Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wait a second. It's a SIN to be a pig-humper?

Right around the age of 5, I received a gift from my grandmother. A stuffed pig.  It was of medium height, pink, and pretty firm for a stuffed animal. I loved it! I would sleep with it at night, and would pretend I was riding it around the room sometimes. It would carry me from my bed, to my closet, to my tea-set, and back around again.

One day, my ride was a little different.  As soon as the pig touched a certain spot between my legs, I instantly felt a warm, pleasurable, but also truly indescribable sensation.  The first time it happened, it shocked me. I immediately jumped off of the pig, and looked at it. I wondered, What was that? What caused that feeling? and then I thought, Could it happen again?  I was curious. I got back on top of the pig, and once again, instantaneously, that exact feeling came back. It was amazing. I was onto something. (No pun intended.) At that young age, I had absolutely no idea that I was masturbating, nor that it was even sexual in nature.  I just knew that if I got on top of my pig in just that way, it would feel really good for 2 to 3 seconds. I couldn't even describe the feeling.  I just liked it. A lot. So I kept doing it. (Thanks, Nana!)

A few years later, by around age 7 or 8, I had graduated to pillows, or I would sometimes ball up the sheet or blanket in my bed and lie on top of it.  It would only be a few seconds before that feeling would come back. I enjoyed it. I felt no guilt about it, because I didn't even know what I was doing.  I thought of no one while I was doing it; I hadn't ever seen a naked person other than myself.  Boys were still gross to me, so my mind never connected the pleasure I felt with sex. I didn't even know what sex was, much less an orgasm. And since I couldn't articulate the feeling I was getting, nor what part of my body I was stimulating in order to attain said feeling, it never occurred to me to talk to anyone about it. I thought, in my young mind, that I was the only one who happened upon this experience. It was my golden nugget.  That is, until my mother approached me.

She took me into my bedroom, and sat me down on the bed. 

"Stephanie, I have to ask you a question," she asked with a pained expression on her face.

"Ok," I answered. I was confused, and scared. I wondered what I had done to make her so sad.
She hesitated while I mentally ran through everything I had done that day that could possibly be the reason I was about to be in trouble.  I couldn't think of a single thing.

Finally, after what seemed like ages of silence, she asked, "Have you been mastur..." she paused... "masturbating?"

Masturbating?  I asked myself. What is that?  I had no inkling. I had never heard the word before. Well since I don't know what it is, then that means I probably haven't done it, I thought.

"No, mommy," I answered. "I don't think I have." And I was being honest. Even at that moment I still did not equate what I had been doing with the subject matter at hand.

She continued. "You haven't been..." more hesitation, "touching yourself?" I noticed her hand motion at her crotch area moving back and forth toward her pants and away again as she asked the question.  My cheeks flushed.  I felt embarrassed, but didn't know why. To that point, I had never used my hands to "touch myself" as she put it, so I still didn't completely make the connection. 

"I only touch there when I'm washing my bottom in the bathtub," I said nervously. I didn't comprehend what she was asking me, but I still felt like punishment was inevitable.

She wasn't satisfied with my answer. She looked more aggravated as she continued the interrogation, "You don't do anything that gives you a funny feeling down there?"

Just then, I understood. My face turned red, I could feel my heart race, and my clasped hands began to sweat.  What I had been doing was bad? Oh no, I thought, I really am in trouble now.  I started to cry.

"Yes, mommy," I stammered through the tears, "I lay down on my pillow or my sheet sometimes." I sniffled, and wiped my tears away with my hands. "Am I in trouble?" I asked awaiting my sentence.

She winced. "Let's see what Jehovah thinks," she said as she reached behind her back and pulled out a little red book.  No, it wasn't the Bible from which we would read Jehovah's thoughts.  It was another book with the title stamped in gold lettering, "Your Youth--Getting the Best out of It."
It was a book we got from the Kingdom Hall [church or meeting place of Jehovah's Witnesses] so that meant what I was doing was not only bad to my mom, it was bad to God! I was even more frightened as she flipped the book open.

She landed on Chapter 5, and told me to read the title.

"Masturbation and Homosexuality," I read aloud, instantly perplexed. I had just learned by context clues what masturbation was, although I still didn't really understand. But what in the world was homosexuality? I didn't even know what sexuality was in the general sense.

