Porn, Masturbation, Sex, and Intimacy

Intimacy is necessary in life

I have received several feedback questions and comments about masturbation and loneliness.  None of these were from the puritanical crowd.  So I want to address an issue that some readers may find useful.

I believe that masturbation erotic videos/stories/pictures should be a part of a persons sexual life.  In fact, I go further and say that it ALREADY is a part of almost every man’s sexual experience and most women’s.  A problem occurs when there part of the universal sexual experience is considered shameful.

According to the psychologist Erickson, there are several stages of life that are not only universal, but necessary for psychological health.  A baby learns  “Trust vs Mistrust.”   A toddler learns “Autonomy versus Shame.”  A pre-school child learns “Initiative vs Guilt.”  An elementary child learns “Industry versus  Inferiority” and a teen learns “Identity versus Role Confusion”

It is in this “Identity” phase of growth that healthy, mature, and normal masturbation begins and, usually, erotic art is encountered.   When the teen boy encounters erotic material he discovers that he has a certain feeling about girls.  Thoughts of girls make him hard.  Girls in bikinis give him wood.  Girls in tight jeans make his jeans tight.  Thoughts about sex with girls make him cream  his underwear when he is asleep.   Eventually, he discovers that by touching himself he does not have to wait for an erotic dream.  He seeks out erotic material for masturbatory help.

This is normal and healthy.  But, and this is important, this is not the end of his sexual development.  In order to grow into a healthy adult, he must step into Erickson’s next stage “Intimacy versus Isolation”.  He must learn to share this sexual life with another person.  This proceeds in steps.  He first learns how to kiss girls, date girls, treat girls with respect.  He begins to learn that it is not enough to kiss a bunch of girls, but that this experience is best if it is shared with a single, special girl.    The search for a single, special girl with whom he wishes to be completely open with, to hide nothing, to bare his soul as well as his entire body.  To be truly naked, body and soul.  Is frightening and dangerous.  Many mistakes are made.     This search can consume only a few months of high school, or it may consume the next decade of his life.  This is the way it worked for me.  I spotted my soul mate at age 24 and married her 11 weeks later.  We are still together 3 decades later and will be separated only by death.

This new “Intimacy” stage is a universal NEED.  If a man misses out on it, he cannot be whole, he cannot be truly healthy.

Ok, that is not entirely true.  According to Jesus (who never married) it is possible to be a “Eunuch”

Matt 19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

These men are called specially by God for some reason that only they know.  However, this I know.  Such a man is a EUNUCH.  That is, he does not desire or want sex at all.  He will not be drawn to porn.   This is fairly rare and if someone is like this and wishes to talk about it with me, then he can hit the “Reply ” or “Contact Us” button.

Now, for the rest of us.   It is a mistake for a young man to get caught in the “Identity” phase of life, when he is just discovering his sexual self, and never step on to the “Intimacy” side of life.

Porn allows a man to delay his development into an intimate person.  This is fine.  In our society a man becomes sexual at least a decade or more before he is ready to be a husband and father.  But it is a mistake for any man to think that he can not ever step into the intimacy of an adult.

Porn has a place in an adult, intimate, man’s life.  It allows him to maintain his sexual desire for his one woman by maintaining a health fantasy life.   But it becomes a problem when it becomes a substitute for intimacy.  The man will end up feeling lonely, isolated, and cut off from humanity.  The result of this are depression and despair.

How often should christian boys masturbate?

Masturbation frequency
Should you limit your right arm exercise?

Ok, I will confess up front.  I’m actually discussing whether porn is addictive, but I am coming about it the long way.

Dr. David Ley, a clinical psychologist, recently treated a young christian man of 18 who was “addicted to masturbation.”   He masturbated once a week.

(I wonder if he ever splurged and did it twice?)

I had hoped that the Christian world has gotten past the churches trying to destroy their young men this way, but I’m afraid not.  I know that in my day the church made us feel terrible.  I know of one young man in the late ’70’s who would come home to his parents after making out with his girlfriend on her front porch (a girl he married the next year – the baby was born 8 months later).  He would have them get up and pray with him to overcome temptation.  He was being tempted to relieve his blue balls using “Mother Thumb and her 4 sisters.”

