Paul H. Byerly
It seems to me that some who are very worried about masturbation do not see a significant difference between masturbation and sex with another person. To me the two are very different. Consider the two images below:
This is two images of the same picture. The lower one is how it would appear in a colour photo, or to someone who sees in colour. The upper image is how the picture would be seen in a black and white photo, or by someone who does not see in colour. (If you doubt that it's the same picture, turn the colour down on your computer screen - the lower picture will become all grey when the colour is all the way off.)
Those who see in colour see that masturbation and sex with another person are very different. They also see that there is a very clear and significant boundary between the two. But those who see in black and white don't see it that way. To those who see in black and white masturbation and sex with another look very much alike, and there is no way to tell where one stops and the other starts.
For centuries we have been shown the picture on the top. It's in grey scale, and even if we see colour, there is no colour there for us to see. In order to see clearly we have to go back to the original. We have to reject what others have feed us and seek the truth. When we see how awesome God's gift of sex really is, we realize masturbation is nothing like sex with another person. When we realize how relational God made sex to be, we realize that masturbation is not a sex act at all. Comparing masturbation and sex is like comparing swallowing nothing with eating a 7 course gourmet meal. Yes the physical process of swallowing is present in both, but calling swallowing a form of eating is not accurate.
For what it's worth.