Friday, 22 January 2016

What's worse?

What's worse, porn or masturbation?

Someone wrote:

I act out with masturbation more often and more rarely do I spend some time browsing dirty sites (like once a month or once in 2 months). Is there a point to make a TaPHSiC shvuah for the shmutz if I anyway can't stop the masturbation?


GYE Responds:

From an halachic point of view, masturbation is probably the worse of the two evils. Also in SA, watching shmutz is not considered a fall, but "sex with self" is. However in my humble opinion, from an addiction-stand-point, the viewing of shmutz is what feeds the addiction like fuel on a fire. The porn increases our "tolerance" and constantly demands more. It warps our view of sexuality and is the biggest destroyer of marriages. It seems to me that the worship of the human body is the main component of the addiction. And since Chaza"l say חמירא סכנתא מאיסורא - and addiction is a סכנה, it seems to me that the shmutz is even worse than the masturbation (not to mention that the viewing of shmutz will almost inevitably lead to masturbation anyway!)


We asked Dov his opinion and here was his response:

I don't really grasp what relevance there is in what's worse. Some guys really use only a little porn. They mainly masturbate - and surely fantasize their brains out while doing it....which is anyway what everybody who uses porn a lot uses porn for: fantasizing their brains out. So what's the difference? I see them as equally sick, because the ikkar problem to me is the insanity of it. That's what causes all the pain for the addict, I feel. Being very sick in the head and acting very stupidly. And the porn-users may masturbate very rarely sometimes... especially if they are using their wives bodies to relieve themselves a lot (which is of course very common). So who cares what's worse or better? Either way, he is firmly in the position to be a "loser at life". Is there a difference who would be a bigger loser? Maybe there is, but I don't pay attention to it. If I did, I'd be making p'shoros with all sorts things and endorsing lots of dirty stuff, no? I'd be giving in here and ok'ing that, to save a guy from being worse in something else.... Sick position to be in, no?

Regarding the 'fall' in SA, it's really not so simple. Many SA'ers are now restarting their sobriety if they use pornography. I know of a few guys who restart their sobriety date if they fantasize (and they have years sober, btw). So It really is not true that GYE is at a higher standard than SA because GYE considers looking at porn a fall. Instead, I see anyone who is more open and real with others, as a person who will become more real with themselves and with Hashem... So guys who go to meetings and participate in them honestly, even if they are not sober, can be on a higher madreiga than people who only participate hidden behind a username.