A website for Jews struggling to maintain their moral purity in today's world
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It Can Be Done
Taken from www.tikunhabrit.com
I think I went through several stages in my life: First, I thought there was something wrong with me; surely most boys don't masturbate. I really felt bad about myself, but felt I couldn't stop.
Then I thought that virtually all boys masturbate, and it can't be controlled. Our ninth grade Science teacher said something like, "75% of all boys admit they masturbate; 25% lie." Our 10th grade rebbi had the courage to talk to the class about the Torah's teachings about sex, but sometimes was too vague. Once when the matter of wasting seed came up, he said in his Yiddish accent, "Boys, I know you are going alone and you are doing it." I wondered if he knew some of us did it together ... or did he mean alone? But whether or how the temptation could be controlled was not mentioned. One of my friends in high school said he had stopped and no longer wasted seed. I didn't believe him.
When I was 18 years old, my father had a talk with me about masturbation. He said to put a cold, wet washcloth on the erection to make it go away, but "Just keep your hands off." I felt he absolutely did not understand and dismissed him as a source of help to me in sexual matters.
Then I felt that virtually all boys and men masturbate; the Torah just expected us to keep it to a minimum, but no one can totally stop. About 15 years ago I made a "pact" with a close friend to encourage each other to try to stop masturbating. I amazed myself when I saw I succeeded in stopping for a few weeks. The problem was that we talked too much about it in detail: describing close calls and fantasies. So it backfired, because it became a source of stimulation. I gave up again. In recent years I realized that sometimes I would do this sin for the smallest reasons: I was bored, or in a mild mood to fantasize, and I would nonchalantly decide to do it.
But now I have a friend who is a source of encouragement to control the urge. He goes for weeks or months at a time controlling himself, so I've been trying, too, and doing much better. Then I discovered the Tikun Habrit website and I'm amazed to find out that abstinence can be achieved and even a long-standing habit can be broken. Now I believe that "the world" has lied to us when saying that virtually everybody does it and it can't be stopped. So far (4-5 weeks) I've been nearly pure and really expect to master this matter. It really raises my self-image.
I must add that success is not simply a matter of "white-knuckling" it. I have found methods and pieces of good advice on the website that work for me.