Masturbation has been a sweet tool for me in learning sexual self-restraint. I have tended to give my body away too easily, driven by raw desire in the moment. I want my kiss to really mean something. Any part of myself I choose to open to another; I want that to mean something. I want my sex to be a choice, not a reaction. Masturbation is like a pause (plus!) sexual impulse control button. I can have just as much pleasure through fantasy and touching myself as I would actually having sex. Then I can make a more clear-headed choice; Do I actually want to pursue sex with this person? Or wait? I can enjoy a fantasy just as much (often more!) than a sex act. Is the sex act forbidden or a bad idea to begin with? (For example, someone else’s partner.) Well then, since I have learned the art of pleasuring myself and being FULLY SATISFIED with that pleasure – I will enjoy the satisfaction of intimacy with that person in the safe and private sanctuary of my own mind, and never worry myself with thoughts of actually doing something stupid. Making more meaningful sex requires restraining my impulses, because acting on impulse, I end up settling for sex I don’t really want to begin with, just because I haven’t given myself the opportunity to be mindful. If we gave ourselves to masturbation and fantasy almost as a kind of meditation, perhaps we could approach sexual morality (really our own self-respect and self-integrity) a little differently. This is working for me at least.
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