We continued reading the chapter together, which contained information like: 

"The apostle writes of those who 'gave themselves over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness.' (Ephesians 4:19) In his letter to the Colossians...Paul mentioned “covetousness,” and in this text, “greediness.” Really, masturbation expresses both of these undesirable qualities. How? Well, it is an expression of desiring something that does not rightly belong to one. God has provided marriage as the arrangement in which to satisfy sexual desires. But the person who practices masturbation is, in effect, trying to obtain that satisfaction without paying the price." (Youth book, p. 37, par 6)  How do you explain to a child, who had never even heard of sex, and has no clue what marriage means, that she should stop masturbating because sexual desires are only able to be satisfied by married people? Needless to say, "God's counsel" fly yards over my head.

The book went on to insinuate that if I masturbated, I would become homosexual, saying, "Weakly giving in to sexual desires by masturbation will certainly not give you strength when faced with a situation tempting you to commit fornication—or even homosexuality. Just the opposite, it cultivates wrong thinking and wrong desire. In fact, masturbation can lead into homosexuality. In such instances the person, not satisfied with his lonely sexual activity, seeks a partner for mutual sex play.

This happens much more frequently than you may realize. Contrary to what many persons think, homosexuals are not born that way, but their homosexual behavior is learned. And often a person gets started when very young by playing with another’s sexual parts, and then engaging in homosexual acts." (Youth Book, p. 39, pars. 9,10)

I felt awful.  I still had zero understanding of what I was doing, and I most definitely had no comprehension of what a homosexual was, but all of it was sinful according to what God (The Watch Tower Society) said in the book we had just read. And since this instruction was ultimately coming from my mother, I had no choice but to trust it.

It was only then that I became burdened with guilt, often contemplating whether I would die at Armageddon for doing what used to seem very natural and normal and good to me.  I didn't stop masturbating though.  I just decided that I would never again tell my mother that I was doing it.  I didn't want her to be disappointed, and I most definitely didn't want to endure another excruciatingly uncomfortable "lesson" from another piece of literature she had in her arsenal. 

Over the next few years, she would often ask me, "Stephanie... are you still doing the... 'master'?" while doing the hand-to-crotch motion she had done the first time.  She never said the full word. It was a shortened "code" that only she and I knew. 

"No," I would tell her, hoping she couldn't see I was lying.  If she did, she never let on.  That would be the end of the questioning, and I would breathe a sigh of relief. 

As time went on, I would periodically see articles about masturbation written in the Watchtower and  Awake!* magazines and would instantly feel that same discomfort as I when I was a child on the bed with my mother.  As a matter of fact, it is such a big deal to Jehovah's Witnesses that if you were to search their literature, you'd find "masturbation" or "masturbate" mentioned 435 times. That's 435 times the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society warns of how "unclean" and "immoral" you are for exploring your own body and finding satisfaction doing it. 

The Watchtower even warns that if one masturbates, he would not be qualified to acquire any higher rankings in the congregation, " If a man...masturbates, could he measure up to such standards? The habitual practicer of masturbation...is in danger of succumbing to still more serious wrongs.  He is hardly in a position to serve as 'an example to the flock.'" (Watchtower September 15, 1973, p. 569) I find it very interesting that a man who masturbates is not deemed worthy to have a position of privilege in the congregation, but no policies are in place to remove one who is accused of child molestation.

As the years passed by, I found more dignified ways of pleasuring myself, and realized that with time, and education, my guilt about it faded. It kept me from being promiscuous. I didn't feel an overwhelming need to "fornicate". When I was aroused, I would handle it myself, and move along with whatever I had to do that day.  While my other friends were rushing to get married at 17 and 18 years old, I didn't feel the need.  As such, I was able to take my time and figure out who I was before jumping into a quick, superficial marriage only to have sex. 


My mother was still thinking about it, though.  Even into my adulthood, she persistently mentioned the "master"... and how it was condemned by God.  At one point, she even let herself into my apartment while I was at work, and found a vibrator I had in one of my drawers. She actually confronted me about it, complete with quotes from various Watch Tower literature! When I asked what she was doing in my apartment in the first place, she explained that she wanted to "help clean" before I moved out. 

Exacerbated, I replied, "Look, Mom. If I'm not allowed to have sex with someone, then I am most definitely going to do it with myself." She sat there in stunned silence for a moment. Then she got up, and walked out of the room.  That was the last time we spoke about it. 

