be a slave to: sin or righteousness.  There are no other masters.  Paul wrote:

    Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  Romans 6:16 NKJV

Which master does masturbation bring us under?  In almost every case, it is used to complement sins of lust or sexual idolatry and will therefore enslave us to sin.

God does not want us to be mastered by sin.  For example, he told Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:7 NKJV).  Cain failed and sin ruled him for the rest of his life.  After killing his brother, he lost his job, his peace, his home, and his blessing and spent the rest of his days as a “restless wanderer” (Genesis 4:12).

Likewise, we have the same opportunity to choose our master.   If we choose sin as our master, our life will bear the fruit that sin brings – i.e. destruction, sorrow, dissatisfaction, death, etc..  If we choose righteousness as our master, we will reap life!  Paul wrote:

    20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:20-23 NIV

  1. Masturbation uses your body as an instrument for sin: Your body is to be presented and used as an instrument for righteousness, not sin. Paul wrote:

    Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God Romans 6:12-13 NKJV

God can best use us when we keep our “vessels” (body, soul & spirit) free of sin.  Paul wrote:

    In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:20-22 NIV

It is our responsibility to cleanse ourselves from sinful motives and purposes with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Practicing masturbation is the exact opposite of fleeing evil desires because it involves setting our minds on the evil desires and using our bodies to act them out.  In so doing, we are hindering the usefulness of our vessels for God.

  1. Masturbation defiles God’s temple and grieves the Holy Spirit: As believers in Jesus Christ, our bodies are literally temples for God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in us. Sexual sin is unique in that it damages this special union we have with God.  Paul alluded to this when he wrote that sexual sin is sinning against our own bodies ((1 Corinthians 6:18).  He even compared it to trying to unite Jesus with a prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:15-16).  Since masturbation rehearses sexual sins (e.g. lust or sexual idolatry), it will likewise damage our relationship with God and defile his temple (our bodies).

God commands us to “honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20 NIV).  This is a form of spiritual worship that we do physically:

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”   Romans 12:1-2 NIV

  1. Masturbation reinforces “carnal-mindedness”: Masturbation sets our minds on gratifying our sinful desires and in so doing we become “carnally minded.” Paul wrote:

    Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want Galatians 5:16-17 NIV

Carnal-mindedness destroys our life and peace and keeps us from pleasing God.  Paul wrote:

    For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God Romans 8:5-8 NKJV

  1. Masturbation brings you into deception and corruption: Masturbation opens the door to the deceiving influences of lust. Paul wrote about this deceit in Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV:

    Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Embracing lust or sexual idolatry through masturbation will therefore hinder any progress we want to make in becoming the “new man” God created us to be (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Our repeated practice of lust through masturbation will also bring about a “hardening” of our spiritual heart toward God (Hebrews 3:13).  This could ultimately cause us to turn away from God completely.

  1. Masturbation molds your mind into the world’s pattern of thinking: The world’s pattern is largely based on lust (1 John 2:15-17).   Masturbation rehearses lust in our thoughts and reinforces it with physical pleasure.  Using pornography or recalling sex memories while masturbating further ingrains the world’s pattern in our thoughts.

The consequence of embracing the world’s pattern (i.e. the pleasures of sin), is that we will block God’s love from operating in and through us:

    15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV

God wants us to no longer conform to the world’s pattern of thinking, but be transformed in our thinking:

    Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV

Concluding Comments

One of the questions that we frequently hear is, “Is masturbation without lust or sexual idolatry wrong?”  I’m skeptical that this is even possible, yet for the sake of discussion let’s say that it is.  Masturbation clearly sows to the flesh and its desires (see point #4 above).  God commands his followers to sow to the Spirit’s desires and not the flesh’s desires (Galatians 6:8).  While it may be permissible for a Christian to practice masturbation, how could it be beneficial since it sets the mind on the flesh’s desires (1 Corinthians 6:12)?

Overall, masturbation can rob you of many of the blessings God has planned for your life.  If you are a Christian, you have an obligation, not to live focused on fulfilling your fleshly lusts, but rather, to live focused on fulfilling the Holy Spirit’s desires (Romans 8:12-13).  Masturbation poses the threat of lifelong bondage and a handicapped spiritual walk.  Jesus was resurrected so that you also could live in a new life, free from the slavery of sin.

Roots of Masturbation

Previous page: Masturbation: Good or Bad?

Note: As you go through this page, feel free to print it, write on it and use it as a study guide.

As with other sex addiction activities, masturbation can have one or many root causes.  In order to stop the habit, we’ll need to address the root causes.

Step 1: Ask God to help you answer the question, “Why am I masturbating?”  A simple prayer for this could be:

“Heavenly Father, I invite you to help me discover the reasons for why I have been masturbating.  Please reveal the truth to me through the Holy Spirit.  In the name of Jesus Christ, I command any voice that is not of God to be silent now.  I speak the peace of Christ to my mind, spirit and body.  Thank you, Father, In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Following this prayer, it would be helpful to spend time in silent prayer, listening for the Holy Spirit.  Write down any thoughts that come up, and thank God for whatever he reveals.  Some common reasons for masturbation we’ve seen include:

    Medicate pain of rejection, abuse, poor self-esteem, etc.

    Medicate frustration or stress

    Love of pleasure

    Self-pity

    Independence / self-sufficiency

    Complement a porn habit

    “Safe” sex / trying to maintain physical virginity

    “Healthy release” of sexual tension

    Impatience:  Unwilling to wait on God for sexual provision

Reasons for my habit: ____________________________________________________

                                                (list as appropriate for you)

Step 2: Identify the associated roots

Once we know the surface reasons for our habit, we can then seek to uncover the root causes  of those reasons.  Again, we should invite God to guide us in discovering the roots.   A sample prayer for this is:  “Lord, please help me understand the root causes behind the reasons for my habit.  Please help me to see the truth. Thank you, Father! Amen.”

Roots usually begin with an experience that disrupts our healthy physical, emotional or spiritual development.  If we respond to that experience in unhealthy (i.e. sinful) ways, it will cause the root to grow.   There are so many possible scenarios of how these roots can get started, that it’s impossible to cover them all here.  By sharing some of the roots we’ve seen, we hope to help you uncover the roots under your habit.

Generally, the roots involve sin that we committed or that someone committed against us.  Here are some examples of roots linked to masturbation:

    Trauma /violence/abuse/molestation

    Rejection (e.g. unloved by parents, being made fun of by peers, abuse, getting dumped by girlfriend or boyfriend, etc.)

    Generational influences

    Unforgiveness (including bitterness, resentment, grudges, etc.)

    Occult activity

    Sexual sin

    Pride (“I can do it myself,” or “I don’t need anyone,” or “I don’t need God,” etc..)

    Lust / sexual idolatry

    Soul ties

    Homosexual activity and other perversions (bestiality, group sex, fetishes, etc.)

Take some time to think through your life starting from as far back as you can remember and look for indications of starting points for roots such as those listed above.  Let God’s Spirit lead you as you do this.  I’ve listed some typical life periods below where roots are often started.  Be sure to write down any roots that the Lord shows you as you do this.

Early childhood (0-3):_____________________________________________

Pre-school (3-6): __________________________________________________

Grade School (7-12): _______________________________________________

Teens (13-19): _____________________________________________________

Career/College/Marriage/etc. (20-40):____________________________________________________________

            _____________________________________________________________

Other:_____________________________________________________________

Here is an example of how these roots can get started and grow in our lives:  A father continually berates his 7 yr old son for his poor sports ability.  The father is unable to see any value in his son’s love for music, art and drama.  Those activities “are for sissies,” according to the father.  The son is emotionally wounded by his father’s rejection and this becomes the starting point of a “root of rejection.”  Over the following years, the father continues to ridicule his son.  The boy begins to believe that he can do nothing right in his father’s eyes and that he’ll never amount to anything.  As the boy grows into adolescence, he responds to the pain of rejection by being reclusive and rebellious.  When a friend introduces him to pornography and masturbation, the boy discovers a pleasure he never knew before.  The intimate images of porn offer him the acceptance and love he’s always longed for.  It doesn’t matter to him that the porn is based on fantasy – he’ll take any love and acceptance he can get.   Finding solace in masturbation, he soon finds himself addicted to it.

Step 3:  Remove the roots

The importance of removing the roots cannot be underestimated.  Leaving them as is will almost certainly make it more difficult to stop masturbating.  Also, the roots will continue to release “spiritual poison” that damages us.  Moses mentioned this in Deuteronomy 29:18 NIV:  “Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.”  In the Israelites’ case, idolatry was the root that produced the poison of spiritual confusion.   Masturbation’s roots produce poisons such as sexually-charged memories, selfishness, lust, perversion, numbed conscience and damaged relational skills.  The longer we allow the root to remain in us, the deeper the damage that we’ll have to recover from.

We encourage you to be patient as you go through the “root removal” process.  This can often take time to deal with.  Don’t allow the devil to convince you to give up.  Keep at it persistently as the Lord directs you.  Don’t settle for the lie that “you’ll never be free.”

  1. Start with Prayer: Prayer plugs us into God’s power supply. He has the power to work the impossible.  Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 NIV).  As you pray, believe in your heart that God’s power is going to make the difference.  Believe that he is hearing your prayer and will respond.  Your faith completes the “circuit” of God’s power in your life.

Sample Prayer:  “Father God, I thank you for loving me and dying for me. Thank you for being with me right now.  Please help me remove the roots of my addiction completely.  Please guide me and protect me from the evil one.  I believe in the freedom that is mine through Jesus Christ.  Please help me in any unbelief I may have. Thank you, Father.”

  1. Confession, Repentance and Release: In this step we take responsibility for our sin involved with the masturbation and its roots. We repent from the sin by turning away from it and no longer embracing it.  Finally, we must release any unhealthy attitudes we have clung to.

It is possible that you may encounter resistance  as you attempt to confess the root sins.   The resistance may indicate the presence of evil spirits/demons associated with the root.  Manifestations of this resistance can widely vary.  Some examples could include: hot flashes, difficulty speaking, difficulty breathing, uncontrollable thoughts, uncontrollable bodily movement, rage, physical pain and the mind “blanking out.”

We share this not to cause fear, but simply to prepare you in advance for what you may experience.  If the devil has you in bondage, he will be reluctant to let you go.  No matter what happens, know that the Lord Jesus is with you and lives in you and is greater than any power of the devil.  If any such manifestations occur, you can take authority over them in the name of Jesus Christ and command them to stop.  An example statement you can make is, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command the evil spirit causing this manifestation to stop.  I am saved by the blood of Jesus and I have authority over you.  Release me right now.”  At that point you should be able to proceed.  If not, you may want to obtain help from a trusted group of believers who will help you pray and work through the root area.  It may be that you will need “deliverance ministry” to completely deal with that area.

    Confess and repent from the sin involved with your masturbation habit: These typically are lust, sexual idolatry, love of pleasure, and pride in self-provision.  Example prayer:  “Heavenly Father, I confess that I have idolized sex in my mind and dwelled on lustful thoughts.  I confess that I have imagined myself committing sexual sin while masturbating.  I confess that I have turned to my own provision for sex and have not waited for your best for my sexuality.  I repent from all of these activities and renounce my tolerance of these sins in my life.  Thank you for forgiving me through the blood of Jesus!  I receive that forgiveness in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

    Confess and repent from the sin you committed in each root area: Taking the roots you wrote down in the above section, now confess the specific sins that you committed.  If you are not sure about the sins involved, ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify them.  Here are some examples of possible sins involved with respective roots:

    Root                                    Examples of possible sins involved

    Trauma                              fear, rage, violent behavior, unforgiveness, hatred

    Rejection                            unforgiveness, rebellion, perversion, hatred

    Occult activity                   pride, lust for power, trying to control others (witchcraft)

    Sexual sin                           lust, sexual idolatry, love of pleasure, pride

    Soul ties                              Cherishing sin memories

    Homosexuality                  Rebellion, unforgiveness, lust, hatred of man/woman

    Example prayer for confession and repentance:

    “Heavenly Father, I confess that I have sinned in the following ways: ______________.   Please forgive me for these sins.  I turn from them now and shut the door on them.  I seal the door with the blood of Jesus Christ. I renounce my activities associated with these sins.   I recommit myself to you, Lord, body, soul and spirit.”

    Release: We must release anything we are holding onto related to the former roots that is a stumbling block for sin.  Examples include unforgiveness, cherished sin memories, anger, hatred, malice and the desire for revenge.  These attitudes will continue to poison our mind and emotions until we release them to God.

    Unforgiveness and cherished sin memories are common with sex addicts.  To release unforgiveness, we must forgive the people involved (with Jesus’ help).  For the cherished sin memories, we must surrender the memories to God and restrain our thoughts from fantasizing over them any further.

    Example prayer of release:  “Father, I release these sinful attitudes and/or cherished memories to you right now.  Specifically, I release ______________(list your specific items).   Please take them from me and cleanse me with the blood of Jesus from any residue or poison they have left in me.  I forgive the people who have done evil to me:_______________ (list them).   Please fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit now and replace any former areas of sin with love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, self-control, goodness,  faithfulness and gentleness. Thank you, Father.”

  1. Pray for healing: This final activity is where we invite God to complete the healing in us that our confession and repentance has cleared the way for. 1 John 1:9 NKJV says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  Also, James 5:15 NIV says, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.  If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.”  God will purify us, heal us, raise us up and forgive us when we’ve confessed our sin and prayed in faith for healing of our addiction.

Praying for healing is not rocket science.  Remember that it is the Lord who will do the healing and all you need to do is to ask and believe that he will do so. You don’t have to pray an elaborate prayer to receive results. You simply need to be sincere and prepared to back up your healing by obedience in the respective area.

Some activities that will help you get into the right mindset for praying for healing include:

    Spend time in praise and worship prior to praying

    Review and recite scriptures on healing during your prayer times and throughout the day to boost your faith level

    Allow God time to respond during your prayer, i.e. don’t talk the whole time! Prayer is a conversation with God, so take time to listen and reflect on God’s word.

    Allow plenty of time for your prayer, so that you are not rushed

    Pray intermittently in tongues as the Lord leads you

    Remember to thank the Lord for the healing he has and will do in you

    More on prayer: Prayer Basics

Here are some example prayers for healing:

    Removal of any remaining roots:  “Lord, I pray that you will complete the root removal process that I have started.  If there are any roots that I have missed, please reveal them to me and help me remove them. “

    Revelation of any unconfessed sin associated with your former addiction: “Lord, please shine the light of your truth in me, especially in any dark areas of sin that I have not confessed.  Please help me recognize my sin for what it is.”

    Restoration of healthy sexual desire and function:  “Lord, please heal my sexuality and redirect my sex drive to normal function as you originally designed it.”  And, if married: “Please restore a healthy, loving sexual desire in me for my spouse and in my spouse for me.”

    Cleansing/healing of memories of sexual sin or abuse: “Lord, please wash my mind and conscience with the blood of Jesus.  Please cleanse my mind from the dead works of sin that I have done.”

    Breaking of soul ties developed through sex sin, pornography or abuse: “Lord, please cut any unhealthy soul ties that I have developed with pornography, fetishes, sex partners, family members and anyone else.  I apply the blood of Jesus to each unhealthy soul tie I have developed.  By faith I declare those soul ties broken in Jesus’ name.  Father, please restore me to wholeness – body, soul and spirit.  Please restore those persons I have been tied to as well. “

    Destruction of the altar of sexual idolatry in our mind:  “Lord please help me destroy the altar of sexual idolatry in my mind.  I renounce the use of my thoughts for worshipping and lusting about sex.  I have the mind of Christ and I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

    Deliverance from any evil spirits that continue to oppress you: “Lord Jesus, please free me from any remaining evil spirits that continue to torment me.  Please reveal any remaining footholds that they may have in me, so that I may repent.” (see deliverance study for more help)

We encourage you to pray for healing in those and any other areas the Lord reveals to you.  It may also help to have some trusted friends in the Lord pray with you in faith for healing.   Some roots take more prayer sessions than others to heal from, so be patient and persistent.  For example, I periodically pray for continued healing and cleansing of my memories of sexual sin even many years after being porn-free.  It can take time to restore the mind to health and wash away the evil things we’ve allowed in.

Masturbation Recovery

Previous page: Masturbation Roots

After removing the roots and praying for healing, now we must take actions to “secure the beachhead” of freedom that we have established.  We can count on the devil testing us to see if we are in fact free.

The first area the devil will test us in is our faith, because faith is the means by which we withstand his attacks.  In 1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV Paul wrote, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”  Faith also composes a key piece of our spiritual armor, the shield of faith, which we are to use to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16 NIV).

The devil’s strategy to weaken our faith is to bombard us with lies.  If we believe the lies, our shield of faith will be weakened because it is no longer based on truth, and the devil’s arrows will get through.  To repel  an attack on our faith we must use the truth that destroys the lies.  This is why it is crucial that we get into the Bible at least once a day (typically in a “quiet time”) to learn the truth that sets us free (John 8:31-32).   Knowing  God’s word will also build our faith up (Romans 10:17).

If you want to maximize your battle readiness, memorize key verses that apply to the temptations you normally face.  With the verses in your mind, you won’t have to flip through your Bible at the moment of temptation, looking for a verse to use.  Jesus demonstrated this  strategy when he faced Satan in the wilderness temptations (Luke 4).  To every temptation Jesus responded by quoting the scripture that diffused the lies.

I recommend using a simple system to memorize verses.  During my quiet times I write out the verses that are meaningful to me on 3 x 5 note cards (see suggested verses).  I review the verses during the week while exercising, waiting for appointments, sitting in traffic and other idle times.   Once I have memorized 12 verses,  I start a new group.  Another system that works well is the Topical Memory System, published by the Navigators.

Making the effort to memorize key verses will pay off.  I’ve found that the Holy Spirit will remind me of my memory verses throughout the day, particularly when I’m being tempted. Having the verses in mind also helps me keep my thoughts trained on God instead of carnal things.

To illustrate how to use the verses, here are some typical lies the devil uses and sample replies using memory verses:

    “You haven’t changed…you’re not really free…it’s just a matter of time before you fall”  Reply:  “The scripture says, ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ I am a new creation and I am free because Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death” (refs: 2 Corinthians 5:17 & John 8:31-32)

    “God doesn’t care about you and he won’t provide for your sexual needs” Reply:  “The scripture says that God ‘Himself bore our sins in his body on the tree that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.’ God cares so much for me that he sacrificed his only Son for my sake.  He will provide for all my needs!  The scripture also says, ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'” (Refs: 1 Peter 2:24 &  Matthew 6:33 NIV)

    “It’s impossible to live without masturbating” Reply: “The scripture says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’  My old self was crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me. I CAN live without masturbation and Jesus will help me do so.”  (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 4:13 NKJV)

    “The Holy Spirit is not really living in you and he won’t help you” Reply: “The scripture says that the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead gives life to my mortal body.  The Holy Spirit enables me to put the sinful deeds of my body to death.”  (Refs: Romans 8:11,13)

    “God won’t provide a way out of temptation for you” Reply:  “The scripture says that God is faithful and just and will provide a way out of the temptation so that I can stand up under it.”  (Ref: 1 Corinthians 10:13)

    See more lies and the truth that refutes them: Sex Addiction Lies

The second area that devil will test us in is the old patterns or “triggers” of temptation that used to lead us to sin.   These will obviously vary from person to person, and usually will relate in some way to the roots we examined in the previous section of this study.  For example, some of typical triggers for masturbation can be:

    Stress/Fear/Rejection/Loneliness

    Taking long showers

    Watching late night TV with sexual themes

    People-watching

    Surfing the internet when alone

    Thumbing through magazines with sexual themes

    Looking at porn (obviously)

    Sensual contact with girlfriend/boyfriend

    Fetishes

    Dwelling on sexual memories

Take a moment to ask God to show you what your particular triggers have been for masturbation and write them down:

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

When we respond to a trigger and move toward acting out, we’ll find it’s easy to go back down the old familiar road of temptation and follow through with masturbation.  What we need to do is determine a Godly plan of action on how we will now respond to a trigger when we encounter it.   God gives us several options for how to respond, including:

    Flee the temptation (2 Timothy 2:22; Genesis 39:6-13)

    Look for the way out of the temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)

    Pray for help (Matthew 26:41; Hebrews 2:18)

    Take control of your eyes (turn eyes away, shut off temptation source, etc.) (Isaiah 33:15)

    Arrest sinful thoughts, cast down sinful imaginations/speculations, and redirect your mind heavenward (2 Corinthians 10:5; Colossians 3:1-2)

    Use your body as instrument of righteousness and not for sin (Romans 6:11-14)

To illustrate how to put these responses to action, here are some typical triggers and possible actions to take:

    Stress/Fear/Rejection/Loneliness:  Run to Jesus through prayer on the spot instead of running to masturbation to medicate yourself; remind yourself of key verses that address the trigger (e.g. fear (Romans 8:15; 1 Peter 5:7); loneliness (John 14:18; Matthew 28:20); Rejection (Romans 8:15-16); Stress (1 Peter 5:7))

    Taking long showers:  Take “navy showers,” i.e. get the scrubbing done and get out; if you have to, take a colder shower than normal; play a praise and worship CD in the background to get your thoughts focused heavenward

    Watching late night TV with sexual themes: Set an early time you will turn the TV off by each night and stick to it.  Use the time you would have spent watching TV to do something meaningful (spend time with family, pray, worship, read the Bible, etc.).

    People-watching: Take control of your eyes and force them to stop looking at the people you know are causing you to lust.  For example, if teenage blondes cause you to lust, then choose to look the other way when you notice one coming your way.  Don’t let your gaze dwell on the temptation! (see control eyes for more)

    Surfing the internet when alone:  Don’t get on the computer unless someone is there nearby.  If you know you’ll be home alone, don’t even turn the computer on.  Plan something to do in place of surfing the net.

    Thumbing through magazines with sexual themes: Avoid the magazine stand or wherever you normally look at the magazines.  If the magazines are not your own, consider asking the owner for help in restricting your exposure to them.   For example, if your roommate’s porn collection is causing you to fall, you could ask him/her to lock it up or password protect it.

    Looking at porn:  Take whatever drastic measures you can to stop the input of porn images.  If it means installing a filter, or moving your computer to a common area, or even getting rid of your computer temporarily, do it!

    Sensual contact with girlfriend/boyfriend: Ask your friend to help you by joining you in committing your relationship and activities to God.  Agree in prayer together to not cross the boundaries that will cause sexual arousal.  (e.g. long kissing, sleeping together, heavy petting, mutual masturbation, watching movies w/sex scenes, etc. ).  Take steps ahead of time to avoid placing yourselves in tempting situations.

    Fetishes:  Get rid of any object you have been using as a fetish.  Confess your idolatry and pray that God will cut you free from the unhealthy attachment you have to the fetishes.  Also, ask the Lord to break any demonic power involved with the fetish and the hold it may have on you.   Force your mind and eyes off any fetish-related thing that causes you to fantasize.

    Dwelling on sexual memories: Whenever you catch yourself reminiscing about your  sexual memories, start pleading the “blood of Jesus” over the memory. Follow this by forcing your thoughts onto a wholesome topic (see thoughts).

Now, for your particular triggers from the previous section, brainstorm on actions you can take to break the pattern for each one and write them down below: ________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Take a moment to declare to yourself and the Lord in faith that you have the power to choose differently and break the patterns that have plagued you in the past.  You can pray:

“Heavenly Father, I am a new creation in Christ and the life that I live now I live by faith in God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.  The Holy Spirit lives in me and is strengthening me now to live as the truly changed person that I am in Christ.  I have the power through Christ who strengthens me to break my old trigger patterns of masturbation.  I commit myself to breaking the trigger patterns. Father, please strengthen my conviction to reject any trigger that I may encounter.  Please sharpen my conscience and passion for purity.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Finally, back up the commitment you just made by sharing it with a trusted friend, accountability partner or pastor who will agree with you in prayer and encourage you in keeping your commitment over the coming months.

Masturbation Study Wrap-up

Previous page: Masturbation Recovery

Now that we’ve addressed the major points in breaking masturbation addiction, we encourage you to proceed in building-up your relationship with Jesus.  Paul wrote:

“As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7 AMP

Paul encouraged the Colossians to have their roots “firmly and deeply planted” in Christ and to continually be built up in him.  We can begin to do the same by meeting with the Lord in a daily quiet time and by connecting with other believers in church.

If you would like to share constructive feedback with us concerning the masturbation study, please visit our contact page. We encourage you to take our other courses as the Lord leads you.

For a more exhaustive discussion of masturbation, see Grantley Morris’s website

Masturbation and the Bible

    Towards a Christian View

    of Sexual Self-Stimulation

    By Grantley Morris

    Compassionate, Informed Insights

    While focusing on the morality of masturbation,

    this web series illustrates important principles

    about how to interpret Scripture

    and discern the will of God

    * * *

    This is a careful, biblical, spiritual examination of a complex subject. For a thought-provoking but very much shorter and shallower view, see How Masturbation Shapes One’s Sexuality.

