Party Of One: Pt. II

February 15, 2009 § 1 Comment

[Part I here]

Anyway, things were pretty hunky-dory until I clicked those links on Feministing. While reading Dr. Ty’s tirade against masturbation, I was rather taken aback. I didn’t expect all Christians to agree with what I had discovered, but I wasn’t prepared for such a strong abhorrence of the act.

Dr. Ty vigorously associates masturbation with shame:

Most people who have engaged in masturbation know that the culmination of this sexual act ends in shame. I don’t have to share with you the thousands of emails of the admittance of this shame because you know all too well since you have experienced it yourself. Curled up in a fetal position, crying, because your bed is even more empty and you’re lonelier than you did [sic] before you violated yourself…

Many things, like shame, can be learned through socialization. Although I am not saying that the shame experienced by others is false, it is important to consider that perhaps some feel shame simply because they’re told to, not because of some concrete, innate knowledge that they sinned.

Dr. Ty continues on a different aspect of masturbation:

And if that’s not already agonizing, it’s a never ending cycle that you habitually become dependant upon, like a drug. And like any other drug, you can never achieve the high you’re looking for…Because MASTERbation will MASTER you! You enter into a contractual agreement with it and it will govern your life sexually. It will rule and control your life…it taps you on the shoulder 3 o’clock in the morning even when you don’t want it. You want to stop but you can’t. You cry, you repent and say you won’t do it any more but you find yourself molesting yourself again…When will it ever end?

UM. This description is terrifying. If I had never gone solo before, it would definitely scare me into at least delaying self-exploration. However, I find this illustration to be just a bit sensationalized. I personally have never been addicted to masturbation, although for those who are or have been, that is definitely a problem that would require termination.

I also take issue with Dr. Ty’s wording:

The reason why you masturbate is to achieve an orgasm. And an orgasm is the culmination, the climax of any sexual act, whether it’s with a partner(s) or sex with yourself. And that’s exactly what masturbation is, solo sex.

Sex is pretty hard to define as it is. I don’t really have a working definition myself. And don’t even get me started on virginity. When does a person stop being a virgin? When they have sex with another person? Does oral sex count? How about sex toys or sex dolls? And for the record, orgasms are not exclusive to sexual activities, as orgasmic childbirth clearly shows.

The Passion for Christ Movement links to the blog entry of a girl who recovered from a masturbation addiction. I find her personal victory admirable, and her story definitely reveals how damaging masturbation can be when taken too far, but it does not prove the act to be a sin. She writes about lusting after herself, but it’s clear that the addiction itself was the keeping her from God, not masturbation alone.

Additionally, her story is similar to mine in that she felt like she was the only one with questions about masturbation. I would like to advocate a more open discussion about female sexuality among Christians so that girls aren’t left with only the internet to teach them about their inner workings and cravings.

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