Sexuality of Christian Womanhood: God Calls You Innocent and Pure

Like all of our posts in this series, this one has taken a while to write. We try to spend a lot of time in prayer and reflection on each topic, inasmuch as we view this blog as the primary public expression of our ministry the way that it is established at the moment. The ministry progresses in stages of fresh revelation every few weeks so in reality that is what it takes to get a post together. There are many more posts coming in this series, both relating to men and women, but this is the latest one for the present.

When we talk of “innocence” in a Christian context we usually think about children, who have no latent concept of sexuality prior to adolescence, then during that phase they become familiar with these adult concepts as they grow up. With our experience in the educational system, we know that some teachers prefer to educate children at this pre-adolescent stage of life, because that transition brings about so much change in their behaviour. Of course, for Christians, we have this much greater concern that the increased knowledge of sexuality that heralds adolescence brings with it the potential for sexual sin. Still, it is important to know what is a sin and what isn’t, and this post is primarily directed at those women who are focused towards living a life of godly sexual purity throughout their lives regardless of whether they are a child or an adult, single or married, childless or in motherhood, etc.

We believe that innocence is what describes not only the phase of life prior to adolescence, but also the discovery of a sexual body in that phase. In other words, we believe that a godly woman discovering that her body has these sexual parts and that they produce these physical pleasures, is not inherently committing sin. Masturbation or self touching of your sexual body parts and enjoyment of their pleasures does not constitute sinfulness any more than the enjoyment of food or the pleasure of the wind, sand or sun on your skin, and you have not ceased to be sexually pure from doing these things. Hence we believe that self touching or masturbation of your breasts or genitals does not detract from sexual purity as a single woman, and can in fact enhance and support it.

Sexual purity of course is not limited to single women, in fact all Christian women should strive to achieve it throughout their lives. The important fact is that you aren’t limited to achieving sexual purity by remaining a single virgin for your whole life, although abstinence is the most essential component of sexual purity for single people. In marriage the most essential component is monogamy. Within both singleness and marriage, masturbation when carried out for the purposes of sexual devotion or sexual discipline does not compromise sexual purity. Innocence is the state in which you remain sexually pure as a single person where there is no other person in your life, prior to marriage. We just simply want to assure you that you can discover your sexual body parts and enjoy touching them without losing your innocence, since we see innocence as the state in which your body remains known only to you. To remain innocent you need to continue making lifestyle choices through this phase of adolescence to refrain from sexually impure practices and to remain abstinent from sexual interaction with another person. These are lifestyle choices for Christian women to undertake during the young adulthood phase of their lives preceding marriage.

Sexuality of Christian Womanhood: God Made You Sexual

We aren’t rushing to produce these articles in this series, even although we have planned a few of them. We’re not sure how many there will be, but this latest one has been a month in the making. Our experience with the last article series that parts of had to be rewritten multiple times shows that there isn’t necessary merit in rushing into print. The story of our ministry and work is that it is evolving and it can take a bit of time to get together all of the knowledge that goes into each article.

So here is our latest article about Christian womanhood, and the theme is “God Made You Sexual”. What do we mean by this? Well, we’ve often referred to complementarianism as being a set of theological beliefs that reduce the essentials of feminine sexuality and really try to make womanhood an extension of male sexuality. The idea there is that (a) a woman is made to be an extension of a man’s life and (b) her sexuality is quite inferior or subservient to a man’s. And we find that such beliefs in the Church are a reflection of the same sort of beliefs that have long been held across society until the advent of present day feminism. Unfortunately these attitudes remain extremely entrenched and are stereotypically expressed in a great deal of the pornographic material that is readily available today, and in the many dismissive or crude terms used to describe parts of a woman’s body. The primary inspiration for this article came from reading Peggy Orenstein’s book “Girls & Sex”, in which she describes the cringeworthy content of some sex-education material available in parts of the US. Orenstein’s account is not written from a Christian perspective but it could be so easily describing content produced by a Christian organisation because of the Church’s long history of denying female sexuality.

As we’ve noted to date, we have the theological viewpoint in egalitarianism that upholds the idea that a woman is equally capable of ministering in a church to the same extent that a man, but egalitarianism hasn’t bridged the entire gulf that complementarianism covers. More particularly, egalitarian theology doesn’t address the sexuality of Christian womanhood in the way that complementarianism does. There haven’t been (to our knowledge) publications produced in the name of egalitarianism that counter the “purity culture” material that have come out of organisations like the Southern Baptist Convention. It is probably truthful to say that a lot of Christian books about female sexuality or marriage have been produced from a complementarian viewpoint. There is definitely a gap to be filled there.

So let’s just try and address this issue for our female readers: God made you sexual. What do we mean by that?

You, Christian woman, have been created by God in a certain way that makes you distinctively female. This is addressed by the fact that you have some physical parts of your body that are specific to female sexuality, such as the physical appearance and components of your breasts and genitals. Along with your appearance comes the fact that you can have experiences in your body that are related to these sexual parts, such as arousal and pleasure. You can also have some other experiences, like periods, that are uniquely female. What is really relevant to this discussion is that you do have sexual organs and you do have the ability to become sexually aroused and to engage in activities that produce sexual pleasure for you. You also have a right to be recognised in having these experiences in an equal way to the recognition of men’s sexual experiences in society. Ultimately our expectation is that your sexuality is recognised in the Church in that you are recognised as having a sexual body, created by God for purposes irrespective of whether you are married or single.

