Archive for March 10th, 2008


You don’t know jack(ing off)…the sequel

smiley-face.jpgSo, I was checking out various Internet searches that have led people to this blog, and checked one out related to masturbation being a rejection of Jesus’ atoning death or something along those lines. Not surprisingly, it had led someone to my post a few days ago about masturbation.

So, in using the same search terms on Google, I quickly found a Catholic site that thoroughly lambasted masturbation as a terrible sin. I spent nearly an hour going through this incredibly long discussion thread on the subject and was simultaneously amazed and dismayed. I’m not saying it was all horseshit; the discussion board manager and some other rabid anti-jacking folks had some valid points. But by and large, I was amazed at how doggedly some people stick to the notion that masturbation is always and necessarily a sin.

Here’s the gist of what I got from the anti-jacking-off side of the argument:

Non-procreative sex is a sin

OK, this is a really popular one with the Catholic church in particular. If you have sex, even as a married couple, and the two of you are fertile, don’t you dare do anything to prevent pregnancy. Be fruitful and multiply. Birth control is as evil as abortion.

Wow! Really? I can’t just enjoy sex with my wife. I’ll admit that sex outside of marriage is a sin, and one that I’ve committed myself. But the notion that using a condom or having relations that don’t involve penetration and potential insemination is a sin is ridiculous.

I guess God gave women the clitoris, a part of the body that serves no purpose other than to grant feelings of pleasure, just to tempt them or to keep them in the bed long enough for a guy to get them knocked up. God doesn’t want us to enjoy sex at all. Nope. Just procreate, guys. Not like the earth is already overpopulated and you’re using up all the resources I gave you. Just keep popping out as many kids as you can.

Aside from the fact I have a really hard time seeing masturbation as (a) a form of sexual intercourse or (b) a means of inappropriate birth control.

I just don’t know what else to say on this one. Oh yeah, I do: Horseshit!

Masturbation involves impure thoughts

OK, on this one I may have to cop to some valid points and admit that there are limits. Looking at a porn video or skin mag while masturbating probably isn’t really part of God’s ideal design. First, you’ve supported the porn industry, which does a lot of harm to the people who work in it and which creates a lot of imagery in society that encourages promiscuity. And my apologies for my part in supporting it in the past.

Second, it is true that sinning in one’s thoughts is still sin. One could argue that by looking at the image of some man or woman other than your spouse, and getting off on that, could be construed as a form of mental adultery. I don’t know if I agree with that in the case of using porn or imagining Angelina Jolie and/or Brad Pitt or something like that, because this isn’t a person I’m ever going to meet (maybe not even a person who really exists if it’s purely imaginative), and I suspect Jesus’ warnings about mental sin (lust or violence, for example) pertained more to people we actually see around us in regular life.

Third, a point was made that you are objectifying a person (or people) in said porn images who is a child of God and was not created for your amusement. Again, not a completely crazy point, though it’s on thinner ice than the previous point.

But here’s where it got wacky on the discussion I was viewing. Someone asked, “Well, what if I’m masturbating to images of my spouse, either actual photos or mental images?” The chief poster in the discussion, whom I believe was also a site admin or owner, actually said that is still a sin because you are sexually objectifying your spouse solely for your own amusement. And lust is a sin.

(stunned silence)

I’m sinning if I feel lust toward my wife? If I desire her because she’s sexy and I want her, that’s bad? So what, I’m supposed to hold her hand, give chaste kisses and, when she’s fertile, have sex just on the hope we’ll end up with a child?

The Bible has established that sex between spouses is more than just about procreation. It’s part of how we bond. And frankly, if you’re jacking off to thoughts of sex with your own spouse at those times you cannot enjoy sex with said spouse, I think that’s a damn good sign you are well attached to that person.

And even if it isn’t my wife I picture in my mind all the time, so what? Am I really sinning and committing adultery if I make up a person in my mind? Or how about if someone is using erotic literature or sexy short stories as the stimulus? If that’s a sin, I guess I’ve committed murder every time I read about someone committing murder. I’m not saying we should wallow in mental images of sex, violence or anything else. But short of being Jesus himself, how am I supposed to keep a head full of nothing but thoughts of flowers, sunshine and helping orphans?

Yes, we can control our impulses and yes, we can mitigate our thoughts. But to throw masturbation into the pile as some heinous sin simply because is ridiculous. Yeah, if you can’t put down your equipment now and again, you have a problem. If you turn to yourself instead of your spouse because it’s easier or more fulfilling to you, that’s a problem (either with you, your spouse, or both).

I certainly don’t think God looks down and says, “nice ejaculation with that one, son.” But I also don’t think He’s wrinkling his nose at every act of self-pleasuring. Because frankly, I doubt God looks down and smiles about a lot of other things we do as part of life that are just part of life. Oh, say, eating, drinking, walking, breathing, shitting. I mean, if you think God is looking down at you on the toilet or at the dinner table thinking to Himself how wonderful you’re doing that activity, you have a pretty dim view of God. I think He has a lot more to be concerned with than our bodily functions. Like, say, the universe and our souls. Just a theory, ya know.

So, yeah, maybe that subscription to Hustler isn’t something you should renew. And you probably shouldn’t be thinking about the pool boy when you’re taking care of your personal needs. But frankly, if we didn’t have so many hang-ups about sex, particularly in the Catholic church (and I’m not a Catholicism hater…just a guy with some serious reservations about how it’s led at the top), maybe we’d have more stable people in church leadership all the way around. Looking at Catholicism, for example (since they do an awful lot of the hating toward masturbation) I’d love to see more priests jacking off and, even better yet, being able to get married, and fewer of them getting hauled away for diddling children in the congregation. I’m not for promiscuity and allowing everything, but rampant repression doesn’t do us much good, either.


Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


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March 2008

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