The Big M (Masturbation)


First, let me say that there are some wonderful resources out there about masturbation in the context of Christianity and marriage. I will have a few links at the end of this post to some of these that you may want to check out. Today, however, I want to take a few minutes to write my own thoughts about masturbation as a high drive wife. The question really forms, in my mind, in one of two ways – as a high drive wife who has sex (but not as often as she wants), and as the high drive wife whose husband refuses her almost completely.

The main question, in both of these cases, seems to be, “Can I masturbate to take the edge off?”
A word of caution, please read through this whole post to get the full picture of my thoughts on this subject. If you stop half way through it will seem very one-sided. 

I will be up front and honest with you right away. I don’t masturbate. I never have. I can’t say I never will, but I haven’t to this point. However, even though I don’t masturbate, I don’t think that there is anything inherently wicked or sinful in the act itself.

I wrote earlier about the fact that sex matters, and that it is holy. For me, these are foundational thoughts in my approach to masturbation. If sex is not just a physical act between two people, but a much deeper, richer and truer picture of Christ and the church then the difficulty with using masturbation as a “substitute” for sex is that, well, it isn’t. Self-sex is actually not really sex at all. Sex is between a man and a woman and is created to be a wonderful, rich, holy experience that draws us together and glorifies God. There have been many wives who have told me that they tried using masturbation to take the edge off only to end up feeling lonelier and sadder than they were to begin with. Yes, the edge is off their physical drive, but not off their souls. And isn’t that, in some ways, what sex does? It takes the edge off our souls.

As I pondered this more, I came up with a short list of my personal views on the differences between sex with your spouse and masturbation:

Sex Masturbation
Brings physical release

Helps us feel closer to our spouse

Takes the “edge off” our souls

Says “all shall be well” to the world

Created by God for oneness

Going by all of that, you would think that I am staunchly against masturbation. But actually, I am not.

I want to go back to the two parties I am writing to: a high drive wife who isn’t getting as much sex as she would like, and a wife who is completely refused. And I want to say that sometimes there is no quick & easy way to tell what camp you are in. But if you are getting sex at least a few times month, you are probably in the first camp. (Please note I said probably – again, only you can truly know where you are in your marriage).

So what would I say to the high drive wife who isn’t getting as much sex as she desires? I would say, first, that you need to pray. Ask the Lord to help your heart so that you can walk in wisdom. Ask yourself the hard questions – are you being selfish in the way you communicate your need for sex? Are you fueling your sexual drive with movies/books/imaginations that are unhealthy? Second, you must talk to your husband! Pray and ask the Lord to give you the right words. Words that are full of love and grace. Ask the Lord to help you communicate in a way that opens your husbands eyes and draws you closer as a couple. As far as masturbation goes – I would caution you to try and keep yourself from engaging in it, as it has the potential to increase your sex drive. Also, masturbation can often bring more intense orgasms than your husband can provide, which might lead to disappointment in your marriage bed, which can be very harmful. 

What about if you are a refused wife, not having your sexual needs met in any way? I would also urge you to pray. Prayer is, simply, the most powerful tool we have. To you, I would say that masturbation should be approached carefully, with Jesus involved. He is the True Husband, is He not? He created our sex drive. He knows our needs. And masturbation may be a way to help keep the enemy from opening a very dangerous door of adultery or wandering eyes. If you can truly bring masturbation before Christ & engage Him in all things, then masturbation may be a possible tool for you.

My final word? I don’t think masturbation is wrong. But I am cautious about it.  I think it can be a dangerous tool, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t sometimes a helpful one. Especially as a high drive wife. It can be a way to “guard the door” against adultery.  It can help take the physical edge off, but (in my opinion), not much more. And here, as anywhere, our Loving Father is the best source for wisdom and strength. Don’t hide yourself from Him. Talk to Him as you truly would a best friend.

I am praying for you today, dear sisters. Praying hope and life and encouragement into your hearts. Praying wisdom and strength for your minds. Pray for me too. Pray that I would be able to fully engage in all that I have in front of me right now. Pray that I wouldn’t grow weary in well-doing.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this important topic. Are there places you disagree? Did I miss out on something important?

Lets talk.

