It’s been a while since I got a “You are going to hell and taking people with you” e-mail, so I must be overdue for something a bit controversial. Maybe more than a bit controversial. So…
~ masturbation ~
My short version is that masturbation has no place in the life of a happily married man. Unfortunately a lot of men don’t fit in that category, so…
Is masturbation sin? The Bible fails to tell us it is – and despite the cut and paste job some do with scriptures to try to make the Bible say that, it’s really not there. Given that masturbation is a nearly universal event for males, I find it very difficult to understand why God would not have told us it was wrong if, in fact, it was wrong. This seems especially true when you consider the reality that we were told less commonly preformed/desired acts like homosexuality and bestiality are clearly called wrong in the Bible.
The usual fall back for those who admit the Bible is silent about this is that a man can’t masturbate without sexual thoughts (an inaccurate statement, but that’s for another post) and thus the lust makes it wrong. Of course, this is bad reasoning – sexual thoughts about someone other than your spouse are wrong no matter if they are done while you are masturbating, walking down the road, or getting a root canal. The wrong thoughts don’t make driving or dental work sin, so they don’t make masturbation sin. If you can’t masturbate without such thoughts, then yes, that would be a good reason for not masturbating. However, since we are talking about married men here, what you think should not be a factor – think about your bride, and it’s all good.
So, if it’s not wrong, why did I start by saying it has no place in the life of a happily married man? Just because something is not wrong does not mean we should do it without thought. Because I am convinced that couples should be having a great deal of sex, I am opposed to anything that might reduce, or risk reducing, a couple’s sexual frequency. While you would think no sane guy would intentionally chose masturbation over sex with his wife, it does occur, for a number of reasons:
- He expects her to say no, so he does not ask.
- He is not sure if she will say yes or no, but is not feeling up to hearing no.
- He is busy, and a quick do it yourself seems better than the time needed for sex with his bride.
- He wants it now, and she is not available – or not willing right this second.
- He is concerned about erection problems.
- He is worried about climaxing too fast.
- She has trouble reaching climax, and he’s tired of the effort, or can’t face another “failure”.
- He wants sex because of porn use, and feels bad about using his wife for that.
Each of these is a trap, in that once a guy starts to move towards masturbation for any of these reasons, he is more and more likely to choose masturbation again for the same reason. Additionally, once he has set a precedent of there being reasons masturbation is preferred, he will find other reasons to make the same choice.
When do I think masturbation would be a good idea?
- Separation. I would think a separation of more than a day – no one ever died from going 48 hours, and if you normally have sex daily, a bit of extra time between can be for both of you.
- Illness. I am not talking about every minor ache and pain.
- Real sexual refusal. What is real refusal? I’d say at the very least it would be her saying no more than half the time you ask. Note that she can’t say no if you don’t ask. Her not taking a hint is not a no, and thinking for sure she will say no is not a no.
If you do have a good reason for masturbating, I think your bride should know about it. The only exception would be if she is so convinced it’s wrong she might leave you over it. Beyond that, I think she has a right to know, as well as a responsibility to have the option to offer to do it for you or otherwise be a part of it.
The reality is secret masturbation is counter-productive. Say, for example, that you and your bride have sex once a week and you secretly masturbate twice a week. You keep telling her that once a week is not enough, but as far as she can tell that is all you get, and you are doing fine. If this goes on for years (and I’ve heard it many times) and then the guy gets fed up and demands more sex “or else”, what is she to think? In her mind, he’s been fine with once a week for years, and his sudden demanding makes no sense to her. She wonders if he is using porn, or why he is suddenly so selfish.
Okay, comment away…