Please Note: One of the benefits of not working for a church is I can write about topics like this and not get in trouble by my congregation because… well, I don’t have one.
Married men, please stop masturbating so much. I keep meeting couples where the wife is complaining there isn’t enough sex or the guy says he’s not interested in it, but when I ask, “How many times do you masturbate in a day?” they say one to two times a day. What? How do you expect to be able to have sex if you’re empty? What’s crazy is when I point this out, the guy is always surprised. How much sex-interest juice do you think you can come up with in a day? That being said, I have met the rare middle-age man who needed to regularly masturbate and/or watch porn in order to be interested in sex with his wife. It’s like when they didn’t do those things, sex disappeared from their brain, and they lost all interest in it. When they regularly partook, however, it helped sex be on their brain and be more interested in their wife. I’m guessing there are a few married men thinking, “Maybe that’s why my wife isn’t as into sex; she needs to pleasure herself more.” Um, no. She’s more likely too stressed to want sex. People who are overworked have little space in their brains for sex even if they’re a guy. In addition, we need to understand that things change as we get older and get into committed relationships – two things that lower sexual interest. Knowing you can have sex, can take away the thrill of it, and you can take it for granted becoming complacent as you say, “We’ll do it later,” but later never comes. That being said, every Christian (and anyone wanting good advice to follow) should memorize 1 Corinthians 7:3-4a, “The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs… Do not deprive each other of sexual relations…” Regardless of your thoughts on masturbation, when you’re married, instead of satisfying your own selfish desires, consider what your partner needs first, and go from there. There are many couples who would be healthier and happier if they used their hands on their partner instead of themselves. And if you’re too stressed to have sex, you need to reduce the stress and/or schedule regular sex time, so it’s part of your weekly to-do list. Sex is a gift we’re meant to share with our partner.
I’m guessing that’s not the first paragraph you expected when you saw the title of this post. It is, however, something that needs to be shared because people are needlessly damaging their relationships without realizing it. And now for a different discussion mode.
Masturbation is one of those topics I hate hearing people talk about because it’s gross (and I don’t want to picture them doing it). That being said, I hope the way I discuss it, it’ll come across as more playful informative and less repulsive.
Before I was in my twenties, I thought masturbation was something only criminals did. When my friends joked about doing it, because they weren’t criminals, I thought it was just a joke… nope… and that’s gross. In my early twenties, when I was at Humber College for my post-grad comedy program (money well wasted), “Sex with Sue” gave a talk in the cafeteria over lunch. As a nurse, she encouraged masturbation. What? It’s healthy? The criminals had it right? Back up a few years, when I was 18 and asked my former youth pastor about it. (Because who wants to ask their dad?) His response was to share one of the earliest stories in the Bible about Judah and his sons. When the oldest son died and left his wife without a child at a time when your kids were your pension plan, it was his surviving brother’s duty to impregnate her. Those were very different times, and tricky because you wouldn’t want to pick a wife so attractive your brother causes you to have an “accident.” Instead of helping her, however, the brother “spilled his seed on the ground.” God’s response? He killed the brother. What? I ask about masturbation and I’m told a story where God killed people! No wonder I had some messed up ideas growing up. As I got older and thought about it, that was a pretty stupid story to use because it wasn’t in any way connected to masturbation. Every time a guy unloads, God’s not in heaven angry, “You just wasted good baby making juice!” He knows there’s plenty more where that came from. Besides, if God killed people for masturbating, there wouldn’t be a lot people left in the world. Considering a lot of parents have to teach their toddlers not to touch themselves, few people would even get to their teen years. My two and four year olds recently discovered the joys of squatting over the shooting water at the splash pads. That’s fun as a parent: (parent) “Stop enjoying yourselves. Don’t ask why, but if it feels good, it’s bad for you until you’re older and I don’t know about it.”
