Suppression & Repression are What Make Self Pleasure “Feel” Dark

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 14:52
Submitted by Lawrence Lanoff

We have a problem in the world right now, and it’s not getting any better. We have a strong spiritual and religious bias against nudity, porn and masturbation. A friend forwarded a blog by a popular yoga teacher about the “dark side” of masturbation.

“Spiritually, when you are being selfish — in other words, about “me” — you are in a state of fear, contraction, reaction, shrinkage (no pun), and judgment. Let’s call this state “Darkness.” One well-known way to leave this state of Darkness is to shift your attention to giving, sharing, and pro-action, and to be for and about others. Let’s call this “Light.””

I say let’s call this state “idioitic.” As I have mentioned many times in blogs past, we have all been infected by an incorrect idea: that life is a battle of good over evil, light over dark.

Let me explain. Our ancestors, the professional shaman, witch doctors and priests living in pre-electric times, literally believed that life was a battle of light versus dark. To them, daylight fought nighttime everyday. This daily physical reality of our ancestors eventually translated into a metaphor: the fight of good over evil. Daylight became God, The Light, The Son, and night became Evil, The Darkness, The Devil. For hundreds of thousands of years, night (symbolically described as evil and darkness) brought bad to our ancestors’ lives.

Here’s the point: the whole idea of the battle of good over evil is just a metaphor for day and night. Yet this frame has stuck in this modern day of electricity and night light. So here comes this spiritual yoga teacher (I’m purposely NOT linking to the original blog) claiming masturbation is darkness. Is this any different than the Catholic church who has been saying the exact same thing for thousands of years?

It’s our belief that solo sex is “dark” that is creating guilt, shame, and suffering around solo pleasure. Whereas, yoga is a relatively new fad, Catholicism is not. Making solo sex “evil” hasn’t been working for the Pope nor his priests. In case and point, last week Milwaukee’s Archdiocese confirmed that they paid-off pedophile priests to leave the church because suppression and denial wasn’t working.

Yep, that’s the church’s brilliant solution: pay pedophiles and put them back on the streets!

I don’t know about you, but I will happily take porn pleasuring priests over sexually repressed pedophile ex-priests walking around my neighborhood anyday. In fact, please let priests jerk off to porn.

Both church and yogi make the mistake of thinking that porn is the problem - like blaming rats for causing trash. Porn exists because we want porn–and that has to do with the deliciousness of sex and our desire to see the beauty of naked people. Seeing new nakedness releases dopamine – and dopamine feels great!

Honestly, if we weren’t so sexually repressed to begin with, if we weren’t so moralized about nakedness, sex, and self pleasure, if everybody could freely walk naked down the street anytime, anywhere, the need for “porn” would diminish because nakedness would be normal, natural and right–which it actually is.

The people who have a problem with porn, like the yogi, are the people who have a problem being open and vulnerable about their own impulses and inner “dark” desires when it comes to what they really want and desire.

Suppression and repression are what make self pleasure “feel” dark, not self pleasure itself. If anything, we need to self pleasure even more. How else are we going to learn how to feel orgasmically good? Through downward dog? Meditation? Prayer?

If you are going to meditate on anything at the end of yoga class, try meditating on self pleasure; that will surely send a message to sexually repressed yoga teachers everywhere to stop trying to control our genitals and our pleasure. The Catholic Church has already proven unequivocally that suppression doesn’t work.

President of Pleasure. Buster of shame and myths.

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Lawrence, thanks for bringing up these important points . . .

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 01:22

Oh my God, the Catholic Church! One of the most painful moments of my life was being informed by the Catholic Church that my discovering masturbation had made me a 'mortal sinner' on my way to Hell. Years of indoctrination by grim nuns and priests made this all too terrifying and real for my 11-year-old self. I was frightened away from sexuality completely for the rest of my adolescence. Just what the bastards had in mind.

The Catholic Church actually teaches that any voluntary, enjoyable expression of sexuality (outside of a 'valid' Catholic marriage)---including the most normal and inevitable teenaged fantasies and masturbation---is a sin as bad as murder that will send you to Hell forever. Those who really believe this have a terrible dilemma: they are forever unable to grow up. They can never come to healthy terms with their sexuality. Terrified into suppressing every possible healthy outlet,  they have nothing left but the sick ones---which we've seen again and again with Catholic priests and nuns. I'm saddened but not surprised by the scandals. They were bound to happen.

It's certainly possible to be in 'dark' emotional places that carry over into unhealthy sexuality. But sexual self-exploration can easily be a joyous pursuit that expands our potential for loving ourselves and others. I remember a video posted on IFM by a spiritually inclined young woman who filmed herself masturbating to orgasm while gazing lovingly at the camera the whole time. It looked as if she was sending her love and pleasure to the entire world---and when I asked her about this in a forum post, she confirmed that that's exactly what she had been trying to do. It was good, clean fun, too, for her and for the lucky viewer.

'Darkness' isn't sex or pleasure. It's ignorance. It's cruelty. It's oppression and repression and self-hate. A world without these things would be a more light-filled, loving world---but it would also be a naturally sexy world. And a much healthier one.

Only the good die young...

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 07:04
Natasha (not verified)

raised catholic too, but left that shizzle a long time back, but do love me some yoga and what happens after my yoga is pretty fucking amazing - self pleasure or pleasure with a partner...but it took me years to get over the stigma of it all - now it's just as important as food or it is food, the nectar of the gods, ha.....if this is dark-evil...I'm gonna choose that I'd rather laugh with the sinners then cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun...

