Last updated on August 23, 2020
After reading some of the questions under the ‘masturbation‘ category on your web site, I am still a little bit confused. I do masturbate sometimes, but I don’t use pornography and I don’t think of sexual thoughts when doing it. The only reason I’m doing it is because it feels good. So is this sin? I’m really unsure because of how you replied on your web site. I don’t use porn and I don’t think of sex, but I do it because it feels good instead of doing it “mechanically.”
You are doing what I referred to as “mechanically” for the lack of a better description. Just because something feels good, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it is wrong. The problem is that Satan often uses things that we find pleasurable as leverage to do things that are wrong. Thus, while ejaculation is simply a bodily process, Satan tempts numerous boys to use pornography, and thoughts of fornication, to get themselves sexually excited enough to ejaculate. It is the use of pornography and thoughts of fornication that is sinful. Masturbation, in and of itself is not classified as being sinful in the Bible.
Masturbation causes pleasurable feelings because of the arousal, the orgasm that accompanies ejaculation, and the mild feeling of relief when the seminal vesicles are emptied. It can become a problem for some boys when they get obsessed with pleasure, but that isn’t happening to you. It sounds as if you are using masturbation as a means of managing your body, and I know of nothing against that in the Scriptures.
But what if I do it when I want to satisfy myself with that pleasure, instead of feeling the need to empty my seminal vesicles? Say, I do it once or twice a week just to relax and satisfy myself for a bit. Does this count as sin?
Also, sometimes in school I would be aroused by sexual jokes or topics that I overhear from people, then I would have the desire to masturbate. Is this sin too?
Also, just curious, in your answers you were saying anal sex is wrong because the purpose of the anus isn’t for having sex, then isn’t oral sex wrong, too, as our mouths are not created for having sex?
Another question: Is it wrong to masturbate with friends?
Sorry for asking so many questions, but one more question: If my parents ever find out I masturbate, how can I face them? (I would say my parents think masturbating is a sin.)
Because something is pleasurable, it does not mean it is sinful. I can enjoy a slice of chocolate cake, but it is not the enjoyment that makes eating a slice of chocolate cake a sin. It could be a sin if I was overeating (that is being a glutton) or if I was diabetic and the sugars in the desert was causing my body harm. But in itself, eating a slice of chocolate cake is not sinful.
Masturbation is pleasurable, but that pleasure does not tell us whether it is sinful or not. After examining everything I could find on the topic in the Bible, I found nothing that condemns the act of masturbation. See: “I’m still confused, is masturbation right or wrong?” It can be used for sinful practices, but the act itself is not called sinful by God.
When you hear sexual jokes or topics, it gets your body aroused. Even if your penis does not become erect, still the body responds in various ways, including the speeding up of the production of semen. As the semen builds up, other parts of your body respond by increasing your urge for sexual release. This is what you you are interpreting as a desire to masturbate, whether you realize the source cause or not.
That is the physical aspect of it, but the question is if this is sinful. The urge itself is not, it is just the body responding to conditions as it was designed by God to do. However, there is sin involved. “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:3-6). Dirty jokes or topics are not fitting for Christians because at the root of these jokes and talk is the acceptance of sinful behavior.
Oral sex is the use of the mouth to stimulate another person’s body to respond sexually. It can include having the penis in the mouth, but it is not limited to this. Between a married couple, such sexual touching is acceptable. “Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (I Corinthians 7:1-4). It is easy to make the mistake that only sexual intercourse is being discussed, but notice that Paul introduces the topic by talking about sexual touching. Such touches can include more than just the hands.
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love” (Proverbs 5:18-19). A man is to find sexual satisfaction in his wife’s breasts. This is accomplished through various manners of touching and can include the use of the mouth and tongue. But notice that Solomon also talked about man’s fountain being blessed (or happy). Your fountain is where the liquid comes out — i.e. your fountain is your penis. This passage is about a husband and wife finding sexual enjoyment in each other’s body. Not just intercourse, but through various forms of touching as well.
At the end of Song of Solomon, the wife invites her husband to “Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices” (Song of Solomon 8:14). Her “mountains of spices” is referring to her perfumed breasts and she is inviting him to play with her body in a sexual way. The husband states, “Your navel is a rounded goblet; it lacks no blended beverage” (Song of Solomon 7:2). Because he compares it to a goblet, it is likely that he is talking about tickling her belly with his mouth and tongue. The same oral references are found a bit later when he says, “This stature of yours is like a palm tree, and your breasts like its clusters. I said, “I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches.” Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and the roof of your mouth like the best wine” (Song of Solomon 7:7-9). One eats grapes with the mouth and he speaks of her breasts being like a cluster of grapes.
Does this mean every married couple will engage in oral sex of varying degrees? No. But it does mean that such actions are mentioned in the Bible in a way that is approved actions between a husband and wife, if they choose to engage in it.
In regards to if it is wrong to masturbate with friends: It would be wrong for two people to touch each other in a sexual way. Though the word is avoided, such is essentially what homosexuality is and that is strongly condemned as a sin (I Corinthians 6:9-10). But even if such touching was not taking place, we still have to consider that you and your friends are seeing each other sexually aroused — not the accidental view of an erection, say in a shower, but a purposeful view where sexual activity is taking place.
The general rule since the fall of man is that a person doesn’t expose their genitals to others. We make efforts to keep our privates private. Of course, there will always be times when it can’t be avoided, yet we should make efforts to minimize it. Being seen naked in front of others ought to trigger a sense of shame. “Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen” (Isaiah 47:3).
Let me use the example of Ham (Genesis 9:20-27). Ham’s father, Noah, sinned by making wine and getting drunk. Ham accidentally walked in on Noah while he laid naked in his tent. Rather than be embarrassed by the situation, Ham went to his brothers. We aren’t told what he said, but it is likely he thought it was funny that their father was acting so poorly. I want you to particularly note Japheth and Shem’s response. “But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness” (Genesis 9:23). I’m sure that over the years there were many occasions when they might have seen their father without clothes. They could have just walked in and covered him up, but they were making a strong point. Their father, because of his drunkenness, was in an embarrassing state and they refused to see their father lowered in their eyes. Thus they went out of their way to make sure they didn’t see Noah uncovered.
The implication in this passage appears that Noah wasn’t just unclothed, but also sexually aroused. There are other passages that also connect the term “nakedness” with sexual activity (Leviticus 18:6-19). It would be improper to expose your sexual activity before other people. It should be reserved for you and your wife alone.
Your parents, having been young people themselves, are quite aware that boys tend to experiment with masturbation. The fact that you engage in it at times would definitely not surprise your father. But depending on what he was taught, he might have been told that the act itself was a sin. If it comes to a discussion of whether it is sinful or not, you can always discuss the material you find on this site with him. But, too, just like the discussion about nakedness above, you should make sure that you keep your sexual releases private.