Reader Response To “Masturbation Can Lead To Serial Killing”

5 Sep

Guest Post by southafricanjew


Dear Itchemeyer…


I was a victim of what you describe in your post and it put me through turmoil. Let me first say that I sincerely believe that the website has good intentions and they don’t intentionally mean to harm anyone. I am writing this in the hope that some naïve innocent young man (like I was) will read it and learn.

I was brought up in a very frum home and from a young age felt very guilty about masturbation. I read all these things about how terrible masturbation is, how it is like murder, I even read a certain sefer that put masturbating and “those that play sexually with minors” in the same category. To cut a long story short, I had a hard time with this issue. Maybe I was overly sensitive, I don’t know. Eventually I realized that this paralyzing guilt was very bad for me and also that at that stage in my life stopping to masturbate was just not possible. We all have our level of choice and this was simply above me. So I began to accept myself. Things were going very well for me, until I found guardyoureyes.

When I wrote on their forum that, hey, masturbation is natural, yes it should be one’s ultimate goal to stop but at this stage of my life it is impossible for me and I know from experience that it would be counter-productive to try, my comments were removed and I landed up having an email correspondence with the guardyoureyes admin.

Again to cut a very long story short he told me that if I don’t feel guilty I will lose my olom habah, and that my plan to grow slowly in stages wont work because the addiction will destroy me. He told me to join a 12 step group. He even sent our correspondence to a very well known writer (who I actually still have a lot of respect for in spite of this) and he told me that my conviction that I can’t stop was my addiction talking to me and that my masturbation can destroy my future marriage and that I would have to tell the girl when I date that I have a sexual addiction.

Now at the time I was very naive, and I took “daas Torah” very seriously, who was I to argue with them? They must be right. I could not sleep at night because of this, and I wondered if I really was going to burn in hell, and if my brain really was being controlled by a terrible addiction.

Eventually I landed up going to the top sexologist in my county. She told me that my sexuality was completely normal and that the problem was these religious fanatics.

I went through turmoil, wasted time and money, all because some people have some messed up ideas about sexuality and wanted to try and save me from boiling in a pot of sperm.


Addendum: Thank G-d I am starting to think for myself. I met with Rabbi Lopes Cardozo when he was here in South Africa for a conference and he was very helpful. He isn’t afraid of confronting and dealing with reality.

I feel bad criticizing Jewish organizations on a public forum but I feel it is important. Maybe someone will read it and not fall into the same trap. I emailed the admin of guardyoureyes asking for an apology but he refuses to admit doing anything wrong.

I think that part of the problem is that a lot of frum people are trained from a young age to simply accept what rabbis or religious “experts” say is the ultimate word of G-d. Thus I was torn between what I intuitively knew and what these authoritative figures were pushing. Because of this, and I know this might sound strange, I found myself writing to the guardyoureyes admin at two in the morning begging him to try and understand my point of view. He could not do this, instead he told me to phone one of the guardyoureyes hotlines and speak to a certain “Expert”. To my horror, this “Expert” continually laughed at me as I spoke from my heart, like I was some sort of joke. That night was the closest I have ever felt to going completely off the derech.


3 Responses to “Reader Response To “Masturbation Can Lead To Serial Killing””

  1. Anonymous September 5, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    You’re closer to being “off the derech” now. You were a naive child back then and your anger would only have confirmed that you still believed the rabbis. Now you’re an adult who knows that there might be some traditional ideas worth thinking about and some which are stupid. Although you will no longer make the off-the-derech drug-addicted troubled-youth stereotype of charedi publications, you’re now officially intellectually “off-the-derech.”

  2. Gutman Braun September 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Hey, an ancient religion will inevitably have bizarre ideas (especially involving such things as semen), and one day in the future people will think that many of our contemporary ideas are bizarre. This also touches on the unfair advantage that atheism has on religion – it has no archaic baggage to try to spin or apologize for…but I digress.

    Adherents to the religion will always seek to defend it – with the best of intentions – you can’t blame them for buying into what the books say; that is what it means to be chareidi. Obviously, the less chareidi one is, the more normal their thinking on such matters will be. I’d say that maybe it’s time for religious Jews to evolve away from the chreidim? How about we restart a Conservative Judaism renaissance?

    Nah, then we’d have to pursue such things as education and careers, etc. forget I said that.

  3. For Real September 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    My 11-year old brother’s friend told him that if you touch your d*ck, you become paralyzed. Using simple logic, I convinced him that hey, he must have wiped sometime, and he’s far from paralyzed…

    The people who spread this stuff are the messed up ones, not people like southafricanjew

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