Blessings of Masturbation : Sex Therapy For Christians
There are a number of physical benefits of masturbation which will be lightly touched upon here (see some of the earlier blog posts referencing various articles in mainstream media for example) because the main purpose of this post is to focus on the blessings for Christians who enjoy masturbating. And we do believe that blessing is an appropriate word. We believe like other Christian commentators, and we write from a perspective of very strong, committed and Godly personal faith, that the key reason that the Bible treats masturbation very leniently (it is not the sin of Onan) is that God’s people are given a choice whether and when they choose to exercise it and it is on the same level as other physical body unctions that work in much the same way.
The physiological aspects of masturbation are very similar to those of food hunger, appetite and eating in that there can be an arousal phase, a consumption phase and a satiation phase. We are not psychologists so we are not sure if that is the correct terminology, but the four phase sexual response cycle (an actual psychological term) could be almost equated with the hunger response cycle (again we are not sure if there is such a thing, or if maybe it has a different name). The obvious question is what the key benefit of masturbation that can be equated with the physical benefit of eating is, and the appropriate response to this is, we believe, that whereas food nourishes the physical body, masturbation (as with all sexual activity of the Godly nature) nourishes the believer’s spirit. To achieve that spiritual nourishment (or refreshing), however, Christians must be assured that they are following the same type of faith principles that apply to other forms of bodily pleasure that are given to us by God as a blessing to our lives and which are most appropriately considered when in the context of being offered back to God as acts of worship. We have articulated those ideas since we first began this blog and at the moment it seems we are the most affirmative of this view out of all the different pro-masturbation perspectives that we can find on the Internet.
The blessings of masturbation, therefore, in this blog are not going to focus on the physical benefits, although undoubtedly these are also blessings. What we are unfolding in the rest of this article are a mixture of the benefits for single Christians from having the ability otherwise unavailable to them to partake of sexual release in their daily lives, and married husbands or wives in enhancing their marital relationship and other aspects of their daily lives. For all Christians whether single or married, one of the most important considerations is that secular psychology recognises that masturbation is beneficial in the area of sex therapy. We believe this is also an important aspect that Christians can draw upon in the use of masturbation, and at a fuller level than mere psychological recognition. The reason for this is that sexual purity is an important spiritual goal for committed Christians to be able to uphold in their daily lives. Whilst all sin is a problem, sexual sin is one of the biggest issues for committed Jesus followers and obtaining and/or maintaining abstinence from it is one of the greatest challenges that believers face in our sex-saturated societies. And it is simply time for us as committed people of strong faith to stop blaming the world for creating these challenges for us and using every weapon at our disposal to maintain sexual purity every day.
So the best use of masturbation for Christians is to uphold sexual purity in their lives and we believe it is of proven benefit for that purpose. It can also be used for the reasons of more secular sex therapy in overcoming, for example, the effects of sexual trauma or repression, and we have prayed for people in situations such as these. However the sexual purity objective is the key one we are going to focus on here, and the important issue is that Christians have the means to deal with the pressures they find themselves under. This differs for men and women because of the nature of our western societies and the different sexual physiology of males and females. Women are most placed under sexual pressure from men and on the level of their bodily appearance which includes the aspects of the size and shape of key body parts. This pressure is quite excessive in many respects as seen by the high levels of reported sexual harassment in our societies and the sexualised use of female body image in many aspects of everyday life.
There has also been the problems of sexual repression of women in times past (misogyny) and which is still prevalent in areas in the Church, which in our evangelical context is most commonly expressed in the theology of complementarianism, teaching women that they are sexually inferior to males and are solely responsible for the sexualised behaviour of males around them. This unreasonably makes women responsible for many of the social ills related to the sexual harassment of females and justifies a status of inferiority. As we have stated before in this blog we believe in and apply Christian egalitarianism as our starting point for the way in which women should be treated and valued in the Church and in society, and note with considerable joy that since the sexual revolution of the 1960s there has been considerable enlightment and progression in the Church in recognising and valuing female sexuality. Studies of the prevalence of masturbation in the Western world show that women are catching up to men, with one statistic that we saw showing that at the age of 19 years, 85% of female respondents had masturbated. This is a positive correlation as Christian women need to be able to masturbate for the same reasons as men and without prejudice against them from conservative elements in the Church. Women can also be subject to sexual pressure from within their own bodies (such as hormonal responses during the ovulation phase of their monthly cycle) which is also valid grounds for masturbating. Another issue is the growing use of pornography by Christian women with some some statistics suggesting a prevalence of up to 20%.
The reasons for Christian men to masturbate are somewhat different and are driven by a greater level of testosterone and physical pressures in their bodies are more important than for women. A key aspect of this is the design of the male reproductive system in which sperm-containing semen is manufactured and stored for release at ejaculation. The filling up of the storage vessels in a man’s body takes about two days to complete and creates a physical pressure and desire for release that is greater than in the hours immediately following an ejaculation. The main pressure overall that comes upon men is from society’s perceptions of what manhood should be about and one of the biggest challenges for any godly male is the expectations created by the widespread use and ready availability of pornography. The biggest concern for any Christian ministry is not only the massive uptake and use of pornography in society as a whole, but also the increasing prevalence of use of it within the Church, by both male and female believers. Since it is almost impossible nowadays with widespread availability and use of the Internet across society and including in our Christian homes to avoid accidental exposure to pornography at ever-younger ages, the Church needs to become more proactive in countering these negative influences by teaching a healthy view of sexuality to members of all ages.
This was going to be a three part article originally but there is going to be a fourth part focusing specifically on the practice of masturbation for Christians so that will be coming up next.