Dear Abby Column Promulgating Falsehood That Masturbation Is Harmless In 2015

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 19-year-old woman in college who still lives with my parents. I found out something several weeks ago that’s bothering me, and I need advice badly.

Years ago, after a robbery, my parents installed security cameras outside our house. I knew about them because they were visible. But apparently some were installed that I knew nothing about.

I have done things while alone to help control certain feelings, and I have also walked around without much on when my parents were away and never thought anything about it. Ever since I found out, I have been freaking out.

I don’t want to make a big deal about it because I’m afraid if my parents didn’t look at anything before, then they will now. I want to know if they have seen what I was doing. Part of me says to ignore this because they’re family — so who cares. My parents have never said anything about seeing me.

We’re Catholics, and I have heard the lecture about avoiding self-gratification ever since I can remember. I’m very careful about what I do now, but I am still bothered. Should I just forget and move on, or should I ask? — POSSIBLY PARANOID

DEAR POSSIBLY PARANOID: If your parents had been viewing the security footage and felt you were doing something wrong, you would have heard about it from them by now. What you need to know is that masturbation is normal. It is not depraved, a crime or harmful to your health. All normal boys and girls (and some adults, too) practice this natural type of sexual gratification. (If it makes you feel guilty because you have been told it’s “wrong,” then stop doing it.) Now, forget about it and move on.

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