Can All Christians Agree About Masturbation?

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If you go to any group of Christians, especially Christian men, and especially Christian teenagers, and bring up the topic of masturbation, what do you think the number one question is that people are asking and dying to have answered?

Is masturbation a sin?

Go to any Christian internet forum for teenagers or one that talks about sexual issues, and you’ll find people asking and attempting to answer that question. Read any book that addresses masturbation, and that question and the author’s answer will probably take up a significant number of pages. Listen to a youth pastor’s message on the topic, and he’ll try very hard to satisfy the curious minds of his young listeners.

Everyone wants to know about masturbation, because almost everyone does it.

But I’m not going to try to answer that question here. Not yet. Not in this post. Whenever anyone makes a statement that is supposed to answer that deadly question, whether for it or against it or somewhere in between, it starts an argument.

One person disagrees and jumps to a conclusion, somebody else makes a faulty assumption, one person comes back with a counter-argument, and another just sits there, refusing to say anything, quietly stewing inside.

Someone puffs himself up and moves on in pride, thinking he knows right from wrong, refusing to consider any truth that might exist in the answer.

And some other guy just laughs at it all and thinks Christians are crazy.

Instead, I want to say something that might stir people on an even deeper level:

God is more concerned with his people loving each other than he is with sin.

This is why when someone sins against us, we must forgive that person — and forgive them again and again, as many times as they sin. This is why Jesus protected the woman who was caught in adultery and was about to be stoned. This is why we are instructed to warn sinners in the church once, and then again, before they face removal from the fellowship.

Sin happens. Jesus can deal with the sin. Let him do it.

But our goal, our calling, our duty is to love. Love covers a multitude of sins.

Even when it comes to masturbation — knowing whether or not jacking off is a sin is not as important as our loving each other. Division among us is not a sign of love.

One man thinks masturbation is fine, while another thinks it’s a sin. They are divided. And they try to prove themselves right. And they collect followers. And then there is division in the church, each side trying to prove the other is wrong. This is not a fruit of the Spirit. This is a fruit of our carnal nature, whether masturbation is a sin or not.

So, I think it would be a wise idea to bring unity here before we even try to touch the question of masturbation as a sin. Let’s find some common ground on this issue and seek to build each other up in love and brotherhood.

And what better way to do this than with a list? Here we go!

Eleven Things All Christians Can Agree on about Masturbation

1. Almost everyone masturbates or has masturbated.

I say almost, because I know there are guys out there who have never done it before. For whatever reason, they just never felt the need or saw a reason to dive into their pants. I had a friend who once confessed to me rather shyly that he hadn’t masturbated at all until he was nineteen. He never figured it out until he was in college; after having a rough day, his roommate told him he was probably “sexually frustrated” and needed to jack off. A light bulb went on in his head, and he tried it. My friend said that he was fine after that.

There are also some guys who have actually stopped masturbating. They’re still young and healthy and certainly able to, but they get all their needs met in other ways, or they have no trouble completely abstaining.

And I don’t think this is as rare as we might think.

We’ve all heard the saying that “98% percent of men admit to masturbating, and the other 2% are lying.” But I don’t think that is true. There are actually men who have never done it or don’t do it anymore, and they’re not lying. It’s fine.

We need to respect them and not think of them as some weird subspecies of man.

And, for crying out loud, please stop quoting that statistic!

2. Masturbation feels good.

It feels very good! Some people even prefer it to sex (not that I condone that preference). Sexual pleasure, orgasm, even the simple act of having our body exposed and out from under our clothing can be among the strongest yet simplest pleasures in life.

3. Masturbation is not a new thing.

Men have been jerking their dicks, I would assume, for as long as they’ve had them. There’s no reason to think otherwise. Ancient Egyptians believed the Nile River was filled with their gods’ semen from masturbating. We might think that men in the Victorian Era didn’t masturbate since it was considered such a shameful thing back then. But why would a society fight so vigilantly against it if there weren’t hordes of people doing it? Mark Twain was very open about the act himself, recognizing that many men were addicted to it — even back in his day, long before Internet porn.