    By masturbation I mean deliberate sexual stimulation when alone. Manual stimulation with a partner is not covered here. Instead, see Help for Christian Couples. Behavior in relationships deserves separate attention because it is obvious that at least with some sexual behavior, what has God’s blessing does not depend solely on the nature of the act but on the context, such as whether it is within heterosexual marriage.

    Masturbation is an issue Christians cannot ignore. With little regard to gender, age, or even marital status, what is sometimes called solo-sex plunges many of us into the pit of guilt and the despondency of defeat. But are these guilt feelings the product of biblical truth or merely a hangover from the misconceptions of a bygone era?

    Respected Christian authorities are divided over whether masturbation is for the sexually deprived or the sexually depraved. With this perplexing divergence of opinion, compounded by one’s natural reluctance to mention the M word, it is no surprise that pastors in most churches prefer to say little publicly about the morality of masturbation, with the result that most of us are left to flounder unaided through the moral maze, with little to guide us but the noise of the world and an often uneasy conscience. I, too, intended sidestepping the subject, with just a few noncommittal words before moving to what I regarded as more uplifting topics. Against my wishes – and sometimes to my annoyance – this webpage kept growing longer and longer, and yet I found the result surprisingly edifying. I pray you, too, find it illuminating and uplifting.

    One of the aims of Net-burst.Net is to be a place where Christians of all flavors feel comfortable, if they fervently love the Lord. So it is my intention to be gentle and not stomp on the sensitivities of anyone committed to biblical Christianity. Instead, my prayer is not to impose my views upon you but, by helping to clarify the issues involved, to be used of God to move you closer to your own personal, divinely-approved resolution of the matter.

    Babies of both sexes can discover how to give themselves genital pleasure long before their first birthday. We might conclude from this that masturbation is obviously “natural” and therefore morally neutral. A moment’s thought, however, blows this logic to shreds. It is equally “natural” for little children to lie, steal, slander, bash each other and break any commandment they have the strength to break. If morality were decided on the basis of what children do the moment they gain the ability to do it, life would be horrific. Morality is about choosing what is right above our natural inclinations.

    Nevertheless, one needs little knowledge of infant sexuality to understand how many of us get well and truly hooked on masturbation long before any thought dawns that this practice might have moral implications. Even adults can commence the practice without the slightest thought that moral issues might be involved. When the time comes to put aside childish things, it can be even harder to give up than our security blanket and thumb sucking. So the practice is often hidden, rather than stopped, thus allowing the habit to become even more entrenched.

    Consequently, many of us find ourselves masturbating not because we have chosen to fly in the face of morality, nor because we have soberly concluded that the practice is of no moral consequence, but simply because past events beyond our conscious control have brought us to the point of addiction. Once addicted, we have a vested interest in deciding the practice is harmless. This webpage examines whether there is any moral need to break a pleasurable habit that many conclude to be morally neutral and yet others believe to be immoral.

    Some readers will value reassurance that this issue deeply affects both genders. “Thank you, thank you, thank you for including so many women’s testimonies,” responded a woman to this webpage. She had been married for eighteen years and still battled an uneasy conscience and an attracction to solo sex. “I have become so frustrated as I hear our pastor preach over and over against sexual addiction exclusively to the males of the church. I have searched in the past on the Internet for help for women on the subject and some clue that I wasn’t the only one, and I only succeeded in finding links to porn sites or to crazy sites.”

    In all, quite a number of women have e-mailed me, confiding that their love-hate affair with masturbation is compounded by their belief that it is somehow more shameful for women or that secular society is more accepting of male masturbation. I have now received too many such responses for me not to regard this view as fairly common, but I was initially surprised because I have stumbled across many more secular articles encouraging female masturbation than I have ever seen for males. The truth, of course, is that solitary sex is common to both genders and that what godless secular society thinks is irrelevant. God alone has the final word on this matter, and moral issues apply equally to both genders.

    * * *

    Wrote D. H. Lawrence in Pornography and Obscenity:

        The one thing that it seems impossible to escape from, once the habit is formed, is masturbation. It goes on and on, on into old age, in spite of marriage or love affairs or anything else. And it always carries this secret feeling of futility and humiliation, futility and humiliation. And this is, perhaps, the deepest and most dangerous cancer of our civilization. Instead of being a comparatively pure and harmless vice, masturbation is certainly the most dangerous sexual vice that a society can be afflicted with, in the long run. (Source)

    This, surprisingly, is the opinion of the author of sexually explicit books featuring immorality and perversion, such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which was banned for many years.

    But what does the Bible say?

    * * *

    Hidden Agendas

    I don’t think I’ve heard anyone preach more powerfully against sexual looseness. He kept it up year after year – until it was discovered that he visited prostitutes. I don’t believe his preaching was blatant hypocrisy. I suspect he was preaching at himself, trying to bolster his flagging resolve to fight temptation.

    Personal experience cannot change God’s truth, but it can hinder one from discovering the truth or from accurately conveying it. Not even a genius can think straight about an activity that enslaves him. A former addict also has clouded thinking. Ex-smokers, for instance, are legendary for the emotive way they react to people smoking in their presence.

    Ideally, no one should be writing about masturbation for whom it is an emotive subject. People wanting to indulge themselves with a clear conscience, or to keep it as an emergency backup should their marriage partner suddenly be unavailable, will be strongly pressured to justify their secret longings. On the other hand, people wanting to argue against solitary sex, whilst still fighting to be free from the habit, or fearing a return to the habit, will be pressured to come out strongly in the other direction, overstating their case and making loud noises like the evangelist just mentioned, in a desperate attempt to strengthen their determination to flee what they regard as temptation. So you have the right to demand that I not spare my own humiliation in laying bare my habits and pressures.

    Throughout my entire teens, I was both highly committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and highly addicted to masturbation. There have been times in my Christian life when I indulged without the slightest consciousness of guilt, and other times when I masturbated with a guilt-stricken conscience. Sometimes I masturbated in a way to maximize my pleasure, and other times I sought to lower my libido by deliberately choosing ways that brought no pleasure. All this might be a rare confession, since it is currently a taboo subject among Christians, but I am convinced it is not a rare experience. Starting as an accidental self-discovery as a tiny child, I indulged myself on literally thousands of occasions – more thousands than I can possibly calculate – until, in my early twenties, the seemingly impossible happened: I escaped from the jaws of what for me was an overwhelmingly powerful addiction. (In a link at the end of this web series, I explain how this came about.) I was never the same again. Thereafter, the morality of masturbation ceased to be my sole consideration. A new factor entered the equation. Having tasted freedom, who would ever want to be enslaved again?

    Over the long years since then, I have at times held each of what I suppose to be every possible view concerning the morality of masturbation. I have known what it is to feel that any form of masturbation – even aspects of marital foreplay – is sin, and had other times when I’ve believed that in some contexts solitary sex is acceptable and in other contexts it is not. I know from vivid experience what it is to feel sickened, offended and threatened by anyone suggesting masturbation might in any way be acceptable for Christians. And yet I know with equal intimacy why some devout Christians feel solitary sex is perfectly natural, even God-given.

    Confessing my past wavering might undermine my authority on this subject, but I long not to be seen as an authority. I seek instead the higher honor of pointing you to the Authority. My prayer is that I not impose my personal views on anyone but that I be granted the undeserved privilege of being used of God to assist you in reaching your own, divinely-inspired convictions. My greatest joy would be to accompany you part of the way on your own personal adventure in discovering the beautiful and perfect will of God.

    I am now fifty and have never married, so I have had strong motivation over what seemed endless years to consider solo-sex. Finally, however, a combination of my aging body and past self-control have so lowered my libido that without even considering moral factors, I have little desire to indulge, except perhaps to test myself to see if my sex drive is actually dead or merely dormant. Yes, I confess to a slight preference for concluding that God approves of self-stimulation. As far as I can tell, however, my personal biases on this matter are fairly close to being neutral, while at the same time I can approach this vexing issue with a profound experiential understanding of the pressures involved.

    Equally critical, however, are the reader’s biases. No one peering through the fog of guilt feelings, defeatism and sexual cravings can hope to see this webpage clearly. Try to read as if the issue means little to you personally. If, for example, you find yourself strongly drawn to masturbation, try to read as if with a simple prayer everything positive would remain untouched but you would never again feel the slightest desire to masturbate.

    * * *

    A Brief Prayer

    Some readers will enjoy the way that much of my approach to this subject appeals to the intellect. We cannot avoid the reality, however, that spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). That is not a cue for flaky claims and unsubstantiated speculation. On the contrary, it is sobering call for God-fearing, yet joyous, dependence upon humanity’s Creator and Judge for revelation and understanding.

    Let’s celebrate our privileged position in the heart of God by commencing with a quick word of prayer. Even if I miss the truth, it is important to me that you find the truth. So would you join with me by seeing if you can make this your prayer?

        Precious Father,

        I come to you, the all-knowing Lord of the universe, seeking truth. I ask that in your mercy you lift from me legalism, fear of pleasure, worldliness, selfishness, a know-it-all attitude, and anything else that could fog my mind from detecting and delighting in your truth. Give me your heart so that I might be worthy to be given your mind on this important subject.

        Beautiful Lord, you are no killjoy. In the extravagance of your love and creative genius you have crafted for your children a stunning array of exquisite delights. Before sin’s pollution, when everything sparkled with your perfection and purity, pleasure was an integral part of the creation that you pronounced to be very good. But I know it is not good to be a slave to pleasure, nor to be defiled.

        May I delight you and thank you by enjoying all the thrilling things you have lovingly planned for me. And may I avoid every treacherous imitation of eternal fulfillment; every enemy of lasting joy.

        I can escape disaster and find truth only by you breaking my infatuation with sin. So cause me to be so in love with you that my highest joy is to see you honored. I want to be so swept off my feet by the dazzling beauty of your holiness that I recoil in horror from the smog of the world; so captivated by the perfection of your ways that I would rather suffer a martyr’s death than experience the exquisite pleasures of sin.

        I am surrounded by deadly traps – both satanically inspired license and equally satanic legalism. Only you can show me where the dangers lie. I cannot trust my own intellect nor even my conscience. As your Word says, “The heart is deceitful” (Jeremiah 17:9). Open my eyes to the way you view my sexuality, so that I may be one with you on this vital issue. May your light burst through the fog of my upbringing, cravings, prejudices, fears, past experiences, faulty logic, lack of faith and whatever else could keep me from knowing and living your glorious truth.

        When used as you intended, all of your gifts are perfect. May I not dishonor you by spurning your gift of sex, nor by misusing your priceless gift. In your mercy, show me the difference between holy pleasure and Satan’s bait.

    “Onanism”

    The obvious place to start a biblical examination of masturbation is Genesis 38:8-10:

        Then Judah said to Onan, “Lie with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother.” (9) But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. (10) What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so he put him to death also.

    Some people so equate Onan’s act with masturbation that one term for masturbation is onanism (yes, named after Onan in the above Scripture). Whatever Onan did, however, it certainly could not be called solitary sex. He did it “whenever he lay with his brother’s wife.” Translators chose the expression lay with because of its sexual connotations, but it is not the Hebrew word usually translated lay with in the Bible. The word used here literally means to enter into. What better term could there be to describe penetration? Indeed, the word is used over and over in Scripture for nothing less than sexual intercourse (Scriptures). Theologians usually conclude that Scripture is here referring not to manual stimulation but to coitus interruptus. This is the contraceptive method in which a man engages in full intercourse but withdraws the instant ejaculation becomes inevitable.

    Whilst doing all he felt necessary to prevent conception, Onan would surely have gone as far with his wife as he dared. If exceptionally cautious, he could have gone no further than masturbate while somehow intimately involving his wife. Human nature being what it is, however, before long he would surely have edged closer to full sexual relations, with coitus interruptus being the most likely result. This Scripture might possibly be used to condemn contraception, but it has nothing specific to say to those who have no partner, nor even to marrieds who occasionally indulge in coitus interruptus. A significant factor in Onan’s behavior is that he did it every single time he related to his wife, thus denying her a baby. Most Bible scholars conclude from the context that what particularly incited God’s wrath was not the act itself but the reason for the act – selfishly disregarding his responsibilities to his wife, his father and his deceased brother, by refusing to have a child. His offense would have been equally serious had he abstained from sex. In fact, he would have added to it by defrauding his wife sexually (along the lines of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5) as well as his original offense of denying her a child and robbing his brother of an heir. It could well be significant that the child Onan was determined would never be born was a direct ancestor of the Savior of the world (Matthew 1:3).

    Adam Clarke (1760-1832), wrote in his Bible commentary:

        The sin of Onan has generally been thought to be self-pollution [Clarke’s emotive term for masturbation]; but this is certainly a mistake; his crime was his refusal to raise up seed [children] to his brother .  .  .

    It would be hard to find any Bible scholars taking any other view, but I chose this product of the early nineteenth century because I find it fascinating that despite Clarke’s conclusion about this Scripture, he nevertheless in his commentary on this passage launched into a most extraordinary attack on masturbation. Lest anyone die of horror while reading the following quote, let me assure you that I believe Clarke exceedingly overstated his case. I cite Clarke as an historical curiosity and to demonstrate a reason why Christians in past eras so strongly opposed masturbation. As you read, note how his inaccurate medical understanding seems a significant factor behind his outburst. He writes about masturbation (in original spelling):

        “The sin of self-pollution,  . . . is one of the most destructive evils ever practiced by fallen man. In many respects it is several degrees worse than common whoredom, and has in its train more awful consequences, though practiced by numbers who would shudder at the thought of criminal connexions with a prostitute. It excites the powers of nature to undue action, and produces violent secretions, which necessarily and speedily exhaust the vital principle and energy; hence the muscles become flaccid and feeble, the tone and natural action of the nerves relaxed and impeded, the understanding confused, the memory oblivious, the judgment perverted, the will indeterminate and wholly without energy to resist; the eyes appear languishing and without expression, and the countenance vacant; the appetite ceases, for the stomach is incapable of performing its proper office; nutrition fails, tremors, fears, and terrors are generated; and thus the wretched victim drags out a most miserable existence, till, superannuated even before he had time to arrive at man’s estate, with a mind often debilitated even to a state of idiotism, his worthless body tumbles into the grave, and his guilty soul (guilty of self-murder) is hurried into the awful presence of its Judge! Reader, this is no caricature, nor are the colourings overcharged in this shocking picture. Worse woes than my pen can relate I have witnessed in those addicted to this fascinating, unnatural, and most destructive of crimes. If thou hast entered into this snare, flee from the destruction both of body and soul that awaits thee! God alone can save thee. Advice, warnings, threatenings, increasing debility of body, mental decay, checks of conscience, expostulations of judgment and medical assistance, will all be lost on thee: God, and God alone, can save thee from an evil which has in its issue the destruction of thy body, and the final perdition of thy soul! Whether this may have been the sin of Onan or not, it is at present of small moment, it may be thy sin; therefore take heed lest God slay thee for it.”

    If solo-sex caused the blatant physical or mental impairment that in past generations it was sometimes thought, we need proceed no further in deciding how God views the act. There are times when God expects his children to courageously take enormous health risks. You might be called of God to serve as a missionary in a disease-ridden country or to minister to traumatized people in a war zone or to remain faithful in a situation where spiritual compromise is the only way of avoiding physical persecution. In circumstances where there is no divinely inspired, God-glorifying reason for exposing oneself to physical harm, however, another principle takes over. Scripture is clear that not only do our bodies belong to the King of kings because he made them, he purchased our bodies with the blood of his dear son and he is so thrilled with us that he has taken up residence within us; sanctifying our bodies with his very presence; making our flesh and blood his palace, his holy of holies, the most sacred place in the universe. To selfishly indulge in anything that harms our bodies is to be guilty of the gravest form of sacrilege, since the Holy Lord inhabits not bricks and mortar, nor “sacred” objects, but the bodies of those he has redeemed.

    Nevertheless, masturbation does not have dire bodily consequences. Today, a few people have gone to the opposite extreme of absurdity by wondering whether there might be something unhealthy about abstaining from all sexual stimulation. This seems as ludicrous as Clarke’s misconception. Even if it were true, however, it would not suddenly make masturbation moral. For more on this, see the webpage What if masturbation prevents prostate cancer? listed at the very end of this series.

    So health issues throw no light on this subject and even Clarke believed that masturbation was not Onan’s sin.

    So our Bible search must continue.

    Self abuse, an old term for masturbation, sounds a little like, “abusers of themselves with mankind,’ (1 Corinthians 6:9, KJV) but, as confirmed by the original Greek, it turns out to be a reference, not to self-stimulation, but to homosexuality.

    Under the Old Covenant, any emission of semen (even intercourse) made one temporarily unclean. Deuteronomy 23:10 says that if an emission occurred in an army camp, the soldier would have to spend the rest of the night outside the camp. Although this passage seems to be referring to a nocturnal emission (also known as a “wet dream”), it would seem to apply equally to an emission resulting from a deliberate act. If so, it is obvious that even though the soldiers were deprived of their wives, the Lord made little allowance for Do-It-Yourself sex. If many were in the habit of masturbating, there would be more outside the camp than in it!

    And that’s about the only hint the Bible gives concerning the practice that many children innocently discover. Their divinely designed bodies find autoeroticism pleasurable and without instruction to the contrary they will continue this practice until it becomes an ingrained habit that is likely to continue throughout their single and married lives, unless they find from somewhere strong motivation to stop. Is the Bible devoid of this motivation, or have we missed something?

Part 1: Masturbation and the Bible

                            (It is recommended that you start here)

Part 2: Into the Unknown

Non-Sexual Masturbation?

The M word, playing with yourself, releasing sexual tension, obtaining sexual relief, autoeroticism, solitary sex, self abuse – call it what you will, we cannot squirm away from the fact that masturbation is sexual. No matter how successfully one reduces masturbation to a clinical and mechanical act, it significantly impacts our sexuality.

Irrespective of what extremes one goes to in modifying one’s technique and one’s thought life to drain the act of sexual overtones, masturbation is still the stimulation of sexually responsive parts of the body. It is not like waste elimination or satisfying hunger, because it meets no bodily need. Moreover, it results in sensual feelings and bodily reactions virtually indistinguishable from those resulting from heterosexual relations. In fact, unlike light petting, it usually involves the very pinnacle of sexual pleasure, even beyond what many a woman experiences during intercourse. As is also the case for sexual intercourse, self-stimulation need not involve sexual thoughts or sights but it usually does, because it falls naturally into the same behavioral patterns as other sexual activities.

Little children might discover masturbation before they have any awareness of sexual relations, but if left entirely to their own devices, (would it be off the mark to say vices?) as they grow and begin to experience sexual attraction, masturbation and sexual thoughts instinctively come together. There is no need to teach them a connection between masturbation and sexual fantasy, any more than they need to be taught to perspire on a hot day. Masturbation might not carry any possibility of pregnancy, but neither does homosexuality. It might not involve another person, but neither does bestiality. When allowed to become a habit, masturbation conditions our sexual response and modifies our sexual expectations; consciously or unconsciously affecting marital relations for years afterwards.

Is masturbation a neutral activity rendered sexual or non-sexual according to what our thoughts focus on? Only if sexual intercourse is rendered non-sexual with no moral implications by thinking of mathematics while having intercourse. Neither does illicit intercourse cease to be sexually damaging if engaged in by little children.

Masturbation is so undeniably sexual that non-Christians would wonder why I’ve bothered to emphasize the obvious. As Christians, however, we are tempted to live in denial because we know the stakes soar skywards if self-stimulation is sexual. Suddenly we are no longer talking about something of the order of nose picking, nor even something seemingly important like purchasing a house. We have only to flip open the Bible to quickly discover that our sexuality is vitally important to the God who is intimately concerned about our well-being. “Flee from sexual immorality,” says 1 Corinthians 6:18. “All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” Scripture saying that sexual sin impacts the body like no other sin is a startling statement, given the obvious results of gluttony and the bodily damage caused by alcoholism. Whatever the full implications of this Scripture, it seems the all-knowing Creator of sex is declaring that the mystery of sex affects us more profoundly than most of us dare contemplate. If masturbation is of this order, we dare not leave it in the “too hard” basket. Decisions impacting one’s sexuality are decisions we must get right.

The book of Romans begins with the revelation that a wrong view of God causes people to disintegrate sexually. One would therefore expect that the secular world – which in a thousand insidious ways shapes our thinking – is dangerously deceived in its understanding of sex, and that it is only as we begin to build our relationship with our Creator that the restoration of our sexuality can begin.

* * *

Into the Unknown

It would be outrageously arrogant of me to attempt a pronouncement on the morality of something the Bible does not clearly spell out. Humanity has a Judge, and last time I checked, it isn’t me. Ultimately, the matter is between you and your God and anyone affected by your sexual choices. The goal of this web series, however, is to move you closer to an answer by helping to clarify the issues involved.

Once we concede that Onan’s sin was not solitary sex, nor does this common practice even rate a mention in the Bible, nor does it cause obvious psychological or physical injury, it might seem we can give it the green light. But such a conclusion would be dangerously premature. To demonstrate that neither apparent harmlessness nor the Bible’s silence are sufficient to suggest God views something as morally neutral, we will briefly consider two sexual acts that clearly have divine disapproval: sex outside marriage and lesbianism. We will then proceed to other considerations.

Some Christians, when teaching against sex outside marriage, used to emphasize so strongly the possibility of disease and unwanted pregnancy, that many people wrongly concluded that it must be these dangers that make sex outside marriage immoral. The Bible does not say this, it is just a human attempt at logic. When medical advances lowered the physical risks, some people therefore assumed that sexual looseness must now be morally acceptable. They thought anyone thinking otherwise must be adhering to a morality that applied only to less technologically advanced eras. Christian morality, however, has never been based on a crude and selfish analysis of the physical dangers to the offender. The Lord Jesus emphasized the sinfulness of lust, even though mere lust carries no possibility of disease or pregnancy, nor even the possibility of the victim being emotionally hurt. Similarly, the relatively modern rediscovery that auto-eroticism does not cause obvious physical harm, has led people to leap too soon to the assumption that it must therefore be morally acceptable.

Neither does the Bible’s silence about a matter automatically make it acceptable. In contrast to same-gender sex among men, the entire Old Testament is without specific mention of the female equivalent – lesbianism. The same is true for the Gospels and almost all the New Testament. Romans 1:24-28, however, affirms that God regards lesbianism as a serious perversion. So the Old Testament’s silence – God choosing for thousands of years not to put it in black and white – in no way implied God’s acceptance of this particular abuse of sex. That’s scary. God left it up to his people to read between the lines, and anyone getting it wrong would be guilty of gross perversion.

It is staggering to realize that throughout the Bible even the sin of sexual intercourse between unmarried people is not spoken against as forthrightly as we might expect. Scripture definitely pronounces it to be a serious sin, but to find this clearly spelt out, one must search the Bible carefully and prayerfully (Explanation). For the most part, Scripture is content merely to condemn ‘sexual immorality’ without specifying exactly which sexual acts fall under this black umbrella. In the original language, the broad term used is porneia. The word is found 25 times in the Greek New Testament. It could be that when speaking so strongly against porneia, the range of sexual sins God had in mind includes masturbation. But if we have to seek long and hard to be sure that in God’s eyes porneia includes premarital sex (and it certainly does), we have to go even further into the heart and mind of God to know whether it includes auto-eroticism.

As we saw with lesbianism, even under the Law, the only way to truly know right from wrong was through fellowship with God. Devout Jews, however, typically poured enormous effort into knowing the Book of God, but little into knowing the God of the Book. They ended up knowing Scripture so well and understanding it so little that they could ‘prove’ emphatically that the Son of God was guilty of blasphemy and that it was their holy duty to murder their Messiah.

How vital it is to pray with the psalmist that God reveal to us his understanding of his Word (Psalm 119:18)! The frightening thing is that most of us imagine we could never make the same mistake as the clean-living, Bible-revering, Christ-killing First Century theologians. Tragically, those devout people were equally certain they would never make the same mistake of their forefathers who murdered the prophets.

Everyday we walk though a spiritual minefield, foolishly unaware that at any moment just one false step could be disastrous. The entire Christian life must be lived in total dependence upon our Lord. We either cling to Christ, trusting him alone – not our intellect, knowledge and experience – or the consequences are unthinkable.

* * *

Outline

If, as we shall see, the God of the Bible, the Creator of sex, declares that even a one night stand makes two people one, it is hard not to suspect that the context in which we experience deep sexual feelings would, by divine design, have a profound affect on our personality. Psychologists know that regularly pairing anything with pleasurable sensations will powerfully shape one’s response to whatever those sensations are paired with. When we masturbate we are unavoidably conditioning our sexual response. We are bonding the unique and intense pleasure of sexual feelings with whatever we are thinking of at that critical time. The sexual and spiritual implications of self-stimulation can therefore be expected to vary according to what one thinks of when sexually arousing oneself. There are many possibilities. Whilst sexually pleasuring or satisfying yourself you could focus your thoughts on:

    * A real person you are not married to

    * An imaginary person

    * Spiritual things

    * Neutral things

    * Your own body

    * (If you are married) your real marriage partner.

Let’s work our way through this range of possibilities, exploring the moral and sexual implications and see if any of the things we could focus our minds on seem to have the potential to be spiritually safe. We will then try other angles from which to view this subject, all the time looking for clues and trying to see possible flaws in my logic and seeking to find not human speculation but the heart of God.

