In light of May being the International Masturbation Month, I thought we might dive right into how masturbation and faith come together (no pun intended). I think we all have memories of the first time we might have experienced pleasure below the belt. Some encountered the arm of a couch while others found it with the vibration of their parent’s back massager. Some had their favorite teddy bear while others woke up to a messy wet dream. Everyone’s got their story of their first time experiencing that new and foreign tingle below their belt.
I vividly remember the moment I came to understand what all the craze was about. I can’t remember where I’d heard it from. Maybe someone in my friend group mentioned it. Or maybe I saw it in a porno magazine. No matter where it came from, something enticed me on that day. I was alone in my bedroom. I pulled my pants down, grabbed my dick, and began to stroke it. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I remember thinking, “I’m not really sure what all the hype is about, but I’m going to try it out for at least a minute.” After a few moments of mindlessly stroking my limp dick, it started to grow, becoming more rigid. I was quite surprised! What was my body doing?
Then the pleasure started to kick in.
My eyes were being opened for the first time revealing why guys stroked their dicks. Before that moment, I was completely naive having absolutely no connections in my brain that touching my dick could be pleasurable. I guess I thought it was just something guys did? I have no idea... Like many young boys, this one moment was pivotal in my sexual discovery. This connection between my dick and a new kind of pleasure opened a Pandora's box. My alone time was forever changed.
It didn’t take long for my alone time to be covered in a haze of shame by Church culture.
Growing up, many of my youth group lessons warned of sexual immorality. Sexual immorality was always an immensely broad term though. It would include same-sex relations, premarital sex, anal sex, oral sex, viewing pornography, thinking about the opposite sex, how women dressed, and of course masturbation. Reflecting on this as an adult, it is scary how sexual immorality was never focused on things such as, manipulation, toxicity, sexual abuse, or even rape. Scripture was weaponized to scare me away from my own self discovery, ultimately damaging my self-image and relationship with my dick. It taught me to be ashamed of my own pleasure. I was only taught of the dangers of masturbation. Reasons spanning from how masturbation somehow damages my future marriage to how the act of masturbating is demonically inspired. I was a child! As I’ve grown older and become more acquainted with Scripture myself, I’ve come to understand masturbation more in the context of Jesus’ parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30.
In this parable, a man leaves money for three different servants while he is away. That's it! No instruction of what he wants them to do with the money, just leaves them with his money and dips out. After a long time, he comes back to find two of the servants have invested his money and made more. He is pleased and says to both servants, “Well done, good and faithful servants.” The third servant did not invest. Instead, this servant was fearful and buried the money so as to not lose it. When the master returned, the third servant dug it up and gave back what was the master’s. The master was not pleased, and condemned the servant for being lazy for doing nothing with what was given to them. We too have been left with a great gift.
The gift of masturbation.
Masturbating has been shown to have many benefits. Benefits that only God could have created it to be. Why would we squander it?
Rubbing one out has biologically built-in benefits! These are just a few:
Masturbation can release sexual tension and let people explore their sexuality gaining knowledge of what they like or dislike safely
Rubbing one out is a safe sexual activity for people who are choosing to abstain from partnered sex
Choking the chicken lets people become familiar with their own sexual responses which can help them to communicate their wants and needs to their sexual partner or partners
Flicking the bean helps with relaxation
Cuffing the carrot promotes better sleep
Petting the cat promotes the release of the brain’s opioid-like neurotransmitters (called endorphins), which cause feelings of physical and mental wellbeing
DJing downstairs reduces stress
Polishing the banister enhances self-esteem and body image
Dialing the rotary phone has been shown to help relieve menstrual cramps
Some studies have shown that men who ejaculate more often are less likely to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer
Masturbation has the power to relieve stress of work, family dynamics, relationship drama, or any of the harsh realities we encounter in our day to day lives. Masturbation capable of invoking sleep when we lie awake reliving a difficult moment from the day, worrying about tomorrow, or maddening nights of insomnia. Mutual masturbation can help to avoid the painful consequences of unwanted pregnancies and STIs all while maintaining the ability to be intimate with someone you care about.
Masturbation betters our health in many ways and the only one who made it so, is God. I believe that scientific discovery has no choice but to point to a God of infinite creation. Science is the discovery and understanding of how our universe operates. It is a glimpse into how God created everything from our vast universe to the intimate inner workings of our mind and everything in between. Why would we ignore it or waste it? If anything, Jesus’ parable of the talents calls us to use the gifts God has given. Not only to use these gifts, but to invest in what God has given so that we might multiply its benefits. Including masturbation.
But what about Genesis 38:8-10? This "clearly" shows that spilling semen outside of a vagina is sinful.