4. Masturbation is hard to come to terms with, especially in adolescence.

I used to think this was primarily a Christian struggle and that non-Christians don’t really struggle with masturbation — they just did it, and it was fine for them. But I’ve heard of non-Christians struggling a lot with masturbation. Am I doing it too much? Am I doing it too little? Am I normal? Did I start too late/early? There are a lot of questions people have about this issue that often go unanswered, and they often have to figure them out for themselves.

5. Masturbation is not talked about enough in the church and with family.

So many young people are struggling greatly with masturbation, and for some of them it brings a tremendous amount of fear, concern, shame, confusion, and insecurity. Where are these kids’ parents? Where are the church leaders, the mentors who are supposed to be lovingly, gently guiding the lost, hurting, and confused masses toward the Truth? Why do Christian parents, mentors, and church leaders so often seem to think it’s okay to let their kids and teenagers continue to wallow around in fear, shame, ignorance, and confusion, susceptible to temptation and attack? This is not responsible parenting or leadership on this issue.

6. Masturbation doesn’t stop when you reach a certain age or get married.

It doesn’t stop when you take a position as a pastor, teacher, church leader, worship leader, or Christian blogger, either. It keeps going and going and going and . . .

7. Masturbation fulfills a legitimate craving.

We’re humans. We want sex. We can’t always get sex. So, we masturbate. It’s not always driven by porn or addiction. Having a libido is normal and healthy, but there’s not always an outlet for release when we crave it the most, except through masturbation. We might have moral reservations about it, but we can agree that there is a legitimate, understandable reason for guys to masturbate.

8. Masturbation is not a shocking thing.

I remember the first time I admitted to my youth pastor that I struggled with masturbation. I was so nervous! My face was red and I couldn’t make eye-contact with him at all. But he was very nonchalant about it. He said that he had struggled with it, too, in his own life. There’s no reason to think it’s strange or shocking that a guy masturbates. Therefore, there’s no reason to think it’s awful or shocking when a guy admits to jacking off.

9. Too much masturbation is not good.

It can become an object of dependency, which is never healthy. It can take up a lot of time, too, that would be better spent on other pursuits. How much masturbation is “too much” is a matter of opinion, but obviously multiple times a day is far beyond the limit of what’s “normal.”

10. Masturbation should never replace sex in a marriage.

Even those who support masturbation or view it as a neutral issue can admit that sex is vital to a healthy marriage and that it should never be neglected so that either the husband or the wife can masturbate alone. If each spouse is looking out for the greater good of the other and of the marriage relationship itself, masturbation should take a back seat to sex.

11. Shaming someone for masturbating is not helpful.

We all understand the urge. We have no business pointing our fingers at anyone. Jesus took our shame upon himself on the cross. Let’s not take any of that shame and put it on another person.

What else can we all agree on about masturbation, whether we as Christians believe it’s a sin or not? Let’s please not turn the comments section into a battle arena! Thank you!

* Photo courtesy Roadsidepictures, Creative Commons.

  • Mark Buzard

    Good thoughts, Kevin. For me personally, I can never do it without porn, so it is a definite no-no, and often in life led to far more than that – it was the first step back to a life I was trying to get away from. And for most men, even if porn isn’t used while doing it, lustful thoughts are what triggers it and release, whether it be of women or men…… I think it is an issue that it depends on the guy. Some guys can do it just as a release and for some guys, like me, it can be problematic and bring back porn and sex addiction.

    • Kevin Frye

      Thanks, Mark! That’s an important point to make; we need to be aware of how it affects us individually, whether other people do it or not, whether it’s a sin or not, and then decide to do what’s best for us ourselves. That’s good advice regardless of the issue. Eating sweets, standing on scales to weigh ourselves, looking in the mirror for too long, shopping on credit, and a lot of other things can be risky stuff for some people, but certainly not for everyone. We should be guided by the Holy Spirit and wisdom and not by legalism or peer pressure.

  • Tom Kirn

    I definitely agree that Church leaders and families should talk about this more. Growing up, no one ever brought up the subject, so by the time I knew what I was doing out of curiosity, I had developed an unhealthy habit.