If you are single at any point of your life, the experiences which you can have as a godly woman which are related to sexual arousal and pleasure will be experienced through masturbation in an act of sexual devotion, as we have referred to it elsewhere in this blog. If you are in a Christian marriage then these experiences are most likely to be taking place with your husband and have a wider range of permissible outcomes, such as procreation. However, there should be nothing in either your experiences or outcomes, when in a marriage, that is mandated or dictated to you by your husband or your church or any other person or organisation in a way that disregards your own right to control your body. This means there is no reasonable expectation that the leadership of your church, or your husband, have an automatic right to subjugate you and trample on your personal rights. Ultimately all sexual experiences that are shared with your husband are to be conducted on the basis that you and him are equal partners in the marriage and that mutual respect or agreement without trampling on each other is the best approach to a harmonious marriage with a component of sexual intimacy.

Saying you are sexual is also saying you have a right to have that respected. This means that the Church has no role in promoting misogynistic concepts such as that a woman’s body causes men to lust. This is because men have a choice of whether to lust or not, irrespective of whether women’s bodies are sexually desirable or whether they have chosen to wear certain clothing styles. for example. In some societies in the world, the idea that women’s breasts should be sexualised, for example, is actually abhorrent. That’s why, for example, in parts of Africa, women can go bare breasted and be considered normal for so doing. The problem is that with the blaming of women culture that is so prevalent in the church, based on the failure of men to take responsibility for their own actions in choosing to lust, women are actually being made unequal, and to be subjugated sexually to men. Thus the stage is set for women’s role being assumed to primarily provide for men’s sexual desires or needs, and women’s own sexual desires or needs being repressed or denied.

Since purity culture largely excuses or minimises Christian mens’ sexually misogynistic behaviour towards Christian women, what is actually to stop us egalitarians from advocating that Christian women should be afforded the same rights as men have historically enjoyed in patriarchal churches? Actually, we aren’t approaching it that way. We don’t see a place for turning the tables as much as that. These churches have promoted that men have dominion and control over women. As much as radical feminists would like to turn the tables, that is not a recipe for women to be respected in the Church. The answer is to give equal recognition to Christian men and women and accept that means that women have the right to dominion over their own bodies and are not in any way obligated to surrender this to men or church leadership.

Let’s summarise this for the benefit of our female Christian readers. Mighty woman of God, your heavenly Father has created you with a sexual body. Because of your body, you have the ability to express yourself in sexual ways that are still within the bounds of how a godly woman should behave, but which in the past some churches have criticised. You have the right to choose singleness for yourself at any particular period of your life, and the enforced singleness that is the best way for you to get through adolescence is a great time for you to get to know your own body and entrust in God to help you navigate a new complex landscape of sexual development and maturity. It is entirely your personal choice if you want to remain single throughout your life and no one in any church has the right to dictate to you that this choice is inferior or somehow contrary to godliness. In turn, you also have the choice to devote your sexuality to God and to enjoy the fruits of sexual pleasure in ways that are pleasing to God inasmuch as they are not inherently sinful (i.e. through masturbation in a godly way).

It is also your choice if you wish to become married and to enter into some of the common outcomes of marriage, such as parenthood. You have the right to be an equal in a marriage and to be treated with respect, whether it is by your husband, or by the Church. This means that you have a right to refuse sexual pressures placed on you by your husband. You also have rights in other sexual aspects of the marriage, such as whether to have children, and if so, how many of them and the particular timing of conception. You also have the right to object to being sexualised by your husband and expected to behave in certain sexualised ways within the marriage, and you have the utmost right to expect your husband will be as committed to supporting the marriage as you are.

Ultimately as a woman of God, your body is as equally a temple of the Holy Spirit as any Christian man’s is, and the undeniable biological and physiological facts that you will experience sexual arousal, and that you will be able to experience sexual pleasure, is something that the Church must recognise and support. It must equally be able to support that Christian women can choose whether to experience these things in celibate singleness or in marriage, and respect either scenario without question., And above all, it must ensure that its male membership do not have any rights to dominate, control or sexualise its female membership.

“Sex After Jesus: A sex life limited by religion and marriage ends, and one of discovering the joys of the ‘sinful’ body begins”

We don’t write this blog to castigate or marginalise people whose views we disagree with. When we post something that we might not completely agree with, we just post a note to that effect. And whilst in this case we aren’t in complete agreement with the author of this article, we do take a very keen interest in misogyny, especially when it occurs in the Church. This blog isn’t about politics, and so you won’t find us taking political stands on the controversial issues of sexuality. What does matter to us is finding ways to bridge the gaps on a down to earth, coalface level, one person at a time. And we might not be able to bridge all the gaps. We might be able to bridge a gap in evangelical understanding about sexuality, but we might not be able to bridge a much bigger gap that has led to a person turning away from their faith and walking out of their evangelical community. Ultimately some of those really big questions involve a person’s own relationship with God and can only be solved directly in communion with Him.

