Before I left TSCC, I joined's forum to discuss sex with other LDS members to find help for my marriage, and to also try and help others mormons struggling in the bedroom. Anyways, I still frequent this forum to mostly give advice now. Ironically, or fortunately(depending on your perspective), sex has improved grately, even more so after leaving TSCC. Anyways, masturbation is a topic that often gets discussed over there and I recently posted my new perspective on masturbation to hopefully introduce a differing view that may awaken some of these mostly sex starved and suffering TBMs to the harm being caused by TSCC's view of masturbation and sex. I am including my post below as I am interested in other people's view of masturbation now after leaving TSCC.

"This will probably get me flamed perspective on masturbation has changed in recent months and I now understand it to be a beautiful gift that God has given us, and not something that should inflict guilt or be avoided like the plague. Here's my justification for this: God created our bodies and the natural instincts for sexual release.

"Masturbation is neither damaging physically, emotionally, or spiritually when viewed from the perspective that God gave us this release as a way to experience pleasure and joy, both with our spouse, and by ourselves when we are needing a quick high or upper. Utah is the most depressed state in the union with more use of anti-depressants per capita than any other state, and has one of the highest suicide rates. I have learned through experience, and from understanding the psychology of the human brain that the emotion of guilt is programmed by one's upbringing, environment, and society. There is no scriptural condemnation of masturbation (I dare you to find one that I can't explain as not actually referring to masturbation).

"If one was raised with a healthy perspective of masturbation (and sex in general) as a way to cheer oneself up when feeling down, or what ever need there might be, even if just to feel happy, guilt would not be a consequence but only the self esteem building buzz and natural high. After all, if you can't learn to love yourself, with your flaws and all, you will never truly be able to love others.

"I learned earlier this year that my wife has masturbated since she was a teen and had never felt guilt about it until I told her of my struggles with it, which then introduced the idea to her that maybe it's bad, but even then she never had that guilt that I was programmed with. Young women aren't drilled about masturbation the way young men are, which substantiates my point that guilt from masturbation is a programmed response by one's upbringing/environment. Of course woman have even greater masturbation sessions then men since they are naturally multi-orgasmic, but that didn't bring about more guilt to my wife but lifted her higher and kept her sane through the first 7 years of marriage where we were failing to communicate and achieve erotic sex together.

"So there's my take on masturbation being a god given right to help us love ourselves, experience joy, and further our ability to love and experience joy with others.

"I wanted to bring up the real harm being done by the programmed guilt to masturbation: suicide.

"There are young people, mostly males, who, try as they might, are never able to gain "control" over their masturbation "problem" and because of the strong programmed guilt response, feel as though they are worthless, depression sets in, and then boom, they are gone, dead, commit suicide.

"Here are some though provoking statements to ponder: Maybe our sexuality, at least in regards to masturbation, is not something that needs to be "controlled" in the sense that, oh no, can't do it. If masturbation is something so natural that nearly all teens somehow learn to do it, whether by themselves, or from outward influences, then just maybe, as no scriptural evidence to the contrary suggests, masturbation is an innate, natural, god-given instinct that is meant to help us love ourselves, experience pleasure and joy, which both enable us to love others and experience the same with our spouse. I for one discovered masturbation without even knowing what it was, not having heard anyone describe it, nor tell me how to do it. It just so happened that the jets and water moving around my penis in my parents jacuzzi tub was enough to set me off. I know others have discovered this through similar means.

"I am not condoning masturbation above sex with your spouse, but putting forth the argument that masturbation is a natural, god-given gift that enhances our joy and self esteem, and our relationship with our spouse and others. Modern research regarding masturbation has also proven the same and other benefits to masturbation. See this article:,2933,401722,00.html Even much of the animal kingdom masturbates including dolphins, dogs, cats, and others.

"Anyways, increased happiness and even lives saved, can result from changing the paradigms around masturbation to a healthier, god-given gift perspective."

