My thoughts on this subject are probably not PC and maybe should fall under a disclaimer of “Kids, don’t try this at home” but when I want to masturbate, I do it. But before you stop reading, say “Hallelujah!” and go grab a bottle of your nearest lube, let me give you a little of my history:
I tried, years ago, to avoid masturbating *at any cost* because it seemed like the right thing to do but it didn’t really go well…for me. Firstly, if you tell me to not do something, that is a surefire way of getting me to think about it. A lot. That is the reason I have never dieted; I never craved a cookie before the time I thought I’d try to avoid eating them. Secondly, can you imagine boiling water in a tea kettle while plugging up the whistling part? (Think building pressure, an eventual explosion, and metal shrapnel everywhere!) I would rather try to keep my single-person-sexual frustrations to me, myself, and I, rather than pulling someone into harm’s way with me. And lastly, when my focus is on avoiding X, rather than pursuing Y, I find that I can easily end up appointing myself the Mayor of Legalism-ville, or worse yet people can tell stories of me like those of Jessica Simpson, pre-marriage to Nick Lachey, (she didn’t have sex before marriage, per se, but he was a happy camper in other regards!)
I do, though, subscribe to the theory that if you feed something, it grows. So, my personal goal is to not feed my sexual desires through masturbation (or any other ways at this time) but to feed that which will help me live life more abundantly: reading my bible more, praying more, filtering my view of circumstances through God rather than filtering my view of God through my circumstances, living a slower, more balanced life, allowing godly people to be close in my life instead of guiltily avoiding them, attending a good church regularly, exercising and being kind to my body, and doing the good, old-fashioned, honest, hard work of dealing with my messed up past that makes me want to, otherwise literally, just f*** my life away. I have noticed that the more I focus on and attend to the positive things, the less I have to even contemplate this question on masturbation in the first place because my desires have become far more manageable for me as a result.
Acknowledging what things feed into my personal desires has been helpful as well, so I can try to be mindful of them and avoid them when I can. I recently discovered that I probably don’t need to personally own The Amazing Spiderman in my movie collection (although it’s a great movie! and I’m sure my pastor wouldn’t see a surface problem with it ) because the slender, nerdy Peter Parker so much reminds me of an ex-boyfriend that I was sexual with. I can easily see watching that movie and feeding things that need not grow.
I don’t have a good track record of purity to brag about here. I’m still trying to get to a place where I can more consistently realize my personal goals in this area. I can’t let my shortcomings provide me with the reason to give up and I can’t let guilt drive a wedge between me and God. I will keep pressing forward, believing that God’s work in me will never end until He hands me the victory.