Anyway here is the article by Lyz Lenz published on Medium, which is her account of discovering truths about her femininity and female sexuality that her church never told her about. We’re guessing her account refers to multiple different churches rather than a single one, but it portrays an all-too-familiar picture of how conservative churches marginalise women by denying their humanity and sexuality. It seems the Church will be the last bastion of misogyny in society and that’s really disturbing.

https://gay.medium.com/sex-after-jesus-b13e9f295d1d

 

Sexuality of Christian Manhood: God Calls You To Achieve

As with our newly launched series on Sexuality of Christian Womanhood, we are launching a companion series for Sexuality of Christian Manhood. There are similarities and differences between these. Male sexuality has not been subject to the same pressures and distortions as females have experienced, but is still corruptible due to pressures from within society, and these tend to have a greater influence than those from within the Church, the view of which is largely unaltered in New Testament times.

Whilst these days in the evangelical Church we try to promote men and women as being more or less equal in practically all respects and having similar roles in society, male and female sexuality is very obviously different in various respects. If you have read the previous blog post introducing the Sexuality of Christian Womanhood series, you will have some familiarity about what we regard as the most important messages that women receive from society about their femininity, and what they need to hear from God. Men also receive negative messages and pressures from society, although not as greatly as women do, especially since men create many of these pressures against women, and men also need to hear a message about how they can redeem their sexuality to meet Christian standards and expectations.

The key aspect of male sexuality is that it is very much focused on performance, as are many aspects of the male way of life, and that underlines our theme that God has called you, young Christian or old Christian man, to win. He has called you to win in the battle to conform your own sexuality to godly standards, as well as in the way that you relate to others in society, particularly women in general. We of this blog espouse Christian egalitarianism as the prevailing theology that should influence how women are regarded and treated in the Church. Since men have the biological wiring to find most women sexually attractive, it takes a very special level of sexually focused dedication for a man of God to be able to uphold respectful standards of behaviour towards just women in the church, let alone women in wider society. Thankfully, many of the same techniques referred to in the womanhood series can be applied by Christian males to ensure they are meeting the required standards, both in their own personal lives and those of others around them.

As a whole, male sexuality is relatively simple compared to female sexuality and is largely focused on sexual performance whether a male is single or married. Sexual performance for single Christian males can be addressed through masturbation, and in the same vein as we have written about womanhood and in other series in this blog, this is a key component of sexual devotion as a tool of sexual development, which is a process that is key to the development of a healthy and godly focused male sexuality. A key difference that we believe exists between women and men, however, is that whilst masturbation for the former is optional, for the latter it is virtually essential. We do strongly believe that due to the much greater pressures on men from their biological wiring differences and significantly higher levels of testosterone production, the much stronger male sex drive has to be actively mediated and redirected through masturbation to a significantly greater extent, and we expect that the actual need for a Christian man to masturbate in sexual devotion in order to control his sex drive and give him a productive sin-free outlet for his sexual appetite, is significantly higher than for a Christian woman.

We believe that sexual devotion is the key component by which a Christian male can productively direct his sex drive in a positive way that honours God and respects those around him. We are assuming here that you have read other parts of this blog, and we recommend that you do read the series on Sexuality for Christian Womanhood as well as this series to understand some key principles we have outlined elsewhere in the blog. We believe the need for sexual devotion and sexual development will commence usually in adolescence due to the maturation of the key sexual organs in a male’s body. At that point, masturbation generally becomes a desirable habit for males, and from the very beginning it is imperative that masturbation is used in a productive and God-honouring way. This in part or whole implies that no sinful activity is used in conjunction with it. Males find it more difficult to resist lust, but this is not actually impossible to achieve and is very important as a tool against the widespread proliferation of male-focused pornography which is readily available on the internet these days. Sadly, much of this soft and hard core pornographic material exploits existing misogynistic prejudices already in society. But with the right attitude, Christian men are able to hold back the tide of pornographic temptation by the use of sexual devotion during times of masturbation and we believe from our own ministry experiences that this is the most effective technique in existence that makes it possible for men not only to resist the pressures of lust and temptations of pornographic material, but also to recover productively and rapidly from addictions related to these issues and from general sexual addictions. This is possible because the object of the male sex drive is able to be redirected and refocused into Godly purposes instead of worldly pleasures. In so saying this we do believe that the physical pleasure associated with sexual arousal and orgasm does belong to each individual Christian man to be enjoyed by themselves when single or shared with a wife in the consummation of holy matrimony. For a single Christian man it is only to be used in a sexual devotion context that does not involve any other person.

We believe that masturbation is to be treated as a normal and healthy activity for a Christian man to participate in as long as it is focused as sexual devotion. We also expect that most Christian males will commence masturbating at adolescence and continue to do so as needed throughout life. For a Christian male, the periods of their life when they are single are those in which masturbation is most useful to them and in which the frequency might be expected to be the greatest. We expect most Christian males will have a frequency of masturbation that varies from several times per week, up to several times per day. In the case of married men who masturbate, the frequency thereof will be dictated according to the priorities of marital responsibilities and duties and it is important that masturbation does not detract from or substitute for these. As noted above we believe that it is healthy and productive to encourage Christian males to commence masturbating as a form of sexual devotion at the onset of adolescence. It is for each such male to determine how often they need to masturbate as it is essentially a private matter between them and God.