    With that being said, however, I have found that the act of masturbating represented a stepping stone into adulthood. In the past, marriage was undertaken earlier than today, so sex was the first time men typically carried out sexual passion. Now, we wait longer to get married, if at all, but the body still produces all the hormones.

    • Kevin Frye

      That’s true. I’m not sure sexual intercourse was the first time a guy would have an orgasm, but typically men didn’t spend fifteen or twenty years jacking off before they got married like they do today. I find it sad that the modern western church teaches abstinence until marriage, waiting for God to bring you “the one”, but then rarely addresses how to deal with your hormones while you remain abstinent and waiting, and almost never addresses masturbation. Did everyone just forget about that huge elephant in the room?

      • Now I want someone to create an art piece with Masturbation the Elephant in a crowded room.

        • Kevin Frye

          I can see a book coming out that centers on Masturbation the Elephant and uses a lighthearted approach to teach parents and youth workers how to address M. the E. tactfully and effectively. Perhaps Sandra Boynton would be interested in doing the illustrations.

      • Tom Kirn

        Who knows? People throughout every era have believed different things about the body. For example, many of the Church fathers talked about the seed of Abraham. This is a direct translation of ‘semini’; this is where semen is derived in English. For the early Church, the waste of seed, aka the loss of procreation, was a waste of a gift from God. I’m not sure how they viewed the morality of the act, since I haven’t seen much study on the subject, but they definitely viewed the reasons behind masturbation, in a slightly different way than we experience today.

        To answer your question, I agree that the Western Church could do more to teach men especially about the passions. Actually you bring up an interesting conversation I had with another friend about marriage. We were talking about how bonds of friendship, and spousal marriage was practiced in former era, where love or falling in love with a soul mate was not the norm. We even talked about the Eastern rite of brotherhood called Adelphopoiesis. Too bad this rite didn’t survive in the West!

        • Kevin Frye

          Ugh! There’s so much gold in other countries’ cultures and history that is completely trashed and forgotten in the West! It boggles me… I…. I feel dizzy…

  • Malcolm

    I think the problem is that we fail to distinguish between masturbation and lust. However, I don’t believe that masturbation leads to lust, but rather lust can lead to masturbation. Basically our bodies create semen and when that semen has built up to a certain point we crave an ejaculation. Masturbation is really just a self-induced ejaculation. If one feeds their mind pornography and fantasy, then one has lusted and that lust leads to masturbation. The lust is the sin — ejaculating is not. If, however, one feels tension and irritability because he needs to ejaculate, then I don’t see where it is really so much different for a man to empty his prostate when it is full than it is for him to empty his bladder when it is full.

    • Kevin Frye

      You make some excellent points, sir. In today’s pornographic culture, porn, lust, and masturbation are all seen as the same thing. It’s really a shame.

    • Barry Smith

      Malcolm—you are awesome! What a great perspective. What a grace-giver you are. I wish I could meet you some day! We would have an awesome discussion as two brothers who are both married and share such an incredibly similar viewpoint. Thanks for sharing. You give me life!

      • Malcolm

        Wow Barry, I don’t know what to say. Thanks!

    • Fred

      Because, to offer a counter point to your last statement, unlike emptying your bladder, you will not be hurt/killed if you don’t give in. It is not medically required for most healthy people and therefore is self induced. The function was not designed to empty toxins from our system, as urine is, but rather to provide reproduction. Therefore, the comparison doesn’t seem to work.

  • Mark Smith

    Wow, Kevin! Very thorough post! I don’t really have anything to add to what you said so I’ll just share some of my experiences with masturbation. It was introduced to me by my best friend in 6th grade. He just had me sit on the couch in his living room and wait for him. I had no idea what he was going to do. All of the sudden he comes in naked and whacking off! I was shocked and also embarrassed for him. I think most guys would have probably thought it was cool and been appreciative of what his buddy did. For me, I just felt shame and embarrassment. Of course, it was also intriguing and I decided to try it and got hooked. I always wonder what would have happened if I would have just discovered it on my own. Even before I became a Christian I felt bad for doing it and especially after becoming one. I also thought getting married would take of it. Didn’t happen for me. Like you said, it’s such a common activity among men and I wish it would have been talked about in the church. I carried a lot of wrong ideas that I was one of the few men who still masturbated as an older man and especially after getting married. I was so surprised to finally realize I was definitely NOT alone! I remember once going to a Christian counselor to find out how to quit masturbating. Instead of focusing on it, he wanted to look into the “deeper” issues. I remember thinking, “masturbation is THE issue.” But, it really isn’t. It’s a symptom, like a branch of the tree. That counselor helped me to start digging deeper and look at those things that I didn’t want to face. At this point, I’ve decided to give myself permission to masturbate a couple of times a week. And once I did that, sometimes I don’t even do it for more than a week!

