What Is Your Opinion Of Solo Masturbation Due To Separation?

Jay Dee

What Is Your Opinion Of Solo Masturbation Due To Separation?

Oct 10, 2012

This question came from the comments section and I delayed responding because the initial answer I felt was a bit harsh. I thought I’d take the time to pray and think and read and see if my opinion mellowed. It didn’t. So, here it is, no holds barred.

This is the tenth post in the 1/2 Marathon being orchestrated by the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association.    This time I’m switching it up a bit.  An issue came up during the discussion on the post Why Do Married Men Masturbate? that I want to address today. Please note, this is my perspective.  I cannot vouch for all males and when I’m giving my perspective on women, I certainly cannot vouch for all women.  Also, all references to gender traits are based on the average population, there are exceptions of course.  Please do not be offended by these if you are not “neurotypical” for your gender.  So, on to the question:

What is your opinion of solo masturbation due to separation?

This question came from the comments section and I delayed responding because the initial answer I felt was a bit harsh.  I thought I’d take the time to pray and think and read and see if my opinion mellowed.   It didn’t.  So, here it is, no holds barred.

My opinion of solo masturbation due to separation is no different than any other circumstance.  It is wrong as it harms the marriage and yourself.  For a larger discussion on this, see the initial post.

I tried to find something in the Bible that would shed some light on this and all I found was the following:

If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

Deuteronomy 24:5

God specifically forbade newly married couples to be separated during the first year of marriage.  Why?  We don’t really know why it doesn’t say.  Possibly because they need a chance to be fruitful and multiply.  But I think there is more to it than this.  I think that a new couple needs that time to explore their new shared sexuality, to be comfortable, to release all the pent-up energy of a life of being unable to express that part of themselves.  So, no newly married man would be allowed to go to war or take an overnight business trip for an entire year.

So, what about after the year, are they free to abandon their wives?  By Jewish rabbinic law, a husband was required to keep his wife sexually satisfied.  If he didn’t, she was legally entitled to divorce him and he would be required to pay her a substantial sum of money for breaking their marriage contract.  So a husband wouldn’t leave without both spouses agreeing and knowing that this separation meant a fast in their sexual life.

So, based on this, I’d argue that solo masturbation due to separation is no different than any other case.

Now, I know some people aren’t going to like this.  They’re going to ask, but what about those of us who have to work away from home for long periods of time.  Here’s where I get harsh.

The only time I have ever seen a case where a spouse needed to be separated for extended periods of time is when one spouse goes to jail.  The couple I know are both still loving towards each other, the husband made some mistakes in life before coming to Christ and before he starts dating and married his wife.  He gave his life to God before he was sentenced, but the penalty still needed to be paid.  It is a bad situation, but frankly, he made his own bed, and he knows it and accepts it.  I’m not condoning solo masturbation in this case either, just saying it’s the only time I’ve seen an actual need to be separated in a healthy relationship.  Plus, they get conjugal overnight visits, so it’s not like they are completely celibate for the years they are separated.

So, for those of you still free in the general public and not in confinement:  You do not need the job you have long hauling or in the military or crab fishing, or doing missions in third world countries full time.  You chose that job.  And you and/or your spouse decided that you could weather the separation.  If there is an exception I’m not thinking about, let me know.  Now, in today’s world, there are many opportunities to still be sexual with your spouse. We have Skype and cell phones, instant communication around the world.  I’m not sure what the military is like, but frankly, you must have known that separation was a possibility if not an inevitability.

Personally, I have no idea how you do it.  I’m going on a mission trip at the end of this month and I will be separated from my wife for 11 days.  I’ve done this once before, 3 years ago, I’m not sure I would want to more often, it’s pretty hard to be away that long.

Oh, and if there are kids in the mix, personally, I think you are giving up too much separating yourself from your family for extended periods of time frequently.  This includes pastors who spend every waking moment ministering to people.  Yes, it’s a call, but if you have a wife and kids, I’m sorry, you have priorities, and the Bible is clear on them.  You must provide for your family, and that doesn’t just mean financially.  There are way too many pastors kids who grow up not knowing their father because he was always helping someone else and pastors wives who don’t know their husband because he’s constantly counselling other marriages.

So, that’s my take on the question.

Feedback? Questions? Comments? Rant In Disagreement? Bring it on, it’s an open forum.  I don’t get offended by differing opinions.

Looking for help?

62 thoughts on “What Is Your Opinion Of Solo Masturbation Due To Separation?”

  1. Sherry- Intentionally Yours says:

    God’s Word doesn’t change based on our circumstances. Masturbation without your spouse right there participating is sex with yourself and wrong. We talk with military couples all the time about deployments and TDY’s being opportunities to fast sexually, saving themselves for when they are in each other’s arms again.

    God intends sex as part of making us one flesh. Becoming one flesh physically doesn’t happen over skype or phone- it happens in each other’s presence. If a couple isn’t physically together with easy access to each other, they are awakening a physical desire at the wrong time… Song 8:4. Better to leave it dormant until they are physically together again. God tells us to FLEE from sexual sin, not to come as close to it as possible but still feel like we are keeping the marriage bed pure. We will continue to recommend to couples physically apart for any length of time to fast from sex.

  2. Overcoming with Love via Facebook says:

    Definite food for thought… I think I really get where you are coming from.

