Is masturbation harmful?

We often hear that masturbation is good for the human body, but certain people say it’s harmful, so what’s the truth?

Reconditioned stimulus

Despite what numerous contemporary sexologists are saying, everything points to masturbation being detrimental for men, just as for women, and now it’s even been proven scientifically. If you’ve ever followed a psychology lesson, you’ll probably have heard of Pavlov’s dog. The doctor rang a bell every time he was getting ready to feed his dog. By doing this, he made his dog associate the bell with food, and the animal would start producing saliva just by hearing it ring. This is what we call a conditioned stimulus.

The human mind can be moulded in the same way. In fact, the pleasure centre is the easiest part of the brain to train. In anatomy, this is called the “medial preoptic area (MPA)”; and when the body feels a surge of pleasure, such as during any erotic activity, this zone is stimulated.

According to the research of Dr Douglas Weiss, when a person is sexually excited, the brain releases endorphins which cause the MPA to associate its happiness with whatever it’s doing, seeing, smelling, etc. at that very moment. Unconsciously, a link is made between an image, a perfume, or a particular individual, and the feeling of sexual satisfaction. (It’s one of the reasons pornography magazines contain perfume testers).

During climax, this link is strengthened even more by the release of the neuropeptide hormone, Oxytocin. This is also responsible for creating an attachment between lovers, when they act on their feelings. If a person is alone, it also creates a mental bond, but this time with a fantasy being. However, this process of getting closer to someone can be damaged by occasional erotic stimulation.

This scientific discovery throws new light on Paul’s words: “Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself” (1 Cor 6:16-18).

Stimulation and delusions caused by masturbation

When a person experiences pleasure by masturbation and lusting over an imaginary person, their brain becomes accustomed to being stimulated by fantasies born from their own mind. If their mind identifies these mental images as the source of its enjoyment, it’ll of course end up distancing the person from their spouse(x). But where will it take them? A partner is not a dreamed-up image with which you can play, but a real human being with their own personality, their own feelings and emotions, etc.

However, instead of experiencing pleasure with some who’s real, in a marriage bed, the individual in the habit of masturbating can be driven to find arousal in his thoughts/illusions, even when they’re trying to make love with their partner. Sometimes, men and women can be projected into something more than their imagination. This can lead them into adultery, to visit strip clubs, watch pornography, or establish a disordered lust for people in an attempt to satisfy their desires. Sometimes, a masturbation habit can carry on into a marriage, as it attempts to answer these “needs”.

Condemned to a dysfunctional marriage?

Now, this doesn’t mean that if you’ve experienced pleasure before, with someone other than your husband or wife, then you’re condemned to a dysfunctional marriage. However, it does mean you’ll have obstacles to get over which others, who haven’t experienced such things, can ignore. The brain can be re-educated, but it’ll take time, proportionate to the depth at which your lust is rooted.

Simply speaking, this all demonstrates how God’s plan for our sexuality is, in fact, engraved into our anatomy. When people decide to live according to God’s truths, their body naturally associates sexual joy with their spouse and not with anything or anyone else. God designed our bodies to be anchored into a couple, where spouses are physiologically attracted to each other. Their minds were programmed to be this way and their marriage reinforces it.

As the Bible says: “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for sharing with strangers. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. May her breasts satisfy you at all times; may you be intoxicated always by her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord, and he examines all their paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare them, and they are caught in the toils of their sin. They die for lack of discipline, and because of their great folly they are lost.” (Prov. 5:15–23)

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