My first ever encounter with the menace was back in college. I was just from my evening classes with a lady friend. Outside the lecture halls there are washrooms mostly used when there is water shortage within the institution. The one closest to the main gate, for some reason, was rarely used. I hadn’t taken notice until that day. As we went out of the compound, two men came out looking quite relaxed and in good spirits. Well, to me this was normal. I didn’t make much of a deal. As we continued walking out, I noticed the smirk on my friend’s face.
“What is going on with you?” I asked with concern.
“Do you know what those two were doing?” She responded rhetorically. “The two gentlemen were stimulating themselves for sexual gratification.”
“Wait, how do you mean?”
“They were masturbating.”
I was in awe. How did she know? Why were they so carefree to the extent of being noticed? Turns out she had been observing how they were carrying themselves, their talks and how frequent they went to “ease themselves”. Strange, but that would inform my first steps towards this demonic obsession.
I looked it up. Yes, the details to masturbation and what it was all about. I was judging the two guys viciously even condemning their actions as they were against the dictates of morality. My clock was ticking though; it was only a matter of time before the wave caught up with me. Note that I was just a freshman, looking to live life as the rest of my peers. I was in search of a girlfriend. I mean, cohabiting felt like fun. Who wouldn’t wish to try it? Unfortunately for me, my efforts bore no fruits and with time they proved futile. I started thinking about how to kill the lonesome feeling. Before I knew it, I had started putting into practice whatever I had learnt from the internet. Initially it felt so good. As time went by, it started feeling disgusting but I couldn’t stop. As much as I had achieved this sexual gratification, I felt less worthy. I hated that feeling. Since I couldn’t convince any girl to be with me, I ended up going back into it. It killed me inside for the longest time until one time I just decided to stop.
Today, and most especially during this period self-quarantine, masturbation has become so common. Most have embraced it making memes about it, calling it all sorts of names including “Kunyonga Monkey” for men while “Kufinya Chura” for women. Men masturbate more than women. Before the inception of lockdown and quarantine, we had watched videos of young men stimulating themselves in public without minding anyone watching. Confessions from renowned celebrities such as Colo the Bazokizo hitmaker, Robert Burale and Johnson Mwakazi sharing their own experience with the battle of Pornography addiction and Masturbation. Colo shared that Pornography and Masturbation goes hand in hand and is addictive too, like drugs.
From various research and studies, it’s established that Masturbation is a necessary evil which has both pros and cons in equal measures. Those who are for Masturbation claim that it is necessary for those who are single and those in long distance relationships to avoid any other kind of promiscuity. It’s also noted that Masturbation helps in boosting the immune system and relieving everyday stress. However from those who have battled this addiction, they will tell you that there is nothing worse than one having to be bound by this evil. Back in 2014, there was a Memo being circulated over the internet of one University warning its students from masturbating in the showers and washrooms of the Institution and overhead cost incurred of repairing the drainage system due to blockage by excessive semen. That’s how bad it gets.
Such notices raise alarm on the moral decay of our society at large and the kind of threat it presents to the Institution of marriage and relationship. There are psychological impacts experienced by individuals as a result of masturbation. It has eroded the passion and chemistry of many relationships as the passion in sex life isn’t as it should be.
People are using masturbation to satisfy their sexual urges instead of looking for their sexual partner. Sex is best when you get to share your emotions and feelings with your partner. Jennifer Karina notes that “Sex is a relational, wonderful experience, where we give in to a partner’s needs.” If one has been serving their desires habitually, they may find it difficult to give attention to their partner. Masturbation destroys the ability to relate to another person sexually and conditions one’s body to respond to self-stimulation seeking self-satisfaction. It stirs up our sexual emotions and many that practice this habit suffer guilt, shame and a poor self-esteem. Sex is a basic need, but there should be a good balance between the act and the other activities in our lives. Masturbation disrupts that balance by directing our mind and energies on the fantasy and gratification of self, which is not the normal practice.
Many addicts have shared their experiences of withdrawal and feelings of shame, depression as a result of overly stimulating themselves such that if stimulated by actual sexual partners, there isn’t an enjoyment affecting their sexual life. Silas Kirinya, CEO of Amazon counseling notes that “reliance on self-stimulation isn’t the same way as sexual intercourse which is not as brief as masturbation and it might be difficult for one to maintain an erection for a longer than the few minutes it takes to masturbate.” Anything short of the shared human connection is just but going through motions which may be fun but it’s not sustaining. It is only a vicious cycle of not being fulfilled. Healthy attracts health and that’s what makes us sexy. People should seek to cultivate health in themselves so that they may be better for the other person, to attract and hold onto something that is worth having. This can’t happen when the very people who are supposed to be initiating relationships have immersed themselves into self-stimulation disregarding the existence of their partners. They are afraid of commitment and are filled with insecurities to the point that they don’t want to risk starting anything with another and if they do, they are so protective of themselves making relationships difficult to handle. Many relationships have come to an end because of these old habits and beliefs which die hard.
Today when you log onto any social media accounts, most of the conversation are stemming from erotic and sexual profanities. It is undeniable facts that humans enjoy erotic imaginations and women swoon over love stories thereby raising the standard and expectations in any kind of relationship. People expect all their needs to be met. There is a lot of obsession with men having huge and strong “Chuma cha Doshi” for women while on the other hand, men are expecting something that is tight and appealing. All these expectations have pushed individuals into looking for alternatives, to attain pleasure. Many men have gone for penis enlargement pills and cream while women have gone for Vaginal tightening pills. All this has devalued the uniqueness of relationships. Many have been involved in infidelity while men addicted to masturbation have lost the interest in their women. The partaking into self-stimulation highlights lack that had become the root issue. There is lack in real connection with each other, both in marriage and relationships. Whenever there is lack of any kind, longing takes over. Real love between two people provides the best experiences.
If we can address all this, what kind of life are we looking at with each other when the time to settle comes? I understand that this is just but a stage but have we asked ourselves what might be the root causes of many relationships and marriage breaking up?? There is a pretext of infidelity, domestic violence, alcoholic partners and incompatibility for the end of relationship. What happens when one wants to have a family but can’t find a real connection with the partner? As much as we may want to look the other way, the fact remains that the kind of choices we made while young will come to haunt us at later stages of life. It’s time we save the basic unit of a society and this is family. This family is built on real and mutual human connection. We can’t pretend that’s masturbation isn’t a threat to this basic unit of a society.
Author_ John Oranga
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