All of this just really emphasizes the amount of control the cult of Jehovah's Witnesses attempts to exert upon its members.  There is something utterly wrong when an organization decides what its members do with their own bodies in their own bedrooms; and endeavors to guilt them into confession, and ultimately cessation by threatening to remove higher privileges.  It is sad that more Jehovah's Witnesses are not able to realize their own sexual potential, and prowess because they are made to feel so guilty, and even downright sinful. 

Silver Lining:  
I truly believe that we, as humans, enjoy sex as much as we do because we are supposed to have it! And if a subject is kept incredibly "taboo", it is only logical that it would pique the interest of most people (especially the young and inexperienced).  Mine certainly was, and I'm glad for it.  I really got to know my body. I know what I do like, and I know what I don't.  When I did finally have sex, I was much more confident,  because I already knew what I wanted to feel.  


My husband has definitely benefited from that as well.  He has said numerous times that "he's never met a woman who knows her body" like I do.  That makes him more comfortable as well.

All-in-all, I say masturbate, or don't.  It's completely up to you. Not your religion.  Take back some control! It's your life. Your body. Know it. Love it. 



*The Watchtower and Awake! are bi-monthly magazines published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. These magazines are studied, taken as doctrine, and peddled door-to-door by Jehovah's Witnesses.

18 comments:

  1. Oh my god, this speaks such truths. Almost every girl I knew growing up in my congregation got married at 18, just so they could have sex. At 13, I remember having a sleep over with some friends and we pondered the taboo mystery of sex and boy parts. One thought penis and testicles were the same thing. I thought you could only get pregnant on your period. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I didn't know what a clitoris was, where it was, or what it did, til I was 17. I didn't even know women could orgasm, I thought that was a guy thing.

    All of us were sheltered, misinformed, smothered, and repressed. I explored my body a few times as a child, but the next day I couldn't eat because I was nauseous from guilt. I thought for sure Jehovah would sentence me to eternal death for playing with myself. So from the moment I hit puberty, all I did was fantasize. I thought about sex CONSTANTLY, but I never masturbated. I thought if I didn't touch myself, it wasn't as bad. I learned to stimulate myself with my thoughts, and nothing else.

    To this day I find it difficult to "follow through" with feelings of arousal, even though I'm in a committed, sexually active relationship. Being a Jehovah's Witness stunts you as a human being. I'm just lucky I didn't wind up trapped in a marriage with some guy I hate, with 3 kids because I didn't understand pregnancy.

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    1. Wow, what a story. Isn't it sad? They expect you to NOT to even fantasize about sex, but won't educate you about it either. It's either marriage or NOTHING. Even their view of marriage is warped.

      At one point, I remember mentioning that a boy on tv was cute. I was about 15 or 16. My mom stopped what she was doing and said, "Don't dwell on the opposite sex, Stephanie." I was bewildered. I told her I thought it was normal to think boys were cute. She said, "That's what the world wants you to think. There's nothing normal about that."

      It's hard to not be angry about it looking back. But I guess I value the education and experience I got on my OWN a bit more because of it. Thanks so much for the read!

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  2. This is my first visit to your blog. Very nice. :)

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  3. Stephanie, thank you for your forthrightness on this subject. If only I had read something like this when I was a JW teenager, convinced that I had committed the "unforgivable sin" and was "less than worthless" because I couldn't "conquer masturbation," even after becoming a Bethelite. I naively thought I was the only JW who masturbated. (In reality, it was more likely that I was just about the only one dumb enough to tell the elders about it!)
    My guilt over this led to my becoming suicidally depressed. It's amazing how the org can take such a natural, enjoyable part of being human and turn it into something evil. My heart goes out to all of those still struggling to be Jehovah's Witnesses and human at the same time. I hope that blogs such as yours, mine, and all the other ex-JWs who care enough to reach out to their former brothers and sisters, will help them.

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    1. Oh! I just realized you're the "guest blogger" on JWB! AMAZING. I read that blog religiously. <--haha. But thank you so much. I'm honored you took the time to stop through. I'm brand new in the blog world, but definitely have a lot to say. Especially regarding the JW organization. Thanks again.

