I was receiving my first birthday interview as a Young Man, so I must have been 13 years old. The Bishop had numerous children himself and must have felt skilled as a father, and part of his professional job was in counseling with the LDS Church. He later became Stake President.
At a point in the interview for worthiness, I guess, because it seemed more like an inquisition to which I had no reason to not be forthcoming, trusting in his role as Bishop, I was asked if I had ever masturbated. I was completely flummoxed by the question because I did not know the word but could sense by his hubristic and clumsy questioning style that he was put off and probably himself realized he had asked too much. He responded in attempt to teach me what he had just assaulted me with by lightly discussing inappropriate self-touching and self-stimulating the male genitalia. Of course, he didn’t quite get specific in naming parts. I easily sensed he was uncomfortable, and I wondered why he had asked me something I was neither aware of nor ready for. The interview ended a little uncomfortable, but certainly not resolved in my mind, when I thought it should be a comfort. To this day, I imagine the German Nazi’s face in Raiders of the Lost Ark when he grasped the burning hot medallion from the fire and seared his hand.
I must admit that I became sensitized to the new word I learned from my Bishop and heard the word and vulgar forms of it numerous times and even began to be aware of talk from peers in the last few months that I didn’t understand. As a consequence of the commonness of the vulgar use of this act, I became curious to wonder how it was a problem or what the reason youth practiced this act, and apparently very commonly and daily for many.
I will say that it shocked me enough, almost to the level of a PTSD assault to my innocence, that I had to come to a personal wrestle with understanding how it was sin if it kept a youth from having intercourse.
Later I spoke with many adult men who had had problems all their lives and even turned them to porn for stimulation which caused marital relations. That never happened for me and I enjoy a very happy and loving marriage where sex is seen as sacred AND recreational AND noogenic.
The strange and uncomfortable Puritanical approach to any kind of talk of sexual things by LDS leaders in general, is very offputting and produces doubt and lack of authenticity and self-knowledge by those who present themselves as unadulterated by the world.