My discovery of masturbation came about largely as a result of trying to defy my sexuality. The Church had taught me to avoid arousal and sexual curiosity from the youngest of ages, so it's a little ironic that it was in my attempts to keep my erections under control that I discovered certain pleasurable sensations. Pushing my penis down caused it to rub gently against the inside of my underwear. Trying to pin it between my legs resulted in it slipping out from between my thighs and popping right back up. Both of these things felt pretty good, so I found myself at a loss. Do I try to make my erections go away or just let them rage?
I didn't masturbate to the point of ejaculation until I was probably 15. I hated myself. I went to God in prayer ashamed, hoping and praying that God would forgive me. I was exposed to some pornography at age 15 as well. I found it to be horrible beyond my imagination*. For the next eight years I regretted ever having seen those pictures and blamed them for my interest in naked women, and yet I couldn't help but glance at the bra section in the Sunday ads or the babes in the poster section of whatever box store.
A poster I remember catching my eye from back in the day.
Why had God made me so interested in women? Why had God given me such an insatiable urge only to tell me it was wrong? I was not comforted by the statistics stating that nine out of ten males masturbate. I didn't care what the rest of the world was doing, I wanted to do what God wanted me to do.
I did not have a serious masturbation problem. I wasn't one of those kids who has to tie his hands to the bedpost or go to the doctor for an embarrassing visit. I could resist fairly well. But then I'd hit a certain limit and have to get it over with.
Why wasn't God helping me "overcome" this horrible behavior? I was putting in the work and doing everything the Church instructed young boys like me to do (which resulted in me masturbating to the tune of a hymn more than once).
"I plead with you... start the repentance process now!" Rich Scott
I know this is the kind of thing active members like to jump on when it comes to people who have lost their faith. "Ah ha! You were sinning after all! That's how you lost your testimony!" Of course, that's not how it happened. I was doing everything right. I confessed to the bishop when I had to confess. I stopped preparing and blessing the sacrament when I "relapsed". I held everything the Church taught in the highest regard and feared constantly for the well being of my eternal soul. I was as Mormon as anyone I knew, but this sex drive thing really got me wondering if God was on my side or not.
* What disturbed me so much was a series of pictures of two women performing cunnilingus on a third. (Most of everything else I saw was basically just boobs with very distinct tan lines.) I was totally grossed out. Once just before my mission, and still in a state of general ignorance, I argued with a real porn affectionado on the unpleasant appearance of vaginas. I did not dissuade him. Even years later I was not all too interested in seeing anyone's labia, or butt for that matter, I just wanted boobs. I miraculously managed to keep my curiosities above the belly button. I guess my prayers were doing something for me after all.