I hope that being Jewish doesn't rule my question out on this site.
I'm a 14 year old boy, and I've been masturbating for two years now. Not too bad! The problem is that I do it too much and a mostly watch pornography while doing it. I'm not as strict with porn and lustful thoughts being a sin, but one thing bugs me. I want to really love a girl and have a clean, healthy relationship.
One guy on here put a lock on his Internet, which I will probably do now. But I will probably still masturbate a ton (if not more,) and have lustful thoughts while doing it. Masturbating once or occasionally twice a day seems fine, but when it gets up to 3-5 times with lustful thoughts, I get discouraged and feel a little guilty.
If you do have an answer, I don't really need quotes from the Bible or much religious stuff, just ways to cope with my addictions and habits. Any thoughts?
I hope this doesn't offend anyone. Thanks.
I don't mind talking to anyone, but I hope you'll understand that I am a Christian preacher so my answers will come from that standard. In this particular case the standard isn't different but interpretation by various Jewish sects vary widely. Orthodox Judaism declares all male masturbation as sinful through a misinterpretation of the death of Onan. Reform Jews discourage masturbation but don't see it as sinful. Reconstructionists Jews think there is nothing wrong with masturbating. Jewish views on pornography vary widely as well from "It isn't that bad if it is kept private" to "It harms the individual." [Tzvi Freeman, "What's Wrong with Pornography", Chabad.org]. The problem remains the same as faced by Christians: people appeal to what they think instead of what God says.
Whether you believe in the New Testament or not, pornography remains bad for a guy. You realize already that it is altering your view of women. The article "A Look at Pornography" explains why. The points are backed by both the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ.
What I've found in the Bible is that masturbation is neither right or wrong by itself, but it can be used wrongfully. Pornography is wrong because it promotes the idea that sex is an end to itself, that women are just objects to have sex with, and that sex outside of marriage is acceptable. It doesn't take long before those watching it start accepting those points as true. Lust is strongly desiring what is morally wrong -- to the point of mentally justifying an immoral act. It can have the same problems as pornography, only the shock value is missing because you are creating your own scenarios in your head. The problem still remains that what you think impacts how you may react. "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:21-23). Or as David said of the wicked, "His heart gathers iniquity to itself; when he goes out, he tells it" (Psalms 41:6).
The problem you are having is that you are losing control over yourself. Ending the pornography will be a step in the right direction. Stop putting junk into your brain and it will limit its influence on you. A part of the problem is that the more often you get yourself aroused, the faster your body produces semen and the more often you feel the need to ejaculate. But you seem to have gone even beyond need because it should not be often that a young man needs to ejaculate multiple times a day. A more typical average for an older teen is about twice a week.
One mistake that could be happening is assuming that if you have a strong erection, then you have to ejaculate. That isn't the case. Erections only signal a readiness for sex. It is true that the more full your seminal vesicles get the more often you'll have erections and the stronger they will be, but frequent or strong erections don't necessarily mean your seminal vesicles are full.
Therefore, here is what I would suggest. First, get rid of the pornography because with it around, you'll never get control over your body. Second, for the next week purposely limit yourself to masturbating no more than twice a day. It is fine if you go less, but never exceed that limit. At first it will seem difficult. Sex will be constantly on your mind, but by the end of the week it will calm down. Next, limit yourself to only once a day. Again, it will be difficult at first, and there will be days when you give in, but keep going until you can go a week or more with only masturbating once a day. From there I would like you to be able to skip one day a week. And then find a rhythm that suits your body. But always the goal is that you are controlling when you ejaculate and not that your body controls you.
Even before I read your letter I planned out this week a bit. I will take your advice and use it.
I have one question, though, that scares me. Even if I've calmed down and broken the habit, will this scar or harm me permanently? If it does, I'm not quite sure what to do. I realize what I've done is wrong, and I'm also scared that i might abuse or look at women wrongly when I'm older. This is not who I want to be.
Also, not to correct you, but I've seen on some sites that masturbating twice to four times a day is healthy and normal for a boy my age. With this said, I do want to be able to go a week at a time while only masturbating once.
Thanks for the advice. I'll start using it for the better.
Fortunately, all wounds heal and fade if we give it a chance to do so. Just understand that what pornography portrays is not reality; it is a falsehood whose sole design is to get guys sexually aroused. The reason it exists is because guys don't think well when aroused, so it is easier to con a guy out of things like his money if you have him wound up in sexual thoughts. You understand this better, so just be on guard against it.
One of the things that helps a whole lot is to force yourself to get to know a number of young women as people, with no sex or sexual ideas being involved. The more you think of women as people to be respected, the less you'll find yourself thinking of them as sex objects.
It is true that you can find just about anything on the Internet. What I would suggest is checking out the quality and reliability of the information presented. I do agree that there are times when a young man is driven with the need to ejaculate multiple times in a day, but they should not be a daily habit, nor does indulging in such all the time help you master control over your body. Being able to control yourself is an important concept. "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (I Corinthians 9:27).