Confessions of a Masturbating Christian. ~ Allison Braun

Via on Jan 19, 2013
bed
Source: ellauniverse.blogspot.pt via Tara on Pinterest
Orgasms Suck.

My fear of self-pleasuring started the day I heard my church was starting an A.A.-type group for guys addicted to masturbating. I was probably about 13 at the time—hormones raging—and in that moment I thought, “I’ve got to stop!”

Then the realization kicked in. Not only was masturbation a sinful act worthy of an addiction recovery group for guys, but it was so bad that women didn’t do it at all—because we didn’t even have group.

Guilt and shame were followed by a sense of being alone. For all I knew, I was the only girl who was getting off—aside from the married women and sluts who had sex. I had no idea where I stood compared to others because this was just not a topic to be discussed—especially by girls.

After a couple days of sheer will power I succumbed to “the urge.”

At this point, I felt that orgasm—and even pleasure—was, in general, something that was wrong and shameful. Orgasm needed to be reached quickly while hidden under the covers.

This meant that the experience was only half enjoyed for…oh, about a minute from orgasm onset. And even then, it was still bracketed by both pre- and post-pleasure guilt. At the time I had no idea how profound this situation was nor how much it would affect my capacity for healthy sexual expression over the following years.

Growing up, I began to disassociate pleasure—especially sexual pleasure—from being ‘good’ or ‘healthy.’

I experienced this weird inner battle, between mind and body. It felt so natural for me. It was as if my body knew that this was the path to enlightenment, pleasure, purpose and healing—but my mind had always been taught to question that knowing.

This battle continued on for many years.

Unfortunately, and as is the case for so many other women, serious stuff had to happen before I began to see the importance of coming back to my body’s original knowing.

Serious stuff you ask?

Yes, and which included such things as forced sexual situations, trusting others more than myself, anxiety, skin cancer, a sexually transmitted disease, and worst of all—a lack of expression and knowing of who I really was. 

It took a few of those things to pop up before I really saw the depth of the connection between my confidence, expression, health and how I felt about my sexuality and sexual expression.

On my journey of personal growth and health, I have received many certifications and have participated in countless workshops and courses. I even received my degree in natural health. But it wasn’t until I brought this last piece in—that of being okay with, and actually embracing my sexual expression—that I felt complete.

I had to find a way to merge my body’s knowing with my mind’s own resistance.

I am still on this journey of personal growth, and I know there will be never-ending healing and experiences that will come my way through exploring and expressing my own sexuality. But, there have been a few pivotal moments so far that have helped to bridge this gap for me.

  1. I received permission to be in and to support being my sexual self. And, just to clarify—I am not a crazed sex fiend. What I mean by ‘being my sexual self’  is simply that I am allowing my sexuality to be a part of my life instead of stuffed down and hidden inside.
  2. Talking about it.
  3. Connecting my body and mind through movement, in particular dance (go-go dancing to electronic music is, to this day, my favorite).

Now, I am able to see in my practice everyday how this disconnect between pleasure and goodness, or this battle between the body knowing and the mind resisting, is affecting women all over the world.

What I have noticed for myself and in other women is that when we give ourselves permission to enjoy pleasure—sexual pleasure—and begin to understand that it is our birthright, that is when we step into our authentic pleasure and everything really begins to shift.

Regardless of what messages you have received over the years, know that your authentic sexual expression will heal. And it is fun!  And it feels amazing!  It’s a never-ending journey, but most certainly one worth starting.

Allison Braun headshotAllison Braun aka The Bedroom Joyologist is a sexual expression savant. After experiencing it first hand herself she now helps women let go of sexual guilt, shame and yucky “shoulding” so they can experience the passionate, soul-satisfying and deeply connected sex life and relationship they desire—first and foremost with themselves and an awesome partner too.

Her holiday gift to you is a Video Training Course on “Simple Steps Any Woman Can Take, Including YOU, To Get Out Of Your Head (in bed) and Turned ON In Your Body – Starting Today!”

Like elephant journal gets sexy on Facebook.

~
Assistant Editor, T. Lemieux
Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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19 Responses to “Confessions of a Masturbating Christian. ~ Allison Braun”

  1. jim fry says:

    Well scribed, and courageous!

    I presume "I received permission" was actually *you* giving permission, to yourself?

    I once dated a woman that thought it was cute and humorous to bang on the bathroom door when her son was in there masturbating. We have a long way to go breaking the chain of the signals we send to subsequent generations.

    Regarding shame and guilt, after five decades of life I've finally found some really compassionate treatment of the topics in the book "Daring Greatly". This single book provided the inspiration and tools for me to deeply revise my inner landscape. Worth a peek!

    Deep appreciation for your beautiful expressions!

    • Hey Jim,

      Although none of us need permission from others, at the time I did feel that being around others who gave me the space to be myself (sexuality and all) that I felt more empowered and safe to give myself permission. It was triggered by others but ultimately, yes, I gave myself permission. Woo hoo!

      Thank you for joining in the conversation and sharing the book.

  2. Allison, thank you for sharing this. When we do begin to speak out, we make it easier for others to do the same. Many of us have had issues with owning and tapping into our sexuality. You were not alone.

