Extra Virgin :: The Unmentionables Part 1
On Extra Virgin this month I’ll be posting a series about The Unmentionables: things of a sexual nature that we find especially difficult to discuss. Because the subject matter is both sexual and sometimes explicit, I recommend this series for adult women only.
Masturbation is when you stimulate your clitoris using your hand, fingers, an object, or a sex toy (such as a vibrator) in order to feel sexual pleasure, and it usually ends in orgasm. This practice is generally approved of in our culture and, according to this report, most adult women have masturbated at least once.
The Bible never directly addresses the issue of masturbation, so the best way to discern what is best is to apply general principles of God’s character and wisdom to the situation.
My personal opinion is that masturbation is not a part of godly sexuality. Here’s my reasoning—sex is meant to be between two people for the ultimate purpose of intimacy and the glory of God. While there may be dozens of reasons why a woman would choose to masturbate, it’s hard for me to find any that completely fulfill this God-given purpose of sex.
There is enormous temptation to masturbate for a woman with a healthy sex drive, whether single or married, but I would encourage these women (as I encourage myself) to use this pressure to drive yourself towards God. We are not at the mercy of our physical urges (“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4), but rather we rely upon God for our sustenance and satisfaction. Your urge for sex, if left unsatisfied, can become a regular reminder of your need for Jesus. If given over to him, it can become a spiritual discipline with enormous spiritual rewards.
However, there are many faithful Christians who believe differently. Even Christian counselors and therapists sometimes recommend masturbation for those who are single, those in marriages with a spouse with a low sex drive, for men who need to practice lasting longer during sex, or for women who are learning to be more orgasmic. As mentioned before, the Bible does not address the issue of masturbation, so I give full grace to my Christian brothers and sisters who engage in the practice of masturbation as a means of promoting sexual purity or better intimacy in marriage. (Please understand, this does not condone the practice of masturbation when accompanied by lust or pornography or in the company of someone to whom you are not married.)
My suggestion is spend some time studying and praying in order to decide for yourself what you believe about masturbation. Then seek God and other believers’ help in acting upon that belief in a way that honors him.
What are your thoughts? Is this something you have struggled with? Did you come to a conclusion? How do you advise others? On a more personal note, is this something you talk about with close friends or mentors? Do you think it’s something you should talk about?
(Photo via Cuyana)