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on Oct. 07, 2011 :
Firstly, this book is wrongly categorised. It should be in the Christianity section as it comes from a very specific religious perspective and consists largely of quotes from the Bible.
Secondly, it is sometimes unintentionally hilarious is its extremism and irrationality.
Thirdly, it gives a description of what the life of a masturbator is like which I find hard to relate to as a masturbator myself. Maybe masturbation is practised differently in Nigeria, but I've never bruised my penis. I'm far to fond of it.
Some choice passages :
"If the mid-stage is not controlled or stopped, the individual progresses to the late stage (i.e. at least ones (sic) a day). At this stage, it is an addiction and it will take great self-control not to do it in public in the full glare of everybody."
"In men, food deficiency diseases will not be uncommon especially if the individual does not eat well."
"The bottom line is this, sodomy or homosexuality scripturally refers to both gays and lesbians. These two involves (sic) body stimulation thus, masturbation is a precursor to homosexuality or as a friend of mine rightly described it, "homosexuality is masturbation full blown."
"A vibrator (an electrical device that produces a continuous movement for sexual pleasure) is most preferred by many that masturbate, especially professional 'sex film' actors/actresses, harlots, prostitutes and nymphomaniacs."
I'm not a religious person, though I am a big admirer of Jesus and his philosophy of being non-judgemental and loving to all of our fellows and to ourselves.
Oduwaiye asks himself the question "Where did masturbation begin?" The answer is simple. Since other primates also masturbate it stands to reason that our pre-human ancestors did too, and thus that it has been with us since our beginning as a species. The real question should probably be "When did we become afraid of sexuality and feel the need to control our sexual behaviour?" Certainly long before the Old Testament was written. Sexuality can be an anarchic force. It threatens any society founded upon its repression. And those who are in positions of power - particularly the law-makers and moralisers - are generally those who are most repressed (least in touch with their genuine loving self) and these are the men who wrote the Old Testament and said that homosexuality was "an abomination" etc. Paul was also such a man, clearly obsessed with sex and the threat he felt that it posed.
Jesus was not like those men. He appears to have not been obsessed by sex like they were. He talked a little about lustful thoughts being equivalent to adultery, but this seems to have been merely advice against hypocrisy. Which of us doesn't at some time want to have sex with a person married to someone else? Thus we shouldn't judge those who do. That seems to me to have been the point. But Jesus appears to have been a healthy, non-repressed, non-neurotic individual. For all we know he may have had the occasional wank himself.
If someone feels shame about masturbation then that will cause a problem for them. But such shame is not evidence that masturbation is offensive to God. Our conscience is a learned part of our ego, it is an internalised code of expectations we have about ourselves which we pick up from our parents and other members of society. Thus, what someone feels guilty about varies from culture to culture. A Catholic might feel guilty about being a homosexual, but in ancient Greece sex between men in the army was the norm and not at all a source of shame.
What makes the kind of ideas put forward in this book a problem is that battling against a natural urge to do something which doesn't harm others and which, research supports, is both physically and psychologically good for us, can make us self-obsessed. When we are struggling with ourselves we become unavailable to others, we are less loving.
If we have a wank when we feel like it the desire is satiated and we can forget it and get on with our lives. If we are religious we can more easily do God's work. But if we try to suppress this natural urge we are liable to become a slave not to masturbation but to the battle against it. We might even be so obsessed that we end up writing a book about it.
(review of free book)