Food for Thought

Although the Bible might say little directly about solo sex, the practice is commonly intertwined with sexual fantasies and/or pornography, and this is something Scripture has much to say about. Masturbation raises other moral challenges which we will tackle later, but let’s for a moment consider this one.

The Ten Commandments say we must not covet someone else’s wife (Exodus 20:17). Job said he had resolved never to look sexually at anyone other than his wife (Job 31:1). Jesus taught:

    Matthew 5:27 You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ (28) But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart

In other words, deliberately cultivating yearnings for anything that, if acted out, would be immoral, is as depraved as physically committing that act. For example, the thought might keep coming to you about relating sexually with someone you are not married to. Keep pushing that thought aside and your purity remains intact. To intentionally develop the thought for your sensual enjoyment, however, is no less sinful than acting out your fantasy.

To understand this moral principle, consider Jesus’ teaching that hate is as bad as murder. Suppose a person is trying his hardest to shoot someone dead. He takes careful aim but to his great disappointment he misses and the person escapes unharmed. Does that make him more righteous than if he were a better shot and the bullet killed the man? The consequences for the victim would be vastly different but in both scenarios the sinfulness of the offender would be identical. Let’s take this a step further. Suppose Phil and Sam hate Barry with equal venom. They both wish he were dead. If Phil could push a button, terminating Barry’s existence and be certain that no one would ever know who did it, he’d do it. The one thing keeping Phil from murder is that he is too scared about the possible personal consequences (public humiliation and imprisonment) if he were caught. But Sam is braver and so kills Barry. Should we regard Phil as more moral, simply because he is the bigger coward? Obviously, Barry would be exceedingly better off if both men were cowards. Morally, however, both haters are equally corrupt, since both wanted him dead.

If you deliberately savor the thought, you want the sin as much as an impulsive person who acts out your daydreams. For anyone mentally engaging in immorality, the spiritual consequences are therefore as serious to the offender as if he had committed the physical act, even though the consequences to the victim are much less.

When the Son of God declared that lusting after someone you are not married to is equivalent to adultery, we must not forget how grievous a sin he was pronouncing these thoughts to be. Under the Old Covenant, adultery carried the death penalty and the New Testament over and over says that unless genuinely repented of, adultery sentences one to hell (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8). (If an unmarried person lusts after another unmarried person, the sin is technically fornication, which is equally grave.)

Because “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked,” (Jeremiah 17:9) we are geniuses at finding loopholes that convince ourselves so utterly that we rarely realize we have not convinced the One who matters. Here’s a common attempt: “Although in reality we are not married, in my fantasy we are married, so my fantasy is pure.” I’ll respond with one simple question: Would you be impressed if I said, sex outside marriage is wrong, unless while you are doing it you pretend you are married?

Mental immorality is serious, but combining it with masturbation is like throwing gasoline on a smoldering fire. To masturbate while ogling at erotic images, or while fantasizing about someone – real or imaginary – that you are not married to, is to deliberately inflame sexual feelings towards, and derive sexual pleasure from, a person you have no right to have sex with.

Even without self-stimulation, it is sinful, but pairing it with masturbation greatly magnifies the pleasure one derives from this sin, making the sin frighteningly more addictive. Moreover, sexual pleasure is divinely designed to bond you with a person. This is so powerfully the case that the Bible says that in God’s sight even sex with a prostitute makes a person one flesh with that prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:16). That’s a most astounding revelation. Most of us would have thought that only marriage could have such a profound effect and yet the Word of God applies the truth of two becoming one to the most casual of sexual encounters. Since solo-sex intensifies the sexual pleasure associated with mental adultery, the act deepens the sinful bond with that person.

* * *

Sex with Demons?

(This part of the webpage in Romanian)

An intelligent, talented and dedicated Christian woman involved in full time Christian work responded to my webpages and we began e-mailing each other. She had never married and we grew quite close. After a while she confided that in the past she used to masturbate whilst imagining doing romantic or sexual things with a real or imaginary man. Presumably for reasons similar to those I have outlined above, she gradually began to feel uneasy about this type of fantasy. Rather than give up her self-indulgence, however, she decided to masturbate in a more “Christian” way. Instead of fantasizing about a normal man, she aroused herself while visualizing Christ, thus developing sexual cravings for the Son of God and even fantasizing about having sex with him.

Horrified, that she was mentally fornicating with the Holy One, I tried desperately to get my dear friend to see the gravity of her sin. Tragically, her conscience had become so jaded that, though I tried desperately on many occasions, nothing I could say was able to convince her that she should stop defiling the Son of God in her mind.

There are fearful dangers for those who want to hold on both to their sin and their Lord.

Not wishing to distort any of the following accounts, I point out that in at least some of them, masturbation was not involved. Their value to our spiritual examination of solo sex is in suggesting that deceptive spirits can exploit sexual feelings. After citing a few examples, we will attempt to see if there are any implications for those who seek to combine masturbation with spiritual fantasies.

A woman I counseled confided the following:

    Demons would stand next to my bed. One looked like Christ in a white robe and I felt safe. It then got in bed with me and I felt it holding me. I felt safe. Then it put its hand where it shouldn’t, and I knew it wasn’t God. It turned black.

Another woman, a committed Christian, told of sexual visions of “Jesus.” For both of these women, solitary sex played a role, but their vulnerability to temptation was such that I did not probe to satisfy my curiosity as to how strong was the connection between solitary sex and their evil spiritual experience.

In an e-mail yet another woman wrote of demonic attacks she has suffered:

    It has paralyzed me, nearly suffocated me, and, worse, has raped me. I have never ever told anyone this, but I feel that out there, there are those who understand and I thank God for them.

Roxanne, a Christian of just a few months, had renounced her former Mormonism except for what Mormons call the “witness of the holy ghost” or “bosom burning.” This is a feeling that Mormons emphasize as confirmation of God’s approval and leading. Having been brought up as a Mormon, Roxanne had unquestioningly accepted this as being of God, although she puzzled as to why Mormons experience it as confirmation that the heretical Book of Mormon is of God. One day, Roxanne privately sought this experience to confirm God’s guidance. She shared the following with me:

    The spirit came: the bosom-burning, loving, beautiful feeling, beyond any explanation. Pure love.

    After I praised and welcomed it, this very real person/spirit purposely and forcefully sexually aroused me, followed by unearthly sexual pleasure. The sexual stimulation continued for hours.

    It repeatedly claimed to be God, seeking my love and worship and praise. It would grow warmer and stronger when I praised it. While it was inside me it felt like the deepest love, affection and comfort that I’d ever felt.

    For four days I bounced between praising it and demanding it leave in Jesus’ name. Although it was very convincing that it had to be God, it blurred my eyesight when I tried to read my Bible and as I persisted with reading it kept giving sexual connotations to innocent things in the Bible. At one point, when it was moving through me sexually in an almost tangible way, I glanced in the mirror and the evil I saw in my eyes was bone chilling.

    Based mainly on how it affected my Bible reading and what I’d seen in the mirror I made a clear decision to reject it. When I finally decided to do this and focus my thoughts solely on Jesus, it left in a dramatic way, causing me to cough violently. As it left, I felt light (it had made me feel slow and heavy) and scriptural knowledge was poured into me quickly. I heard spoken into my spirit the words, “Of course that was not me, but the God of the Book of Mormon, who you asked for. It is gone and has no legal right to return to you. I am with you. Do not seek signs or feelings because they are deceiving. My love for you is confirmed in the Scriptures and my Word is sufficient. Testify of this devil to the Mormons that you know.”

    I know my experience will puzzle many Christians, but it happened. My Lord never abandoned me. I had invited this deceptive angel of light. In fact, I had to welcome it constantly or it would stop; clearly still with me but not able to force anything on me.

    God, in his glory, allowed this awful, experience to show me the true nature of Mormonism. Without it, I would never have believed that the church I had felt safe in for all my childhood, filled with people who love me, praised God and taught about moral, kind, selfless, charitable, conservative living, could be of the devil.

A few weeks later Roxanne told her parents of her experience, hoping it would help them understand why she was no longer a Mormon. Afterwards she went to her bedroom and again encountered this spirit, but this time the spirit:

    felt so completely dark and evil, the total opposite of how it felt when it was inside of me. It sent me such a strong message that it was extremely angry with me. This was frightening but at the same time gave me hope that my parents would awaken spiritually, because obviously sharing my testimony was a threat to the devil.

The person who sins, pointed out Jesus, is a slave of sin. Evil is a drug that creates addicts by offering a degree of pleasure. In general, every form of evil offers its own unique pleasure and every time one repeats the evil, the bondage intensifies. Even if the pleasure is experienced just once and then fully repented of, a person is typically plagued for the rest of his or her life with the occasional craving for that feeling. We end up like the Israelites in Moses’ time. God had delivered them from slavery yet for the rest of their lives they occasionally found themselves craving for the pleasures of Egypt, even though they knew it meant slavery. This is a powerful practical reason for shunning all experimentation with anything that could turn out to be evil. Even when genuinely repented of, dabbling with evil, whether it is sexual sin, heroin or whatever, usually leaves its victims with cravings and a new source of temptation that hounds them for the rest of their lives. Roxanne says:

    To be honest, even clinging to my Lord with all my might after it was gone, and despite being so spooked over the realization that this beast was pure evil, I had to struggle against the desire to invite it back.

As is the risk of all sexual experimentation, Roxanne confesses:

    I pray that the memory of the pleasure will fade because I find myself praying that my husband will be able to do what it did and I know it’s unfair to compare. Unfortunately I have a strong memory of this aspect.

A friend of mine was born into a cult. “Jesus” would regularly appear to them. He had an innocent face, a white robe – and ready for sex. He regularly raped female cult members.

Another friend of mine had suffered the horror of being present while a woman she knew was being painfully raped by someone neither of them could see.

For me to have heard so many accounts first hand, despite my very limited experience, indicates that deceptive spirits associating themselves with sexual experiences must be disturbingly common. This suggests that deliberately combining sexual feelings with spiritual fantasy might not be the safe option one might otherwise suppose. Could this practice attract unwanted attention from the dark side of the spirit world? I am not into scare tactics. We must, however, be at least alert to the possibility of this leading to spiritual deception.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines two disturbing words:

    Incubus: an evil spirit that lies on persons in their sleep; especially one that has sexual intercourse with women while they are sleeping

    Succubus: a demon assuming female form to have sexual intercourse with men in their sleep

It would seem that anyone seeking sexual excitement when no human is present must be on guard about opening oneself up to demons. I am not saying that auto-eroticism will inevitably lead to demonic activity, nor that those suffering demonic sexual experiences have necessarily engaged in self-stimulation, but if one lets one’s sexual fantasies stray to the spiritual, an opening to the demonic might possibly be created. Christians so desperate for sexual gratification that they are unwilling to wait for a human partner, might decide to seek God’s help in sexually stimulating themselves. If so, the “god” who responds might not be the God they want.

A married man wrote to me, greatly disturbed because he had reluctantly concluded that he had been a victim of sexual demons. For years he had been sure it was spiritual. For him the only question was the nature of that spirit.

It had all started when he was single and craving sex. He said two very strong, widely-admired Christians from a respected church had told him that God wants to have sex with us. I do not know if this was what they meant or if he was hearing what he wanted to hear.

This dear man was flabbergasted that he could have ended up in the mess that he now believed he was in, since he had earlier sincerely believed the spirit giving him sexual sensations was the Lord lovingly meeting his needs. “I desired sex so bad,” he wrote, “and how many times have we heard that God can satisfy every need? Well is it every need or not? Is it God or is it another who will satisfy it?”

I replied:

    Will God satisfy the “need” of an addict for heroin? Will he satisfy the “need” of a hate-filled person for revenge? Will he satisfy a rapist’s “need” for a victim? When Jesus was hungry in the wildness, it was Satan who offered a way to satisfy his need.

    In stark contrast to a God who meets our every lust and craving, we have a God who repeatedly told us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow our crucified Lord. We have a God who says:

        Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

        Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

        Galatians 5:16-17 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit,

        Ephesians 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

        2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts

        2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth

    And on and on we could go.

In bewilderment, he replied that until they turned into anal sexual sensations he had accepted these sexual sensations as being from God because they would come to him while speaking in tongues or reading the Bible or when he could feel the Lord’s presence. He had assumed that these things would have protected him from evil.

When our desire for selfish pleasure exceeds our willingness to deny ourselves for the glory of Christ, we are spiritually in grave danger. If we passionately yearn both for illegitimate pleasure and a clean conscience, our wish can come true. We can reach the point of sinning with a clean conscience. And it’s the scariest thing in the universe. It’s called delusion. We all know that our spiritual enemy is the Deceiver who masquerades as an angel of light.

It is most rare for God to lead anyone to research – even academically – incubus and succubus spirits. And anyone daring to attempt such research without the Lord’s specific leading is foolish. Nevertheless, a young man clearly felt such a leading from God. Since he would prefer to remain nameless, I’ll call him Tim.

To his horror, Tim read of occultists citing not weird rituals, unusual practices, or calling upon demons, as the key to encountering sexual spirits, but simply the use of masturbation coupled with fantasizing about the partner of one’s choice. The expectation was that a spirit would appear in dreams or whatever, not as a hideous creature, but in the form of the imagined person. What alarmed Tim was the realization that although attracting demons was the furthest from his mind, the prescribed occult practice for enticing sexual spirits was essentially identical to what he – along with vast numbers of other masturbators who have no occult interest – had done. He had broken that habit years ago but although he was no longer indulging in this practice, the fact remained that he had engaged in it in the past.

Before proceeding, I had better insert a quick note about wet dreams, lest someone reading this become unnecessarily concerned. There is no question that nocturnal emissions can be perfectly natural and harmless. This does not mean, however, that they must be associated with lust-filled dreams. Dreams are largely beyond our control, but they tend to reflect what we think about, and expose ourselves to, in our waking hours. If we do what we can to curb our conscious thoughts and commit our sleeps to the Lord, we can expect unwanted dreams to decline.

Despite never having experienced any obvious manifestations of sexual demons, Tim wondered whether there might be a link between demonic activity and his wet dreams. He chose to renounce as sin his past sexual fantasies and masturbation, acknowledged that it could have opened him up to demonic interference, and exercised the authority over demonic activity that Jesus has bestowed upon all believers. The result was a dramatic change in his dreams. First, he suffered a full-on attack in which he had lurid sexual dreams like nothing he had ever experienced. After a week of intense spiritual warfare, however, the power broke and the dreams completely vanished. In short, there has been a pronounced change in the sexual activity he is subjected to in the time all of us are most vulnerable to attack – when asleep. (For details, see How one Christian found relief.)

Scare tactics are not on my agenda. I simply suggest you check with the Lord about Tim’s experience to see if it could have any relevance to you. Our Lord, not the claims of occultists, nor someone’s personal experience, is our highest spiritual authority. We need to keep looking to the Lord for spiritual discernment, however. Unclean spirits are usually too devious to appear with horns and tails.

Masturbation: A Threat To One’s Marriage?

What if God lovingly entrusted you with the precious gift of sex, intending for it to draw you closer to your marriage partner, and you kept distorting God’s delicate gift until it became something that has the very opposite effect, making you feel like withdrawing from your partner and squandering your sexual powers on yourself?

Auto-eroticism carries the grave danger of producing cravings for types of sexual stimulation that no marriage partner could ever give. Self stimulation – even the mere memory of it – thus has the potential to weaken the marriage bond, undermining (would it be accurate to say perverting?) the very reason why God gave us sexual pleasure.

Just as nicotine patches can at best lower, but not stop, a smoker’s craving for cigarettes, so having the best lover in the world, is unlikely to stop a masturbator from sometimes craving sensations that only masturbation can create. What human, for example, could produce in a partner the exact sensations of a vibrator? And even if it were possible for a partner to mimic the sensations a masturbator experiences, that type of sex is most unlikely to be anywhere nearly as pleasurable for the giver as for the receiver. Not only will this make it less of a shared experience, the giver will find it impossible to be as motivated as a masturbator would be to continue this type of sex for sessions as long and as frequent as the masturbator has come to expect. And no partner can receive the constant, instant feedback available to the masturbator in order to know the exact moment-by-moment adjustments needed to maximize the receiver’s pleasure. So, for several practical reasons, a masturbator will probably develop a taste for, or even an addiction to, feelings no partner can reproduce.

“I had no other choice but to learn how to put my sex drive to sleep or I’d be in sin,” lamented a wife who e-mailed me. Tragically, it turned out that her dilemma had nothing to do with her husband’s low sex drive. She discovered that he had been addicted to pornography and masturbation for all nineteen years of their marriage. Can you understand why she was unimpressed by her husband’s proud boast of never having had an affair? Cold comfort indeed. No matter how extreme this degree of marital neglect might be, it dramatically highlights how inadequate marriage to a willing sexual partner can be in breaking an addiction to masturbation.

A menopausal woman contacted me, so alarmed over the impact of having innocently used a vibrator just a couple of times that she is keen to share her experience with you. Lulled into thinking she was engaging in a medical treatment, the “medical” advice had her needlessly resorting to repeated mechanical sexual stimulation instead of applying a harmless lubricant, as commonly used before intercourse by vast numbers of women. She writes:

    I never in a million years thought that using a vibrator would escalate me into a world of addictive behavior. It was just one week ago that I read an article about menopause. It promoted the idea that using a vibrator to keep yourself well lubricated would help avoid dryness and itchiness.

    It rocketed me into a cycle of morning and evening masturbation behind my husband’s back. I felt terrible, guilty, and ashamed but at the same time I couldn’t stop thinking of new sex toys I was planning to buy. It was ridiculous. My entire day was filled with constant craving for mechanical stimulation without the warmth and love of the man God has given me.

    Needless to say it was only one week ago and I have since closed the book on this practice. Thankfully, I stopped before it enslaved me. One week of that self-indulgence was enough. I believe I had opened a door to self-destruction that could have ruined my life. Thank God he warned me early and I was smart enough to listen to him. I am writing an article for some magazines to help warn other woman who are as innocent as I was in believing that such a technique could be helpful during menopause. All it did was cause me an additional problem.

    I know it will be difficult to ignore the craving that I am sure will pop into my head at the most unexpected times, but I will continue to pray and with God’s help I can put this behind me. He has always been there for me for all the other challenges in my life. I am so glad that I only engaged in this activity for one week and not for months or years. I think God told me before it got out of hand and I heeded his gentle warnings. He is my strength and I couldn’t go on without him.

    Thanks for sharing your web site with others because I am sure there are a lot more woman like me that will need to reach out to someone for information or support.

This woman’s experience raises even more concerns for average people when you consider that her near-addiction had nothing to do with sexual deprivation. She is happily married and enjoys what she calls a “great” sexual relationship with her husband.

Emotionally, solitary sex will end in a haunting emptiness that will hound its victim like a nagging fear. Nevertheless, sex with oneself is likely to produce raw sexual feelings more intense than sex with anyone else. Moreover, masturbation and mental or visual adultery feed off each other, such that combining masturbation with either fantasy or pornography multiplies the pleasure many times over. Adding to this is the fact that reality rarely matches fantasy, nor equals the never-aging, airbrushed fakes of flesh magazines or computer images. In terms of sheer animal pleasure, the mix of masturbation with unreality therefore intensifies the likelihood of producing a greater sexual high than intimacy with a real person, no matter how skilled and attractive that person is. This could foul one’s marriage (or future marriage if one is single) so deeply that it could prove even more disastrous than the damage caused by physical adultery. I wonder how many marriages are haunted by the ghost of solo-sex. How many people are forced to compete in bed with the elusive highs of their partners’ previous love affair with a vibrator?

Many marrieds consider themselves heterosexual and yet for sheer sensual enjoyment prefer solo-sex over heterosexual relations. Still others are, as it were, bisexual in their preferences – divided in their loyalty to heterosexual relations and to sex with themselves or with a machine. And although they are tempted to blame their partners for their divided loyalties, the biggest cause is usually premarital sex with themselves.

Even if you were to end up fortunate enough to prefer your partner over masturbation as your main source of sexual pleasure, and even if you never used a vibrator, masturbation is still likely to produce sensations that your partner cannot exactly duplicate, and so relating to your partner cannot be expected to satisfy some of the desires your past indulgence has cultivated. It’s like eating meat for years and then changing to eating nothing but fish. Even if you enjoy fish and it can always satisfy your hunger, the availability of fish does not mean you will never again crave meat, once you have developed a taste for it.

Especially when it gets a grip on us, any high – be it chemical or sexual – affects us so profoundly that even decades after breaking the habit, a person is likely to suffer the occasional flash of craving for their former source of pleasure.

The tragedy is that if you have masturbated, you have not just had previous sexual experience, you have been sexually spoilt. You have been sexually pleasured – probably more times than you can count – by the one person who for each split second knows exactly how and where you most want to be stimulated. Since each moment is unique, and no one on this planet has access to the precise, instant feedback that you have when you masturbate, no one outside your brain can have this degree of skill in maximizing your pleasure. So when you marry, you do so with the memory of having received sexual pleasure from someone who, at least in some highly significant respects, your partner can never equal. And since that person who gave you such exquisite sexual pleasure is yourself, your partner has to contend with something far worse than if you had once had a uniquely skilled lover. After you marry, your partner would not let you sleep in the same bed with your former lover every night. When, however, you yourself are the person you are tempted to turn to for sexual thrills, your partner has no choice but let you sleep with his/her sexual rival. Twenty four hours a day, you are with the rival to your partner’s sexual advances, and at almost any instant that you have the urge to do so, you can be alone with yourself – alone with the person who once gave you unique sexual pleasure. No other threat to your partner’s claim to exclusive sexual rights to your body is nearly as physically close to you as often, especially when no one else is around. This is not only more than you would be with a potential adulterer, the opportunities for sexual intimacy are far greater than with your own partner. And what makes the temptation even more alarming is that if you are like most masturbators, you have already surrendered to your own seductive wiles countless times before.

Masturbation can grow into an addiction that is devastatingly difficult to break. Many singles commence their slippery slide under the delusion that at the sight of a marriage license their ingrained habit will magically vanish in a puff of smoke. That’s like taking hard drugs to dull the pain of being single, expecting that when you find someone special the drug addiction you have cultivated will miraculously disappear. Even though being in love has medically proven drug-like qualities, it will not eliminate a habitual craving for illicit drugs fostered by years of indulgence. Likewise, even though marital relations has certain similarities to masturbation, many people have discovered to their despair that not even having a superb sexual partner can remove their compulsion to engage in solitary sex. They frequently end up either distressing their marriage partner by their behavior becoming known, or tormenting themselves by treating their habit as a dirty secret to be kept from the person they were meant to be transparently open and intimate with.

People react somewhat unpredictably to the discovery that their partners cannot stop masturbating. Some couples tolerate adulterous sex and, presumably, even more people tolerate the knowledge that their partners do not regard them as their sole source of sexual satisfaction but regularly withdraw from marital love into a world of solo sex. Others feel cheated out of some of the passion that they have always believed should be directed exclusively to one’s marriage partner. Still others feel devastatingly inadequate to know that their most determined efforts at marital relations are insufficient to satisfy the longings that masturbation has chiseled into their partner’s soul. One woman told me, ‘A wife finding her husband with another woman is easier to accept – after all the other woman may be younger or prettier. But for a man to prefer sex with himself than with his wife really twists the knife of rejection in her back.’ A man wanted marital relations, but his busy wife delayed a few minutes. When she entered the bedroom she found him masturbating on a sheet of newspaper. She felt shattered to think she could be replaced by yesterday’s newspaper. Decades later the memory is still etched into her mind.

I have helped married women break their own addiction to solo sex, but they found the habit so painfully difficult to break that for years they had thought it impossible to be free. Now that she is free, one woman is thrilled for me to tell her story. For decades she had kept her habit as a guilty secret from her husband, despite having great sex with him and having one of the best possible marriages. The bondage was so great that breaking the habit was one of the most liberating experiences of her life. However, upon gaining her freedom she saw her past indulges in an entirely different light, even though she had been a Christian for decades before this. She wrote to me:

    The longer I remain in the light, the more clearly I see the darkness I was in all these years. It is breaking my heart. I’ve wasted it so and I can never get those years back. I have cheated my husband and worse yet my God. I’ve thrown away virtually my entire life on this horrid selfish habit.

How accurate her perceptions are, I’ll let you decide. She nevertheless had pleaded with me to tell others so that they might be spared what she has suffered.

Another woman wrote to me unconcerned about her own masturbation but greatly offended by her husband looking at porn. She felt it meant he preferred other woman over her. This so deeply affected her, she confided, that she could no longer achieve orgasm, even when she had solo sex.

When helping people with marital difficulties I try to assist them to see things from their partner’s perspective and also to see their own contribution to the problem. So I said, ‘I don’t defend your husband’s actions but doesn’t he have as much right to feel rejected by you as you feel rejected by him? Hasn’t he every right to worry that you prefer another woman (yourself) to him?’

‘He doesn’t even know I masturbate,’ she replied.

‘At least he’s being open with you and not doing things behind your back,’ I said.

