Why Not Masturbate?

Why Not Masturbate?
This I ask myself as I lie awake at night, hour after hour, alone in the dark.
She’s in the other room, soothing the kid. Queen sized mattress to myself.
Racing thoughts. Fantasy spins my head, prohibiting sleep.
All I want to do is sleep for a few short hours.
My mind refuses. Unbidden, my body arouses.
Why not masturbate?
No one would know.
I would have to tell my men’s group.
I could lie.
It’s just masturbation! I don’t even believe it’s wrong! I’m not looking at porn. My body is so wound up tight that once I began stimulation, I’d probably be explode before I had time to imagine anything.
Sweet relief.
Empty cold.
IMG_2489   Still alone in bed, still awake, this time with regret.
Why not masturbate?
I choose not to because I’ve chosen not to for over a year. I choose not to because I know the relief will be too short-lived, and mess too deeply with my sense of shame.
I choose not to because a sexual connection with my partner is a precious thing made all too scarce by rigorous routines and my compulsion to take on more and more responsibility. Kid. Job. Other job. Sickness. I need my body attuned to her and only her.
I choose not to masturbate, even though I’m not convinced it’s wrong, because of a group of guys that I love. We meet every week and push each other to master our bodies and emotions. They believe masturbation is wrong, so I choose not to engage in this behavior for them because they need to see someone not engage for a long time, so they can know that the behavior can indeed be not-done.
So I lie awake and breathe until finally at last I sleep.

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