Really, Really Stupid Statements about Solo Sex

Vitruvian Man, 1492, Leonardo DaVinci’s sketch of a naked man.This is a collection of quotes from those who have opposed the practice of self gratification. And I guess that not all of them are “really, really stupid.” Some are just silly, or limited, or sadly misinformed. Either way, they have earned themselves a place in this “Hall of Shame.” I call it that because these negative statements only serve to sadly reinforce the shame that many sincere Christians already feel when they masturbate - shame that is totally unnecessary and unmerited.

C. S. Lewis

For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself. Do read Charles Williams' Descent into Hell and study the character of Mr. Wentworth.

And it not only the faculty of love which is thus sterilized, forced back on itself, but also the faculty of imagination. The true exercise of imagination in my view, is (a) To help us understand other people, (b) To respond to, and, some of us, to produce art. But is has also a bad use: to provide for us, in shadowy form, a substitute for virtues, successes, distinctions, etc. which ought to be sought outside in the real world--e.g., picturing all I'd do if I were rich instead of earning and saving. Masturbation involves this abuse of imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison. – C. S. Lewis, from a letter to a Mr. Masson dated March 6, 1956 in the Wade Collection at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. Even the most brilliant of us can make stupid statements when we really don’t know what we are talking about. I suspect that this was written before C. S. Lewis experienced the joys of marital embrace. If he had he would have known that the real thing is so much more wonderful that no fantasy could ever compete with it.

Advice Columnist Amber

The following is from advice columnist Amber, of Christwire website, responding to a woman who found a vibrator in her daughter’s undergarment drawer. (To be honest, I could not tell if this site was real, or a parody.)

Dear Concerned in San Diego,

You need to immediately take that sinful device from your daughter. Masturbation is another form of pornography that will infest your daughter’s mind and serve as a gateway to far worse sexual activities.

Studies show that 87% of the women who become prostitutes did so because of unbridled masturbation as a teenager, and over 90% of girls who become pregnant as teenagers did so because of masturbation loosened their morals and made them more apt to engage in unprotected fornication.

Masturbation will make your daughter very comfortable exploring her body, and it will not be long until she begins to envision other people partaking in the deviant behavior with her.

This will of course lead to your daughter seeking out a male companion, or even female. As a teenager, your daughter’s mind is not yet developed enough to handle the pressures and responsibilities of being sexually active. It will lead to great sorrow in her life if you don’t put a stop to it right now.

So first, have a talk with your daughter and pray with her. Pray all that sinful desire of masturbation right out of her heart. Throw the device away, and then enroll her in some abstinence counseling sessions. These will teach your daughter the value and need of respecting her body until marriage. Masturbation is very unnatural and by taking proactive steps to get this bizarre behavior out of your teen’s life, you’ll ensure she has a better future. –Amber

Adam Clarke

The sin of self-pollution, . . . is one of the most destructive evils ever practiced by fallen man. In many respects it is several degrees worse than common whoredom, and has in its train more awful consequences, though practiced by numbers who would shudder at the thought of criminal connexions with a prostitute. It excites the powers of nature to undue action, and produces violent secretions, which necessarily and speedily exhaust the vital principle and energy; hence the muscles become flaccid and feeble, the tone and natural action of the nerves relaxed and impeded, the understanding confused, the memory oblivious, the judgment perverted, the will indeterminate and wholly without energy to resist; the eyes appear languishing and without expression, and the countenance vacant; the appetite ceases, for the stomach is incapable of performing its proper office; nutrition fails, tremors, fears, and terrors are generated; and thus the wretched victim drags out a most miserable existence, till, superannuated even before he had time to arrive at man’s estate, with a mind often debilitated even to a state of idiotism, his worthless body tumbles into the grave, and his guilty soul (guilty of self-murder) is hurried into the awful presence of its Judge! Reader, this is no caricature, nor are the colourings overcharged in this shocking picture. Worse woes than my pen can relate I have witnessed in those addicted to this fascinating, unnatural, and most destructive of crimes. If thou hast entered into this snare, flee from the destruction both of body and soul that awaits thee! God alone can save thee. Advice, warnings, threatenings, increasing debility of body, mental decay, checks of conscience, expostulations of judgment and medical assistance, will all be lost on thee: God, and God alone, can save thee from an evil which has in its issue the destruction of thy body, and the final perdition of thy soul! Whether this may have been the sin of Onan or not, it is at present of small moment, it may be thy sin; therefore take heed lest God slay thee for it.” -- Adam Clarke, Adam Clark’s Commentary

D. H. Lawrence

The one thing that it seems impossible to escape from, once the habit is formed, is masturbation. It goes on and on, on into old age, in spite of marriage or love affairs or anything else. And it always carries this secret feeling of futility and humiliation, futility and humiliation. And this is, perhaps, the deepest and most dangerous cancer of our civilization. Instead of being a comparatively pure and harmless vice, masturbation is certainly the most dangerous sexual vice that a society can be afflicted with, in the long run. -- Wrote D. H. Lawrence in Pornography and Obscenity: (D.H. Lawrence of all people!)

D. H. Lawrence again:

In masturbation there is nothing but loss. There is no reciprocity. There is merely the spending away of a certain force, and no return. The body remains, in a sense, a corpse, after the act of self-abuse. There is no change, only deadening. There is what we call dead loss. And this is not the case in any act of sexual intercourse between two people.

Grantley Morris

Tf masturbation is harmless, so is playing with nuclear bombs.” (Now Brother Morris, isn’t that a bit extreme?) -- Grantley Morris on the website Net-Burst:Grantley Morris has many good things on his website. This is not one of them.

