“Don't knock masturbation; it's sex with someone I love.”
~~ Woody Allen
In a previous post, I spoke of my first experience with masturbation at the age of 25. As a Jehovah’s Witness, masturbation was forbidden. And as a good little jw, I abstained, until I met that suicidal darkness that drew me into a state of “what if”. As I blogged, this experience changed me forever. I believe it was a pivotal turning point in my relationship with the cult, in my relationship with myself.
And I get to thinking about the world we live in and how many people are walking the planet with these fundamental religionist ideas that don’t allow for self-pleasure. And I wonder how much energy is being consumed suppressing this most natural desire. I would suspect that many of the religious zealots are indeed masturbating in secret, but without a sense of freedom and self-love, their actions can only be tainted with guilt and self-deprecation. I know these plagued me for years as a masturbating jw and caused me much cognitive dissonance, attempting to understand how God could make my body with such a capacity for pleasure and not want me to enjoy it.
Masturbation has become, not just a tool for release, but a tool for self-exploration, an inner leap into my own soul, into who I’ve taken myself to be all these years and what it is that brings me joy. Masturbation, and by extension, sex with a partner, have become these glimpses into what it means to be human; what it means to feel, to sense, to experience, to love.
I think of all the energy I used most of my life suppressing this most basic of desires. No wonder I was so damn tired all the time. And I wonder how this raw sexual energy gets transferred onto other things for the fundamentalist thinker. Is the suicide bomber just in need of a really good self-loving session? Is his suppression of his most base desires being projected onto the world at large? Is the penitent churchgoer’s disconnect from herself, from her deepest core, keeping her not only from loving herself, but from knowing the love of others that she secretly wants the most?
I don’t know. But I wonder.