    • Kevin Frye

      Dude, that’s so weird! Your friend just walked out naked and jerking? Hahaha! I would have probably felt the same way you did. Dang, that’s a lot to take in when you’re so young! But if one of my friends did that now, I’d probably not make a big deal out of it and just tell him to get back into his room until he was finished.

      Yeah, though, men keep jacking off well into their elder years, married or not. And I think a lot of guys don’t realize how common that is. I think the church needs to talk about this not just for the sake of teenagers, but for all men and women.

      And yes, I agree with you and your counselor that, as with most things, masturbation is more often just a branch, a fruit of something bigger and deeper.

      Thanks for sharing some of your experience here, man!

      • Mark Smith

        You’re welcome Kevin. I’m finding this blog to be so helpful to me! One thing that has puzzled me is that the Bible doesn’t mention masturbation. For something so common, I’m really curious why there isn’t any mention of it. Of course, the lust part is addressed. What if masturbation was Paul’s thorn?

        • mistaken identity

          I have wondered that myself, Mark. I don’t think it is the case, but I can’t rule it out.

  • Jeremy

    Well, you sure opened it, didn’t you? And why doesn’t the church talk about it? Or most parents? Peer groups? Because like us all, no one really has the answers. But I guess the more we are open the more likely we are to come up with some answers. In the past such a taboo was made of it and this seems to have carried over in spite of more open attitudes. It’s definitely way past time to talk about it.

    I did love what you had to say though about putting it into perspective and about us not getting divisive over the issue:

    “God is more concerned with his people loving each other than he is with sin.

    This is why when someone sins against us, we must forgive that person
    — and forgive them again and again, as many times as they sin. This is
    why Jesus protected the woman who was caught in adultery and was about
    to be stoned. This is why we are instructed to warn sinners in the
    church once, and then again, before they face removal from the
    fellowship.

    Sin happens. Jesus can deal with the sin. Let him do it.

    But our goal, our calling, our duty is to love. Love covers a multitude of sins.

    Even when it comes to masturbation — knowing whether or not
    jacking off is a sin is not as important as our loving each other.
    Division among us is not a sign of love.”

    Very good words, Kevin!

    • Kevin Frye

      Thanks, Jeremy! You’re right, nobody really has definite answers to this issue (or a lot of other things we argue about, either.) But that’s precisely why we need to talk about this! We don’t know, so let’s talk about it and try to find some conclusions, even if they aren’t hard-and-fast answers. We need to try to help each other find some measure of confidence, security, wisdom, and comfort in handling this very real part of life.

  • Jon Evan

    “Sin happens. Jesus can deal with the sin. Let him do it.
    But our goal, our calling, our duty is to love. Love covers a multitude of sins.”

    Wow Kevin. As Jeremy rightly declared; “you sure opened it, didn’t you?”
    This is the language I heard from Alan Chambers et al before and after he shut down Exodus. We must not judge sin because only Jesus can deal with sin. Let’s just love……….
    For me, sure love. But loving involves not leaving the loved one in sin, but be concerned about that. As in your example of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery — mercy & grace but also “go and sin no more”. So, sin matters and Jesus commissioned us to disciple meaning to teach what to obey that is what is sin and what is not. Sin harms us and our relationship with God. And so loving means rebuking my dear brother when he sins for his own benefit if I truly love him. It is not being divisive, nor “pointing our fingers at anyone”, nor “shaming anyone” by pointing out their sin. I find those quoted words of yours harsh and unkind and indeed pointed at me whether intentionally or not. You are not just here stating your opinion but with those words censoring others who may have a different point of view.