  3. livinginblurredlines says:

    Hubby and I are separated due to his job, but it is not impossible to get together. God placed him in this job, and through the separation it has been a true fasting in so many ways….drawing closer to God. Unfortunately, we let our selfishness abound and MBed. However, when we allow the fast, and come together again, it is amazing and so much more blessed.

    As I said before, ask God and see what He says.

  4. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says:

    I’m going to disagree here. (Yikes!) I actually mostly agree with you that these periods of separation should be periods of little to no sexual contact, even with yourself. However, while the U.S. is a country with voluntary military service, it hasn’t always been that way, and conscription happens in other places. Thus meaning that you don’t choose to be away for long periods of time, you are sent and you go. Secondly, I have great admiration for those who serve in our military, and most do so for a short period of their marriage and family life. There are reasons why a man’s love for his family would motivate him to serve his country in that way.

    My own take on this is that the Bible clearly states the first year is for the couple to be together. Totally agree there. However, I don’t know of anything after that which suggests that periods of separation are disallowed or complete sexual fasting is part of a separation if we have other ways to “be together.” It shouldn’t be the go-to. But I can imagine a situation where masturbation away from your spouse could actually make you feel closer to your spouse, as you imagine and desire your time together.

    I’m not saying it should be a common practice. Not at all! But if my husband were away and masturbating with me on his mind kept his mind off other sexual temptations around, I’d be for it. I’d love to hear your take.

    1. Jenny says:

      Exactly. When men don’t release their “little men” occasionally, they do start struggling with temptation. This is why my husband took nude photos of me when he was in the military – so he could keep ME on his mind. Like you, I would much rather him masturbate while thinking about me, than have a huge buildup of temptation that made it difficult to keep his mind on me while I was so far away.

      Incidentally, his desire to make his family (me) his first priority is the reason he left the military three years ago.

    2. Autumn says:

      I agree. Thing is with my hubby, he likes me to masturbate in front of him or take pictures and send to him since he works nights. Its like foreplay to him until he can get home for him.i work days so…
      But i have been wondering if its still wrong though

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Personally, I don’t see a problem with you taking pictures of yourself (check this post) to send to him, nor masturbating in his presence (see this post and this survey).

        In fact, I applaud you for being so sexually engaged with your husband.

        1. Anonymous says:

          but masturbating by yourself is still “solo sex” as you described it. So how is what she is doing fine??

          1. Jay Dee says:

            I didn’t suggest she do it alone, but rather with her husband.

  5. Paul H. Byerly says:

    Jay Dee – I’ve already given my opinion, so I won’t do so again. I do want to compliment you on being consistent and logical with your application of your opinion. You have elevated this conversation to level I have rarely seen. Thank you!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Usually I’m “infuriatingly logical”, so I’m glad I can apply it to something that has a positive impact instead of just annoying everyone.

      Thanks for the compliment and the shares.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Ok I have a situation where I don’t think has been looked at in regards to solo masturbation within a marriage. I noticed the article speaks about one instance where separation may not be a choice but in some sense it could be a consequence of one’s choice as is when speaking about an incarcerated spouse. First, I want to start off with this point, only 4 out of our 50 states allows conjugal visits (some of these 4 states are solely for family sharing and not sexual activity). What if the situation was as follows: the incarcerated spouse gives permission or even requests that the other spouse, who isn’t incarcerated and not at fault for the incarceration, self relieve with the implication or agreement that the non-incarcerated spouse will be focused in their mind on the spouse during their solo masturbation? How would that be sinful? If it is permitted by the spouse with that same spouse in mind to relieve the not guilty spouse in the marriage. I’m curious what are your thoughts in that situation?

      1. Jay Dee says:

        I don’t see how this changes anything. You’re training the spouse not in prison to meet their sexual needs without their spouse. You’ve still separated sex from the relationship. You’re still putting self gratification above the relationship. Don’t you think it would send a move loving message to say “I’m going to wait for you” instead of “Well… you’re going to be there a while, and waiting just seems too difficult. I mean, I know, it’s supposed to be about intimacy, but orgasms are more important that intimacy with you.”

  6. livinginblurredlines says:

    Has anyone here actually gone to God about it? We can look in the Bible and be logical until we are blue in the face, but what matters is what GOD says for us to do.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That is how I go to God. I have never gotten the intuitive “hear from God” thing. What I have from God is logic. And I love Galileo’s quote and echo it:

      I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.

      I think God speaks to people in different ways, and this is how God has always spoken to me. I don’t think it makes it wrong, just different. My pastor is the opposite, and he’s forever trying to get me to “feel” a scripture passage. It doesn’t work, I was not designed that way. My God is a God of logic, who brings order to chaos, that is Truth to me.

      Now, if you mean, have I prayed, yes, I did. I prayed before I did my research and my reading. My wife I pray at night together and I often include a prayer for wisdom and insight in dealing with comments and writing posts. After all that, this is what I found and how I put it together. To me, that’s my answer, because it’s all I have.

      Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. – 1 John 4:1

      How do YOU test Truth? All I know is to put it up against scripture and look for logical inconsistencies. To the best of my knowledge and ability, what I write meets those requirements, but I am human, and my knowledge and abilities are flawed, just as anyone elses. Which is why I am careful to state that these are my opinions and perspectives. A persons theology and beliefs are their own responsibility. Passing the buck won’t help at judgement day. Do not follow me blindly. Do not follow me at all! But follow God.

      Got a little carried away there…

    2. Jenny says:

      “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.
      -1 Corinthians 6:12.

      Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. …You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.
      Romans 14:20, 22-23

      I think that it differs for each person, honestly, depending on your convictions. Also, there is a difference between what J and I are talking about, than what is probably usually the case with married men who masturbate.

  7. livinginblurredlines says:

    I have a personal relationship with Christ Jesus and as such I am filled with the Holy Spirit. I pray, I read scripture and the Lord answers me. For me, it is a knowing always backed by His Word. So, since the Bible isn’t clear about masturbation, I pray about it. I tell God what is going on, how I feel and if it is ok with Him. If I feel conviction, a halting in the spirit, then I do not proceed.

    Here’s my official stance: I am 99% sure that 99% of the time it is God’s will for us not to masturbate alone, regardless if we think about our spouse, wallpaper, porn, or the girl at the cash register. Before engaging in solo masturbation, it should probably be okayed by your spouse and you should have a clear conscience before God. If you can honestly believe that God is looking down on you with His nod of approval, then have at yourself!

    Jay Dee, you have made it clear in yesterday’s post and comments that you did a lot of research and prayer. I haven’t heard any of your disagreers saying that they’ve done the same. That is who I am asking whether or not they went to God about this.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Well, you said “Has anyone here”…and I’m here.
      I also would say I have a personal relationship with Jesus, but it’s very different than yours. I pray, I read scripture, and God answers me, but using scripture and logic, not a feeling or a voice. I laugh at his jokes and it stings when He corrects, but it’s good and we’re growing closer together every day (by that I mean I’m growing closer, He’s not moving)

    2. Paul H. Byerly says:

      I believe in prayer, and I know God can guide us. HOWEVER, I’ve heard people tell me that God is okay with their affair, or with them not having had sex with their spouse for years. My point is most of us can hear what we want on occasion, and that is why the Bible is the starting place. If the Bible says no, that’s the end of it. If the Bible is silent on something as huge as masturbation, I feel an obligation to understand why it is silent. I can’t accept “It’s so obvious God didn’t need to say anything” as a reason. Same for “tradition” or “”natural law” (which actually has occult roots). Frankly I have a very hard time seeing how God could be silent on something this big if it were in fact sin. If that is the case, I honestly have to rethink my ideas on God wanting us to know the truth, on making the “rules” clear and obvious. I’m serious, this would require a significant change in my theology.

      I think Jenny is right, it varies from person to person and situation to situation. I have no doubt God has shown some that they should not do it – but that does not mean God has told all to not do it. Part of having a personal relationship with God is that He lets us know what is best for us. He directs us away from the things that are bad for us, or are bad for us now. and towards what is good for us now.

      The problem is when those who have clearly heard God’s word for their lives try to make that a commandment for all. It’s an easy and natural thing to do, but it’s not what God calls us to. As I see it God is crystal clear in the Bible about the hard and fast do’s and don’t’s. If it’s not there, and it was a real issue when the Bible was written, then am sceptical that it is a one size fits all issue to God.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        I think this is a subject where we’re going to have to agree to disagree. In the end I think it boils down to 1 assertion.

        I think we all agree that having sex with anyone other than your spouse is adultery.
        The distinction between the two viewpoints (if I’m understanding) is whether or not sex with yourself (self-sex, masturbation) constitutes as sex with someone other than your spouse.

        Am I on target here? Or way off base?

        1. Paul H. Byerly says:

          Jay Dee – I think the question is self is based on a significant number of assumptions. It’s not sin for me to look at myself naked, or to touch my genitals, but it would be sin in most situations for others to do those things. Is it okay to touch and cause pleasure, but not climax? That would not be true for someone else, but if it’s not okay for me than washing as a teen would be forbidden.

          I’m not trying to be difficult, but I can’t draw clean lines around this. Even the idea of “having sex” is difficult, since we usually define that as an act that involves two or more individuals.

          What I am really asking, is why God was silent on the issue if, in fact, it’s sin. I can’t find an acceptable explanation for that.

          All that said, I suspect this horse is about dead. I’d be happy to discuss this with you by email or phone.

          1. Jay Dee says:

            Fair enough. I agree, I think the horse is dead. We shall agree to disagree.

      2. Anonymous says:

        But the Word of God stands it won’t say something different to me and something different to another. The truth remains the truth. People should stop justifying their wrong actions. Sex was not meant for one person but two people.

        1. Anonymous says:

          I disagree. People read the Bible and some say it’s wrong to so some achohol and some think it’s ok. I’m of the opinion it’s okay but don’t get drunk because then you are no longer in control of yourself. The Bible does not say do not drink- it says do not get drunk. I’m fact Paul tells Timothy take a little wine for you stomachs sake. There are people who say it was just strong grape juice not really wine they were referring to. No it wasn’t. But that’s one example. We may disagree on interpretation- you will think you are 100% right and I’ll think I’m 100% right. But who is really right?

          1. Jay Dee says:

            I’m curious, at what point do you lose control? How much alcohol does it take for you to be impacted?

            I think those who say “it’s okay, but don’t get drunk” are similarly saying “I’m fine if I lose this much control, but no more”. They pick an arbitrary line where they’re okay with that amount of a lack of self-control, but further wouldn’t be tolerable. However, when they then drink, it’s much harder to discern where that line is. Once you’ve had a drink, are you able to tell how much self-control you have? Every Christian I know who says “I drink, but I don’t get drunk” I have also seen drunk – past their limit where they clearly cannot control themselves adequately anymore and they say things they regret, things that hurt others.

