Masturbation is a taboo-topic and rarely will you find people openly speaking about it. The fact that mostly it is involves only one person, it becomes very easy to fit in the definition of "private-life" matter. But JOSEPH MASIGA opens up to LUCY K MARONCHA about his struggle.
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"While masturbation is indeed a personal affair, its impact is noxious and may expose the so-called privacy to the open world. That is why I have no remorse when I narrate the damage that the abuse of masturbation did me dealing my sex-life and masculine ego shattering blows that I am still nursing over 30 years later.
When I speak about my experience in public platforms, I don't intend to call for sympathy neither do I expect a pat on the back for the many years I spent in masturbatory fantasies. Having sex in my mind with many women is no longer an achievement to me. But I strongly believe that my experience was divine preparation to enable me help people from a pragmatic know-how who are incarcerated by the habit.
The day I realised I had lost count of the women I had had sex with over the years, both in my mind and even physically, I concluded that I was beyond help. But I was wrong; there is always hope and a second chance to do what you would have done should you get another opportunity.
Today, I have no one to blame but myself for the years wasted because my parents brought up a handsome and shy boy who willingly got himself in the bizarre habits in his early teens. My late mother would have been ashamed of me had she discovered that my life was enshrined by the shameful secretive activity.
I was born and brought up in Kakamega in the then Western Province of Kenya. That was 45 years ago. My parents were exemplary, staunch Catholic faithful and in the early years of my life, I served as an altar boy in our local church. Life took an ugly turn when I joined Chavakali Boys High School in Vihiga and fell in the wrong company when I was in Form Two.
One evening during 'preps', I saw my desk-mate looking at pictures of nude women in a magazine. My English language vocabulary hadn't developed enough to even know that such is what is referred to as pornography. "What's that you're reading?" I had asked innocently. That naïve question would later mark my slavery to masturbation.
My deskmate quickly sensed my gullibility and took charge to educate me on how self-stimulation is easy, safe, and harmless. "Nobody can accuse you of premature sex because you don't involve anyone; you can't make anyone pregnant or contract a disease; it's your pleasurable secret," he had assured me.
Like a sheep being led to slaughter, I followed all the steps of his advice to the letter, assuring myself that I would outgrow the habit as I matured up. I was miserably wrong; the more I advanced in age, the faster the lustful desires penetrated deeper into my flesh.
By the time I sat for my KCSE exam; I knew I was fully hooked. Nonetheless, I passed relatively well. Masturbation never disrupted my education because, like I used to reaffirm myself, I would get the pleasure when I wanted it, there was no anxiety about pregnancies and there were no heart-breaks involved. I was engaged to a faithful sex-partner: masturbation. I would later learn that self-stimulation is a jealous spirit; in fact it is worse than a woman as far as possessiveness is concerned.
When I started managing my uncle's food café in Nairobi after school, I enrolled for evening classes to study Accounts and had hopes that interaction with girls at my level of education and understanding would interest me. I was determined to quit masturbation by engaging with women but even then I would crave for masturbation as soon as I had sex with a woman.
Sometimes I would not gain an erection when I was with a girl but would get pleasurable ejaculation when I masturbated. Not gaining an erection embarrassed me many times especially if I had a girl I thought I would love. For fear of such humiliation, I resorted to capturing an image of a woman in my mind and "download" it later during masturbation instead of embarrassing myself in the presence of a girl.
Every time I did that, I would suddenly feel dirty and swear that would be the last time, but I kept going back. I would masturbate anywhere, at anytime and with any woman I desired. Some of my most embarrassing moments are when I would get an "auto download" and would be forced to look for the nearest restroom to relieve myself. This would only take three minutes. I enjoyed the liberty of having sex at my own leisure, pace and place.
Many times I battled within myself wondering if I was guilty of any offense but I always reassured myself that since I hadn't touched or offended anyone, I was a clean man. The disgraceful secret affected my life alone hence had there been any accusation; I would have been my own prosecutor, my own defence lawyer and even my own judge!
Remorsefully, I look back today and realise that I had harboured a terrible companion who almost isolated me from ordinary life. There were days when I wanted to be left alone so I could engage in pornographic movies, songs or magazines and masturbate without having to excuse myself. Slowly masturbation was leading me to a solitary life.
None of the girls in college fitted in my imagination and I resorted to clubbing and picking different sex-workers every night. The trend was becoming worse by the day. As soon as I had sex with a sex-worker, I would send her off so I can immediately stimulate myself which was more enjoyable than having physical sex. Other times I would pay a sex worker but completely not gain an erection hence I would 'lose the money'.
Masturbation had purposed to keep me for 'herself' alone! One day my brother and his girlfriend visited me but they brought along one of her friends. In the process of knowing each other, we had sex and she conceived. When she was later sent away by her parents, I had no option but to take her in. That's how I got forced into marriage.
Like was my habit, I shared her with masturbation and of course the latter got a bigger share. Whether she knew it or she ignored it was immaterial to me. Masturbation remained my dearest sexual partner. We bore two lovely children. The first born is now a university student while the other is doing a college diploma.
I lived with the mother of my children for almost 10 years but we later got into personal differences that separated us and eventuality drove me deeper into the illegitimate sex. The separation came at the wake of internet so I could have sex chats with women online and post nude pictures on my social media pages.
Then one night after a day's series of pornographic activities, I had a dream. The dream was so real that even when I woke up the following morning I doubted the events had taken place while I was asleep. In the dream, there were several elderly men praying for me with authority and kindness and they were casting out the spirit of masturbation from me. I was more frightened than convicted!
The whole of that day I avoided masturbation and listened to Gospel music. But every night for the rest of the week the men visited me in my sleep and I couldn't masturbate the following day. On the last night, I saw myself on a high platform where I was addressing a huge crowd about the dangers of masturbation. That marked my long journey towards deliverance.
I bought myself a Bible and looked for scriptures addressing impurity. I continued praying for many days though I couldn't masturbate more out of the fear of another dream than of conviction. Every time I sensed a relapse, I would remind myself of the dream and the craving would disappear.
Before long, I had stopped masturbating and had ceased internet sex and had deleted all pornographic videos from all my systems. This cost me many of my friends who thought I had gone mad. Obviously I started looking for more friends this time to share my new life with. I started sharing my story in churches, on local television shows and at any opportune social gathering hence I got many clients who needed counselling.
The number of clients I get everyday amazes me. Although I am not an expert in counselling, one thing I tell my clients is that one cannot fight masturbation with flesh and blood. You must surrender your body, soul and mind to a more sovereign power. I cannot judge or prejudice anyone under such slavery but rather my advice would be that anyone under such oppression should capitulate to the power of God.
I have helped people ranging from married couples to students and even religious ministers. My current wife saw me on a national TV as I was giving my story and she booked a session with me. In the process of helping her to overcome masturbation, we fell in love and are now happily married. Three years down the line we are enjoying normal sex and we have not had a relapse.
I travel a lot internationally on business trips and leave my wife alone. But none of us has ever had any craving for masturbation.
The way to deliverance is not a walk in the pack though; it costs a lot of prayer, self control and most of all submission to God. While I can't dispute therapists' advice on doing sports and distracting the mind with other activities, my principle remains that this is not a battle against flesh and blood. Masturbation is an evil spirit.