    • mistaken identity

      Jon, I ‘m sorry, but I object to you ignoring the plea for unity simply because you have some very strong feelings about this. Kevin was wise in suggesting we find some common ground before we hurry into our jousting. I utterly reject your notion that Kevin is soft on sin because he does not share your view on this topic. I also reject and am angered by the Chambers comparison. Jesus himself has some things in common with Alan Chambers, and that certainly does not mean He will let us down as Alan did. Before you respond any more on this thread, might I boldly suggest that you take it up with the Holy Spirit first.

      • Jon Evan

        And so you should be angered, mistaken identity, at my Alan Chamber’s hyperbole!
        What happened to Exodus, the people who lost all hope, and the leaders who after decades abandoned all is a warning to all of us.
        If YOB is going to play in the big leagues concerning those things that Satan fearlessly holds dear like sex and homosexuality then YOB can’t think it is somehow greater than the Exodus leaders who fell into deception.
        I did not say that Kevin is “soft on sin”. I can respect a different opinion and leave it at that. But, I did find his cry for unity wrapped in harsh words which has the effect of shutting down minority opinions because who wants to be the minority and be labelled as divisive, pointing fingers at people, and shaming them. Who wants to be that?

        • mistaken identity

          I have read Kevin’s words for about a month now and have seen no evidence of a unity at any price persuasion. A man has a bad experience with one woman and then assumes that all women are the same. He withdraws. Another man has a terrible experience with a parachurch group and then thinks he sees the same tendencies everywhere. You think we should define first, good. I think that was what he was attempting to do. But your knee jerking shut it down. If you are perceiving harsh words, I think they might be projections.

        • Kevin Frye

          There is a difference between Exodus and YOB. Exodus loudly proclaimed a method, a ministry, that was supposed to change people’s sexual attractions from homosexual to heterosexual. We at YOB do not make such a claim. We are not trying to change anyone. We are not selling a method or offering counseling courses here. We’re just people who are talking about our own experiences, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Our readers can take from these posts whatever they want. We’re not claiming to be some big Christian ministry. We’re just witnesses of what Jesus Christ has done for us individually.

          So, you think we should define things before we unite. Define what, exactly? I am assuming that you mean define what is sin and what isn’t, and then who is okay with that sin and who isn’t. And from there rebuke those who are okay with sin, and refuse to unite with them as long as they are happy with sinning. Please correct me if I’m wrong in understanding this.

          But if that is true, if that is what you really mean, then I think you might be jumping to a conclusion that masturbation is a sin, and is definitely a sin for everyone. I agree with you that we should not unite with people who are okay with sin remaining in their lives. I agree with you that we need to lovingly correct our Christian brothers and sisters when we see blatant sin in their lives that’s not being dealt with. But I do not see how masturbation is a blatant sin. It’s not obviously sinful. Could it be sinful? Sure. But we can’t reject others who are okay with this (or likewise not okay with it) just because they have a different opinion about its sin status. Romans 14 has a lot to say about this type of thing and how we should unite together in spite of our differences of opinion.

          Again, however, if I’m wrong and not understanding you properly, please correct me. I don’t count you as my enemy and I don’t want to. Let’s try to understand each other better and learn to respect each other.

          And as for the issue of masturbation being sinful, like I said in this post, I’m not going to get into that here or try to prove any point about it here. That is for a different post sometime in the future. Please be patient.