            As for Paul and Timothy – I think prescribing medication is far different than saying it’s okay to drink. We prescribe opioids for medical purposes, but they are illegal for recreational purposes.

  8. livinginblurredlines says:

    Jay Dee, that is because our God is a personal God. 🙂

  9. E.M. says:

    Ok, so from what I’ve seen of the comments I am the only person in the military who has responded to this post. While I appreciate the logical outlook you have taken on your approach to this particular situation I can tell you that you are, unintentionally, making light of a very significant subject, namely military service.

    Yes, we currently live in an all volunteer force, but while that’s the case it is not like a civilian job where you can simply ‘quit’ because you no longer want to do it. There are years of obligations and commitments which come about with being in the military.

    Yes, it is a foregone conclusion that you will be sent away for SIGNIFICANT periods of time while serving, if not to the two wars we were recently engaged in (now one obviously) then to other temporary assignments for weeks or a month at a time.

    The context you referenced in Deuteronomy was for a very SPECIFIC point in time under very SPECIFIC circumstances where standing Armies were not the norm; conscriptions for specific conflicts were the common practice of the time. We find ourselves in a time where we have been at war for over a decade. That kind of conflict requires sacrifice and not ONLY sacrifice of life and limb. It requires a sacrifice of separation as well.

    To imply that only single men and women should be going to war and spending time away is the way that it should be because married men and women have other responsibilities and priorities would leave us with a military incapable of much. There wouldn’t be any of us IN the military.

    Also, to state that we don’t NEED to be in the military, we choose it because of the pay is simply inaccurate. Military pay is adequate at BEST. Your most highly educated officers are making a fraction of what civilian equivalents make (even in this economy) and your average enlisted force is hovering just above the poverty line. It is not a need that drives us, it is a desire to serve something greater than yourself, not unlike any Christian in the service of God. We do not do it for the notariety or the money. We do it because if we don’t, nobody else will.

    I apologize for the rant, but the the word “need” which was bolded THREE times and specifically references the military illustrated a misunderstanding I belive is very significant to the topic at hand.

    Now, the Bible is our guiding light we, as Christians, have a responsiblitity to understand the context it was written. We cannot make the Bible fit our opinions we must try to discern what the Bible is trying to teach us. The bible does not SPECIFICALLY reference masturbation. God was always clear when he thought something was wrong. Thou shalt not… He goes so far as to calling somebody a fool, to anger, lying, etc. Masturbation is not referenced.

    My interpretation of this as a military Christian is that it is the decision of the married couple. If the husband is doing it he should share it with his wife. Not all locations in Afghanistan have internet (re: Skype). Some do, and it makes connection with your spouse on an intimate level easy across the globe. As long as the husband and wife are both understanding of it and the man or woman actually masturbating is clear in his or her relationship with God then I do not believe any harm is done. How much is too much or too little? Again, we can only turn to prayer for that because the Bible is mute on that subject.

    Is it possible to go without, yes, I was in Iraq last year and gave it up (even over Skype with my wife) for Lent. It was not easy, but I did it. I also had the luxury of Skype where many, many others do not.

    The last point I want to address is that of responsibility. As the military member, husband to a wife who is EXTREMELY proud to be a military wife and the father of two daughters it is up to me to know how to manage my family. Yes, we can be sent away, A LOT. Not just on deployments, but on temporary duties (TDY) for weeks at a time. It is my responsiblity as a husband and a father to put my family first. Are they put first every single day, no, like anybody I have a responsibility to my job and to the mission, but I cannot nor will not sacrifice my family for the job. Many military members do sacrifice their families for their careers, but that is a mistake. It is a balance of priorities, but to say too much time away is wrong is a blanket statement is wrong is your opinion and is based on ignorance and inexperience based on your own circumstances.

    I aplaud you for being able to have never been separated from your weife. In my 11 years of marriage I have spent easilly 3 years away from my wife between deployments and TDYs and my wife and I have a VERY strong marriage and I have fantastic children.

    As you can tell some of your post was a little insulting. I know this was not your intent and I do not take personal offense because I know it stems from ignorance rather than a desire to be insulting. This subject (while seemingly simplistic) is VERY complicated. This country nowadays gives a lot of praise to our military, but very few people actually understand what the real meaning of sacrifice is, even Christians. I aplaud you for your logical outlook on this topic, but unfortunately it is not based on SPECIFIC Biblical reference. I have seen way too many well intentioned Christians “read into” the Bible for references that simply aren’t there.

    Sorry for the rant. I hope I didn’t offend anybody.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks for commenting!

      Yes, you are the only person to comment in the military itself, but we’ve had some military wives comment in the past, I believe. And if I made light of the military, I apologize, it was not my intent, I would not make light of anyone’s chosen profession.

      I didn’t not know you could not quit the military. Thank you for the insight. That said, you knew when you signed up that this would be the case. So I’m not going to go easy on you there. Frankly, you have less of a leg to stand on than my friend in jail, but he didn’t think about the jail time when he was doing what he did. I’m guessing you had to sign a paper saying you agree to the obligations and commitments that you have, and you have alluded to this saying that it is a “foregone conclusion that you will be sent away for significant periods of time”.

      As for the verse in Deuteronomy, it was not only military, but business as well they were excused from, so your argument about what type of army they had (standing or not) has no bearing on the subject.

      On issue of income I apologize and humbly ask forgiveness. The only exposure I have is people who have chosen military because they will pay for their schooling, or because there is no prior training required and it’s a job. I did not account for the desire to serve. I’ve removed the offending parts of the post in that regard (I hope). Thank you for widening my perspective.

