I’m sure you have heard of ‘flicking the bud’, ‘scratching the itch’, ‘rubbing one out’ or ‘taking matters into one’s own hand’. Whatever phrase you use to describe it, masturbation is a very well-known activity. Most persons are embarrassed to even speak of it, which raises the question, is masturbation a sin? Is it wrong to masturbate? When temptation arises, is it wrong to find escape in the palms of one’s self?
When I was just a young boy, many moons ago I found some strange changes were taking place in my body. Hair started to grow where bare plains reigned, the berry became blacker and suddenly the ‘weak ones’ took my strength. The boring, egocentric beings became the interesting vessel, the potential receptacle that may rule or ruin my life as I knew it. Being born in the church, holding morals so close to my heart I abstained from such temptations, but I found myself wondering “should I peel this banana plantain to satisfy my hunger?” With no one to commune with but God, who may not provide the answers needed in as obvious a manner as one would prefer, who gives us the freedom to choose and accept the resulting prize or sanctions, I was confused. Later, ministers made mention of it at church and I wrote in stone the 11th commandment: “Touch not thyself “.
But is masturbation wrong? Let us take a look at the history of masturbation.
Masturbation has been around for millenniums and many records convey various myths relating to the activity. In ancient Egypt, when the God’s masturbate it was believed to be a magical act. They believed the universe was created by the god Atum after he masturbated until he ejaculated (Are we living on a ball of hardened cum?). They also believed the flow of the river Nile was a direct contribution of his frequent ejaculations. Pharaohs, at one point, were required to masturbate ceremonially into the Nile.
The ancient Greeks thought Masturbation was a valve to release sexual frustration.This relaxed view of masturbation changed gradually as in the 1600s nannies used the technique of masturbation to induce sleep in the young boys for whom they cared. By the 18th century it was considered self-abuse that would cause an array of diseases. Medications were sold in attempt to ‘cure’ masturbation. Published articles stated that semen was an essential oil, the loss of which had a vast list of dysfunctions, including weakness. It is interesting that even today we still associate the presence of “oil” with incredible strength as during a casual football game, a hard kick of the ball is usually followed by shouts of ‘to much oil inna di back, man naa get nutn’. A sentence assuming one’s strength is negatively associated with sexual activity.
Inventions were employed to prevent boys from masturbating. Students could not cross legs in class and girls were not allowed to ride bicycles or horses because of the assumed sexual sensations. Ladies, do you get a high from riding bicycles or horses? Rumors that masturbation caused blindness, prevents growth and hairy hands were spread and these myths are widely used in comedy today. It was even believed that masturbation caused homosexuality! Like homosexuality, masturbation was a crime punishable by death in the 1600s
In the early 1900 men started to masturbate to prove false what many held as gospel. They found that it did not cause any illnesses. Given that medical care was not half as advanced back in those days and many diseases threatened lives, it was easy to make an association between masturbation and the prevalence of these diseases. They did not investigate the real cause.
Modern studies have found masturbation to be a very healthy act. The disadvantage that was found is that it prevents individuals from enjoying actual sex once they have become accustomed to masturbation.
What does the Bible say about masturbation?
The bible says nothing, at least not directly, relating to masturbation. Genesis 38:9 which is thought to be the first recorded method of contraception is the closest reference. The bible however clearly defines lustful thoughts as sin: Matthew 5: 28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Masturbation is often accompanied by lustful thoughts and that is what makes it sinful. Can one masturbate without lustful thoughts? Verse 29 goes on to say “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” If this text was obeyed, I suppose we’d be slipping on bananas all day.
The covenant God made with his people required circumcision of all males. Circumcision is believed to aid in the prevention of masturbation. Could this be a deliberate attempt by God to prevent the activity?
So, what are your thoughts? Select an answer below and leave a comment.
– Aldeam Facey 2015