No one thought to complement this virtuous young man on his restraint.  No one told him to possibly relieve some of his tension and maybe help him limit his explorations with his girl.   No, his parents continued to instruct him to “overcome his flesh.”  The resulting baby was very beautiful and has grown into a very wonderful and Godly young man.

 

Few churches teach against masturbation anymore.  But I have a question. What is the upper limit for “holy” masturbation in a day?  Is there a limit?  Once a week?  Twice a week?  Once a day?  Can he splurge and go twice  Ok, you don’t want to put a number on it, but let’s see how many times you think is unreasonable.  Three times a day?  Four?  Five?

I am a psychiatrist.  I have treated manic people who were hypersexual.  They masturbated until they raised blisters on their penis.

But my point still holds even for them.  There is a biological limit on how much a person can masturbate.  After a while it just ain’t no more fun.  You can “edge” as long as you want but eventually you are going to bust a nut.  And there is just so many times you can do that till it gets boring.  Ok, so let’s admit that some men can spend a whole day thinking about sex and playing with themselves.  Can they spend EVERY day this way?

No they can’t.  This isn’t “Call of Duty”  Eventually it just gets boring.

MASTURBATION IS NOT  AND ADDICTION BECAUSE IT DOESN’T INCREASE

One of the most important parts of “Addiction” is tolerance.  Yesterday 4 norcos made you feel good.  Today you need 6.  Tomorrow you want 8.  Eventually you need so many to feel good that you take enough to stop your breathing and you die.

But masturbation isn’t like that.  The first squirt of the young man’s week produces a quarter cup.  The next a table spoon.  After while a few drops come out and the resulting orgasm is merely “ok”.   In order to get that first body-shaking seizure-inducing feeling again he is going to have to

Wait!

So masturbation is not addictive.  The sad young man above who believed he was “addicted” to masturbation had simply not choked the chicken to death.

Let’s talk about masturbation some more (please!)

Today, of course, most churches know that masturbation is a normal and healthy part of growing up.  Even Focus on the Family has waved the white flag on this issue.  But for some reason they still want their young men to carry a load of guilt.  James Dobson instructs boys that they can jerk it as long as they don’t “lust” at the same time.  In other words, it should be a purely physical act – kind of like scratching an itch.  No imagination of females should play on the back of closed eyelids.

Amazingly, he is supposed to instantly change his attitude on the night of his marriage.  Suddenly, sex must not be merely scratching an itch, but must be rather be a holy act that is almost entirely about the female.

But let’s be real.  No boy jacks off without imagination.  (If a female reading this thinks that this is not true, ask a man).  So all boys imagine sex while doing “hand to gland combat.”

And – let’s be even more real – today those boys are not simply imagining it on the back of their eyelids.  They are watching porn.

Now let me ask you.  Do they watch porn and NOT jerkoff?

No they do not.  Watching porn and jacking off for the male species is synonymous.    Watching porn without jacking the beanstalk is boooooooring.

So, I ask you.  How much porn can a young man watch?

Do I need to go through this again?  Obviously porn – like masturbation – is self-limiting.  The more you see the less you need to see.    You need a “cooling off period” (or maybe that is a “storing some up” period) before you want to do it again.

Now, some of you may be saying – what about James Dobson’s interview with Ted Bundy the serial killer?  Bundy told Dobson that regular porn got boring so he had to watch more perverted porn, then more perverted until eventually he had to sexually slaughter people in order to feel good.

Ted Bundy was a sociopath who was conning a gullible mark in order to possible get a pardon from President George HW Bush.   This was nonsense.  He was not led to mass murder by porn.  Sociopaths are created at a very young age – usually by extreme neglect and abuse.   Certainly this was true of Bundy’s childhood.

Ask yourself – those of you who have watched porn (that would be EVERY ONE OF YOU MEN)  Did you really find it so boring that you had to watch bestiality in order to shoot your wad?   When you did see the extreme stuff did it really turn you on or did it repel you.  Come on, be honest.

The “escalating nature of porn” is a stupid myth.  No one ever experienced it himself, he just projected his fears onto other men.

Let me (finally) make my point.

Porn is not an addiction because it does not meet the minimum requirement of addiction – an increasing need with decreasing reward.