I understand and appreciate why a lot of men who have taken up the mantle of “bater” would express their enthusiasm for the bate by referring to themselves as “chronic,” “addicted” and/or “compulsive.”

But I do not believe in sex addiction, compulsive masturbation or any other identifiers that would brand enthusiastic sexuality as “disease.” While there are uses of the words “chronic” and “compulsive” that do not specifically refer to disease, that is the commonly understood meaning of these words and words make a difference, especially when we use them to claim something about ourselves.

I will grant you that I’m a middle-aged white guy, and I don’t refer to things as “bad,” “dope,” “stupid,” “sick” or “the shit” when I mean something is really great. I don’t pretend to be that urban regardless of my Chicago roots.

I do, however, generally appreciate what people mean to say in whatever context they choose. I assume, perhaps mistakenly, that when you call yourself a “chronic, addicted bater” that you’re trying to emphasize how much you love masturbating. You mean to say that you’re so into masturbation that you want to spend hours a day doing it and may actually do just that. You think that by claiming to be addicted to it, you’re actually doing it a sort of honor, saying that it so good you can’t help yourself… 

But here’s the thing: I just don’t feel good about what looks like the application of disease-model language to something I view as inherently natural, good and healthy. Regardless of the intent, I think this is a bad use of language and we ought to choose alternative ways of expressing our enthusiasm for frequent, protracted self-love.

What I think is this: we almost always judge human sexuality, human behavior and sexual activity, according to social norms, not according to objective reality. There are people who, sometimes for extended periods of time, want to have a whole lot of sex. They may be compelled to have a whole lot of sex with a whole lot of different people. Just because that behavior doesn’t fit with our social fairy tale about what is an appropriate dating and mating ritual for a “healthy” adult human does not make it a disease. It’s only abnormal in the context of a stuck-up, plugged-up social norm.

You want to just have missionary-style intercourse with your legal spouse in the dark of your bedroom in your average, Christian-American suburban home? FIne! I’m still going to beat off every day and it’s not a disease just because you don’t…

If a guy thinks about sex and wants to act on that impulse for 95% of his waking hours (I’m giving you 5% for meals) the only thing wrong with that is that it interferes with many standard daily routines (and most job descriptions). Who cares how much a guy wants to masturbate? It does not harm him or anyone else (I do not include anyone’s hurt feelings because those are always the responsibility of the one who hurts). If it’s more jacking off than his boss or his spouse or his room mate thinks is normal, that may be a source of discomfort but that discomfort doesn’t make it pathological.

If a sexual act is consensual, negotiated and nobody is harmed, then in my view, it’s perfectly okay to do it as much as you can make it work for you.

Around the world, every year, 147,000,000 women and girls are sexually mutilated by having their clitoris removed. This is done because women’s sexuality is deemed pathological by those societal norms. I hope you agree with me that this is fucking insane, barbaric and needs to stop. I also hope you can see that in those communities, the girls themselves go along because it is what their culture deems is appropriate.

In the United States, there are hundreds of laws that limit sexual activity that is healthy only because those societies consider those activities as unhealthy, evil, wrong, whatever, based upon whatever moral judgements they have chosen in their county, city or state. Consider polygamy: Aside from the legal issues involving property and liability, how exactly do polyamorous arrangements harm anyone? How does gay marriage harm anyone? No, offending people still does not count because being offended is not actual harm… It’s just being offended.

I am an enthusiastic masturbator, cocksucker, butt-fucker, man-kisser, homosexual man. I’ve lived with my sexual orientation and navigated my way to happiness through it for half a century and I know it’s perfectly fine and harms not a single person. If masturbating a lot is to be considered a chronic condition, an addiction disorder, a compulsion to recover from, then what’s to stop cocksucking, butt-fucking, man-kissing or even loving someone unconventional from being labeled as pathological?

Just because I live in a moralistic, deluded culture that likes to base sexual morality upon ancient, middle-eastern religions doesn’t make my masturbation diseased no matter how much I may do it. You may not masturbate that much yourself, and the thought of it may make you feel sick to your stomach, but your discomfort with my sex life has nothing to do with my life or with objective reality.

Is it erotic to call oneself addicted? Not if one has personal experience of actual addiction.

I think guys who love masturbating—be they homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, solosexual or sociosexual masturbators—should claim it in positive terms and avoid anything that characterizes their penis-passion as pathological. I’m not a compulsive masturbator, I’m an enthusiastic masturbator! I’m not an addicted, chronic masturbator, I am an avid masturbator! I am an expert at giving myself intense pleasure. I love my penis, my testicles and the orgasms my body gives me in response to my own touch. I know myself and care about myself and I do not accept anyone else’s shame about my sacred body and miraculous life.

We live a very short life. Even a hundred years is a short life. It’s over before we know it so why would I want to waste my precious, limited moments on a behavioral disorder? Nothing is more natural than masturbating. You might as well call me a compulsive breather or a chronic sleeper. Eating, breathing, sleeping, fucking, loving, jacking-off… It’s some of the best of what life has to offer every one of us and it’s all supremely good. We should enjoy it while we can without apologizing.

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