The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello,

I am a 14 year old male whom is a strong believer in Christ and a great admirer of your articles and sermons. I have read most of your articles on masturbation, fetishes and pornography and I completely agree with all of your points, but there are still some things I am not sure about. Let me explain my situation. I have a similar condition to a person you previously answered a question for in your Q&A article, "I was born with a foot fetish. Is that a sin?" in that I have a predicament in which I am sexually aroused by an abnormal phenomenon, in my case tickling of female feet, but I am not so fixed on it as to call it a fetish, as I can be sexually aroused by normal means. For about a year now, I have used masturbation as a means of releasing any little sexual tension I had, and as such I never have found it to be an obstacle in the way of my normal living, but rather as one of my private quirks. But the thing I am most concerned about is that I use non-pornographic videos of women having their feet tickled as a sort of catalyst in masturbation, but I do not lust after them sexually in any way shape or form, as I know that is a terrible sin. I exclude any sexual or pornographic thoughts, thinking only of tickling women's feet while masturbating. Also something I want to add in is that I think about tickling girls I have crushes on, but never sexually, as it is disgusting and sinful. So these are my basic questions:

  1. Is having this sexual attraction to tickling female feet, not being a total fixated fetish, a sin?
  2. Is it a sin to masturbate using non-pornographic, as in nudity and sexual content, videos like the ones mentioned above?
  3. Is it a sin to fantasize about tickling specific women's feet, non-sexually of course, or would that be lust?
  4. Is my thinking of me tickling girls whom I like while masturbating a sin?
  5. If any of these things are sinful, what should I do in order to change my habits to make them non-sinful?

Answer

First, my congratulations on your schooling because you do not write like a fourteen year old, nor are you looking at yourself as most fourteen year olds would.

It is extremely easy to be compulsive when you are an adolescent. Your brain is rewiring itself from childish thought patterns to adult thought patterns and in the process it is easy to create compulsive habits. This is why many companies target teenagers for their products, knowing that habits established now will continue through your adulthood. This is also why the government tries to limit teenagers from exposure to things that will cause them problems later in life, such as alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. These things carry their own addictiveness and when you add it to the compulsiveness of youth, they become habits that are very hard to break.

Ejaculating has its own addictiveness in the form of orgasm. Chemicals are released when you have an orgasm that make you desire what it is that lead up to the orgasm. The design of the system is to enhance your attraction to your wife, but Satan uses that strong desire as a way to pull us off track.

While you are not currently totally fixated on tickling a woman's feet to get sexually aroused, you are heading down that path. Each time you engage in that thought pattern or watch videos of it happening and then masturbate to it, you reinforce it. Since other means are not being reinforced because you know they are sinful, the result will be a full-blown fetish. This is one of those things that are not sinful because it doesn't break a law of God, yet is also not good for you because it can easily lead to sin in the future.

You keep emphasizing that it isn't sexual, in that your obsession doesn't involve the sexual parts of a woman, yet you've made it into something sexual because you masturbate to it. Thus, in reality, it is sexual to you. It really isn't all that much different from the guys who are fascinated by a woman's breasts.

Another thing to consider is why tickling? John tells us that there are three basic kinds of lusts: "For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world" (I John 2:16). Lust of the flesh is involved because you are ejaculating to this, but I take it that isn't so much the feet as the tickling that sets you off. Tickling is a form of exerting control over another human against their will. Such falls in the category of "pride of life." There is an element here of getting aroused because you are controlling another person. That too is not a good trait to cultivate.

Now think of it this way, tickling might be fun for a moment once in a while, but it gets old really quick. Your wife isn't going to enjoy being tickled every time you have sex. Too much of it and she'll rightly see that as abusive.

While what you are doing at the moment might not be labeled as sinful, I'm hoping you see that it likely will lead to sinful conduct. You are better off breaking the habit that you are building. If you masturbate, do it because your body needs to ejaculate, not because you get aroused by any particular situation. When someone is involved in masturbating to some material, my typical recommendation is that you limit where you can masturbate to only in the shower. Not only is it a private place, but it also makes it impractical or impossible to look at material while doing it.

Thank you very much for your advice. I now see that my habits are not constructive, and so I shall take your advice and try to put an end to them.