Analecto

13 de maio de 2018

Involuntary celibacy and masturbation: response to Eivind Berge.

If I do not write this, I will not be able to sleep, so I will write with the virtual keyboard. Eivind Berge published a text in his blog in which he says that the reason why involuntary celibates exist, at least in cases without comorbidity, is masturbation. He defines masturbation as unhealthy, as it goes against the three elements of sex: attraction, motivation, and performance. Thus, excluding cases where there are multiple causes, masturbation, seen as harmful, would be the core of involuntary celibacy.
This is a position that is incompatible with Berge’s profile, where he defines himself as sex-positive. First, I want to say why masturbation is not a disease, then how Berge’s position is sexually negative, and then why the presence or absence of masturbation is indifferent to involuntary celibacy (defne here as the inability to start desired sexual relationships).
Illness is something that hurts your chances of surviving or the chances of others surviving. Because paraphilias do not necessarily harm your life, a symposium held in Baltimore in 2011 partially removed them from the DSM. Is masturbation harmful to your life? Think about the number of individuals using pornographic sites. How many people use that kind of site on a daily basis? But how many people do you know who have developed physical, mental or social masturbation-rooted problems that have harmed their lives (assuming most of these users masturbate while using those sites)? There are no evils attributable to masturbation itself, although there are evils attributable to excess. But there is scientific evidence about the benefits of orgasm, while masturbation is just a way of achieving orgasms without worrying about sexually transmitted diseases, and almost without effort. Therefore, masturbation is not unhealthy, although its excess is. But I believe that excess masturbation is a symptom of a bigger problem. In that case, stopping masturbating would not solve the problem and would perhaps aggravate it.
Moreover, saying that masturbation is harmful by not conforming to the three elements mentioned above is a sexually negative position, because, by creating criteria for “good sex,” you automatically create a hierarchy of sexual practices, according to which a practice is good as long as it conforms to the criteria that support it. Religion and traditions already do that. It would not be a sexually positive attitude to apply new rules that demonize aspects of sexuality. How many sexual practices conform to these criteria and to what degree? What if I like masturbation more than sex, do I have a second-class sexuality? Berge has also attacked laws against child pornography, but what would be the use of any kind of pornography in a world without masturbation? How do the two positions reconcile? Perhaps by limiting pornography to foreplay. Thus, criteria for good sex devalue the sexuality of those who do not conform to the criteria and establish unnecessary standards, which might ruin the fun of recreative sex. If there is a need for rules, a sexually positive rule would be “the more pleasure all participants feel, the better it is.”
My father is almost sixty years old and is a porno consumer. However, he has a different woman every week, which made my mother ask for a divorce. The fact that he (presumably) masturbates does not prevent him from having a sexually active life. Ask active men if the presence or absence of masturbation makes or would make a difference in their activity. Where did you get the idea that not masturbating would make it easier to find a partner? What is the necessary link, where is the causality? Are you able to prove that it happens? Lets suppose that you are an involuntary celibate, you should check what causes it and act upon those causes. Is it your appearance? Exercise. Is it your talk? Study. The laws? Move to where the laws are better. Do you have no physical, mental or social problem? Then try to break celibacy and you will likely have good results. The lack of masturbation does not help you in any of this (how could it?). It’s more a “what can I do?” kind of problem, rather than “what I shouldn’t do?”.
It is understandable that Berge has concluded so poorly: he generalized his own experience, so it is natural to conclude something 100% subjective. But other than that, I like his work, I like his ideas and I believe in the ideals of the men’s rights movement. It’s only this point that I can not concede.

4 Comentários »

  1. […] ills attributed to masturbation had no empirical […]

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    Pingback por What I learned reading “Onanism and Sexual Abuse”. | Analecto — 6 de maio de 2019 @ 09:23

  2. […] contrário do que diz o Eivind Berge, a masturbação não reduz o comportamento sexual penetrativo entre jovens sexualmente ativos, de forma que, na sociedade […]

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    Pingback por O que aprendi lendo “Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexuality”. | Analecto — 17 de outubro de 2018 @ 09:15

  3. the whole incel idea is an excuse for violence IMO

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    Comentário por Man of mystery — 1 de outubro de 2018 @ 18:58

    • Well, it’s worth noting that there are involuntary celibates who do not condone any form of violence, as they see it as counterproductive (assuming violent behavior due to the condition is often called “going Eliott Rodger”). I think we should not generalize. I know one incel who loathes his condition, but isn’t willing to do anything violent because of it nor wants others to act violently because of that same reason. My sex drive is pretty low, so maybe it’s easier for me to say such a thing, as I don’t want nor seek sexual experience. Maybe they are under serious pressure. If that’s the case, those who remain peaceful are worth admiration. But that’s also my opinion.

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      Comentário por Yure — 1 de outubro de 2018 @ 19:39


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