September 02, 2004

Whatever you do, don't think of an elephant fondling itself with its trunk

Boy, the Mormon church really doesn't want kids to masturbate. Apparently they believe "Masturbation is a sinful habit that robs one of the Spirit and creates guilt and emotional stress." Well, yeah -- it creates guilt if you tell people it's sinful.

At least they admit "It is not physically harmful unless practiced in the extreme." I wonder what kind of extreme masturbation they're thinking of.

Anyway, here are some choice bits of advice from "Steps in Overcoming Masturbation", with commentary.

Be assured that you can be cured of your difficulty. Many have been, both male and female, and you can be also if you determine that it must be so.

If you truly make up your mind that you will be cured, then you will have the strength to resist any tendencies which you may have and any temptations which may come to you. After you have made this decision, then observe the following specific guidelines.

1. Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during normal toilet processes. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company.

2. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, you must break off their friendship. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don't suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken out of your mind for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things.

Okay, here's something that Mormons apparently don't know: when I was a hormone-addled teenager constantly on the lookout for porn or any reasonable facsimiles thereof, I didn't really spend a lot of time talking about masturbation with my friends. Or, to the best of my recollection, any time. I really don't think the hypothetical kids this article is targeted to have to worry about associating with other kids who masturbate, because the simple act of asking someone, "Do you masturbate? Because if you do, I can't hang out with you," is quite likely to make the person asked the question quite motivated to avoid the asker without any external assistance.

3. When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror. Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes -- just long enough to bathe and dry and dress and then get out of the bathroom into a room where you will have some member of your family present.

Let me tell you, it sure as hell wasn't seeing my own body in a mirror that was turning me on during puberty.

4. When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts, and so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes. By the time you started to remove protective clothing you would have sufficiently controlled your thinking that the temptation would leave you.

I suggest a nice pair of pantyhose.

5. If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, get out of bed and go into the kitchen and fix yourself a snack, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you get your mind on something else. You are the subject of your thoughts, so to speak.

This is so psychologically healthy, I don't know where to start.

6. Never read pornographic material. Never read about your problem. Keep it out of mind. Remember -- "First a thought, then an act." The thought pattern must be changed. You must not allow this problem to remain in your mind. When you accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act.

This one seems a little obvious. It's not like the Mormon church is pro-pornography, as long as it doesn't make you want to masturbate. "If looking at Penthouse makes you think impure thoughts, try Honcho instead -- perhaps that will fail to stimulate you."

Also, as Rose points out, "Never read about your problem? Isn't this about your problem?"

7. Put wholesome thoughts into your mind at all times. Read good books -- Church books -- Scriptures -- Sermons of the Brethren. Make a daily habit of reading at least one chapter of Scripture, preferably from one of the four Gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon. The four Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- above anything else in the Bible can be helpful because of their uplifting qualities.

Skip the parts about Mary Magdalene, though.

8. Pray. But when you pray, don't pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep it in your mind more than ever. Pray for faith, pray for understanding of the Scriptures, pray for the Missionaries, the General Authorities, your friends, your families, but keep the problem out of your mind by not mentioning it ever -- not in conversation with others, not in your prayers. Keep it out of your mind!

Whatever you do, do not think of that girl who sits across the aisle from you in chemistry class, slowly taking off her shirt and undoing her bra, as she lustfully licks her lips. Do not think about it!

To help in planning an effective program to overcome the problem a brief explanation is given of how the reproductive organs in a young man function.

The testes in your body are continually producing hundreds of millions of reproductive cells call spermatozoa. These are moved up a tube called the vas deferens to a place called the ampulla where they are mixed with fluids from two membranous pouches called seminal vesicles and the prostate gland. The resultant fluid is called semen. When the seminal vesicles are full a signal is sent to the central nervous system indicating they are ready to be emptied. The rate at which the filling takes place varies greatly from one person to another, depending on such things as diet, exercise, state of health, etc. For some it may be several times a week, for others twice a month and for others, hardly ever.

Obviously the implication is that if you pray enough, you may be one of the lucky ones whose seminal vesicles only fill up once every ten years or so.

Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself to be with others and learn to enjoy working and talking to them. Use principles of developing friendships found in books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

But don't make friends with sexy people, unless you can influence them to stop being sexy. Unless they masturbate, in which case you must stop being friends with them.

Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card. Carry it with you, but show it to no one. If you have a lapse of self control, color the day black. Your goal will be to have no black days. The calendar becomes a strong visual reminder of self control and should be looked at when you are tempted to add another black day. Keep your calendar up until you have at least three clear months.

If you have two lapses of self-control, color the day red. For three or more lapses, color the day pink. If any of the lapses are really great, draw a star or exclamation point after the date.

In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eating several of them as you do the act.

And I used to wonder how people develop odd fetishes.

In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken. This can also be accomplished by wearing several layers of clothing which would be difficult to remove while half asleep.

I don't understand how this is supposed to work. Wouldn't one hand still be free? Who's going to tie your other hand? Your mom? I have to say, let us look at these two options, and determine which is more likely to screw a teenage boy up:

- Masturbating
- Having his mother tie him to the bed to prevent him from masturbating

I think we can all agree it's the latter, and not merely because it opens a boy up to teasing from his fellow Mormons along the lines of, "Ha ha! You're tempted, and your mom ties you up funny!"

Do not let yourself return to any past habit or attitude patterns which were part of your problem. Satan never gives up. Be calmly and confidently on guard. Keep a positive mental attitude. You can win this fight! The joy and strength you will feel when you do will give your whole life a radiant and spiritual glow of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Or what the rest of us call "unbearable smugness".

Anyway, good luck with the masturbation prevention plan, Mormons! Just keep sending those missionaries to New York, and we'll keep on hosting events where women take their shirts off.

(Via Newyorkish and Fleshbot.)

Posted by Francis at 01:04 PM