Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Self-Gratification Stance Is Applauded

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Self-Gratification Stance Is Applauded

Article excerpt

Dear Readers: Remember the column in which I suggested a more realistic approach than abstinence? I recommended self-gratification or mutual masturbation - "whatever it takes to release the sexual energy, not only for teen-agers but for older men and women who have lost their partners."

I then wrote: "I do not want to hear from clergymen telling me it's a sin. The sin is making people feel guilty about responding to this fundamental human drive."

I expected to be clobbered for that column, but instead, I found myself buried under an avalanche of letters thanking me for having the courage to write it. Read on for a sampling of what my week has been like.

Dear Ann Landers: This letter is from a clergyman thanking you for suggesting self-gratification for teen-agers and older adults who have lost their partners. I wish some respected authority had given ME that advice when I was a teen. It would have saved me years of feeling guilty about something I now know to be normal, healthy behavior. BOSTON AREA PASTOR

From Augusta, Maine: Everything in this world is screwed up, and you don't help matters by telling people it's OK to practice self-abuse. Do you believe the Creator would give man an impulse he couldn't control? Animals, yes. Humans, no.

Biloxi, Miss.: You are the bravest person in the world. You've done much to lift the load of guilt from so many shoulders. Thanks for 38 years of good old common sense.

Pasadena, Calif.: The world is in sad shape because of people like you. I am making a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal, soon, and I will pray for you and place your name in the petition basket.

Louisville, Ky.: Right on, sister! My fiance and I figured that one out long ago. No fear of pregnancy or disease. No urinary tract infections. Until we decide to have children, this is the way to go.

Pittsburgh: That column took guts. …

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