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#187743 - 10/18/07 07:09 AM Masturbation and Shame
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Working through shame has been a central theme to recovery for me, and when I spent about half of my therapy session yesterday talking about masturbation and what gives me an erection, I came to realize how heavily steeped in shame my entire sexuality really is. I went to chat last night, and I tried to talk about it in a frank manner, and I came to realize that I'm not alone.

I'm as guilty of the next guy of using humor as a defense mechanism, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that when discussion an issue that is as touchy as this one. I've suddenly come to realize, though, how important of an issue this probably is for most of us. I grew up in a Catholic church that shamed masturbation with a mother who shamed masturbation. It just about killed me yesterday to even say the word in front of my therapist. To actually talk about my masturbatory habits was downright scary.

But of course, another of the reasons why this is such a touchy subject is because of the different problems that many of us have with masturbating. My problem centers around the fact that I simply don't masturbate enough. Add to that my inability to have a wet dream, and I have some issues that I've been way to ashamed about to talk about with anyone. I've had some discomfort, not quite pain, in the prostate area, and the discomfort itself is rather arousing in a way. After a week where I've actually been masturbating daily (in an unhealthy way, but that's another topic entirely), this discomfort has subsided. I know what is causing it. It's something that I feel often when I go through spells of months at a time without masturbating.

Now, my problem differs from many others here in that sexual addiction is a problem that plagues many people at this site. I understand addiction. I've been through many, but I've also come to realize that I can't imagine a more difficult addiction to conquor then a self-gratifying sexual addiction. It's truly unfortunate that people who are in the throes of such an addiction really lack a place to be able to talk about it in an honest and frank manner.

All joking aside, I was actually quite happy last night to be able to have a serious discussion about these things in chat last night. I'm working to rid myself of the shame that has gripped my life, and it's getting easier to talk about such a shameful topic. I'm only hoping that a door was opened for others as well, because normal masturbation is healthy and addiction to masturbation is a serious issue.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#187745 - 10/18/07 07:31 AM Re: Masturbation and Shame *DELETED* [Re: BJK]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
Post deleted by ttoon

_________________________
checkin out for a few weeks... whistle
02/07/09

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#187747 - 10/18/07 07:42 AM Re: Masturbation and Shame [Re: ttoon]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1536
Loc: New Jersey
Ironically Brian, I was just talking to my T about my masturbation habits yesterday. The way I do it, its more about minimising mess rather than full pleasure, I think it has to do with not being caught as my brother was the one to teach me about masturbation.

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#187820 - 10/18/07 03:30 PM Re: Masturbation and Shame [Re: onlyakid]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
It's an issue for one reason or another for many of us, and i don't wonder that chat about it brings out the locker-room humor in us; we're all coming from different circumstances, and humor can be a leveler. That being said, i remember seizing on dirty jokes or sexual humor avidly as a boy, because it was the closest i could come to talking about the abuse.

For boys unmarked by SA, the onset of puberty often marks the beginnings of masturbation and sexual experimentation, and can still lead to feelings of shame, secrecy, and dirtiness, especially in a religious environment that equals masturbation w/ sin.

I saw puberty with a mixture of fear, excitement, and relief- relief that finally my peers seemed to be as fixated on all things sexual as I had always been, and excitement that I could be popular for once by using my "expertise". Within a short time, however, the aspects of partnering, extreme secrecy and nervousness vanished from my peers' lives as they matured sexually; it became clear that my peers didn't share my intensity or degree of fascination w/ all things sexual, and my temporary feeling of normality quickly faded.

My hypersexual acting-out stopped shortly after high school; my only activity (aside from short-lived relationships) was masturbation, which became compulsive and deeply shameful to me, something which i struggle with to this day. Sexual humor for me expresses many things- it could be a defensive attempt to derail serious discussion, or reduce tension/anxiety; it could be an attempt to create a jumping-off point for a serious discussion; or it could be just plain old funny. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

For me, it is usually some combination. I find it helpful to me to keep tabs on myself, and try to recognize what I'm joking about, and why- another avenue for self-insight.
We can all recognize the value, and need for, humor; but just as humor can be gift to help others feel at ease, it can be a weapon to shock, humiliate, and upset. I'm sure i'm not the only one who's been the victim of cruelty disguised as "teasing", or watched an accquaintance or co-worker delight in the discomfort caused by extreme racist, sexist, or other type of socially unacceptable humor. When we make jokes, and what we make jokes about, says a lot about who we are.

My favorite masturbation quote?
"If God had intended for us not to masturbate, He would've made our arms shorter."

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#187971 - 10/19/07 09:13 PM Re: Masturbation and Shame [Re: dgoods]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Bryan,

Thanks for a great introduction to an important topic and thanks to you other guys for your contributions. I have to admit that my own views on this were totally screwed up as a boy. I was introduced to masturbation by the abuser and all my big firsts were with him - I still hate the fact that it worked out that way. In the last year of abuse I also had to do this, along with everything else, together with a close friend. And then on top of it all, and although my parents were so loving and supportive in other ways, they called me to the kitchen one evening to lecture me on the evils of masturbation. I thought I was going insane - they figured out I was jerking off but not that I was being abused. Go figure.

