Masturbation happens in every culture, across every period of history, and it’s the way most adolescents discover what they enjoy before embarking on adult sexual relationships.However, if it’s becoming an obsession that’s infringing on other areas of your life, or you belong to a religion or philosophy that forbids masturbation, it’s possible to curb the impulse. Here’s how to muster the self-discipline and master your urges.
Stop mentally punishing yourself. Consider it this way: if you’re constantly dwelling on why you’re a bad person for masturbating, you’re essentially still thinking about masturbation all the time. Don’t just trade in your masturbation addiction for a guilt addiction — they’re so closely intertwined that you’d be asking for trouble. Instead, acknowledge that this has been a problem for you, but you’re working on it.
Remember, you’re human. Humans make mistakes, and they have sexual urges. Neither of these things makes you an inherently bad person. (If they did, though, you’d be in good company with over 90% of people on the planet.) Forgive yourself, and keep in mind that you are more than the sum of your slip-ups.
Resist the urge to sink into a pit of despair by remembering that time spent feeling sorry for yourself is time wasted, and minutes you could have put toward conquering your addiction.
Remove anything that makes it easy for you to masturbate. If it’s too easy for you to indulge, get rid of whatever is helping to make it possible. Some common enablers include:
Access to pornographic material: If you have a stash and you’re serious about quitting masturbation, you’ll have to get rid of all of it. Burn or shred paper, wipe your hard drive, and set up parental controls on your internet browser that block explicit content.
Sex toys: If you own any objects that exist for the sole purpose of masturbating, they’ll have to go, too. Throw them into the garbage can you can find in your house (the kitchen’s a good bet), and add something on top that will make the item irretrievable — like last month’s leftovers.
Certain times of the day: If you have problems before going to bed or in the shower, isolate these times and find a way to make masturbation less appealing. For instance, if it’s a problem late at night, drop to the floor and do push-ups until you’re too exhausted to do anything but fall asleep. If you find shower time too tempting, start using ice cold water only — you won’t want to be in there for long.
Boredom: If you have so little to do that your mind frequently wanders to sexual thoughts, it’s time to add to your schedule. You’ll find it gets easier to avoid masturbation if you’re too busy or tired to spare any energy for distractions. (More on this in later steps.)
Loneliness: If you masturbate frequently because you feel terrible about being lonely, find ways to limit your solitary time. For instance, instead of watching the game at home by yourself, go watch it at a sports bar. Even if you’re not hanging out with friends, you aren’t alone, and your potential masturbation time is dramatically reduced.
Find another outlet for your time and energy. Instead of staring at the wall, thinking about how you’re not masturbating during the time that you’d otherwise spend indulging, fill your life with engaging new activities. The novelty and excitement of doing something different can help replace the euphoric rush of masturbating, and you’ll have a go-to distraction next time you’re tempted.
Try some of these options:
Get creative: The process of turning sexual urges into creative output (called sublimation) is something Christian monks have relied upon for centuries. Start writing, learn to play a musical instrument, paint, draw, or do whatever else makes you feel like you’re creating something beautiful.
Take up sports. It takes discipline and persistence to excel at a sport, just as those two qualities are also required for conquering your addiction. Develop your mastery of your body on two fronts by taking up a solitary activity like running or swimming, or a group sport like soccer, football, basketball, or tennis.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have a healing effect on the body and provide nutrients necessary to increase willpower and control urges.
Find a new hobby, or cultivate a skill. Learning something that takes awhile to master can refocus your brain on the delayed gratification of achieving goals, instead of the instant gratification of masturbation. Try skills like cooking, woodworking, archery, baking, public speaking, or gardening, for example.
Volunteer your time: Devote your energy to helping people who’ve been less fortunate than you, such as working at a shelter, tutoring low-income students, cleaning up blighted areas, or raising money for a good cause. You’ll get an altruistic rush from easing the burdens of your fellow humans, and you’ll have less available time to stray from your goals.
Be persistent and patient. Stopping a masturbation addiction won’t hit you like a lightning bolt out of the blue. It’s a process that requires work and dedication, and you might make mistakes or relapse from time to time. The real struggle is rededicating yourself to your goal after you slip up, so commit now that you won’t let temporary mistakes stand in your way.
Set up a reward system. Bribe yourself to stay on-track with rewards for good behaviour. For instance, if you can go two whole weeks without masturbating once, treat yourself to a small indulgence like a new game or an ice cream cone.
Know when to seek help. If you’ve tried everything and just can’t seem to get your addiction under control, it might be time to tell someone else about your problem and ask for assistance. Try not to feel too ashamed, and remember that many, many people have been where you are — you’re not a bad or evil person. Seeking help is a brave action, and most people you ask will see it as such.
Ask your religious leader for guidance. If you belong to a church, consider asking your local clergy for help. Keep three things in mind: First, these people become part of the clergy because they’re dedicated to helping their congregations; second, they’ve probably already assisted someone else with a masturbation addiction; and third, they’re bound by strict confidentiality. Request a private appointment with your pastor, bishop, imam, rabbi, or other religious leaders, and see if his or her advice can help you.
Make an appointment with a medical professional. Counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists are all trained to help people with varying levels of sex addiction. Start by seeing a therapist in your area, who can assess your addiction and refer you to more specialized help if necessary. Several treatment options are available, from cognitive-behaviour therapy to medication.
Source: DR. Blunt Love