The closest thing to discussing masturbation in the Bible is in the rules given to Moses for the Israelites: “Whenever a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his entire body in water, and he will remain ceremonially unclean until the next evening,” (Lev 15:16) and “Any man who becomes ceremonially defiled because of a nocturnal emission must leave the camp and stay away all day. Toward evening he must bathe himself, and at sunset he may return to the camp.” (Deu 23:10-11) Fun fact, outside of camp was where all the women on their period also had to go. Was that a form of punishment or God’s joke on young men? I’m not sure. As far as the New Testament, Jesus never talked about masturbation (two words you don’t usually see in the same sentence, Jesus and masturbation). He was more worried about hypocrisy, lack of faith, and people loving money more than God than sex stuff. It’s as if our culture has elevated sex and sexuality above the status it should actually have – strange. On one hand, sex is a gift from God we should respect (because we can really hurt people) and on the other, it’s just sex. (It’s not the be all and end all of life; we can live without it.)
As a Christian, I believe it’s acceptable to masturbate within strong boundaries. Of course, I can’t give people permission to do anything, and sometimes we’re convicted to do things that others aren’t like refrain. I might also simply be wrong, but this is my current thought: When we get married, we’re allowed to have sex because we have become one with our partner, which is symbolized through sex. If I can have sex with my wife because I’m one with her, I should be able to have sex with me because I’m one. Logically it makes sense… but there needs to be strong limits, especially for young people because masturbation is playing with fire and needs to be handled with care. That being said, I’m glad I got through my teen years thinking it was evil. It left me with lots of energy for sports and motivation to do things like my comedy team to impress girls. My parents also didn’t have any trouble getting me to go to bed: (mom) “Bedtime!” (me) “Sweet! This is the best part of the day. What happens in your dreams, stays in your dreams… kind of. Backup pajamas are ready to go.” Sorry, if you found that gross, but that’s the reality for guys. Like women have periods, men flush out their pipes in their own way once a week or so. You either do it consciously or in your sleep. And making that joke I should point out that I have never had a “sex” dream. My dreams growing up consisted of wanting sex, but getting rejected by girls; it’s as sad as it sounds. My dreams reflected my pre-marriage reality – good times.
As a parent, you have to choose the path that is best for you to encourage, but what needs to be stressed is a parent doesn’t want to know what their kids are doing sexually any more than the kids want to know what their parents are doing. Some things are meant to be private. Anyone who partakes should consider a schedule for it because you want to reduce the chances of addiction (e.g doing it more frequently than you should or doing it at inappropriate times like in a public bathroom – nasty).
Whatever you choose, here are some dangers and benefits to consider.
- There’s a high risk of addiction.
- It can cause hairy palms… that’s a joke. Not a good one. If it were true, most teenage boys would have a steady supply of Nair Hair Removal Cream.
- It can be a slippery slope to getting into things you shouldn’t. For instance, it can lead to looking at material or imagining things you shouldn’t, especially 14 year olds who want to see sexual images of people their own age. Parents need to teach their kids the importance that even having a naked picture of a girlfriend or boyfriend under 18 can get you arrested.
- It can damage your sex life or your future sex life. For instance, it can lead to people becoming all the more obsessed with having sex or it can cause them to be trained to only be by themselves and make it a struggle to have sex with a partner.
- It can cause people to see each other as masturbation toys and lose their sense of humanity for the opposite gender.
- It can lead to seeing things online for stimulation you’d be better off not seeing.
- Some people are sloppy and leave evidence of what they did, which is disgusting. If you’re going to do it, be like a ninja or a professional murderer who doesn’t leave any evidence behind.
- You can’t get pregnant masturbating or spread disease.
- There’s a chance it can prevent people from being sexual or having sexual thoughts with those around them because they’ve emptied their tank.
- A horny person can do stupid things, so there’s a chance they’ll do less stupid things.
- There’s a chance it can reduce the hormonal rage that causes teens to be overly emotional and mean to their parents.
- It’s good for people to be comfortable with their body before they share it with someone else.
- It’s good to have an idea of what you like.
- It can be a good way to practice self control and boundaries.
May this topic get you thinking and better considering what’s the right path in your own eyes.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people (like me)