‘But he was!’ She replied, ‘I found out about it because he was sneaking out of our bed about Two or Three in the morning. It felt like a betrayal to me.’

Then it hit her. This dear woman, who had been addicted to masturbation from the age of three, suddenly saw herself as just as guilty of betrayal and sexual unfaithfulness as the man she was sorely tempted to despise. Having seen her hypocrisy she is now breaking free of her addiction and is keen for me to share her story.

A while later she again wrote, saying:

    I must tell you, that although I am still tempted [to engage in it], (and probably will be for the rest of my life) giving up solo sex was the best thing for my marriage. I thought I was supplementing [what my husband gave me] (because I have a high sex drive and he has a low one), but what I was doing was robbing my marriage of the special gift God gives to married couples.

She said when she has marital relations it is “so much more intense for me” than before giving up solitary sex. Abandoning solitary sex also coincided with improving her communication with her husband, however, so it is a little difficult to separate the role of each in her enhanced sex life.

Another woman – we’ll call her Debbie – has kindly agreed to share her story. Debbie was furious when she discovered that her husband had been unfaithful to her. She was determined not only to divorce him but to make him pay for his adultery.

Since childhood, Debbie had been addicted to masturbation. She went from doing it several times a day during her teens to breaking the addiction cycle many times but, often after months of victory, she would return to it. She even sometimes viewed porn on the computer while masturbating.

Despite the wishful thinking of many singles, marriage did not miraculously end her addiction. She writes:

    Several years into marriage I heard the little voice that said, “There is something wrong with masturbation. There is a price. Now you can’t easily be pleased by your husband, who wants so badly to please you. You have programmed yourself to be able only to respond to your own stimulation.” I tried to ignore that voice of truth and to convince myself that my behavior was harmless.

It was not until she was staring divorce in the face that things become clear. She writes:

    Now I shamefully know that the little voice was 100% true. My choices did affect my marriage and our sexual intimacy. I feel like I stole something precious and God-given from our marriage and now I will never know what it could have been.

She even wondered how much her habitual solo sex had detracted from their marital relations and so contributed to her husband seeking sex elsewhere.

After discovering her husband’s adultery, Debbie had felt even more pressure to comfort herself through masturbation. Driven to deaden her pain by maximizing her fleeting pleasure, she slipped into intensifying her orgasm by generating images of her husband having sex with the other woman. Just like her unfaithful husband, she was getting sexual pleasure out of his adultery! But for weeks she was too focused on herself to see it in that light.

Upon at last realizing the extent of her hypocrisy, this dear woman was horrified and deeply repented. When craving one’s own pleasure or comfort, rather than the Lord’s honor and one’s marriage partner’s fulfillment, fantasies can take unexpected twists, with us hardly realizing what a slippery slope we are on. Debbie had fallen into just one of the countless scary possibilities. Never would she have guessed that her self-pleasuring would have corrupted her to the point of finding her sexual thrills in her husband cheating on her. As many people have discovered to their horror, sex is so powerful (divinely designed to glue two people together for life) that the consequences of misusing it can be frighteningly different to our intentions. If we resort to masturbation as some form of self-medication to comfort ourselves, the distressing event we are seeking comfort from will typically come to mind while we are pleasuring ourselves. As a result, sexual ecstasy ends up dangerously intertwined with a distressing event, thus perverting our sexuality.

If masturbation is harmless, so is playing with nuclear bombs.

The heart of much humbler Debbie turned from self-righteous fury to compassion for her husband. Suddenly her eyes opened to see in him a fellow sinner who, like her, needs the freedom of repentance and forgiveness found only in Jesus.

    The Lord has shined a light in an area of my life that needed cleansing and I have felt such freedom and joy ever since the Holy Spirit convicted me and gently exposed me to the full truth of the matter and moved me to repentance.

Even if you think of yourself as a virgin when you marry, the fact remains that if you have masturbated, your marriage partner will not be the only person with whom you have experienced sexual pleasure. Although there might be certain unique things about masturbation, anything a partner might do to you that has similarities to what you have done to yourself has already been tainted. It is as if it can never be something unique between you and your marriage partner because someone else has already done it to you. You will never be able to change this sad fact. The most you could do is decide to never again masturbate. That way the memory, though indelible, will in time not be so fresh in your mind, and the temptation to keep turning to someone other than your partner – yourself – will slowly begin to fade. The less you have masturbated and the longer ago it was, the less a threat it will be to sexual exclusivity in marriage.

* * *

We know that psychological research confirms that whatever one thinks about or looks at when experiencing intense sexual feelings, will powerfully program one’s sexual response. For an extreme example, consider this e-mail sent to a counselor and published on the web:

    I am a Christian girl currently in my late teens and I hope that you will be able to help as I’m really desperate. I’ve been masturbating since I was a child (I’m not even sure how it began) and while knowing that it is wrong and a sin against God, I’m so hooked to this habit, that I’m unable to stop doing it. It is so bad that my fantasies always go in the direction of being abused.

    (Emphasis mine.)

Do you think if this continues she is headed for a beautifully fulfilling marriage? She will most likely sub-consciously seek out an abuser as a husband – someone who will end up tormenting her and probably corrupting their children. Or if she found herself married to a wonderful man who longed to treat her with tender, loving respect, the discrepancy between him and the fantasies with which she had previously climaxed would probably leave her feeling sexually unfulfilled.

Or consider someone who regularly masturbates in front of a mirror. Could this habit have the potential to make same sex genitals such a turn on that homosexuality becomes a temptation? A young woman discovered she could masturbate by thrusting. While doing so, she regularly found herself imagining she was a man having intercourse. Should that become an ingrained habit, I would worry about the long-term impact on her sexual identity.

The millions who masturbate using flesh magazines or computer images are ruining their sexual response; creating a need for an endless array of computer-enhanced, ever-youthful “beauties.” Their illicit thrill-seeking is foolishly diminishing their ability to enjoy a real woman. They are sentencing themselves to finding sex with just one life-partner unsatisfying; training themselves to be sexually unfaithful.

In addition to such serious considerations, I must warn the sexually frustrated that although Do-It-Yourself sex gives the illusion of providing sexual relief, it actually inflames sexual desires. It is like a drug that keeps driving its victims to desperately seek yet another high to offset the unnatural downer that follows the artificial high. Although external pressures might cause people to wrongly imagine that illicit drugs provide relief, addicts soon find themselves in the predicament where their craving for drugs is caused not merely by the pressures but by the drugs themselves. Likewise, sexual pressures might influence people to hope that solitary sex brings relief but soon they find themselves spiraling around a whirlpool in which their cravings for masturbation are caused by masturbation itself. It is actually easier to control one’s natural sex drive than it is control one’s addiction to masturbation.

For someone craving sex to resort to solitary sex is like a starving man enjoying the aroma of food that he cannot eat. The smell might be pleasurable, but ultimately it only increases the starving person’s torment.

Long-term addicts are unlikely to realize that the gnawing ache and burning desire they imagine masturbation eases, are actually worsened by the supposed cure. Despite illusions to the contrary, solo-sex ends up intensifying the single person’s frustration.

A 21 year old man, whose age places him at the very peak of his sex drive, has recently told me how his sexual cravings have dramatically lowered, making celibacy far more tolerable. He has excitedly mentioned it several times over a few weeks, indicating that he has truly calmed his raging libido, until needed in marriage. His secret was to avoid sexual stimulation by shunning films, television, fantasies, and of course, masturbation. He tried this after reading of my own similar success when I was his age.

To make sense of a third story, I must give a little background. Tragically, there are literally millions more male victims of child molestation than is popularly thought and the vast majority suffer in pain-wracked, or deeply disturbed, silence. One such man wrote to me saying he had been “deeply touched” by my insights into the dynamics of sexual abuse and went on to tell his story.

He had been introduced to sexual pleasure by his baby sitter. (Another popular myth is that there are few female molesters.) He wrote:

    Like the glory of God that shines into the deepest darkness of our souls and depravity, one day my little brother caught us in the closet. He had the sense to tell my mom. My parents quickly put an end to the girl being around me. I remember very little else, other than being told it was dirty and not to let her or others take advantage of me like that. Nevertheless, the damage had been done and my life would forever be changed. Shortly after the incidents I started masturbating. My newfound pleasure consumed me and I would recall in vivid detail my abuse over and over again, all the time hating myself for it and despising what had happened, yet my flesh held onto it. The struggle with masturbation has lessened now that I’m in my [early] 20s, but it was a fierce battle through much of my life.  . . . My life will always be scarred by my past.

Drawing upon his long experience of wrestling with this, he wrote:

    [There is] no question [that] the less I gave in [to masturbation], the less the desire grew within me – contrary to the many opinions online, both Christian and secular.

I replied, “The great lie of all temptation is that there will be some benefit in giving in. There never is.”

Finding concrete benefits in quitting masturbation was a startling discovery for this young man. His long journey to this point began with searching the Internet for Christian sites that would affirm that masturbation is acceptable.

I sought his permission to share his experience and this led to us partnering the crafting of a webpage for the vast number of men trying to come to terms with having been sexually interfered with when young. A link appears at the end of this web series.

The Lord commands us to flee youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22), which is quite the opposite of pandering our sexual yearnings and inflaming them by self-pleasuring. People suffering from sexual frustration are unlikely to enjoy anything close to the full benefits of a subdued libido until several months after quitting sexual self-gratification.

* * *

Spiritual implications

Jesus said: Deny yourself; “hate” yourself relative to your love for God.

Paul said: Crucify the flesh; be lovers of God, not lovers of pleasure; the single woman who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives; don’t let anything enslave you; I beat my body and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified; no one should seek his own good, but the good of others; learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like those who do not know God; whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

John said: We should lay down our lives for our brothers.

Peter said: Since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.

(Scriptures)

Is sexual self-indulgence likely to engender such an attitude to life? One might expect any ingrained habit of self-gratification – be it sexual or otherwise – would most likely produce a mindset of self-indulgence that spills over to other areas of life. It hardly seems conducive to developing the self-sacrificing, Christlike frame of mind that the Bible portrays as characterizing the normal Christian life.

Could playing with yourself make you blind? Blind to the immorality of lust? Blind, perhaps, to the fact that the world does not revolve around ourselves? Blind to the centrality in the message of Jesus that we must deny ourselves and die to self?

Could Do-It-Yourself sex be an attempt to convince ourselves we are moral, when deep down we are angrily telling God, “If you won’t give me a legitimate way to have sex, I’ll have my fill anyhow”? Is our dirty secret not merely that we masturbate but that we are in rebellion against God?

Should we make pleasure our god, we’ll end up enslaved to an endless craving that torments and humiliates us. Make purity your goal, however, and you’ll rejoice forevermore. Keep striving for pleasure and you’ll shrivel up inside; seek purity and you’ll thrive. Pursue pleasure and you’ll crash; pursue purity and you’ll soar.

* * *

Back to Basics

There is a divine order – a way that God says things must be done, even though alternatives have a strong appeal to humans. For example, entering God’s presence through Christ’s righteousness touches God’s heart so deeply that he pours out supernatural blessings of indescribable dimensions. On the other hand, trying to enter God’s presence through self-righteousness is repulsive to God.

Scripture is clear that there is also a divine order for sex. Our challenge is to discover how masturbation fits into this. If it isn’t part of the divine order, Do-It-Yourself sex must be as repugnant to God as self-made religion. In our desperation to find an answer, it is tempting to try to draw conclusions from basic principles. What follows is so powerfully presented that at first reading it might seem irrefutable. Nevertheless, this line of argument has a weakness and dangers, which will be exposed later in this web series. So, without taking it too seriously, let’s see where this approach leads. We’ll then discuss why I say that the main difference between human logic and sheer guesswork is that the former generates more pride.

Consider these glimpses into the past.

    * A Swiss physician named Tissot published in 1758 a treatise proclaiming masturbation to be the principal cause of mental illness. Up until the Twentieth Century, his views were a standard reference in most medical textbooks.

    * Driven by the theory that a particular diet lowered the urge to masturbate, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg created cornflakes in 1884.

    * Between 1856 and 1919 the U.S. Patent Office granted fourteen patents on crude, usually brutal, devices to prevent boys from masturbating.

    (Source)

Given the similarity between a climax resulting from sex with oneself and one resulting from sex with a partner, it is hard to imagine how solo-sex could ever be thought to present grave health risks. And yet in the Western World until relatively recently, this very belief was widely held, even among intelligent people. It would seem a safe guess that people leapt to the presumption that masturbation must be dangerous because although they knew the act has a strong natural attraction, there was something about it that made them feel decidedly uneasy. Did this feeling arise from misconceptions, or from the Spirit of God?

Is it mere coincidence that the era that has veered from the views of previous generations by regarding auto-eroticism as morally neutral is the same one in which its psychologists and intellectuals think of humans as little more than machines and the product of chance? Is masturbation regarded as harmless because of “experts” who have removed God from their thinking? Could it be that the new attitude to Do-It-Yourself sex is brought to you by the same people who favor Do-It-Yourself abortion kits and Do-It-Yourself euthanasia? Are Christians foolishly looking for guidance about masturbation from these “experts,” supposing their assertions are based on careful research, when the views touted by these “experts” and impinging on our minds from a thousand different sources are merely the product of godlessness?

According to Johann Christoph Arnold:

    The so-called lines typically drawn between pornography, masturbation, one-night stands, and prostitution are actually an illusion. All of them are means used to attain sexual satisfaction without the “burden” of commitment. All reduce the mystery of sex to a technique for satisfying lust. And all of them are shameful – the secrecy of those who indulge in them betrays that fact more clearly than anything else (Romans 13:12-13).

Masturbation, it would seem, is highly addictive for the simple reason that it is sexual, and sex is divinely designed to hurl a husband and wife into a life-long ‘addiction’ to each other. It is clear from Scripture that God created sex for having children and to superglue® a man and wife together. It is therefore enticing to conclude that any other use of sex is a perversion of God’s plans for sex.

One might also assume that sex was created for expressing marital love and that love focuses on giving, not self-indulgence. If so, to use sex solely to pleasure oneself would seem an abuse of God’s gift, like being regularly given money to save up to buy a special gift for someone but, instead, squandering the money on yourself. And what if it turns out we never have the chance to spend it on the right person? Then we are obligated to return it unspent to the one who entrusted it to us. If, however, that giver is our loving Lord, he will be so thrilled with our faithfulness that our reward will be astounding.

Singles who see no hope of ever marrying might ask, why would God give me the ability to enjoy sexual pleasure just to leave it lying dormant? This matter is explored in Singles: Celebrate your Sexuality. You’ll find a link to it at the end of this web series. By reading it, you’ll discover there is great value in having a sex drive, even if you never in your life experience sexual pleasure. Moreover, our sexual potential is like our reproductive potential. Are we to conclude that people should have children regardless of whether they are married, simply because God gave them that potential? Like the widow honored by Jesus for giving away all that she had, we can bless God by giving him all our potential for sexual pleasure. And since the Lord daily gives us our potential for sexual pleasure, singles have the privilege of daily giving him this precious offering.

We have seen that thinking about spiritual things whilst masturbating might be spiritually dangerous. And to masturbate – to deliberately arouse sexual feelings – whilst thinking about someone you are not married to, must drag the offender to the depths of sinful lust. However, other than marrieds thinking of their partners, there are just two other possibilities – masturbating whilst thinking sexually about oneself or whilst thinking about nothing in particular. And both options open yet another can of worms.

Wrote D. H. Lawrence:

    In masturbation there is nothing but loss. There is no reciprocity. There is merely the spending away of a certain force, and no return. The body remains, in a sense, a corpse, after the act of self-abuse. There is no change, only deadening. There is what we call dead loss. And this is not the case in any act of sexual intercourse between two people. (Source)

Although using porn and/or illicit fantasizing is clearly contrary to God’s holy ways, such immorality is at least conditioning one’s sexual response to regard sex as having some sort of focus on another person, even though it is perversely selfish. Certain other types of equally sinful fantasy also reinforce the fact that sex should be shared with, or directed towards, another human. One might therefore wonder whether to masturbate whilst focusing on only oneself or “thinking of England” is even more perverted – an even greater deviation from God’s intention for sexual pleasure – by distorting sexual pleasure into something that is entirely self-focused, or, like a highway leading nowhere, it is devoid of any focus. Are such masturbators cultivating a lust for their own flesh? Could sexually pleasuring yourself be as conceited as falling in love with yourself? If sex is divinely intended to focus on another person, then having sex with yourself must be as weird as praying to yourself.

Does reducing sexual relief to a mechanical act purge the act of sin or does it in some indefinable sense reduce us – people divinely created and redeemed – to machines?

Is it the ultimate in depravity to have sex with a washing machine, or a vacuum cleaner or a vibrator or a pillow or a mattress or your hand?

Since Scripture is emphatic that the most casual of sexual encounters makes you one with a person, and it is degrading to become sexually one with an animal, just how dehumanizing is it to have sex with a machine, or with an object? If 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 (see also 2 Corinthians 6:14-17) declares it is a spiritual perversion to take that which is Christ’s (your body) and make it one with a prostitute, what are the spiritual implications of making a part of Christ one with a sex machine?

If it is an abomination to relate sexually with an animal, what about with an animal’s skin or fur or wool? If it is perverted and degrading to have sex with a beast, what about sex with a plant, or a plant product, such as a cotton sheet?

How close to the mark is the Oxford Dictionary (1951) in defining masturbation as self abuse? We rightly view child sexual abuse as an horrific crime. What if solo-sex makes you the child of God who is abused, and in this crime you are not only the victim but the offender?

And how accurate is another old term: secret vice? And what about the more modern term, “solitary sex” or “solo-sex” – having sex with yourself? If sex with someone we are not married to is immoral, and sex with someone of the same gender is a perversion, and sex with an animal as an abomination, what about sex with oneself?

Just how inseparably linked should sex and marriage be? If we saw sex the way God does, would sexually exciting yourself be as unthinkable as marrying yourself?

Is masturbation not just sex outside of marriage, but sex outside of any relationship at all? Is this the ultimate in the cheapening of sex? Is it sex turned in on itself, like a starving person consuming his own flesh?

If it is deviant to submit to sexual stimulation from someone who is the same gender, is it an even greater deviation from the divine purpose of sex to receive sexual stimulation from someone who is not merely the same gender, but from someone who is the very same person?

Were sexual feelings divinely designed to be intricately connected with the height of human intimacy? If so, is it perverse to deliberately produce those feelings through a mindless, mechanical act, as far removed from human intimacy as one can possibly go?

Dumbfounded

Much of the above amazes me. It reads as if written by someone desperate to attack masturbation and yet I am quite unconscious of any such axe to grind. I certainly had no intention of writing this way when I began. Whether these disturbing questions came from God or my own mind, I cannot tell. All I know is that they formed unexpectedly while praying and meditating on the subject.

The issues raised are grave concerns, but they are essentially an attempt at human logic. I must explain why I place little faith in this approach to discerning how the Creator of sex views masturbation.

    The Limits of Logic

    It is hard to resist the powerfully persuasive logic that says God gave us sex for marital union and that, like prostitution or bestiality, solitary sex must therefore be a perversion of God’s gift. But is this God’s logic? I dare not steer my life while intoxicated by my supposed cleverness.

        Isaiah 55:9 As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    I have a deep distrust of human logic – be it the product of my intellect, or anyone else’s. Human attempts to fit together pieces of biblical revelation caused the greatest theologians and devout Jewish leaders to arrange the murder of their Messiah. Logic inspired Saul to conclude he was serving God by torturing Christians in the hope they would blaspheme the Son of God. We earlier mentioned that human logic might conclude that lust is morally harmless.

    The biggest limitation of human reasoning is that we have at our disposal only a tiny fraction of the facts. Our understanding of human sexuality and of God’s purposes renders human attempts to see things God’s way like trying to see the picture in a million piece jigsaw when we have only a dozen pieces. We saw in the previous webpage how, when railing against masturbation, a respected Bible commentator’s attempt at logic fell to the ground because it was founded on human medical knowledge, which, like most things human, time revealed to be inaccurate. Many of my own thoughts will fall if solitary sex does not program our sexual response to the extent that I believe it does, or if it turns out that God puts sexual self-stimulation in a totally different category to anything else to do with sex.

    To illustrate the limitations of human reasoning, let’s see the implications of applying it to an indisputable perversion: lesbianism. The Old Testament gets no closer to mentioning sexual relations between women than this:

        Leviticus 18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

    Everyone to whom the Old Covenant applied knew that when the Bible said anything about men, the statement often – but not always – applied with equal force to women. Who would be so stupid as to think that the Tenth Commandment – “you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” – means a woman is free to covet her neighbor’s husband? In many Old Testament contexts, “man” simply means human. This is obvious from the very beginning of the Bible:

        Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

    “Man” here applies with equal force to male and female.

    Nevertheless, the context sometimes indicates that the word is applied solely to males. So logic says, look at the context. And logic also says female sexuality and psychology are not entirely identical to that of males, and lesbianism involves different sexual acts to male homosexuality, so different rules might possibly apply. So let’s examine the context:

        Leviticus 18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. (23) Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

    Oh dear! In the very next verse, when referring to bestiality, it is deemed necessary to specifically mention women. Logic would suggest that the omission of reference to women when forbidding same gender sex must have been very deliberate. The obvious conclusion is that it was omitted because lesbianism is deemed by God to be morally neutral. Even though I could argue against this on the basis of the apparently random way Old Testament laws sometimes specifically mention women and sometimes not, it is hard to resist the force of the logic that says lesbianism must be allowed by God. In other words, human reasoning – even when applied to the very Word of God – could cause someone to wander so far off track that they end up condoning perversion.

    Christianity is not the product of human reasoning. It is the revelation of the most powerful Intellect in the universe – the God who made our brain cells. Christianity is not a vain attempt to use tiny human brains to guess the mind of Almighty God. True Christianity is about connecting to the God of the universe, the Designer of our bodies, the Creator of sex, and letting him reveal his ways, which are infinitely superior to our own, and letting him rule in our lives in the perfection of his love and wisdom.

    I do not want to be so arrogant as to shatter the divine silence in Scripture by sounding off as if my presumptions were the Word of the Holy One to the entire body of Christ. Instead, I urge all Christians who imagine they have divine approval to indulge in any form of auto-eroticism to get down on their knees and seek the face of God about this.

    At times, Scripture gives us examples to help us grasp a divine principle and leaves it to us to connect the dots. For an obvious example, consider Exodus 23:4:

        If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him.

    Scripture says nothing about an enemy’s horse or sheep or finding his stolen computer. What if his house is on fire? What if he is sick and he faces financial ruin unless you harvest his crop for him? God obviously expects us to use our brains and extrapolate general principles from Scripture’s specific examples. Anyone having the attitude of avoiding only those things Scripture specifically names as forbidden, does not have a heart for God. The Bible tells us to meditate upon Scripture and to discuss it with each other (Scriptures). Clearly, God expects us to think things through as we prayerfully pursue the mind of God.

    There could be a flaw in the logic that concludes that Do-It-Yourself sex is a perversion. If so, I’ve failed to find it. If, after examining the behaviors Scripture specifically names as sexual sins, I’ve somewhere slipped in my attempt to join the dots, I’m blind to my error.

    I can by no means trust my finite intellect. Nevertheless, everything God does is perfectly rational and consistent. I would therefore need to be particularly cautious about any “guidance” that seems contrary to rational thought. This is especially so when on one side looms the danger of sexual perversion and on the other is merely the possibility of missing a little pleasure (and even the possibility of pleasure is doubtful, since solo-sex seems to aggravate one’s frustration and the carrot of satisfaction it dangles before our eyes is largely an illusion). Add to this the fact that our natural tendency is to try to convince ourselves that self-indulgence is acceptable. Furthermore, if solo-sex is sin, the Evil One has a vested interest in deceiving us and he is not beyond giving supernatural “proof” to try to convince us that sin has divine approval. One would therefore need exceptionally clear guidance to go against rational thought and be certain that a decision in favor of Do-It-Yourself sex is not being influenced by our own cravings or by the cunning of the Enemy of our souls.

    Hearing from God on this matter can be very challenging. Permit me to share a personal experience to illustrate the difficulty. It shows me in a less than favorable light, but your well-being is more important than my reputation. The story takes several twists, so please don’t at some point presume you know where it is heading.

    * * *

    A Peculiar Experience

    I met a wonderful, highly committed, unmarried woman engaged in Christian ministry. The moment our friendship began, my apparently as-good-as-dead sex drive suddenly sprang to life. To my immense surprise, that beast of a libido that had fooled me into thinking it was dead had only been sleeping. Now, alarmingly, it seemed madder than ever at having been awoken and it was bearing its teeth threateningly. Every night my sex drive was on the prowl, making it difficult for me to get to sleep and when I finally did, I would wake again long before morning, so aroused as to challenge my self-control to the limits. I steadfastly refused to relieve myself. The torment was agonizing and the lack of sleep frustrating, but didn’t Jesus endure sheer agony to win our purity? Didn’t he declare that we must take up our own cross and follow him? Didn’t he say the easy way leads to destruction? Is there a way to become a champion without regularly pounding the pain barrier? Has anyone been hailed a hero by continually giving in? It is the person determined to endure the pain of resisting temptation who has finished with sin (compare 1 Peter 4:1). That is the one who is destined for glory.