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  4. Oh my! It is so sad to me that you were made to become so depressed and nearly suicidal over guilt from something that is so normal and natural. It really is a shame the amount of control this group has... and will stop at nothing to KEEP. I thank you so much for reading, and I will check out your blog as well. :)

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  6. Well I was brought up as one and still am one my mum told me anything and everything about sex and although I was advised not to masterbate and that it wasn't good as a single person I never felt if I did I would be condemned at all just helped to managed my urges until married.I didn't get married very young I was 22 my husband was 28 he wasn't a virgin I was but it made no difference to me that he wasn't.Yes I had some problems when first married with sex as any newly sexually active person but I certainly didn't blame my religion!! I find most of the people on here have been damaged by there parents as most are very uncool in talking about sex or have taken things the wrong way.My Husband fell away as a teenager he wouldn't accept it from his mum but as he got older he studied with someone else non related and understood things better as able to speak his mind he then decided it was for him and came back. Don't get me wrong my parents where very tough when it came to our faith but very balanced reasonable and incredibly cool about a lot of things there was nothing I couldn't talk to them about.By the way that red book you have is super old,how old are you? I'm 30 and never seen that book in my life the young people ask book is much newer and as for being gay they have had magazines on that subject with much more light shed on that.Have you visited the new website with the up to date books and mags.Like my husband don't be put off by your parents study with someone else,he really was put off by his mum and brother they didn't do anything wrong he just didn't want to be like them,so he found a way of keeping true to himself and his faith.

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    1. You seem to think that just because your parents were not brainwashed to the extent that other Witness parents were that it makes the Watchtower's disgusting suppression of sexuality okay. It is not okay! It is psychologically damaging and bigoted towards the LGBT community. The Watchtowers views on sexual orientation are no more enlightened than they were 40 years ago. They just use softer, more ambiguous language so they can attract more liberal Christians to their cult and take their money for the next "Bethel expansion project".

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    2. I love this blog post. I was fortunate enough to have never faced the inquisition from my parents regarding masturbation (there was one time my mother asked if I touch myself while admonishing a little girl she was babysitting for doing the same; tho this was awkward, especially since I'm a boy, I had the sense at the time to say "no").

      I was very much like you in that I questioned things from a very early age. Unfortunately, both to my benefit and detriment, I also believed I had close, personal relationship with Jehovah. Therefore, I always believed as a youth that "god's word" was higher than anything published by the WTBS. When I read in the Young People Ask book that the word masturbation never actually appeared in the Bible and that the faithful slave's condemnation of it was based on purely circumstantial speculation about the meaning of versus discussing fornication, I decided that they didn't really know what they were talking about. Having known that there were many Greek words for masturbation, I figured that if God wanted to condemn it he would have just outright done so.

      Unfortunately, my youthful skepticism did not free me from the confines of religion. As I got older I would wonder if my interpretation of the scriptures was on point. I actually tried to stop masturbating once and made it two months. But after that I just decided that it was natural and healthy and didn't give it much thought.

      I did have one sad relationship with a sister where I was sexually teased and even abused because of her own upbringing and sexual confusion.

      However, I'm glad to say that after 26 years I am finally free of religion and out of that cult. I also have an active, happy, and healthy (both physically and mentally) sex life. I just thought this might give another perspective on masturbation and being a young JW, hope it's of help to someone.

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  7. quote: As a matter of fact, it is such a big deal to Jehovah's Witnesses that if you were to search their literature, you'd find "masturbation" or "masturbate" mentioned 435 times.

    no kidding -- just look at the ENTIRE chapter devoted to masturbation in the "God's Love" publication. The American Sign Language version is hilarious if you don't know ASL:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdrNEl1B6aM

    source: chapter 22 http://www.jw.org/apps/E_QrYQFVTrlBBX?selLang=ASL&selPub=880

    "God's Love" such a dubious title. Should be called "Watchtower's Love"

    Also these kid videos they are producing are such propaganda. Just watch the "sparlock" video for instance. Fear, guilt, oppression, check - this is a cult...

    http://www.jw.org/en/publications/videos/ look for "Become Jehovah's friend" and see the section pk002 - "Obey Jehovah"

    I could never subject my children to this foolishness

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  8. Stephanie, I found your blog through your video on apostates, very well presented by the way. I live in England, and I was disfellowshipped at 19 yrs old, 37 yrs ago now. I have 2 sisters,neither of who are practicing Witnesses any longer, although one of my sisters still occasionally goes to meetings. We are on good terms now thankfully. Our mother is dead, and our father is an elder. He has nothing to do with any of us.

