By A. Patcher
[A. Patcher is a JackinWorld reader and freelance writer.]
From age 12 into my early teens, I was extremely paranoid about my parents, doctors, and friends finding out that I masturbated. I thought my parents would walk into my room and "catch" me, so I locked the door. Then, I thought if they tried to open the door and it was locked, they would think I was up to something worse. I would have scary dreams about my parents walking in on me. Some were so vivid that the next day, I was convinced it really happened. My parents had always been open about sex and sexuality, so I didn't think they would punish me. However, they didn't really say much about masturbation, so I feared the unknown reaction I would get as well as the embarrassment I would suffer from getting "caught in the act." I wasn't sure what exactly would happen. I wondered if I would get sent to a sex therapist or some other type of rehabilitation.
Strangely enough, I believed that doctors could tell by examining me that I was a masturbator. Once, I heard on the news that doctors were testifying in a court case to help prove that a young girl had been raped. The doctors examined her vagina to see if there was injury, or semen, etc. The report said they could tell from a small piece of skin called the hymen (also referred to as the "cherry") that the girl had been penetrated. After I heard this, I figured doctors could definitely tell if I had masturbated by examining my penis, and that they'd embarrass me or tell my parents. I noticed it was getting longer and thicker during the past few months, and I thought that may have been because of my daily masturbation. I also noticed I had more pubic hair than a some of my friends, so I assumed it was because I was having ejaculations just about every day. When I was 12 or 13 I thought I was too young to be able to ejaculate; I never heard other people admit to doing it. Looking back, I can see that all the physical changes in my genitals were just the normal rapid changes that occur during puberty. It had nothing to do with my masturbation frequency.
I thought I might act different or walk
differently the next day after masturbating.
I feared my friends would also be able to tell. I thought I might act different or walk differently the next day after masturbating. I remember my peers accusing me of doing it, and I didn't say anything to defend myself, because I knew it was true. I tried to quit altogether a few times, although quitting never lasted more than a couple of days or a week at most. I soon realized my peers teased other guys about it just as much. Now I can see that my peers made those comments only to get a reaction out of me. They didn't seem too serious about it, so the negative feelings from their comments passed quickly. They probably just wanted to see if I was as "guilty" of masturbation as they were.
When I was about 14, I remember one of my friends asking me if I masturbated. I did not deny it or confirm it; I was silent for a minute, and then I said "no comment" with a guilty smirk. I was still a bit insecure about the whole topic – and there was another issue involved. He was a couple of years younger than me. I thought he was too young to understand it, but he understood what the real story was. He kind of laughed and said, "yeah...I know." Little did he know, more than anyone else he helped me accept the fact that masturbation was something I liked and something I would be doing for a long time into the future.
I have heard a few guys talk about being paranoid about masturbation, because they claim it says not to do it in the Bible. I'm very grateful my church never forced this theory on me. The idea that it's a sin was never really an issue for me, because there is no mention of the word "masturbation" anywhere in the Bible. The anti-masturbation verses people quote [usually the story of Onan, Genesis 38: 8-10] are quite a stretch. I'm sure that if God did not want people to masturbate, the Bible would say it in more explicit terms. There would be specific examples of unmarried guys being punished for it. If it were such a sin, it would have been the 11th commandment. Let's face it – the semen is going to be released one way or another. If we are not having sex, it's going to come out through masturbation while we are awake or through nocturnal emissions while we are asleep. In my opinion, neither is a sin according to the Bible.
The more educated I became on the topic, the better I felt about it. I went to my local library and researched masturbation. (There wasn't much of an Internet back in the late '80s and early '90s, so the library was my only source of knowledge.) I found out that almost all males who had been though puberty have masturbated at some point in their life, and a lot of guys do it regularly. I came to accept the fact that probably everyone simply assumed I masturbated – even my parents! By about age 16 or 17 this became my attitude, and I began to enjoy the whole masturbation experience a lot more. I got more relaxed with the idea that it was just part of having an adult male body.