This is sadly a very common problem. Yet shame is very specific to you though. You need to diagnose what is causing you shame. It may be religious indoctrination that masturbation is a sin. It may be the patriarchal capitalist system that says unless you devote your idleness to spending or earning you are not contributing. It may also be that we’re taught that only partnered sex is good for you so what you’ve done is wasteful. All of these are acute conditionings but they are all false. I’ve written extensively on all three. Just saying they are false is sometimes not enough to battle the shame monster. I felt shame throughout my twenties because I did not yet exalt masturbation to the high importance to which I ascribe it today. I think battling shame is about emboldening your belief in masturbation. I spent a lot of time focusing on what I like about masturbation and what I believe is true. I think about masturbation positively a lot, both before and after I masturbate. I underscore that positivity. It feels good. It’s good for your esteem. It’s good for sexual health. It’s a tonic against pain. It’s a radical fuck you to capitalist patriarchy. Yell with pride when you can and the echo will drown out the voice of shame until it is a pitiful whimper. Treat yourself with kindness. Hey, if it helps, tell yourself that Melbourne Bator masturbates more than you do 🙂
I consciously don’t write about shame relative to masturbation, but it’s a real thing for lots of men and boys. As adults, we have the power and responsibility to agitate for change so future generations of children (and parents) learn the truth about sex, pleasure and their bodies before shame beliefs take root.
Find out who is offering comprehensive sex ed and support those institutions. There are several including Planned Parenthood, the Woodhull Alliance and, if you’re looking for an organized religion that does it right, the Unitarian Universalist Church. You can also support organizations training the next generation of enlightened sex educators, like the Kinsey Institute, Sex Discussed Here! and AASECT. I like local action so I personally support Planned Parenthood Northwest and the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture.
Writer, singer, baker, Mac geek, production artist, “daddy” and the founder/manager of Rain City Jacks, a non-profit J/O club in Seattle, Washington.