I was wondering how my other Christen brothers handle masterbation? Most churchs do not have a prob . with it. some do. Some men think it is unmanly to give into your body, that you are not in control. Just wanted some opinions.
I'm not sure how you get from "If you don't love her.." to "If she's not expecting [sex]..." You seem to have started another topic. Jack addresses it below, so I won't.
So, I have to throw out there that I thought that the act of sex was purely for procreation...
You thought wrong.
1 Corinthians speaks specifically of married couples not denying each other except for a limited time during mutually-agreed fasts. Song of Solomon speaks quite frankly, if poetically, about sex for pleasure. I don't recall procreation being mentioned in either case. SoS even includes a fairly clear, though not undisputed, references to taking pleasure from sex acts that are inherently not procreative.
Not sure that has any bearing at all on the original question ... but you're better off not starting from a flawed premise.
SoS even talks about the sexual enjoyment of looking at his partner's breasts.
Coming from someone who didn't masturbate for 3.5 years leading up to marraige (during my prime sexual years, no less, between 21-25), I can say that it is possible, but consider the repurcussions (yes, there are actually consequences to accomplishing the habit of non-self-pleasure).
a) Wet Dreams/Nocturnal emissions.
- No matter what a guy does, his body will continue to produce sperm and need to "clear house" to make new stock. I essentially was getting these once or twice every 4-5 weeks during this time (usually on consecutive nights if more than one ejac was needed). Though the sensations are powerful (imagine only ejaculating once a month, there's a LOT of sensation involved), it makes for an unwanted mess in your bed, normally right in the middle of your sleep. A very mixed blessing as you'll be having to do extra cleaning for your sheets/blankets and clothes (if any) you wear to bed.
b) Decreased sex drive
- During those 3.5 years I was on a very moral high-ground and felt very "holy" (if you will) for not pleasing myself for this long (I wouldn't say prideful in a negative conotation, but proud that I could trust God not to 'give in to temptation'). I always assumed my previously hyper sex-drive would rekindle once I got married; sadly it did not. Though the first few months of marraige were filled with regular-to-extra amounts of sex, my body would start craving it in spurts to the point where I would crave sex every couple weeks to sometimes a month (much akin to my nocturnal emissions schedule)! Obviously she was more interested than that and although I could will myself to do the deed when she would want, or sometimes fake my interest; my 3.5 years of self-abstinence did not yield any bounty of sexual desire on the flipside of marraige like I had anticipated, but rather the opposite.
Imagine telling your wife that you'd only really crave sex a couple times each month or so, and the rest of the time you would have to either force interest or fake it (yes, guys can fake it too)! Needless to say our sexual chemistry/schedules were imbalanced and her drive was much higher than mine (I'd say as a result of mine being lower than normal). It's not that I couldn't "get it up", it's that my mental interest/desire was normally not there because I'd trained myself (many times over the 3.5 years) to think "I can do without this sensation, it's not the end-all/be-all". I was trained to ignore/abstain from the sensations.
Nowadays that I'm separated from my wife (don't worry, this is certainly not a direct result of bad sexual chemistry, but many other relational issues between us), I have started pleasuring myself again (don't worry, it can be done without porn. I lived without it for 3.5 years before marraige, slipped up a little bit late in the marraige after no sex for almost a year, but have since not watched any again for the last 7+ months). I do this now because:
a) The Bible doesn't directly prohibit it.
b) It is a physical requirement for men to have to release/vacate sperm because our bodies are seed-producing machines (the way God made us)
c) After having an activated sex-life for years, I find it extremely difficult to turn back to non-pleasing ways (although I DID accomplish it to the point of another wet-dream once), I no longer see the point of having it happen when I am asleep anymore. I might as well be in control of when/where the ejac happens and be able to take care of the mess then and there)
d) I still don't do it that often anyways (averaging 1-2x/week, if that)(lowered sex-drive/interest, remember?)
Looking back in hindsight, I fear that although my lack of pleasure was a "moral high-ground", it has had negative consequences in other areas of my life. Women in general (meaning all of your guys' future/present wives) will want you to be able to have self-control and not need other sources for sexual satisfaction (which thankfully I was able to provide my wife), but will also themselves need a regular/healthy amount of sex to show that they are desireable/beautiful. The act is a very confirming gesture/action for her to partake in and is as satisfying to her as it is to you, just in different ways. This aspect I was not able to provide my wife nearly enough because of my general disinterest/faked desire in the act.