We conclude this article, as with the first article on Sexuality of Christian Womanhood, to encourage you, our reader, as a man of God, to be ready to engage in sexual devotion from the time you first reach puberty, or to begin engaging in it if you haven’t done so up until now. Your body is subject to many pressures that cause sexual arousal, and one of these is the production of semen which is stored within your reproductive system and causes physical fullness and sensitises you to increased sexual arousal every couple of days. Naturally your own sex drive and level of desire will vary greatly in any case. Unlike a Christian woman you do not have any episodes during which your desire to masturbate may be reduced due to hormonal changes. As such it is very possibly the case that you may desire to masturbate every day if you are single, possibly more than once in a typical day. Your body will tell you when this is necessary, which can be acted upon whenever convenient, provided that you are engaged in the practice of sexual devotion and are therefore ensuring that all times of masturbation are focused on appropriate Christian standards and outcomes. We encourage you to speak words and prayers of affirmation over your sexuality and sexual body parts as you in turn receive messages of affirmation of your personal devotion and commitment to healthy godly sexuality during the various stages of physical arousal and pleasure. Your sense of physical achievement which is a key component of male sexuality as an outcome of sexual activity, is fulfilled in the certainty that you have succeeded in this session of sexual devotion with its important goals of disciplining and training your sexuality in a godly manner. It is very important for a Christian male to focus on sexual devotion with these expectations in mind and we firmly believe that masturbation incorporated for the sole purpose of sexual devotion is the means to achieve that commitment and should be viewed as such as a useful tool of achievement. The key goal is to have a sexual focus that is effective in containing and redirecting your sex drive in a way that honours the Christian male’s commitment and focus to at all times in engaging in daily activity that first and foremost glorifies God, and secondarily other people in your life such as your wife, other family members, and members of your church and community.

Sexuality of Christian Womanhood: God Calls You Beautiful

This is a new series we feel is important to start writing because we feel we are getting new insights into Christian sexuality through our studies and reflections all of the time. The key function of this blog is to address the distorted view of traditional sexuality which has been promoted by the complementarian theological school. As we have noted in previous posts, complementarianism reduces and minimises the roles of women both in the Church and in society as a whole, and it fits quite neatly with misogynistic prejudices that have existed in society for a very long time. Indeed the prevalence of Christian egalitarianism has been low until the 20th century and its ascendancy to become more mainstream seems to have paralleled the rise of secular feminism.

The key issue for womanhood in all contexts is this understanding that you are more or less equal to men in practically all respect and that in societies such as in Australasia you can enjoy access to practically all the same rights and roles as men do. The one key difference is of course related to the biological, sexual difference in the design of your body that enables you to bear children. Unfortunately that has been the key reason over the course of history why women have been treated differently and still are in many societies worldwide. For Christian womanhood, these issues are much the same as in society in that as we mentioned above, the development and prevalence of theology has followed the overall trends in the world. However the main issue is that as society has changed, some churches have continued to cling to their traditional theological viewpoints and are resisting patriarchal roles and structures.

Regardless of what type of theology applies in the church you are in, as a woman of God, He has created you to be equal in participation in all aspects of Christian life, but if you wish to have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of ministry, you will need to choose a church community that respects and upholds your God given gifts and talents. We aren’t specifically addressing those issues in this particular blog post. Instead we are intending to focus on how God created you and how He saw you and continues to see you as a woman of God. At some level this can be related to what you do in a ministry role or how faithful you are at using the gifts and abilities He has given to you. At another level it can simply relate more to your sexuality as a whole and how God created it to be very good and beautiful. That is certainly the most important matter that we want to discuss here.

You have been created with a physical body that is distinctly different from a male body. These particular differences are really only relevant to your ability to bear children and not to a great deal else, although it is well known that you have a different temperament from a male and react in different ways to the same situation. In respect of how God sees you and values you, there is no difference except for the particular female-specific role that relates to procreation. However, those differences in your physical body seem to be responsible for a constant stream of negativity, denigration and unwanted physical attention from males. Sadly, whilst feminism as a whole has made great strides in addressing these prejudices, manhood has yet to fully catch up and there is a continuing resentment at many levels, coupled with a seemingly perpetually ingrained opposition to feminist gains and respect of womanhood as a whole. An example of this prejudice is some of the rather coarse and vulgar terminology used to describe key female body parts, including the c-word, which is in fact derived from words used in other languages and not as the intended swear word it has become in the English language. We believe that womanhood as a whole should make every effort to reclaim this word from the misuse and denigration that is part of the wider and concerning trend of physical, verbal and sexual abuse that is overwhelmingly directed at females by males.

God created you as a Christian woman to be beautiful and He calls you beautiful in many ways. So your body is beautiful in all aspects. This especially applies to the distinctly female parts of your body, and the parts that are particularly unique are of course the genitalia and reproductive organs, the former partly external and partly internal and the latter internal. You also have parts that are similar to those that males have, but which have a distinctly female appearance, such as your breasts, buttocks and thighs. As a woman, you are likely to be very sensitive about the perception of physical beauty associated with these key areas, and others, of your body. These areas are part of the distinct sexual characteristics of your feminine body. God created them to be different in your body in order to complement the appearance of the male body and that is all that matters in this context. These appearance related and other characteristics of your body parts are a part of what makes you beautiful in God’s eyes.

