The Case Against Masturbation

More than two months ago, I gave up masturbation. (About 16 years ago, I gave up promiscuity and about two years ago, I gave up porn and any kind of visual aid to masturbation.)

In 1990-1991, I gave it up for more than a year.

I notice with my new sobriety that I have more time. I save 20 minutes a day. I notice that I have more focus because I don’t have so many options. Whenever I had time on my hands in the past or when I felt anxious or wanted to escape or to get high, I thought about masturbating. Now I don’t.

I think I have more passion and direction. I don’t have as many options, so I just flow into my diminished choices and give more commitment to them — to work, to writing, to Torah, to friends.

I don’t store up erotic thoughts during the day to use at night. There’s this hot woman in my building and I could get drunk thinking about getting with her. When I walk down the street, I’ll often see a female with a particularly fine butt and my whole being becomes convinced that if I can just caress that part of her, my life will be awesome and my problems will disappear. Now that I can’t use these fantasies, can’t stoke them, I might spend less time in fantasy land and more time in reality.

I used to set myself limits with my masturbating. I determined that I wouldn’t masturbate to any fantasies that were cruel and exploitive. I had mixed success with this. I found that every time I masturbated, I was just ingraining my eroticized rage that much deeper.

It’s wonderful to have more sanity and dignity in my life.

I feel like I have more confidence because I conquer my beastly nature every day.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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