You guys are perfectly right - I can't have a faintest idea what does it mean to be a man, because I'm spending this journey in a body of a woman. But... maybe in previous life I was a man? I think it's quite possible concerning my usually close rapport with men.
Maybe it's only my wishful thinking and the reality is different and every man who said that only I can truly understand him wanted just try one week without masturbation and hoped that I would help him in some way...
Anyway, I'm not a man but I think I know something about gym, drugs and masturbation.
First of all - the gym certainly is not a delayed gratification. Maybe it is for some fatty, but for an average person the pleasure is almost instant. Protein shakes are delicious. The atmosphere of a place - the meeting of brave warriors. And this feeling after workout - feeling of an accomplishment... And even pain (which is followed by a release of endorphins) is the pain that you control - and this is very gratifying... The gym very easily can serve as an illusion of control of yourself or your life. I don't mean that you are not supposed to use it but it's about building your muscles not about building your soul.
And back to the topic - what's this vital thing which masturbation can detract you from? For sure you will never know if you never try to live without it. You cannot mourn for something you're not aware you had it. You cannot regret unless you know that you loose something.
It's very true that in modern oversexed society sex is even more absent than in more restrictive times. First, we have to answer one question - what sex really is? I should have started with that - from my point of view masturbation is not sex at all, because sex is about connection and through masturbation you cannot connect with anybody. You cannot even connect with yourself because you are splitting yourself during the act and to connect you have to be integrated. Masturbation in itself is very narcissistic and feeds narcissistic delusions (especially about the self-sufficiency). For me it's somehow funny because this thread in itself show how far went the decadence of Western culture - an idea to stop masturbating for a while aroused interesting discussion. very symbolic