      I’m still going to hold that you didn’t have to choose the military. You chose it of your own free will. And after the years of obligation, you still don’t need to be there. You have made a choice, and you are living with your choice. My argument is with the people who say “I need this job” as if they have had no options.

      I 100% agree that we need to understand the context. Please see the comments in the other posts where I go into more detail about the context of Paul’s writings. That the culture he lived in thought masturbation was a sin. The fact that it is not referenced in his discussions on sexuality and marriage puts the onus on proving it’s innocence, not on proving that its a sin. The things he does comment on are issues that specific churches were having problems with. It is possible that no one was having problems with masturbation, or at least it wasn’t as public, so he didn’t think to comment on it because everyone knew and was presumably living by the accepted teaching that masturbation is wrong.

      Thank you for admitting that it is possible to not masturbate while away from your spouse. Too many people say it just isn’t. I never said it was easy and you agree. But, following God in defiance of society is rarely easy.

      As for the being away, as I said, that’s just my opinion. I don’t understand your viewpoint, I have no idea how you manage to be away so much and I’m afraid nothing you has said has made it any clearer for me. I’m very glad to hear your wife is happy with the situation, it would be a lot harder if she wasn’t, and I’ve heard from wives who are very upset about the deployments and TDY’s (thank you for the definition!). I never meant to imply your family was not fantastic or your marriage not strong, only that the potential risk is higher.

      I’m glad you don’t take personal offense, you are correct, it was not my intent to be insulting. I hope I have explained my statements more clearly.

      Lastly, you say that the issue is not simple, but very complicated, but I disagree entirely. The Bible is clear, I believe, that we should reserve sex for our spouse. I love what Soren Kierkegaard wrote on this:

      The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. – Soren Kierkegaard

      I am not saying you are scheming and pretending, and I’m not saying you’re not, but I think our churches have done this in the past and continue to do it today. It is in our nature to find loopholes to God’s will for our lives and it is in our nature to blindly accept when accepting is easy.

      Thank you for the discussion, I’ve ranted myself a few times and I’m perfectly OK with that. And thank you for the insights into military life, I very much appreciate them. I still stick with my prior assertion: masturbation is marriage is wrong. You have brought nothing new forward to convince me otherwise, in fact you have bolstered my argument by saying it is possible to refrain while away from your spouse for extended periods.

      1. John Smith says:

        Your extreme ignorance about the military and the foundations of our Republic and society here in the United States are apparent from your post. Unfortunately, this ignorance is widespread among Christians, so I feel led to respond as someone in the military. I know you mean no disrespect to the military or military families, but you are dead wrong about your assumptions about the military and separation and need to be educated (I am talking about your concept of the military, not your opinions of sexual sin – with that I disagree as a brother in Christ). I am thankful for your site and the work you do, so please don’t take offense to anything I am conveying here. I consider your general opinion in regards to this position that of a “free-rider Christian” – one who reaps the benefits of our first-world, Western society and does not contribute in any meaningful way other than paying taxes.

        Yes, our country is an all volunteer force, but if no one volunteered we would have not have the freedoms we hold dear (and have a conscripted force). From your words, I must point out you truly cast your judgement from an ivory tower. If not for the men and women who volunteer to possibly lay down their life for their country, you would not be able to debate sexual sin from your computer in the comfort of your home in such a blessed and wealthy country as ours. I don’t know how you maintain that Christian military members “choose” the military. Did you “choose” ministry, or did God call you to it? I firmly believe that God called me to the military – it is my God-given “vocation” as R.C. Sprout would say. So military members struggle with sexual release? Your attitude is “tough luck”.

        In my own life, there is no question I have survived and succeeded because of Gods blessings and providence. This may seem very abstract to you (in terms of people protecting your way of life), but from your responses, it seams that you are aloof and take our society for granted (I am not accusing you of doing this intentionally). Are you in physical danger? Do you leave your house on a daily basis not knowing if your will return, or with the conviction that you will give your life to accomplish a mission if it is required? Christ said that there is no greater love than to give yourself for another – many in the military, both believer and non-believer do this daily. Are you separated from your wife for over a year at a time with no opportunity for a visit and little communication, facing life and death situations daily?
        With these thoughts in mind, consider the Christian servicemen who masturbates to his or her spouse, and the spouse who masturbates while awaiting their return. They face a hardship of separation that a select group of people endure. They endure if for many reasons, but ultimately it is a necessary sacrifice to keep us safe and maintain our country’s standing in the world. This is not a simple topic, but when it comes down to it you are safe because many volunteer. Of course politics and other forces are at work here, but 95% of military members have no control of this. They may not agree with policy, but they follow their moral orders and keep their oath to the constitution. If you consider these challenges, I explore you to seek understanding. If I masturbate to my wife to keep me focused and alive for a mission – to have no other distractions – God will judge, and I am convicted he understands.

        Again, I hope you will consider my position and not take offense to any of these words. I know it is an extremely complicated topic and I have simplified it greatly, but I hope you consider this position as someone who has a vocation in the military. God bless.

  10. livinginblurredlines says:

    Sin begins in the heart. A wet dream or shower cum isn’t the same as deliberately masturbating to cause sexual arousal and release. If Christ walked in on you, would He be pleased?

