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The Guilt & Shame of Masturbation

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Self-care is important and for some masturbation is part of self-care.

I won’t get into the benefits of masturbation and how it is good for your sexual health because you can Google that, but for many, it comes with a dose of guilt and shame. Especially if you are or in my case were part of the religious world. I wasn’t shocked to read Jane the Virgin star, Gina Rodriguez’s latest comments about masturbation and being raised in religion.

Gina-Rodriguez“I was definitely raised with that. In all honesty, I used to feel guilty for masturbating. Oh my god, this extreme guilt! And that lasted way too long. Or maybe I masturbated too much! It’s OK to look back in retrospect and be like, it wasn’t good that I felt bad about touching myself.”

Gina Rodriguez – on Purity Culture. Bust Magazine August/September Issue


This is a feeling I know all too well. The guilt of solo loving can be overwhelming when you’ve been programmed to believe that you’ve sinned against God.

I would masturbate and then the next morning repent for it. It gets old after a while. Why even do it if I’m going to feel guilt and ask for forgiveness. Exactly what do I need forgiving for?

The psychological stigma that the church has imposed is very real. To be honest, women raised in religious culture feel more guilt and shame about masturbation than having sex while being unmarried or having an adulterous affair. I’ve had sex and didn’t think later about repenting, but after masturbating it was if the grim reaper was coming to get me in a fiery blaze.

We were taught in the church that pleasuring oneself was the sin that caused Onan to be struck dead by God. Looking into the story of Onan, I found that the act he performed was indeed not masturbation, but the “withdraw method.” He had sex with Tamar, his dead brother’s wife, but he didn’t ejaculate in her, he pulled out. Pulling out is NOT masturbation, but this is one way the church makes you think you’ve committed a sin.

It is commonplace to use scripture to scare people into morality. If preachers couldn’t get you with the “sin” of masturbating, the next guilt trip would be lust. Because after all, you need mental visuals to stimulate, right. Did you use porn to get yourself off? Or maybe you engaged in a sexual fantasy to get you to that much-needed orgasm. Well, the church considers that lust, which we are also taught is a sin. Add to that the stigma of being a single woman masturbating and the guilt is enough to make you throw yourself on the altar to repent the minute you hit the church house. Praying

 

As previously stated, masturbation is good for sexual health. Among other things, it gets you in touch with your body and teaches you what feels good. I’m not convinced the church is concerned with sexual health though; especially that of its single faith goers. Single church women are supposed to wait until we are “found?” 

Look, I can’t and will not assume the duty of moral compass for anyone, but we must stop putting people in the bondage of fear in the name of religion. I think it is irresponsible to teach this. Let people make up their own minds without imposing guilt.

There is no doubt many women in the church take care of their needs themselves, but won’t admit it. It’s no one’s business, but a woman shouldn’t be made to feel guilty or shamed for getting in touch with her own body.

Rhianna

 

Bust Magazine

7 Crazy Things That Happen to Your Vagina When You Stop Having Sex – Self.com

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