And then of course my busybody grandmother got in on the act and scolded me one day about how awful it was that "some boys pollute themselves". And as Scouts was the center of my social life, where do I go next except straight to my Boy Scout Handbook, where, at the back somewhere, they talk about how "real boys" don't mess with themselves (and how smoking marijuana leads to heroin addiction).

I don't think I really got past all that crap until my own son was born. I wanted to nurture him in the same loving way I had been raised, but man, I was just against all the phony sanctimonious pseudo-morality that to me seemed to characterize the times of my childhood. When I gave him the talk I made sure to tell him that masturbating is healthy and okay. He didn't care at the time, but later he came back and told me that "a friend" asked him about this and he didn't know what to say, so could we talk about that some more? I told him I would be amazed if he knew any boy who wasn't doing it, and you should have seen the look of relief on his face!

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#187972 - 10/19/07 09:14 PM Re: Masturbation and Shame [Re: roadrunner]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
dgoods,

Here's a Darwinian reply to your quote:

It we hadn't been meant to masturbate we wouldn't have been born with opposing thumbs. ;\)

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#187980 - 10/19/07 10:07 PM Re: Masturbation and Shame [Re: roadrunner]
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
The prostate gland is a muscle, if you don't exercise it, you might just exorcise it, that's when it's a problem!

Its back to what is considered sinful....you are more likely to develop cancer by not being sinful...figure that one out!????

Best wishes...Rik (do I need to add a smiley?).

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#188181 - 10/21/07 06:07 AM Re: Masturbation and Shame [Re: RICK57]
dwchan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 11
Loc: Vancouver, BC
You mention the "M" word and people act all weird on you. It's not that other men don't do it, but they are just not comfortable talking about it... perhaps that's why people use humors to hide something that's so real and painful (especially to those of us who have been abused). Not being able to socially discuss this openly it makes us feel all the more isolated and alone in our fight to recovery. I thank you all for posting your comments. Hearing and discussing about this makes me realize that I am not alone, which is often my struggle... that I am alone and no one would understand me. It helps to know what others go through.

(I wrote a lot more, but I'd like to post that under "Spirituality and Survivor".)

_________________________
"But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us." Rom. 8:37

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#188793 - 10/26/07 12:04 AM Re: Masturbation and Shame [Re: BJK]
Tom(stuocms) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Hudson Valley - NY
Bryan

Thank you for posting this. I also grew up Catholic...
and, Listen, Please, I do not mean to make light of this addiction, here, so please do not take it that way as i explain where I have been and where I am with this.

I can not remember a time when i didn't masturbate. As a kid, I used to think how wholesome and clean all the other kids were. Especially, as i walked down the street with a freshly torn hole on my pant pocket, holding on to myself for dear life. I was totally sure i was the only one in the whole world that did what i did to myself, and i was dirty. Then low and behold, i find you guys were doing it too... Of course the fact that adults also enjoyed me in that way made it even more inviting and well, me even dirtier.

Oh, of course, i know i m an addict.. sexwise... and handling myself wise. I know i need help, and yet, i don't want it. Why would I, dang, it is the only thing that makes me feel fantastic and forget everything else. It is awesome as many of you know, safe, and has no strings. I guess that would be ok if it was just once a day. Like i said, i guess. I really don't know for sure, because never a day goes by when i am not taking matters into my own hands at least 2 to 3, times and many days 4,5,6 times day.. depending. In college, I'd hit the mens stall, for my fix, and get so into it, i wud take stuff off while doing it, and i didn't care, shoes, socks, whatever... i wud just get so caught up in it, nothing else mattered..today not much has changed except being more discret.(no more stalls) I've had friends catch me doin it when i was in my 20's. Even Got beaten by one who caught me, but he wasn't much of a friend anyway, having barged into my room and all. I've done it places you wud never dream of.. (well maybe you might)

And your right, i doubt there is a more powerful addiction. I have yet to see an Masturbation Anonymous group. I went to a few other groups though, SA being one and a Christian one, but they wanted total abstention. I thought that was really, really cruel. I wondered what the tell tale signs of indulging would be on any given day.

I know I'm nasty. I can't help it. I know i have made fun of myself with this, but everything is true. Anyway thank and i hope this isn't off color.. just stuff that happened, and for the life of me i ould love to figure out why.

Tom


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#188797 - 10/26/07 01:53 AM Re: Masturbation and Shame [Re: Tom(stuocms)]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
tom-
some say masturbation has a shameful component for everybody simply b/c the advent of toilet training creates a feeling that part of them has become unlovable and dirty, that those areas and functions suddenly need to be hidden and controlled, that touching or holding yourself shows a lack of control, weakness, that you're a "bad boy". How true this is, idk, but it's what your post made me think of... hope this was thought-provoking at least.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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