A 3-year-old boy was examining his testicles while taking a bath.
“Mom,” he asked, “Are these my brains?”
“Not yet,” she replied.
If sex is one of a man’s primary needs (and it is) how can you get your needs met in this area? After all, due to lesser amounts of testosterone your wife’s sex drive is usually lower (or at least less urgent) than yours is and she isn’t wired to need sexual release as often in frequency or in as many variety of ways.
The question often comes up in my workshops for moms raising boys whether masturbation is normal and whether or not it is healthy for boys and men. From our hundreds of discussions, I suspect their real concern centers around the fact that many of these women have husbands or boyfriends who spend more than their share of time watching online pornography. Since it’s virtually impossible to watch pornography and not masturbate, this leads to many of these women not getting the kind of physical affection they need (guys at 25 years old you might be able to masturbate three times a day and still make love to your wife at the drop of a hat. At 45 you can’t). Or worse being asked or forced to perform sexual acts that are uncomfortable or unnatural, but which are commonplace in pornography.
I’ve written quite a bit previously about the topic of masturbation and its consequences upon males, and so I don’t want to rehash it all here. The question among Christians that generally comes up is as to whether or not masturbation is a sin. Certainly most pastors would say it is a sin and most secular academics would claim it is a normal function of life.
Whether or not masturbation is morally or ethically wrong I can’t say with any certainty. Like most issues it’s seldom black and white, but colored with many shades of gray (i.e. – is it immoral for a man to engage in this act periodically if his wife is physically unable to perform for an extended period of time, and he only thinks about his wife when he does it? I suspect that scenario is less egregious than a man fantasizing about the 16-year-old cheerleader down the street).
Here’s what I can say with certainty—on some level masturbation is a betrayal of your wife. With that said, there’s nothing forbidding masturbation in the Bible (although both the commandment about not coveting your neighbor’s wife, and Jesus’ admonition not to lust after another woman, probably relate at least indirectly to this topic). There’s no 11th Commandment that states, “Thou shalt not take matters into one’s own hands.” It would make it a lot easier if there were, but God chose to be somewhat ambiguous about this subject for reasons known only to Him.
Nevertheless fantasizing about other women is not healthy for your relationship. Your wife will be deeply wounded and have a sense of betrayal as this attacks her at one of the core issues of her insecurity—her desirability. In addition, masturbation is a narcissistic action—it is self-pleasure with no regard for the feelings or needs of your wife.
Pornography seems to be destroying more marriages than any other factor in recent years. It causes a man to get his physical satisfaction from other sources and decreases his desire for his wife. When his wife feels undesirable she naturally gets either insecure or bitter and resentful. Neither scenario is good for your relationship.
Porn is dangerous because it’s so stinking addictive. The chemicals released in the brain when viewing it create a “high.” Like any addicting substance or activity it should be avoided if for no other reason than it creates escalating behavior and requires greater amounts in order to achieve the same “high.” Most married men wouldn’t think of dabbling with heroin, but maybe because it’s legal we think we can play around with porn and not get burned.
Guys you want to have sex more often? The solution is simple. Stop looking at porn, romance your wife, and make her life easier any way you can.