We understand that most Christian women are sensitive about their physical appearance and some of the other distinctly female characteristics of their bodies and we understand that these sensitivities have many aspects, one part of which is how wider society, particularly males, relate to these characteristics. Our aim in writing this post is to encourage women of God to value their distinctly female characteristics, including their sexual aspects. Part of the key theological distortions of complementarianism, overwhelmingly amplified by wider society prior to the 20th century, has been to make women feel inferior by denigrating or minimising the worth of these aspects. They say that women aren’t supposed to have any sexual feelings and that their main role is to provide for the sexual needs of a husband and bear children to him. These claims greatly minimise the roles and also value of women as a whole. The most important concept we could hope to be able to address in this article is that as Christian woman, you are in no way beholden to a man to find your purpose and worth either in society or in the Church. Whilst the sexual parts of your body can be used within the context of marriage, if you choose to marry, to form an intimate bond with your husband and to procreate and raise children, these parts also have a context in their own right without that expectation. During any phase of your life when you are single, including in adolescence, young adulthood or at any other time, including if you make a conscious choice to remain single for any reason, your sexual body parts can be used in relation to a life of worship and submission solely to God. God created your body just for this purpose, and when you are single, or when you choose times to be alone if you are married, your body can be fully submitted to God and focused on worship of Him.

As we have made clear in our views expressed in other series of articles posted on this blog, we believe that God has given you the various parts of your body, including the sexual parts, to be used in acts of worship to Him. In relation to the parts that are considered to be sexual, actual sexual acts carried out using these parts are those acts that involve another person who may be physically or non-physically present during the act(s). However, a godly woman who chooses to engage with God whilst at the same time making use of those body parts is able to use them in worship to God, just as every other action in your physical body such as eating, exercise or sleeping is able to be considered as an act of worship to God. We therefore have consistently throughout this site expressed our view that physical arousal and the response of physical stimulation of genitalia and other body parts that increase sexual arousal can be considered as an act of worship when carried out solely in submission to God and when focusing solely on Him.

We use the generic term “sexual devotion” to describe a time when a man or woman of God is engaging in this manner with God. We emphasise that these sexual parts of your body belong first and foremost to you and were created for distinct purposes that you alone have choice and ownership over. When you choose to enter a time of sexual devotion with God you can then choose to be physically aroused and to respond to that arousal by touching various parts of your body in a way that increases arousal to a point of physical climax. This in itself is not a sinful practice, provided that care is taken not to introduce any sinful practices as part of the arousal session. We use the term “sexual development” to describe what we believe is a key reason for a Christian woman or man to engage in times of sexual devotion. This means that these times are a great opportunity to develop your sexuality for any roles you may undertake in future, and to overcome negative perceptions. When you enter adolescence you are just starting to become aware of key aspects of your womanhood and just like the development of physical bodily characteristics, sexuality characteristics need time and experience to reach their full potential.

Sexual development is very important during adolescence, but also at other times, for example for women who need a time of healing from sexual abuse that they may have experienced during their lives. It is also very important as an ongoing activity for Christian women to practice throughout their lives simply in order to deal with the constant negative messages and actions that are directed against women in our society, or merely by a sense of being challenged by what these body parts look like or some of their particular functions, such as menstruation. We are writing this blog in particular to any woman of God who is in a space where you have negative perceptions of specific feminine body parts which have been shaped or influenced by such messages or by sexual abuse or some other circumstance. We want to encourage you to believe that God created your body as beautiful in His eyes and that He wants you to feel beautiful in all parts of your body. We encourage you to engage in times of sexual devotion to God by affirming of your body parts, such as by physical stimulation and arousal to the point of climax and orgasm. We believe that the physical pleasure that you receive in your body at the time of such stimulation is in itself an affirmation of the beautiful nature of these body parts and also of the physical and spiritual value of engaging in the acts of devotion.

We conclude this article by encouraging you as a woman of God to begin engaging in sexual devotion if it is something you haven’t done before or if it is something that you need to do more of in order to give and receive affirmation of the specifically feminine parts of your body, that they are very beautiful body parts and are of great worth in God’s sight. We encourage you to speak words and prayers of affirmation over those body parts in response to the physical pleasure that you receive as you touch and stroke them. We encourage you to let God minister deeply into your spirit as you receive messages of affirmation of physical and spiritual beauty through the pleasure of arousal and orgasm. As you become more knowledgeable in sexual devotion and how much your body needs, ask God how much is appropriate for you. This may vary from weekly or less, to daily or more. It is important to discover this especially if you are in a marriage because it is of prime importance to focus on how sexual devotion can enhance rather than detract from your marital relationship. You may find that as you become more assured and confident in your times of devotion that you want to have them more often and provided that these times are truly devotional and don’t detract from other parts of your life, then more regular timing or frequency may be beneficial to you.

New article series

Soon we’ll be starting two new series on the Sexuality of Christian Womanhood and the Sexuality of Christian Manhood. We just feel that we need to keep writing the blog posts and talking about the insights we have into sexuality from a Christian perspective and in particular, the need to escape all of the considerable harm caused to womanhood by complementarian theological teachings. That type of theology has simply played into existing misogynistic viewpoints in society as a whole in which female sexuality is denigrated and downplayed in a major way. Male and female Christians in an evangelical context need to know and understand the key aspects of their sexuality in a way that allows each gender to respect, value and honour the other and truly be equals in the church and in society as a whole.

There are a couple of key changes in these series from the way we’ve written on this blog up until now. One is that we will not be planning out a fixed number of articles in a certain order, instead there will be an unknown number of articles that each address a random topic. The second change is that the articles will be written in the second person rather than the third person, addressing the issue from the perspective of the reader. We just want to make the blog a bit more personable and easier to relate to. The first article is going up very shortly.

