I received this question from a reader recently.
Eddie, I have been happily married for 13 years and my wife and I have sex approximately once a week. I also masturbate (without pornography) about two times a week. Do you believe I have a sexual integrity issue?
From: Wanting to Honor Her
There are several questions I would need answers to before I could give you an insightful answer. First, does your wife know you masturbate several times a week? If the answer is no, the follow-up question is why does she not know. My assumption would be you are too embarrassed to tell her or you know she would be upset and disapprove of your actions.
That being said, let’s say your wife does know and approves of your masturbation habit. That would lead to this final question. When you masturbate do you fantasize about your wife or do your fantasies involve other people or pornographic images you may have seen in the past. If you are masturbating to fantasies of other people than I would say you are struggling with a sexual integrity issue. Why?
Let’s turn to Matthew 5:28. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Jesus tells us when we lust after anyone who is not our spouse we are dishonoring our wife. And at the same time, we are dishonoring the person we lust after because we are objectifying her.
If your wife approves of your masturbating and you are fantasizing about her then I cannot with a honest heart claim you have a sexual integrity issue. There is nothing in the Bible that discusses masturbation. However, there is much in the Bible that speaks about being faithful and honoring your wife.
I would leave you with this last thought to ponder. What is going on in your world that you insist you need more sex than your wife can provide? Perhaps what you are really seeking is not about sex at all. Hope this helps.
Eddie Capparucci, MA, LPC is a licensed Christian counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA. He is certified in the treatment of sexual addiction. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more of his writing at his blogs: