[MAKE SURE TO READ THIS LINK FIRST IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME VISITING ENGLISH MANIF.]
Women are politely asked not to read this post.
I have gotten quite a few questions from people who are intrigued by my points on masturbation. I want to thank some fellows who forwarded me information on the "no-fap" movement, which I should study a little more before commenting on it. But some folks have contacted me wanting to know why English Manif insists against masturbation for ex-gays, when everyone else tells ex-gays to use masturbation to train themselves to become straight.
There is a lot of science I do not know because I am an English professor and I base everything off of experience, literature, the humanities, and what other people tell me. So I cannot explain what I am about to explain to you with peer-reviewed studies. Remember, this is just a "tip" so according to English Manif rules, I make no promises and you can take it or leave it. Trust me on this one, because it has worked for quite a few people.
In your journey you have to keep in mind your end goal. You want to become straight, chaste, and in a marriage to one woman whom you will delight with your sheer ability to give her pleasure.
Your goal is not to find every single female pretty. And as English Manif makes clear, nothing on this blog will help you become a straight player. If you want to sleep around and have meaningless flings, why leave behind a world of endless sodomy? Go back on Grindr.
Remember that English Manif also states in Phase 2 Rules, your exit from the gay community must come with a drastic shift in your identity. You are no longer defined by what you want or what turns you on, but rather, by what your body offers to the woman you are going to marry, how much pleasure she feels, and how much pleasure you can give her. The only way to succeed in this journey is for you to get out of the prison of your own self-obsessed desires and take on a servant's heart. This is the way to find that one glorious moment when you are with a woman and you see her reach a level of joy that you've never given to anyone else, and you realize that you are the one who can give this to her. You will have completed your journey.
So to get to that place, you need your body to be responsive to her. To her specific presence. Not necessarily her physical body or some lovely body part, but her presence, her laughter, her sass, her naughtiness, whatever about her makes you feel comfortable, eager to please, and stimulated.
So here is the trick question. Who is she? You will have no clue who the one is, until you are all the way in Phase 4, and you will only be marrying her at the end of Phase 4.
So for all the training of your body and mind from Phase 1 to Phase 4, you are not trying to get your body to learn some arousal to a specific cue yet. You have no idea what image you should send into your lustful faculties to coach yourself into arousal.
Instead, here is what you need. And when you get through this list, you will see why masturbation is your enemy, arousal in general is your friend, sexual tension is your friend, and release is your foe.
You need to detox the bad sexual imagery from the past.
Depending on how much bad sex you engaged in during your gay days, you need time for your body to unload the toxic cues to which it became accustomed. You will never be able to get rid of all your body memory but it will fade over time. You have to cease all porn because you need the images of these naked strangers to vanish from your mind.
Up until now you have been hitching your sexual arousal and release to these bad images. If you made it past Phase 2, you are a different man (for Christians, this is the new creation in Christ you become.) You will never be with a man again and you will never meet the women from pornography. But you have to unhitch these toxic memories and free your erotic energy to build up and flourish in the presence of the mystery woman you will meet in Phase 4.
How do you detox? You do not detox by masturbating when these memories are still very fresh in your mind. Every time you masturbate while these memories are fresh, you hitch your arousal more to them. So it is important to go for longer and longer stretches of abstinence from masturbation, while your mind starts being filled with other images that become the "fresh" thoughts on your mind, and those old poisonous ones slowly fade. They will never disappear entirely but they will gradually move far from the forefront, and the body memory will decrease tremendously.
You need to replace bad body memory with good body memory.
One important reason for you to exercise a lot is that you want the muscles in your body to be jolted into stark, uncommon movements--movements that feel memorable. If you, for instance, run a long distance, when you go to sleep at night, you will feel the motions of you running as you drift into slumber. That is what I mean by body memory. Sex and masturbation are both physical motions that stand out in your mind so they leave very strong body memory. When you exercise a lot, you flood your body memory with something different. Over time exercise gives your body memories of something much better than the bad sex and masturbation. The good body memories from weight training, hiking, basketball, cross-training, etc., will crowd out the old ones over time.
This does not work, however, if you are still masturbating a lot. The climax will stand out in your mind as well as the intense pleasure that leads up to it. The body memory from masturbation will also bring with it an association with the fantasies you had while masturbating. But since you do not know who your mystery lady is until Phase 4, you do not do yourself any good filling your body with body memory about fantasies totally unrelated to who she is. So the less you masturbate, the more you allow good body memories to crowd out bad memories.
You need to train yourself to deal with, and even enjoy, high levels of sexual tension and arousal. Here is why.
Here is something you may find happening as you curtail masturbation and after you have eliminated porn. (There is no halfway on porn -- it must be cut out 100% the moment you begin this.) You wake up suddenly in the middle of the night with a painful erection. Your heartbeat is elevated and you find yourself breathing in an agitated manner. You twitch and squirm wishing the erection would go away. You want so badly to let the tension and sexual energy out and you consider breaking the masturbation ban.
