Sam W wrote:Since it sounds like you've had a religious influence in your life, that can often be a source of shame or guilt when doing something like masturbation. Do you think that's playing a role here? Too, since dysphoria is also in the mix, do you feel like that disgust is attached to your body and how you feel about it? Or is the dysphoria sort of separate from the disgust?
So, with the enormous caveat that I'm not a religious scholar (for your own reading, I'd start with Dianna E Anderson;s work or with Emily Joy and Hannah Boning of Impurity , there are a few ways to reframe that verse on lust. One is that some religious thinking, and honestly some secular thinking, views any kind of thought or fantasy as being an automatic precursor to action; if you think it, you're more likely to do it. But what we know about the reality of human sexuality and fantasy is that fantasizing about something doesn't make a person any more likely to engage in that action. Some people use fantasy to explore things they may want to try in real life, others use it as a way to explore things they know they'd have zero interest in actually doing (and most of us do a mix of that). Does that make sense?
Similarly feeling attraction, including sexual attraction, isn't inherently sinful in my opinion (and the opinions of lots of others). Really, the only time lust is an issue is if it leads us to treat others as objects rather than as people. In other words, if it makes us think that our desire for that person trumps their boundaries and autonomy (honestly, the whole framework in that verse is, to me, more objectifying than fantasizing about someone is because the commandments it draws from treat women as the property of their husbands).
Too, I've heard some religious folks talk about sexual desire as a positive thing, as one form of many available to us of appreciating the beauty the divine put into the world, which is kind of a cool idea.
All that being said, if fantasizing about real people doesn't feel comfortable to you for religious reasons, or any reasons, right now, you don't have to fantasize that way. In fact, this article offers up ways to explore your fantasies on your own terms and find ones that do allow you to experience them comfortably and without shame: How to Approach Sexual Fantasy and Desire on Your Own Terms
Mo wrote:Hi Sky,
You may have already seen this article on our site, but if not, I think it might be a helpful place to start tackling the shame you're feeling around masturbation: Undoing Sexual Shame.
I also wanted to give a suggestion based on what you said about being being grossed out by your semen after masturbation: I've heard from some folks that masturbating through clothing, or while wearing a condom, can help with this because the mess is easier to dispose of without having to see it too closely. I don't know if that would make enough of a difference to you to make things any easier, but I wanted to bring it up just in case.
Sam W wrote:I'm glad the article was helpful!
With accessing condoms, I feel you on how awkward it can be to try and purchase that sort of thing in a small town. I will say that, generally speaking, even in small towns the cashiers at drugstores aren't paying that much attention to what people are buying, and are unlikely to dwell on it for more than a few minutes (if that). So while it may feel awkward, it might still be easiest to get condoms that way. Too, are there any health clinics in town? Sometimes those have condoms available.
With the packages, do you feel like you could start asking your parents to stop opening your mail?
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