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It would be no exaggeration to say that masturbation defined my adolescence.

I used to obsess about how sinful and impure I was. It dominated my thoughts and it dominated my prayers. I kept a log - for years - of each and every incident, a massive colour-coded tome of my continued failures. I was, in a word, neurotic about it.

And, of course, all of that didn't help at all. It didn't facilitate quitting the habit, it didn't bring me any closer to God, and it certainly didn't make me a better person towards my fellow man.

Now that I'm safely through that period of my life, I've accepted that if God pays any attention at all to the actions of His creations, He's far more concerned about how we help and encourage and inspire each other, than He is about what we do with our assorted glands in our spare time.


(Saturday morning, INT: MH's apartment)

JH: You masturbate?
MH: You're surprised by this?
JH: Well, yeah. It's pretty obvious that you can have actual sex with another human being pretty much whenever you want. Your entire lifestyle is based around it. You don't need to masturbate.
MH: To a dedicated hedonist, Jamie, masturbation is never merely a substitute for the real thing - it's its own pleasure to be indulged in and savoured for its own sake. A starving person might need to eat bread to stay alive, a full person can still have bread as part of a balanced meal.
MH: Besides, to be quite honest, polishing the bean has never done the job for me when I'm craving the real McCoy. Deep down in the bones horny requires deep down horny boning.
JH: I'll just smile and nod and pretend to empathize here, shall I?
MH: Oh, don't worry, Jamie. Ellen will come around sooner or later.
JH: Max, has anyone ever told you that you are to casual conversations what a well-thrown bowling ball is to a game of Jenga?