People often talk about the benefits of masturbation. Doctors will often prescribe masturbation as something to relieve ones anxiety.
Does an orgasm help with stress and anxiety? Of course it does but so does some medication and other natural remedies that I wont get into naming here.
Will an orgasm eliminate anxiety and depression altogether? The answer is no it does not. Like medication to relieve a headache that’s all it does, it just offers relief but nothing else. There is no cure in it.
Now for peoples contention towards Catholic teaching on this subject. They argue that because masturbation offers relief of ones anxiety and like the fruit in the garden of eden, remains to be seen as something good, that this should mean it’s perfectly ok to masturbate.
”I just masturbated and nobody got hurt, the sky didn’t fall in and I continue to be a normal every day human being.”
Fine, but we’re not called to be normal because normal means you’re just following everyone else and the dictates of the flesh. We are called to become abnormal and challenge the status quo.
Lets go back to the benefits of an orgasm. Nobody argues this but the context in which an orgasm is achieved does not mean it’s the appropriate way to do so. If we were to look at it through a scientific and natural way, the spilling of ones seed is a waste. Even if you’re down at the local sperm bank, the experience of pleasure outside of it’s natural context isn’t healthy.
Why is it not healthy? Because even though the sky doesn’t fall in on us and the earth doth no quake beneath our feet, its a warping of the natural truth. That’s it and on a physical level that’s ultimately the harm it does.
The greater harm it does is that it offends God and it puts our soul in jeopardy. Only those reading this who have developed a relationship with Christ and his Church will understand this which brings me to my next point.
When I came back to the Church I didn’t have a hard time with this teaching because I didn’t think it was relevant anymore. Like anyone else sure it did me no harm and I masturbated in the morning and in the evening and whenever I felt that itch to do so. And that’s what it is for a man, a very hot and annoying itch that we feel the need to scratch.
I would literally pray a rosary at night then I’d masturbate and then go to sleep. I did that every night for a long time. All of a sudden as my relationship and desire for God grew likewise the desire to masturbate began to relinquish.
The more I prayed, the less and less I masturbated until one day I woke up and made a resolution never to masturbate again. Guess how long that lasted? Right ok.
But although our masturbation may not entirely dissipate, our understanding of it being wrong increases and so the realization that we need to confess this act that warps nature and offends all of heaven becomes the center of our attention. Why? because our relationship with God has grown and we never want to offend a friend, brother and father do we?
What have we learned in this post? That masturbation whilst it’s outcome (the orgasm) benefits our mental health, that there are loads of other methods that also benefit our mental health which does not mean we need to masturbate. The orgasm is beneficial but the way in which it is achieved actually is not beneficial as it only reinforces the warped view of sexuality and an enviroment which becomes like a hoover bag with a hole in it. It offers relief not a cure of our anxiety.
Furthermore for those of us who develop a relationship with Christ, Masturbation degrades our nobility before him. That’s right, we are of a noble lineage, a holy priesthood and so when we act outside of this it is like The prince of a country getting caught acting like a buffoon and becomes an embarrassment to the kingdom. It also means he puts his entitlement to the throne in jeopardy.
It is no different for Christians as the most horrible part about it is we put our souls into major danger when it is we behave in such a way unfitting for the kingdom so as to see us being refused entry.
Although masturbation may not be something we are able to shake off, it is better to understand it first for what it really is, and once this is achieved we will find it become like a weed that begins to fade over time with Grace. The weed may spring up every now and again in the garden but God sees our effort to go to confession and keep the garden clean of weeds. It’s this that makes all the difference.