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God, Mormons and Masturbation

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The first time I heard the “F' word was in an elementary school called Stella Magladry in Eugene, Oregon about 1939. Funny thing ,since I was about ten years old at the time and was fairly close to my father, anEnglish converted Mormon who found other forms of expletive such as, “Go Blind old Kate,”,etc, when ever he hit his finger with a hammer or was frustrated because some work he was doing didn't fit together.. I had never heard the “F” word from him.

What I had heard came from the younger brother of a school class mate. Playing the all presumptive “older” knowing role, I said, “WOW", not really knowing what he was talking about when he said, “Johnny Bench f.....d Mary Peeples!”** The kids were probably eight or nine at the time and unlikely to be involved in any sex beyond curiosity. However, the kids' school grapevine was buzzing with the story that day . (** names changed)

So, looking for some enlightenment, when I got home from school that afternoon, I blithely told my mother in the presence of two older sisters that “Johnny Bench F.....d' Mary Peoples!!!” With a kind of weird look on her face she asked me, “What did you just say?”. So I began to repeat the story, “Johnny Bench F..!!!!” I couldn't finish the statement because a hand went over my mouth with an admonition, “Quiet ;your father will talk to you about this this evening.”

Fearing I had entered into some forbidden territory (I'd been there before), I wasn't particularly interested in having my mouth washed with soap or a razor strap applied to my posterior, so it was with some apprehension whenafter dinner, dad asked me to go into the future living room with him ( He was was still finishing the house we lived in. )

Perhaps not knowing how to grasp the situation, he started up the table saw and cut a couple of boards.

Turning the saw off he looked at me with the statement, “ Your Mother.........” Then he asked me, “Do you know what the word ' F....k ' means? How could I? It was never a topic of discussion in this socially retarded Mormon home of six children. Socializing with non-Mormon “gentiles” was frowned on, as that group could lead good Mormon kids astray into the pit of damnation and darkness. So all of us from my oldest sister to my younger brother were “protected” and socially ignorant (with feelings of inferiority) for most of our younger lives.

The best that my dad could do was to ask me the question if I remembered seeing one dog humping on the rear end of another dog? “Well that is 'F.......G' he told me and that is how they make babies”.I    then had a quick vision of Mary Peeples on all fours being humped on her rear side by Johnny Bench. The picture didn't explain a lot,;in fact more questions were raised than answered. However I was counseled to stay away from kids or groups who talked about or did such things and to remain pure and clean to please God. When I would be older and the time right andappropriate, I would understand .

Afterwards my next older sister, asked me about the interview with dad as she had been in the kitchen when Mother slapped her hand over my mouth. I told her that “F......G” was when one dog was on top of another humping to make babies. “OH?” she answered! The display of innocent ignorance ( real or feigned) on the faces of the family offspring had a lot to do with Mormon concepts about sexuality.

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Oh yes, I had attended some birthday parties where the game of Post Office was played and I recall the arousal that happened in my pants but for sure God was watching and I better not let on so when my turn came I picked the cutest girl and departed with her to the post office room to deliver the stamps. I wanted to do something more than just plant a kiss but didn't know what. One time I remember a girl screaming as I held to kissher. Returning to the group present, I am sure some serious questions were on the minds of other kids. Also about this time just sitting behind a pretty girl in the class room caused that same swelling in my pants.

Then a few years later I discovered the most pleasant feeling when I shimmied up a tree. Shimmying up trees became one of my most secret past times. I probably wore the bark off a dozen or so of them! (Just kidding!) But I couldn't talk to anybody about it because God would be angry with me and I might go blind or something. I learned from that addicting experience that from time to time those same feelings could be induced without shimmying trees! But oh God that was a sin according to church teachings because it was for carnal pleasure! My Sins were stacking up on me!

I remember one day in High school 10th year biology class when the teacher, Mr. Ott, had two stacks of books setting on a table. One was for girls to read and the other was for boys. We were given one to take home and read and turn back in the next day. My book of course discussed the anatomy of a girl's body and I am sure the opposite for the girl's book. It was interesting but it didn't discuss humping! And there was total silence from the teacher after we'd turned the books back in. That was our sex education class!

As I grew older and took a girl on a date, I remember how painful it was to neck and not be able to do something else that seemed to be needed to be done. You'd drive home and get the relief you needed in the bath room. God, please forgive me! If you were lucky, sometimes it just happened like a wet dream in your pants while holding her. Did your girlfriend know that it happened and what would she think?

Sining” was the only thing you could do since God forbade doing what came naturally and that was reserved for a time in the future when you'd get married and then it would be okay just a long as you were sure it was for making babies!

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Do you masturbate? That was the question that came out of the mouth of one of the Mormon Apostles who interviewed me for a church mission just shortly after my 20th birthday. Knowing the attitude of the church about “self abuse”, as it is called, I took the fifth. Besides, the word was not in the vocabulary of a good Mormon boy. This was the first (not last) time I learned that the Apostles were not too well connected with the Lord !

Later, in the UK mission field, a bunch of Elders (as we were called) were together B-S'ing about things and the issue of masturbation came up. An Elder Ashworth as I recall, got the whole group into laughter when he said his response to the question was, “Doesn't everybody?” Still no one confessed as it was/is a deeply closeted sin and embarrassment would prevent confessing it in the absence of others also confessing. That they would do so was far too risky so the group was in denial for valid reasons. Most people addicted to something evil or sinful are in constant denial!

Regular lessons are given to church youth (girls and boys) on the subject of mastrbation by girl's counselors and elders who liken masturbating to the animal conduct of a monkey in a zoo cage observed playing with itself . So the drive/need for sexual self fulfillment goes into the closet where it becomes the innermost secret that only God knows if he sees in secret.

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Retired Designer-Builder formerly practicing Attorney at Law.

Credentials include ordaining a Black man to priesthood in the LDS Church leading to a public struggle with the church yielding and ordaining Black men about 2 years (more...)
 

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If  you protect people from the dangers of ma... by John Hanks on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 at 12:13:50 PM
one day, to inform him that masturbation would cau... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 at 2:53:20 PM
So, what's distracting about this well-written... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 at 5:42:00 PM
Do you really believe that sp out a word that ever... by virginius "gin" arnold on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 at 9:35:21 PM
The "F" word taboo is going to be a thin... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:05:55 AM
... can I just do it until I need glasses...?... by Michael McCoy on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 at 6:05:16 PM
As a Catholic, I wasn't sure what I was readin... by sandy valencour on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 at 7:46:03 PM
Doug, I can really relate but more importantly tha... by virginius "gin" arnold on Monday, Jan 12, 2009 at 9:39:18 PM
Writing, so little of it is honest and too the poi... by Steven G. Erickson on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 12:40:45 AM
Or as the late Rodney Dangerfield commented: "... by Patrick on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 12:59:46 AM
I'm a former Mormon, too.  So what's ... by Alice Fuller on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 2:59:41 AM
they go hand in hand, don't they?... by Levon on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 8:43:25 AM
Curiously their demand that sex only be for reprod... by nightgaunt on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 1:41:16 PM
I decided to write [this] here on OpEd after readi... by Steven G. Erickson on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:32:30 PM
Which is why I have a boyfriend.... by David Basora on Friday, Jan 16, 2009 at 10:28:46 AM