    One night I awoke not only highly aroused but with the strong conviction that God wanted me to masturbate right then. I would have dismissed the feeling immediately had the issue been adultery or anything similarly contrary to an emphatic word of Scripture. The Perfect One never contradicts himself by going against what he has put in black and white in his unchanging Word. The Almighty has no qualms, however, in finding holes in my logic and contradicting my imperfect understanding of his written Word. Nevertheless, I recoiled at the thought of obeying this feeling. It would be physically messy and I had no desire to step off a cliff that could send me falling into a habit. But God owns me. The body I live in is his body. He has the right to dictate to me what to do and I am committed to obeying him. What if this isn’t God? I wondered. And yet the feeling that it really was from God was so strong that I knew I was grasping at straws, trying to worm out of what seemed the very real conviction of God. I’m so tired and aroused. How can I think sensibly? Why not wait until morning when I can check in the clear light of day my certainty that this really is God? I felt guilty about taking that option; horrified that by delaying I could be resisting the Spirit of God. Nevertheless, I decided not to masturbate and to check it out with God later, when I would be more able to think clearly. I awoke the next morning, deeply disturbed by the feeling that by resisting that leading I might have let down the One who means everything to me.

    I immediately phoned my friend, and explained my quandary. Under normal circumstances I trusted her ability to hear from God more than my own ability and in this case it would be much easier for her to be clear-headed because she wasn’t subjected to the raging storm within me. So I decided to submit to whatever she believed to be the will of God after she had spent the day praying about it.

    I staggered to work, still feeling shaken and somewhat defeated over the thought that maybe by not masturbating I had resisted God’s command. I prayed often throughout the day that the decision my friend arrived at would be from God. As the day progressed, my revulsion against sexual self-gratification mellowed until I began to feel warmly about the idea. I was becoming increasingly certain that when my friend phoned that evening, she would say that God wanted me to masturbate and that I would then enjoy beautiful sexual feelings for which I would praise God.

    It turned out that she had reached the opposite conclusion. Additionally, despite it being completely contrary to the tone of what I had shared with her that morning, she also had a strong feeling that I had that morning been masturbating while phoning her. Presumably she thought God had revealed it to her. This misconception was most disturbing. Since she was so horribly off the mark with that, how could I trust her spiritual discernment to get the other part right, especially as her perception of God’s will for me was the exact opposite of my own? To further add to my bewilderment, she got it so wrong that she terminated our friendship under the ludicrous illusion that I would somehow sexually corrupt her.

    Nevertheless, I had been praying that God guide her and so I decided to accept her sense of God’s leading. This entire situation was clouded by incredible confusion but I finally felt peace about continuing to resist my burning desire to masturbate.

    The startling thing is that I immediately broke through to a new level of sexual contentment. Ever since, I’ve had almost no temptation to masturbate and have been more content sexually than I’ve ever known since before my teens. I look back astounded at how close I came to missing this significant breakthrough. Had I landed the other way in trying to discern the Lord’s will, the outcome would have been very different. Never have I experienced anything that initially seemed so genuinely to be of God that subsequently proved to be a devilish trick.

    Many will say I should have immediately recognized as being from the enemy what I thought might have been from God because “masturbation is sin.” Such an uncompromising view would certainly have protected me. It’s an enticing argument for me to produce a dogmatic “masturbation is sin” webpage. Although there are Bible clues pointing in that direction, however, I shrink from implying any human attempt to connect the dots on this subject has the seal of divine infallibility. We know from earlier what an appalling mess Clarke made of it, even though he surely impressed some of his contemporaries and was obviously godly, scholarly and devoted to the Bible. It would take a good measure of delusion to suppose that any of us are incapable of similar slips. Scripture does not spell out the sinfulness of self-stimulation with the clarity that it does most other sexual sins (and even with those sins, individuals and churches keen to condone sexual sin can patch together a case capable of fooling someone more keen to sin than to find truth). This leaves us dependent upon our ability to discern the Spirit of God; an ability that I have in an embarrassingly small measure.

    To illustrate our dependence upon divine revelation, let’s return to what we learnt earlier about lesbianism. Godly people in Old Testament times would have believed that lesbianism is sin, but they could not have reached this conclusion solely from the letter of the law. Some would have truly heard from God on the matter. Others would have reached the right conclusion by accident. They might, for instance, have believed a superstition that lesbianism makes one mentally unstable and concluded that anything having that result must be sinful. Left to themselves, these people might, under different circumstances – such as living in a society in which lesbianism is rife – have concluded that lesbianism has God’s approval. For any of his children in moral danger, however, our Lord would have intervened by speaking to their consciences or by some other means. Nevertheless, their own desires and the persuasive assertions of deceived people around them could easily have drowned out God’s voice in the hearts of some individuals.

    Besides the satanic assault I’ve just mentioned, I have also received e-mails that were initially flattering and persuasive from someone claiming to be a Spirit-filled Christian. Eventually he confided that he had received revelation from “God” that I am sexually repressed and that I should engage in sexual activities that are outside of God’s plans for me. There was great evil lurking beneath this seemingly Christian and loving guise.

    We certainly have to contend with powerfully deceptive forces. Scripture reveals Satan to be the deceiver who masquerades as an angel of light. More worrying still is that we can want sin so much that we want to be deceived.

        Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

        Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

        Proverbs 30:12 . . . are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth

        Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

        1 Corinthians 4:4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me

        Luke 16:15 . . . You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

    The human mind – with the eager and diabolically clever support of the Evil One – is terrifying skilled at self-deception and justifying one’s sin.

    A woman e-mailed me, unsettled by an article published in a Christian magazine in which an “expert” listed twelve seemingly convincing arguments justifying masturbation and even claiming that it is good. I pointed out that every argument but one applies with equal force to sex with animals. Even the remaining argument – that the Bible says nothing specifically about masturbation – needs just a minor adjustment to apply. (The New Testament says nothing against bestiality). And not even that adjustment is needed for all twelve arguments to apply to sex with dummies, robots and shoes (a shoe fetish taken to its logical conclusion) and getting high on porn involving “alien monsters” with big boobs or fictitious creatures that are part-beast-part-human, and so on.

    * * *

    Slipping Through the Moral Maze

    Although singles have no legitimate person or thing on which to focus the sexual feelings that self-stimulation arouses, marrieds clearly have such a person.

    Suppose a woman is abandoned by her husband. She wants her marriage to continue but the separation could turn out to be permanent, and if the woman were to make advances to this man he would shun any sexual involvement with her. Were she to force herself upon him sexually, it would be so much against what he wants that it would be akin to rape. For this woman to masturbate, imagining herself relating sexually with her estranged husband who wants never again to have anything to do with her sexually, it might be argued that her thoughts would have similarities to mental rape.

    Suppose, however, a married couple are temporarily separated. Perhaps one is nursing a sick relative interstate for a few weeks. If, with each other’s full knowledge and approval, they engaged in solitary sex, lovingly limiting themselves to ways that their partner could equal, and fantasizing solely about their partner, most of our grave concerns about masturbation would be avoided. It would not be mental adultery, nor sex on the sly, nor would it be degrading sex to a self-focused, mechanical, loveless act. In their minds their sexual feelings would be focused on the one person that they can legitimately have such feelings for. And since they know each other’s capabilities and lovingly chose their masturbatory techniques accordingly, they are not so likely to cultivate cravings for stimulation the partner is unable to match. If done shortly before the couple are reunited, we might question whether masturbation would diminish the marital passion they feel when reunited. If the timeframe were suitably long, however, it might be argued that mentally focusing on their absent partner when pleasuring themselves helps maintain their longing for, and love for, each other and that this maintenance of the marriage bond would lower their temptation to be unfaithful.

    Since I have never married, accusations of hypocrisy don’t touch me when I wonder whether even in solo-sex marrieds have privileges that are denied singles. (See, however, the update at the end of this page.) Nevertheless, there is a grave danger in trying to reduce morality to any analysis like the above. Suppose we were trying to determine why God declares stealing to be wrong. If we miss the critical fact that it is simply wrong to take anything that does not belong to you, we could easily conclude that all moral objections to theft are covered if one steals from someone so rich that he literally would never know it is missing, and if the taker then gives it to someone who is in desperate need. Similarly, God knows – and I don’t – whether I have missed something critical that renders all solitary sex sinful. Certainly, we know that there is more to morality than one’s thought life. If, for example, a man wants to shoot dead his wife, he cannot make himself innocent by deciding to think loving thoughts towards her as he pulls the trigger.

    For a married couple to manually stimulate each other to a deliberate climax outside of intercourse bypasses even more possible objections. It is not solitary, and it is done to one’s partner, not oneself, as an expression of marital love that could possibly bond the couple deeper to each other. Ultimately, my opinion of such lovemaking counts for nothing. Such decisions belong to the Lord, and each couple should seek their Lord for his answer.

    * * *

    Unmasked?

    A woman felt crushed to learn that her younger teenage son sometimes masturbated. To add to her concern, his older brother was adamant that unless masturbation became an addiction it is acceptable. She wrote to me, saying:

        I have been up all night praying. This is an incredible battle, fighting for my sons. But God’s glory is going to be manifest in this.

        Masturbation is a spirit. God revealed to me that there is love and there is lust. Lust is an evil spirit. Your writings on masturbation are not fiery enough. I don’t see the strong conviction that masturbation is an abomination. Like you say, only God can reveal that to us and he has revealed it to me so we should be telling others! The desire to masturbate is not a physical manifestation of desire for love and proper sex. Masturbation is a devious perverted spirit. I have seen it appear to me. The one assigned to me looked like a wide centipede without legs. Kind of like a leach, I guess. It attaches like a leach would.

    It is for you to decide whether what this woman believes to be divine revelation is primarily the product of an overactive imagination. Before leaving it with you, however, I should remind you that if ever evil intelligences were involved, it seems logical to expect them to be cunning enough to deceptively hide from their victims not only their repulsive side but conceal their very presence from all but the very few who might actually like the thought of being manipulated by demons. On the other hand, they might be less cautious if convinced that their victims would never resist them even if they knew their true identity and, of course, if one sought God about it, he is capable of unmasking them. Not even the claim that Christians cannot be “possessed” lets any of us sidestep the alarming possibility of demonic involvement. There was certainly satanic involvement in Jesus’ temptations, and although Satan was personally involved in that instance, the Evil One does not have God’s ability to be everywhere at once, so when most of us are tempted it is presumably the work of his underlings – evil spirits.

    Since even the holy Son of God was tempted by an evil being, we know with absolute certainty that, in itself, such an attack is not corrupting. Even to yield to evil and then repent puts God back in control. To stop fighting a particular temptation, however, is a disturbingly different matter. It is to give yourself over to demonic delusion and yield a significant part of your life to the control of an anti-God, hideously evil dictator. And if it is one’s sexuality that is under demonic sway, remember that our sexuality is such a huge and fundamental part of who we are that Scripture makes this amazing statement:

        1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

    * * *

    Toward an Answer

    As is obvious from my confessions about my difficulty in hearing from God, I am not some great man of God. I’m stumbling around like most Christians. I can’t make great moral pronouncements. All I can do is suggest points that you might consider praying about.

    When smokers quit their habit, they taste and smell things differently. Their previously jaded senses become more like God intended them to be. Likewise, when one breaks the habit of masturbation, one’s spiritual senses and perception of morality are likely to change. (Mine certainly did.) One is more likely to view sex through divinely sharpened spiritual senses.

    Somehow, we need to break free from the way our own cravings can distort our ability to hear from God on a matter. Obviously, prayer is critical. There is also another help.

    You have heard of fasting from food to draw closer to God and hear from him. Fasting from sex is similarly scriptural. Paul instructed that marrieds not cease marital relations “except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer” (1 Corinthians 7:5). At Mount Sinai, the Lord told the Israelites to prepare for his appearance by abstaining from sexual relations. (Other examples.)

    I suggest you fast from masturbation and from all avoidable sources of non-marital sexual stimulation until any bondage to the habit is broken. What chance have we of hearing the Spirit’s whispers about masturbation when our bodies are crying out for masturbation and our minds are screaming that we cannot survive without it? It is surely disrespectful to the Holy Sprit to not do what we can to quieten the incessant nagging of our bodies so that we can in stillness listen for anything he might have to say. It will probably take many weeks to get to that position of stillness, but the required time will be a very small portion of your entire life, and just how important to you is it that you don’t unknowingly fall into perversion? If you find yourself so enslaved to Do-It-Yourself sex that you can’t fast from it for a month, then that in itself suggests that you have a problem. You were created and redeemed to be master of your body.

    While fasting from masturbation you might try a prayer something like this:

        As millions mourn the degradation of the environment – your beautiful creation – give me your heart that I might mourn the degradation of your precious gift of sex, the spoiling of which ruins not the area where we live, but our very selves; not just creation in general, but humanity itself, the crown of your creation.

        My heart breaks that instead of you being showered with thanks and honor for your exquisite gift to humanity, you reel in pain as millions throughout history and throughout this globe have used the extravagance of your kindness to ruin their lives and the lives of their victims. Open my eyes to my own abuse of your holy gift. I cringe to think of how many times I’ve lusted or tried to incite lust in others, all the time hypocritically hiding my shame behind the illusion that others seem to have made an even bigger mess of your gift. Have I a distorted view of sex because I have let legalism, the world or my own desires shout down the gentle whispers of your Spirit? Have I in selfish frustration almost cursed you because the sexual cravings I’ve foolishly inflamed could not find immediate gratification? Have I perverted your love gift into an occasion for selfishness? Shine your light in every dark corner of my life so that I might repent of everything I should repent of, and delight in everything I should delight in.

        What matters is not what this webpage says, or the world says, or my conscience says; all that matters is what you say. At times you deem best, bring to my remembrance examples of occasions when my use of sex has pleased you, so that I might pursue such behavior, and show me instances when my use of sex have grieved you, so that my eyes might be opened and avoid repeating my sin.

        I long to honor you for the holy gift of sex you have entrusted to me. Show me how.

        You trusted me with your gift and I’ve abused your trust. I can give you nothing that you haven’t first given me, so my gifts to you are only shadows. Nevertheless, as my love-offering to you, I hand back to you your gift of sex, knowing that unlike the way I have treated you, you will never abuse my trust, knowing that your love compels you to do with my gift to you only that for which I will be eternally thankful. Use my sexuality in the way you see fit. Even if that means I will never for the rest of my life experience sexual pleasure, I know you will use my sexuality in a far superior way than I ever managed and that I will rejoice for eternity in the love and wisdom of your choice for me.

    * * *

    Encouragement

    This webpage is devoted to a discussion of the morality of masturbation, not about how to break the habit. Nevertheless, it would be irresponsible of me to leave you floundering. Elsewhere, I have written extensively about how to find victory over the lusts that wage war on our souls. That’s the purpose of several of the links at the end of this page.

    None of us need grovel in defeat. Until you find the victory that is yours in Christ, however, you need and deserve encouragement. I know what condemnation and despair sexual addiction can induce, so I would like you to see this matter in its spiritual perspective.

    Regardless of the conclusions of plain logic, we are not real perverts like gays, bisexuals and harlots. Or are we? Every respectable, Bible-believing Christian regularly teeters on the edge of Pharisee-like blindness to his/her own sin. What makes it disturbing to think of ourselves as being no less corrupt than other perverts is that Pharisees need someone to look down on. Their self-worth hinges not on what Christ has done for them, but on maintaining a distorted view of reality. When in delighted scorn we eye the sins of others, our own sins fade so dangerously out of focus that we barely see them. This is the intoxication of people who trust in their own righteousness rather than in Christ’s righteousness. It is then that the words of Jesus can become frighteningly applicable: “ . . . prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31).

    Like the great apostle Paul seeing himself as the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) – the lowest of the low; the worst of the worst – it is those who humble themselves who will be exalted (Matthew 23:12). Imagine, after having striven to near total exhaustion to reach our full potential, thinking we have almost arrived, and then suddenly learning we have barely begun the journey. This is what it is like to see ourselves as we truly are. The discovery is so devastating as to make us want to give up in utter despair. And yet there is a thrilling side to this truth. The fact that we have so far to go means that ahead of us are possibilities far more glorious than we ever dreamed of.

    We are a fallen race. Spiritually, we each entered this world with hideous birth defects. Trying to overcome our spiritual defects is like someone born with severe physical deformities heroically battling to overcome all the handicaps. Although on one level the attempt might look pathetic, people have won for themselves worldly fame and honor by battling physical handicaps to live close to normal lives. Likewise, we each have the potential to win eternal honor and acclaim by battling our spiritual handicaps.

    To attempt, with God’s help, to struggle against the tide of worldly pressure and fleshly inadequacies to restore your sexuality to its divinely intended purity is such a noble task that the mere attempt brings you glory. It is like Scott’s Antarctic attempt. He neither achieved his goal of being the first person to the South Pole, nor completed the return journey, nor even survived, and yet his trek has been hailed as one on the greatest ever epics of human exploration and endurance. He failed and yet he persisted with a goal so challenging that the mere attempt made him a hero.

    It is not unusual for an explorer trekking through new territory to stumble. It might be an unpleasant hindrance, but what matters is not his falls but whether he keeps pressing on. It’s his determination to keep forging deeper into virgin territory that makes him a hero, and his falls cannot detract from it. In fact, even if his progress seems abysmal, the more setbacks he suffers, the more impressed people are when he keeps trying.

    If ordinary, self-centered people have this attitude towards those who have the tenacity to keep trying despite enormous failures, imagine how much more impressed God is when you keep trying. More than anyone in the universe, the God of infinite knowledge understands just how tough you find it. Moreover, love sees a person in the best possible light, and God loves you infinitely more than anyone else is capable of.

        Micah 7:8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.

        Proverbs 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again . . .

    Despite the deceptive impression many Christians give each other, you are not alone in your struggle. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder how many of those Christians not currently battling some besetting sin, are in that position not because they are holy but because they have given up the battle and allowed themselves to be blinded to their need to change. Whether it be the sin of prayerlessness, lack of faith, or whatever, we all face new challenges that are usually overcome only after many failures. My suspicion is that millions of Christians have at some point in their Christian lives found themselves hopelessly addicted to solitary sex.

    So as you battle the powerful addiction of solitary sex, you are in excellent company. Most Christians kept secret the fact that their mountain of failed attempts rose so high that they felt that breaking the habit was impossible. Most remained in bondage far longer than necessary because they felt too much shame, not only to admit their problem to someone else, but even to admit it to God. Instead of viewing their Savior as eager to forgive and to help and encourage, they mistakenly imagined him as pointing the accusing finger. Christ didn’t suffer and die for your forgiveness, to now turn around and condemn. Divine patience only runs thin with those who give up trying to break free. Those who keep trying, make God proud.

    Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be honored and satisfied.

    We are saved by faith. Tragically, some people cannot find salvation because they are so overwhelmed by the magnitude of their sin that they cannot seem to muster the faith to believe God is big enough to forgive them. After finding salvation, we never go beyond the need to keep believing that God is big enough to forgive our sin. It would be hypocritical to seek forgiveness without genuinely wanting to stop sinning. We were born again to be winners, not losers. Christ died to make us holy. As often as we truly want to give up our sin, however, God will truly forgive us. For us to doubt God’s eagerness to forgive is to insult our Savior.

    We must avoid two dangers:

  1. Giving up trying to find the victory Christ died to give us.
  1. Giving up believing in the magnitude of Christ’s forgiveness.

    Whether we try to abuse God’s grace or refuse God’s grace, the consequences are equally grim.

    Our Lord’s anger does indeed burn against those who are sinning and are unconcerned about it – regardless of whether they are consciously and willingly breaking God’s heart or whether, like the Pharisees, they are living in denial of their sin. With those who are broken-hearted over their sin, however, our Savior is not only not angry, he is ever so close to them. The Lord is more excited about a single sinner who wants to stop sinning than over ninety-nine righteous. He is far more delighted with the tax collector who is overwhelmed by his sinfulness, than over the Pharisee with his long list of moral achievements. The Almighty declares blessings upon those who mourn and who are conscious of their spiritual poverty. (Related Scriptures) The Amplified Bible puts Psalm 34:18 this way:

        The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart, and saves those such as are crushed with sorrow for sin . . .

    In our intimacy with God we should be like little children who are so aware of their father’s tender love that whenever they fall they instinctively look to their Daddy for love and understanding. Maybe you can only imagine a mother engendering such love and trust. No problem. God is like the perfect mother as well as the perfect father (the biblical basis for this statement is expounded in a link at the end of this page). No matter how tragic is your perception of a parent, however, don’t let it ruin your life by spoiling your understanding of God’s compassion. He is the God of infinite comfort. He believes in you. He forgives and forgives and forgives because he loves and loves and loves. Your Savior is delighted every time you run to him for forgiveness or consolation or strength or even when you treat him as someone on whom to vent your frustration.

    Picture the best father you can ever imagine; the person with the biggest, softest heart on the planet. He is utterly devoted to his little boy and yet someone has been whispering lies to the child, saying that unless the boy is perfect and never falls over, his father will hate him and treat him cruelly. Imagine how devastated this loving father would feel if, when his darling boy falls and hurts himself, the child shrinks in fear from his father, refusing to be comforted because he imagines that when he most needs a father’s love his father turns into a beast of a man.

    The enemy of our souls continually whispers malicious lies about our God. Whenever we fall we need divine comfort and encouragement more than ever. Don’t break God’s heart by shrinking from him in fear or hiding from him in shame; treating him like some heartless beast; imagining that in his hand is a whip to beat us, when it is actually the world’s softest handkerchief to dry our tears. Whenever you fall, run into the welcoming, outstretched arms of the Lord who is devoted to you. Not only will he console you, he will inspire you to victory.

    * * *

    Finale

    Unless reserving oneself for marriage includes all sexual stimulation, it is shallow. The whole concept of saving oneself for marriage, however, is inadequate. We should seek purity, not for our sake, nor for a future partner’s sake, but for the Lord’s sake. Anything else is secondary. Our past might be regrettable. It might haunt us, making our current fight for purity so much harder. But what matters most is that from now on we be pure for Jesus.

    So is masturbation for the sexually deprived or the sexually depraved? I commenced this web series only because it was meant to be one of the tiniest webpages I have ever written. To my surprise, it seemed to take on a life of its own and has ended up not only growing in length but seeming more anti-masturbation than I had wanted. I am not some moral authority. I neither created sex nor do I own your body. But I know the Lord delights in breaking addictions and that when taken to the Lord, prolonged battles with self-control promote spiritual growth.

    I also know that if you masturbate, there is a good chance you can still have an excellent relationship with God. The Lord tolerated me masturbating thousands of times without any obvious impact on my walk with him. This truth has two edges; one deeply reassuring, the other terrifying. Regardless of our awareness of sin in our lives, we are each continually dependent upon the enormity of God’s grace that drives him to restrain his wrath and extend his period of tolerance of things within us that turn his stomach. God loves you so much that he will go to astounding lengths to overlook your shortcomings. The terrifying aspect is that the Lord also tolerated, in a famous evangelist, sexual fantasies, pornography and the use of prostitutes (I don’t know if this involved actual intercourse – it probably didn’t, which helped him justify his sin). I wonder how many of us have hypocritically despised such men, while we have been dangerously ignorant of how we ourselves are testing the Lord’s patience to the same extreme. Our holy Lord tolerated this man’s sin so much that for years he was used of God to sweep more souls into the kingdom and minister to more Christians in a single day than most of us will achieve in a lifetime. But the Lord had the last word. This man was reduced to devastating worldwide shame, and even that was the mercy of God because it forced him to confront his sin this side of eternal judgment. God’s tolerance is intended to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4), not to the abuse of God’s grace.

    One’s personal battle with masturbation can be won, and the spoils of war available to the victor are significant. The biggest battlefield is fantasy and what one lets in through the eye. Control that, and the stranglehold of masturbation will significantly weaken. Masturbating while thinking of, or looking at sexual things, is like combining sugar and chocolate. People who crave commercial chocolate do not usually find the bitter taste of sugarless chocolate particularly nice. Neither would they find eating spoonfuls of sugar very enticing. When the ingredients are separated, they are easier to resist. Likewise, if you refuse to combine solitary sex with wrong thoughts and sights, solitary sex will be much easier to control.

    Those who promote solo-sex remind me of 2 Peter 2:19:

        They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves . . . for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

    Christ died that we might rule. He was bound to the cross to set us free from everything that keeps people bound.

        Romans 6:19 . . . Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

        Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

        Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

        1 Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

    In Christ you were born to be free. Live a joy-filled life consistent with the purity and mastery over self that is yours in Christ Jesus.

        1 Thessalonians 4:3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; (4) that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, (5) not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; (7) For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. (8) Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

    * * *

    2011 Update: Now that I Am Married

    After well in excess of half a century of virginity, the Lord finally gave me the most wonderful wife who has exceeded my wildest dreams, sexually as well as every other way. Upon marrying I found myself regretting more than ever the fact that indelibly imprinted on my mind were very old but still vivid memories of solo sex. Over months of marriage those memories gradually faded somewhat but the last thing I want is to rekindle those memories. So marriage has made me even less impressed by the notion of couples engaging in solitary sex if circumstances force their temporary separation. Moreover, I have found that the slightest thing my wife does for me sexually makes me ever-so-grateful to her, thus bonding me to her. If I felt it acceptable to satisfy myself, I would feel less dependent upon her, and so less grateful and less bonded to her. It is those feelings of gratefulness and bonding that intensifies the wonder and fulfillment and deepens our life-long union.