Stunning

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 08:04

Patric,
I will blog further about this, but I has several experiences like the one you describe of the woman looking in the camera while masturbating... it was REALLY liberating...
And Natasha - yes please... when it comes to yoga... some of the best sex I have ever had has come about after yoga... they go so, errr, uhh, hand in hand...
I want to hear more :) In fact I want to see more... maybe we have a website idea there?!? I am looking for my next business venture ;)
L

I third that...

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 08:16
Liandra Dahl (not verified)

Yoga makes me horny as fuck too. I would definitely be interested in seeing that website come to fruition. 

Suppression & Repression are What Make Self Pleasure “Feel” Dark

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 08:33
Steven Otero (not verified)

That Wild Tantra Man Strikes Again ! Lawrence's best yet .

seriously...

Sat, 06/02/2012 - 09:58

I know... nothing like healty, stretchy, sex positive people... we have to do this... 
speaking of horny yoga... I had to stop going to yoga classes cause of all the discussions about morality. It was driving me crazy. My fav teacher would humilate people in class for looking around... 
There is hot, sexy ass everywhere... it's natural to want to take it in from time to time... then he went on to humiliate this one girl for looking at her hot self in the mirror while she was practicing... .I felt so badly for her... as if she had committed some yoga sin and would now suffer on her spiritual path because of it... 
that was my last public class..

Yoga and humiliation?

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:38

I don't know about yoga, but Buddhism has something called 'right speech'. Basically, that means compassion and appropriateness in everything one says. Deliberate humiliation isn't 'spiritual', it's an act of self-righteous hostility. If someone needs some gentle correction (and I'm not saying that those people in your yoga class did), that can be done in private and with caring rather than shaming. I think you were right to leave that class.

BTW, Lawrence, you mention that you've had several liberating experiences like the one I described with the young woman on IFM. I'd be quite interested in hearing more when you get the chance.

Suppression and repression

Tue, 06/05/2012 - 11:10
Katharine (not verified)

I just wanted to say thanks Lawrence for writing this article. I've just stumbled across this site and am so glad I found it... its so inspiring reading your words as it feels so true what you've said. 
I've been thinking about the whole suppression/repression stuff a lot lately and feel i'm on a bit on an exciting journey exploring the "dark" in me, which as you've said isn't really dark at all in the dichotomous light/dark, good/evil sense. It just feels that its more we have hidden parts of ourselves and desires away because they have been deemed unacceptable... but I feel like I want to know the hidden parts of myself, to shine the light on it so that I can be truely myself. Beacuse without really knowing these shut off parts I don't think I will truely know and embrace myself, my sexuality and who I am as a young woman (i'm in my 20's). 
I guess as a little kid I was this bright, energetic, sparkly, sensual, tornado of activity and then I became ill at age 7 and that sparkly light that drives us sort of got shut away for a very long time. Growing up I didn't really know my body and I suppose have been quite disconnected with my body and sexuality because of all the difficulties with it. And then also the emotional effects, frustration of having a body feeling like it is failing you and missing out on the normal teenage sexual exploration stuff.
Anyway... I just wanted to say being able to look into the darkened rooms of ourself if we think of our being as a "house" can only help us feel more whole I guess. Thats what I'm trying to do now, slowly open the door into the room where perhaps the part of me that is naturally sexual, full of life and so much love, has been shut away. Its scary but also incredibly exciting. 
Actually I feel like I'm on my way to embracing myself, in the way Patrick described the young woman masturbating into the camera, sharing her pleasure and love. 

Hi Katharine! Awesome Post!!!!!

Tue, 06/05/2012 - 15:47

Hi Katharine,
Your direction and approach is absolutely correct... I wonder if you would be open to some homework? 
The way you open doors is very important... very few people can approach female sexuality without morality. For example, I was speaking with a lifestyle "slave" woman over the weekend. She said that she appreciates talk therapy but as soon as she talks about her lifestyle choices, her therapists freak out. 
People always say they are "non-judgmental", but my experience is that they are very judgemental when it comes to female sexuality. 
I look forward to continuing the discussion with you because you are at a kind of crossroads.... It sucks that health caused you to miss teen sexuality exploration... but the good news is that you are better off opening these doors as an adult. Your brain is more prepared... and frankly, it's a big, exciting, awesome world out there... and you want to learn to be strong within yourself and comfortable your sexuality...

If you wish to discuss any specific details/questions privately, feel free to contact me through my website... 
http://lawrencelanoff.com/contact/

I'm jealous!

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 07:18
little jo (not verified)

Is there anyone you know (and appreciate) doing the same job than you here, in the UK?

Perfect subject

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:03
Missyjo (not verified)

Thank you for posting this. I left the Jehovah's Witness religion four years ago. I fight feelings of guilt when I masturbate or view porn still. They would give hour long sermons on this subject and show scriptures on why god disapproves of such things. My brother who is three years older actually turned out to be a registered sex offender of children and the elders in the church blamed it on him masturbating. I know the real reason is that he was repressed so much that he went crazy. Now I've learned its healthy for me and my new husband to masturbate. It isn't easy abandoning those brainwashed beliefs but I'm doing it. I use to get mad at my husband if he masturbated, but thankfully I found this website and now I encourage him to sexercise with himself and our marriage is so much better...thank you!

Totally agree!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:09

Thank you for posting this. I left the Jehovah's Witness religion four years ago. I fight feelings of guilt when I masturbate or view porn still. They would give hour long sermons on this subject and show scriptures on why god disapproves of such things. My brother who is three years older actually turned out to be a registered sex offender of children and the elders in the church blamed it on him masturbating. I know the real reason is that he was repressed so much that he went crazy. Now I've learned its healthy for me and my new husband to masturbate. It isn't easy abandoning those brainwashed beliefs but I'm doing it. I use to get mad at my husband if he masturbated, but thankfully I found this website and now I encourage him to sexercise with himself and our marriage is so much better...thank you!

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