By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CSRRS, CCSAS, CPCS
The question I’m asked often by married men is masturbation “wrong”.
My answer is three-fold. First, masturbation leads to lustful thoughts. I have yet to meet a man who claimshe can masturbate without the aid of sexual thoughts. So, let’s stay here for amoment. I think we would all agree, men who struggle with pornography or sexual addictions should not be focusing on sexual thoughts or fantasy. In fact, we train them to do the opposite and learn to control compulsive sexual thoughts.
Scripture tellsus focusing on sexual thoughts is not healthy for our relationship or ourselves.
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that could defile the body and the spirit, and thus accomplish holiness out of reverence for God.” 1 Cor. 7:1
Notice the words in bold. Unhealthy sexual thoughts lead to erosion of men. Strike One against masturbation.
The second part of my answer is masturbation is pseudo intimacy. Sex is an amazing and wonderful gift designed by God to help married couples enhance their emotional intimacy and connection. In his book, Sacred Sex Tim Alan Gardner points out:
“Sex is comforting,and naturally reduces anxiety,” he said. “These are wonderful byproducts of healthy, marital sexuality. Sex is not meant, however, to be used like a drug.”
And when we masturbate that is how we use sex – like a drug. We use masturbation to help us distract from emotional/mental distress or obtain an adrenaline rush. That is the same as having a little too much to drink with the exception that it doesn’t produce a hangover. Instead sex is an activity we are to share and enjoy withour spouse.
The third and final point is this, clinical studies have been indicating masturbation can lead to a host of sexual dysfunctions including erectile dysfunction and retarded ejaculation.
So, to answer the question, is masturbation wrong? The answer is yes, in that it shifts true intimacy away from a couple and moves it to pseudo intimacy for an individual. The answer is yes, in that it results in men turning to fantasy for lustful supposes instead of turning to their spouse for mutual enjoyment.