This is the true story how I gave up masturbation for Jesus when I was 13-years-old. Before getting into the thick of it, a little bit about me. Mom was the church organist/choir director at the Baptist church we attended. Dad was a deacon. And I took a certain amount of pride in regurgitating memorized Bible verses in my Sunday School class.
If I were to go back in time and offer a suggestion to the church elders concerning the Sunday School curriculum, I’d say “You should talk a bit about masturbation. There needs to some sort of discussion about the act before a kid starts humping his mattress after watching Charlie’s Angels.” (I’m old and refuse the update the reference for the younger readers. If you really want a less olde one let’s go with …before a kid starts humping his mattress after watching Jenifer Aniston on a Friends rerun.)
The thing is the church I went to believed it covered all the masturbation education in these two verses from the New Testament:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Mathew 5: 27-28
See? Even thinking about having sex with someone out of wedlock is as bad as doing the act. And you know where that will get you? HELL. And that’s HELL for eternity, as against to being on the New Jersey turnpike driving into the City on a Monday morning.
I know what you’re thinking. “Andy, did you try to masturbate without thinking about sex?” Of course I did. Because that seemed like a way to work around the system. If I could wank without thinking about sex, then it meant a potential lifetime of sin-free wanking.
(Did I mention I’m writing this because I was telling my new girlfriend about all the times I didn’t have sex when I was younger due to my buzzkill Christian faith? She found it very hard to believe. But I digress.)
I was not able to wank without thinking about sex.
And that bothered me.
I had this dream — it was a sex anxiety dream — about being reincarnated as a shark for being a chronic masturbator. I didn’t know why Jesus would reincarnate me into a shark for masturbating. One, where is the poetry in that punishment? Aren’t punishments supposed to rhyme with the crime? Where’s the connection between self-love and a Great White shark? Two, is being a shark really a punishment? I’ve seen shark week a gaggle of times. Sharks are a very successful species. Three, Isn’t Jesus all about sending people to HELL? Did the Messiah get tired of doing it, and said to himself Let’s change things up a bit?
*I’ll finish this true tale of faith-based fun tomorrow, Disbelievers!
Andrew Hall is the author of Laughing in Disbelief. Besides writing a blog, co-hosting the Naked Diner, he wrote two books, Vampires, Lovers, and Other Strangers and God’s Diary: January 2017 . Andrew is reading through the Bible and making videos about his journey on YouTube. He is a talented stand-up comedian. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.