    1. Cassie says:

      You are the biggest dork lol WOW hey would Christ be PLEASED to walk in and find you taking a dump? You sound so ridiculous when you say that. You forget who made the hormones in our bodies? Who made sex? Who made desire? If you are masterbating to your SPOUSE ONLY and thinking of your time TOGETHER and not thinking of anyone else plus your spouse knows about it or is apart of it through Skype- who are any of you to say you know that that is not intimacy for them???? Wow the nerve! Then to hammer sry “get onto” service men/women for choosing to serve their country, to PROTECT YOU AND ME- I’ve heard it all now. This is the reason why many are driven away from Christianity itself and from Christ. This is so dogmatic, judgemental, narrow minded and even arrogant to claim you know others sin in their marriage when the Bible never said anything about this. The body has basic needs; to eat, sleep, and also sex. If a man stays celibate long enough and tries to not even masterbate to his wife he very easily could be tempted and weakening himself to real sin of lust for another at some point, God is not wanting to tempt people or torture them. And not everyone can go the same length of time without it btw. Everyone is different and struggles with different things and temptations and different limits they can handle as well. You cannot box everyone in the same category. I’m not really sorry if I offended anyone I think this article is very rude and puritan sounding and it actually irritates me more than offends me.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Wow, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone call anyone else a dork since high school…

        But, to address your comment:
        1) Would Christ be pleased to walk in and find you taking a dump? As our creator, yeah, I think He would be. I mean, I think it’s cool when something I build works as intended. When my children are learning to potty train, I’m extremely pleased to find them on the toilet 🙂

        2) Yes, God made the desire, but often we don’t answer it appropriately. One day we’re going to have sex robots if Christ doesn’t return soon. Is it going to be okay to have sex with one so long as you’re thinking about your spouse? What’s the difference?

        3) Through Skype, I agree, that’s a shared experience and is okay. That doesn’t fall under the topic of this post.

        4) Sex is not a basic need. You won’t die from a lack of sex. A marriage might die from a lack of intimacy, but masturbation doesn’t fulfill intimacy.

        5) Yes, a man gets tempted without sex. 1 Cor 7:5 has the answer to that: Have sex with your spouse. Masturbation is not a solution to anything.

        6) Yes, everyone gets tempted by different amounts when they don’t have sex. Part of that is a balance of spontaneous arousal excitors and arousal inhibitors, but part is also self-control. Luckily self-control is a muscle and can be exercised.

        7) It’s not puritan to suggest you should be having amazing, intimate sex with your spouse instead of satisfying your selfish desires with a purely physical activity that does nothing to build intimacy. If you’re irritated, perhaps it’s because you’re feeling convicted and are fighting against it.

  11. currentlydeployedMarine says:

    I disagree with the author on this subject. I also disagree with the assertion that you volunteered and therefore are completely culpable to whatever happens in the future. In my case, I joined as a single teenager and am now a late 20’s adult with a wife and kids. I can assure you I did not consider long periods of time apart from my wife and children when I signed up, because I did not have a wife or child. In my case, I am getting out because I am currently realizing that there is no way that I can continue to be apart from my family. Additionally, a lack of perspective has often caused well meaning believers to counsel military members using their experiences of being apart from their spouses for things such as a business trip. Usually, I find these comparisons personally offensive, because one can’t relate their 2 weeks apart to someone who will spend 1 year apart. Often times the civilian can not comprehend what it means to be apart from their loved one for a year, and are simply trying to be helpful in light of this ignorance. I also find that suppressing these feelings towards your spouse becomes habitial over such a long period of time and results in a frustrating sexual relationship upon returning home. Another bad side affect is the possiblity of lust over women who aren’t your spouse becoming a problem. In any case, in light of the Bible’s silence on the subject, I will enjoy my wife’s topless photos with a clear conscience and look forward to the day I can go home and enjoy them in person.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’m perfectly ok with you disagreeing. My post is my opinion and nothing else.

      That said, it seems like you agree with some things I said:
      You say you only entered military life because you “did not consider long periods of time apart from my wife and children”. And now “I am currently realizing that there is no way that I can continue to be apart from my family”.
      So, you agree with me on that aspect at least.

      Granted, I don’t have the perspective that you do on being apart from your spouse, and, God willing, I never will, as, from your own testimony, it doesn’t seem to be worth it.

      Thank you for your perspective!

      1. Janice Edwards says:

        How about widows and widowers, hormones and emotions don’t stop when your spouse passes away. If you can’t have sex with them, then what?????

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I feel like you’re not going to enjoy the answer, but I have a post here dealing with that question: Is it sinful for widows to masturbate?

  12. Jay Dee says:

    You are welcome to you opinion, and to share it!

    If you read the comment above, it seems to me that currentlydeployedMarine said he is leaving the military because the trade is not worth it. If it was, he would stay in the military, no? So, from my perspective, someone in the military is saying military service is not worth it if you are married. Perhaps you have a different opinion, and that’s OK.

    I get visitors from all over the world. Some cultures (like that in America, which I’m guessing you are from) place a much higher value on military life than others (like my own). As such, their opinions (and mine) might not reflect yours, as one would expect.

