Releasing Sexual Tension
Question: So, if premarital sex and heavy petting are out for singles, what about masturbation? .
Answer: Masturbation is a nasty word for some, and a healthy word for others. Why do some consider it a nasty word? Because of its association with lustful thoughts, sexual addiction, and immoderate desirers. Why do others consider it a healthy word? Because they say itís a way of discovering oneís sexuality and a method of releasing sexual tension without the involvement of another person, or without having sexual intercourse. Would the need to release sexual tension by a single Christian men and women be reason enough to warrant masturbating? Would lustful thoughts really be a serious problem? These are some of the many complex issues about masturbation and many questions that remain unanswered because of the personal and delicate nature of the subject. Perhaps the practices of and opinions about masturbation are some of the best-kept secrets among Christians in all denominations. I will combine the knowledge Iíve gained in my counseling sessions with young adults with information gathered from many books and articles to present ideas and principles that I hope will give you something to think about.
First let us define the term masturbation. It is the manipulation of the genitals with the hands for sexual excitement and climate (orgasm). It can also include the involvement of another person or persons to help one in reaching erotic arousal without actual penis-vagina penetration.
I will present what I believe are the different stages or types of masturbation:
(1) DISCOVERY STAGE. This is the childhood period which is normal and healthy. Parents Magazine, 1990, Dr Janice Gibson, University of Pittsburgh state that "this stage of innocent fondling of the genital (some might call masturbation) may even continue into adolescence. This is the stage when the parent finds the little boy with his hands in his pants. He is discovering his body and beginning to learn what each part is for, to his limited knowledge. This stage is not usually accompanied with lustful thoughts and fantasy, and it is not a habit. Also, the little boys may not be getting "sexual pleasure." The attitude of the parents toward their inquisitive sons can either prevent the development of a masturbation habit, or drive them into an addiction of sexual gratification. According to Dr. Keith Olson, noted author and Christian counselor, many adolescent boys masturbate as mush as two and four times a week. When "masturbation" reaches this intensity, it many no longer be a "healthy innocent discovery" but a movement to the next stages/types.
(2) PRESSURE RELEASE STAGE. At this stage the individual is aware of his body functions and has an understanding about the sensual feelings and emotions experienced. This occasional release of sexual tension throng masturbation is not yet a habit, but is usually accompanied with fantasy and lustful thoughts. Although physical harm is not known, emotional danger can result from such behavior. Because of the addictive element of masturbation, few remain at this stage. This stage can also include masturbation in marriage, which does not include lustful thoughts or inordinate sexual fantasy. It may be considered a healthy behavior as long as lustful thoughts are not included; for example, especially when a wife is recovering from pregnancy, or for therapeutic or medical purposes, etc. Note carefully that God has placed in each male a natural pressure release gauge called nocturnal emission. I havenít found any research on female "nocturnal emission," however some women ave reported having orgasms in their sleep.
(3) EXPLOITIVE STAGE. This is the stage when the healthy discovery and occasional release turn into exploitation of the mind and body for sexual gratification. During this stage masturbation is always accompanied with lustful thoughts and sexual fantasies. At this stage masturbation many not be a compulsive habit but it is considered by the masturbator a very enjoyable way of sexual expression. She/he may be lured into the self-made trap of lust, pornography, dirty literature, etc.
(4) COMPULSIVE STAGE. This is the continuation of the exploitive stage, when the habit produces the desire and the desire the habit. I call this the addictive stage. One young man who had a daily habit of masturbating told me that it was harder for him stop masturbating than it was to break the habit of using drugs. Some excuses for this type of behavior would be boredom, loneliness, frustration, insecurity, and self-centeredness. Whenever masturbation becomes exploitive, compulsive, and includes fantasy and lustful thoughts, certainly we can use the terms "degrading vice," "bewitching vice," "soul-and-body-destroying vice," "secret vice."
I am sure you are wondering where I am heading with is subject. Is there any good in masturbation? Should Christian single men and women use masturbation as a means of releasing sexual tension to avoid fornication? Certainly not. With the addictive element and lust thoughts and transitory nature, I cannot recommend masturbating as a method for an occasional release of sexual tension. Next week I will continue with part 2 to this question and will attempt to help you to make an informed decision about masturbation.