Sexuality For Singles (Part G)

Adulthood 3: Marital Relations

This part refers to the point at which a single man and a single woman become married and how they take the lessons learned during their singleness and sexual development phase and use them to enhance and strengthen their marriage. We did already cover a part of this in the last part so we are just building onto that with some further thoughts and insights that have come to our notice within the last week or two.

One of the key issues that can develop in marriage is sexual tension between the husband and wife and it can occur for a number of reasons. If either partner has some kind of sexual hangup and resists or avoids sex with their spouse then that is an obvious source of tension. Another is lack of understanding by one partner of the sexual differences between a man and a woman, and still another is a difference in the level of sex drive. We did talk last time about either partner using masturbation to satisfy their sex drive whilst being able to give their spouse some space. However when there is ongoing tensions that are not being resolved it takes a special gift of tolerance or understanding from the spurned spouse to be able to accommodate their husband or wife’s frigidity or resistance without too much negativity developing in the marriage. It is a part of our ministry to pray for Holy Spirit healing from many types of sexual brokenness that can occur in people’s lives so if you happen to be reading this blog, you will receive any of that which you may need in your life.

Generally for sexual therapy, solo masturbation is a recommended practice if it isn’t already being used by the frigid/resistant spouse as this is an important key to discovering your body and becoming comfortable with sexual touching and the best person to deliver that to your body is you. If you have a significant healing need, it may take weeks or months to accomplish that, and if you aren’t confident that you are seeing progress in this area, you may want to seek out a specialised pastoral ministry in your city or country. We don’t as yet offer personal counsel in our ministry as it is based entirely on intercessory healing prayer that makes up about 95% of what we do, the other 5% being this blog. Actual sexual therapy is a specialised branch of psychology and accredited sex therapists may have a postgraduate qualification in addition to a psychology degree, depending on the requirements for accreditation in each country.

This blog is written from the perspective that the husband and wife ideally have each practised masturbation from adolescence for the purpose of sexual development and therefore should be fully prepared for marital sex by each being comfortable with their own body and receiving physical pleasure from genital stimulation. Ideally this would also have addressed any sexual hangups that may be due to any particular life circumstances whether short or long term in effect. But of course in reality this is often not going to be the case and the act of sexual intimacy in marriage can bring new challenges with it. The husband and wife may find that they are able to pray for each other and through prayer and caring, help each other to become more intimate together as time goes on, but it may take some time, or else they may need to seek out specific counsel for particular issues or challenges that are making sexual intimacy a struggle.

As we have written before, we see as a key consideration the ongoing use of masturbation for the married partners in order to keep a strong and healthy marriage through continuous sexual development. This can be masturbation together or separately. One of the key uses of masturbation during marital sexual intercourse is to initiate and maintain arousal during the session. Many books on marital sex for Christians are probably based on complementarian theology and in effect instruct that the husband and wife should only touch the other, not themselves. Whilst serving each other is a key aspect of marital sex, we believe that this can include the overall outcome or objective of the sex session and does not prevent either partner from touching themselves (masturbating) during the session.

We therefore encourage the husband and wife to engage in a mixture of touching themselves and touching each other during the session. We believe that the wife in particular should place a strong emphasis on masturbating during the session in order to maintain her own arousal level on roughly a par with her husband as generally it will take longer for her to reach orgasm than her husband and during the time when the husband has inserted his penis and is thrusting, it is considerably easier for her to maintain a comparable level of sexual arousal by touching herself than it is for him to provide this, depending on which position they share, since in general it is preferable for her to orgasm at about the same time as him. Masturbating to bring on her orgasm with specific timing can also be focused on achieving multiple orgasms if she also wishes to experience this. Being comfortable with touching her body due to using masturbation as a tool of her own sexual development prior to and within the marriage also helps if she is able to become more horny during marital intercourse than would be the case if she had never masturbated. Obviously if she experiences sexual hangups and is able to overcome them then resulting increased horniness will enhance the marital sexual intercourse sessions with her husband.

This is the last part of the Sexuality For Singles series. We haven’t considered what topic we will write about next and it may be some weeks before we have any ideas for any future topic series that we might write, or whether we will even write any series in future. As has been clear during this series, having to rewrite several of the parts in some cases more than once is one of the issues that can arise with a series and tends to point to the idea one should just tag articles with common categories rather than a series with common titles.

Masturbation as a natural function of our bodies

We sometimes read the Scarleteen site, which has a category page for masturbation here

As always, when we link to another site or article, it doesn’t mean we are endorsing everything that is in that article or everything that is on that site. There is likely to be at least some content on that site that we won’t agree with, particularly given the overall theme of that site. But the actual reason for posting about these sites is to try to bring some balance in our discussions about masturbation.

Perhaps this page sums up masturbation quite well. It talks about some comparison of what masturbation is, compared to other similar things that go on in your body that are also to do with pleasure or touch. For example that your clothes feel good on your skin. We know that sheets feel good on our bare skin in our beds at night, and that in itself is important as just one of many examples. If the bed is warm it feels good, and so on.

We believe at this site that masturbation is really just something that is more or less a natural bodily function when someone practices it alone in private. The main issues are that it involves sexual bodily parts and therefore there are some implications, at least from a Christian perspective, when another person is involved. Christians believe that physical acts involving touching or viewing another person’s body can have an added spiritual component associated with them. This can occur whether the other person is physically present, in the form of media (physical or electronic), or in one’s thoughts, dreams or memories etc.

