Allow me to go further in depth with this question: I'm aware that masturbating when sexual thoughts become intrusive is necessary, as it is our body's way of telling us, "Hey, you need to get rid of this old batch so we can make a new one!" The problem is that there are times when I am tempted to indulge in pornography. I understand that you hear this an almost ridiculous amount of times, but we won't get into that. The temptation to porn comes rather subtly, like a creeping tiger, if you'll excuse the strange simile. Also, allow me to add that I'm fully aware that porn is a sin and have avoided it like the plague for years. I'm beating around the bush here, but my question is: if it is okay to masturbate every time I am tempted to look at pornography. Because at times, I feel the temptation to arouse myself by these artificial needs, and yet do not exactly feel like my testicles are full and need releasing. I will admit that I might be somewhat slightly feeling that sensation of fullness, but I just don't want to masturbate too much or when it's not necessary.
I sincerely hope I hear from you, as you always manage to answer questions, such as this one in a very impressive manner. Hope to hear from you soon.
There numerous reasons guys are tempted to look at pornography. Most boil down to habit in response to some stimuli, such as:
- A need to ejaculate. As the seminal vesicles (not the testicles) get full, your sex drive gradually rises. Eventually it will climb to the point that sexual thoughts constantly intrude. It is not a sudden shift, but most guys don't pay attention until it gets quite strong and they gravitate to pornography out of a subconscious need to ejaculate.
- Stress. Once you ejaculate hormones are released that causes you to calm down. Many guys don't realize it but when they get really stressed out, they gravitate to pornography as a way to relax.
- Boredom. A guy turns to pornography to entertain himself.
- Restlessness and unable to sleep. Usually this is due to a guy's sex drive rising, but the guy feels wound up, so he gets into a habit of looking at pornography to go to sleep.
- Escapism. Really, this could cover stress and boredom. It isn't so much the need to ejaculate as to not think about something. Pornography can distract guys for hours.
When trying to help guys get out of pornography, I usually discuss with them what was their particular trigger and then we develop a plan to counter it. If you find yourself looking at porn on a fairly regular basis, such as twice a week, then likely the cause is a need to ejaculate. I usually have the guy masturbate daily at first and then cut back gradually over a period of a few months until he finds a good frequency for himself and he is not craving pornography. A side-effect is that most guys notice that their mood improves with regular ejaculations.
If it is stress or a desire to escape problems, then there is no harm in using masturbation for temporary relief, but work needs to be done in learning how to better manage stress and find solutions to problems. What is more difficult is to recognize when you are stressed and put your electronics away before you start wandering toward porn. The rule has to be no electronics until you are calm, whether calming down or through masturbating.
If it is boredom, then you find better things to do with your time. If the impulse to look comes, then you go for a run or make something. Anything that focuses your mind on something that doesn't have anything to do with sex.