I experienced incredible shame over masturbation. Barely a teenager, the scripture in Matthew 5:29-30 became constant in my mind:
29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Having been taught to understand the scriptures literally, I considered, again and again, whether I should cut off my penis in order to avoid further sin. Luckily I didn’t have the courage to go through with it.
As an adult, I see things differently, but as a teenager, the struggle was painfully real. I can see now that it was emotionally and mentally unhealthy for me, but I couldn’t talk to any adult about it at the time because the shame was unbearable. I’ve never told anybody this, and I still can’t attach my name to it because I still feel an enormous taboo around discussing sexual topics compounded with the additional taboo of discussing mental health. Any practice that drives an innocent child to contemplate self-mutilation must be stopped.