          • Jon Evan

            Sorry, long post…
            Thanks Kevin for your kind patient reply. There is no doubt I still have pain losing long time friends to the gay community following the Exodus debacle. I’m still trying to process that and it’s very hard and trying to understand YOB not wanting it to meet a similar fate. Believe me that is my concern.
            Precious souls came to Exodus as to YOB for one reason. Conflicted by their faith in Christ regarding homosexuality they seek hope. Hope for what? Exodus failed to define that except to say there was hope for change. But what that change looked like and what that process meant was unclear except within the reparative stream which was not universally used in all ministries. Hope for change in Christ was the emphasis in most.
            As it is in YOB. Your FAQ#7 speaks of the goal “to lay our lives down for Christ” and more, going all the way as in Gal. 2:20 which speaks of dying to self embracing the entire life of Christ such that His story becomes our story. Now that is a worthy goal!
            FAQ#7 beautifully speaks of that road of suffering which is the Way of Christ. This is what Exodus should have embraced: suffering as the way out of gay into a new identity wholeness which Christ offers and uses our SSA to accomplish such that SSA becomes a friend in that process.
            Christ as our man was sexual. Whether masturbation, orgasm, homosexuality, porn these are all sexual things which are treasured strongholds of Satan who will not give them up readily but will fight to destroy as he did and succeeded with Exodus. Christ’s response to sexuality is either heterosexual marriage or celibacy as the only outlet for sexuality. What is celibacy? Because if our story is to become Christ’s story then that definition is important. Did Christ practice homosexuality? No. There is no evidence. Did Christ masturbate? There is no evidence. Why? Because celibacy means just that: no sex. No sex means no orgasm. The body has is own way of dealing with built up semen it doesn’t need our help. Celibacy must mean one thing for Christ and the same thing for us. There can be no other way forward. As AA/SA rightly declares “half measures availed us nothing”. Brothers we must encourage and exhort each other to full measures to live pure and holy lives which is our calling in Christ or we meet the same fate as Exodus because discouragement will come and Satan will use it to advantage. We must embrace suffering denying ourselves realizing that our penises belong in our pants except in the washroom and in wholesome heterosexual marriage. Using it otherwise is not celibacy. Using it otherwise in marriage is selfish: sex with ourselves. If we need comfort we shouldn’t rob God who declares Himself the “God of all comfort” 2 Corinth. 1:3.
            Brothers, this is what I desire for myself: the narrow way which is Christ’s story. I want my story to fuse into His story and I want brothers to help me get there. I tire of half measures and second best and want to unite with those on a similar journey. Is this the place?

          • mistaken identity

            Jon, if I could click on a thumbs up for your first 4 paragraphs I would do so. They are good words. I am so sorry you had that experience with Exodus. It must have been heartbreaking. My wife and I watched it from afar and were devastated.

            Like you I want to fuse into Christ’s story. My life is dedicated to prayer, support of international missions, fighting demonic strongholds as with human trafficking, and becoming a better husband and father. Part of becoming a better husband is masturbating infrequently. There, I lost you, but it is true. And I don’t have a dog in this fight. My wife and I have a fantastic sex life (this has not always been the case). God gets all the credit for that. He has delivered us both out of all manner of brokenness. And granted, this part I speak of is a very, very small part. But your statement, “Using it otherwise in marriage is selfish” is simply false. If I do that infrequently now, I have her benefit in mind. Is it selfish to consider the welfare of another? I am not going to go into the details of this mind bending assertion. Simply, menopause brings challenges to her, and Christ calls me to be a generous lover who creatively seeks to overcome those challenges. And it is really not mind bending at all, it just doesn’t fit a theology that is unnecessarily and unBiblically rigid. The Bible does not speak directly to the issue.

          • I really appreciate your feedback and feelings on this subject, Jon. I’ll echo Kevin in that we’re not here to be a New Exodus, a new non-profit, even a new “ministry” in some convoluted organizational sense of the word. We’re just a bunch of Christian dudes, many of us already good friends and all of us growing in brotherhood together, who enjoy sharing our stories because of how we’ve been blessed by first sharing with each other. We have a common core of beliefs, sure, but there is plenty of room for differing thoughts/opinions in this Body. Those differences manifest in our varied denominational backgrounds, our single/married states, our preferences for “gay” or “Side B” or “None of the Above” labels, beliefs about masturbation and reparative therapy and “nature vs. nurture,” and so on.

            Our hope is that our diversity will appeal to those who stumble across our blog and our stories. I’m sure you yourself probably resonate more with certain authors compared to others, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We are young, we are old, we are married, we are single, we are white and black and tall and short and everything in between, and we are all still very much figuring stuff out.

            Jon, it’s completely fine for you to have your own beliefs about certain matters, be it masturbation or what have you. We’re all about adding varied perspectives to the mix here in unified pursuit of Jesus.

