I am a woman in my 30s. In college, first in AZ then at BYU, I had urges to masturbate several times a week. It was a nice release, left no trace and wasn’t unhealthy in any way. Despite that, the church had me believe that I had committed a great sin in the sight of God. I scheduled a bishop interview about it and I remember sitting in the hallway and shaking a little with anxiety. He was very kind about it however and I felt better afterward. But alas…I couldn’t seem to stop.
Couple years later at BYU my bishop had an “ask me anything” in Relief Society. You could write an anonymous note and he would pull them out and answer them. I had a generic one about masturbation. He kind of scoffed and said, “well that’s more of a problem for the young men, isn’t it?” and left it at that. I felt so angry. How could he dismiss a legitimate question that clearly came from a woman in the setting he was in? What if other women in the room needed general guidance so they didn’t feel they had to come talk to him personally about all the details?
During my engagement to my husband we had to go in to the same bishop and talk to him about our fooling around with each other. We never went all the way but felt immense guilt for the things we were doing. At that time I told him, “but we haven’t touched each other in those places for 3 weeks!”, feeling satisfied that we had gotten back on track. He dismissed that too, saying something like there wasn’t a magic number of days that we needed to be good to be worthy of the temple. I don’t remember much of the interview after that. I felt baffled – maybe there SHOULD be a rubric? Isn’t all this nebulous, arbitrary selection of numbers of days or weeks to take the sacrament rather hurtful to those who receive more for whatever reason? We didn’t know what the expectation was but we were “good” until we got married anyway.
…All of this seems so horribly pointless now that we know the church is a huge fraud. Masturbation is completely fine and healthy in moderation. I have resigned my name and hope that people continue to stay curious enough to find out the mountains of truth that show the church’s true colors from the very beginning and even before it began…