I started masturbating when I was 9 years old, a few years later I was house sitting for a neighbor and watched pornography alone on their VHS tapes. I read the book “the worth of a soul” and thought that I was destined for outer darkness. In any Bishop’s interview I ever had as a child, I lied about the fact that I was masturbating. And over the years different Bishop’s did ask; 1. Are you masturbating? 2. Are you keeping the law of chastity? And I would answer “No.” to the first question, and “Yes.” to the second question.
This one time at home, my Mom pulled me into her room, and I thought it was because she knew what I had been doing. Instead much to my relief, it was because she thought my brother had a problem with masturbation.
Right after high school I served a Mission, and one of my Missionary companions and I were talking one night, and I said that I had this secret that I had never shared with anyone, and man if he only knew, I wasn’t even worthy to be on the Mission in the first place. He told me to talk to the Mission President, he even said that he had had a problem with masturbation right up until the time that he left to go on his Mission, but that the Mission President had forgiven him and let him stay an Elder.
And it felt so good to be Free of the Guilt that he had been carrying around, because he had been hiding his sin.
The things I didn’t share with my Missionary companion are, I had Masturbated in the MTC and a friend had sent me Pornography Magazines, while I was on my Mission. I was convinced that I was going to hell. I guess I didn’t realize what a big deal all of this is, because as I sit here writing it out, my face is flush and my chest is tight. Which is odd to me, because I have shared this before.
I left the Mission early for Medical and went into the Military. In the Military, I went to strip clubs, bars, and my first sexual experience was with a “call girl” Many years would pass, and I was talking to a Bishop, because of all that I had done, I was required to talk to a Stake President.
He asked me how many people I slept with, and I said I never counted? He asked me again, and I said that I could give him a number, but it would only be a guess, I don’t even remember all of their names. I told him that I wasn’t willing to go into detail, I was here to repent for me, not to tell him about them.
I admitted that I had kissed a guy one time. (I’m a guy) and I had wanted to try more. I had even been chatting with men online, who wanted to do more things, but I always felt like spiritually I couldn’t do the things they wanted because I was taught that was sinful. So instead I never even tried them, even though that didn’t make the thoughts or feelings go away.
The Stake President told me that so long as I didn’t actually ever do anything else with men, that God could forgive me. Mormon God apparently can only love you if you deny who you are.
I tried to attend a Singles Branch, but I was open and honest with the women that I dated, to the point that one night in the visitors center to the Temple I asked out this woman because I thought that she was attractive and she replied: “I don’t date men like you.”
Many years earlier, while still active duty military, two of my brothers were at BYU in Utah and when I asked my brother to set me up with a girl he said; “I can’t. They don’t date men like you.”
So hearing this again years later was like Deja Vu.
Since I was a child I have had suicidal ideation, because of the guilt associated with feeling unworthy. So to put this into perspective, I was watching tons of Pornography, and family members, especially my Mom would give me books like: “Putting on the armor of God” or I bought one titled: “Conquering your own Goliath’s.”
My Mom also gave me a Christmas gift titled: “Confronting Pornography”
When I was active duty military, I spent about $1,000 dollars on buying pornography (DVD’s) and some fellow people in my squadron borrowed them from an Airman who had borrowed them from me.
I used to spend hours a day viewing pornography and masturbating, someone just the other day was talking about how you cannot be addicted to pornography. I disagree, because I was ignoring things that needed to be done, in order to watch porn.
A relationship that I had when I was in the Military was tough on my Ex-girlfriend because she couldn’t make me Ejaculate. Because I used to masturbate 6 times a day and because I would occasionally attend church, I thought that because of this issue, maybe the world would be better off without me in it.
Here I had someone that loved me, but I had a warped idea about what love was, from the porn I would watch. I had in essence desensitized myself. She asked me if I would not masturbate for her, and I tried, but it was like I could not stop.
I was taught that this was Satan tempting you to sin. I was also taught that you would not be tempted beyond that, which you’re able to bear. And I always just assumed that this was my cross to carry.
My biological Father was abusive, he hit my Mom and broke some of her ribs. He denies it to this day. And it doesn’t help that my family never even talks about it. My therapist said it was wrong, that my own Mom said: “It’s not your story to tell.” My therapist said that because it effected my life, it is my story, and I should talk about it.
I talk to a Therapist currently once per week, because I have Depression, Suicidal Ideation, and a myriad of other issues stemming from Chronic Pain.
Mormonism teaches you how to lie, that is the only way to escape the guilt & shame associated with normal bodily functions. And the joke is, Parents have these big Mormon families, but won’t talk to their own kids about sex. But have no problem letting a Bishop ask you if you masturbate or watch pornography.
At one point I had stopped masturbating and it had been over a year, and someone else wanted to know how I had defeated this issue, and from talking to them, I started doing it again.
It wasn’t until I married, that it was no longer an issue.
One night my Mom and I were talking on the phone, and she said: “How does your wife feel about the fact that you watch pornography?” And I replied: “She is sitting right here on my lap, let me ask her.” And I said; “She replied, she watches it with me, so what is the problem?”
There was silence for a good minute, finally thinking that the call had been dropped, I said: “Mom, are you still there?”
She said: “I am. And I’m not sure I like that answer.” She added: “Most Mormon men would not have been able to give it!”
Which made me come to the realization, that it isn’t about good or bad, it is simply about control.
If I am honest with my wife, and don’t lie about that which I am doing, than it doesn’t matter what the Mormon church or anyone else thinks!
I had a Mentor tell me when I left for the Military, that I better Not come back gay.
So when I was active duty military, that stopped me from doing anything else, and Mormonism also stopped me.
Instead I would act out by being promiscuous.
If I am being honest, I am Bi or perhaps just Bi-curious. And I even told that to a few family members, and obviously my wife.
I was reading something the other day that was talking about how men act out, when they’re unable to be their true selves, sexually speaking. And it made perfect sense, that the reason I was promiscuous is because: 1. I was raised sheltered. 2. I was denying who I really am.
Admitting that I am Bi makes me feel vulnerable. which is something else I discussed with my Therapist, the many times in my life where I felt powerless, like I didn’t have control.
Typing this out was cathartic, because it helped me feel free, momentarily.
Somebody once accused me of being homophobic (it was a different Ex-girlfriend) when the reality is, I was just afraid to be my true self.