            At the end of the day, it’s honestly a huge relief that we can just tell our stories and let the Spirit do with them what He will, as He already has, and as I believe He’ll continue to mysteriously do. I still have no idea how we all got here and how all this is happening. This blog, these friendships, these stories. Any credit here is His, not ours. And I never want us to lose that perspective.

          • Jon Evan

            Thanks Tom for your reply.
            I’m not looking for a new Exodus etc. Nor do I purport to know anything. Despite being older, the older I get the more I realize I know little. Funny that.
            But, there is one thing that happens for some of us who get older — some of us need more structure and diversity is harder to take. Perhaps it’s just me. I need that disciplined life of sticking to some kind of “narrow way”. I suppose it’s just my personality of being too introspective and thinking too much. So, I did ask myself why am I here a few posts ago. I suppose YOB despite its appeal of diversity it’s not for everyone who might have difficulty with grey zones as exist when truth is somewhat relative as presented as one opinion amongst many. So, with that, blessings on you and YOB and I will bid adieu.

          • Brandon Burrell

            Jon, you can do as you wish, but I really hope that you don’t leave.

    • Kevin Frye

      You’re right, Jon. Part of loving others is warning them of harmful, sinful behavior in their lives. It’s not judgmental or divisive, nor does it necessarily shame anyone to point out sin in our brother’s life that needs to be dealt with. I agree with you.

      However, I don’t see how I’m censoring anyone else who has a different point of view here. I’m sorry you feel I did that.

  • Brian

    Like others on here have said, I don’t think any one ever told me about masturbation before hitting puberty and I just found out on my own and it became a habit. Its like men don’t really have a safe place to talk about men’s issues like this.

    • Kevin Frye

      That’s very true. Our hush-hush attitude about masturbation in the church, and the overwhelming indulge in it encouraged by the secular world, only serve to frustrate our young people and set them up for addictive behavior. If we could just talk about this issue more without it turning into an argument about who’s right and who’s wrong, who’s sinning and who’s holy, then maybe we could all gain some insight and encouragement in handling this issue in our lives.

  • Aryangor

    Masturbation hurts my perception of reality, sending me into my dream world. It also hurts my wife. So not masturbating means exactly loving each other.

    And to say that “God is more concerned with his people loving each other than he is with sin” is actually trying to justify this sinful behavior. Holiness is the way to love people, not happiness and comfort. If we speak about issues which are pressing on God’s heart, we are loving.

  • Tom Kirn

    Having read the other comments, especially Jon’s, I hope another post is issued on this subject. I believe that we should keep talking about this, since it is a rare subject. It is controversial and ambiguous. I am not familiar with the Exodus apostolate, having grown up in Catholicism.

    Sexuality, especially for men, is a gift from God. Certainly we can misuse this gift and hurt others, however, I have found that the ideal to give one’s own self to the other to be beautiful. Now I’m not saying that gives us free reign to demand sex from others or masturbate so that it becomes the object of our love. The ideal for both Catholicism and my basic understanding of Orthodoxy is to attain Theosis, or becoming one with God. In this framework, we enter into the unity of the Sacred Trinity, a self giving love.

    Masturbation. For me it is extremely difficult. On the one hand it feels great as Kevin said. However, It is viewed as a sin in my Church. It is important to note however, that it is a sin in a long list. This is my cross and path to salvation as is being gay. Look at Augustine or Mary Magdalen who united themselves to God, having been no strangers to sex outside of marriage. Now they are great saints and friends to us all. I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.

  • David Fournier

    Kevin, what a brilliant way to approach this topic. How much more healthier would the sexual aspects of my life have been if men would have had this conversation with me when I was younger. It was always my goal to keep this topic open with my son so he would not grow up thinking that he was weird or hated by God because he had excretions or masturbated or even saw porn. I knew he was going to experience these as he grew older – just like I did. So, why not keep the topics open and let him know that I will would be there and love him. And that God is not afraid of any of these topics and loves to have the conversation. He made us as sexual beings – why wouldn’t He be a great resource. Instead He is used as the excuse to shut down talking about it and growing. Way to go!!!