Ellen White

According to Ellen White, founder of the 7th Day Adventists, self-abuse was the cause of a wide range of dangerous diseases and afflictions:

"Children who practice self-indulgence (masturbation) previous to puberty, or the period of merging into manhood or womanhood, must pay the penalty of nature's violated laws at that critical period. Many sink into an early grave, while others have sufficient force of constitution to pass this ordeal. If the practice is continued from the age of fifteen and upward, nature will protest against the abuse she has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of thirty to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous humors. Some of nature's fine machinery gives way, leaving a heavier task for the remaining to perform, which disorders nature's fine arrangement, and there is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution; and death is the result." (Solemn Appeal, 1870, p.63).

"They do not realize the exceeding sinfulness of this degrading sin, which is enervating the system and destroying their brain nerve power." (Testimonies, Vol. 2, p.347).

Females possess less vital force than the other sex, and are deprived very much of the bracing, invigorating air, by their in-doors life. The results of self-abuse in them is seen in various diseases, such as catarrh, dropsy, headache, loss of memory and sight, great weakness in the back and loins, affections of the spine, the head often decays inwardly. Cancerous humor, which would lay dormant in the system their life-time, is inflamed, and commences its eating, destructive work. The mind is often utterly ruined, and insanity takes place. – Ellen White, An Appeal to Mothers, page 27, paragraph 1.

Sir James Paget

With careful and positive teaching you will cure the ignorant, and do good to all, except those whose hypochondria is near to complete insanity. But on some subjects of your teaching you will have to be very clear as to matters of fact; especially, for instance, as to the practice of masturbation, to which many of your patients will ascribe their chief distress.

"Now, I believe you may teach positively that masturbation does neither more nor less harm than intercourse practiced with the same frequency in the same conditions of general health, age and circumstances. Practiced frequently by the very young, that is, at any time before, or at the beginning of puberty, masturbation is very likely to produce exhaustion, effeminacy, over-sensitiveness and nervousness; just as equally frequent intercourse at the same age would probably produce them. Or practiced every day, or several times a day, either act is likely to produce such symptoms. And the mischiefs are likely or nearly sure to happen, and to be greatest if the excesses are practiced by those who, by inheritance or circumstances, are liable to any nervous disease, to spinal irritation, epilepsy, insanity, or any other.

"But the mischiefs are due to the quantity, not to the nature of the excesses; and the quantity is to be estimated in relation to the age and power of the nervous system. I have seen as numerous and as great evils consequent upon excessive intercourse as on excessive masturbation; but I have not seen or heard anything to make me believe that the occasional practice of this latter vice has any other effects on one who practices it than has occasional intercourse. I wish I could say something worse of so nasty a practice; an uncleanliness, a filthiness forbidden by God, an unman-liness despised by men." -- Sir James Paget, Surgeon in Ordinary to Queen Victoria (Well, not by this man!)

Geokge H. Napheys

While so much of this opinion will be generally acknowledged to be true as asserts that the occasional indulgence in this detestable habit may not leave after it those permanent effects which the quacks pretend, and the dread of which drive so many almost to despair, yet, on the other hand, it has been abundantly shown that there is in the habit itself a peculiar and distressing wear on the nervous system which leaves most serious traces for a long time.

It has, for instance, been demonstrated by Professor Gross, of Philadelphia, that a variety of stricture is brought on by masturbation, which may in turn lead to most serious consequences. These are, in the milder forms, undue sensitiveness of the urethra, with slight inflammation along its tract, and the erections become imperfect and feeble, and ejaculation too precipitate. This may continue until sexual desire is abolished, and a condition of hypochondria sets in, with all those difficult features which we have previously described.

There are, moreover, other very serious differences between intercourse and the solitary vice. The temptation to carry the latter to excess is far greater than is the case with the former; and the excitations, abnormal and excessive, which are encouraged to provoke it, cannot but have a long-continued disastrous influence.

Another grave charge against it is its prevalence in early, we may say very early life. Even in infants it is not unknown, and should be carefully watched for. An able American writer on diseases of children, Dr. Jacobi, has recently called especial attention to this subject. He points out that young children may be prompted to it by some condition of the urine, by the presence of seat worms, or by acquired nervous derangements, as well as by the vicious instructions of those around them.

He recommends that regular bathing and constant occupation under intelligent supervision, are important precautions. Children must not be permitted to sit on the floor too long; they should not be allowed to remain in bed after waking up, but induced to rise and dress at once. Habits of solitude, and the inclination to indulge the imagination, should be broken up, and active out-door exercise insisted on. – Geokge H. Napheys, A.M., M.D., 1879 in The Transmission of Life, Counsels on the Nature and Hygiene of the Masculine Function.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg

A remedy [for masturbation] which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision...The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind...In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement. " -- Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (Circumcision for the boy - obviously misguided. But carbolic acid for the girl! A bit misogynistic, don’t you think?)

Norman Mailer

Masturbation is bad . . . anybody who spends his adolescence masturbating enters his young adulthood with no sense of being a man." -- Norman Mailer. (Which means, of course, that few of us have any sense of being a man.)

Dr. Ty

Most people who have engaged in masturbation know that the culmination of this sexual act ends in shame. I don't have to share with you the thousands of emails of the admittance of this shame because you know all too well since you have experienced it yourself. Curled up in a fetal position, crying, because your bed is even more empty and you're lonelier than you did before you violated yourself...Because God never created sex so that you could gratify yourself. The dictionary defined masturbation as self abuse...the miss use of yourself. The mistreatment, the manipulation, the exploitation of YOU.

Self abuse from the 1605 Etymology dictionary says that it is self-deception, a synonym for masturbation or self pollution. The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary says it is the abuse of oneself or one's abilities. -- Dr. Ty on the website.


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