Masturbation, threat to fertility and healthy sexual life- Expert

 

By Gbenga Aladesanmi

Masturbation has never been a topic that is readily discussed in public and even much less if at all in church.  Most parents do not discuss this secret activity with their children, either because they are shy doing so or are simply unacquainted with the topic.  It is usually an act stumbled upon during the adventurous years of adolescence and the experience could be both exciting as well as tinged with fear.

Speaking at a programme  organised for teenagers within the 17-19year old bracket at the teens church of the Redeemed Christian Church of God headquarters, Ebute Metta, Lagos, Dr Runsewe a seasoned gynaecologist and founder of Runsewe hospital on Lagos Island said masturbation has more devastating effects on people than they knew.

Shedding light on the topic, he said masturbation engages the brain more than during normal sex with one’s spouse. In the case of masturbation, the brain has to delve into the recesses of the mind to retrieve an image or memory that would be sexually stimulating, thus causing the brain to consume more energy than usual. Meanwhile, when couples engage in sex, there is no need for the brain to engage in ‘mental browsing’ to get oneself sexually aroused since the brain can see the other person physically and therefore doesn’t need to exert energy.  This explains why those who engage regularly in masturbation feel drained.

Explaining further that excessive masturbation especially amongst males can lead to low sperm count later in life, he said it takes almost three weeks for an individual’s sperm to be fully replenished after a discharge. He then told the group to imagine how much strain a man who masturbates twice or thrice a day for several years would have placed on his reproductive system. Another point to ponder is that for many, masturbating leads to a certain form of “tolerance.” The tolerance effect simply means that the more you do something the more you will eventually need to do it to achieve the same affect. An alcoholic knows, for example, that when he first starts drinking, one drink may be enough to get him drunk. After weeks, months or even years, a lot more alcohol will be needed to do so. This is because God has built into our bodies the amazing ability to adjust to whatever we put in it. Our bodies will eventually return to a state of normal. If we put something foreign into it consistently enough, however, the body will adjust what it considers to be normal to a higher level.

Equally shedding light on masturbation was Growthtrac ministries which explained that sexual thinking causes a chemical reaction in the brain. That is what gives us the bodily response to achieve sexual intercourse and the pleasurable feeling that goes with it. Fantasizing about sex and achieving orgasm through masturbation creates this chemical reaction. If we masturbate enough, our bodies will adjust, and we will need to do it more to achieve the same effect. The example was given of men in extreme cases who started masturbating once a month or so when they were adolescents and by the time they became men were masturbating multiple times per day. They had become addicted to the brain chemicals created when they stimulate themselves in this way.

The tolerance effect was also explained to mean that the sexual fantasy involved in masturbating will need to become more exciting, more provocative, and/or more dangerous. An individual may have found that his or her own sexual fantasies have become more elaborate involving new types of sexual activity or a constantly changing supply of imaginary sexual partners. You may not even realize it, but your fantasy life may have become sinful in nature.

The friction of using your own hand or some other aid to achieve masturbation may also condition you to that level of stimulation. Believe it or not, this kind of conditioning may make it less likely that you will be stimulated by normal intercourse between couples. Men who get into this kind of pattern may start experiencing sexual frustrations when they are being sexual with their wives.

If you understand the effect sexual fantasy and activity has on the brain, you can also understand that many of us have used the pleasurable feelings of sex to escape unpleasant feelings. You may have noticed that the times when you have most felt like masturbating are those times when you are lonely, tired, angry, frightened or stressed out. When we use masturbation or any other form of sexual activity to achieve this kind of escape, we are depriving ourselves of more fulfilling and Christ-centered answers to those feelings.

Sometimes, the very sexual fantasies we use to masturbate may create imagined situations in which we are getting comfort, touch, love and nurture from imaginary others. Outside of the brain chemistry effect, these imagined relationships may give us a false sense of comfort for our feelings. In either case, we are not truly looking for ultimately satisfying answers to our problems.

If you are seeking to end a struggle with chronic and addictive masturbation, remember that you are not alone. Your struggle is something that many men have faced. Nothing separates us from the love of Christ. Find fellowship with other men with whom you can be honest about your feelings. Take a risk to be vulnerable. If you’re married, work on your emotional and spiritual intimacy with your wife. You don’t need to be explicit with her about your fantasies or masturbation habit, but you do need to tell her how you’re feeling, how much you love her, and how much you need her.

We must come to realize that God intended sex for the one-flesh union of a man and woman in marriage. Paul teaches in Ephesians 5:31-32 that this union is like the relationship of Christ to the church. Ultimately, this means that any sexual activity between a husband and wife that is selfish is not Christ-like in nature. Lust is selfish. Marital sex is not for the purpose of satisfying selfish desires. If that is all we are doing, we will never be satisfied. Masturbation, likewise, is never ultimately satisfying because it falls short of the incredibly satisfying nature of a spiritual union with a wife.

If you surrender your selfish sexual desires to Christ and seek to give to your wife, you will experience sexual fulfillment as He intended.

This story was first published in our hard copy in July 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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