    • Kevin Frye

      Thanks, David! I agree with you completely. Even when it comes to things that are blatantly sinful, I know God wants to talk to us about them, to encourage us, to teach us. Many people just want to avoid talking about the awkward parts of life, but God doesn’t do that. I hope more people can do what God does and what you’re doing with your son. Good job, man!

  • The Daily Ground Hog

    I agree…

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  • My father was an alcoholic. My mother was a drug addict. I knew that I would have a higher propensity for addiction to substances, so I went out of my way to avoid these things. I never got drunk, even getting nauseous at the thought of having a beer. I never smoked marijuana and smoked a total of seven cigarettes (each one was after sex with my boyfriend, and even then I didn’t finish them). I thought I was doing good, because I had no addiction problems. Then I went celibate.

    It was very difficult to do so, because I wasn’t doing it through the Lord. I looked for a reasonable sustitute (much like when I had broke myself from biting my fingernails (sunflower seeds)). Low and behold, internet porn became available, much of it for free. I became addicted to it. It was terrible. Each and every time I viewed it, I had to make sure that I deleted my internet browsing history so my wife wouldn’t find out. My computer became laced with cookies, and random advertisments would pop up, things that children should not see. I had to get special virus removal software just to take care of it, and even then would show up out of nowhere. Once I went to bed, forgetting to close the window that I had viewed it. My wife found it. I had to come up with some lame excuse and blame it on someone else, even going so far as initiating a fake phone call with this person about gay porn.

    After I had the stroke, I discovered my homosexual past because of my internet browsing history. I wish I could say I found Jesus and never looked again, but that would be a lie. I got mad and viewed it again just to spite Him. Why was I even alive? Why had he shown me such mercy when I didn’t deserve it. I realized I had an addiction of the mind. It was far more insideous than substance abuse. There was nothing to ween myself from. I have addictive personality.

    I started fighting this addiction in earnest in February 2016, admitting to the Lord that I have a problem, and I needed His help. I had been masturbating to porn since I was thirteen, and now it was for free. It was all I had ever known. I had two relapses, one in July 2016 and one in November. The second one was the worst, because I didn’t pray to God after. I was out of commuion with Him for three days. It was awful. It was an issue of pride. I had been so proud of myself for not viewing porn, and then I went right back into it as if I had never stopped. I did eventually get back in communion with God. He showed me that there was a pattern to these relapses and what triggers them (stress). I am better able to fight them. I go counseling for addiction now, a Christian based group called “Celebrate Recovery”, to better help me fight my addiction. I am coming up on my fifth month clean from my addiction.

    • Kevin Frye

      I’ve heard of Celebrate Recovery. I hope you find the help you’re looking for there. I’ve had my own struggle with porn addiction and I know it’s not an easy thing to break.

      • It does help. There are many people there with all kinds of addictions and problems (not just drugs and alcohol). I had to overcome the shame of having that addiction and even admit I had a problem in order to start to fight against it.

  • 12. Masturbation can be extremely addictive as a “Pleasure High”

    Care to take a guess as to which organ in our male bodies is our most dominant and powerful, sexual organ?…

    It’s our brain!

    During ejaculation, chemical endorphins are released which create very dominant, indelible, and addictive, “pleasure pathways” in our brains. God created us this way for good reason!

    It is why we become so attached to a person (or pornography, or other disassociative activities and habits) that we associate with the extremely pleasurful act of ejaculation. The creative aspect of this is that it binds us incredibly close to our spouse… just as God intended it to be. The destructive aspect of the abuse of this creative order is that it also has the potential to enslave us to all sorts of different and harmful things… homosexuality, for example!

    I admit that I am personally guilty at times of using habitual masturbation to appease or “gratify” an immense number of different emotional issues… depression, stress, loneliness, anger, and the list goes on. Speaking for myself, I know that this is harmful not just to me (bodily, emotionally, spiritually), but also harmful to the sexual “quality” and fulfillment of my marriage, as well.

    But masturbation is such a convenient and easily accessible, “go to” source for all of it! It can literally become the “easy way out” for any and every “difficulty” I face.

    I’m not telling you guys not to do it… that’d be pretty hypocritical of me. I’m saying to be very “sober minded” about it, if and when you do.