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My son planned on committing suicide at the age of 14 because he couldn't "overcome" his inability to stop masturbating. He was told by our extremely uptight, unforgiving, judgmental bishop that masturbation was akin to fornication, which is one of the worst sins to commit. Many of you can understand the horror I felt the day I got home from work one day and saw a rope hanging in our backyard tree, which is where my son was going to rid this world of his evil self. I was a very uptight mormon mom but this was the end of the mormons church's involvement in this area of my son's life. He tried to stop by reading the BOM over and over, praying long prayers, etc., but "slipped up" and became depressed again. HE WAS 14-15!!! Did you know the church has a handbook out on teenage boy masturbation? My son has a much healthier attitude about it since it's a subject we've talked about. I even got a Playboy to talk with my teenage sons about what is fantasy and what is realistic, and that maturbation is healthy and normal. I have many LDS friends who have such extreme sexual difficulities in marriage because they both feel that sex is such a sin. With so many other things to feel guilty about in mormon church, this is one of the biggest.
I was 15 when my bishop called me into a "worthiness" interview and asked me if I had a "problem" with masturbation. I'd started when I was about 12 and had never thought anything about it. After this interview, though, I spent the next 30 years battling this problem and when I was 46 attempted to take my own life.

I've told my children's bishop that this subject is absolutely taboo for him to even talk to them about, and he was to refer them to me if the subject came up. I further told him that I would be talking to them about masturbation and if he asked my underage children any questions regarding sexual conduct, I would sue him and the church for sexual harassment of a minor. It seemed to get his attention and I so far I've not heard anything from my children about it.
Way to go! If my children ever return to activity in the church, I intend to do the same with their bishop.
Here's a great article from an LDS Physician even on Masturbation and how the church is wrong in their approach:
I highly recommend reading, Erotic Massage by Charla Hathaway. This is simply a way of giving love to ourselves.
What an excellent post Micah. What were the TBM responses?

I think the major response from a TBM would be that, while there are no scriptural references, "the prophet has spoken". But hopefully, you got some of them to think.

Kelli, what a frightening experience. So thankful everything turned out alright. I hope your son is out of the church and that you have been able to guide him into healthier sexuality.

I remember a YW teacher teaching me that masturbation would ruin your adult sexual relationship and make it harder to achieve orgasm. Such BS!
Some TBM replies:

1st reply
"Claiming masturbation is a 'God given right' is pretty strong language Mike. Hopefully you appreciate the implications of posting something that goes in direct conflict with church doctrine and policy. What you propose seems like attempting to 'become a law unto itself' to me. 'Sex with yourself' as described in your post seems very contrary to the law of chastity where we commit to 'Sex with our spouse' exclusively to me. What if studies show that homosexual encounters with older men is healthy for young boys? I'm not trying to be extreme but where do you place your trust when it comes to what is acceptable and healthy behavior?

More than studies and popular opinions I'm interested in your personal experiences and the guidance you've received on this from the Spirit. What have been your experiences in that regard with this topic?

As I posted on the other thread - why not keep all sexual activity a shared event between you and your wife? My wife and I are very creative in this regard. Couldn't you still experience the same level of sexual fulfillment? Same frequency etc, just have your spouse involved in some way? I like that my sex drive pushes me closer to my wife and keeps us interdependent. Now if God sent a telegram and said, "Hey, masturbation free for all. Have fun." would I masturbate alone? Probably every day! But that is not what He has said in my opinion. So I keep it within the bounds he has set to the best of my understanding."

2nd Reply:
"The Law of Chastity, to me, is about "not having any sexual RELATIONS, except with your spouse". To have relations, it takes two people. It does not state that you will not have any self stimulation, or orgasms, etc... it says "sexual relations". Now, certainly masturbation has been addressed by our Church leaders in the past. I think that the primary concern has been that if they don't warn against it, then it becomes an acceptable practice, and therefore will lead to greater sexual sins by the singles, i.e. mutual masturbation, petting, etc. which will lead to fornication and same sex experimentation. An occassional glass of wine is good for you, but condoning the drinking of an occassional glass would lead to excess use, and for some, other forms of alcohol and addiction.

Like many things in life, which are pleasurable, there comes a risk of addiction - or excess. Masturbation falls into this category. Of those that do masturbate, I don't think that the % of those who are way over board is great - probably way less than the % of alcoholics, chain smokers, meth addicts, etc..

If masturbation is truly a sin, or as President Kimball stated, "a rather common indescretion", then it is way down there on the list."

