There is a long and meaty history behind masturbation that many of you are probably not aware of. We’ve all heard the stories about those who do so at the risk of going fully blind. However, hairy palms and a loss of vision were the least of your worries if you believed the Anti five-knuckle-shufflers of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Catholic theologian St. Thomas Aquinas believed that masturbation was a worse sin than rape, incest, and adultery because all these sins could lead to procreation whereas masturbation could not. The bible doesn’t make any direct references to their policies on jerkin’ the gherkin but it’s safe to assume it’s frowned upon. According to one bible verse: Then Judah said to Onan, “Lie with your brother’s wife and fulfil your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so, whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so, he put him to death also. (NIV, Genesis 38:8-10).
Onan, whoever he was, wasn’t masturbating but instead using the pull-out method which was thusly branded wicked by the Lord and paid with his life. So yes, masturbation is one sure way to guarantee an eternity of fire and brimstone, apparently.
Victorian society wasn’t exactly a haven for masturbation either. In this era of sexual oppression, it was believed that masturbation lead to depression, epilepsy, tuberculosis, infertility and early death just to name a few.
In order to prevent the Victorian ladies and gentlemen from otherwise frowned upon activities an array of brilliantly ridiculous prevention methods became available. Men of the time opted for straight jacket PJs during the night and a little suit of armour around their penis and testicles during the day to prevent them handling their penises (also grammatically correct to say “penes” – if your nasty). Men could also invest in a spiked ring that would tighten against the base of the penis to prevent erection. In the case of chronic masturbators, the foreskin was stapled shut or even completely castrated.
In the 19th century John Kellogg invented cornflakes as one part of a diet that he felt would lessen the sex drive and diminish the practice of masturbation, which he called a “crime doubly abominable.” Which is plenty ironic since there is a green and red cock that appears on every box actually called Cornelius Rooster.
Now for the facts of the matter at hand. Masturbating causes no adverse effects to physical or mental health. In fact, self-pleasuring can lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, improve your fertility and act as an aid in preventing prostate cancer in men.
Go forth rest assured all the negative things you have heard about masturbation growing up are nothing more than a work of prudish fiction.