What we have sought to emphasise on this site is that we don’t believe there is an inherent spiritual component involved with masturbation when someone carries it out in private. There are risks for a person becoming addicted to masturbation, or invoking the sin of lust. However, neither of these are inherent to masturbation. A person who masturbates can choose not to lust and can control the frequency in which they practice it, and if those conditions are met. we believe it is not harmful to a person’s spiritual life or Christian faith.

We believe that, in fact, a Christian person can use masturbation to help resolve sexual struggles that they experience. Some examples are as follows:

  • Masturbation is very helpful for single people who don’t have an outlet for dealing with sexual pressures they face that cause them to be aroused.
    • For example, men’s bodies have a constant production of semen, which must be eventually expelled from the body. When this happens involuntarily it is called a wet dream. But a man can choose to masturbate to release the semen from his body (although some people dispute that there is any bodily pressure caused by semen production).
    • It’s also known nowadays that women have wet dreams, although exactly how this happens isn’t so clear. A woman can also become more aroused at certain times of her monthly cycle as her hormone levels change.
  • Masturbation can be an activity that is in fact part of the way in which a person’s sexuality and body develop during adolescence. Adolescents who masturbate gain knowledge of how their body responds to genital stimulation and become comfortable with it, which can be very helpful when they enter a relationship and marry. One of the most common issues we hear about in the evangelical church is that men and women are being taught not to think about sex or touch themselves when they are single, and then when they marry they somehow have to turn on their sexual desire and be capable of letting themselves be touched by their spouse. It can take years to overcome this conditioning, and in some cases require therapy, because of the negativity that is associated with self touching in singleness in some parts of the church.
  • Perhaps the most important aspect of masturbation from our Christian perspective is what we have referred to extensively on this blog as “sexual devotion”. For us, what matters most about masturbation is that if we believe masturbation is not itself sinful (just remember that it is not mentioned in such a context anywhere in the Bible at all) and if it is really a God given natural bodily function that is not a whole lot different from the way our other senses and appetites work in our bodies, then we can believe that it is possible to be blessed by masturbating. This is pretty much what we of this blog have created a key part of our ministry around, which is our own personal experiences of changing from feeling condemned and guilty for masturbating, to coming to a realisation that it is really just something that is built into our bodies and is therefore a worshipful act just like everything else we do that isn’t sinful.
    • Sexual devotion, then, is spending time in God’s presence dedicating our sexuality to His service. Masturbation can be a part of this because it can be a way of taming, training or disciplining the expression of our sexual desires to be expressed solely in this way.
    • We believe that sexual devotion in this way is effective for Christian men and women to release sexual tensions in their lives in a productive and healthy way when they are single, or from time to time in their marriage (with the knowledge of their spouse) and also as a lifelong activity when they need to refocus and re-dedicate their sexuality to Godly purposes. In fact in this day and age with the increasing range of pressures that men and women of God come under, it is practically essential for husbands and wives to regularly have some time on their own to practice sexual devotion to ensure that they are dealing with these pressures in a productive way.
    • We believe sexual devotion also blesses a marriage by enabling the husband (especially) to have a sexual outlet that is productive both in a physical sense and for spiritual refreshing, that removes the pressure from his wife as a sole sexual outlet.
    • We believe sexual devotion is also helpful in a marriage for relieving sexual tensions between the husband and wife, by allowing each of them in a time of sexual devotion to release those tensions to God. This assumes the tensions arise from the inherent differences between the male and female approach to sexuality and are not easily resolved in other ways. For comment about some of these differences have a read of our “Sexuality for Singles” series.
  • Masturbation is also a practice that a husband and wife can undertake together as a different way of having sex together, either by masturbating together or either one of them using masturbation as part of their foreplay. The traditional teaching has been to emphasis a very extreme view that the husband should only touch the wife’s body and the wife only the husband’s body, i.e. that neither of them should touch their own body. But in actuality, for either husband or wife, watching their spouse arouse him/herself can actually make a very constructive contribution to the shared sexual experience, and the key advantage for one or both touching themselves is having the direct feedback to their brain. We believe that the totality of husband and wife sharing their bodies with each other during sex is more important than specifics about who touches who.
  • Masturbating together can help a husband and wife in situations where full penetrative sex is difficult, for example the wife is pregnant or is recovering from pregnancy, maybe the husband has some sort of physical injury in his back or legs that makes it difficult for him to move, wife is having her period, one or both partners is significantly overweight, or other physical challenges.

So we hope writing about this stuff helps to create a more productive environment for Christians to discuss masturbation in a more meaningful way and overcome some of the negatives about it. We are big fans of egalitarianism as a theology that values and equalises the roles of women in the church, as opposed to complementarianism, which denigrates and minimises women. The key issue is that complementarian theology has invented the purity teaching for adolescents, and there isn’t yet much of a counter to these teachings in the egalitarian world. It is our greatest hope in our ministry that in time, egalitarianism will evolve beyond pure theological ministry considerations and cover a whole lot more of the broader issues of sexuality in marriage and singleness.

Sexuality For Singles (Part D)

Adolescence 3 / Young Adulthood (v2)

So we have spent the last couple of articles talking about the adolescent phase of human sexuality and how that is an important phase of sexual development for young people as they need the development of not just their physical bodies, but also their sexual organs, or reproductive systems. In singleness, of course, the reproductive aspect of these systems is not being utilised. However, in marriage, the reproductive aspect is also not being utilised, and it then becomes a question of the other purposes of a person’s sexual organs outside of reproduction, and how this can be realised in singleness while maintaining sexual purity and a personal Christian faith.

