Identity

What About M? Part 2

MW Editor’s Note: This is the conclusion of the two-part series on masturbation. This is taken from the book Mentoring Warriors. You can find the book for purchase at this link. https://mentoring-warriors.com/product/mentoring-warriors-hard-cover/

Lust expresses itself in a host of ways.  Some of us guys have very creative minds.  It takes very little to stimulate us visually.  Our minds quickly fantasize and the next thing we know, we’ve masturbated, again.  For others, we like to add into the mix pornography.  We objectify women imagining ourselves in the act.  Some guys have to go real-time.  Losing their virginity for the gain of a short-term sexual release rings a bell that can’t be undone.  It also complicates a host of relationships.  Pre-marital sex is more prevalent among even Christ-followers than we realize.

Lust and M

Imagine with me that it’s possible to masturbate without lusting.  Studies have shown that there is a very minor population of men who can masturbate without lusting.  Lusting while masturbating creates a disconnection from reality.  Your brain creates endorphins to a level that you go into a fantasy world.  After your sexual release, you zone back in to your surroundings.  For the few men who can masturbate without disconnecting, I’d like to visit with you.  Masturbating without lusting seems to be an oxymoron.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I’m saying that the way the male brain is wired makes it extremely difficult to arouse yourself sexually without wanting to have sex with a woman.  Before you want to split hairs on a loophole that lets you masturbate and not call it sin, let’s talk through this issue.

Giver or Taker?

From creation, God made man to be the giver; the woman the receiver.  Anatomically, that is how we are made.  Your penis gets erect for the purpose of sexual intercourse with your wife. You ejaculate sperm into her vagina for pro-creation (babies) and pleasure.  When you masturbate, you are pleasing yourself; whether you lust in the process or not.  Repeat masturbation enough and you actually re-wire the neuropathways of your brain to find pleasure in yourself.  Your default is self-stimulation.  That is not normal.  It’s not how God wired you from the beginning.  Think of it this way.  Let’s say you started masturbating when you were 15.  Let’s say you are now 25 and about to get married.  On average you’ve masturbated once a week for ten years.  That’s around 500 times you’ve told your body to take care of itself first.  Whether it’s been generated by your own fantasies or using porn, your mind is wired to first seek sexual pleasure before giving it away.  So, picture yourself on your wedding night.  Imagine you and your new bride have done all you can to not have premarital sex.  The honeymoon is here and you two are about to share your first intimate moments together.  Be honest, what’s going through your mind?  Are you delighting in your bride with a deep desire to please her? Or is your mind racing through lustful images that create in you a greater interest in what you get out of sexual pleasure with your new wife?  On top of that, if you have been wrestling with porn, even if it’s now a thing of the past, the question you have to answer is when you are having sexual intercourse with your wife, what images are going through your mind?  Porn or your beautiful bride?  If porn, and your wife could read your mind at that very moment, what would happen to the intimacy between the two of you?  

Whose Body is it Anyway?

Another way to think of masturbation is this.  Let’s say you are a once-a-week guy.  Lust and frankly stress relief are your two major reasons to take care of yourself.  Now that you are in your mid-20s and about to get married, those 500+ times of masturbating have definitely built into you a bad habit.  Do you honestly think it’s going to just stop once you get married?  Granted, if you and your wife have frequent sex and it’s good, masturbation will still be there lurking in the back of your mind.  When you two are apart due to business trips or she’s off seeing her folks, will you suddenly resort back to masturbation?  You can say you won’t, but I am telling you that when everything in you feels like it’s going to explode, those bad habits will feel like a massive war of temptation to sin; even if you have justified in your head that masturbation isn’t a sin.  Why?  The moment you and your wife say “I do”, the Bible says you give up the authority of your body to your spouse.  (Read 1 Corinthians 7).  The entire purpose of your sexuality is to please your wife.  When your wife is not around or not able to satisfy you, you have no God-given right to please yourself.   

So, let’s circle back to the beginning. What about M?  If you never gave it much thought, as if it’s a normal part of a guy’s life, or have been fighting it for a really long time, you can see that it’s part and parcel of a greater issue called lust.  Don’t punish yourself because you feel like you have RBS (raging bull syndrome).  Thank God your body is alive sexually and start finding a wife!  Align yourself with the principles outlined in this book of consistency in God’s Word (to help rewire your brain) and to intentionally pursue accountability.  Every young warrior I’ve mentored that has struggled with masturbation wants help.  If that is you, I ask and plead with you to get help.  The last thing you need to do is keep this issue to yourself.  Build a relationship with a mentor you can trust and work through this issue.  It will take time, but I’m just saying that someday, one day, you will be so glad you got a handle on this issue of masturbation.  Your wife will thank you for it!

Postscript

In last week’s post, we mentioned addressing a particular issue related to masturbation. I referenced Dictionary.com’s partial definition of masturbation which included the idea of masturbation being mutual with someone else.  There are two contexts I’d like to address.  The first is what I call the Discovery Phase.  In adolescent male development, when he’s starting to figure out his sexuality, guys will pose and posture their sexuality as a way to express manhood.  In some cases, guys will masturbate in front of each other.  In some cases, they masturbate each other. A social worker I know, who deals with family custody issues, tells me that he encounters these types of problems more than any of us want to know.  The reason I even bring this up is if that was or is your experience, it can become a precursor to same-sex attractions.  This is a complex issue and needs to be brought up with your mentor.  You may also need some healthy counseling beyond what your mentor can provide.  

The other aspect of mutual masturbation that I want to bring up is within the context of marriage. Some warriors are married and enjoy a healthy sex life with their spouses.  Mutual masturbation can have its place in marriage.  There are times when sexual intercourse just isn’t in the cards. Pregnancies and surgeries may prevent you two from having sex together.  Talk it through with your wife and come to an agreement on the entire issue.  Whether you follow Christ or not, this is an issue that you two need to work through.  

If you find masturbation has become a repeat habit and you want help to overcome it, reach out to us at Mentoring Warriors at info@mentoring-warriors.com We can at least provide resources to help you find answers.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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