Masturbation

How To Stop Masturbation and Develop Healthier Behaviors

Masturbation is a behavior that some feel deeply ashamed of, while others may not take it seriously. Everyone grapples with feelings and decisions about their sexuality. But it’s important to understand the risks of masturbation, and to do your best to break free from the unhealthy behaviors and mindsets associated with it.
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What is Masturbation?

Masturbation happens when you touch yourself sexually to the point of giving yourself an orgasm. Most people masturbate alone, but sometimes couples masturbate together for a sexual experience without having sex.

Physical

Masturbation releases powerful chemicals into your body, like dopamine, oxytocin and other known chemicals. Your body begins to recognize it as a reward system which will easily lead to addiction.

Emotional

The emotions of anger, boredom, insecurity, stress or sorrow may briefly go away from the feeling that masturbation brings, but the euphoric feeling doesn’t last long and can easily lead to an addiction. If you become compulsive in your desire to masturbate, despite your efforts to stop, it will begin to interfere with daily life and lead to feelings of shame and other unhealthy emotions.

Spiritual

An addiction to masturbation may cause you to have difficulty using your sexual desires within a committed relationship. Masturbation can give lust too much power in your life, driving you to do things you never thought you would do. You may feel unrest in your soul as you are pulled between lust and your spirit's desire to have boundaries in sexual pleasures.

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Is Masturbation Wrong?

It’s easy to wonder if masturbation is wrong since you’re not technically having sexual intercourse. But it’s still an act of sexual touching, and it opens the door to other sexual behaviors and addictions that could cause issues in the future.

Not masturbating makes it easier to avoid emotional complications that come with sexual acts and will likely make it easier to find sexual fulfillment when you do share the experience with your spouse.

Masturbation itself can complicate relationships, foster shame, and damage self-worth. It’s also associated with risky and harmful behaviors, including:
Pornography: Masturbating while watching pornography compounds shame and increases the hiding of sexual urges and behaviors, rather than acknowledging and discussing them with someone who can help you process your feelings and set boundaries in a healthy way.
Sexual Assault: Because masturbation is sometimes done to or in front of people before they consent to it or feel comfortable with it, it is sometimes tied to sexual assault and abuse.

Important Note: If you decide you do not want to masturbate or to watch someone else masturbate, let the person you’re with know your decision. If they still pressure you to masturbate, force you to watch them, or touch you sexually in any way without your consent, take steps to report them for sexual assault and get help right away. To reach your local Sexual Assault Hotline, call 800-656-HOPE (4673).
Addiction: Because it produces the euphoric feelings of orgasm and sexual climax, masturbation often becomes an addictive behavior. Like other types of addiction, it increases isolation, develops unhealthy emotions, and affects otherwise close relationships.
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Choosing Self-Control Over Masturbation

It is possible to stop masturbating and develop greater self-control over your sexual urges and desires.

• There are people who will listen without shaming you or judging you.

• You can talk about it with people you trust.

• Therapists and mentors are trained to talk about topics like sex, masturbation, and pornography. They can help you make a plan for healing and improved self-worth.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Whether you're struggling with or addicted to masturbation, it's easy to let shame and judgment attack your spirit. It’s important to understand that despite your struggle, you are cherished and loved by the God who created the universe. The Bible says that you are wonderfully made! Let your soul hold onto this truth. “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14

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