Barry Long on masturbation

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From Making Love by Barry Long

Making Love cover
Sex-games are like a stiff whisky, a dose of the wrong spirit to try to get our courage up or a drug to help us forget what we're doing because we're not prepared yet to face up to the reality that love is made now, not in some imagined future. So, as is usual in the man-made world, the truth is the reverse of what's accepted and practised. The world plays games and doesn't make love. The truth is: make love and you don't need to play games.

There is no love in imagination. Why do you need the imagination anyway? To get in the mood? To get an erection? Nonsense. You just think you need it because of a habit most of the world has got into through lack of love and understanding. It's a very difficult habit to break, but you've got to do it. You don't need your imagination to make love because you are with the real thing. The actual living man or woman gives you the most delicious, pleasurable sensation that you can have - in the flesh and not the mind.

The people of the earth have been hoaxed by the imagination. Down through the ages, children and adults have been masturbating and making love in the imagination, unaware that the imagery is utter self-delusion and a cruel addiction. Because everyone indulges in the same drug, its loveless escapism is considered normal and even necessary without being considered at all.

Let me anticipate a question that will arise in many men. How do you masturbate without imagination?

You, the adult, can't. When you cease imagining and fantasising about love, the masturbation stops. The imagination is the habit, not the masturbation. The imagination stirs the sexual emotionality like a whirlpool and that momentum drives you to masturbate.

If you have to masturbate (and the pressure to do so is intense, particularly in the male) use as few images as you can. Don't use faces. No one ever made love to a face except in their imagination. If you are a man, use only the image of the female genitals. Get the images down to that alone, because that is closest to the actuality.

Wean yourself from the habit by not thinking or lusting after the opposite sex and the impulse to masturbate will gradually disappear. You can get yourself off the global drug of sexual imagination. Start now. Be in your senses. Be out of your mind - and in your body. Be where you are. Be responsible.

But if you do masturbate don't feel guilty and don't allow your children to feel guilty, if they confide in you. Guilt distorts the personality in both the young and the adult. The error is not in the act of masturbating. It's in the misuse of the imagination, not only during the act but more importantly during the rest of the normal daily activities when the mind is allowed to roam wherever it pleases.

The compulsion to masturbate is almost universal today. It arose in the evolutionary past from the instinctive male drive in all animal species to mate and reproduce. In the case of the human animal the addition of self-consciousness allowed reflection on its own organism, behaviour, emotional reactions and memory. This faculty was denied the rest of the species but it has its downside. In man and woman it produces guilt and self-doubt.

The male monkey in the zoo masturbates with outrageous detachment and lack of guilt. Unlike man he couldn't care less. That's because he can't see himself, can't imagine. The monkey only feels. But he can't feel he feels, can't know it. So the monkey can't make love. The power to make love, which man alone possesses, is the self-reflection that distinguishes him from the rest of the animal species. However, when he misuses this unique creative gift by reflecting on past sexual images and past emotions, he taps back into his animal past, into the mechanical animal drive, and masturbates or mates without love. He is then unhappy.

If the monkey had the creative power to make love he would see himself masturbating and feel wretched too. But his only option is to masturbate or reproduce. I've only seen monkeys masturbate in captivity, not in the wild. Since man is the captive of his mind, and not yet the master of his imagination, he masturbates.