In a marriage the sharing of each other’s physical bodies is an act of physical and spiritual intimacy that also involves God. In singleness, aside from the involvement of God in one’s everyday life, essentially one is sharing one’s body with oneself. In other words, the act of masturbation for a single person is a means of sexual expression and fulfilment because they don’t have another person in their life to share that physical intimacy with. Religious legalists and conservatives often charge that masturbation is purely a selfish act of physical pleasure and cannot be compared in any way with the act of sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife in holy matrimony. It is true that masturbation cannot be the same as sexual intercourse because it only involves one person, but in that act, the person is learning how to be intimate with his or her self. In the act of sexual intercourse between two people, each of these people is learning about what makes the other person tick at the time when they are sharing their bodies together in bed, and that is what constitutes physical intimacy between two marriage partners. Sexual intercourse between two marriage partners can also be a selfish act of physical pleasure for both of those people. So while masturbation could be purely about physical pleasure in a selfish way, it can also be a time where that person who is masturbating is learning how to be sexually fulfilled in the time of singleness and be prepared for being sexually fulfilled in a future marriage.

We’ve entitled this part both about adolescence and young adulthood because today’s focus is on the development of sexual maturity for a young person that will usually parallel the development of physical maturity. At the beginning of their adolescence they will have only the immature knowledge that their bodies need this physical pleasure through touching themselves and that will be about all they will be focusing on to start with. For the larger percentage who do not have a Christian faith, masturbation will end up having a sinful focus as it becomes consumed in sexual lust, adultery and pornography. However, for a godly teenage girl or boy, staying focused on the principles of their faith will eventually see masturbation become more about an awareness of sexual fulfilment of their physical bodies, in particular their sexual organs. It is important that this becomes a key focus of masturbation for singles as they need to be focused on something during masturbation and it absolutely cannot be another person because that would bring sexual sin (idolatry or adultery) into the situation. Sexual fulfilment is a Godly blessing for Christians to be able to achieve and when a single Christian young woman or young man is achieving sexual fulfilment in a godly way, which may encompass other activities apart from masturbation, they are worshipping their creator. Masturbation is an act of sexual fulfilment for a single person because it is a recognition that their sexual organs are designed, amongst other things, to produce pleasure when physically touched or caressed, which eventually leads to an orgasm. In the act of masturbation, the goal is not solely the achievement of that pleasure, but the recognition that the pleasure is the reward received for achieving the orgasm, which is the primary means of sexual fulfilment for a single person. It is important for a Christian single person to focus masturbation in the context of achieving this sexual fulfilment on the assumption that it is a legitimate godly desire of their personal life and that it is an expression of their sexuality that is wholly in accordance with the way they were created by God and are expressing their love for Him in acts of worship.

What is an important aspect of adolescence for both males and females is how masturbation can contribute to their sexual development. We believe that masturbation is a very natural and normal thing for either a boy or a girl to discover during adolescence, and that it should be supported and encouraged for Christian adolescent boys and girls to masturbate as much as they need to in order to learn about the sexual aspects of their bodies during the time of puberty when there are such major changes taking place in their bodies. The important focuses for both Christian boys and girls at adolescence that should be emphasised in sex education by their parents is that masturbation is healthy and can be used within a framework of godly boundaries to make a positive contribution to a life of faith and maturing into a faithful Christian adult whose life is deeply pleasing to God and is suited for acts of service in life whether married or single in adulthood. Therefore there can be more to masturbation for Christian boys or girls during puberty than just physical pleasure, but as mentioned elsewhere, with limited understanding of sexuality early in adolescence, physical pleasure will tend to be a predominant factor, whereas as adolescence progresses, especially with the influence of ongoing Christian faith, the knowledge of a godly purpose of sexual development will become more important.

A very important aspect of sexual development for girls or women in particular is related to our changing theology that has tended to follow the development of gender roles in society. There is still so much condemnation of females inherent in complementarian theology practised in many churches. Christian egalitarianism has made inroads into much of this, but is still only recognised by a small number of larger churches, and has as yet no counterpart to purity culture (“True Love Waits”, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and other moralising publications and programmes that urge women to repress their physical desires and portray them as sexual objects for godly men to possess and use). The best thing that could come out of our work is that we have produced an egalitarian counter-culture to the damaging puritianism. We do want to state at this juncture that we believe women and girls are in the same position as men and boys in being able to make their own decisions about when, how and how often to masturbate, as a personal matter between them and God, or between them, a spouse and God. Women do have a greater range of physical means of stimulation of their genitals compared to men, as well as being able to orgasm multiple times in a single masturbation session, and have a shorter refractory time between multiple masturbation sessions. No adolescent or adult woman should feel condemned in any way, for negative implications or suggestions such as that she is too young to be masturbating, that she masturbates at a high frequency, that she prefers to insert a toy or fingers into her vagina, or that she uses both hands to stimulate her vulva, or likes to suck on her own nipples. We believe none of these issues are inherently linked to sinfulness; we only suggest that men or women who masturbate read the list of gotchas in Part B of our Masturbation For Christians 101 Series. For any Christian adolescent or adult women, masturbation need only be focused on godliness and personal devotion to God to be in support of a lifestyle of sexual purity.