Often in the fight to overcome our pornography addiction we fail to mention or talk about it’s counterpart which is masturbation. Some people may even struggle more with a masturbation addiction than they do a pornography addiction.
I wanted to shed some light on this dynamic in hopes that we might have a better understanding of why our ability to stop masturbation maybe more complex than we think.
Just like pornography is not just about the naked people, masturbation also has a underlying emotional context that needs to be addressed and understood. Gershan Kaufman, once wrote about he connection between emotional deprivation and this behavior:
“A young boy who learns never to need anything emotionally from his parents… is faced with a dilemma whenever he feels young, needy or otherwise insecure. If masturbating has been his principal source of good feeling… he may resort to masturbation in order to restore good feelings about self at times when he is experiencing needs quite unrelated to sexuality.”
Kaufman’s words provide a vital insight into this behavior/addiction that is often overlooked in recovery: That is the tendency to think pornography and masturbation addiction is about sex; it is not!! It is about core feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. We come to rely on masturbation as Kaufman said to restore good feelings within side of ourselves. Whenever we experience discomfort, shame, or some other type of negative feeling our desire to masturbate will intensify as it has become the one thing we can rely on to feel better about ourselves and life.
Our recovery and our ability to overcome our addiction to pornography and masturbation will be greatly dependent on our ability to identify and work through our emotional issues that have helped to create our reliance on these behaviors.