Saturday, November 26, 2016
Day 26: Be without sin like t-rex
I have never understood why masturbating is considered a sin in so many religions and families. I was raised in the Methodist church, and I was never told that masturbating was a sin. At some point I was taught not to play with my lady bits in public, but I don't remember being told they were off limits if nobody was around to witness the act. Then again, the Methodists can be pretty liberal. There are definitely other churches who are preaching the evils of the wank. Masturbation got its bad reputation from somewhere, even if it wasn't the Methodists.
I was curious so I googled that shit. Not the images. The religious shit. And lo and behold, the Bible doesn't actually forbid masturbation. Oh, there's some stuff about lust and pure thoughts and thy neighbor's wife, but nothing about masturbation. Zero. Even Jesus didn't weigh in on masturbation, which I'm sure was a relief to the Disciples. All those men, and no women. You have to assume there were some hairy palms and near-sightedness among the chosen 12.
So once again we've been lied to. Turns out Hillary Rodham Clinton is not a crook, and it's OK to masturbate if you're a Christian. If you're not a Christian, I don't know why you would worry about it, but people do. And now they don't have to, because there are no rules against it, and everybody does it. And if they don't, they should, because it feels good.
Which is the only reason I can think of for why people started saying it was a sin. Because it feels good. Surely anything that feels good must be a sin. Also, there's that whole rule about not having sex unless you're married, and not having sex outside of marriage, and .... are there other rules? I can't keep track.
Anyway, somebody must have extrapolated a little too far out and thought that having sex with oneself was just as bad as having sex outside of marriage. Which just makes my head hurt. Obviously you can't cheat on your wife or husband with yourself. That's ridiculous.
And this is why people give up on religion. Because it's as ridiculous as is the idea of t-rex masturbating. And because Jesus didn't say not to and the Bible doesn't say not to, but it's still used to shame people. Children. And I know for a fact that Jesus didn't have time for that. He was walking on water (which takes some practice) and overturning tables and turning water into wine, which makes him alright in my book. But he was not peeking into people's bedrooms to see if they were jacking off or rubbing one out. That all came later.
Years ago my son Drake, then 12 years old, took a year-long sex class through our church called About Your Sexuality. It's quite thorough. So thorough it was even featured on a Geraldo Rivera expose. Nothing was left to the imagination in those classes, because we believe that people can't make good choices without all of the information. Radical, I know.
On our way home one Sunday night I asked Drake if he wanted to talk about anything they'd discussed in AYS that night. He said they'd talked about masturbation. I thought, OK, that's an easy one. Not much to say there. I was pretty sure his long excursions to the bathroom meant he'd already discovered that little pleasure.
He said, "We talked about how it's OK in some families and not OK in others. And we should go by our family's rules."
"You already know what your family thinks about it though, right?" I said.
"No, not really," he said. "I don't think we've ever talked about it, so I wasn't sure if it was OK in our family or not."
That was a wake-up call. I just assumed since we never told him not to, he would know it was OK. That it's his penis, and he could do what he wanted with it, within reason. Kind of like if it felt good to rub his big toe. he should to ahead and rub his big toe.
"I'm sorry we never talked about that," I said. "But since we are, I'll tell you it's not only OK, it's normal and healthy. And when you're older, and you start dating, I hope you will use it as a way to take off the pressure of the strong sexual feelings you will have so you can make good decisions about sex. Just don't .... you know, do it in front of people."
"Mom! I knew that!" he said. "But thanks for letting me know it's OK. I really wasn't sure."
"I'm glad we talked about it," I said.
After we got home he disappeared into the bathroom, and we didn't see him again for 4 years. And there's nothing wrong with that!
What were you taught about masturbation? Sin or no sin? Does it make you uncomfortable talking about it? Or were you idly diddling yourself as you read this post and wondering what the big deal is?
While you think about those questions, I'll just be in the other room reading my Bible. Pay no attention to that buzzing sound.