3rd reply:
"part of me inside wants this to be true masturbation with your spouse or in front of,or even times when you have not had sex for a while or are even gone or apart for a while from each other. sorry for the run on sentence, but the other part of me feels torn and ashamed of myself because of my up bringing. i wish the church or brethern would give better clarification regarding sexual matters when married but they do not that i know of. there are so many things that i and my would like to try but feel guilty at times but mainly her so i dont push it. i have looked all over to find no answers. maybe over time she will feel more comfortable but only time can tell. sorry i guess i am just babbling. i feel like here is one of the only places people kinda feel what i am going through. she has even told me she has fantasized of this but does not want me to it in front of her because she thinks it is not right."

4th Reply:
"Well Mike - you are going out on a limb a little bit in my opinion. Is this something you've prayed and/or fasted about? What you are suggesting goes against direct and clear counsel on the topic. My understanding is that sex is meant to bond husband and wife together. In the temple we commit to only sharing our sexuality with our spouse. Yes, that puts up some restrictions but I think those restrictions are good - they push us together. Quite frankly if I didn't need my spouse to fulfill my sexual drive - I wouldn't need her for very much else. (That sounded harsh, I just mean I'm pretty self reliant.) So I see this dependency on her to fulfill my God-given sex drive as part of the plan that keeps us connected. I understand you have a different view. I'm open to hearing more about that.

Why not keep all sexual behavior a shared experience between you and your wife? Why not involve each other every time you masturbate? Seems to me with cell phones etc these days there aren't many situations that you couldn't share with your spouse.

To put things in perspective I don't think masturbation is some heinous crime. My stake pres said that people who struggle with masturbation are not necessarily unworthy of the temple (i was surprised by his comment.) There are certainly worse things out there. But like all 'sin' I guess I would just say 'there is a better way.' Sin is simply doing something our own way which carries varying consequences. The closer we are to God's way the happier we are. Rather than focus on the guilt and punishment we should focus on the blessing available when we adjust our behavior to more closely match his guidance.

I'm interested in your thoughts."
Good to know that sex is all he really needs his wife for. I'm glad I'm not his wife! I'm with my husband because I love him and want to build a home together, not just for the sex.
I'd think you knew Micah better than to take one sentence out of what he wrote and respond to it as if that is what defines him.
I think she's referring to the posts I copied and pasted.
Totally heavy duty Micah ~ there's been some great studies published recently about orgasms effect on the brain. I was surprised to learn that a woman' brain actually reaches such a higher level of dopamines than men during orgasm, that we're actually able to completely shut out anything else. I'd have bet that men would've been blessed with that.
Our brains are the greatest sexual organ we have. I believe most have us have been taught horrible double standards when it comes to our sexuality, including masturbation. I'm glad your wife wasn't raised to feel alot of guilt about her sexuality, but the way you've described it, I'd bet she's an exception. Girls aren't supposed to be sexual. omg ~ don't get me started on the perfectionism of molly mormon or I'll just get side tracked.
Our sexuality is surely God given, therefore not to be used lightly, or taken for granted. It's as beautiful as any of the other many gifts he's given us. I love the idea of one man, one woman; one person that loves another.
Intimacy in its many forms is such a sacred gift ~
Micah I totally understand how men get by so well without us, at least as sexual people. We're created differently for a reason; the differences between us as men and women are IMHO intended to be complimentary ~ and knowing how to balance out our individual differences, including our sexuality, is such a sign of a healthy relationship. The type of openess you described is rare ~ and another precious gift.

"Anyways, increased happiness and even lives saved, can result from changing the paradigms around masturbation to a healthier, god-given gift perspective." How true.
omg ~ one of the first things that happened to me when I anti'd was that I've begun having orgasms in my sleep. We're talking full blown, off the richter scale, omg I can't believe I just woke up orgasms. Woohoo! What a treat! It's pretty symbolic about the truth of letting go of the tons of guilt that's been heaped on our heads all these years. Grand slam with the bases loaded... primo. I still totally miss the companionship, the many other intimacies, and the gazillion joys that come with having a hot body next to me 24/7.
You're still young and can find love. At least now your fish bowl isn't limited to priesthood holders!


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