P.S. Here are those links I promised:
Masturbation in Marriage – The Marriage Bed
Is Masturbation Wrong? – Christian Apologetics

11 thoughts on “The Big M (Masturbation)

  1. This is an awesome post and thank you for writing it! I love that part where you say you are “cautious”! I think that many women and men for that matter are looking for masturbation to alleviate the emotional disconnect they feel and it really works on the physical. I love your balances approach. Too many feel that masturbation is the end all-either side. Thank you so much for writing this and I look forward to interacting with you more in the future. This is a much needed blog! Blessing, Kate of One Flesh Marriage

  2. A well done, balanced post – THANKS!

    I think it is, as you suggest, an individual matter. I have talked to those who say it helps them be less angry and hurt about the lack of sex, and those who say it actually makes them more angry and hurt. For the first group it seems like a good thing, for the second not so much.

    I’ve also talked to those who say it reduces their temptation to sin (be that porn or adultery) and those who say it leaves the more tempted (especially to porn).

    I would also say that what is in the mind is a major factor. If it can’t be done with thoughts of one’s spouse, that is a real problem.

    Thanks again

  3. In my sexless marriage, masturbation has removed the physical edge and that has helped me remain faithful, especially in those times when opportunities with other women were readily available.

    Masturbation does nothing to fill the emotional emptiness that is created in such a marriage, but at least I’m not walking around feeling like I’m plugged in to an electrical outlet all day. Without it, I have not doubt that the unmet physical and emotional needs would drive me into the arms of another woman.

    Masturbation is an emergency pressure relief valve…one I would prefer never having to use in the first place.

  4. I believe you are right in your thought of it opening a door to having an even higher drive, this is the situation I’ve ran into with it. Also correct with the intensity of it as I can have extremely intense orgasms every time as opposed to only sometimes with my hubby. Only within the past year my hubby (yes, my not so spicy hubby!!) expressed his displeasure with my decision to turn to it. In order to honor my hubby’s wishes I have stopped and I have come to realize the things you have already pointed out. It wasn’t making me feel closer to him, it was making me feel more distanced. It wasn’t making me feel completely relieved b/c I still wanted more. It wasn’t helping to turn my marriage into what God intended for us. I’m glad he asked me to stop and I’m glad I seek him out for all of my sexual needs even if they aren’t met to my satisfaction or as often as I like. I know things will improve in my marriage in this arena as long as I continue to honor my hubby and my God. Great post!!

    • Thanks for your thoughts on this. As a woman who has never been down this road, I am glad to know that it echoes truth and that you have found the journey to be similar to what I describe. Thanks for being vulnerable here & sharing. I so appreciate it.

      • Not all women feel this way. I have tried masturbation to cope with being ignored by my husband and I am totally unable to orgasm from it at all. Every time I start to get getting at all excited, I realise how fruitless it is to be doing it alone. In my first marriage, my husband loved watching me – and I enjoyed that greatly because he enjoyed it greatly and wanted me to do it for his pleasure. But doing it alone, for oneself? it is truly depressing and my heart breaks a little more each time I try.

  5. Great post – just found your blog via J at HHH! Have been reading and wishing I had found you earlier in my marriage but am thankful for your insight now. We are a Hope-in-progress. I am truly thankful and awed by the Man I married, and so appreciate his willingness to address this with me -fighting alongside of me. Just one other thought about masturbation – my husband, in his desire to help me with my desire, has on occasion suggested that he ‘help me’ to masturbate. My masturbation is not done in secret. Nor is It done frequently, but as the higher drive spouse there are often times I would like to engage and he is just not up for it. So, he will offer to provide the assist. We assess this on a case by case basis. Sometimes it isn’t a good idea and we don’t pursue it. Other times it does help to draw us closer together, and I believe that I could honestly check off the other spaces on your list as well – it takes the edge off of my soul, makes ‘all well in the world’, and (I think) does honor the oneness for which we were designed by a loving God. Occasionally the added benefit is that in seeing me so aroused, he becomes such in a manner he had not anticipated – and we are able to spend time together in the Biblical sense at a later point that day or the next. Score! 🙂

    • LP,

      You bring up a great point. I think that when a husband assists a wife in masturbation, well, I am not sure I would call it masturbation 🙂 I guess defining it would have been a helpful thing here, but masturbation, in my mind, is self-sex, and therefore does not involve anyone else. But if you have a (wonderful) husband who is willing to help you get there, then yes! I think that is a great gift to your marriage & points to a man who is humble and willing to serve you. Welcome to the blog & I am so glad you are also a hope-in-process story.

  6. I am so thankful and joyous when my husband is interested. Usually once a month, I am not going to do anything to jinx it. We enjoy each other and he always orgasms, but I have multiple orgasms and don’t find a complete release… I do end up masturbating to finish off my needs, but I wait until he is asleep or I go in private to the restroom.

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