I hope this may provide some insight/perspective on what it could be like actually achieving the no-self-pleasure challenge. It is hard to get there, and at times very hard to stay there; and the benefits may not be 100% positive like you might think once you get there and are operating at that level of physical/spiritual discipline. I'm not saying that my results are a one-size-fits-all result and that "this WILL happen to you", I'm just saying be aware of what could happen.
Shalom & God Bless, all!
Did you avoid masturbation premarriage due to your religious beliefs or because it was what you thought women (in this case, your future wife) wanted?
Both. When I eventually did get married my wife was appreciative of the discipline, but I think overall it hampered my sexual interest in her.
Some people say that masturbating is 100% selfish act and shouldn't be done, particularly by single guys. Something to consider in light of that thought; every single natural/bodily infused ejac (wet dream) was a direct result of dreaming of having sex with a woman. Yes, I'm certain it's a requirement to imagine sex to have an ejaculation, but even my unconcious body (with no hand to play of my own)(pun intended;) required those thoughts to 'clear house' when I was not touching myself.
I stand here now having been on both sides of the coin and can honestly say (for myself at least) that I require sexy thoughts to release (concious or unconcious), and I do not use porn as a medium to get there. God hardwired men to be this way and we are to be as good stewards as possible with all our thoughts and actions. For an unmarried man, it's a bit of shaky ground spiritually to be walking through, but a requirement nevertheless until they are married. As long as porn is out of the equation, I don't see a problem in satisfying a physical need one's own terms rather than leaving it to our bodies to do it themselves in our sleep with no control over it whatsoever.
Lets turn this around just a little bit. The question "is giving up masturbation manly" almost implies that masturbation in unmanly. God created man and inside man he created a sex drive. Through sinful nature that sex drive has been corrupted, perverted, twisted and any number of other bad things have happened to it. Still God put it there. Just like anything else it can be done too much but in moderation its not a bad thing or unmanly.
Is there anyone here who believes it is bad or unmanly?
Thanks for returning us to the actual question of this thread. It has quickly devolved into an argument as to whether masturbation is sinful.
Masturbation itself can be neither manly nor unmanly because it can be performed by both men and women. Abstinence from masturbation is neither manly nor unmanly because self-control can be exercised by both women and men.
I gave it up almost two years ago. I also gave up porn. The two used to go hand-hand. For porn, I chose to stop because it not respectful to my wife. I never really chose to give up masturbation. I kinda just stopped. It's been over two years. I realized that masturbation opens a door to all kinds of thoughts that I really don't want crawling around in my head, so I stopped. My wife keeps me satisfied. After a little while, it stops being an issue.
"I gave it up almost two years ago. I also gave up porn. The two used to go hand-hand."
I like the way you phrased that.
As for the rest, I would say that porn definitely opens doors. But, masturbation itself does not. Those naughtly little thoughts are already inside you.
I have the same problem Jess just mentioned. It's disrespectful to my girlfriend. Plus I mean besides Scotts experience, you don't loose your drive, to say it's a result of not gratifying yourself has no grounds. It's all in the way you approached it mentally to begin with. Your body is not saying hey I only wanna do it this and this day, at least for men it's not because we don't go through the same things Women do. It's all in your outlook on the act. I'm abstaining from sex until I get married, and I'm trying to break off from masturbating, considering I have wet dreams and I can't do anything about it.
Sex will always have a twofold end unity, and procreation. When engaged in sex endorphins and other chemicals are released and have the effect of bonding the couple together. The trick is if you can master yourself, during the times of abstaining you can do other things like kissing and holding and that does the same thing with the releasing of bonding chemicals. When a couple has to wait no longer having that self mastery comes in really handy for foreplay. When you masturbate you release those same bonding chemicals, but those chemicals from you are not having the bonding effect with anyone else. So thus sex becomes less enjoyable.
The song of songs says 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.
You can gather from this that Masturbation is a no no because of do not deprive eachother except... for a time so you can devote yourself to prayer. So he's not saying unless you mutual agree so you can spend time masturbating.
Also in response to something Rebekah said. You only have to learn 1 NFP method, but some places like my Archdiocese of Boston, uses two methods of Sympto Thermal, and Creighton.