    * * *

    I wish to emphasize, however, that these webpages are about solitary sex, not marital fondling. For what is acceptable between married couples, see Is it Perverted?

    Essential Reading

    The encouraging webpages below will help you break an addiction to masturbation. To avoid losing this valuable list of links, bookmark or note the address of this page before exploring any of the links.

    Towards a Christian View of Sexual Self-Stimulation The Beginning of this Series

    Could Masturbation Ruin Your Marriage? How Masturbation Shapes One’s Sexuality

    The Impact of Masturbation on Marriage Other considerations

    Becoming a Winner! A mine of information about how to break habits

    An Innocent Look? This explores the morality of viewing pornography and of leering

    Help for Male Survivors of Sexual Molestation

    Life’s Mysteries Explained Why God lets us battle temptation rather than simply causing sin to have no attraction to us

    Singles: Celebrate your Sexuality The positive aspects of one’s sexuality when one is unmarried

    Handling the Pressures of Being Single Ways of coping with sexual frustration (includes my testimony about breaking the power of masturbation)

    Satan, Evil Spirits and Temptation: You Can Beat Them Winning Secrets

    Understanding Sex Addiction

    What if Masturbation Prevents Prostate Cancer?

    Happily Married, Yet Addicted to Solo Sex One Woman’s Confession

    A Woman’s Journey From Masturbation to Marital Fulfillment (For marrieds)

    Love Sex God Orgasm: Christian Sex Secrets. The Horror & Joy of Sex

    When is premarital sex acceptable? Little-known, mind-blowing Bible facts

    The Bible’s Silence Why the Bible does not say more about masturbation and other matters

    Putting Holy Fire In Your Marriage Stirring Up Marital Passion (For marrieds only)

    How Much Does God Love Me? God’s Love Personally Revealed to You. Basking in God’s love is the secret to overcoming

Physical and spiritual dangers of masturbation or “self-abuse”

 

Few topics have generated more ridicule from critics than Ellen White’s statements regarding “self-abuse,” “solitary vice,” “self-indulgence,” “secret vice,” “moral pollution,” etc. Ellen White never used the term “masturbation.”

Her first reference to this subject appeared in a 64-page pamphlet, An Appeal to Mothers, April 1864, nine months after her first comprehensive health vision. Primarily devoted to masturbation, pages 5 to 34 were from her own pen; the remainder consisted of quotations from medical authorities. [1]

Ellen White did not say that all, or even most, of the potentially serious consequences of masturbation would happen to any one individual. Nor did she say that the worst possible degree of a serious consequence would happen to most indulgers.

Modern research indicates that Ellen White’s strong statements can be supported when she is properly understood. The general view today, however, is that masturbation is normal and healthy.

Two medical specialists have suggested a link between masturbation and physical abnormalities due to zinc-deficiency.

Dr. David Horrobin, an M.D. and Ph.D. from Oxford University, states:

“Ilość cynku w spermie jest tak duża, że jeden orgazm może pochłonąć cały cynk, jaki zostaje wchłonięty z jelit w ciągu jednego dnia. O ile ta utracona ilość nie zostanie uzupełniona odpowiednią dietą i suplementami, wówczas często powtarzający się orgazm (np. masturbacja) może doprowadzić do poważnych niedoborów cynku i co z tego wynika różnych problemów zdrowotnych włącznie z impotencją”.

 

„The amount of zinc in semen is such that one ejaculation may get rid of all the zinc that can be absorbed from the intestines in one day. This has a number of consequences. Unless the amount lost is replaced by an increased dietary intake, repeated ejaculation may lead to a real zinc deficiency with various problems developing, including impotence”.

 

“Biorąc pod uwagę znaczenie cynku dla mózgu, możliwe jest, że 19-wieczni moraliści mieli rację twierdząc, że masturbacja może wywołać nawet problemy natury umysłowej”.

 

“It is even possible, given the importance of zinc for the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad!” [2]

[2] David F. Horrobin, M.D., Ph.D., Zinc (St. Albans, Vt.: Vitabooks, Inc., 1981), p. 8. See also Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., Zinc and Other Micro-Nutrients (New Canaan, Conn.: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1978), p. 45.

More recent research has confirmed the critical role of zinc as a principal protector of the immune system, with a host of physical illnesses attributable to zinc-deficiency.

Two professionals in the area of clinical psychology and family therapy have compared Ellen White’s statements on masturbation with current medical knowledge. [3] Dr. Richard Nies defended Ellen White’s general counsel on masturbation, making four main points:

(1) Masturbation leads to “mental, moral, and physical deterioration. . . . It is not the stimulation, per se, that is wrong. It’s what’s going on in . . . [persons] when they’re becoming self-referenced and self-centered.”

(2) Masturbation “breaks down the finer sensitivities of our nervous system. . . . It is not difficult to see in terms of the electrical mediation of our nervous system, how disease becomes a natural result of individuals who have placed their own gratification at the center of their being. . . . Disease is the natural result of this.”

(3) Masturbation is a predisposition that can be “inherited and passed on and transmitted from one generation to another, even leading to degeneration of the race.”

(4) In dealing with others, especially children, Ellen White’s counsel lies in the direction of dealing with the consequences, of showing them that we should be training for love and eternity, not self-gratification with its terrible consequences. Dr. Nies concluded his paper, “Self-gratification is synonymous with destruction.”

Alberta Mazat observed that Ellen White’s concern regarding masturbation was primarily on the mental consequences rather than the “purely physical act. She was more concerned with thought processes, attitudes, fantasies, etc.” Mazat quoted Ellen White’s references to the fact that “the effects are not the same on all minds,” that “impure thoughts seize (take hold of; grab) and control the imagination,” and that the mind “takes pleasure in contemplating the scenes which awake base passion.”

Mazat further noted that some may be embarrassed by Ellen White’s strong statements regarding masturbation. However, many of Mrs. White’s other statements also seemed “unrealistic and exaggerated before science corroborated them, for example, cancer being caused by a virus, the dangers of smoking, overeating, and the overuse of fats, sugar, and salt, to name a few. . . . It seems worthwhile to remind ourselves that medical knowledge at any point is not perfect.” [4]

Looked at from another perspective, God always upholds the ideal for His people through His messengers. However one reacts to Ellen White’s specific counsel, clearly masturbation was not what God had in mind when He created man and woman, united them in marriage, and then instructed them to be fruitful and multiply. God’s ideal in regard to sexuality is the loving relationship that exists in marriage between husband and wife. Anything else, including masturbation, falls far short of God’s ideal.

[2] David F. Horrobin, M.D., Ph.D., Zinc (St. Albans, Vt.: Vitabooks, Inc., 1981), p. 8. See also Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., Zinc and Other Micro-Nutrients (New Canaan, Conn.: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1978), p. 45.

[3] Richard Nies, Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology, UCLA, 1964; equivalent Ph.D. in clinical psychology, including oral exam, but died during dissertation preparation), Lecture, “Give Glory to God,” Glendale, Calif., n.d.; Alberta Mazat, M.S.W. (Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif.), Monograph, “Masturbation” (43 pp.), Biblical Research Institute.

2T.390.002

The Lord has given me a view of some of the corruptions everywhere existing. Wickedness, crime, and sensuality exist even in high places. Even in the churches professing to keep God’s commandments there are sinners and hypocrites. It is sin, not trial and suffering, which separates God from His people and renders the soul incapable of enjoying and glorifying Him. It is sin that is destroying souls. Sin and vice exist in Sabbathkeeping families. Moral pollution has done more than every other evil to cause the race to degenerate. It is practiced to an alarming extent and brings on disease of almost every description. Even very small children, infants, being born with natural irritability of the sexual organs, find momentary relief in handling them, which only increases the irritation, and leads to a repetition of the act, until a habit is established which increases with their growth. These children, generally puny and dwarfed, are prescribed for by physicians and drugged; but the evil is not removed. The cause still exists.

Frequent sex and masturbation is often regarded as a one of the key causes of zinc deficiency. David Horrobin, M.D. and Ph.D. from Oxford University, declared that, “The amount of zinc in semen is such that one ejaculation may get rid of all the zinc that can be absorbed from the intestines in one day. This has a number of consequences. Unless the amount lost is replaced by an increased dietary intake, repeated ejaculation may lead to a real zinc deficiency with various problems developing, including impotence… It is even possible, given the importance of zinc for the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad!” (Vitabooks: St. Albans, Vermont, 1981, p. 8). Also Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., in his book on zinc stated: “In a zinc-deficient adolescent, sexual excitement and excessive masturbation might precipitate insanity.” (Zinc and Other Micro-nutrients, Keats: New Canaan, Conn., 1978, p. 45).

Did Ellen White Promote a Healthy Sex Life?

Ellen White was a founder and leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She is also considered to have had the gift of prophecy and had a big hand in establishing the structure and culture of the church. She broke a lot of ground in health reform and other areas of Christian living. She also helped the church in redefining the relationship of faith and works.

Unfortunately, enough of her counsel and advice has been taken out of context and twisted in ways which support forms of legalism and asceticism, to leave her in a position of irrelevance for the majority of today’s post-modern community.

Apparently, members of the Adventist church, like Matt Shallenberger, are attempting to reintroduce “E.G.Dub” to a generation that is starting to forget her. She has been misunderstood and observations like the one below, written by Matt, are meant to bring us back to reality.
For my Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White class, I’ve been reading a book by Leonard Brand and Don McMahon called The Prophet and Her Critics. It deals with some of the criticisms that have been raised against Ellen White and her writings, particularly the health message. One of the issues it addresses is the claim that she reflected the views of her day on sexuality. In the 19th century, there were those who advocated limits on sexual activity even for married couples. Some people taught that marital relations should be engaged in no more than once per month. Others took it even further and taught that sex should be used only for procreation and nothing else. Brand and McMahon tell an interesting story about Ellen White that I found quite enlightening (and amusing), and I just had to share it. The following is taken directly from the book The Prophet and Her Critics.

During her lifetime, some people—Adventists among them—were advocating that those who wish to be holy must refrain from sex except to have children. They said that other than for procreation, husbands and wives should live as brothers and sisters.

Ellen White’s response to these ideas reveals her view of marital sex. She consistently and aggressively opposed these antisex campaigns. In fact, she said that they were not from God and that such teachings “would lead to the darkest of sins and the grossest of immorality” by resulting in extramarital sexual relationships.

One man had prepared a tract advocating abstinence for married couples except for procreation. He tried to get an appointment with Ellen White, hoping for her blessings on his tract. She refused to see him for a while. Eventually, however, she gave him the opportunity to present his views. When he was through, her only comment was, “Go home and be a man.” He took the hint and did not publish his tract (pp. 82-83).

I love that story! Ellen White is great!
By Matthew Shallenberger

Prepared by, Scott Kabel

Yes, that’s right, I have chosen to write about a topic which is commonly perceived as taboo, though I know many will be intrigued and curious to read the information presented and learn the negative consequence of such an abhorrent practice.

So why am I writing this article? Well, mainly due to the fact that many uninformed individuals (no names) like to elucidate their opinions freely and willingly on this subject with very little to no knowledge whatsoever! I have come across countless articles and opinions stating how masturbation is “…a healthy practice…”, the more I saw these false comments, the more I felt the need to correct this misconception!

If you don’t know what masturbation is, well then I’m very surprised. Simply put, your having sex with yourself or more explicitly, with your hand! Want a more concise explanation, pick up an encyclopedia or do a google search.

This is inherently against the natural disposition of man, don’t worry I’m not going to give a sermon!

I have read in the past how masturbation can be more addictive than heroin, now that is serous!

You can get your fix whenever and just about wherever! You release the same chemical which makes you feel good when you take heroin (i.e. opioids), though in a lesser amount. (see this article: Internet Porn: Worse Than Crack?)

So what are the common effects of masturbation you ask?

Here’s a small list (though not an exhaustive one):

– Fatigue

– Lower back pain

– Thinning hair/hair loss

– Weak erection

– Premature ejaculation

– Groin/testicular pain

– Concentration and memory problems

– Sleep problems

This doesn’t mean that one shall experience all of these effects, though they are very common.

Did you know that every time you ejaculate, you lose approximately 3-5mg of zinc, that’s nearly a third of your RDA.

Zinc is one of the main minerals responsible for testosterone production, therefore less zinc, less testosterone etc.

I know some clever person out there is surmising that the same effects should occur when one has sexual intercourse, right?

Sorry to disappoint! When a man has sexual intercourse with a female, certain trace minerals and prostaglandins are absorbed from the female vaginal secretions which balance this effect! Bet you didn’t know that?!

Do you really want to be a one-minute man and look like an idiot when you are with your partner? I thought not.

I advise those who masturbate regularly, to stop! Eat some Oysters (very high in Zinc) and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Fast, for fasting diminishes one’s sexual desires, unless of course you can get married or something and keep busy, “For idle hands make work for…”!

Please don’t believe the fallacy that these so-called experts proclaim! Masturbation is not healthy and is quite detrimental to put it mildly!

Solitary Vice [masturbation]

By D. Anderson

Seventh-day Adventist prophetess Ellen G. White proclaimed solitary vice [also known as “self abuse” or masturbation] caused a wide range of dangerous diseases and serious afflictions:

“Children who practice self-indulgence [masturbation] previous to puberty, or the period of merging into manhood or womanhood, must pay the penalty of nature’s violated laws at that critical period. Many sink into an early grave, while others have sufficient force of constitution to pass this ordeal. If the practice is continued from the age of fifteen and upward, nature will protest against the abuse she has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of thirty to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous humors. Some of nature’s fine machinery gives way, leaving a heavier task for the remaining to perform, which disorders nature’s fine arrangement, and there is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution; and death is the result.”1

“Some who make a high profession do not understand the sin of self-abuse and its sure results. Long-established habit has blinded their understanding. They do not realize the exceeding sinfulness of this degrading sin, which is enervating the system and destroying their brain nerve power.2

“I saw that the family of Brother G__ need a great work done for them. H__ and I__ have gone to great lengths in this crime of self-abuse; especially is this true of H__, who has gone so far in the practice of this sin that his intellect is affected, his eye-sight is weakened, and disease is fastening itself upon him.3

“He had practiced self-abuse until he was a mere wreck of humanity. This vice was shown me as an abomination in the sight of God. … The results of self-abuse in them is seen in various diseases, such as catarrh, dropsy, headache, loss of memory and sight, great weakness in the back and loins, affections of the spine, the head often decays inwardly. Cancerous humor, which would lay dormant in the system their life-time, is inflamed, and commences its eating, destructive work. The mind is often utterly ruined, and insanity takes place.4

According to the above quotes, the following health problems are caused by masturbation:

 1. Brain weakened

 2. Cancerous tumors

 3.Catarrh

 4. Dropsy

 5. Eye-sight weakened

 6. Headache

7. Head decay

8. Insanity

9. Kidney disease

10. Liver disease

11. Lung disease

12. Memory loss

13. Nervous system damage

14. Neuralgia

15. Pains in the system

16. Premature death

17. Rheumatism

18. Spinal weakness/problems

Analysis

Modern Medical Perspective on Self Abuse

Dr. Bill Lloyd explains the modern medical perspective on masturbation:

The old myths that masturbation leads to insanity, stunts your growth, [etc…] are simply that, myths, which probably originated in the puritanical atmosphere of the Victorian age.

“Not only does masturbation have no bad effects, it is probably much healthier than trying to suppress the strong sexual impulses that many men, particularly adolescents, feel. Masturbation provides an important, safe outlet for these impulses, and may well keep men from unsafe practices, such as sex with prostitutes, adulterous affairs, or coercive sex, that is to say rape.”5

In 1966, researchers Masters & Johnson revealed the practice to be virtually universal in North America, cutting across all boundaries of sex, age, race, and social class. In 1971 Goldstein, Haeberle & McBride determined masturbation to be the most common form of sexual activity among humans. Recent studies have shown 95% of men, and 89% of women have practiced masturbation.

“From a 20th-century medical perspective, I can assure you that this activity in no way affects mental or physical health.”
–Dr. Peter Gott, nationally syndicated medical columnist, August 12, 1997

There is no scientific evidence masturbation causes blindness, insanity, or any of the diseases named by Ellen White. Any human being, with any common sense at all can reason that masturbation can be no more harmful than the act of sex itself! The Cleveland Clinic says:

“In general, the medical community considers masturbation to be a natural and harmless expression of sexuality for both men and women. It does not cause any physical injury or harm to the body, and can be performed in moderation throughout a person’s lifetime as a part of normal sexual behavior.”6

Even among Seventh-day Adventist physicians, with the exception of a few Ellen White devotees, there is now a near universal belief that masturbation does not cause the above illnesses.

Physical and spiritual dangers of masturbation or “self-abuse”

Few topics have generated more ridicule from critics than Ellen White’s statements regarding “self-abuse,” “solitary vice,” “self-indulgence,” “secret vice,” “moral pollution,” etc. Ellen White never used the term “masturbation.”

Her first reference to this subject appeared in a 64-page pamphlet, An Appeal to Mothers, April 1864, nine months after her first comprehensive health vision. Primarily devoted to masturbation, pages 5 to 34 were from her own pen; the remainder consisted of quotations from medical authorities. [1]

Ellen White did not say that all, or even most, of the potentially serious consequences of masturbation would happen to any one individual. Nor did she say that the worst possible degree of a serious consequence would happen to most indulgers.

Modern research indicates that Ellen White’s strong statements can be supported when she is properly understood. The general view today, however, is that masturbation is normal and healthy.

Two medical specialists have suggested a link between masturbation and physical abnormalities due to zinc-deficiency. Dr. David Horrobin, an M.D. and Ph.D. from Oxford University, states:

“The amount of zinc in semen is such that one ejaculation may get rid of all the zinc that can be absorbed from the intestines in one day. This has a number of consequences. Unless the amount lost is replaced by an increased dietary intake, repeated ejaculation may lead to a real zinc deficiency with various problems developing, including impotence.

“It is even possible, given the importance of zinc for the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad!” [2]

More recent research has confirmed the critical role of zinc as a principal protector of the immune system, with a host of physical illnesses attributable to zinc-deficiency.

Two professionals in the area of clinical psychology and family therapy have compared Ellen White’s statements on masturbation with current medical knowledge. [3] Dr. Richard Nies defended Ellen White’s general counsel on masturbation, making four main points:

(1) Masturbation leads to “mental, moral, and physical deterioration. . . . It is not the stimulation, per se, that is wrong. It’s what’s going on in . . . [persons] when they’re becoming self-referenced and self-centered.”

(2) Masturbation “breaks down the finer sensitivities of our nervous system. . . . It is not difficult to see in terms of the electrical mediation of our nervous system, how disease becomes a natural result of individuals who have placed their own gratification at the center of their being. . . . Disease is the natural result of this.”

(3) Masturbation is a predisposition that can be “inherited and passed on and transmitted from one generation to another, even leading to degeneration of the race.”

(4) In dealing with others, especially children, Ellen White’s counsel lies in the direction of dealing with the consequences, of showing them that we should be training for love and eternity, not self-gratification with its terrible consequences. Dr. Nies concluded his paper, “Self-gratification is synonymous with destruction.”

Alberta Mazat observed that Ellen White’s concern regarding masturbation was primarily on the mental consequences rather than the “purely physical act. She was more concerned with thought processes, attitudes, fantasies, etc.” Mazat quoted Ellen White’s references to the fact that “the effects are not the same on all minds,” that “impure thoughts seize and control the imagination,” and that the mind “takes pleasure in contemplating the scenes which awake base passion.”

Mazat further noted that some may be embarrassed by Ellen White’s strong statements regarding masturbation. However, many of Mrs. White’s other statements also seemed “unrealistic and exaggerated before science corroborated them, for example, cancer being caused by a virus, the dangers of smoking, overeating, and the overuse of fats, sugar, and salt, to name a few. . . . It seems worthwhile to remind ourselves that medical knowledge at any point is not perfect.” [4]

Looked at from another perspective, God always upholds the ideal for His people through His messengers. However one reacts to Ellen White’s specific counsel, clearly masturbation was not what God had in mind when He created man and woman, united them in marriage, and then instructed them to be fruitful and multiply. God’s ideal in regard to sexuality is the loving relationship that exists in marriage between husband and wife. Anything else, including masturbation, falls far short of God’s ideal.

Notes

[1] An Appeal to Mothers was reprinted in 1870 as part of a larger work, A Solemn Appeal Relative to Solitary Vice and Abuses and Excesses of the Marriage Relation. A facsimile reprint appears in the Appendix to A Critique of Prophetess of Health (by the Ellen G. White Estate).

[2] David F. Horrobin, M.D., Ph.D., Zinc (St. Albans, Vt.: Vitabooks, Inc., 1981), p. 8. See also Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., Zinc and Other Micro-Nutrients (New Canaan, Conn.: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1978), p. 45.

[3] Richard Nies, Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology, UCLA, 1964; equivalent Ph.D. in clinical psychology, including oral exam, but died during dissertation preparation), Lecture, “Give Glory to God,” Glendale, Calif., n.d.; Alberta Mazat, M.S.W. (Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif.), Monograph, “Masturbation” (43 pp.), Biblical Research Institute.

[4] Mazat, Monograph, “Masturbation.”

[Adapted from Herbert E. Douglass, Messenger of the Lord: the Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1998), pp. 493, 494, with additional comments.]

Ellen White and Marital Excess

By D. Anderson

What is Marital Excess?

In order to understand Marital Excess you must first understand the nineteenth century concept of vital force. Dr. Ronald Numbers describes how vital force works:

“According to Adventist pioneer John Loughborough, vital force was “that power placed in the human body, at its birth, which will enable the body, under favorable circumstances, to live to a certain age.” Since the initial endowment was limited, and since each sexual act used up an irreplenishable amount, it behooved those who coveted a long life to keep their sexual activities to a minimum.”1

Mrs. White apparently acquired her knowledge of vital force from popular health reformer Horace Mann, whose writings on vital force closely resemble hers:

Ellen White, 1876 Horace Mann, 1853
Man came from the hand of God perfect in every faculty of mind and body; in perfect soundness, therefore in perfect health. It took more than two thousand years of indulgence of appetite and lustful passions to create such a state of things in the human organism as would lessen vital force.2 Man came from the hand of God so perfect in his bodily organs…so surcharged with vital force, that it took more than two thousand years of the combined abominations of appetite and ignorance…to drain off his electric energies and make him even accessible to disease.3

Health reformers in the 1800s considered sex to be very draining upon the vital energies. Seventy-day Adventist physician Dr. J.H. Kellogg wrote in 1877:

The reproductive act is the most exhaustive of all vital acts.4

Mrs. White Warns Against Marital Excess

Mrs. White warns that God will hold marriage partners accountable for expending their vital energy:

“They do not see that God requires them to control their married lives from any excesses. But very few feel it to be a religious duty to govern their passions. They have united themselves in marriage to the object of their choice, and therefore reason that marriage sanctifies the indulgence of the baser passions. Even men and women professing godliness give loose rein to their lustful passions, and have no thought that God holds them accountable for the expenditure of vital energy, which weakens their hold on life and enervates the entire system.5

During the Puritanical era of the 1800s the ideal spiritual woman manifested little interest in sexuality. Writing in 1871, German neurologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing pronounced, “Woman, …if physically and mentally normal, and properly educated, has but little sensual desire.” Dr. Kellogg has a similar quote in his 1877 book:

I should say that the majority of women, happily for them, are not very much troubled with sexual feeling of any kind. … The best mothers, wives, and managers of households know little or nothing of sexual indulgences. Love of home, of children, of domestic duties, are the only passions they feel. As a general rule, a modest woman seldom desires any sexual gratification for herself.6

Mrs. White advises us that it is the duty of the ideal wife to restrain the desires of her husband:

Sexual excess will effectually destroy a love for devotional exercises, will take from the brain the substance needed to nourish the system, and will most effectively exhaust the vitality. No woman should aid her husband in this work of self-destruction. She will not do it if she is enlightened and has true love for him. The more the animal passions are indulged, the stronger do they become, and the more violent will be their clamors for indulgence. Let God-fearing men and women awake to their duty. Many professed Christians are suffering with paralysis of nerve and brain because of their intemperance in this direction.

“It is not pure, holy love which leads the wife to gratify the animal propensities of her husband at the expense of health and life. If she possesses true love and wisdom, she will seek to divert his mind from the gratification of lustful passions to high and spiritual themes by dwelling upon interesting spiritual subjects. It may be necessary to humbly and affectionately urge, even at the risk of his displeasure, that she cannot debase her body by yielding to sexual excess. She should, in a tender, kind manner, remind him that God has the first and highest claim upon her entire being, and that she cannot disregard this claim, for she will be held accountable in the great day of God.”7

It is questionable whether encouraging the husband to refrain from sexual activity actually benefited the spirituality of the husband. One could argue the constant repression of his natural sexual desires for his wife may induce the husband to lust even more than he would have had his needs been fulfilled by his wife.