The story from Genesis 38 tells of a family dynamic that is, in today's standards, quite dysfunctional to say the least. Judah is desperately trying to get his bloodline passed on by choosing a woman, Tamar, to be the wife to his son, Er. But Er did some bad things and apparently God killed him for that. Then Judah orders his other son, Onan, to have sex with Tamar in order to continue his bloodline. But it's clear that if Tamar gets pregnant, the child will belong to Tamar and his dead brother, Er. Onan does not like that deal. Instead of giving Tamar a creampie, he reverts to the classic pullout method. Then God didn’t like this either and killed Onan. This is what some Christians point to masturbation being a sin. There is an awful lot to unpack from this story that could be a sermon all by itself.
This form or procreation is not ethical in the standards of Western culture today. It is not okay for a man to pass around his daughter-in-law in order to ensure his bloodline is passed along. This is abuse. This is not a story telling us that masturbation is sinful. It is a story encapsulated within the context of a culture where women were property and not of much use other than continuing a man’s bloodline. Lets stop ignoring the context of this story and stop using it as any kind of example against masturbation. It is a stretch to even connect this story to the act of masturbation.
If this story has been taught to you in efforts to discourage you from reaching between your legs, I urge you to let it go as this story has nothing to do with masturbation. Go ahead, rub one out!
But what about how most people use porn in order to masturbate?
First of all, porn is not a requirement to masturbate. Just because YOU look at porn to masturbate does not make it a requirement for everyone. Plenty of us masturbate without porn. Please stop pointing to porn as a scapegoat to demonize masturbation.
Second, porn is not inherently wrong or unethical. Are there ugly aspects to pornography use and unethical practices within the porn industry? Yes. But there are ugly aspects to church as well. Look at the pedophiles, white supremacists, mass shooters, or rapists that are cultivated from church communities. But I don’t hear much about how people shouldn’t engage in church due to these connections (although maybe we should). My point is, just because porn is connected to harmful and unethical practices, this doesn’t mean we can’t navigate the world of porn and engage in ethical forms of pornography.
I think one of the first things we can do in search of engaging in porn ethically is to pay for it. A lot of unethical porn that uses, abuses, and dehumanizes people come from free websites. If you want to masturbate to porn ethically, be willing to pay for the service or pay the content creators. Many porn sites that have a cost to them operate in better conditions. The performers are compensated more appropriately for their work on top of having standards for their workplace. Do research into places like onlyfans.com, lustcinema.com, queercrush.com or other forms of ethical pornography if you want to make sure that your porn consumption is treating individuals ethically. Being willing to pay someone for their time, efforts, and services to help you orgasm opens the door to mutual respect while honoring each other’s human dignity. Porn doesn’t have to be immoral if you’re willing to take the time and effort to support better porn.
Again, go ahead and rub one out!
But what about the fact that no one can look at someone naked without lusting for them?
Is lusting bad? Sure. But is lust simply looking at a naked person? Absolutely not.
Many Christians would point to Jesus' teaching from the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5:27-28. Jesus says, “‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’” I would agree here. Anyone who looks at anyone with lust in their heart has fallen short of loving that person.
But lust is not simply looking at someone naked or imagining them naked. Lust is when we see someone as an object for our pleasure. When a person becomes nothing more than a means to an end. When I fail to recognize a person’s imago dei, I have fallen short of loving my neighbor. God has made us all incredible, beautiful, and in Their image. I believe that when we recognize someone’s physical beauty while upholding their inherent Godly creation, we begin to bridge the gap between lust and love. I can watch a woman experience pleasure on my computer screen, be aroused, and hold her imago dei in my heart. Lust is not an action, it is a state of mind. How we look at others determines if we should keep our eyes or pluck them out.
Look at people with love, dignity, and just rub one out already!
God gave us many reasons to rub one out.
Sure, masturbation can come with a lot of unhealthy practices and mindsets. That does not mean masturbation is inherently evil or destructive. Actually, the fact that many churches only teach masturbation as being inherently bad or sinful is what’s destructive. It gives no thought or language to engaging in masturbation in a healthy manner. It gives no option to see people’s sexuality as something beautiful that ought to be loved with the words we use, the thoughts we have, or the feelings we carry in our hearts. We are called, as Christians, to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength as well as to love our neighbors. This includes loving one another’s sexuality.
If you’ve been taught to carry shame, like I was, every time you masturbate, it is time to let that shit go. Do not allow the destructive dogma stop you from investing in the gifts that God has given you in masturbation. Take the time to do it right. Love God, love others, and love yourself! Do your research and watch porn that supports its creators and workers. If you haven’t already, change your inner dialogue to see people in their fullness. Recognize them for the beautiful human God made them to be and see they are good. Invest in the benefits of masturbation and thank God for giving us benefits with something that feels so good!
Find your private space and rub one out already!
THANK GOD FOR MASTURBATION!
THANK GOD FOR SEX!
-The Dirty Minister
Benefits of masturbation: