Hi, weird but totally serious question for you. Freshman in college here, living with another guy for the first time. My roommate is very cool, a jock type with lots of friends. The thing is I can hear him jerk off at night. First couple of times it was like 3 a.m. but now he doesn’t even try to hide it. Like a few minutes after we turn off the lights he’s doing it. He does it like 3 or 4 times a night. Is that normal? I’m completely grossed out the way he grunts and everything. It’s hard for me to sleep. The other day I came back from class and his underwear was on my lazy boy. It was wet when I picked it up! Not cool! I’m embarrassed to confront him about this. What should I do? — Signed, Freaked Out Freshman
Masturbation is indeed a controversial issue on many college campuses today. I suggest you deal with this problem promptly and decisively to protect yourself from further headaches. Clearly, you’re roommate’s “little hobby” is having a negative effect on your schoolwork, your sleep and your mental health.
You should understand that persistent masturbation can be a difficult addiction. Your friend may have never learned the virtues of self-control. Also, it’s safe to say that he has not been educated about the physical and spiritual damage that intense self-gratification can cause.
FIRST STEP: CONFIRM YOUR SUSPICIONS
1. Invest in a desk lamp or a strong flashlight if you don’t already have one. After lights out, if your hear the moaning or thrashing noises, quickly shine a spotlight on his bed to see if you can catch him in the act. This will also let him know that you’re fully aware of his activities.
2. Alter your schedule and come back to the dorm early from class. If he is playing with himself on your chair– and it’s highly likely that he is– you may walk in on him. This will make him uneasy about public displays and he will realize, “No time is a safe time for masturbation.”
3. If these methods do not succeed, you might want to examine his bed when he’s out of the room. Does he keep erotic magazines under his mattress? What do his sheets smell like? Masturbation leaves a sour, bleach-like odor and small damp stains that crust up around the edges.
4. Another gratification location for the habitual stroker is the shower. In this situation, milky globules of ejaculate will be left on the tile walls at knee height. The self-abuser is usually too exhausted afterward to properly clean his waste and it will congeal and yellow over time.
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SECOND STEP: SCHEDULE A TIME TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE
Once you’ve collected proof of his unwelcome habit, tell your roommate that you’d like to talk about an important personal matter and set up a time when you’re both done for classes for the day.
As Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church recently noted, “Masturbation can be a form of homosexuality because it is a sexual act that does not involve a woman. If a man were to masturbate while engaged in other forms of sexual intimacy with his wife then he would not be doing so in a homosexual way. However, any man who does so without his wife in the room is bordering on homosexuality activity, particularly if he’s watching himself in a mirror and being turned on by his own male body.”
You must be careful when broaching this subject with your roommate. You don’t want him to get the impression that you’re excited by his masturbation or interested in any homo-erotic action.
Be willing to share your own rules for health and cleanliness, including whatever spiritual aspects they entail. Be prepared to open up about your feelings, about how he’s setting a bad example for you and how much you care for his health and his soul. Ask him how he’d feel if the shoe was on the other foot– wouldn’t he be upset if you masturbated very loudly each night at the same time he does?
But Why Do Guys Masturbate?
Restlessness, anxiety, moral inadequacy, perversion and confusion are all reasons why young men seek solace in unnecessary self-gratification. Some even do it just to rebel and “be cool.” Consider these challenges as you prepare for the next stage in your battle for a decent and productive college dorm environment.
THIRD STEP: MAKE A GAME PLAN AND STICK TO IT!
1. Let him know that you’re fully committed to helping him curb his masturbation addiction.
2. Dismantle any protective screens meant to shield one’s bed for exploratory “private times.”
3. Challenge your roommate to see who can refrain from self-abuse the longest. Keep track and try to break each other’s records! Set up a reward for whoever is most successful during the semester. A pleasant dinner out or an excursion to a sports event will keep you both focused on a joyful completion to your efforts.
4. Let your roommate know that he can depend on you for support if he ever needs to talk about his unnatural urges. Prepare yourself with the pro-purity literature available online.
5. Free time and excess energy can lead to the distraction of masturbation. Joining a sports team is a great way to tame those restless hands!
6. The Bible offers much information about humanity’s call to corporeal purity. The Good Book is always there for you to enjoy and share!
7. If all else fails, you might try reading Scripture aloud each time you hear him pleasuring himself. Passages from the Book of Leviticus can be extemely effective.
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.” –James 1:14-15.