    Never-the-less, I appreciate the discussion and to learn of other people’s perspective. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Shana says:

      Mr Jay Dee when explaining your opinons to others make sure that you do more research on subjects you will be targeting. In some people’s case they didn’t intend to be seprated from their spouse not only the ones that are in the army goes through this but also you can be separated due to immigration problems as well. And also please give me the scriptures where paul talked about masturbation

    2. Jeff says:

      Jay, what i find most disconcerting is your effort to pull every ounce of people’s “agreement” with you. I looked at this topic hoping to learn something. However, you have lost all credibility to me because you are so focused on being right and winning the argument, even when you are clearly detached and ignorant about some of the people groups you mention (military). If you know nothing about people serving in the military today right next to you, and if you have no ability to at least empathize or understand that context, then i highly doubt your ability to understand the historical context of Paul’s writings, and certainly not Deuteronomy.

      I come away from this discussion not really caring about your opinion or your argmuents because you seem to come from a need of being right as opposed to diving into the comexity of this issue to determine the truth. So i ask you, could you ever open yourself up to the possibility that you might not understand this issue entirely? I honestly doubt it

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Luckily truth is not a democracy. It doesn’t really matter what people’s opinions are. I do think I’m following what is right. So, of course I’m going to argue for it.

        And of course I’m open to the idea that I don’t know everything. I used to have the opposite viewpoint. So I’ve made a fairly radical shift already in my life. However, the more I learn about it, the more evidence I see that this is right. It was hard to accept at first. I thought it was a crazy notion. So, I get the mindset you’re coming from. But I still strongly disagree with it.

  13. dan says:

    Yeah this is something that as a Christian man struggling with being away from my wife I am dealing with right now. We have been married 3 years. I had to take a job on the other side of the country and its going to be a few months before my wife can join us. Needless to say I miss her fellowship. I’m glad to see other Christian perspectives. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be as busy with work as possible but even there is temptation…

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That must be very difficult.

      I know it’s not the same, but are phone sex/Skype sex an option? Might be enough to help ward off temptation.

      1 Corinthians 7:5 – Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

      Paul was very aware that a lack of sexual union with a wife could cause temptation.

  14. KH says:

    Jay Dee, I just stumbled across your blog today. I’m glad to see Christian men devoted to theology”and [marital] intimacy. In my conservative Evangelical camp, theology is big, but sex is never discussed or taught-ever. My wife and I came to Christ after we got married, so we never really had any good, solid, biblical instruction regarding intimacy. It seems like most doctrinally sound preachers I know can’t find the biblical balance between being bold about marital intimacy and sounding pornographic. They “throw the baby out with the bath water.” So, thanks for addressing the issues that everyone thinks about, but never talks about.

    On another note, I have some issues with this post. First, after reading your post and comments, I still fail to see how the Bible says “masturbation in marriage is wrong.” If the Bible is silent on an issue, then it’s gray. If it’s gray, then it’s a Rom 14 issue. Period. If you condemn something that the Bible does not explicitly forbid, you’re walking in the direction of legalism, my friend. Consistent hermeneutics is a key player in the discussion too. If a husband can control his thoughts and think solely about pleasuring his wife as he pleasures himself, then on what biblical grounds do you say that is sin? Furthermore, if, as some say, masturbation is sin because the man/woman will fantasize about another person (which can/does happen), the same can/does happen when the two are together. So, that argument alone does not fly.

    Second, I also fail to see why you’re more compassionate towards a convicted criminal as opposed to a Serviceman who honorably goes oversees to fight so men, like yourself, don’t get drafted. You also sound very ungrateful towards those whom are willing to protect the freedom you have to write this blog (or maybe you’re not American? That might explain the indifference you have towards Veterans”.). Is it your opinion that married men should not serve in the military? There has to be a government to defend us (Rom 13) and we need Christian men in the government.

    Third, could you please clarify what “solo masturbation” is? In other words, what qualifies? I ask because you mentioned having “Skype and cell phones, instant communication around the world.” Is it OK for a husband and wife to watch each other pleasure themselves on something like Skype?

    Lastly, I 100% agree with your comments regarding PKs”.

    Grace and peace,

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog. On to your comments/disagreements/questions:

      1) Is masturbation wrong? Here’s my basic logic pattern:
      God says sex outside of marriage is wrong. I say masturbation is a sexual act (ergo, sex. Just as oral sex is sex, manual sex is sex, etc.). Therefore, masturbation should not happen outside of marriage, and without being shared by your spouse. It’s that simple to me. Add to this that solo masturbation teaches you how to please yourself (with no regard for your spouse as they are not present), whereas one of the fundamental points of marriage (in the Bible, as I read it) is to put your spouse first, and I think masturbation is counter-productive to marriage, because the goals are mutually opposing.

      2) Regarding Servicemen: I am not more or less compassionate to the convicted criminal than to the service man. I would hope I am equally compassionate towards anyone. If it came across any other way, my apologies, though it is true, I am not American, so I may not be as compassionate towards service men/women as typical Americans are. Is it my opinion that married men should not service in the military? I don’t know. All I know is that I, personally, me, could not willingly choose to separate myself from my family in that way. That was my point, and that alone. Not commenting on whether or not we should have military, or who should be in it, etc. Just that the separation is not something I would willingly endure.

      3) What is solo masturbation? For me, personally, I think solo masturbation is sex, by yourself, alone, disconnected from your spouse. We are very lucky, in this day and age, to have so many options connecting us to our spouses. For me, I have no problem with mutual masturbation over Skype (though I’ve admittedly never had the experience). I think then you are connected to your spouse. You are sharing the experience.

      I hope that answers your questions. If not, let me know. Thanks for the opportunity to discuss.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Your logic is flawed. You can’t say that a convict didn’t choose to be separated from his family. He did the crime willfully. He knew the risk. He must have broken one of gods commandments to end up in jail.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I think a lot of them are convinced they won’t be caught. Either way, it’s not the point.

