Saturday, May 17, 2008

Self-love

“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.

tall penguin

3 comments:

matt said...

You know what, that's interesting. I never thought about this subject. Maybe I was a bad kid -- but I was always very sexual, even as a JW child. There was never any mention that masturbation was bad at meetings (or perhaps I just ignored it)-- and books such as the YPAB (young people ask book) never had me the slightest bit worried. XD

Is it that much different between a male and female in this religion?

Yet here-in lies the difference between the sexes, as far as JW's are concerned.. not to mention most Christian values. It's as if the Victorian values transcended all else -- I've never liked the female in subjection to male idealism. All humans are equal, females to males and visa versa. And yet, socially -- the males seem to control, dominate, and subjugate the intelligence and opinion of the female. This isn't something that happened over night, this is a long ingrained Jewish/Middle Eastern teaching that has spread outward. Take the Egyptians for instance, where there were even female Pharoahs, respected and loved by its people as a Goddess. Quite a difference between the Jewish tradition. Not to mention we consider God a "he". Heh.

It seems we all consider suicide -- definitely at the time where we lose hope in religion. I did, and my friends did. I'm sorry that you did also. It's so sad that we can't love ourselves or generate natural feelings.

My dear friend, who is still stranded in the JW religion -- my love, is stuck in between me and her family who are JW's. She has considered suicide on many occasions -- and I believe I have been one of the only things keeping her together.. Ugh.

I should properly discuss my 'deconversion story' sometime! :)

I do have a blog tho, over at LJ. http://beefok.livejournal.com -- but my thoughts are continually evolving. After my deconversion I went directly to a humanistic fundamental atheism.
(funnier yet, I'm having problems with JW's even to this day)

I could tell some stories, but not here! XD

tall penguin said...

Damn that YPA book.

Funny but I've been looking at goddess archetypes. I find them fascinating. I enjoy seeing the metaphors without needing to latch onto and worship any deity. It's like reading characters in great literature.

I'd love to hear more from you if you'd like to continue this conversation by email. You can link through my profile here.

Also, have you checked out jwd? It's the largest online forum for ex and current jw's (although it's mostly ex-jws because good little dubs aren't supposed to peruse non-watchtower sanctioned sites on the internet). www.jehovahs-witness.com

matt said...

I did check jwd out on the very day I didn't go to my first meeting. :)
That feeling that I wasn't alone in all of this is the best thing to have ever happened to me. For some reason I haven't been back, haha. I guess it was that reassurance. :)

I would enjoy talking with you! :)
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