Okay, it's not exactly Mitt Romney's cure, but if the headline were to read "Mark E. Peterson's Cure for Masturbation," it just wouldn't have the same snap to it. However, the document soon to be under discussion was written by the late Mr. Peterson, who was a member of the Mormon church's important-sounding "Council of the 12 Apostles," and I believe that Mitt Romney, being the good Mormon that he is, would roundly endorse the conclusions of said document.
The document in question was written in 1972 and is titled Steps in Overcoming Masturbation. It is apparently the position of the Mormon church that masturbation is a bad thing, a disease that can and must be cured. This document is the key to that cure.
Now to be fair, the Mormon church is probably not that much different than other religions, most of which decree that if something feels good, it's immoral. If you're having way too much fun, more than likely you're sinning.
So here is what Mr. Peterson demands of masturbating Mormons, along with my insightful running commentary:
1) "Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during normal toilet processes."
Fair enough. I would go even further and say that you should stay away from those intimate body parts even during normal toilet processes (just to be safe).
2) "If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP. Never associate with other people having the same weakness."
"Sorry, Bob, I can't be your friend anymore. I know we've been friends for 20 years, but damn it, you're a masturbator. I can't risk my immortal soul by hangin' with you. So take a hike."
3) "When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror."
I know what Mark means. When I look at my naked self in the mirror, I can't help but get turned on by my balding head and pot belly.
4) "When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts, and so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes."
Finally, some practical advice! I'm thinking a giant rabbit costume would be perfect.
5) "In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy…For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of them as you do the act."
That wouldn't work for me. I kinda like worms. A tub full of Republicans might do the trick, though.
6) "In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken."
That sounds just a tad too kinky to be very effective.
7) "Pray. But when you pray, don't pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep [it] in your mind more than ever. Pray for faith, pray for understanding of the Scriptures, pray for the Missionaries."
But don't pray for the missionary position.
8) "Set up a reward system for your successes. It does not have to be a big reward. A quarter in a receptacle each time you overcome or reach a goal. Spend it on something which delights you."
Perhaps a delightful porno movie…
So that's about it. Actually, there's much more, but I'll let you explore the document further on your own. I hope those of you afflicted with this disease have found this helpful.
I'd like to stick around, but I have to go masturbate.
(This particular dissertation was inspired by my discussion of the topic on my Planet Japan podcast: Episode 125–"Monster Moms on a Rampage." Listen at your own risk.)