Mrs. White’s statements seem somewhat bizarre from a modern medical perspective. There is no evidence that normal, frequent sexual activity takes away vital nourishment from the brain. The defender of Sister White may suggest that she was talking about abnormally extreme frequencies. Just exactly how frequent did Mrs. White view as excessive?

How Frequent is Excessive?

Mrs. White never defined exactly what excessive meant. In order to find out what she meant, we must determine how the term marital excess was used by the other health reformers of her day, in particular the ones from which she acquired her health teachings. In 1834, Sylvester Graham permitted a maximum of once a month.8 O.S. Fowler, a phrenologist who personally favored sex for procreation only, had stated, “to indulge, even in wedlock, as often as the moon quarters, is gradual but effectual destruction of both soul and body.9 Since the moon quarters every seven-and-a-half days, Fowler was saying that engaging in sex at a frequency of once a week was too frequent! Those high frequencies would destroy the body! Adventist physician J.H. Kellogg seemed to agree with Graham by suggesting marriage partners “limit indulgence to the number of months in the year.”10 Kellogg considered daily sex to be dangerous for both partners:

“Another case came under our observation in which the patient, a man, confessed to having indulged every night for twenty years. We did not wonder that at forty he was a complete physical wreck.”11

The Whites seem to have agreed with Fowler’s frequency for they reprinted his advice in an expanded version of Mrs. White’s 1864 book on masturbation, Appeal to Mothers, which was republished in 1870 under the title Solemn Appeal Relative to Solitary Vice, and the Abuses and Excesses of the Marriage Relation.

Scientific research has shown that most married couples engage in sexual activity between 1 and 5 times per week. This is far in excess of the frequency advocated in Solemn Appeal. Interestingly enough, research has shown that men and women who engage in sex frequently live longer than those with less frequent sexual activity.

Mrs. White is Wrong: Higher Frequencies are Actually Healthier

The recently published Caerphilly study from Great Britain suggests that men who have intimate relations more than once-a-week have lower rates of mortality. After analyzing the death rates of nearly 1,000 men ages 45 to 59, researchers from the University of Bristol and Queen’s University of Belfast concluded that men who have more sex seem to live longer. According to the study, having regular marital relations reduces the risk of death by about half.

This analysis was part of a long-term study of chronic disease in which scientists assessed the existence of heart disease in the participants, and also asked them how often they had marital relations. Ten years later, the number of deaths was correlated with the reported frequency of intercourse. Men who said they had sex twice a week had a risk of dying half that of those who said they had sex once a month. Other scientific studies have substantiated this research.13

Mrs. White Preferred Celibacy

Since Mrs. White understood intimate marriage relations to be arousing the “base passions,” it should be no surprise that she advocated celibacy, particularly for church workers. Not only would marital relations arouse the base passions, but they would also result in children which would distract the church workers from their mission. In 1895 Mrs. White wrote:

“The time has come when a sterile condition is not the worst condition to be in.”14

When a missionary couple had children, Mrs. White blasted them:

“I was shown that Brother and Sister Van Horn had departed from God’s counsel in bringing into the world children. God required all there was of them in His work and both could have done a good work for the Master, but the enemy came in and his counsel was followed, and the cause of God was robbed of the attention it should have had… The time has come when, in one sense, they that have wives be as though they had none.”15

In another letter she wrote of another missionary couple:

“How much better would have been the influence of both if they had not married, but both have devoted their interests to God’s cause; and after they were married, how much better for them to have thoroughly considered the situation and decided that God should have all the powers He had given them in the work of saving souls.”16

Mrs. White, convinced of the immediate return of Christ, warned that children would soon be taken from their parents by death. Apparently, this is yet another reason not to engage in marital relations:

“Parents give but little attention to them, and in the near future they will be removed by death. Woe unto them that be with child, and give suck in these days, and if our workers were walking close with God, they would feel that it is no matter of rejoicing to bring a child into the world. A blessing is pronounced upon the eunuchs who keep the Lord’s Sabbath.”17

10 Ways Sex Improves Health12

  1. Improves Health and Happiness

Sexually active people take fewer sick leaves, are more gregarious and enjoy life more. This is the finding of Dr Ted Mcllvenna, from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, when he conducted a study of the sex lives of 90,000 American adults.

  1. Regulates Hormones

Women who have intercourse at least once a week are more likely to have normal menstrual cycles than women who are celibate or who take a “feast-or-famine” approach. This finding is based on a research done by Dr Winnifred Cutler, a specialist in behavioural endocrinology, and director of the Athena Institute in Pennsylvania.

  1. Boosts Oestrogen

The research by Dr Cutler, who had asked several hundred female students to keep a record of their menstrual cycles and sexual behaviour, also reported that women who enjoyed regular weekly sex with a man had significantly higher levels of oestrogen in their blood than women experiencing either sporadic sex or none at all. The benefits of oestrogen are: a healthy cardiovascular system, lower bad cholesterol, higher good cholesterol, more bone density and supple skin.

  1. Burns Calories

At least 4.2 calories per minutes; compared to four calories per minute playing tennis for an average woman weighing 54kg. That’s the estimate given by a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr Alfred Franger.

  1. Strengthens Pelvic Muscles

Martica K Heaner, American fitness expert, believes sex does what Kegel exercises do- tones and conditions the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles play a vital function when it comes to good posture, straighter back and flatter abdominals.

  1. Relieves Menstrual Cramps

Orgasms may also help to relieve period pains which are the result of the endometrial lining of the uterus being oversensitive to the hormone-like substance, prostaglandin.

  1. Boosts Your Immune System

Orgasms boost infection-fighting cells up by 20% according to gynecologist Dr. Dudley Chapman. Orgasm boosts levels of T3 and T4 lymphocyte cells – a type of white blood cell which produces antibodies. Psychologists at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that students who had regular sexual activity had a third higher levels of IgA (immunoglobulin A – an antibody which boosts the immune system).

  1. Reduces Stress

The institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality has found people with fulfilling sex lives are less anxious, violent and hostile.

  1. Relieves Pain

In studies by researchers Beverly Whipple and Barry Komisaruk from Rutgers University, New Jersey, women with conditions such as arthritis and whiplash gain a higher pain threshold through regular orgasms.

  1. Can Cure Headaches

A South Illinois School Of Medicine study on 52 migraine sufferers reported that 16 experienced considerable relief after an orgasm and another eight had their headaches completely gone.

NOTES

  1. Ronald Numbers, Ph.D., Prophetess of Health, p. 154.
  2. Ellen White, Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 29.
  3. Horace Mann, Dedicatory and Inaugural Address.
  4. J.H. Kellogg, Plain Facts for Old and Young, p. 119.
  5. Ellen White, Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 472.
  6. Kellogg, p. 473.
  7. Ellen White, Adventist Home, pp. 124-126.
  8. Sylvester Graham, Lecture to Young Men, on Chastity, pp. 83, 144-148 (1834).
  9. O.S. Fowler, Hereditary Descent, p. 206.
  10. Kellogg, p. 487.
  11. Ibid., p. 468.
  12. Seks itu Nikmat dan Sehat
  13. For further study see Michael F. Roizen, M.D., Real Age, (New York: HarperCollins, 1999) p. 131.
  14. Ellen White, Letter 15, 1895.
  15. Ellen White, MS 34, 1885.
  16. Ellen White, letter written from Europe in 1888, as quoted in “Counsels Regarding Parenthood” (DF 360A), a document produced by the Ellen G. White Estate.
  17. Ibid.

An Appeal to Mothers

Ellen G. White, 1864

NOTE: This is Mrs. White’s first book on health reform. It has been out of print for many years.

My Sisters, my apology for addressing you on this subject is, I am a mother, and feel alarmed for those children and youth who by solitary vice are ruining themselves for this world, and for that which is to come. Let us closely inquire into this subject from the physical, mental and moral points of view.

Mothers, let us first view the results of this vice upon the physical strength. Have you not marked the lack of healthful beauty, of strength, and power of endurance in your dear children? Have you not felt saddened as you have watched the progress of disease upon them which has baffled your skill, and that of physicians? You listen to numerous complaints of headache, catarrh, dizziness, nervousness, pain in the shoulders and side, loss of appetite, pain in the back and limbs, wakeful, feverish nights, of tired feelings in the morning, and great exhaustion after exercising? As you have seen the beauty of health disappearing, and have marked the sallow countenance, or the unnaturally flushed fact have you been aroused sufficiently to look beneath the surface, to inquire into the cause of this physical decay? Have you observed the astonishing mortality among the youth?

And have you not noticed that there was a deficiency in the mental health of your children? That their course seemed to be marked with extremes? That they were absent-minded? That they started nervously when spoken to? And were easily irritated? Have you not noticed when occupied upon a piece of work they would look dreamingly, as though the mind was elsewhere? When they came to their senses, they were unwilling to own the work as coming from their hands, it was so full of mistakes, and showed such marks of inattention? Have you not been astonished at their wonderful forgetfulness? The most simple and oft-repeated directions would be soon forgotten. They might be quick to learn, but it would be of no special benefit to them. The mind would not retain it. What they might learn through hard study, when they would use their knowledge, is missing, lost through their sieve-like memory. Have you not noticed their reluctance to engage in active labor? And their unwillingness to perseveringly accomplish that which they have undertaken, which taxes the mental as well as the physical strength? The tendency of many is to live in indolence.

Have you not witnessed the gloomy sadness upon the countenance, and frequent exhibitions of a morose temper in those who used to be cheerful, kind and affectionate? They are easily excited to jealousy, disposed to look upon the dark side, and when you are laboring for their good, imagine that you are their enemy, that you needlessly reprove and restrain them?

And have you not enquired where will all this end, as you have looked upon your children from a moral point of view? Have you not noticed the increase of disobedience in children, and their manifestations of ingratitude, and impatience under restraint? Have you not been alarmed at their disregard of parental authority, which has bowed down the hearts of their parents with grief and prematurely sprinkled their heads with grey hairs? Have you not witnessed the lack of that noble frankness in your children which they once possessed, and which you admired in them? Some children even express in their countenances a hardened look of depravity. Have you not felt distressed and anxious as you have seen the strong desire in your children to be with the opposite sex, and the overpowering disposition they possessed to form attachments when quite young? With your daughters, the boys have been the theme of conversation, and with your sons it has been the girls. They manifest preference for particular ones, and your advice and warnings produce but little change. Blind passion destroys sensible considerations. And although you may check the outward manifestations, and you credit the promises of amendment yet to your sorrow you find there is no change, only to conceal the matter from you. There are still secret attachments, and stolen interviews. They follow their willful course, and are controlled by their passions, until you are startled by perhaps a premature marriage, or are brought to shame by those who should by their noble course of conduct, bring to you respect and honor. The cases of premature marriage multiply. Boys and girls enter upon the marriage relation with unripe love, immature judgment, without noble, elevated feelings, and take upon themselves the marriage vows, wholly led by their boyish, girlish, passions. They choose for themselves often without the knowledge of the mother who has watched over them, and cared for them, from their earliest infancy.

Attachments formed in childhood have often resulted in a very wretched union or in a disgraceful separation. Early connections, if formed without the consent of parents, have seldom proved happy. The young affections should be restrained until the period arrives when sufficient age and experience will make it honorable, and safe to unfetter them. Those who will not be restrained will be in danger of dragging out an unhappy existence. A youth not out of his teens, is a poor judge of the fitness of a person, as young as himself, to be his companion for life. After their judgment becomes more matured, they view themselves bound for life to each other, perhaps not at all calculated to make each other happy. Then instead of making the best of their lot, recriminations take place, the breach widens, until there is settled indifference and neglect. To them there is nothing sacred in the word home. The very atmosphere is poisoned by unloving words, and bitter reproaches. The offspring of such are placed in a much more unfavorable condition than were their parents. With such surroundings, such examples, what could be expected of them if time should continue? Mothers, the great cause of these physical, mental and moral evils is secret vice which inflames the passions, fevers the imagination, and leads to licentiousness. This vice is laying waste the constitution, and preparing the young for disease of almost every description. And shall we permit our children to pursue a course of self-destruction?

Mothers, view your children from a religious stand point. It gives you pain to see your children feeble in body and mind; but does it not cause you still greater grief to see them almost dead to spiritual things, so that they have but little desire for goodness, beauty of character, and holy purposes? Secret vice is the destroyer of high resolve, earnest endeavor, and strength of will to form a good religious character. All who have any true sense of what is embraced in being a Christian, know that the followers of Christ are under obligation as his disciples, to bring all their passions, their physical powers and mental faculties, into perfect subordination to his will. Those who are controlled by their passions cannot be followers of Christ. They are too much devoted to the service of their master, the originator of every evil, to leave their corrupt habits, and choose the service of Christ.

Godly mothers will inquire, with the deepest concern, Will our children continue to practice habits which will unfit them for any responsible position in this life? Will they sacrifice comeliness, health, intellect, and all hope of Heaven, everything worth possessing, here and hereafter, to the demon passion? May God grant that it may be otherwise, and that our children who are so dear to us, may listen to the voice of warning, and choose the path of purity and holiness.

How important that we teach our children self-control from their very infancy, and learn them the lesson of submitting their wills to us. If they should be so unfortunate as to learn wrong habits, not knowing all the evil results, they can be reformed by appealing to their reason, and convincing them that such habits ruin the constitution, and affect the mind. We should show them that whatever persuasions corrupt persons may use to quiet their awakened fears, and lead them to still indulge this pernicious habit, whatever may be their pretense, they are their enemies and the Devil’s agents. Virtue and purity are of great value. These precious traits are of heavenly origin. They make God our friend, and unite us firmly to his throne.

Satan is controlling the minds of the young, and we must work resolutely, and faithfully to save them. Very young children practice this vice, and it grows upon them and strengthens with their years, until every noble faculty of body and soul is being degraded. Many might have been saved if they had been carefully instructed in regard to the influence of this practice upon their health. They were ignorant of the fact that they were bringing much suffering upon themselves. Children who are experienced in this vice, seem to be bewitched by the Devil until they can impart their vile knowledge to others, even teaching very young children this practice.

Mothers, you cannot be too careful in preventing your children from learning low habits. It is easier to learn evil, than to eradicate it after it is learned. Neighbors may permit their children to come to your house, to spend the evening and the night with your children. Here is a trial, and a choice for you, to run the risk of offending your neighbors by sending their children to their own home, or gratify them, and let them lodge with your children, and thus expose them to be instructed in that knowledge which would be a life-long curse to them.

To save my children from being corrupted I have not allowed them to sleep in the same bed, or in the same room, with other boys, and have, as occasion has required when traveling, made a scanty bed upon the floor for them, rather than have them lodge with others. I have tried to keep them from associating with rough, rude boys, and have presented inducements before them to make their employment at home cheerful and happy. By keeping their minds and hands occupied, they have had but little time, or disposition, to play in the street with other boys, and obtain a street education.

My misfortune, which occurred when I was about nine years old, ruined my health. I looked upon this as a great calamity, and murmured because of it. In a few years I viewed the matter differently. I then looked upon it in the light of a blessing. I regard it thus now. Because of sickness I was kept from society which preserved me in blissful ignorance of the secret vices of the young. After I was a mother, by the private death-bed confessions of some females, who had completed the work of ruin, I first learned that such vices existed. But I had no just conception of the extent of this vice, and the injury the health sustained by it, until a still later period.

The young indulge to quite an extent in this vice before the age of puberty without experiencing to any very great degree the evil results upon the constitution. But at this critical period, while merging into manhood and womanhood, nature makes them feel the violation of her laws.

As the mother sees her daughter languid and dispirited, with but little vigor, easily irritated, start suddenly and nervously when spoken to, she feels alarmed, and has fears that her daughter will not be able to reach womanhood with a good constitution. She relieves her, if possible, from active labor, and anxiously consults a physician, who prescribes for her without making searching inquiries, and suggesting to the unsuspecting mother the probable cause of her daughter’s illness. Secret indulgence is in many cases the only real cause of the numerous complaints of the young. This vice is laying waste the vital forces, and debilitating the system, and until the habit, which produced the result, is broken off, there can be no permanent cure. To relieve the young from healthful labor is the worst possible course a parent can pursue. Their life is then aimless, the mind and hands unoccupied, the imagination active, and left free to indulge in thoughts that are not pure and healthful. This gives them opportunity for a more free indulgence in that vice which is the foundation of all their complaints.

It is a crime for mothers to allow themselves to remain in ignorance in regard to the habits of their children. If they are pure, keep them so. Fortify their young minds, and prepare them to detest this health and soul-destroying vice. Shield them, as faithful mothers should, from becoming contaminated by associating with every young companion. Keep them, as precious jewels, from the corrupting influence of this age. If you are situated so that their intercourse with young associates cannot always be overruled, as you would wish to have it, then let them visit your children in your presence, and in no case allow these associates to lodge in the same bed, or even in the same room. It will be far easier to prevent an evil than to cure it afterward.

If your children practice this vice, they may be in danger of resorting to falsehood to deceive you. But, mothers, you must not be easily quieted, and cease your investigations. 14 You should not let the matter rest until you are fully satisfied. The health and souls of those you love are in peril, which makes this matter of the greatest importance. Determined watchfulness, and close inquiry, notwithstanding the attempts to evade and conceal, will generally reveal the true state of the case. Then should the mother faithfully present this subject to them in its true light, showing its degrading, downward tendency. Try to convince them that indulgence in this sin will destroy self-respect, and nobleness of character; will ruin health and morals, and its foul stain will blot from the soul true love for God, and the beauty of holiness. The mother should pursue this matter until she has sufficient evidence that the practice is at an end.

The course which most mothers pursue, in training their children in this dangerous age, is injurious to their children. It prepares the way to make their ruin more certain. Some mothers, with their own hands, open the door and virtually invite the Devil in, by permitting their daughters to remain in idleness, or what is but little better, spend their time in knitting edging, crocheting, or embroidering, and employ a hired girl to do those things their children should do. They let them visit other young friends, form their own acquaintances, and even go from their parental watchcare some distance from home, where they are allowed to do very much as they please. Satan improves all such opportunities, and takes charge of the minds of these children whom mothers ignorantly expose to his artful snares. Because this course was pursued thirty years ago with comparative safety, it is no evidence that it can be now. The present cannot be judged by the past.

Mothers should take their daughters with them into the kitchen, and give them a thorough education in the cooking department. They should also instruct them in the art of substantial sewing. They should teach them how to cut garments economically, and put them together neatly. Some mothers, rather than to take this trouble, to patiently instruct their inexperienced daughters, prefer to do all themselves. But in so doing they leave the essential branches of education neglected, and commit a great wrong against their children; for in after life they feel embarrassment, because of their lack of knowledge in these things.

Mothers should educate their daughters in regard to the laws of life. They should understand their own frame, and the relation their eating, drinking, and every-day habits, have to health, and a sound constitution, without which the sciences would be of but little benefit.

The help of the daughters will often make so much difference with the mother’s work, that kitchen help can be dispensed with, which will prove not only a saving of expense, but a continual benefit to the children, by making room for them to labor, and bringing them into the society, and under the direct influence of, their mother, whose duty it is to patiently instruct the dear ones committed to her care. Also a door will be closed against much evil, which a hired girl may bring into a family. In a few days she may exert a strong influence over the children of the family, and initiate your daughters into the practice of deception and vice.

Children should be instructed from their early years to be helpful, and share the burdens of their parents. By thus doing they can be a great blessing in lightening the cares of the weary mother. While children are engaged in active labor, time will not hang heavily upon their hands, and they will have less opportunity to associate with vain, talkative, unsuitable companions, whose evil communications might blight the whole life of an innocent girl, by corrupting her good manners.

Active employment will give but little time to invite Satan’s temptations. They may be often weary, but this will not injure them. Nature will restore their vigor and strength in their sleeping hours, if her laws are not violated. And the thoroughly tired person has less inclination for secret indulgence.

Mothers allow themselves to be deceived in regard to their daughters. If they labor, and then appear languid and indisposed, the indulgent mother fears that she has overtaxed her daughter, and resolves henceforward to lighten her task. The mother bears the extra amount of labor which should have been performed by the daughter. If the true facts in the case of many were known, it would be seen that it was not the labor which was the cause of the difficulty, but wrong habits which were prostrating the vital energies, and bringing upon them a sense of weakness and great debility. In such cases, when mothers relieve their daughters from active labor, they, by so-doing, virtually give them up to idleness, to reserve their energies to consume upon the altar of lust. They remove the obstacles, giving the mind more freedom to run in a wrong channel, where they will more surely carry on the work of self-ruin.

The state of our world was presented before me, and my attention was especially called to the youth of our time. Everywhere I looked, I saw imbecility, dwarfed forms, crippled limbs, misshapen heads, and deformity of every description. Sins and crimes, and the violation of nature’s laws, were shown me as the causes of this accumulation of human woe and suffering. I saw such degradation and vile practices, such defiance of God, and I heard such words of blasphemy, that my soul sickened. From what was shown me, a large share of the youth now living are worthless. Corrupt habits are wasting their energies, and bringing upon them loathsome and complicated diseases. Unsuspecting parents will try the skill of one physician after another, who prescribe drugs, when they generally know the real cause of the failing health, but for fear of offending and losing their fees, they keep silent, when as faithful physicians they should expose the real cause. Their drugs only add a second great burden for abused nature to struggle against, which often breaks down in her efforts and the victim dies. And the friends look upon the death as a mysterious dispensation of providence, when the most mysterious part of the matter is, that nature bore up as long as she did against her violated laws. Health, reason, and life, were sacrificed to depraved lusts.

I have been shown that children who practice self-indulgence previous to puberty, or the period of merging into manhood and womanhood, must pay the penalty of nature’s violated laws at that critical period.

Many sink into an early grave, while others have sufficient force of constitution to pass this ordeal. If the practice is continued from the ages of fifteen and upward, nature will protest against the abuse she has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of thirty to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous humors. Some of nature’s fine machinery gives way, leaving a heavier task for the remaining to perform, which disorders nature’s fine arrangement, and there is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution, and death is the result.

Mothers, give your children enough to do. If they get weary, it will not injure health. There is quite a difference between weariness and exhaustion. Indolence will not be favorable to physical, mental, or moral, health. It throws open the door, and invites Satan in, which opportunity he improves, and draws the young into his snares. By indolence, not only the moral strength is weakened, and the impulse of passion increased, but Satan’s angels take possession of the whole citadel of the mind, and compel conscience to surrender to vile passion. We should teach our children habits of patient industry. We should beware of indulging them too much. When they meet with difficulty in their labor, we must help them through it, instead of carrying them over it. It might be easier for us at the time to do the latter, but we fail to teach a useful and valuable lesson to our children of self-reliance, and are preparing the way to greatly increase our cares in the end. We should wake up in our children generous, noble principles, and urge them to active exertions, which will shield them from a multitude of temptations, and make their lives happier.

My sisters, as mothers we are responsible in a great degree for the physical, mental, and moral health of our children. We can do much by teaching them correct habits of living. We can show them, by our example, that we make a great account of health, and that they should not violate its laws. We should not make it a practice to place upon our tables food which would injure the health of our children. Our food should be prepared free from spices. Mince pies, cakes, preserves, and highly-seasoned meats, with gravies, create a feverish condition in the system, and inflame the animal passions. We should teach our children to practice habits of self-denial, that the great battle of life is with self, to restrain the passions, and bring them into subjection to the mental and moral faculties.

My sisters, be entreated to spend less time over the cook-stove, wearing out the strength given you of God to be used for a better purpose, in preparing food to tempt the appetite. A plain, nourishing diet will not require so great an amount of labor. We should devote more time to humble, earnest prayer to God, for wisdom to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The health of the mind is dependent upon the health of the body. As Christian parents we are bound to train our children in reference to the laws of life. We should instruct them, by precept and example, that we do not live to eat, but that we eat to live. We should encourage in our children a love for nobleness of mind, and a pure, virtuous character. In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions, the love of spiritual things, we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal food, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits, as articles of food.

Mothers, is there not a work for you to do in your families? You may inquire, how can we remedy the evils which already exist? How shall we begin the work? If you lack wisdom, go to God, he has promised to give liberally. Pray much, and fervently, for divine aid. One rule can not be followed in every case. The exercise of sanctified judgment is now needful. Be not hasty and agitated, and approach your children with censure. Such a course would only cause rebellion in them. You should feel deeply over any wrong course you have taken, which may have opened a door for Satan to lead your children by his temptations. If you have not instructed them in regard to the violation of the laws of health, blame rests upon you. You have neglected an important duty, which result may be seen in the wrong practices of your children. Before you engage in the work of teaching your children the lesson of self-control, you should learn it yourself. If you are easily agitated, and become impatient, how can you appear reasonable to your children, while instructing them to control their passions? With self-possession, and feelings of the deepest sympathy and pity, you should approach your erring children, and faithfully present to them the sure work of ruin upon their constitutions, if they continue the course they have begun. That as they debilitate the physical, and mental, so also the moral must feel the decay, and they are sinning, not only against themselves, but against God.

