“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has been conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1: 14-15)

Oh James, how your words try to suade me from the relationship I have with my two fingers just before I go to bed at night. As much as you might try to push death onto me, I know I won’t just poof into oblivion after I masturbate. Nice try. 

Although the Bible has much to say about sexual temptations and the act of masturbation, that it will “wage war against your soul,” I learned nothing about self-pleasure growing up. The topic was so taboo that nothing was ever said around the dining room table. Somehow it was still ingrained in my mind that maturbation was bad, probably through subtle hints, but to be quite honest, I just can’t recall.

Like any other adolescent growing up though, I got curious. The “problem” with trying to masturbate as someone who grew up in the Catholic church is that you feel like God and all of your dead relatives in heaven are looking down on you with shame. It’s uncomfortable and distracting. 

But once you get past that mindset, and hopefully to your climax, you’ll find that you won’t suddenly be marked as “impure.” Your lifespan won’t be cut in half and you won’t be “wag[ing] war against your soul.” 

The problem with self-pleasure in the context of a religious upbringing is that you are never doing anything for yourself; it is always under the supervision, and ultimate approval, of this omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent being that you can’t see. 

But masturbation is called “self-pleasure” for a reason. It’s all about knowing your body and what you like. The fact that it does “gratify” the “passions” and “desires of the flesh” should not be read with negative connotation; that’s exactly what masturbation does for you. 

As someone who still stands by her faith in God and likes to “get it on” with myself every other night, I say masturbation can only bring you some good. 

Reach Development Editor Sarah Anderson at opinion@dailyuw.comTwitter: @slagoanderson

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