    I just want to say that what you say in this blog resonates with me. I discovered masturbation by accident, but I was a little older, about 13 or 14. I left school as soon as I could to become a pioneer. This was in the 70s, and speculation among Witnesses was at a fever pitch about 1975 being when Armageddon would happen. My teen years were a vicious cycle. I would push myself as a pioneer, but I felt guilty all the time. Firstly in case I incurred "blood guilt" for not doing enough to reach people. Secondly because of the masturbation. Every time it happened I would just push myself harder in the "ministry", all the while feeling a total fraud and a failure, wondering what the other brothers and sisters would thinkof me if they knew what I got up to in the privacy of my own room.

    It is only recently,and after being married 24 years that I have really been allowing myself to really enjoy sex. Sad isnt it?

    I just want to say thank you for being so honest about your own experience, I am sure it will really help a lot of people. When I think back now about the girls I knew at the Kingdom Hall, I
    wonder how many of them were going through the same ordeal as I was.

    Mike

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  9. Stephanie,

    You conveniently forgot to mention how old you were when you had sex..... Got pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl out of wedlock! Your mother attempted to protect you with loving advice that turned out to be on point....(Not slighting your daughter in anyway) YOU are a hypocrit's hypocrite! I mean that in a loving way.... Don't get it twisted..... If you can dish it out... You should be able to take it! Sorry... You may be able to fool the unaware.... But you can't fool Jehovah! One other thing..... Eve was perfect (unequivocally brilliant just as her husband) when as you stated she was deceived by Satan.... You are six thousand years removed from her in imperfection and in lack of intelligence.... But all of a sudden YOU have it all figured out? (Pun intended) You have not been deceived by the same clever person who happens to be 1000 times more brilliant than Eve and 100,000 times more intelligent than us? Stephanie. ..... Your mother loves you dearly..... Much more than you are willing to admit at this time.... You are hurt.... You are lashing out.... You are still very young and have lots to learn.... Time heals..... Allow that to take place. You may never re-up your relationship with your family or Jehovah which is frightening within itself.... But you will realize The Truth as Eve did..... He said they would die and they are dead! Will that be your realization? I remember seeing you and your beautiful daughter at the 2009 or 10 convention in Fort Worth.... Happy to see that you were tending to your spiritual needs and that of your daughter..... Don't let your new husband ( Jehovah and your family have known you longer and much more so) and your unforgiving emotions prevent you from giving your two daughters a chance to make a choice as you have... Remember as you said to check consumer reports....or the blue book value.... Because the stance you have taken would not afford them the same luxury. ....

    I have NOT said any of this to offend you or start a debate..... Unless I have overlooked.... I don't see any opposing views..... And I hope you will not remove this one.

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    1. "You conveniently forgot to mention how old you were when you had sex..... Got pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl out of wedlock! Your mother attempted to protect you with loving advice that turned out to be on point....(Not slighting your daughter in anyway) YOU are a hypocrit's hypocrite!"

      There is the type of loving counsel I remember...and from "Anonymous" no less.

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  10. "While my other friends were rushing to get married at 17 and 18 years old, I didn't feel the need. As such, I was able to take my time and figure out who I was before jumping into a quick, superficial marriage only to have sex."

    EXACTLY!!! In my small province of Nova Scotia all the kids in the hall were literally going out of their minds being so horny and board. The elder kids were the usually the worst...

    The all my peers started getting married starting around 19yrs just to get laid. It's sad, because a lot of good kids ended screwing up their lives becoming very young parents and getting divorced.

    I think it has to be an scientific fact, that if growing up your DON'T masturbate AND you don't have sex, that you will lose your mind...and die possibly but I can't confirm that.

    Great post!

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  11. I'm masturbating whilst reading this thread....omg here out comes!

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  12. If Jehovah's witnesses are worried about the guys falling into sexual sin with their girlfriends, don't you think the Watchtower had better stop discouraging masturbation? Going on a date "loaded" is not a good idea if you want to remain chaste. JW guys need to "shoot off a few rounds" beforehand if they want to keep from having urges to fornicate. Not only that but they'll then be able to have some real conversation with the girl instead of bumbling along because they're thinking about sex the whole time.
    There's nothing like masturbation to deaden the sexual urge.
    Well, castration perhaps but I'm not advocating that.

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