You should make them feel, if possible, that it is God, the pure and holy God, that they have been sinning against; that the great Searcher of hearts is displeased with their course; that nothing is concealed from him. If you can so impress your children, that they will exercise that repentance which is acceptable to God, that godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of, the work will be thorough, the reform certain. They will not feel sorrow merely because their sins are known; but they will view their sinful practices in their aggravated character, and will be led to confess them to God, without reserve, and will forsake them. They will feel to sorrow for their wrong course, because they have displeased God, and sinned against him, and dishonored their bodies before Him who created them, and has required them to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto him, which is their reasonable service.

“What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

You should present encouragements before your children that a merciful God will accept true heart repentance, and will bless their endeavors to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. As Satan sees that he is losing control over the minds of your children, he will strongly tempt them, and seek to bind them to continue to practice this bewitching vice. But with a firm purpose they must resist Satan’s temptations to indulge the animal passions, because it is sin against God. They should not venture on forbidden ground, where Satan can claim control over them. If they in humility entreat God for purity of thought, and a refined and sanctified imagination, he will hear them, and grant their petitions. God has not left them to perish in their sins, but will help the weak and helpless, if they cast themselves in faith upon him. Those who have been in the practice of secret indulgence until they have prostrated the physical and mental strength, may never fully recover the result of the violation of nature’s laws; but their only salvation in this world, and that which is to come, depends upon an entire reform. Every deviation is making recovery more hopeless. None should be discouraged if they perceive no decided improvement in their health after the habit has been broken off for quite a length of time. If nature’s laws have not been too long abused, she will carry on her restoring process, although it may not be immediately realized. But some have so long abused nature that she cannot recover entirely. Such must feel as long as they live, to a greater or less degree, the result of the violation of nature’s laws.

We do not include all the youth who are feeble as guilty of wrong habits. There are those who are pure-minded and conscientious, who are sufferers from different causes over which they have no control.

The only sure safety for our children against every vicious practice, is to seek to be admitted into the fold of Christ, and to be taken under the watchcare of the faithful and true Shepherd. He will save them from every evil, shield them from all dangers, if they will heed his voice. He says, “My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.” In Christ they will find pasture, obtain strength and hope, and will not be troubled with restless longings for something to divert the mind, and satisfy the heart. They have found the pearl of great price, and the mind is at peaceful rest. Their pleasures are of a pure, peaceful, elevated, heavenly character. They leave no painful reflections, no remorse. Such pleasures do not impair health, or prostrate the mind, but are of a healthful nature.

Communion with, and love for, God, the practice of holiness, the destruction of sin, are all pleasant. The reading of God’s word will not fascinate the imagination, and inflame the passions, like a fictitious story-book, but softens, soothes, elevates, and sanctifies, the heart. When in trouble, when assailed by fierce temptations, they have the privilege of prayer. What an exalted privilege! Finite beings, of dust and ashes, admitted through the mediation of Christ, into the audience-chamber of the Most High. In such exercises the soul is brought into a sacred nearness with God, and is renewed in knowledge, and true holiness, and fortified against the assaults of the enemy.

A Mr. – professed to be a devoted follower of Christ. He was in very feeble health. Our feelings of sympathy were called out in his behalf. He could not hold his head steady. His eyes had a glassy appearance, his hands trembled, and when he walked, his knees shook; he staggered like a drunken man, and often seemed ready to fall. He was obliged to fix his eyes upon an object in the distance before him, and then make for that object. He would thus gain force enough to reach the place he desired.

His case was shown me in vision. I saw that he was deceived in regard to himself, that he was not in favor with God. He had practiced self-abuse until he was a mere wreck of humanity. This vice was shown me as an abomination in the sight of God. No matter how high a person’s profession, those who are willing to be employed in gratifying the lust of the flesh, cannot be Christians. As servants of Christ, their employment, and meditations, and pleasure, should consist in things more excellent.

Many are ignorant of the sinfulness of these habits, and their certain results. Such need to be enlightened. Some who profess to be followers of Christ, know that they are sinning against God, and ruining their health, yet they are slaves to their own corrupt passions. They feel a guilty conscience, and have less and less inclination to approach God in secret prayer. They may keep up the form of religion, yet be destitute of the grace of God in the heart. They have no devotedness to his service, no trust in him, no living to his glory, no pleasure in his ordinances, and no delight in him. The first commandment requires every living being to love and serve God with their whole mind and strength. Especially should professed Christians understand the principles of acceptable obedience.

Can any expect that God will accept a profession, a form, merely, while the heart is withheld, and they refuse to obey his commandments? They sacrifice physical strength and reason upon the altar of lust, and can they think that God will accept their distracted, imbecile service, while they continue their wrong course? Such are just as surely self-murderers as though they pointed a pistol to their own breast, and destroyed their life instantly. In the first case they linger longer, are more debilitated, and destroy gradually the vital force of their constitution, and the mental faculties; yet the work of decay is sure. While they live, they curse the earth with their imbecile influence, are a stumbling-block to sinners, and cause their friends living sorrow, and an immeasurable weight of anxiety and care as they mark the signs of their decay, and have daily evidence of their impaired intellect.

To take one’s life instantly is no greater sin in the sight of Heaven, than to destroy it gradually, but surely. Persons who bring upon themselves sure decay, by wrong-doing, will suffer the penalty here, and without a thorough repentance, will not be admitted into Heaven hereafter any sooner than the one who destroys life instantly. The will of God establishes the connection between cause and its effects. Fearful consequences are attached to the least violation of God’s law. All will seek to avoid the result, but will not labor to avoid the cause which produced the effect. The cause is wrong, the effect right, to restrain the transgressor.

The inhabitants of Heaven are perfect, because the will of God is their joy, and supreme delight. Many here destroy their own comfort injure their health, and violate a good conscience, because they will not cease to do wrong. The injunctions to mortify the deeds of the body, with its affections and lusts, has no effect upon them. They profess Christ, but are not his followers, and never can be, until they cease their wrong-doing, and work the work of righteousness.

Females possess less vital force than the other sex, and are deprived very much of the bracing, invigorating air, by their in-doors life. The results of self-abuse in them is seen in various diseases, such as catarrh, dropsy, headache, loss of memory and sight, great weakness in the back and loins, affections of the spine, the head often decays inwardly. Cancerous humor, which would lay dormant in the system their life-time, is inflamed, and commences its eating, destructive work. The mind is often utterly ruined, and insanity takes place.

I was referred to Rom. i, 18-32, as a true description of the world previous to the second appearing of Christ. The only hope for those who practice vile habits is to forever leave them if they place any value upon health here, and salvation hereafter. When these habits have been indulged in for quite a length of time, it requires a determined effort to resist temptation, and refuse the corrupt indulgence. The Mr. -, mentioned, had practiced these habits so long he seemed to have lost the control of himself. He was naturally a smart man, possessing more than common abilities. But how were all his powers of body and mind brought into subjection by Satan, and consumed upon his altar! This man had gone so far he seemed to be left of God. He would go into the woods and spend days and nights in fasting and prayer that he might overcome this great sin, and then would return to his old habits. God did not hear his prayers. He asked God to do for him what had been in his power to do for himself. He had vowed to God, time and again, and had as often broken his vows, and given himself up to his own corrupt lust, until God had left him to work his own ruin. He has since died. He was a self-murderer. The purity of heaven will never be marred with his society. Those who destroy themselves by their own acts will never have eternal life. They that will continue to abuse the health and life given them of God in this world, would not make a right use of health and immortal life were it granted them in God’s everlasting kingdom.

The practice of secret habits surely destroys the vital forces of the system. All unnecessary vital action will be followed by corresponding depression. Among the young, the vital capital, the brain, is so severely taxed at an early age, that there is a deficiency, and great exhaustion, which leaves the system exposed to disease of various kinds. But the most common of these is consumption. None can live when their vital energies are used up. They must die. God hates everything impure, and his frown is upon all who give themselves up to gradual and sure decay.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

Those who corrupt their own bodies cannot enjoy the favor of God, until they sincerely repent, make an entire reform, and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. None can be Christians and indulge in habits which debilitate the system, and bring on a state of prostration of the vital forces, which end in making a complete wreck of beings formed in the image of God. This moral pollution will certainly bring its reward. The cause must bring the results. Those who profess to be disciples of Christ should be elevated in all their thoughts and acts, and should ever realize that they are fitting for immortality, and that if saved, they must be without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Their Christian character must be without a blemish, or they will be pronounced unfit to be taken to a holy heaven, to dwell with pure, sinless beings in God’s everlasting kingdom.

It is the special work of Satan in these last days to take possession of the minds of youth, to corrupt their thoughts, and inflame their passions, knowing that by thus doing he can lead them to moral pollution, and then all the noble faculties of the mind will become debased, and he can control them to suit his own purposes. All are free moral agents. And as such they must bring their thoughts to run in the right channel. Their meditations should be of that nature which will elevate their minds, and make Jesus and heaven the subjects of their thoughts. Here is a wide field in which the mind can safely range. If Satan seeks to divert the mind from this to low and sensual things, bring it back again, and place it on eternal things; and when the Lord sees the determined effort made to retain only pure thoughts, he will attract the mind, like the magnet, and purify the thoughts, and enable them to cleanse themselves from every secret sin. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” The first work for those who would reform, is to purify the imagination. If the mind is led out in a vicious direction, it must be restrained to dwell only upon pure and elevated subjects. When tempted to yield to a corrupt imagination, then flee to the throne of grace and pray for strength from Heaven. In the strength of God the imagination can be restricted to dwell upon things which are pure and heavenly.

Some young persons who have knowledge in the vile practices of the world, seek to awaken the curiosity of other inquisitive minds, and impart to them that secret knowledge which ignorance of would be bliss. They are not content with practising themselves the vice they have learned. They are hurried on by the Devil, to whisper their evil communications to other minds, to corrupt their good manners. And unless the youth have fixed religious principles, they will be corrupted. A heavy penalty will rest upon those who suffered Satan to use them as mediums to lead astray, and corrupt the minds of others. A heavy curse rested upon the Serpent in Eden, because he was the medium Satan used to tempt our first parents to transgress. And whoever yields themselves to subvert others, a heavy curse from God will follow them. And although those who permit themselves to be led astray, and learn vile habits, will suffer for their sin, yet those guilty of instructing them, will also suffer for their own sins, and the sins they led others to commit. It were better for such if they had never been born.

Those who would have that wisdom which is from God, must become fools in the sinful knowledge of this age, in order to be wise. They should shut their eyes that they may see and learn no evil. They should close their ears lest they hear that which is evil, and obtain that knowledge which would stain their purity of thoughts and acts; and guard their tongues lest they utter corrupt communications, and guile be found in their mouths.

All are accountable for their actions while in this world upon probation. All have power to control their actions, if they will. If they are weak in virtue and purity of thoughts, and acts, they can obtain help from the Friend of the helpless. Jesus is acquainted with all the weaknesses of human nature, and if entreated, will give strength to overcome the most powerful temptations. All can obtain this strength if they seek for it in humility. Jesus gives all a blessed invitation who are burdened, and laden with sin, to come to him, the sinner’s friend. “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Here the most inquisitive may safely learn in the school of Christ that which will prove for their present and everlasting good. The uneasy and dissatisfied will here find rest. With their thoughts and affections centered in Christ, they will obtain true wisdom, which will be worth more to them than the richest earthly treasures.

Many professed Christians do not labor perseveringly. They make too little effort, and are not ready and willing to deny self. The prayer of the living Christian will be “to be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding, that they may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering, with joyfulness.” “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Here is the true knowledge which should be desired, and possessed by every Christian. This knowledge will not lead to ungodliness. It will not break down the constitution, or bring a gloomy cloud over the mind; but will impart substantial joys, and true happiness. This wisdom is divine, and flows ceaselessly from a pure fountain which gives peace, joy and health.

Even many professed Christians seem to have no earnest desire for this heavenly knowledge, and remain in willing ignorance of this divine grace which it is their privilege to obtain. The only safety for the youth is to seek this precious wisdom which will assuredly destroy all desire for corrupt knowledge. And when they have acquired a relish for the pure, calm, satisfying joys of faith and holiness, every feeling of their being will rise in abhorrence to corrupting pleasures. All can choose life if they will. They can resist sin, take pleasure in the ways of righteousness and true holiness, and be rewarded with eternal life in God’s everlasting kingdom. If they choose to corrupt their ways before the Lord, defile their own bodies and commit self-murder, they can do so; but they should remember the judgment is to sit, and the books are to be opened, and they are to be judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to their works. What a fearful, spotted record will be opened before them, of their secret thoughts, and vile acts. Sentence is pronounced upon them, and they are shut out from the city of God, with the ungodly, and miserably perish with the wicked.

Now is the time of preparation. None need to expect that God will do the work of preparing and fitting them up, without their efforts. It is for them to work the works of righteousness, and crowd all the right-doing they can into the little space of time allotted to them before probation closes, that they may have a clean record in Heaven.

The Masturbation Connection

By Gregory Hunt, MD

The revelation that was to shape Adventist health reform was given to Ellen White in the famous vision of Oswego, on June the 6th, 1863. During a vision lasting 45 minutes, God showed her highly advanced medical principles years ahead of her time. Such, anyway, is the claim. (Ellen G. White: Prophet of Destiny, Rene Noorbergen, p. 98.)

One would think that with man’s knowledge being what it was, God could have revealed some highly useful information. For example:

  1. In 1863, a major purveyor of disease was milk. Milk carried a variety of disease, the most serious of which were brucellosis and tuberculosis; and it did so until the discovery, about 1870, of pasteurization: a simple effective process that could have been revealed to Mrs. White.
  2. Thousands died annually of typhus and cholera because no one knew that these could be prevented by the boiling of drinking water: another simple and effective expedient that could have been revealed to Mrs. White.
  3. The world’s greatest killer at this time was malaria. Countless people died of it. That is was caused by a micro-organism spread by mosquitoes wasn’t known until discovered by Ronald Ross, an Englishman, in 1898. God might have revealed to Mrs. White the value of draining mosquito breeding grounds.
  4. God could have revealed the use of vaccination.
  5. God could have revealed the use of antibiotics.

God could have revealed these and other life-saving techniques. In doing so, He would have:

  • Proved the visions.
  • Saved lives.

Turning from what God might have revealed to what He did reveal we learn the particulars with some surprise.

Just months after the vision, Ellen White published An Appeal to Mothers: The Great Cause of the Physical, Mental, and Moral Ruin of Children of Our Time. This was Mrs. White’s first book on health reform. Its intent was to warn the world about the dangers of – MASTURBATION!

Mrs. White, it seems, was dissatisfied with the result of this production and six years later she produced an amplified version entitled “A Solemn Appeal.” This book was edited by her husband and included articles from other writers to back up Mrs. White’s counsel.

This booklet is today unavailable, and any who read it can see why. Let us examine some of its passages.

“I feel alarmed for those children and you who by solitary vice are ruining themselves…you listen to numerous complaints of headache, catarrh, dizziness, nervousness, pain in the shoulders and side, loss of appetite, pain in the back and limbs…and have you not noticed that there was a deficiency in the mental health of your children?” “Secret indulgence [masturbation] is, in many cases, the only real cause of the numerous complaints of the young.” (p. 11, 13)

“The state of the world is alarming. Everywhere we look we see imbecility, dwarfed forms, crippled limbs, misshapen heads and deformity of every description… Corrupt habits are wasting their energy, and bringing upon them loathsome and complicated diseases… Children who practice self-indulgence [masturbation]…must pay the penalty.” (p. 14)

It is enlightening to note that Ellen White’s original writing of this last quotation has been altered. Her husband deleted the words that showed that his wife had seen this in vision. Was he embarrassed by the fact?

The passage originally said: “The state of the world was presented before me [in vision], and my attention was especially called to the youth of our time. Everywhere I looked, I saw imbecility, dwarfed forms” etc. This is much more authoritative than: “Everywhere we look we see…” Maybe James White doubted that this was something God had actually shown his wife. Be that as it may, he altered it. Let’s continue.

“If the practice is continued from the ages of 15 and upward, nature will protest…and will make them pay the penalty…by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys and cancerous humours… There is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution, and death is the result.” (p. 14-15)

“Females possess less vital force than the other sex.” (See Note:) The result of self abuse in them is seen in various diseases, such as catarrh, dropsy, headache, loss of memory and sight, great weakness in the back and loins, affections of the spine, and frequently, inward decay of the head… The mind is often utterly ruined, and insanity supervenes… Such are just as much self-murderers as though they pointed a pistol to their own breast… Among the young the vital capital, and the brain are so severely taxed at an early age, that there is deficiency and great exhaustion, which leave the system exposed to diseases of various kinds. But the most common of these is consumption [tuberculosis]… They must die.” (p. 17)

(Note: For the uninitiated, the basic idea of the vital force theory is that an individual begins life with a certain amount of “vital force,” and expends that force slowly or quickly – the more quickly, the sooner it runs out – death follows.)

“There is hardly an end to the diseases caused by solitary vice” – following which statement we find a long train of diseases supposedly so caused, among them “epilepsy, impaired eye sight,” “bleeding at the lungs, spasms of the heart and lungs, diabetes,” “rheumatism, affected perspiration, consumption [tuberculosis again], asthma,” and more than a dozen others.

Then a case history is reviewed. A two year old, who was epileptic and paralytic, was brought to a doctor. “By the most vigilant use of mechanical means for confining the hands, covering the genitals, etc. the child was at length cured; he now enjoys good health.”

Picture yourself taking your two year old to see a doctor after he has suffered a convulsion. The doctor says your two year old has epilepsy caused by masturbating [in a 2 year old?]. You are going to have to tie his hands until he is cured. This is the kind of stuff that Ellen White believed with all her heart, and asked us to believe was shown her by God in vision.

Let us continue with these fascinating quotations:

“Unchastity deranges, debilitates, and ruins the body. Now, out of this startling fact arises another fact, if possible more startling. It is that unchastity deranges, debilitates, and ruins the mind.” “I saw a young woman in a town of Massachusetts who made herself an idiot by masturbation.” (p.2-3)

“In the fall of 1844, the writer visited the Massachusetts State Lunatic Hospital…. Our attention was suddenly arrested by a peculiarly haggard, frantic, wild, fiendish appearance of a young man, with his eye turned back over his shoulder. Struck with his shocking aspect, we inquired…what was the cause of his insanity. ‘Solitary vice,’ was the ready reply.” (p. 4)

“Lascivious day-dreams and amorous reveries…often [cause] debility, premature disease, and even premature death, without the actual exercise of the genital organs.” (p. 9-10) Think of it: death caused by mere thinking!

“There is hardly an end to the diseases caused by solitary vice.” “It hurries its victims to insanity.” “Confirmed onanists…will shrink from few acts of crime.” (p. 11,20-21)

“Self-abuse opens the door for…almost every disease from which humanity suffers.” “Language supplies no word sufficiently strong to express the horrors which result from it!” “Self-abuse is a sure road to the grave.” (p. 84-85,90)

“After indulging in this habit for a time, the child loses its bright and happy look; it becomes pale with a greenish tint.” “Many children are born with this propensity and the habit is commenced in infancy.” “Little babies [!] acquire the habit…” In these cases, the victims “live but to linger a little.” (p. 22,97)

Women are “dying by thousands, of consumption [tuberculosis], of spinal affections, of general debility, and…of insanity, caused solely by this practice.” (p. 191-192) Thus tuberculosis, an infectious disease, could be caused solely through masturbation! “No other cause of disease equals this.” “This picture…is not overdrawn.”

Well, enough is enough. We can see that Ellen White was preoccupied with masturbation. Her vision from God indicated that it causes blindness, epilepsy, diabetes, on through a long list.

When I revealed this information to some staunch Adventists they actually defended these assertions. Emotion took over and paralyzed their common sense.

Anyone can see that these diseases are not caused by masturbation. Tuberculosis is caused by a germ, a specific bacterium. In fact the germ that causes tuberculosis was discovered shortly after these writings (or should I say “rantings”?) of Ellen White. How can anyone today believe in Solemn Appeal’s nonsense? How could anyone insist that the woman who endorsed it was a prophet of God?

The Cause of the Cause

Having been told that masturbation causes these illnesses, what are we to do about it? Well, one must know what might lead to masturbation so that one can avoid it.

“We noticed bad diet as a cause of unchastity. By bad diet we mean the use of food and drinks of bad qualities and unreasonable quantities.” (p.5)

“A diet chiefly or wholly vegetable is best adapted to allay passionate excitement. Flesh meat diet is more stimulating than vegetable. Consequently it is plain that all those who suffer from too high venereal excitement, should abandon it [meat]… When children shall be taught correct habits of diet, much, very much, will be done toward the removal of secret vice and other species of unchastity from society.” (p.9)

Mince pies, cakes, preserves, and highly seasoned meats with gravies, create a feverish condition in the system, and inflame the animal passions… We should encourage in our children a love for nobleness of mind, and a pure and virtuous character. In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions…we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal foods, and use grains, vegetables and fruits.” (p.15)

“Sip no more the beverage of China; no more the drinks of Java’… What shall you drink at your meals?… I say, nothing is best; yet cocoa, chocolate, or warm water seasoned, or bread coffee, rice coffee…will be good substitutes as they do not inflame.” “For a similar reason, meats, mustards, condiments, peppers, spices, rich foods, gravies, everything heating and irritating, will only add to existing inflammation, and increase both desire and disease… Some kinds of food excite amorous desires; while others, as rice, bread, fruit, vegetables do not; and may therefore be eaten.” “As to suppers, I recommend none at all. A full stomach induces dreams or the exercise, in sleep, of those organs most liable to spontaneous action, which produces libidinous dreams, with accompanying night emissions… A heating, stimulating diet still more prematurely develops this passion. We have already seen that meats, teas, coffee, mustards, spices, etc. stimulate in adults… A heating diet is the most prolific cause of excessive and perverted sexuality… Eat and drink cooling, calming articles only.” “Sleeping on feather beds and feather pillows is another cause…of solitary vice.”

We have just seen several of the stimulants which leads one to masturbation. In fact, meats and spices are claimed to be aphrodisiacs. We notice that we should not eat supper as this would cause us to have wet dreams. Also we should recognize that sleeping on feather beds and feather pillows tends to make us masturbate.

Here is the reason that Ellen White counsels against meat eating. As time went on she added other reasons. But the original reason for abstaining from meat, as given by her great health vision, is to prevent arousing passions leading to masturbation which in turn leads to disease, insanity, and death. Is this a prophet of God speaking?

The Cure

Having pointed out the cause of masturbation and its disastrous results, what is her counsel as to how we could get out of such a dilemma? Mrs. White was greatly impressed with hydrotherapy or water treatments, which at the time were a national fad. Few Adventists today, reading about the days when Ellen White went about founding sanitariums, realize that these actually were (and remained throughout Ellen White’s lifetime) water cure establishments, whose major service was to cure persons from masturbating. Let us look at their regimen:

Here is a brief outline of the course of treatment which should be adopted…

  1. Diet. The diet of this class of individuals should be rigidly abstemious. The food should be nutritious but non-stimulating. The two meal system is of special advantage as the presence of food in the stomach at night is often the exciting cause of nocturnal emissions.
  2. Sleeping. Sufferers should never lie in bed to encourage a dreamy or unsound sleep… The bed should not be too soft and on no account should feathers be tolerated.
  3. Bathing. The baths should be cool, but not too cold. A sitz bath may be taken from once to four times a week of a few minutes duration, at as low a temperature as can be tolerated without chilliness. Give at the same time a hot foot bath, and apply cool wet towels to the head. The frequency of this treatment will depend upon the condition of the patient… Too much warm bathing must be guarded against as weakening in tendency… A wet girdle may be worn a portion of the time, especially at night…
  4. Exercise. Much mental exercise should be strenuously avoided. The mind should not be taxed with cares, nor should much reading be indulged in. Especially should any exercise if the brain be avoided in the evening. As congestion of the brain is often the exciting cause of [involuntary emissions], it will readily be seen that to keep the head cool is all important.

Here is heaven’s approved masturbation cure. In short, the patient should avoid stimulating food, particularly meat, should not eat supper, should avoid feather beds, should take prescribed baths (and imagine yourself doing this) consisting of sitting in a pail of cool water, putting your feet in a pail of hot water and wrapping cold bandages around your head. At other times a person should wear a wet girdle. Not only is supper disallowed but in the evening thinking is banned.

After reading these wise counsels and realizing Ellen White claimed divine inspiration for them, I would say there is only one class of person that could continue to believe that Ellen White is a true prophet. This type of person can only be classed as an idiot.

During my three years in the Adventist Church I didn’t hear one sermon about meat eating and masturbation – lots of rumbling about meat, but nothing about these secret horrors. Why? Isn’t it time other Adventists learned the facts?

Abandoning the Masturbation Connection

In later years Mrs. White pretty much abandoned the meat and masturbation connection. She now gave a different reason for not eating meat: the belief that it directly transmits diseases, particularly cancer. This of course is the reason given by modern SDAs who (like Mrs. White herself) let the original vision-delivered reason to remain buried in silence.

The above is a compendium of the book Beware This Cult by Gregory Hunt, MD, 1981.