Like millions of others in recovery, I try to blame as many of my personal shortcomings as possible on being raised Catholic.
That’s no disrespect to the billion-plus Catholics still out there — including those near, dear, and kin to me — but the occasional subtle dig is a perfectly reasonable trade-off for lifelong guilt you can’t escape no matter how hard you try.
If you were raised to truly adhere to Catholic doctrine, you are conditioned to believe that something so instinctive as self-satisfaction is potentially worthy of lifelong condemnation. So as we close International Masturbation Month, an institution whose existence I have painstakingly triple-checked, I’m hoping to talk about the world’s favorite activity in a way that ideally doesn’t make you wish my keyboard had caught on fire.
My first education about masturbation was ruined by men who dress like bad bitches but fail to do bad-bitch things. That is, priests. Sadly, much of what I was taught back in catechism classes can now be viewed across the larger internet. Take Catholic.com’s “Why Is Masturbation Wrong,” where it is claimed that masturbation is a sin against the Sixth Commandment and described as “an act in which one turns selfishly inward.” In other words, that semen has been ordained by God for the sole sake of procreation (which itself is only missionary and probably has all the rhythm of a TV audience clapping along to a Rascal Flatts performance).
Given that, the church considers it a mortal sin (the eternal-damnation kind) if “committed with full knowledge and complete consent.” Factors that would ease that burden, as other Catholic-focused sites note, include “adolescent immaturity, lack of psychological balance, and even ingrained habit,” which “can influence a person’s behavior, and this could lessen or even eliminate moral responsibility.” So if you can’t accept that rule — while ignoring whatever the fuck these priests have (allegedly) been doing behind the scenes — then you must be hitting puberty, mentally unwell, or actually addicted. Jesus is a balm in Gilead, but these hoes here sound stressful, no?
Granted, there are some Catholic theologians who seem much less idiotic than all that, but 1) they’re not in control and 2) the above nonsense is what I was taught as a kid. (Yes, I’m proud of what a ho I can be in spite of it all. To God be the glory.)
I wasted a lot of time on Lil’ Kim and Trina when Omarion was right there. Not to get all religious, but God leads you where she’s supposed to do at the anointed time, not the appointed time.
Fortunately, around the time I was being fed said nonsense, T-Boz released her first solo single. It was called “Touch Myself,” and appeared on the soundtrack for Fled; if all you remember about the movie was Laurence Fishburne running in the trailer, then we’re already friends. The song was the perfect ode to masturbation — “when you’re alone, what you need is what you need” — and I will never forgive you motherfuckers for letting this song flop. This was probably the best sex-ed course America had going in the 1990s. (That’s both a compliment to Tionne and an indictment of our education system.) Just as my dick was beginning to hop on its own, she helped me realize that God wasn’t going to deep fry me in hell if I touched it.
I had to play duck duck goose to find the right targets, though. I guess this is TMI, but we’re already here, so for clarity: I wasted a lot of time on Lil’ Kim and Trina when Omarion was right there. Not to get all religious and shit, but you know, God leads you where she’s supposed to do at the anointed time, not the appointed time.
I say all that to say this: I have a greater appreciation for masturbation now more than ever. There are moments where I want to fuck every attractive thing in sight, but I’m still trying not to die from the coronavirus, so all I can do is handle my own… business. And when I say “attractive,” please note that the term is both subjective and ever-expanding. Even the news, which I usually turn to in order to watch people yell at Real Estate Hitler through the TV, has been doing the trick. One early morning this week, I watched an NBC News segment about the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil. Yeah, it’s bad or whatever, but all I could fixate on was some Brazilian dude walking away in the background. Why can’t we teleport yet?
I was ready to follow. And risk it all. Then reality set back in.
God, I am so sick of this shit.
I enjoy living alone, but I get lonely and I am human.
Somewhere, someone is going, “Just find a fuck buddy.” This month Dutch officials advised that single people find a sex buddy for lockdown. The Dutch make sense. However, some of us are more risk-averse based on life experience. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint. I’ve escaped potentially really bad accidents as recently as March. I’m Black and live in America. And I am very careful about where my dick goes.
The problem is, I can’t trust you hoes. Maybe if I didn’t get on social media, I could ignore the reality that most viable options are rolling the dice with their lives — which makes me want to roll around with nothing but my own damn imagination. Over the holiday weekend, I watched people in my hometown ignore every cry to value both their lives and the lives of those in their communities. On the morning I first sat down to write this, I nearly had to kick some wayward, troubled Negro in the head for getting too close to me without a mask and gloves.
My lack of faith in my fellow man means I’m probably not going to get any for a smooth while. I may be sick of myself, but I suppose that’s the case until it isn’t — and the same goes for every aspect of this pandemic. We all say “everyone has needs,” but people really need to get better about not conflating their wants with their needs.
As frustrated as I am, I am trying to remain as selfless as possible. And as fate would have it, right now jacking off is one of the most selfless things any of us could do right now. When it’s time to send your Nobel Peace Prize nominations in, keep me in mind.