There are so many different opinions out there on this topic that it can create a headache just trying to find some reasonable answers out there, especially when it comes to sexual addiction.
First, let me start by saying we need to clarify what it means to have healthy sexuality in a way that honors God. Sexual intimacy was created to be enjoyed in a marriage between a man and a woman. So what does that mean?
- Well, no one else should be included in that intimacy (yes, not even photos or videos or any of that).
Sexual intimacy should only be had with a husband and his wife.
- Sex was not created purely for an orgasm.
It was created to be enjoyable, yes, but also to build a deeper intimacy between a man and his wife. This is important to remember because we, oftentimes, confuse sexual intimacy with climax.
Reaching orgasm is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but it is NOT the reason for sex. Orgasm can be the reason we continue to WANT sex (in most cases), but climax doesn’t give you a more connected marriage.
Real, authentic sexual intimacy has the ability to be vulnerable and build trust between a man and his wife. We literally become one.
- Sex is for BOTH the man and the woman.
When sexual intimacy is done in a healthy way (meaning no porn, no outside influence, no other people, etc.) both people need to be able to enjoy the experience. If it becomes more about him or more about you, then once again we are missing the point.
We can’t build a deeper connection when sex is one-sided. It is always a better experience when you both are truly involved and having fun.
- SEX IS NOT A NEED.
Read that again. A need is something you will die of if you do not receive it. We CRAVE sex, we have a desire for sex, but we won’t die without it.
And those things are not bad. In fact, they were God-given. However, when sex becomes something that you or your spouse believe absolutely needs to happen in order to live, then there is usually a pretty false narrative running around your or your spouse’s head.
Some great books to read more about this are by Sheila Gregoire: The Greate Sex Rescue, The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, and her husband: The Good Guys Guide to Great Sex. And, of course, our very own Carl Thomas’ book When Shame Gets Real is a very tangible resource as well!
I say all of that because when we are better able to view sexual intimacy in the way that it was created to be, with a man and his wife and both the man and his wife are fully giving themselves to each other, then there is no room for masturbation.
Masturbation is selfish. It is all about orgasm and self. There is no connection with your spouse while you or he masturbate in the other room.
(I want to clarify though when you are having sex with your spouse and manually stimulate yourself in that process, that is a different story- not masturbation. Masturbation is done alone for the purpose of getting off.)
In short, masturbation is not something that improves your marriage or yourself. It promotes selfishness and a view on sex that is NOT entirely whole. IT does not bring connection with your spouse and, quite frankly, can cause a lot of turmoil.
To have a healthy sex life with your spouse there needs to be a focus on connection. It can be done! And it is worth the journey to accomplish.
**Remember that if your spouse is currently not in recovery or you are not yet feeling safe to have sex with your spouse, this article is not intended to make you feel as though you need to have sex with your spouse. Quite the opposite. Healthy sexual intimacy can ONLY happen when both people feel safe.