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Health And Family

Transforming sexual energy into something productive

THE SEX ADVISOR - Eppy Halili Gochangco - The Philippine Star

Dear Eppy,

I am a male adult over 25 years old.  I prefer not to give my real age because I’m scared that someone might know who I am.  I have been masturbating for more than 10 years now and I can’t stop.  But I want to stop already.  Please help me.   

Can’t Stop

Dear Can’t Stop,

You make it sound like masturbating is similar to killing someone.  You sound frustrated, scared, desperate, and hopeless.  There are many reasons why a lot of people would like to stop masturbating.  You need to know why you need to stop masturbating and why you want to stop for you to actually stop doing so.

Here are the possible reasons why you want to stop: Your religion tells you that masturbating is a sin and a reason for you not to enter the gates of heaven; someone told you that masturbation will make you crazy; your female partner or wife feels insulted when you do so.  There may be other reasons, but I don’t know any other reasons right now.

To address the religious issue, we can’t do anything about that, can we?  In a paper submitted by Christopher R. Price, M.A. to the Law Commission for England and Wales, he reports that the Jewish law prohibits unmarried men to touch their genitals and married men only for urination.  This law comes from the recognition that touching one’s genital can lead to experiencing sexual pleasure.  Masturbation is considered a sin.  You cannot change the rules or laws of your religion for your sake.  The beliefs of your religion cannot be changed for the benefit of any one person.    

The belief that masturbation can make you crazy was perpetuated to make men stop masturbating.  In the report of Christopher R. Price, he cites that, “….  Masturbation was seen as a cause of a wide variety of illness, from mental ill health to epilepsy, alcoholism, and a host of other ailments.”  Apparently, there are no medical or scientific bases for these claims.  Yet, in recent scientific reports, masturbation is seen as beneficial for both females and males.    

If you need to stop because your partner feels insulted by this act, then maybe the two of you need to go to a professional who helps couples in conflict.  There is a possibility that your masturbation is just a representation of the real conflict between you and your partner.  For example, you may have been neglecting your partner, but you are not aware that she senses the neglect.  Then, when you masturbate she becomes aware of the feelings of neglect.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to stop masturbating, here is the advice you want.  Sigmund Freud conceptualized psychic energy as the energy that drives us to do things.  Libido is also used to mean psychic energy.  People think that Freud used libido to mean only “sexual energy,” but he actually meant the energy that makes us do things. 

Freud also says that this energy can never be destroyed but can be transformed into different things.  He called this transformation, “sublimation.”  Sublimation is a defense mechanism that people use to transform sexual energy and aggressive energy into something productive.  Therefore, if you find an activity that you really enjoy and spend a lot of time doing this activity, chances are you won’t think of masturbation.  It’s similar to the idiom, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.”  Consequently, your letter to me says a lot about what you do the whole day.  That is, not enough to distract yourself from pleasuring yourself.                            

Eppy

* * *

Email [email protected].

Author’s note: Happy birthday to Laura Halili, my beloved mother.

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