C.S. Lewis’ Perspective on Masturbation

A lot of people ask me (Alex) about masturbation in their quest for healthy sexuality.  The answer that people hate to hear and that I often give is “it depends.”  “It depends” means there needs to be some self-examination as to what role masturbation is playing in your life.

Below, C.S. Lewis offers his thoughts on where masturbation and fantasy can go very wrong.  His provocative thoughts are a good springboard for self-examination.   His basic point is that masturbation and fantasy can lead to a sexual narcissism that gets in the way of a real relationship.  He shares that ideally the sex drive should lead one into union with another.  Moreover, if left unchecked masturbation and fantasy can become a prison.  His words are especially poignant for anyone who has ever felt addicted to pornography.

In a letter to one of his close friends, C.S. Lewis says this about masturbation and fantasy (I’ve emphasized a few main points):

“For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides.

And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman.

For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no woman can rival.

Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity.

In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself…After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.“

These are some heavy words friend and may be tough to digest if you have indeed come to love the prison.  The Tribe is here to help.


Expose the Prison

One way out of the prison is to expose the process.  If you haven’t told anyone about your prison it’s very likely you won’t break free.  Make it your goal to tell at least one person in your life everything about your prison.  By giving words to your experience, you take the prison out of your head and put it into a place where you can begin to take action on it.  While you are thinking about it now, message one of your tribers (friends in rTribe) and let them know you want to talk more about this quote.

Do You Need to Reboot?  

Another thing you may need to consider is going through the “reboot” process.  Yourbrainonporn.com is a great place to get educated on rebooting.  Some people need to hit the reset button on their sexuality and “rebooting” is one avenue to explore.  In the coming weeks we will have a series of blog posts dedicated to the rebooting process.

Until next time… Stay Connected.

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