  15. Kevin Miller says:

    Thanks for this post! I’m a pastor and recently dealt with a question like this concerning sending nude pics to a spouse during a deployment. If you want, you can watch the video here:

    The Q&A begins around 27:15.
    Thanks again!

  16. bimpz says:

    I really appreciate ds write up, just that u did not talk about does who dere husband live abroad and the wife’s papers are not ready and dats one of d reason they are separated

    1. Jay Dee says:

      No, I didn’t, but I don’t see how it changes anything .

  17. Kelsey says:

    My husband is in jail. Conjugal visits are for prison and not always granted. We will be separated for quite some time…I don’t see why pleasing oneself is detrimental. What is worse, a quick encounter with a removable shower head or an affair / one night stand? I could not bring myself to cheat, personally but the latter is worse in my opinion.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hi Kelsey,

      I sympathize with your situation. I know three wives with husbands in prison, and there is nothing easy about it. However, this doesn’t change my thoughts on the subject.

      My reasons for why it’s detrimental are listed here, but another indication, that it is wrong, is that the “justification” is often comparing it to another, “greater” evil. Why is an affair or one night stand the only alternative? Why not self control? If you couldn’t bring yourself to cheat, then could you not manage to wait for your husband?

  18. Chris Tian says:

    I’ve lived apart from my husband for over five years now (thanks European Visa laws and unemployment!) for the most part I don’t and neither does he but when you’re apart for months at a time it is tough and sometimes I need the release. When I do choose to go down that route, my mind is solely on him and I’ve also learnt that I NEVER do it if I’m going to see him within a week or two I’d rather wait as it makes it more enjoyable when we are together. He knows that I do sometimes and he doesn’t mind because he knows my routine, he knows I need his voice, he knows what I’m thinking about (because I’ve told him) and sometimes he’ll give me something for my mind to think by sending me a text of what he’d like. A period away of 11 days is nothing and I can wait but after two months it really does get difficult so I’d say that in this case it really does depend on what the spouse is thinking about, the length of time of the separation and how it affects the marriage. I’ve found that by not doing it, it makes me desire sex less and many women tell me the same, the less they do it the less they want to do it. So I’ve learnt to create a balance so that I don’t over do it or under-do it.

  19. Jay Dee says:

    No offense taken, but I have one point in answer:
    Even if there were no military, if my country (which is different than your country) was war torn and it wasn’t safe to walk around the streets, it wouldn’t change my views on masturbation.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am a widow. Still grieving. Didn’t know where to give comments on masturbation or being separated for long periods of time. It seems very easy to give advise on solo sex until you have lost the love of your life! I had no idea before loosing my husband of 53 years the devastation and loneliness this could cause. Its best not to be so sure of your opinion until you have walked through the fire.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’m sorry for your loss. As you say, I cannot begin to imagine what that feels like.

      That said, I think it’s even more important to purpose in your mind what you will do in the situation before you are in it. Otherwise we start reacting to our feelings rather than thinking. That’s not to say the feelings aren’t valid, but how we react in trying times is what either builds the character God wants from us, or a character that leads us away from God.

      So, with that, the post on widows is here: Is it sinful for widows to masturbate? I hope you will read it in the spirit it was intended, and of course you are welcome to add your thoughts in the comments section.

  21. David says:

    “Pleasuring yourself with your partner is not a sin” … of course it is!!!!!! If masturbation by your self is wrong then so is masturbation in the pres of your spouse!!!! Wake up smell the coffee. Your spouse is present even if electronically – really!?!?! What kind of electronics did they have in Biblical times?! No wonder the world rolls their eyes when they hear of the nonsense coming from so called Christians … and I say so-called as many Christians (incl my parents) who are very very very clear that even sex in marriage has only one purpose … to procreate and should never be enjoyed … if sex in marriage is for any other reason it is extremely wrong … my parents and many Christians would NOT consider you to be a Christian. Cant have it both ways . Either they are wrong or you are … cant both be right. There are many interpretations and opinions out there … yours is just one

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think you’ve missed my argument here. It’s not the touching yourself that’s the problem. It’s the connection (or lack thereof) that creates an issues.
      In fact, I’d argue that if you are having sex with your spouse, but mentally checked out and fantasizing about someone else, then that’s just as bad as solo masturbation

      And, frankly, I’m unconcerned about how many Christians think I’m right or wrong. And I agree, many Christians wouldn’t consider me one. I’m okay with that. Christianity is not a popularity contest.
      But, you haven’t given me a reason why I must be wrong. As for your parents, I’d reference this post to argue the “sex is sinful except for procreation” attitude.

  22. Eric says:

    My wife has no libido due to medications she is taking and her age. I masturbate in front of her sometimes. Sometimes alone if she is sleeping. I do think of her while doing it. She is supportive of me doing this with her or alone.

  23. Naomi says:

    How can you think sex with your husband can be anyway wrong? The Bible say that you belong to him and he belong to you. Be criative? Talk over the phone with him, or you dont talk sexy at all with your husband? This is normal between you and him. Explore each other, sex is a gift for married people, dont put yourself or him is difficult situation just because you think be “hole” mean dont be human at all!
    However, I was about 6 years without having sex with my husband, I am not going in details on why but I can tell you, free youself and your husband to belong to each other because sex is fun that is why God create a nerve system in certain areas for us to have this feelings and emotions. God bless you!

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