    • My only hope is in sharing this that it will make it easier and more comfortable to talk about and in that it will allow others to tap into their own sexuality without guilt or shame (and their kids too!). Thank you for reading :)

  3. Sheri says:

    “body knowing and mind resisting”…well stated

    I enjoyed reading about your self discovery, the humps you had to get over and the importance and value of it for yourself and for all of us females!

    I know it takes a willingness to be vulnerable to write a piece like this, I value your voice. Thank you.

  4. BennyB says:

    Growing up as a Jehovah's Witness, this was BEYOND the stigma. Girls wore home-made swim suits to not show any skin. I too still struggle with guilt associated with this area as well. Masturbation is still a huge stigma/no-no in most Christian sects, Evangelical, Baptist, Catholic and more. Having come to more open views post marriage, I still can not reconcile this with my wife who sees anything remotely similar to the aforementioned subject as sin.

    • Hey BennyB,
      Guilt is such a unfortunate feeling because in most circumstances it really serves no benefit. I totally honor and respect those who see masturbation as a sin. What I have found helpful for clients, who are religious, is to explore the idea of self-exploration (perhaps together as husband and wife) so they can better communicate and feel comfortable and sexual with their partner. So instead of seeing it as a goal-oriented, orgasm focused activity that could potentially draw you away from a partner it can be an exploration journey to bring you closer to a partner and closer to your own body. Hope that helps!
      Alli

  5. redeemed42antihero says:

    This article is titled, "Orgasms Suck: Confessions of a Masturbating Christian, but nowhere in this article or on your website can I find any reference to God, Christ, Christianity, the Church, or the Bible. I'm curious as to why you call this a confession of a masturbating Christian. Other than the title, this article and your website seem to have nothing to do with Christianity. As a a married Christian male, I personally struggle with Masturbation and pornography, and so when I stumbled across your article, I thought I would read it to gain some insight into how you landed where you did on this issue from a Christian perspective, but from what I can see, this is about your personal epiphany about sex, but I see nothing (again, other than the title) to indicate that you are a Christian, or that would indicate that this was written from a Christian perspective. What role does your Christianity play in this article and your journey? are there any tensions between what you have learned academically and what you profess to believe spiritually? What role does Christ play in the things you teach on your website and elsewhere?

    Any answers would be appreciated.

    Still struggling,
    Derek

  6. Hey Derek,
    I appreciate you reading and your thoughtful questions. To be perfectly honest – I no longer identify as being Christian, although I did for over 20 years of my life. This article is in reference to my experience with guilt, shame, masturbation and religion for a large portion of my life. I am by no means against or trying to discourage anyone away from religious beliefs, but I know for myself the way that sex and sexuality was portrayed in general – even in marriage – was very sinful, guilt-ridden and inappropriate. You know – strictly for baby making, that's it!
    Now I see sexuality, and sexual pleasure as a spiritual act – something that actually brings me closer to God. It is a sacred act – whether on my own or with my husband – that is meant to be enjoyed fully.
    So, as a married Christian male who struggles with pornography and masturbation – what do you think you need in order to shift that? What would feel authentic, true and good to you? Once you get clear on that you can take the necessary action steps to move forward, hopefully with the support of your wife.
    Hope that helps. All the best.

    Alli

  7. Sarah says:

    Allison. You are so courageous. Thank you for sharing this. While my experiences growing up were not quite so flavoured with shame and guilt from religion, those feelings still exist(ed) for me. The more I listen to my body and get a handle on my mind, the more at ease I feel with myself and my body and it's desires. Thank you for you!!

  8. Kate says:

    Fantastic article Allison!! Thank you for being so vulnerable and open, you're paving the way of providing others with permission to do the same. Keep spreading your wisdom.

  9. [...] has an interesting cultural history; the shame that exists around it is pervasive and antiquated. Remove the Church from the picture; erase what your parents taught you about “going [...]

  10. Brit says:

    Thank you so much. It is so easy to believe the idea that you are the only one who does this, but it isn't true. I've been dealing with the same thing. I always looked at what I did as something extremely shameful.

  11. Jack says:

    what about getting drained of energy and the Indian yogic reasons to be celibate?

  12. Candice Garrett Candice says:

    This was amazing, I could have written it. As a woman with a similar backstory, who only after my 30's felt comfortable enough to have an orgasm with my husband (of 10 years!), I can say shame is a big, big part of female life. I didn't get this from my parents, that I know of, but from religion. I don't, for a minute, think that any god or prophet would create this rift between couples. Getting to know myself, and allowing my husband to see that side of me, has been the most incredibly empowering, sexy, and endearing part of our relationship. No shame, no fear, just authenticity. If I don't come, great. We can see why. But when I do? Hot damn. I lament all those years we spent resenting each other for the sexual side of our relationship that wasn't working. This is something that is between me and him and has NO place in anyone else's opinion. I have 3 boys, one 13, who is very likely exploring his sexuality now. My husband has been my greatest teacher in this, how to be compassionate, how to lay boundaries (close and lock the door), about how privacy is important at an early age, and how it's all "healthy." (And also, conversing about how to introduce the topic of safe sex when it's appropriate. Not a moralistic standpoint, but a realistic convo about condoms, STDs and pregnancy) I wish girls got this same kind of understanding.

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