Is it a sin to masturbate? I do it while looking at porn sites online. I think it’s sinful, but am not really sure, since everybody does it. Isn’t it just part of being human? To be honest, masturbating doesn’t feel like so sinful before I do it, but then, when it’s over, I feel like it is. I can’t find anything in the Bible to help me with any of this. I would be very grateful for any advice from you.
“I don’t think it’s much of a sin before I … go into manual override—but when I’m done I do think it’s a sin.” Man, if that doesn’t wrap up the entire male relationship with … doing hand-to-gland combat, I don’t know what does.
You’re right, of course: literally everyone … debugs their own hard drive. And there’s nothing in the Bible saying anything different—or really saying anything at all on the matter. Apparently even God is too shy to talk about … bopping the bonzo.
So here’s the deal with the whole Masturbation and Porn phenomenon. The entire porno industry’s raison d’être is male masturbation. Sure, sometimes couples watch porn together. But that’s like two people riding the same Vespa scooter. Yes, they’ll probably get where they want to go. But offering two people one ride isn’t what keeps the Vespa company in business.
There are only two modes by which you can access any knowledge about yourself. One is all the information that comes to you from the outside world. All of that information is relative. You’re strong, you’re smart, you’re short, you’re tall, you’re right-handed, you’re ambitious, you’re lazy, you’re young, you’re old, you’re funny, you’re boring, you’re good-looking, you’re not … all of that sort of thing—which is to say pretty much everything you think about yourself—originates from outside of you. It has meaning only relative to everyone and everything else in the world. It’s not internal to you. It’s not organic to you. Though (God knows) it can feel like it is, it is not self-generated. It all comes from … out there.
From inside of yourself—from the other mode of knowledge about yourself available to you—there is only one single thing that is true.
One. Your whole nature and being consists of one quality that is absolute, irreducible, and organically your own—that exists inside of you, and has nothing to do with the relativity of the outside world.
Ultimately, you possess one quality, and only that one. And that quality is that you love.
You love, you love, you love. That’s what you were born to do. That’s what we were all born to do. That’s the only thing that truly, for each of us, defines us.
You, my horny friend (which is to say, my human friend) will masturbate. That cannot be helped. But when you do, do not look at pornography. Why? Because you don’t really want to anyway. And why not? Because there is nothing about the commercial product of pornography that is anything at all about love. It is instead about—and by its objectifying nature can only be about—the exploitation of human beings. It’s about power, creepy voyeurism, the violation of privacy, the heartless subjugation of women, and the reducing of human beings to animals.
The reason you get that crappy, split-down-the-middle feeling after using pornography to get off is because in so doing you’ve betrayed your very essence. You’ve gone against your own nature. You’ve stomped on the only real thing about you that matters to you. You’ve worked in opposition to the love that you were born to give.
You’ve used porno as an ax to drive a separation between … well, you and you.
Not good. Results, as you know, in a very unpleasant feeling.
Again: you will masturbate. Don’t even bother trying not to. If you wish to feel better about it after the fact, an outstanding idea is to use as a masturbatory aid only your imagination. There you can be just as … imaginatively lustful as you want to be. There power and voyeurism and All Things Sexual is fine—you can’t stop it from happening there anyway. So, inside the sanctity of your imagination, give yourself permission to have at it. Go wild, big guy. Doing that is your private business, and your right. (Also recommended: using someone else’s imagination, via erotic literature. Though, of course, buyer beware: see True sex story, or guy lying like a dog?)
When your sole agent of stimulation is your imagination, no one gets hurt. That matters. Lots of people get hurt when you drop a coin into the coffers of the producers of online porn by visiting their websites. And in the very now of that moment, not least amongst those people getting hurt is you.