[Written around 2004.]
Masturbation is risky for anyone with unhealed psychological wounds – that is, all of us who are not yet fully enlightened. Although our biology plays a part in motivating us to express ourselves sexually, our unresolved emotional issues push us far more strongly. People are emotionally motivated to masturbate by a craving to play out unconscious dynamics of parental rescue in an attempt to bypass the healing process.
Healing is ugly and painful. Masturbation is pleasurable. Healing is protracted and seemingly never-ending and invariably frustrating. Masturbation is time-limited and has a definite end. Healing keeps you up all night in the most unpleasant discomfort.
Masturbation puts you nicely to sleep, lulling your unresolved childhood traumas back into their little repressed caves in the unconscious. But healing ultimately saves your life, whereas masturbation ultimately leads you nowhere – and keeps you stuck in your misery, and keeps you repetitively acting out the worst of your childhood history.
But the answer is not simply to avoid masturbation through burial of the sex drive. Repression is dangerous and contrary to healing, because it deprives you of your feelings, which you need as a roadmap to find the deep truth within you. This, ironically, is why the most backward people advocate repression – and pathologize masturbation. They don’t want you to know. If you knew you might just tell the truth about them.
To be fair, however, there are more dangerous ways to act out sexually than through masturbation. Unless you are fully enlightened it is healthier to masturbate than to engage in sex with a partner. The dynamics of interactional sex are exponentially harder to sort out consciously and heal from, because unlike in masturbation now there are two unhealed psyches at work, both pumping out their own versions of unconscious parental rescue fantasy onto each other…with an expectation of resolution.
Partner sex is a psychic set-up for failure and emotional destruction. Few can do much healing while in a sexual relationship with another, and past a certain point it becomes impossible. The dynamics are simply too intense and too emotionally laden. Most people have sex to avoid healing, which is exactly why society pushes it. Also, interactional sex often makes people into parents, which is the best way to seal their fates as non-healers.
The way to deal with normal sexuality in a healthy way is to keep on healing. To grieve. To feel. To learn your internal stumbling blocks. To know yourself. To devote yourself mind, body, and spirit to resolving your deepest emotional conflicts through unearthing your buried traumas and untangling their hidden webs. To build a strong core of a true self, a connected relationship with the best of you in your inner breast, and then to confront your perpetrators either in person or in your own private psyche. This is to heal. Perhaps this healing process will involve masturbation somewhere along the way, though as it progresses it becomes much less likely. Healthier people do not like to act out. It hurts them.
If you do masturbate, do so as consciously as you can – and recognize this as a still partially troubled step along your path to enlightenment, not unlike being on the nicotine patch. It’s better than smoking, but it’s no healthy ideal. If you masturbate, see if you can’t use it as a stage in the healing process. Study your masturbatory dynamics, learn the patterns of your fantasies and the truth underneath the metaphors, and trace them back to their historical sources in your childhood, where they invariably lie. But proceed with caution. Masturbation is inherently addictive, as are all routes that bypass healing.
If you feel shame from masturbating, search out the historical roots of your shame. Sexuality is not inherently shameful, and need not ultimately be so. Shame is not something you were born with. It is something that was foisted on you, probably by your parents. See if you can discover the roots of your shame.
If you are celibate and do not masturbate and feel much emotional discomfort with this, know that this is healthy. It is torture to change your inner patterns, especially when they were once very sick. Trust it, but be gentle with yourself. It takes true strength to do what you do, and there’s a reason so many cannot. Learn from it. Grow from it. Study the roots of your urges.
If you do not masturbate and feel you are repressing your sex drive in any way, study this too. You can learn much from your patterns of repression. Your inner soul holds the best college curriculum around – one designed purely for your own education, all there for the taking.