Many guys have had to face this dilemma. But unless you are past Phase 5 and already with your wife, you should not try to make this go away with some kind of gratification. You have to make all efforts to let yourself endure the erection. Try hard to coach your mind to feel the pain as an intense experience in itself, to be relished and embraced, rather than endured and cut short by masturbation. Just let your private parts do whatever they want. Take deep breaths and try putting your hands under your head so they are not tempted to move toward that area and start touching it. Close your eyes and enjoy the intense feeling of sensual sensitivity, the vibrancy and energy of your body, the fact that your body is so incredibly alive. Take each second as something to enjoy. It will subside at some point and you will go to sleep. But just allow yourself to experience this slowly and without interference with what your private parts are doing.
As far as I know, nobody has ever died of a nighttime erection. If you masturbate, you are adding to the bad body memory I talked about and reinforcing fantasies that will be drawn from your existing repertoire of thoughts, most likely, memories or past fantasies, none of which will help you with arousal around the magic woman you are to meet in Phase 4. Instead of feeling alive and vibrant, you will be pathetic and impatient, training yourself to do sexual shortcuts. And then you will have to clean yourself off. When you go to sleep, it will be a bad kind of tired.
I am not a scientist but everyone I have spoken to tends to have similar experiences with "release" of sexual tension. The release is good, perhaps, because you do not have the embarrassment of the erection and you do not have to deal with the distraction of the sexual tension. But the release, well, releases some of your sexual tension. You have less arousal. You are less sexually responsive to the things around you if you constantly release sexual tension.
If you purposefully let sexual tension build up inside you, you will start to feel sexually responsive to the world around you in general. Like the arousal that woke you up in the middle of the night, you will find your body telling you it is ready to make love, in moments when you feel comfortable, playful, safe, curious, and affectionate. It is a general arousal, a general friskiness. Once you are in Phase 4, this will start to come into play because that's when you go dating. Walking around with pent-up sexual energy, you go out on a date, and as you are feeling comfortable and your date starts to strike your interest, your arousal will start being molded specifically to her. And that's what you want. Because the woman you marry will come into the picture in Phase 4. You want maximum sexual tension stored up when you head into Phase 4.
Remember that English Manif counseled specific forms of bonding for Phase 4, increasing as you go on more dates with the same woman: kissing, caressing, footsie, and finally cuddling. The rules are that she will remain fully clothed for all of these and you are allowed only to take off your shirt for the cuddling stage. As you get closer to the woman you are starting to like, you want to let yourself feel full desire and arousal build during all these physical bondings. This is absolutely crucial. Do not release any energy. If you have done a good job in Phases 1-3, you have trained yourself to enjoy arousal without having to release it immediately. And the more that you let arousal build with her, the more prepared you will be for Phase 5.
You want to be sure that in Phase 5, you are ready.
Ideally when you go into Phase 5 and lose your virginity on your honeymoon, your body is familiar enough with her that you feel comfortable, but you are curious enough about her that the moment feels out of the ordinary. This and your general arousal make a perfect recipe for you to be ready for when you first have sex.
A quick note: if you had sex with women at some point in the past before starting this journey, do not expect that sexual experience to transfer into Phase 5 of your journey. Your one true bride is unique and I hope that this technique of letting sexual tension build will craft your body's energies to respond to her uniquely.
This is why English Manif is against trying to use porn or masturbation fantasies to make yourself straight. English Manif maintains those methods actually work against you because your goal is to have a lot of tension, a specific arousal to your chosen woman, and a low amount of bad body memory.
Masturbation causes soreness, tiredness, and less capacity to feel
When you reach Phase 5 you want your first sexual experience with your bride to feel very pleasurable for her. If you are feeling a lot of pleasure, you will give her a lot of pleasure. But if you have masturbated a lot, you will probably feel somewhat sore, deadened, and possibly impotent. It is hard to say how much masturbation you can get away with and still be able to recover in time for sex. So the best general rule is almost never to masturbate.
Why is the porn ban absolute but the masturbation ban is always "near-total abstinence"?
English Manif may be wrong but it seems complete eradication of masturbation would be unrealistic as a general rule. Some men find that after several months the sexual tension is simply impossible to endure. Porn, however, is never excusable, and always toxic, so it must be eliminated entirely.
[EM NOTE: Someone asked me to be very specific about the masturbation loophole. In other words, they want to know what is the time frame at which they can give themselves a break and masturbate. I realize my advice may seem unfair because I am married, but I tried to remember exactly what it was like for me when I was single. I think 90 days is reasonable. That's about what infantry basic training was and I made it through that at the age of 39. So here is the rule if you need clarity: Your goal is complete abstinence from masturbation, but if you find that the tension is too much for you, give yourself a reprieve at 90 days, or three months. I hope that helps.]